If you can keep going, keep going

if you can keep going

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.

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Finish each day

finish each day - web

Finish every day and be done with it … You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

To-morrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the rotten yesterdays.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, a letter to his daughter quoted in A Memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson by James Elliot Cabot, Vol. II, 1887.

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.

Dare I say happiness?

the first compass flower

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 →

9 affirmations to make life better

9 affirmations

Thursday was Make Music Day. I missed it, although perhaps I did sense it in the air, because I did pull the guitar off the wall for the first time in ages and pick a couple of melodies for perhaps three minutes.

Every day ought to be Make Music Day. Heck, every day out to be Christmas, like the reformed Ebeneezer Scrooge keeping it in his heart all year. Every day ought to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Every day should be Bill of Rights Day.

Remembering what is good and right and gentle and kind ought to be a daily thing. Practice makes perfect, they say, after all. Continue reading →

Lost connection

dreamstime_s_92401138 lost connection.jpg

The little device chimed. He knew he had another email, but he was in the middle of the project and couldn’t stop.

The little device dinged. That was a news bulletin.

“Sorry, world,” he said. “I’m busy,” but his tone was pleading.

Now the device blooped. It was a text.

He stared. Everyone he knew knew he was in the middle of a project and couldn’t be disturbed except in an emergency. He probably shouldn’t have thrown in the “except in an emergency”; it gave people a loophole.

He picked up the device and the screen lit up.

“You busy?” said the text.

He rolled his eyes and typed, “Knee deep in the project.”

“Oh, sorry,” said the text. And then: “I forgot.”

He sighed. He went back and checked the email. And the news bulletin.

And an hour later, the project deadline passed. When they came to collect the project, no one was in the room, but the device glowed contentedly. He had vanished.

“His phone’s here and open; maybe that will say where he went.” She picked up the phone and vanished, too.