Calm and the certainty of coming sorrow

calm and coming sorrow

In a quiet place, in a quiet moment, the scene opens on a guy sitting in a chair reading and, in between lines, reflecting on his life to date. Something is amiss in his soul, and yet his soul is calm as can be.

He frets at the thought that his noble old dog is showing signs of age, but he accepts he has no power to do anything except love her day by day.

That seems to be what feels amiss – the peace in his heart in the face of coming sorrow.

On the other hand, there’s no point in railing against an unfair but inevitable reality – not when there are still toys to gnaw and fields to wander.

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Morning in the garden of good and evil

letter to the editor dreamstime_s_51857409

Where do they all come from, these bug-eyed monsters, these giant ants in the New Mexico desert who fly to Los Angeles to live in the storm sewers? What brought to existence the man who pieced together body parts and lighted a spark of life into the remains? Why tell the story of doomed lovers on a ship destined to sink? What made the story of the man whisked to Mars leap into Edgar Rice Burroughs’ mind and out his fingers?

How do we see things that never were and cannot be? What allows us to see a better world – or a worse world? We conjure spirits and realities out of thin air. It would be best if we use this power wisely, and for good, not evil. Continue reading →

24 quotes about fear and freedom

24 quotes about fear

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 →

Almost won’t do

almost won't do

Resolved and resolute, she stood at the dawn of the new day, but felt herself begin to hesitate.

“No,” she insisted. “This day is going to be different. This day I’ll do what I said. I’ll do what I planned. I’ll do everything I can to make life better for everyone I meet.”

And she strode forward.

By day’s end, she had done almost everything she said. She had done almost everything she planned. She had done almost everything she could to make this life better for everyone she met.

But it didn’t feel like enough. Because, well, it wasn’t.

There was that one thing left unsaid. There were those two things left undone. There were those three people for whom she didn’t do quite everything she could to make this life better. All things she could have done but didn’t.

As the sun set, she felt disappointed in herself, even though on balance she had do a great deal for so many people that day – but not for those others.

The unsaid, the undone, and the unserved don’t know that much other stuff that was accomplished; they only know that they were not.

This is not to overburden the reader; it is to burden him or her only enough.

No, you can’t do everything – but you should do everything you can.

Take your time

take your time

“I would write a book if I could find the time to write …”

“I love knitting/sewing/crafting and I wish I had time to do it.”

“I know I should exercise more, but I just don’t have time.”

The thing about time is it’s always available.

Time is not a thing that you “find.”

Time is a thing that you take.

I need to take the time to write.

I need to take the time to exercise.

I need to take the time to do the things that are important.

Maybe once I’ve done THOSE things, I can “find” the time to surf down rabbit holes or binge-watch TV shows.

Take time to do the important things first. Today.

‘an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary’

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Remember when the government flew off a fiscal cliff and collapsed because Congress didn’t pass an extension of the national debt? Remember when millions of kids starved because of cuts to the federal school lunch program? Remember in the early 1980s when the world supply of oil ran out? Remember when all those computers crashed on Jan. 1, 2000, because they weren’t programmed to register years that began with “20”? And oh, yes, and remember when the world ended after the ancient Aztec calendar expired in 2012?

For Throwback Thursday, I’m going all the way back to yesterday and all the other times I reminded you of the venerable H.L. Mencken quote: Continue reading →