Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 6


Anne of the Island

We are never half so interesting when we have learned that language is given us to enable us to conceal our thoughts.  (156)

Humor is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence.  Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them.  (217-218)

There is so much in the world for us all if we only have the eyes to see it, and the heart to love it, and the hand to gather it to ourselves–so much in men and women, so much in art and literature, so much everywhere in which to delight, and for which to be thankful.  (218)


Younger By the Day

If you don’t love your work . . ., can you love what it’s doing for you, prospering your life or getting you out and getting your mind off yourself?  (54)









Garland of Love

Just because you love somebody doesn’t mean you can’t hurt them–and by the same token it doesn’t give you the right to hurt them.  (February 6)

It’s easy to love when we’re blissfully happy, when we are in love and everything is running smoothly.  But love is tested in hard times, is developed in crises, and reaches its full maturity when unexpected tragedies befall us.  (February 10)




Simple Abundance

Children are not the only ones who need regular bedtimes, mealtimes, and quiet times.  Their mothers do too.  Think of the steady, reassuring rhythm of the natural world–the ebb and flow of the tides, the recurring cycle of the four seasons, the monthly phases of the moon, and the daily progression from day into night.  Rhythm needs to be the cornerstone in our personal world as well.  (February 6)

It’s far easier to live an elegant, beautiful life when you’re not on a budget.  When cash is readily available, you don’t have to learn the lessons that delayed gratification teaches us.  But having money does not guarantee that we live authentically.  Nor does being surrounded by beautiful things guarantee a lifetime of happiness.  If you receive heartbreaking news, it’s not more comforting to sob into a damask and silk-tasseled cushion.  (February 10)

Death’s Door

[U]nfilled needs for ceremonial grief had by mid-century been given special poignancy by technological innovations that transformed the relationship of mourners to history and memory–namely, the development of films and videos that allow the bereaved to see and hear images of the dead as if they were still among the living.  But even while such ghostly presences were unprecedented, they were (and are) especially unnerving in a cultural context in which death is a scandal to be avoided or denied and grief an embarrassment to be deplored or derided.  Can the dead be in and of history and memory if we can still see them and hear them?  Sine we don’t want to mourn anyway, how do we mourn them when they seem still to be here?  Equally to the point, how can we bear witness to the absolute fact that they are not here?  (411)

Yet as the alternately awkward and halting response to the emergency of 9/11 indicate, there comes a time when only silence can speak the truth s we wait for the ‘ancient precious / and helpless’ words to ‘say it.’  Commenting on the ‘silence fuming at the century’s door’ that hung over ground zero, the poet Gail Griffin noted that ‘From here we walk with smoke in our throats,’ and added what may be the two most crucial questions we can ask: ‘What story begins here? / What book follows Revelation?’ (459)

‘Closure’ is what mourners are said to seek, what the ill or dying are thought to need, what victims of crime and other ugly plots are supposed to require.  And we’re counseled that ‘closure’ can be achieved through certain actions, sometimes actions undertaken by others on behalf of the wronged and wounded, sometimes undertaken by the bereaved and wronged on their own behalf.  (460)

[I]t was these ‘improvised memorials,’ these spontaneous shrines to personhood rather than to godhood, that really spoke for the needs of a cultural sensibility that no longer unites to find consolation in traditional religious structures.  (461)

But obviously, no matter how we struggle to achieve ‘closure,’ death’s door didn’t close, can’t and won’t close.  Indeed, the truism that death’s door is always open has been the argument of this book.  Although the Church once closed or at least glamorized that portal, it’s now almost always at least ajar.  (462)

[Looking], just looking, at this perpetually open door is in itself a victory.  (463)

Peace and Plenty

Be very sorry and pray for the ‘lucky’ people, the people you might envy, those who have not known the vestige of sorrow, or grief, or misery before they are forty because their ledgers of loss will be incalculable.  (5-6)

Believe it or not, keeping up appearance can make all the difference in how well we end up weathering life’s storms.  (107)





Romancing the Ordinary

Women often confuse love and romance. . . .  While both are frequently in each other’s company, they’re not the same.  Think of love as emotion.  Romance is its evocative expression.  (51)

Perhaps if you’d start behaving as an eager participant instead of a jaded critic, Life would surprise you.  (54)

Some of the happiest women and men I know are outrageous flirts.  While flirting seems to be more natural to some than others, in reality flirting is an acquired skill.  Flirting has nothing to do with looks, age, or your weight.  Flirting has everything to do with your attitude and your sense of adventure.  (64)

[W]hen we concentrate on making other people feel fabulous instead of impressing them . . . [t]hey’re impressed by how fabulous we are and want to know us better. (64)

Regarding the Pain of Others

Who believes that war can be abolished?  No one, not even pacifists.  (5)

No ‘we’ should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people’s pain.  (7)

The photographer’s intentions do not determine the meaning of the photograph, which will have its own career, blown by the whims and loyalties of the diverse communities that have use for it.  (39)

Perhaps the only people with the right to look at images of suffering . . . are those who could do something to alleviate it . . . or those who could learn from it.  The rest of us are voyeurs, whether or not we mean to be.  (42)

A photograph is supposed not to evoke but to show. . . .  Everyone is a literalist when it comes to photographs.  (47)

Central to modern expectations, and modern ethical feeling, is the conviction that war is an aberration, if an unstoppable one.  That peace is the norm, if an unattainable one.  This, of course, is not the way war has been regarded throughout history.  War has been te norm and peace the exception.  (74)

The Kindness Handbook

Love is not a feeling, it’s an ability.  (Quoting Dan in Real Life)

Instead of thinking that growth and understanding will come from doing battle with aspects of ourselves, or thinking they will come from enmity toward emotions, memories, and longings that we actually can’t keep from arising, we discover that kindness and compassion for ourselves is the best and most healing trajectory for transformation.  (39)





Gone With the Wind

Then it’s little enough you are knowing of any living man. . . .  No wife has ever changed a husband one whit, and don’t you be forgetting that.  (47)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Natalie Goldberg on Inspiration

I still don't have audio on my computer but I trust this author enough to share this video although I have no clue what she says. I am sure it's wonderful.

 

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Your Personal Journal Shows You the Lovin' this Valentine's Day

Your Personal Journal Shows You the Lovin' this Valentine's Day

Great minds, or websites, think alike. This article by Mari L. McCarthy discusses writing yourself a love letter. If you need a little more inspiration on how to begin, here's your chance to read more.

Personal Journal Blog resized 600

Progress of Sorts

I woke up to over 450 emails.  I keep unsubscribing but can't seem to catch up in spite of my no longer reading as many emails.  I realized that one of the reasons I have so many newsletter subscriptions is that I hardly ever receive personal emails any longer and at least with these newsletters coming in, I feel like I am connected to the world.  But really, how connected am I when I don't have time to read them?  Anyway, the desk is looking a little better.


Day One:  What a Mess!
Day Two:  Slightly Better

Some More Improvement But Still Not Done

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Unicorn in the Garden

Click the link and enjoy a favorite story of mine from my childhood. I read some strange things as a child. I'll share another bit of strangeness sometime tomorrow, if I don't forget. If I do forget, remind me I owe you a story from my childhood.

Desk Drama

On Sunday I posted my to-do list for the week and one of the high priorities for me is to get my desk in order. Here is the picture I posted the other day.


Here is what my desk looks like now.


No difference?  Look closer, over to the left.  See where the printer is?  See the lack of clutter on top of the printer.  Aha!  I did something.  Look for tomorrow's picture . . . assuming I do anything today, that is.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Love Letters


Once upon a time, when I had a real online journal, I used to invite my readers to do something each year, something I haven’t shared in this pseudo-journal.  With my commitment to be more committed to sharing my heart here, I am resurrecting this lovely, and love-filled, exercise.  I hope you all will join me and enjoy yourselves as you do so.
This image is a larger version of the Love: Pansies in a Basket product.
This year, in honor of Valentine’s Day, 
write yourself a love letter.

This journaling exercise is deeply rooted in a belief I hold that we make ourselves miserable looking for someone out there, some other person, to love us as much as we love them.  This is a hopeless exercise in futility, seeking someone who will love you the way that you love them.  Even if you could find someone who absolutely loves you as much as you love them today, tomorrow that same person may be distracted, stressed about a situation at work, fighting off a virus or the flu, and not feel very loving towards you.  Or tomorrow maybe you will be the one struggling to hold yourself together, receiving some distressing news about a family member or simply angry about how your neighbor interrupted your sleep by being noisy.

There is only one person in the entire universe who will ever love you precisely the way you want to be loved and that is YOU.  You alone can love yourself in same way, can intuitively know when you need to be hugged or need to be left alone.  You and you alone can be the greatest lover you ever had because only you will ever say the right thing at the right time each and every time.

love stamp

So sometime today or tomorrow or even on Valentine’s Day, sit down with a pen and paper and write yourself a love letter.  Be lavish and wild with your praise, if that is what you want.  Be poetic and flowery if such prose melts your heart.  Or be pragmatic and list the things you love about yourself, being both thorough and generous as you go item-for-item.  Imagine the letter you would most love to read and then write it for yourself.

When you’re finished, if you are so inclined, write a love letter to someone you love.  If you aren’t in a relationship, write a letter to a family member or a friend or even someone you’ve never met, an author whose words leave you feeling lovely, a singer whose voice touches your heart, or whomever.  Although you may want to be more reserved when singing the praises of a stranger, you can still express a loving appreciation for their gift and let them know that they mean something to you.

The most perfect love letter you'll ever receive is in your heart; it only waits for your hand to set pen to paper and being moving.  Write your perfect love letter to yourself and allow love to fill and inspire you further.


PS:  Handwritten notes are always more appreciated than lengthy typed ones.  Use lovely paper.  Even scent it with your favorite perfume.  Yes, I mean the love letter you will write to yourself and no other.  You, after all, deserve the best.

PPS:  Give yourself an extra special hug.  Tuck your letter in an envelope and hide it in a book or mail it to yourself.


Sunday, February 06, 2011

This Week's To Do List

Work Related
Call Rebecca
Sign up for online course and begin working at it
Organize desk and desktop
Organize file
Sort through basket

Seriously Messy Desk

Conference Work
Revise conference call notes
Send conference call notes to board
Upload conference call notes to blog
Reschedule workshop committee conference call
Reschedule ejournal committee conference call
Read grant writing book (see below)
Complete newsletter template
Create preview newsletter and send to John and Angela
Revise newsletter with links
Add John's content to newsletter
Add closing thoughts to newsletter
Send newsletter (14 Feb)

Email
Get email inbox under 200 unread (currently 437)
Write Patrick (re 2010)
Write Mary Emily (re gift)
Write Momma (re book and box)
Write Evi (re package)
Write Saila
Write Greg (re holidays)

House
Laundry
Organize shelves in guest room
Organize shelves in great room
Holiday decorations in attic
Scrub kitchen floor

Personal
Reiki meditation 5x per week
Strength training 3x per week
Update well-being blog (2x)
Update personal blog (2x)
Update body blog (daily)
Get driver's license renewed
Babysit Bibi (11 Feb)

Social
Saturday Morning walk with Kanika

Reading
Anne of the Island
Death’s Door
The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need
Anne of the Island
Gone With the Wind
A Voice of Her Own
Breaking the Silence
Last Days of Babylon

Write Reviews
Death's Door
Anne of the Island
10 Minute Solutions
Peace and Plenty chapter 2
Moving On chapter 2

Last Week's To-Do List With Comments

Work Related 
Call Rebecca 
Sign up for online course and begin working at it 
Organize desk and desktop 
Organize file 
Sort through basket 

I accomplished nothing on this list.  For one thing, I misplaced Rebecca's number and only found it again late last night.  Typical.  As for the rest, there is no excuse except that things were more challenging last week than I had hoped.  I started the week with many phone calls and messages of condolence flying about.  It was emotionally draining and time consuming.

Conference Related 
Conference call 3 February @8 
* Type notes for conference call 
* Send notes to conference call participants 
* Revise conference call notes 
* Send conference call notes to board 
* Upload conference call notes to blog 
Reschedule workshop committee conference call 
Reschedule ejournal committee conference call 
Read grant writing book 
Complete newsletter template 
Type up excerpt for newsletter 
Create preview newsletter and send to John and Angela

Here is where we begin to see a lot of things added to the list.  I forgot some pretty obvious "to do's" on the original list and had to add a few things here and there.  I also consider the work I do for the conference work so although I don't have anything under the "work" portion, I do have things under the volunteer work I do.  Some of the things I added to the list are not actually due until Monday and, so, are as yet unfinished.

Email 
Get email inbox under 200 unread (currently 416) 
Write Patrick (re 2010) 
Write Mary Emily (re gift) 
Write Larry & Momma (re book) 
Write Evi (re package) 
Write Saila 
Write Greg (re holidays) 
* Write Rossana


This is the most frustrating part of my list at this point.  My email was at 445 this morning and I unsubscribed from a few newsletters and such that I really enjoy reading but obviously don't have the time to read if I can't keep up with my email.  So instead of reading about yoga and Buddhism and ayurveda, I am only reading one email on yoga (that occasionally includes some other things like ayurveda and mantras, etc.).  Even by doing that, I am still overloaded.  And the only email I wrote was one I added to the list once again meeting other people's needs instead of my own.  I did write Larry.  But that hardly dented the long list, as you can see.

House 
Laundry 
Organize shelves in guest room 
Organize shelves in great room 
Holiday decorations in attic 
Scrub kitchen floor

The holiday decorations are not really my responsibility but I helped pack them up to go into the attic which means I am part of getting that organized.  Unfortunately, that and laundry are the only two things I did this week as far as housework goes.  And we're having company today which makes the disorganized shelves in the great room all the more problematic for me.  I really wanted to have the shelves cleaned off.  Instead, I had surprise company--at my invitation but still.  Again, not doing what I need to do.  ARGH!

Personal 
Reiki meditation 5x per week 
Strength training 3x per week (1x) 
Update well-being blog (2x) 
Update blog (2x) 
* Scan recipes 
* Get driver's license renewed 
* Buy card for Momma 
* Buy sympathy card for Mica 
* Mail card to Mica 
* Go with Rob to doctor's appointment 1 Feb 
* Write January summary for newsletter 
* Write card for Sachi 
* Mail card for Sachi 
* Go with Rob to Drs appt 3 Feb
* Babysit Bibi 11 Feb 

Okay.  I actually mailed the card to Sachi and I went with Rob to his appointment on the 3rd.  I also did weight training 2x.  I did not, however, manage to do a full Reiki meditation although I did give myself Reiki at random moments throughout the week.  I was more focused on sending Reiki to others, from friends who are dealing with heartbreak to friends who are dealing with death.   I didn't update the blogs the way I had hoped but they were updated so I could cross that off the list as a "sorta" finished.

Social 
Megan Cutter in town 6 February 
Plan V-Day playdate with Bibi 
Call Love 
* Call Love (left voicemail) 
* Call Love 
* See Rossana 
* Call Love 

Love obviously needed a lot of my loving attention and I called her several times, spoke with her a few times. We talked yesterday and she was doing better, more centered and balanced but still hurting.  We were able to laugh at foibles and such (and isn't "foibles" a fabulous word?).  And I think that the VDay playdate can be marked off as finished because Bibi is coming over on the 11th for some Bibisitting (that's what I call it anyway) and we're going to make cookies or cupcakes and such.  It'll be fun!

Reading 
Anne of the Island 
Death’s Door 
The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need  
Gone With the Wind 
A Voice of Her Own 
Breaking the Silence 
Last Days of Babylon 

I started Anne and continued DD.  I haven't cracked open any of the others.  GWtW is an online book group book and I'm waiting for them to begin discussing it because usually I finish reading it and start discussing it only to wait around for everyone else to catch up and, by the time they do, I've lost some of my enthusiasm for discussing it and have returned the book to the library so I can't even refer back to it.  The Grant-Writing book is one I am reading for the work I do with the conference, as is BtS.  I have a feeling LDoB will be returned to the library unread.

 * Write the Following Reviews 
* Anne of Avonlea 
* Lovingkindess 
* Simple Abundance January 
* Garland of Love January 
* Sanditon and Other Stories 
* Peace and Plenty chapter one
* Drinking at Movies

When I originally created my "to do" list I completely forgot about the reviews I needed to write up soooo . . . I added this whole list of things to do.  The main reviews (AoA, L, SaOS, and DaM) are all on the review blog.  It keeps things easier that way and forces me to write real content for this blog occasionally.  You'll notice a few books listed that are marked with "January" or "chapter one."  These books are being read either for another online book group or are divided by month and I try to summarize my thoughts about each month's reading as I finish each one.  This way, if the book doesn't end as strongly as it begins (or vice versa), I won't be trying to remember ten months from now what the hell I thought of the first part of the book.  

So there is last week's list.  Not quite as fulfilled as I had hoped it would be but I am going to sit down today and create a new to-do list.