Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gladdest Moment

"The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands."

-Sir Richard Burton

What is a Pilgrim

"My heart is on fire this morning as I study what it means to be a pilgrim, not a wanderer or a tourist, in this world. Pilgrims spend their lives going somewhere-- getting closer to God. I used to think every journey required a backpack. Turns out, you don't need a plane ticket to change every little way you've ever found God, you simply need the will and the hunger. You could actually learn to eat, pray, and love right where you are. You could figure out how to live in the skins of "wild faith" from your own 1-bedroom apartment. As Eugene Peterson writes about repentance, I realize I need to know the word more because every definition ever handed to me has staled from sitting out too long-- "repentance is a decision. It is deciding you've been wrong in supposing that you could manage your own life and be your own god." Repentance is a decision to stop death-gripping the dead in your life and become a pilgrim to a path of peace. You reject one path-- the one you've settled to travel on-- and accept another one. You say "no" to a life that used to suffice. You see the split in the road, the fork, and you take the path that makes you nauseous. William Faulkner said (in a different set of words than this): You don't build a monument for a life that used to fit, you simply track the footsteps away from your past-- more and more gathered proof that you actually moved. Lord, teach me to move. Teach me to move."

-Hannah Brencher

Pleasure in the pathless woods

"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is rapture
in the lonely shore,
There is society,
where none intrudes,
By the deep sea,
 and Music in its roar:
I love not man the less,
But nature more.
-George Gordon Byron

Enter the Fire

"You can
die for it-
an idea,
or the world. People
have done so,
their small bodies be bound
to the stake,
an unforgettable
fury of light. But
this morning,
climbing the familiar hills
in the familiar
fabric of down, I thought
of China,
and India
and Europe, and I thought
how the sun
for everyone just
so joyfully
as it rises
under the lashes
of my own eyes, and I thought
I am so many!
What is the name
of the deep breath I would take
over and over
for all of us? Call it
whatever you want, it is
happiness, it is another one
of the ways to enter
-Mary Oliver

The Single Story

"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, here

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Show what you are

"Every good painter paints what he [she] is."

-Jackson Painter

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Disruption is...

"Disruption by definition involves moving sideways, back, or down, in order to move forward."

-Whitney Johnson,  Disrupt Yourself

The / A Path

"There are times when ... the only way to get from A to C, is by way of B. "

-Jeffrey R. Holland

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart
Jack Gilbert

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not language but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mercy and Grace

“The difference between mercy and grace? Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance. Grace gave him a feast.”

- Max Lucado

Emotional Maturity

“Emotional maturity is a measure of the extent to which individuals are able to follow their own values and self-directed life course within their particular social context, while being emotionally present with others, rather than living reactively by the cues of those close to them.”

Monica McGoldrick, The Genogram Jouney

Money Hours

“Either you’re happy with very little, free of all that extra luggage, because you have happiness inside, or you don’t get anywhere! 
I am not advocating poverty. I am advocating sobriety. But since we have invented a consumer society, the economy must constantly grow. If it fails to increase, it’s a tragedy. We have invented a mountain of superfluous needs. Shopping for new, discarding the old… That’s a waste of our lives!. When I buy something, when you buy something, you’re not paying money for it. You’re paying with the hours of life you had to spend earning that money. The difference is that life is one thing money can’t buy. Life only gets shorter. And it is pitiful to waste one’s life and freedom that way.”

José Mujica

It will be

“If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

John Steinbeck,”Letter to Thom Steinbeck,” 10 Nov. 1958.


“I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.”

- Louise Hay

How to:

“How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.”

Matt HaigReasons to Stay Alive


“Your name still breaks my Heart.”

Six word story 

Daughter of the Forest

“You will find the way, daughter of the forest. Through grief and pain, through many trials, through betrayal and loss, your feet will walk a straight path.”

Juliet Marillier, Daughter of the Forest 

Fake Green Grass

“Single people want relationships, settled people wonder if they’re missing out on something, traveling types miss stability, stable ones are restless, old friends want new friends, new friends miss old friends, and basically almost everyone my age has some dangling worry trailing around after them everywhere that they’re somehow not doing everything, that what they’re doing is not altogether the right thing, that they are missing out. … Do not be ashamed. The doubt is natural, and everyone you know – yes, even that person – carries it sometimes too. Allow yourself to be peaceful. Allow yourself satisfaction in what you have. If you really don’t like it, allow yourself permission to make changes.”

Lillian Schneider


“Despite what you may believe, you can disappoint people and still be good enough. You can make mistakes and still be capable and talented. You can let people down and still be worthwhile and deserving of love. Everyone has disappointed someone they care about. Everyone messes up, lets people down, and makes mistakes. Not because we’re inadequate or fundamentally inept, but because we’re imperfect and fundamentally human. Expecting anything different is setting yourself up for failure.”

Daniell Koepke

Spiritual Burdens

"Cherish your spiritual burdens because God will converse with you through them and will use you to do his work if you carry them well."

-Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Inconvenient Messiah"

Always Trees

"Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness." -- Hermann Hesse 

Doubt not Faith? or Doubt and Faith?

"Doubt is but another element of faith."

-St. Augustine

Love is a vicious motivator

"Bitterness is a paralytic. Love is a much more vicious motivator."

-Sherlock Holms

Mindy Fan Club

"Insults about the way I look can't be the thing that harms me and my heart the most. It has to harm me the least. If I have a daughter, I'm going to tell her that. Far too many women are much  more hurt by being called fat or ugly than they are by being called not smart, or not a leader. If someone told me that I was stupid or that I wasn't a leader, or that I wasn't witty or quick or perceptive, I'd be devastated. If someone told me that I had a gross body, I'd say, 'well, it's bringing me a lot of happiness.' Like, I'm having a fine time of it. Having my priorities aligned like that has helped me have a happier life."

-Mindy Kaling


"Suadade. Last night I learned about this perfect Portuguese word by my most profound and articulate friend...there is not an English word that aptly translates shaded, but it so perfectly captures the emotion I have to often felt and have been feeling constantly on this trip...[it was explained as] the lovely ache of knowing that beauty fades, but is here, in your hands, right now. The dream of casting the moment in iron and holding it close forever...when the moment you are experiencing, feeling and sensing is so magical to you that you already ache for when it's over."

Puddle of Pessimism

"There is enough that doesn't go right in life, so anyone can work themselves into a puddle of pessimism and a mess of melancholy, but I know people who, even when things don't work out, focus on the wonders and miracles of life. These folks are the happiest people I know. You see, everything else in the gospel- all the should and the musts and the thou shalt- lead to love. When we love God, we want to serve Him. We want to be like Him. When we love our neighbors, we stop thinking so much about our own problems and help other to solve theirs."

President Uchtdorf, Womens Conference 2015

Fall Y'all

"That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air...Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer."

-Wallace Stegner, Angel of Repose

Listen to the Silence

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.

-Peter Drucker

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Baby


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.