I study Ray Bradbury because I wish to convey joy and wonder the way he does with his words … or Paul Harvey.
I’ll always remember Paul Harvey describing the amazing car of the future, rhapsodizing about its many features and technological wonders for three or four minutes, and then revealing he had just described his new Oldsmobile Toronado.
Ray Bradbury and Paul Harvey were so good at using words to create that excitement in your chest as you breathe more rapidly because what you’re seeing is so wondrous … to call the reader or listener’s attention to the miraculous right before your eyes … Continue reading “Our lives are magic”
Last night was one of those football games people will remember for years. Losing 20-0 at one point, the Green Bay Packers rallied around injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers to beat the Chicago Bears 24-23. It was one of those defining moments that adds to The Legend of Aaron Rodgers, with a host of lead-by-examples – as Churchill is said to have said, “Never, never, never give up.” If you can keep going, keep going.
It seemed Rodgers’ return, even limping, inspired the rest of the team. “If he can come back and play, I can block better so he’s not hit again. I can catch that ball. I can keep the Bears from making that first down.” The team that played the second half was more energized and more focused on winning every moment than the team that played the first half.
If you can keep going, keep going. Rodgers did say the doctors told him he would not make the injury worse by playing on it, so there is that cautionary caveat – but if you can keep going, keep going. Play the game as hard as you can until the final whistle, and you just may overcome every hurdle. If by chance you do fall short, at least you know you gave it all you had. In this case, all they had was just enough.
“If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.” — attributed to Henry Ford
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” — Mohandas Gandhi
“You become what you think about.” — Earl Nightingale
That concept can be life-changing if you, well, if you think about it. The person who thinks he can’t accomplish something, because of overwhelming external forces, can’t – not because of those external forces but because of an overwhelming internal force: the conviction that he can’t.
But if she sets her mind, if something convinces her that maybe overcoming is indeed possible, it can make a difference. In Ford’s case he thought he and his colleagues could create a reliable vehicle that millions of people could afford to buy. In Gandhi’s case he thought he could free India from the chains of the British Empire peacefully, without initiating force. Both believed it was possible. Both were right, although it wasn’t easy.
If they had thought about the possibility and concluded, “Nah, I can’t do that,” the world would not have changed. That’s not how the stories ended, though. They chose to believe it could be done, and they did it.
What better world have you thought about: If only you did this, then that would get better? But so far you’ve decided it’s not possible. What if it is? What if you could get it done? What could you do to make it so, and what little step could you take today, this moment, to get started?
Reset your mind to believe in the possible – instead of insisting it’s impossible – and you will be amazed how the world changes.
That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent. — Chinese proverb
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. — H. P. Lovecraft
The brave man is not he who feels no fear, For that were stupid and irrational; But he, whose noble soul its fears subdues, And bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from. — Joanna Baillie Continue reading “24 quotes about fear and freedom”
Our corner of the world is perhaps not utopia — I sit on a bench in an acre of clover, yes, but at the edge of the land a four-lane highway shouts down the songbirds with the constant shriek of cars and trucks driving to and from tourist paradise. Every so often a break in the traffic provides a glimpse of what once was on this space.
If I turn to my left or right or peek behind me, though, I see forest and a great bay where deer and raccoon and pelican and gull may not exactly thrive but at least they eke out a living. It’s no longer unusual to see a bald eagle and its mate soaring overhead, although it still takes the breath away. And so we screen out the roar of civilization and appreciate the land for what it is.
The first compass flower of the summer is here already, ahead of schedule – and I have been too pressed to the computer screen to have watched the north-facing leaves spiral up and over my head – at least I didn’t miss the yellow burst out of the green. Continue reading “Dare I say happiness?”
Found in an archive – something I wrote 10 years ago
She writes songs. In fact, she had the No. 1 song in the world. The words and melody struck so many people so deeply they had to own it and play it again anytime they wanted.
She lives alone on the second floor of a two-story building. Maybe it was above a storefront, I couldn’t see the details outside. All I saw was a long hallway, windows along the one side and the sun coming in. But she didn’t look out the windows. She lives alone and never comes out. Continue reading “TBT: The girl in my dream”
“Ninety percent of everything is crap,” Theodore Sturgeon once famously said, or maybe he used a more colorful word.
One key, then, is to be prolific enough so that your 10 percent is a larger quantity. If you write 100 words, then only 10 words are gems, but if you write a million words, you might have a nice 100,000-word book in there.
Another key is to sift through all the crap and find your 10 percent. Or, to recall the old joke: Find the pony.
(This is 100 words – so which 10 words moved your mountains today?)
She sat by the bookshelf, staring at it.
“No, not this one – no, this is the one I want to read next year – no, no, I can’t decide!”
“What are you doing?” he asked from the door. Continue reading “How to decide what to read next”