Sometimes morning comes with a splash of creativity, bombs bursting in air with passion’s red glare of urgent joy. Sometimes morning eases tenderly into the sun, softly whispering, “Oh gracious, is it time already?” Sometimes morning is an old dog content to sit at the top of the back stairs, waiting for her human to come out and sit next to her with his arm around her shoulders.
We all find peace in separate ways, but peace seeks us out in the morning. Something about sleep clears the mind, and in the waking hours of dawn, we know what we need and what we must do to get there, even if we can’t put it into words. Continue reading “Ignition: This is The Day”
Here it is: Monday.
Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day, can you?
Nothing but work and drudgery ahead, five whole days of it. Oh, bother.
What if it was 5 p.m. Friday instead? Continue reading “How to survive Mondays”
The extent to which rage has become a common ingredient in politics (and spilling over into everyday life) is uncanny. It’s well documented how anger eats at your mind, your body, your very soul, and yet so much rhetoric is expended building rage.
Spend a few minutes reviewing the words of the average practicing politician of any stripe, and you will either find an angry man or woman, or you will hear words intended to make you angry.
Imagine if our chief export was peace.
Imagine if all the energy people channel into their rage was instead applied to love and mercy and trying to understand.
Imagine if, instead of expending fury, we fought just as hard to love our neighbors and smile on a brother.
In the end, the battle belongs to love. The ultimate triumph goes not to the one who shouted the loudest, whose hate was fiercest, whose arms were most powerful. No, victory belongs to the one who spoke most gently, whose love was most unshakable, and whose arms reached out in support.
Rage, a cousin of fear, is a disease that seeks to burn all in its path. Love will hold up the universe if need be.
Reaching for the stars seems so clear and easy in the quiet of the night. And then comes daybreak and the noises begin. And the distractions. And, by midday, the chaos.
And as the day simpers to a close, what was it you were going to do today, anyway? Oh, yeah: Reach for the stars.
Oh well, tomorrow.
But then tomorrow becomes a copy-and-paste of today.
But if you do one little thing that seemed so clear in the quiet of night –
if you take one small step every day –
if you create for just long enough to leave a mark –
60 minutes, 30 minutes, 5 minutes, whatever you can spare –
if you do one little thing a day, then in a month you will have 30 little things, and in a year you have 365 (and 366 if you leap)
– and it’s not such a little thing anymore.
Surely you have 5 minutes a day. Start reaching.
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”
“Lord! he said. “When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell him just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humor and ships at sea by night – there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book I mean. Jiminy! If I were the baker or the butcher or the broom hustler, people would run to the gate when I came by – just waiting for my stuff. And here I go with everlasting salvation – yes, ma’am, salvation for their little, stunted minds – and it’s hard to make ’em see it. That’s what makes it worth while – I’m doing something that nobody else from Nazareth, Maine, to Walla Walla, Washington, has ever thought of. It’s a new field, but by the bones of Whitman it’s worth while. That’s what this country needs – more books!”
— Roger Mifflin from Parnassus on Wheels (1916) by Christopher Morley, talking about his rolling horse-drawn bookstore.
“A real book, I mean” – even in 1916 there were books and then there were real books.
Feed a man a book and blah blah blah – but offer him a book and you give him a time bomb that may sit on a shelf for weeks, months, years, a century, waiting to make a brain explode with images, adventures and the most dangerous incendiary of all: ideas.
Photo © Aliaksandr Mazurkevich | Dreamstime.com
Almost a month into my Year of Finishing, and I haven’t finished anything yet. Even the schedule of what to finish, and when, isn’t done. What gets finished first, hmm?
What time is now?
I’m amused by the new bosses who have spent the last eight years screaming in the faces of elected officials that their policies are shameful and hurtful and mean, and now, having succeeded in winning significant seats from those they have treated as mortal enemies, now call for civility and bipartisanship. Where was civility when their duly elected opponents were passing their legislation? Where was civility when they were shouting from the gallery and fighting to have courts declare their opponents’ laws illegal and immoral?
What time is now? Is it time for civility and bipartisanship – the latter a code word for “cave to my demands” – or is it simply time to resume the battle, with the battle lines redrawn? Continue reading “3 journal fragments: What time is now”
In the time of the great empire, when the people were hypnotized, when the air carried a hint of smoke wherever you journeyed, when birds sought shelter in concrete conclaves and rusted steel, when standing solitary to celebrate one’s self was an act of bravery hated by the crowd, when despair was life’s default setting …
SomeOne sat alone, and then stood.
“May I have your attention?” SomeOne said to the crowd, which gave no attention. Continue reading “SomeOne steps forward”