Thursday, May 31, 2018

If These Walls Could Speak

New blog


“Literature has been our salvation, literature has inspired and guided lovers, routed despair and can perhaps in this case save the world.”
― John Cheever


“Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos… to celebrate a world that lies spread out around us like a bewildering and stupendous dream.”
― John Cheever

“Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos (no less) and we can accomplish this only by the most vigilant exercise of choice, but in a world that changes more swiftly that we can perceive there is always the danger that our powers of selection will be mistaken and that the vision we serve will come to nothing.”
― John Cheever

“The need to write comes from the need to make sense of one's life and discover one's usefulness.”
― John Cheever


“Do you fall in love often?"

Yes often. With a view, with a book, with a dog, a cat, with numbers, with friends, with complete strangers, with nothing at all.”
― Jeanette Winterson, Gut Symmetries

Between Chaos and Shape

“In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.”
― Jeanette Winterson, The World and Other Places: Stories

In The Library

“In the library I felt better, words you could trust and look at till you understood them, they couldn't change half way through a sentence like people, so it was easier to spot a lie.”
― Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Jeanette Winterson

For a writer, what you leave out says as much as those things you include. What lies beyond the margin of the text? The photographer frames the shot, writers frame their world.

Jeanette Winterson

William Trevor

As a writer one doesn’t belong anywhere. Fiction writers, I think, are even more outside the pale, necessarily on the edge of society. Because society and people are our meat, one really doesn’t belong in the midst of society. The great challenge in writing is always to find the universal in the local, the parochial. And to do that, one needs distance.

William Trevor

Tim O'Brien

A good piece of fiction, in my view, does not offer solutions. Good stories deal with our moral struggles, our uncertainties, our dreams, our blunders, our contradictions, our endless quest for understanding. Good stories do not resolve the mysteries of the human spirit but rather describe and expand up on those mysteries.

- Tim O'Brien

John Cheever

To disguise nothing, to conceal nothing, to write about those things that are closest to our pain, our happiness; to write about our sexual clumsiness, the agonies of Tantalus, the depth of our discouragement—what we glimpse in our dreams—our despair. To write about the foolish agonies of anxiety, the refreshment of our strength when these are ended; to write about our painful search for self, jeopardized by a stranger in the post office, a half-seen face in a train window, to write about the continents and populations of our dreams, about love and death, good and evil, the end of the world.

John Cheever

Rita Mae Brown

In order to write at a high level of competence you need a comprehensive vocabulary, a keen sense of overall structure, and an inner beat or cadence. Your senses must be razor-sharp. Alcohol blunts those senses even as it releases self-restraint. Therefore many writers feel they are getting down to the real story after a belt or two, little realizing they are damaging their ability to tell the real story.

Rita Mae Brown

Ray Bradbury

Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.

Ray Bradbury

Tom Wolfe

I always have a clock in front of me. Sometimes, if things are going badly, I will force myself to write a page in a half an hour. I find that can be done. I find that what I write when I force myself is generally just as good as what I write when I’m feeling inspired. It’s mainly a matter of forcing yourself to write. There’s a marvelous essay that Sinclair Lewis wrote on how to write. He said most writers don’t understand that the process begins by actually sitting down.

- Tom Wolfe

Philip Roth: Obstinancy Saved my Life

Everybody has a hard job. All real work is hard. My work happened also to be undoable. Morning after morning for 50 years, I faced the next page defenseless and unprepared. Writing for me was a feat of self-preservation. If I did not do it, I would die. So I did it. Obstinacy, not talent, saved my life. It was also my good luck that happiness didn’t matter to me and I had no compassion for myself. Though why such a task should have fallen to me I have no idea. Maybe writing protected me against even worse menace. Now? Now I am a bird sprung from a cage instead of (to reverse Kafka’s famous conundrum) a bird in search of a cage. The horror of being caged has lost its thrill. It is now truly a great relief, something close to a sublime experience, to have nothing more to worry about than death.

- Philip Roth


Books aren’t made in the way that babies are: they are made like pyramids, There’s some long-pondered plan, and then great blocks of stone are placed one on top of the other, and it’s back-breaking, sweaty, time consuming work. And all to no purpose! It just stands like that in the desert! But it towers over it prodigiously. Jackals piss at the base of it, and bourgeois clamber to the top of it, etc. Continue this comparison.

Gustave Flaubert

Colin Nissan: A Writer's Brain

A writer’s brain is full of little gifts, like a piñata at a birthday party. It’s also full of demons, like a piñata at a birthday party in a mental hospital. The truth is, it’s demons that keep a tortured writer’s spirit alive, not Tootsie Rolls. Sure they’ll give you a tiny burst of energy, but they won’t do squat for your writing. So treat your demons with the respect they deserve, and with enough prescriptions to keep you wearing pants.

- Colin Nissan

Joseph Campbell on Creative Incubation

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

Joseph Campbell

The Walk of Life

Article by Russ Olivo

WOONSOCKET - You won’t find Roger Lavallee’s picture next to the word “dependable” in Merriam Webster’s. But maybe you should.

In the kitchen at Chelo’s Restaurant, his reputation for reliability is as solid as a Swiss watch. Never late. Can’t remember the last time he took a sick day.

“He’s here every day – rain, sleet, snow – you name it,” says Restaurant Manager Barry Bennett. “He’s here every day, no matter what.”

But when it comes to punctuality, here’s the kicker for the 64-year-old prep cook, who marks 35 years with Chelo’s this week: The Lincoln resident sticks to his no-matter-what schedule without a car, a bus or even an Uber lift. He walks the whole way from his house in the Manville section. And back home again – usually six days a week.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

“I love being a medical student. I love being a football player,” he said. “It’s important to build a career that you’re going to be able to do for a long time. Medicine is that.”

New Book on Weegee

The photographer Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee, lugged his enormous Speed Graphic camera around the nighttime streets of New York City in the 1930s and ’40s, cultivating a persona as stark and as memorable as his tabloid pictures. He was the wisecracking tummler in the rumpled suit, always on the lookout for a car crash or a dead gangster.

“I have no inhibitions, and neither has my camera,” he declared in a 1961 autobiography — a fascinating and problematic document if there ever was one, given Weegee’s compulsion for exaggeration and self-promotion. This, after all, was the man who titled his first solo exhibition “Murder Is My Business” and likened a picture to a blintz: “Eat it while it’s hot.”


A Cultural Shift in Ireland

Ireland has begun grappling in recent years with the legacy of its treatment of unwed mothers, as scandal after scandal from its past as a strongly Roman Catholic country emerge. They have helped propel a cultural shift in Ireland, and a weakening of the church’s influence, and led to referendums legalizing divorce, gay marriage and, last week, abortion.

New Book by Benjamin J. Rhodes

The next day, Mr. Obama focused on cheering up his despondent staff. At one point, he sent a message to Mr. Rhodes saying, “There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ram Dass

“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.”
― Ram Dass

“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”
― Ram Dass

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can't see how it is.”
― Ram Dass

“Your problem is you are too busy holding on to your unworthiness.”
― Ram Dass

“Pooh! De Gompany! I Am De Gompany!”

Yet despite unwanted attention and decades of articles depicting eating alone as some frightful activity, women have long cherished a solitary meal. M.F.K. Fisher could wax poetic about its pleasures. Fellow food writer Marion Cunningham, a champion of family mealtime, wrote in her popular “Supper Book” that “sometimes eating supper alone feels private, quiet, and blessedly liberating.” In 2017, The New York Times asked the humorist Fran Lebowitz which three writers she would invite to a literary dinner party. “None,” she replied. “My idea of a great literary dinner party is Fran, eating alone, reading a book.”

“I was often alone, but seldom lonely,” he wrote in “Between Meals,” his memoir of his days in Paris, “I enjoyed the newspapers and books that were my usual companions at the table, the exchanges with waiters.”


Artist DeVonn Francis

Food as a “vital anchor” for community building, justice work and healing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Power of Positive Psychology

The power of positive psychology: finding happiness in a cold ocean swim

Posted July 27, 2011, 3:31 pm , Updated August 25, 2016, 8:24 am
Kay Cahill Allison

Former Editor, Harvard Health

While swimming in the frigid ocean off the coast of Maine a few days ago, I entered what psychologists call a flow state. It felt like a million bucks.

Here’s what happened: On a hot Sunday afternoon, I walked into the Atlantic off Cape Elizabeth. Although the water was painfully cold, it was sparkling and exhilarating. I began to swim. The activity absorbed all my attention. It completely squelched other thoughts and worries. And it made me happy for hours afterward.

Experts in the burgeoning field of positive psychology hold that people usually guess wrong about what will bring them happiness. Money, for example (beyond enough to cover life’s basic needs) doesn’t predict happiness. Instead, according to the new edition of Positive Psychology, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, researchers are identifying a number of elements they say contribute to a sense of happiness and well-being. One is engaging in flow experiences, a term coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University in California.

To experience flow is to achieve a state of intense absorption in which you lose awareness of time. It occurs when you strike the right balance between challenge and skill. If the task is too challenging for your level of skill, anxiety creeps in. If your skill level exceeds the challenge, boredom sets in. Swimming in the cold surf of Maine posed a challenge for me, but I’m a competent swimmer and had experience in cold water. I swam with a partner for only a short time to avoid hypothermia. It was fun. It made me happy. (You can read more about flow in the online excerpt of the Positive Psychology report.)
The happiness‑health connection

Achieving happiness may be more important to your health than you think. In a 2008 review of studies on happiness and longevity, Dutch sociologist Ruut Veenhoven found that happiness appears to protect against illness. In 19 research projects involving populations chosen independently of their health status, ratings of mood, happiness, and life satisfaction at the beginning of a study had a large and positive impact on the chance a person was alive at the end of the follow-up period. The most satisfied people gained an extra 7.5 to 10 years of life. That life extension is equivalent to giving up cigarettes by age 35.

In Positive Psychology: Harnessing the Power of Happiness, Personal Strength, and Mindfulness, Harvard faculty editor Ronald Siegel and contributing psychologist Steven M. Allison explore both time-tested and modern avenues to happiness. The report describes many paths to happiness (curiously, swimming in a cold ocean isn’t among them), including:

Expressing gratitude
Living life with meaning
Finding and using your inner character strengths
Putting mindfulness to use toward well being
Savoring pleasure
Achieving flow experience
Developing self compassion

The report is available at

Most Problems are Water Soluble

The pool was closed yesterday and all of the regular swimmers were desperate to get in the water today for mental health.


“Leisure without books is death, and burial of a man alive.”
― Seneca

“Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.”
― Seneca, Letters from a Stoic

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”
― Seneca

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”
― Seneca

“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.”
― Seneca

“Hang on to your youthful enthusiasms -- you’ll be able to use them better when you’re older.”
― Seneca

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”
― Seneca

“Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.”
― Seneca

“Life is like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.”
― Seneca

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
― Seneca

“All cruelty springs from weakness.”
― Seneca, Seneca's Morals: Of a Happy Life, Benefits, Anger and Clemency

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
― Seneca

“Non est ad astra mollis e terris via" - "There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.”
― Seneca

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”
― Seneca

“You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.”
― Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”
― Seneca

“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”
― Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”
― Seneca

Empire of Deceit

This article contains material adapted from “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic,” by Barry Meier, published May 29 by Random House.

Katelyn Alcamo

Allowing your child to express anger in a safe environment also helps them to develop emotional intelligence. If you are constantly shielding them from frustration, anger, or sadness, they may not learn how to regulate these emotions or how to express them in socially appropriate ways. It is important to remember that parenting isn’t about being liked.
-Katelyn Alcamo

The Equestrian

“I kept everything in for so long,” she said. “I wanted to hide, but what I really wanted was someone to find me and put their arms around me and say, ‘It’s O.K., you’re going to be fine.’ That’s what the horses have done for me.”

Monday, May 28, 2018

Saved by a Song

Margaret Renkl of Chapter 16 interviews Nashville singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier:

It’s going to be about the call, the pull, to write songs that are challenging to listen to, about letting the woundedness seep into the songs, be witnessed by the listener, and have the listener say, “Me too.” And that lets the wounded person—which for the longest time was me—know that I’m not alone. When you tell your story, you become the storyteller, which distances you some from being the victim. If your story is one of trauma, there’s a part of you that believes you are your story. You identify so closely with the woundedness that you think you are the woundedness.

That’s the beauty of art—of all art: songs or literature or painting or pottery, anything—if you pour your soul into it, you get to step back and become your own witness, and that’s a transformative thing. The storyteller has power. The storyteller has agency. The storyteller takes a step back from the story and tells the story from a position of strength, even if it’s the hardest story ever told. You don’t just bleed all over people.

Chapter 16: There’s shape.

Gauthier: Art has to have structure, and there’s things that have to happen, and it has to be crafted. You have to understand craft as well as art. You don’t just read people your journal. That’s not going to create empathy. It’s going to disturb, and not in a good way. Voyeurism and empathy are different things. To bring someone into the experience of another is a profound thing.

Margaret Renkl: Before Judging

I remember our teacher’s response. “When someone is struggling with addiction,” she said, “remember that you don’t know how many times he resisted that temptation before he finally gave in. A person who resists 99 times, even if he gives in the 100th, is a stronger person than someone who’s never been tempted at all.”

I have thought of the beloved teacher’s words countless times over the past 38 years. It’s such decent, human advice: Before judging another person, consider all the kinder ways there are to interpret what might seem at first like a terrible moral failing. And the way to do that is to imagine what it feels like to be fighting their battles.

-Margaret Renkl


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Tidal Theater

“Questions, inside the larger mystery of sorrow, which contains us and our daily transit, and is large enough indeed to contain the whole shifting tidal theater where I make small constructions, my metaphors, my defenses. Against which I play out theories, doubts, certainties bright as high tide in sunlight, which shift just as that brightness does, in fog or rain.”
― Mark Doty, Heaven's Coast: A Memoir

A Memoir

“I don’t know anything different about death than I ever have, but I feel differently. I inhabit this difference in feeling- or does it live in me?- at the same time as I’m sorrowing. The possibility of consolation, of joy even, does not dispel the sorrow. Sorrow is the cathedral, the immense architecture; in its interior there’s room for almost everything; for desire, for flashes of happiness, for making plans for the future…”
― Mark Doty, Heaven's Coast: A Memoir

Understood Intuitively

“I think I understood intuitively that there was no sustenance for me in the religion of explanation and prohibition.”
― Mark Doty, Heaven's Coast

In Grief

“Being in grief, it turns out, is not unlike being in love. In both states, the imagination's entirely occupied with one person. The beloved dwells at the heart of the world, and becomes a Rome: the roads of feeling all lead to him, all proceed from him. Everything that touches us seems to relate back to that center: there is no other emotional life, no place outside the universe of feeling centered on its pivotal figure.”
― Mark Doty, Heaven's Coast: A Memoir

Stories We Tell

“We live the stories we tell; the stories we don't tell live us.”
― Mark Doty, Firebird

“To tell a story is to take power over it.”
― Mark Doty, Firebird


“You can know an animal - or a person, for that matter - in an instant, really, though your understanding can go on unfolding for years.”
― Mark Doty

Mark Doty: Love and Art

“ the face of all dangers, in what may seem a godless region, we move forward through the agencies of love and art.”
― Mark Doty, Dog Years

“Love, I think, is a gateway to the world, not an escape from it.”
― Mark Doty

“Intimacy, says the phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard, is the highest value. I resist this statement at first. What about artistic achievement, or moral courage, or heroism, or altruistic acts, or work in the cause of social change? What about wealth or accomplishment? And yet something about it rings true, finally—that what we want is to be brought into relationship, to be inside, within. Perhaps it’s true that nothing matters more to us than that.”
― Mark Doty, Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy

Mark Doty

“There are those fortunate hours when the world consents to be made into a poem.”
― Mark Doty

The Introvert's Dilemma

“The introvert's dilemma is that we might not get a lot of invitations for the kind of socializing we like best--small, mellow gatherings. In other words, the kind of socializing other introverts like to do. Because, let's face it: We're introverts. We're all at home waiting to be invited to do introvert things. Which means, of course, that none of us are getting the invitations we crave. It's an introvert standoff.”
― Sophia Dembling, Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After


“Introverts are actually a lot like Clark Kent-- mild and unassuming much of the time, but able to swoop in and turn on our Supercharm when we choose.”
― Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World

“One of the risks of being quiet is that the other people can fill your silence with their own interpretation: You're bored. You're depressed. You're shy. You're stuck up. You're judgmental. You have nothing to say. When others can't read us, they write their own story-not always one we choose or that's true to who we are.”
― Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World

“We know what it feels like to have our energy drained by too much interaction. It feels like my brain is tired, almost like a muscle would be tired. The more depleted my psychic energy is, the slower my thoughts come, the harder it is to speak full sentences or focus on what's going on around me. My senses become even more sensitive; noise and fuss are more overwhelming. And I become tense, irritated, cranky. That's when I know I need to stop, sit down, let my brain relax and put up its metaphorical feet.”
― Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World


“Nine out of ten introverts agree: The telephone is the tool of the devil.”
― Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World

For Introverts, Energy Flows Inward

“Jung was the first to propose the model of psychic energy, suggesting that for introverts, energy flows inward, while for extroverts, energy flows outward. Introverts tend to embrace this definition. It feels right for us because we know exactly what it feels like to have our energy depleted when we have sent too much flowing outward.”
― Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World

Sophia Dembling

“What is a friend? We probably all have our own definitions. For me, it's someone I don't feel alone with. Who doesn't bore me. Whose life I connect with and who takes reciprocal interest in my life. It's someone I feel comfortable turning to when I need to be talked off the ledge, and for whom I am glad to return the favor. Just a few people in my life fit that bill.”
― Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World

More Vroom Vroom!

The fitter you are, the faster you’ll sweat. Seems like it’d be the opposite, but: “When you sweat early into your workout, it means you’re able to regulate your temperature before it gets too high, which requires less energy,” says Lawrence Armstrong, Ph.D., director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. If you imagine your energy supply as a gas tank, saving energy on thermoregulation means you’ll have more vroom-vroom to power your actual workout.


"Water isn't just for drinking or washing. Water has its own spirit. Water is alive. Water has memory. Water knows how you treat it, water knows you." Wabinoquay Otsoquaykwhan, Anishinabe Nation.

Neurologist Judith Grisel

As watering a flooded field is moot, widespread cannabinoid activity, by highlighting everything, conveys nothing. And amid the flood induced by regular marijuana use, the brain dampens its intrinsic machinery to compensate for excessive stimulation. Chronic exposure ultimately impairs our ability to imbue value or importance to experiences that truly warrant it.

In adults, such neuro-adjustment may hamper or derail a successful and otherwise fulfilling life, though these capacities will probably recover with abstinence. But the consequences of this desensitization are more profound, perhaps even permanent, for adolescent brains. Adolescence is a critical period of development, when brain cells are primed to undergo significant organizational changes: Some neural connections are proliferating and strengthening, while others are pared away.

To Push the Peanut Forward

our goal is to make progress one step at a time, to push the peanut forward, (article source)

It means making steps everyday, however small, to achieve the goal(s) you set for yourself.

This relates in some way to the quaint US custom of pushing peanuts competitively:
originally with one's nose, latterly with some other object, occasionally by blowing.
A US native could elaborate.

Break Dancing in Morocco

“It’s a great outlet for negative energy,” Mr. Ambelj said. “I love that there are no rules. I can express anything I want. It makes me feel free.”

“As a young guy in Casablanca, if you don’t have money or you don’t want to sit in a cafe every day talking about football, one fun thing is to go to a space and conquer it,” said Cristina Moreno Almeida, a postdoctoral fellow at King’s College in London who has studied hip-hop culture in Morocco. “It’s a global language that they all speak and they all know.”

“We were first attracted by the music, the appearance of the dancers,” he said. “They dressed as they wanted and they looked free. We loved that it was simply an artistic expression free of judgment.”

Yassine Alaoui Ismaili, who took these photographs, was part of the early 2000s wave of break dancers in Casablanca. His story is a familiar one: He saw people dancing in a park and was instantly drawn toward their energy.

“It is the same spirit here as when it was created in the Bronx,” Mr. Ismaili, 33, said. “People were craving a place to express themselves.”



Yassine Alaoui Ismaili, also know as Yoriyas is a Casablanca-based photographer and choreographer. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The National Geographic, Vogue, 6Mois, Spiegel, The guardian.

He started playing chess when he was five years old, leading him to fall in love with mathematics. By the age of 16, the influence of hiphop changed him completely. He became a Breakdancer. While traveling around the world as a professional dancer for competitions, he discovered his passion for photography. The original blend of his North African heritage, chess and his love for dance lead him to one-of-a-kind methods of self-expression through photography.

Yoriyas won the first place in World Street Photography Hamburg 2015, Les nuit photographique Essaouira 2016 and finalist LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2016, Sans Francisco and Miami Street photography 2017.​

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Romeo Swimming

We just took Romeo swimming in the river behind Harris Pond. We threw a tennis ball and he swam out to get it. Once he had the ball he would not give it up until it was destroyed. We normally keep balls from him because he shreds them. Were hoping that next time he might chase a stick instead.

Free Swim Lessons for Kids in Need

Woonsocket, Pawtucket YMCAs offer free swim lessons for kids in need


Friday, May 25th 2018

With beach season in full swing, YMCA is making sure children know to swim this summer even if they can't afford to pay. (WJAR)WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WJAR) — With beach season in full swing, YMCA is making sure children know to swim this summer even if they can't afford to pay.

The Woonsocket and Pawtucket YMCA's are working to prevent drownings with the “Swim for Life” program, which is funded by grants and offers free swims lessons to kids who don’t have access.

"We're teaching these kids basic swim strokes and how to be safe in and around the water,” Ed Rotella, who is an Aquatics Director at the Woonsocket location.

Madison Stewart is one of 100 children who participated.

“Swim is kind of my favorite thing,” she told NBC 10 News. “I learned how to swim and now I'm a deep-ender. I think it's fun for me and it’s fun for friends."

The Centers for Disease Control reported that fatal drownings are the second-leading cause of death for children ages one to 14.

"We want them to have fun in the water, but we want them to respect it,” Rotella said. "If they go to a beach, (we teach them) how to identify the lifeguard, how to properly put on a flotation device, how not to go in and out of the water next to parents. That's very important."

Kristin Quinn, who also works at the Woonsocket YMCA, shared similar sentiments.

"It's also going to educate the families on how to be safe around the water,” she said.

It’s a lesson Rotella said parents need to hear.

"Always watch the kids, stay off the phone,” Rotella said. “Make sure your kids can identify the lifeguards and staff who they help them, in case it gets busy and they get separated."

Roughly 70 scholarships are available to children in Pawtucket and Woonsocket.

Maeve Higgins

What Irish Women Know
Maeve Higgins is the author of the forthcoming “Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl From Somewhere Else.”

Richard Friedman on the Tranquil Euphoria of Swimming

“There is no drug — recreational or prescription — capable of inducing the tranquil euphoria brought on by swimming,” Richard Friedman, a psychiatrist, wrote about his love of swimming and the benefits it has for our brains.

Though we never discussed it, I suspect that he, too, swam not just for health, but to think. He would return from a long swim and disappear into his office, emerging hours later excited about an insight into a new technology or instrument.

Favorite Article

Expectations Limitations Vulnerabilities

Mindfulness can be integrated into many areas of your life. Personally, I try to use the concept whether it’s improving attitude or strengthening relationships. It helps me manage my expectations, limitations, and vulnerabilities.
-Stephen Propst

Karl Shallowhorn

Find ways to set small goals, and if anything, stay in the present.

Staying in the present is really valuable because what ends up happening is you don’t get focused in the past and you don’t project into the future. So, staying in the here and now is really critical certainly when it also comes to setting goals for yourself.

Look at how your thinking is. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, what we say is how we think affects the way we feel. So, changing your thoughts will change your feelings, which then changes your behavior. And by doing so, that can change you as a person.

So, simply just changing how we think about ourselves and how we react to situations can affect our feelings and when we affect our feelings that way, we can get better. We can do better. And we will feel better.


Swim Across the Pacific


Friday, May 25, 2018

Magic Energy

When I am falling asleep in my chair I go swimming. It gives me magic energy culled from orbit and I power through my day. It never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Drama in the 'Hood

A little scary to step out to walk my Romeo just now and suddenly 4 police cars stop and get out and put on rifles and march down to the corner. I went back into my house.

Barrage of Negativity

We have been very lucky with our Brazilian neighbors they are kind and they always smile and say hello. We have a two new families that never say hello and are always screaming and "barking" at each other and their dogs. People do not understand how awful it is to wake up to toxic behavior. Morning is sacred. I have to figure out how to shield myself from the barrage of negativity.

Be a magician, turn it around! Take a walk and receive the larger world, my mind tells me. And that's exactly what I did. Remember they are in pain. They are unhappy. It has nothing to do with YOU.

Amelia Earhart


How Cavemen Cleaned their Teeth


Dog in Bed

The journal Human Nature recently published a study by Smith et al. entitled “A Multispecies Approach to Co-Sleeping: Integrating Human-Animal Co-Sleeping Practices into Our Understanding of Human Sleep.” The researchers looked at the practice of allowing a dog to sleep in the bed or bedroom, comparing it with adult-child co-sleeping.

The study pointed out that sleeping in the same bed or bedroom as our pets is not just a modern phenomenon. In fact, some traditional cultures considered co-sleeping with animals as beneficial. For example, Aboriginal Australians often slept beside their dogs and/or dingoes for warmth and protection from evil spirits. Unfortunately, modern culture tends to focus on the negative aspects of co-sleeping rather than the benefits.


Walking the Dog


She suggests dog walking might be even more beneficial for owners if they were to “leave the mobile and worries at home and try to focus on observing our dog and appreciating our surroundings.”

Routines can work wonders, she adds, because humans and dogs both love them. “If you are struggling, set up a daily time for dog walking,” she says. “Your dog will thank you for it and you might actually enjoy it more than you think.”

Why do We Dream?

Article by Robert A. Berezin, MD

Sleep Schedule Happiness

When I respect my sleep and keep a sleep-schedule I wake up happy. It's that simple. But it's not.

It's important for me to eat well and exercise but I have discovered that a sleep schedule is equally significant in finding balance and well being. No caffeine after noon! All iced coffee must be in the morning. Swimming is my iced coffee.

How to get on a Sleep Schedule
Maximize Circadian Rhythm
by Natalie Dautovich

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Neighborhood Bicycle Patrol


Mood Hunting or Hunting for the Middle Way

I love iced coffee in the afternoon but if I drink it after noon it disturbs my sleep. If I have one or two nights like that I get grumpy and have a melt down thinking everyone hates me and I am crazy. So today I am having iced coffee at 9 AM.

Last night I had to take half of an antihistamine to sleep and it knocked me out. If I just stick with morning coffee I wouldn't have to wrestle with all of this.

I feel sluggish and strange from my antihistamine sleep. I have to work hard to resist pushing my moods. I do hunt for better moods by walking and swimming. These are good habits for my routine. Today I am contemplating the middle way; not too tight not too loose.

I just set up 6 loaves of sourdough wheat-berry rye corn oat-groat whole wheat breads. They are rising in the cold oven. I waited until today to bake because the forecast predicted cool and cloudy. I decided to wash my sheets and a dusty blanket too and make a pot of coffee for future iced coffees.

I truly am a home-body. My routine props me up and my chores provide comfort. It's the little things that are big in my life. I love my thrift store khakis. Finally, a perfect pair of thin cotton pants. They are not insulting nor are they expecting me to be built like an hourglass. Once again the men's straight leg pants are a perfect fit.

If it never got hotter than 64 degrees and often cloudy over the summer I would love that. My friend Monika says that is just like summer weather in Poland.

When Robot Censors are in Control


Chef Michael Smith

Lentil biscuits
Sweet potato chili


What kept these dark forces in check was the prestige of a European elite committed to democratic values. But that prestige was squandered through mismanagement — and the damage was compounded by unwillingness to face up to what was happening.

Monday, May 21, 2018


“Tears are words that need to be written.”
― Paulo Coelho

A Child

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.”
― Paulo Coelho

The Judge

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.”
― Paulo Coelho


The Gift Poems by Hafiz, the Great Sufi Master.
By Hafiz Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Earth would die
If the sun stopped kissing her.”
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, The Gift

“For I have learned that every heart will get
What it prays for
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Shams-al-Din Mohammad Hafez, The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz

“This is the kind of Friend
You are -
Without making me realize
My soul's anguished history,
You slip into my house at night,
And while I am sleeping,
You silently carry off
All my suffering and sordid past
In Your beautiful
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī

“The heart is a
The thousand-stringed instrument

That can only be tuned with
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, The Gift

“I should not make any promises right now,
But I know if you
Somewhere in this world -
Something good will happen.”
― Hafiz

“Let's get loose

Let's drown in the delicious
Ambience of
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, The Gift

“Listen: this world is the lunatic's sphere,
Don't always agree it's real,

Even with my feet upon it
And the postman knowing my door

My address is somewhere else.”
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, The Gift

“Sometimes I say to a poem,

"I don't have the strength
To wring out another drop
Of the sun."

And the poem will often

By climbing onto a barroom table:

Then lifts its skirt, winks,
Causing the whole sky to
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, The Gift

“All your wounds from craving love
Exist because of heroic deeds.”
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, The Gift

“Not loving is a letting go.
The terrain around here
Far too
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Shams-al-Din Mohammad Hafez, The Gift

“Love is
The funeral pyre
Where I have laid my living body.

All the false notions of myself
That once caused fear, pain,

Have turned to ash
As I neared God.

What has risen
From the tangled web of thought and sinew
Now shines with jubilation
Through the eyes of angels
And screams from the guts of Infinite existence

Love is the funeral pyre
Where the heart must lay
Its body.”
― Hafiz, The Gift

“There are
So many positions of

Each curve on a branch,

The thousand different ways
Your eyes can embrace us,

The infinite shapes your
Mind can draw,

The spring
Orchestra of scents,

The currents of light combusting
Like passionate lips,

The revolution of Existence's skirt
Whose folds contain other worlds.

Your every sigh that falls against
His inconceivable
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, The Gift

“Lean your sweet neck and mouth
Out of that dark nest where you hide,
I will pour effulgence into your mind.”
― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, The Gift

Don't tell all of their

They might
Count each other's moles
That reside in the shy

Then keep that tally strictly
To themselves.

God and I
Have signed a contract
To be even more intimate than

Though a clause

Something about not drawing detailed maps
To all His beautiful

― شمس الدین محمد حافظ / Shams-al-Din Mohammad Hafez, The Gift

The Real Social Network

The real social network is walking around talking to your neighbors.


Freshly squeezed lemon on last nights leftover + collards and carrots. Excellent. Home made vegetarian lentil chili.

Listen to what you know instead of what you fear

“Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?”
― Richard Bach

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.”
― Richard Bach

“Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness.
Listen to it carefully.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“You're never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“I’m here not because I am supposed to be here, or because I’m trapped here, but because I’d rather be with you than anywhere else in the world.”
― Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story

“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life. ”
― Richard Bach

“Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“I do not exist to impress the world. I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy. ”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.”
― Richard Bach

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions

“Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.”
― Richard Bach

“If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.”
― Richard Bach

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created this mess you got yourself into in the first place.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions

“We teach best what we most need to learn.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours.”
― Richard Bach

“That’s why love stories don’t have endings! They don’t have endings because love doesn’t end.”
― Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story

“If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it, and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way is winning.”
― Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story

“When you have come to the edge of all the light you have
And step into the darkness of the unknown
Believe that one of the two will happen to you
Either you'll find something solid to stand on
Or you'll be taught how to fly!”
― Richard Bach

“Boredom between two people doesn't come from being together physically. It comes from being apart mentally and spiritually.”
― Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story

“Listen to what you know instead of what you fear.”
― Richard Bach

“No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.”
― Richard Bach

“Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: If you´re alive it isn't.”
― Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story

“You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.”
― Richard Bach

“You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“Bad things are not the worst things that an happen to us. NOTHING is the worst thing that can happen to us.”
― Richard Bach, One


ISFP Personality (“The Adventurer”)

I change during the course of a day. I wake and I’m one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else.
Bob Dylan

ISFP personality types are true artists, but not necessarily in the typical sense where they’re out painting happy little trees. Often enough though, they are perfectly capable of this. Rather, it’s that they use aesthetics, design and even their choices and actions to push the limits of social convention. ISFPs enjoy upsetting traditional expectations with experiments in beauty and behavior – chances are, they’ve expressed more than once the phrase "Don’t box me in!"
ISFP personality
Happy to Be Who They Are

ISFPs live in a colorful, sensual world, inspired by connections with people and ideas. ISFP personalities take joy in reinterpreting these connections, reinventing and experimenting with both themselves and new perspectives. No other type explores and experiments in this way more. This creates a sense of spontaneity, making ISFPs seem unpredictable, even to their close friends and loved ones.

Despite all this, ISFPs are definitely Introverts (I), surprising their friends further when they step out of the spotlight to be by themselves to recharge. Just because they are alone though, doesn’t mean people with the ISFP personality type sit idle – they take this time for introspection, assessing their principles. Rather than dwelling on the past or the future, ISFPs think about who they are. They return from their cloister, transformed.

ISFPs live to find ways to push their passions. Riskier behaviors like gambling and extreme sports are more common with this personality type than with others. Fortunately their attunement to the moment and their environment allows them to do better than most. ISFPs also enjoy connecting with others, and have a certain irresistible charm.
ISFPs always know just the compliment to soften a heart that’s getting ready to call their risks irresponsible or reckless.

However, if a criticism does get through, it can end poorly. Some ISFPs can handle kindly phrased commentary, valuing it as another perspective to help push their passions in new directions. But if the comments are more biting and less mature, ISFP personalities can lose their tempers in spectacular fashion.

ISFPs are sensitive to others’ feelings and value harmony. When faced with criticism, it can be a challenge for people with this type to step away from the moment long enough to not get caught up in the heat of the moment. But living in the moment goes both ways, and once the heightened emotions of an argument cool, ISFPs can usually call the past the past and move on as though it never occurred.
Meaning Is in Every Expression of Life

The biggest challenge facing ISFPs is planning for the future. Finding constructive ideals to base their goals on and working out goals that create positive principles is no small task. Unlike Sentinel types, ISFPs don’t plan their futures in terms of assets and retirement. Rather, they plan actions and behaviors as contributions to a sense of identity, building a portfolio of experiences, not stocks.

If these goals and principles are noble, ISFPs can act with amazing charity and selflessness – but it can also happen that people with the ISFP personality type establish a more self-centered identity, acting with selfishness, manipulation and egoism. It’s important for ISFPs to remember to actively become the person they want to be. Developing and maintaining a new habit may not come naturally, but taking the time each day to understand their motivations allows ISFPs to use their strengths to pursue whatever they’ve come to love.

Sourdough Incubating

My two buckets of multigrain sourdough are incubating in the fridge...I might decide to bake them tomorrow. The flavors develop when the incubation stage lingers.

Thank You, Mara Gay


Editorial Observer
Thanks, Meghan Markle, We Needed That
Mara Gay

By Mara Gay

Ms. Gay is a member of the editorial board.

Wes Markusfeld

The moon here grows from a smile to a frown. It's a growing smile tonight.
-Wes markusfeld

Middle Way or Gifts of Subtlety

Perhaps it is because I am older now (57) but I am thinking about the gifts and rewards of living the middle way, enjoying the gifts of subtlety.

Invite Ms Carranza to Woonsocket!

Woonsocket could be the answer for Ms Carranza.

Ms. Carranza

What happened to Ms. Carranza and the others shows how New York City’s housing court system, created in part to shelter tenants from dangerous conditions, has instead become a tool for landlords to push them out and wrest a most precious civic commodity — affordable housing — out of regulation and into the free market.

Ms. Carranza now lives with the Torreses, near cornfields, barns and woods. There is no church with services in Spanish. No grocery catering to Latinos. No old friends to visit. There are not even any sidewalks.

She spends her days inside, mostly alone. She cooks for herself on a hot plate, fried chicken legs and potatoes.

“I lost everything,” she said. “I feel so bitter inside, and I don’t like it.”

Every month or so, her relatives drive her back to New York, back to her neighborhood. It is always bittersweet. A yoga studio has replaced her karate school. Where a 99-cent store once stood, Orbach has set up a real estate office: “CoSo,” a sign announces in big blue letters.

Last fall, Ms. Carranza returned to close her bank account. She stood in front of her building, surrounded by friends, telling them that there were no Latinos in all of Pennsylvania.

“There’s no one to talk to,” she said. “You can talk to the trees.”
Ms. Carranza’s name was still on the buzzer at her old building on West 109th Street when she visited last fall. Ángel Franco for The New York Times

Her name was still on the buzzer at 247 West 109th Street. After a tenant invited her inside, Ms. Carranza ran her hand along the hallway as she walked, pointing out her apartment — No. 2 — and her mailbox.

After years of failed requests for the most basic repairs, her apartment had been completely remodeled — illegally, as no building permit was ever filed, buildings department records show. Two Columbia students paid about $3,500 a month to live there.

Ms. Carranza walked through the home she could no longer recognize, running her hand along the new kitchen counter, touching the new sink, remembering where she used to keep her French dining set, where she used to sleep. A stairway had been added, leading to new basement rooms. She gave one tenant a sideways glance.

“Do you think he’ll leave?” Ms. Carranza asked her niece. She paused, thinking. “What if they’d give me my apartment back?”

She would sit on the stoop again, and she would invite people over for dinner again, and she would fry chicken again. What happiness she would have, she said, if only she again had her home.


Norman Cousins: Life is an Adventure in Forgiveness

Norman Cousins's philosophy toward his work was exemplified by his instructions to his staff “not just to appraise literature, but to try to serve it, nurture it, safeguard it.” Cousins believed that “there is a need for writers who can restore to writing its powerful tradition of leadership in crisis.”

He was a lifetime believer in the power of hope, and in the realism of optimism.

One of his well-known lines, "Life is an adventure in forgiveness," has survived him.

But Cousins had no patience for those who consciously bend truth, whether for personal expediency or in the political sphere.

The integrity of words, in speech and in writing, was sacred to him.

To his mind, the honest use of words was an absolute value, and the distinguishing mark of the human being.

Cousins joined the University of California, Los Angeles faculty in 1978[3] and became an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science.[4] He taught ethics and medical literature. His research interest was the connection between attitude and health.[1]

Norman Cousins: The Direction of Hope

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
- Norman Cousins

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
Norman Cousins

The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.
- Norman Cousins

A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life.
Norman Cousins
Life is an adventure in forgiveness.
- Norman Cousins

The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient's hopes are the physician's secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription.
Norman Cousins

Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors. - Norman Cousins Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors.
Norman Cousins

It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete.
Norman Cousins

Your heaviest artillery will be your will to live. Keep that big gun going.
Norman Cousins

If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality.
- Norman Cousins

The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives - the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself.
Norman Cousins

A book is like a piece of rope; it takes on meaning only in connection with the things it holds together.
Norman Cousins

The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.
Norman Cousins

Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time.
Norman Cousins

The main failure of education is that it has not prepared people to comprehend matters concerning human destiny.
Norman Cousins

People are never more insecure than when they become obsessed with their fears at the expense of their dreams.
Norman Cousins

Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.
Norman Cousins

Cynicism is intellectual treason.
Norman Cousins

Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.
Norman Cousins

The way a book is read, which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it.
Norman Cousins

What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon but that they set eye on the earth.
Norman Cousins

Laughter is inner jogging.
- Norman Cousins

History is a vast early warning system.
Norman Cousins

A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life.
Norman Cousins

He who keeps his cool best wins.
Norman Cousins

His Respect for the fragility and importance of an individual life is still the mark of an educated man. Norman Cousins

Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic.
Norman Cousins

It is reasonable to expect the doctor to recognize that science may not have all the answers to problems of health and healing.
Norman Cousins

If the United Nations is to survive, those who represent it must bolster it; those who advocate it must submit to it; and those who believe in it must fight for it.
Norman Cousins

My reason nourishes my faith and my faith my reason.
Norman Cousins

The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.
Norman Cousins

Man is not imprisoned by habit. Great changes in him can be wrought by crisis - once that crisis can be recognized and understood.
Norman Cousins

Government in the U.S. today is a senior partner in every business in the country.
Norman Cousins

A human being fashions his consequences as surely as he fashions his goods or his dwelling. Nothing that he says, thinks or does is without consequences.
Norman Cousins

Surely We will not have peace by afterthought.
Norman Cousins

The only security for the American people today, or for any people, is to be found through the control of force rather than the use of force.
Norman Cousins

Where is the indignation about the fact that the US and USSR have thirty thousand pounds of destructive force for every human being in the world?
Norman Cousins

Sunday, May 20, 2018

I Gusti Mangku Sasak, a Holistic Usada Bali Healer.

“Know oneself, be in control of your food intake and be aware of your body.”

“People that come and see me are sick and are already having problems, and if you force them to pay, you make their situation worse,” he said. “And that’s not healing.”

Today, there is an industry of spiritual healing tourism as people from all over the world flock to Bali, drawn by wellness vacation packages and meditation retreats that advertise restorative experiences for body and mind. The number of people going there increased a dozen years ago with the release of the best-selling memoir “Eat, Pray, Love,” which featured a Balian medicine man named Ketut Liyer.

But I Gusti Mangku has never heard of “Eat, Pray, Love,” and the interest by foreign tourists does little to alter his daily routine.

He remembers his father as a disciplined man who would refuse to ride in cars no matter how long the journey. “It’s healthier to walk,” he would say. Although I Gusti Mangku primarily heals those in his village and does not disclose his exact location, he says that foreigners started showing up on his doorstep in the 1980s. He has treated people from New York, Singapore and Australia. He is not always sure how they find him, because he is not listed on a tourism site. He never turns patients away, no matter how late. “I never lock my door, he said. “If people show up at night, I will wake up.”

I Gusti Mangku believes that the traditions of Usada Bali must not be shared frivolously. He explains that there is a saying in Bali: “Don’t just tell people who are not asking.” He believes that it is very important that the teachings don’t become distorted or misused.

On the other hand, if people are seeking help or information with sincerity, if they want to learn about Usada Bali, I Gusti Mangku says, “We have an obligation to tell them, because all of these teachings do not belong to us.”



After my morning swim I made bread dough and set it to rise. Romeo and I walked and happily got caught in the pouring rain. When I got home I checked on the simmering rice and beans and then I steamed collard greens and carrots.

Sunday Morning Baking

I'm baking my usual molasses granola and it is drying out the damp air. It smells delicious.

Arne Duncan's Idea


Lindsay Stordahl

One of the easiest ways to socialize a dog is to simply take him for a walk every day. I know we come up with all sorts of excuses not to walk our dogs, but it really is such a simple and valuable way to provide daily socialization.

Dogs are exposed to so many new people, dogs, sights, sounds and smells on a walk. So if you want to expose your dog to something new, simply walk him down a different street than he’s used to or even walk him at a different time of day.
-Lindsay Stordahl


Ashley Koala

Museum of Work & Culture Celebrates Students’ Creative Talents and Civic Pride

“Woonsocket Proud” Essay and Art Contest Winners Announced

The grand prize winner was Ashley Koala from Harris Elementary, who received Rubano’s book, a family membership to the Rhode Island Historical Society, and a Lajoie ornament.

Koala’s winning entry:

There are many different things that happen in the world. Some are good things, like how Napoleon followed his dreams. Some are bad things, like how Napoleon secretly snuck off to play baseball. I’m not going to be talking about the whole world right now. I am going to be talking about Woonsocket and how I can make it better. So now I am going to tell you how I can make Woonsocket better in the present and the future.

One way I can make Woonsocket better now is by spreading peace and love. If you spread peace there will be no fighting and everyone will be happy. For example, if everyone is mean to each other then there will be a lot of fighting and then something bad will happen. It is also good to spread love. If you spread love everyone will be happy.

Another way I can make Woonsocket better is by being thoughtful to others. If you are thoughtful to others then they will be thoughtful about you too. For example, if you see that your friend is sad and you go to your friend and try to cheer him or her up then that is being thoughtful. So, if you are thoughtful about others then they will do the same to you. Now on to the next way I can make Woonsocket better.

The last way I can make Woonsocket better is by becoming a doctor. I want to be a doctor because that was always my dream. When I become a doctor I will make a cure for every kind of cancer. Sometimes I might even go to a place for the homeless and check if they have cancer. If they do then I will cure them for free.

Those are all the different ways I can make Woonsocket proud. I hope you learned how you can make our city a better place.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pickled Eggs by Chef Demetra


Hardboiled Eggs 5 Minutes

For fast delicious easy to peel hard-boiled eggs I use my Presto pressure cooker. I place the dozen eggs on the steamer tray and add 2c water and salt. I bring the cooker up to pressure and cook for 5 minutes. I flash cool the cooker under cold water and when the pressure has dropped, I use tongs to fish out the eggs. I add ice cubes and water to a large bowl or plastic container. Then I add the cooked eggs to the ice water for rapid cooling. Refrigerate.

Gloop: Thick Soup

I make gloop more often than I make soup. Gloop is a one pot meal that is wholesome and delicious. It usually has vegetables grains and beans. It is perfect for using leftovers. It's a combination of being inventive and lazy at the same time.

Self Improvement Stories

I love to read articles about people who have made improvements to their life whether it's weight loss, nutrition, mental health, fitness, or sobriety stories.

City Hosted Free Recycling

Our city hosted a free hazardous waste recycling event today and we brought 10 old computers, 3 ancient tv's and 12 florescent bulbs, 2 printers and an old VCR. Whew! It felt great. We made two trips.

Checkout Indie cycle, they are the company doing the recycling, all over RI.

Gabe Howard

Bipolar recovery, by contrast, is boring. When I am driving to work, reading, or cleaning my house—all while living with bipolar—it isn’t at all exciting. Living well with this illness looks just like everyone else’s typical life.

The advantage to telling people you’re living with bipolar disorder is to provide an example of someone living well in spite of the illness. It allows you to show a different side, to show there is hope to someone who has been newly diagnosed.

Essentially, we have the opportunity to show society the entire spectrum of this condition instead of just the worst parts of it. If all society sees is the crisis points, we can hardly blame them for thinking that is all there is.

Gabe Howard



Food diary
Mindfullness and cravings
Living well

Emotions Shape Perception

April 11, 2018—The research shows that humans are active perceivers, say psychological scientist Erika Siegel of the University of California, San Francisco and her coauthors.

“We do not passively detect information in the world and then react to it — we construct perceptions of the world as the architects of our own experience. Our affective feelings are a critical determinant of the experience we create,” the researchers explain. “That is, we do not come to know the world through only our external senses — we see the world differently when we feel pleasant or unpleasant.”

Ultimately, these experiments provide further evidence that what we see is not a direct reflection of the world but a mental representation of the world that is infused by our emotional experiences.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Learning to Swim in Midlife


Asian Noodles

Crack Noodles
By Lauren Miyashiro

Crack Noodles Will Make You Lose All Control
by Delish US

Prepare yourselves.
Yields: 4 servings
1 lb. thick-cut Asian noodles
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 small shallots, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
1 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onions, plus more for serving
4 c. cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. lime juice chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp. lime juice brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 c. Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add shallots and season with salt. Cook until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer shallots to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add sesame oil to skillet. When sesame oil is fragrant, stir in green onion and garlic and cook for one minute. Add soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes (if using). Simmer until sauce has reduced slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add cooked noodles and toss to combine. Garnish with crispy shallots and more green onions. Serve immediately.

Tools of the Kitchen

I love to use my insta-pot to make hard boiled eggs. They cook fast (5 minutes) and peel faster.
I love to use my pastry cutter to chop them into egg salad (adding hot sauce and mayo).

New Real Neighborhood Market

There's a new neighborhood market opening across the street. I am very excited because it looks like they know what they are doing and they will carry real food and provisions. Some of the mini markets around here are actually a front for doing other kinds of business.

Physician, Heal Thyself

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Physician, heal thyself (Greek: Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν — Iatre, therapeuson seauton), sometimes quoted in the Latin form Medice, cura te ipsum, is a proverb found in Luke 4:23.

23 Then he said, "You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: 'Physician, heal yourself'—meaning, 'Do miracles here in your home town like those you did in Capernaum.'"

The usual interpretation of this passage is that, during the Rejection of Jesus, Jesus expected to hear natives of his home town of Nazareth use this phrase to criticize him.[1] Luke the Evangelist, to whom Christian tradition attributes the gospel, was himself a physician.[2]

The moral of the proverb is counsel to attend to one's own defects rather than criticizing defects in others,[3] a sentiment also expressed in the discourse on judgmentalism.

Similar proverbs can be found in other classical and Jewish literature.

"Physician, Physician, Heal thine own limp!" can be found in Genesis Rabbah 23:4.[5]
Freedman, H., Simon, Maurice. Midrash Rabbah, Translated into English., vol 1, pg 195

Lentil Soup

We didn't go grocery shopping for food last weekend. With exhaustion at the close of the day we average one Saturday shopping trip every 2 weeks. This was the "nothing in the house," week. So this morning while having my morning coffee I set up dinner in my instant pot.

I rinsed a pound of lentils and placed them in my pressure cooker with 2 chicken bullion cubes, lots of water, bloops of olive oil, 6-7 ribs of celery chopped, 4 freshly peeled garlic cloves, and I closed the lid and set it for 15 minutes. But before it came up to pressure, I opened it again and added a can of crushed tomatoes. After 15 minutes it was all cooked and tasted as if it had simmered all day.

I added another can of crushed tomatoes, a cup of cooked leftover brown rice, cumin parsley basil black pepper and oregano. I brought it up to boil again and then tasted it. It was fantastic. I stopped the cooking. I ate a bowl for breakfast with grated Romano cheese and then cooled it down for the fridge.

I call it gloup because it's thicker than soup.

Thoughts: Living a Small Life in a Big Way

My siblings and colleagues are horrified that I do not have my own car and I do not have a cell phone and I do not eat out all the time, shop at thrift stores and I do not travel. And I live in a sketchy neighborhood. The public library (and Y swimming pool) are essentially my churches.

I live a small life in a big way.

Maybe there's a middle way. Like the Buddhist concept.

Sometimes like Anne Lamott advises in Bird by Bird--- you take a few notes to keep your hand from getting arthritic... and call it a day. Go fill up on the world.
We have all been there, and it feels like end of the world. It’s like a little chickadee being hit by an H-bomb. Here’s the thing, though, I no longer think of it as block. I think that is looking at the problem from the wrong angle. If your wife locks you out of the house, you don’t have a problem with your door.
The word block suggests that you are constipated or stuck, when the truth is that you’re empty. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird p177

I just reread this.

I think May Sarton had a quote poetry is given prose is earned.

Why is it that poetry always seems to me so much more a true work of the soul than prose? I never feel elated after writing a page of prose, though I have written good things on concentrated will, and at least in a novel the imagination is fully engaged. Perhaps it is that prose is earned and poetry is given. Both can be revised almost indefinitely. I do not mean to say that I do not work at poetry. When I am really inspired I can put a poem through a hundred drafts and keep my excitement. But this sustained battle is possible only when I am in a state of grace, when the deep channels are open, and when they are, when I am both profoundly stirred and balanced, then poetry comes as a gift from powers beyond my will.
-May Sarton, Journal of A Solitude, pg 40-41

“I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged, damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room.”
― May Sarton

May Sarton

“Without darkness, nothing comes to birth, As without light, nothing flowers.”
-- May Sarton

“The minute one utters a certainty, the opposite comes to mind.”
-- May Sarton

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.”
-- May Sarton

“I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room.”
-- May Sarton

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”
-- May Sarton

“If we are to understand the human condition, and if we are to accept ourselves in all the complexity, self-doubt, extravagance of feeling, guilt, joy, the slow freeing of the self to its full capacity for action and creation, both as human being and as artist, we have to know all we can about each other, and we have to be willing to go naked.”
-- May Sarton

“One does not "find oneself" by pursuing one's self, but on the contrary by pursuing something else and learning through discipline or routine. . . who one is and wants to be.”
-- May Sarton

“The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever.”
-- May Sarton

“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.”
-- May Sarton

Gail Caldwell on Memoirs


Sous Vide


“A year from now, you’ll wish you started today.”

Food is a Friend not the Enemy

'Food is your friend not your enemy,' she wrote in a recent post. 'I believe that if there is anything that people completely overlook, it is the nutrition aspect of living a healthy lifestyle.'
- Nessa Sphere

Swimming Saves Lives Foundation


USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation
Help adults who don't know how to swim

There are more than 18 million swimming pools and hot tubs in the United States, but more than one-third of adults in the United States can't swim the length of a pool, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 10 people drown every day, and the majority of them are adults.

The CDC identifies a variety of factors that can influence drowning risk, including the inability to swim. Research also shows that the children of adults who don't know how to swim are at a greater risk of not learning to swim, which increases their chances of drowning.

The purpose of the USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation is to raise public awareness about the problem of adult drowning and to serve as a financial and educational resource for programs that provide adult learn-to-swim lessons. Since 2012, SSLF has awarded $430,000 in grants to programs that are providing adult learn-to-swim opportunities. SSLF is proud to support 54 adult learn-to-swim programs in 2018.

Thousands of adults across the country have benefitted from lessons taught by our program partners, thanks to generous contributions from USMS members and other supporters. USMS also accepts planned giving and bequests. Please read our gift acceptance policy.

If you'd like to discuss opportunities to contribute to the USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, please contact Holly Neumann, Manager, Adult Learn-to-Swim and Foundation Programs, at 941-556-6285 or via email.

Mina Hashimoto: Dancer

How to Convey Dance to Those Without Sight? All Hands On

By Serena Solomon
May 17, 2018

It was neither awkward nor sensual — more like a group of mechanics huddled over an engine, discussing its capabilities and how it works. In this analogy, Mana Hashimoto, a blind professional dancer and choreographer, was the head mechanic, and her body was the engine.

At a workshop on a recent Saturday, Ms. Hashimoto was surrounded by four students from the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School, a community school for the blind and visually impaired that’s near Lincoln Center. They followed her movements with their hands: One touched her belly. Another had a hand on Ms. Hashimoto’s head, and still another ran fingers along Ms. Hashimoto’s outstretched arm as she began a long, low backbend.

“I create moments of stillness and darkness to start to be aware of the rest of the senses available,” said Ms. Hashimoto, who connects touch, sound and sometimes scent with a performance space and the movements that fill it.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

New Mother

Like a new mother, as soon as I have cash I am tempted to buy dog toys.

Fetching in French in the Pool


Chopped Egg

Push through a rack hack, or chop using a pastry cutter.

Humane Society on Dog Toys

Dog Toys: How to Pick the Best and Safest

Overcome the Enemy Within

“I took advantage of every little ‘Go’ that I could say to myself,” he says. “I would say, ‘Go for a walk. Go eat the apple instead of chocolate. Go read a book instead of watching TV.’ These little bleeps of ‘Go’ made me push myself, and the healing was exponential. The little steps started to get bigger and to move at a quicker speed, and that gave me more chances to say, ‘I’m going to go do this.’ “I was starting to make something of my life.”

Who Speaks Up

The researchers tested two competing and equally plausible theories about who stands up: the “bitter complainer” versus the “well-adjusted leader.” The “bitter complainer” theory suggests that hostile, aggressive, and insecure people are more likely to become vigilantes out of a desire to unleash displaced frustration onto an unsuspecting target. In contrast, the “well-adjusted leader” theory takes the view that people who intervene are more likely to be confident, stable, and mature.

Gut Brain

The work by Braak and his colleagues also suggested that the pathological changes in patients typically developed in predictable stages that starts in the gut and ends in the brain.

Quiet Satisfaction

Finally, some people might argue that neither life satisfaction, positive emotions nor absence of depression are enough for happiness. Instead, something more is required: One has to experience one’s life as meaningful.

If happiness is the prevalence of positive emotions (let alone the displaying of them), Finland is not the happiest country. If happiness is the absence of depression, Finland is not the happiest country. But if happiness is about a quiet satisfaction with one’s life conditions, then Finland, along with other Nordic countries, might very well be the best place to live.

If you prefer to be happy in your own, understated way, then welcome to Finland!

Self: Continual Adaptation to Changing Circumstances

Overall, we tend to view our character as more static than it is, presumably because this assessment offers security and direction. We want to recognize our particular traits and preferences so that we can act accordingly. In the final analysis, the image that we create of ourselves is a kind of safe haven in an ever changing world.

And the moral of the story? According to researchers, self-knowledge is even more difficult to attain than has been thought. Contemporary psychology has fundamentally questioned the notion that we can know ourselves objectively and with finality. It has made it clear that the self is not a “thing” but rather a process of continual adaptation to changing circumstances. And the fact that we so often see ourselves as more competent, moral and stable than we actually are serves our ability to adapt.


Linda Martín Alcoff

We need to hear from more victims, not fewer.

Can we hold people to account at the same time as we acknowledge their own victimization?
Linda Martín Alcoff is a professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, Hunter College, and the author of “Rape and Resistance.”