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Monday, November 21, 2016

In this culture we display a compulsive avoidance of difficult matters, by Tim McKee


"In this culture we display a compulsive avoidance of difficult matters and an obsession with distraction. Because we cannot acknowledge our grief, we're forced to stay on the surface of life.

Poet Kahlil Gibran said, "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." We experience little genuine joy in part because we avoid the depths. We are an ascension culture. We love rising, and we fear going down.

"Consequently we find ways to deny the reality of this rich but difficult territory, and we are thinned psychically. We live in what I call a "flat-line culture," where the band is narrow in terms of what we let ourselves fully feel."

Tim McKee

http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/361/a_more_perfect_union

Friday, November 18, 2016

When you're different...

"When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't."
― Jodi Picoult

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Democracy

"We have met the enemy and it is us." -- Walt Kelley

"I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. … Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never."

― John Adams, The Letters of John and Abigail Adams

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Midlife, by Brene Brown

"Saturn"
''I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I'm not screwing around. It's time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you've developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you're still searching and you're more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can't live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It's time to show up and be seen.''

~ Brené Brown

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wandered, by Elizabteh Ketchup

The art of mispelling isn't hard to master;
so many sentences seem made to be meant
to be awk that their ward is no disaster.

Transpose something every day. Accept that your
modifier dangles, the affect badly lent.
The art of misplacing isn't hard to master.

Then mix up less & fewer, Grammar Führer:
split your infinitives, and let some clauses than
unravel. You can still earn you're Master's.

Lose something in translation. And look! my vocal mustard
mustered and flustered my poor mother to repent.
The art of miswording isn't hard to cuck and fluster.

Commit some lovely cardinal syntax or,
attack some impactful word salad, I dreamt
I could of done alot better, thereafter.

—Despite any confusion (the passive voice was used
by me) I fantasize I can reinvent
the art of wording, it tastes a lot like laughter
though it may look like (Rite it!) like the answer.

Monday, September 12, 2016

I am not the first person you loved (by Clementine von Radics)

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we'd given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I'm hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.

And I will not be afraid
of your scars.

I know sometimes
it's still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it's the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Home, by Warsan Shire


no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

Warsan Shire

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The lenses in which we see (by John Chordy Teagle)

A relationship is how you see someone.

It is sight. It is seeing someone in a certain light. Certain cameras see different spectrums of light. Visible, ultraviolet, infrared and so on.

If you use a certain lens, you are going to see them in that particular spectrum that is negative. It will be hard to see them any other way.

If you use a different lens that is in the positive spectrum, you are more likely to over look their negatives attributes.

Love has its own lens. You will see the positive and the negative. It will allow you to understand how that individual acts and their intent of their actions. When we become transparent to the ones we love and have transparency with the ones we love, we understand that we all have greatness and imperfections.

When you have clarity and understanding, you will see the positive and the negative of that individual in one light. This monochromatic lens renders you colorblind. Yes, love is blind.

What lens are you using when you look at someone?

~ John Chordy Teagle

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon" by Steve Jobs


"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

~Steve Jobs


Friday, August 19, 2016

"It's all about relationship" by Ani DiFranco

Photo credit unknown

"Whether it's a community with an opinion or an individual with a perspective, if it's not happening in relationship to other communities or to other people, it's not whole. It will never come to the truth. It's all about relationship. That's what makes us alive. And in order to make change in the world, you can't stay at home and shout your outrage to the universe. You need to go to where the problem is, address it and form a dialogue. You have to engage it. That's the way everything changes."

Ani DiFranco

Sunday, June 26, 2016

"There is no time for anything inessential," by Oliver Sacks


"I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at "NewsHour" every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

"This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.

"I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death."

Oliver Sacks

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/opinion/oliver-sacks-on-learning-he-has-terminal-cancer.html


Friday, June 24, 2016

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion..." by Henri Nouwen

"Planet Neptune"
"When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares."

Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Intransigence, by Rich Morey

Its weight becomes a heavy snow,
Dense drifts pushing against our homes,
Invading our streets and hearts:
Constricting.

You could throw your back out shovelling,
Laboring for a narrow path that soon yields
To the next fateful storm; your hopes
Erased among the desolate winds.

And it is in this moment -- despondent,
Thwarted -- that you understand hubris;
The appeal of a black-and-white world;
The comfort of something to cling to.

You can sympathize with surrender;
It's the emptiness you've seen
A hundred times behind terrified eyes.
Darkness looms.

By daybreak, you're back at it.
Heart beating out of your chest,
Straining with all you've got
To refute the enduring lie:

There's simply too much snow,
And not enough shovels.

Rich Morey

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Get away from these two types of people:


"Get away from these two types of people: the ones who think you can only go as far as the situation you were born into; and the ones who think you can only go as far as the current situation you are in."

― Dee Dee M. Scott

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Dreams and disappointment, by Martha Beck


"My favorite story about handling disappointments comes from the India guru Amrit Desai. He had a collection of very rare crystals that he'd accumulated over many years.

One day his cleaning lady knocked over a display case and smashed most of the irreplaceable crystals.

When she tearfully pointed out her mistake, expecting a violent reaction, the guru shrugged and told her "Those things were for my joy, not for my misery."

Your dreams are for your joy; even if they lie crushed on the ground, you need not make them responsible for misery. If you raise your eyes from the shards you'll find more dreams all around, and many of them can come true.

As Marcel Proust wrote, "If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time."

~Martha Beck

Thursday, May 26, 2016

"My work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished," by Mary Oliver


Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still
not half-perfect?
Let me keep my mind on what matters,
which is
my work,
Which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.

~ Mary Oliver

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Happiness, by Abraham Hicks


"Tell everyone you know: 'My happiness depends on me so you're off the hook.'" Abraham Hicks

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

When you are old, by William Butler Yeats


When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

~William Butler Yeats

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Leadership, by Ken Burns

"Planet Jupiter"
"We choose leaders abysmally today. We expect perfection, and when we don't find it we lament the absence of heros. But heroism, by the very definition that came down from the Greeks, is a negotiation between strengths and weaknesses. Maybe I'm being glib when I say that people like the Roosevelts and Lincoln couldn't make it past the Iowa caucuses, but it would be very difficult for them to succeed in this environment."

~Ken Burns