"First, and most importantly: Everybody is Fighting Their Own War. The reasons we do things are all different and there's not a right one, or a wrong one....
"...You can lose weight by doing many, many, many different things. You can ride a stationary bike, you can skip rope, you can use an elliptical, you can swim, but for me, the thing that I didn't have was the thing that the jocks kept me from getting in high school -- the ability to think of myself as an athlete. I wanted to do something that I could accomplish on my own.... And ... very secretly, I wanted into that club of athletes that closed the door on me. Not the towel snapping, not stuffing people in lockers, not the hazing, but the respect. I wanted people with trophies to say "Well, Kyle can get up at five a.m. and run ten miles in twelve degree weather, why don't you ask him?" (This is one reason that I admire Rollergirls so much. It's a sport that's rejected the towel-snapping jockocracy and said "we don't pick athletes out of a lineup, we make athletes out of people....")"
Monday, July 17, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned,
if you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need to change you.
If you can look back with firm eye,
saying this is where I stand.
I want to know if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.
~ David Whyte, 'Self-Portrait'
Monday, July 10, 2017
Read more or subscribe to Maria Popova's excellent Brain Pickings newsletter:
"Every act of communication is an act of tremendous courage in which we give ourselves over to two parallel possibilities: the possibility of planting into another mind a seed sprouted in ours and watching it blossom into a breathtaking flower of mutual understanding; and the possibility of being wholly misunderstood, reduced to a withering weed. Candor and clarity go a long way in fertilizing the soil, but in the end there is always a degree of unpredictability in the climate of communication — even the warmest intention can be met with frost. Yet something impels us to hold these possibilities in both hands and go on surrendering to the beauty and terror of conversation, that ancient and abiding human gift. And the most magical thing, the most sacred thing, is that whichever the outcome, we end up having transformed one another in this vulnerable-making process of speaking and listening."Maria Popova, of Brain Pickings, describing what Ursula K. Le Guin explores in a magnificent piece titled "Telling Is Listening" found in The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination (public library).