Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Italian Wedding Soup

A marriage of ingredients

Instant pot recipe

Bonne Année!

Annual French Expression
Meaning Happy New Year!
Literally Good year!

Pronunciation [buh nah nay]

Usage notes: How do you say "Happy New Year" in French?

Bonne Année !

Par exemple…
Bonne Année ! Happy New Year!
Bonne année à vous et à tous les vôtres. Happy new year to you and all of yours.
Je vous souhaite une très bonne année. I wish you a very happy new year.

Don’t say this until it’s actually the new year – the French find it very odd to be wished a happy new year while it’s still the old one.

source

Orange Pizzelle

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar (or 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup corn oil
1 tablespoon orange extract
2 teaspoons triple sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

Directions

Sift flour and baking powder together in a small bowl.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, adding sugar gradually until mixture thickens. Beat in melted butter gradually until well-blended. Stir in orange extract, triple sec, yellow food coloring, and red food coloring. Carefully stir in sifted flour and baking powder until batter is stiff and smooth. Fold in grated orange zest.
Grease and preheat pizzelle baker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon cookie scoop to drop batter onto the preheated pizzelle baker. Bake until browned, 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Facts
Per Serving: 103 calories; 4.5 g fat; 13.5 g carbohydrates; 1.8 g protein; 33 mg cholesterol; 57 mg sodium. Full nutrition
adapted from here.
try orange amaretto here
make your own powdered sugar

Susan Cheever

I took Concord, Massachusetts, in the 19th century and added the women. The revelation for me was when I found that Louisa May Alcott had lived across the street from Emerson, and had based Laurie [in Little Women] on Henry David Thoreau. I didn’t even realize they were in the same town. I had studied Emerson, I had studied Thoreau. Nobody had ever told me Louisa May Alcott was the little babysitter girl.
-Susan Cheever Article

Monday, December 30, 2019

Lifeguards on Cell Phones

No Phones Please!
https://guardforlife.com/2019/06/no-phones-please/
By Megan Price | Posted June 19, 2019 in Lifeguard Job,Summer Jobs,

Distractions are everywhere, but don’t let them get in the way of being an awesome lifeguard! It’s already tough enough to tame our internal thoughts while on the job! Cell phones and other outside distractions can make it difficult for guards to focus. When you’re on duty you need to be in a position where you’re alert, aware, and ready to take action! This is why all electronic devices should be stored in your bag or well away from you while you are on duty.

What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
While emergencies don’t happen every day, your job is to stay alert and aware in case of an incident. There are multiple reports of swimmers fatally drowning while a lifeguard is distracted. Don’t let that happen to you! Too many people’s safety depends on you, so distractions can’t get in the way. Drowning is quick, quiet, and can happen in a matter of seconds. Even glancing at your phone for a split second could lead to a fatal tragedy.

When is it Okay to Use Your Phone?
Your phone should NEVER be out while you’re on duty. However, we understand the importance of staying connected with the rest of the world. Keep you phone in your bag or in a locker if one is provided. Check your phone during your breaks.

Downtime Activities
So there’s no one in your pool. Can I use my phone now? We get that staring at an empty pool for long periods of time can be boring, but a phone is never allowed while you are on duty. You should find activities to do during downtime to keep yourself alert. Remember that these activities should NEVER distract you from being aware of all pool activities.

Practice breathing exercises
Check the water balance
Keep your pool’s area tidy and clean

Distractions are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to stay focused! Your hotline will still be blinging when your break rolls around! It can wait. The lives and safety of swimmers are more important!

Vladimir Nabokov

Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.
VLADIMIR NABOKOV

George Orwell

If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
GEORGE ORWELL

Neil Gaiman

The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on the page, and suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it’s about and why you’re doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. Everything is suddenly both obvious and surprising…and it’s magic and wonderful and strange.

NEIL GAIMAN

Jesse Oleson Moore

I went on a date where the guy asked me what I did during the day. I said "I wake up earlier than anyone you know and I like to write and draw and do yoga and take long walks and look for signs in the writing on the sidewalk."
-Jesse Oleson Moore

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Pizzelle

Tonight we made pizzelle withholding 1/4 c sugar. They cooked 15 seconds longer, were slightly less crispy but they tasted great.

tonight's recipe:
3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn oil
2 pinches kosher salt
1 3/4 cups white flour
1 Tbsp flavoring (Chianti)

Behavior Modification

Secrets for Changing Our Behavior for Good—No Willpower Necessary!
Article

Possibilities open up when we don’t have to rely on motivation or willpower to claw our way through creating a change in our lives. We can hack our own daily, automatic, habitual mind to create a new routine.

The method

To form a lifelong habit, our focus should be on training our brain to succeed at small adjustments and then celebrating those victories, says BJ Fogg, PhD, the creator of the Tiny Habits Method. To do this, we will need to design whatever behavior change we’re keen on making so that we can easily slip it into our existing routine—like brushing our teeth before bed.

Identify the goal and the easy-win behaviors

We first have to identify a very specific desired goal. Next, choose the easy-win behaviors or, as Fogg calls them, the “tiny habits” that will get us to our particular outcome. These are very small things that we can learn to do automatically and that set us up for success—like having a goal of flossing just one tooth after brushing our teeth or doing just one push-up before getting dressed.

Pick a prompt
Next, we find something we already do as a habit and piggyback the new habit onto it. We can all find things we do every single day—make coffee, brush our teeth, go to the washroom, get dressed etc., and then graft a new, small habit onto this already-existing daily habit. Start modestly and add something to a regular activity slowly, until it, too, becomes automatic.

Intentional mind vs. habitual mind

Our habits are deeply ingrained in all of us. In fact, studies show that about 40 percent of the time, we’re not thinking about what we’­re doing—we’re using our habitual mind, says psychology professor Wendy Wood. Therefore, if we’re cognizant of this and try to engage our intentional mind, that is, to act mindfully, we can be more in control of our behavior.

Disrupt old cues and create new ones
We must first derail existing bad habits and create a window of opportunity to act on new intentions, explains Wood. When the cues for existing habits are removed, it’s easier to form a new behavior. For example, if our goal is healthy eating, “try moving unhealthy foods to a top shelf, out of reach, or to the back of the freezer instead of in front.” This way, the cues to eat less healthy food are hidden and harder to access, making it easier to choose healthful food instead.

Celebrate the small victories

In behavioral science, giving rewards for actions along the pathway toward the ultimate desired behavior produces more of that behavior. A familiar term is “positive reinforcement.” So, while it may seem ridiculous to pat ourselves on the back or do a fist pump for flossing just one tooth, this praising (especially out loud) has been shown to pave the way to another action further along the path to our goals.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

the distinctive thunk

“People think that libraries are quiet, but they really aren’t. They rumble with voices and footsteps and a whole orchestral range of book-related noises—the snap of covers clapping shut; the breathy whisk of pages fanning open; the distinctive thunk of one book being stacked on another; the grumble of book carts in the corridors.”
-Susan Orlean, The Library Book

The Library

“Every problem that society has, the library has, too, because the boundary between society and the library is porous; nothing good is kept out of the library, and nothing bad.”
-Susan Orlean, The Library Book

Librarians

“Librarians should read as a drunkard drinks or as a bird sings or a cat sleeps or a dog responds to an invitation to go walking, not from conscience or training, but because they’d rather do it than anything else in the world.”
-Susan Orlean, The Library Book

Books Have Souls

“I have come to believe that books have souls—why else would I be so reluctant to throw one away?”
― Susan Orlean, The Library Book

A Voice Inside

“The library is a whispering post. You don't need to take a book off a shelf to know there is a voice inside that is waiting to speak to you, and behind that was someone who truly believed that if he or she spoke, someone would listen. It was that affirmation that always amazed me. Even the oddest, most peculiar book was written with that kind of courage -- the writer's belief that someone would find his or her book important to read. I was struck by how precious and foolish and brave that belief is, and how necessary, and how full of hope it is to collect these books and manuscripts and preserve them. It declares that stories matter, and so does every effort to create something that connects us to one another, and to our past, and to what is still to come.”
― Susan Orlean, The Library Book

A Culture's Books

“Destroying a culture’s books is sentencing it to something worse than death: It is sentencing it to seem as if it never lived.”
― Susan Orlean, The Library Book

Unspoken Promise

“All the things that are wrong in the world seem conquered by a library’s simple unspoken promise: Here I am, please tell me your story; here is my story, please listen.”
― Susan Orlean, The Library Book

In Senegal...

“In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned. When I first heard the phrase, I didn’t understand it, but over time I came to realize it was perfect. Our minds and souls contain volumes inscribed by our experiences and emotions; each individual’s consciousness is a collection of memories we’ve cataloged and stored inside us, a private library of a life lived.”
― Susan Orlean, The Library Book

Susan Orlean

“The world is so huge that people are always getting lost in it. There are too many ideas and things and people too many directions to go. I was starting to believe that the reason it matters to care passionately about something is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size. It makes the world seem not huge and empty but full of possibility.”
― Susan Orlean, The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession

Bone Marrow

"It's been around for a while, but bone marrow seems to be going mainstream," she said.

And why not? Marrow is cheap, nourishing and tastes fantastic.

"Bone marrow is a bit like the poor man's foie gras. It has that wonderful smooth texture and fabulous taste and it's generally not that expensive," Ms. McLagan explained.

And while it's rich, it's arguably quite healthful, because it contains a lot of monounsaturated fats. In her cookbook, "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes," she argues that fat is an essential, healthy ingredient and that many animal fats, like bone marrow, are wrongly maligned as unhealthful and artery clogging, when in fact they have a lot in common with olive oil. According to her book, the fat in calf bone marrow is typically 31 percent saturated, 63 percent monounsaturated and 6 percent polyunsaturated.

Article

Tea

So just think how exciting it would be if for once you had your tea at quarter past six? It'd make headlines...
-Shirley Valentine

Ian Semple

Be careful that routine does not become a habit-forming barrier to creativity.
-Ian Semple

Faith Shearin Interview

"I am writing poems in my car, before I swim."
http://faithshearin.com/interview

A Flurry of Poetry

This morning I woke up late and ate poetry for breakfast.
https://poetrying.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/why-i-love-swimming-pools-faith-shearin/
https://poetrying.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/retriever-faith-shearin/
https://poetrying.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/possum-in-the-garbage-faith-shearin/
https://poetrying.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/storage-faith-shearin/
https://poetrying.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/the-name-of-a-fish-faith-shearin/
https://poetrying.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/smoke-faith-shearin/
https://poetrying.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/turtle-in-the-road-faith-shearin/

Friday, December 27, 2019

Mark Rothko, Painter

There is more power in telling little than in telling all.
MARK ROTHKO

When she pushes the button

“When she pushes the button, the secretary
will say, "Yes?" from a thousand miles away,
and Beverly will say, "Something violent
happened here," she among us
understanding this is one way
the violent get you: not by coming
for you, but by leaving you behind.”
― Carrie Fountain, Burn Lake

Carrie Fountain, Burn Lake

“We each keep an untouched life beneath the one we've been given.”
― Carrie Fountain, Burn Lake

Carrie Fountain

Be wary of becoming a poet. Be wary of becoming anything. I mean: you want to become a surgeon. Or, I should say, you want your surgeon to have become a surgeon! But don’t become a poet. You’ll never get there. Just get started. Each morning, make a little progress. Send out a little prayer. Take note of something. Try to be facing in the direction of the surprise.

CARRIE FOUNTAIN

December 25th

On my way home from my morning walk with my dog Romeo I saw a person off in the distance walk up my front steps and disappear. I had to go see who it was. I found a woman sitting on the top step. I recognized her, I've spoken with her a few times before. She lives in the apartment building behind my house. "I'm just taking a breather," she said.
"That's okay." She looked like had been crying and her eyes were puffy and pink.
"Do you know the girl who died in the shooting? That was my niece. My son was in the car, he watched her die," she said crying. "I went to church today. I haven't been to church in ages. I don't know how to help him. He saw her die." I smelled a whiff of alcohol. "He won't talk to anyone. I don't want him to see me crying. He'll think I'm weak."
"You're not weak. You're grieving. Crying is good. It rains and then the sun comes out. Where is your son now?"
"He's at home in the apartment. The police chief called to check on him. He told me my son is still in danger at school. I don't know what to do. I never go to church I went to church and lit a candle. How can I help him?"
I clasped her hand. "I'm so sorry. You start by letting yourself cry. You grieve and heal. It's a process." I paused. "You peel the onion layers one at a time and at the center is a shoot that grows and makes a new plant." I sat down next to her, put my arm around her shoulder and gave her a sideways hug. "Are you Anya's room-mate?"
"Yes, but she's with her family today. My other son is at his friend's house."
"So your 15-year-old son is home alone? Maybe you should go home and have a cup of tea with him and just try to be in the moment with him."
"He doesn't drink tea. Hot cocoa! He likes cocoa."
"Perfect, have cocoa with him, with a little whipped cream on top," I said, smiling. "It's Christmas. That's what makes this pain even worse. Tomorrow will be better. Would you'd like to make an appointment to talk to the chief of police he might have some ideas of what you can do. I could go with you if you'd like."
"Yes, that would be good, thank you."
"I'll walk you home now." We both got up and I walked down the sidewalk with her and said goodbye at her door. We hugged.
"Thank you."
"My pleasure. You take good care."

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Kid: Vincent D'onofrio

The Kid: Vincent D'onofrio, Leila George, and Jake Schur Interview

Tonight

Tonight we made anise pizzelles with anise flavoring and anise seeds. They are delicious with tea.

Pizzelle della Nonna: A Classic Italian Cookie!

https://www.shelovesbiscotti.com/pizzelle-della-nonna/
Ingredients

1¼ cups all-purpose flour 177 grams
¾ teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
3 eggs room temperature
½ cup sugar 100 grams
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon anise extract optional

Shirley Raines

Real-Life Saint Shirley Raines Offers Dignity, Beauty To Skid Row's Homeless Community

Shirley Raines offers the homeless community of Skid Row food, showers, and beauty services through her nonprofit Beauty 2 The Streetz.

Ram Dass

"Grief is the internal part of loss, our emotional response when someone we are deeply connected to leaves or dies or when a dream in life or anything we’ve invested in is lost.

We may feel lost, alone, sad, empty, abandoned, out of touch with our hearts, without a way to comfort ourselves. Grief can manifest physically as aches and pains or cognitively as an inability to concentrate. It can close our hearts to others, challenging our relationships. Grief affects everyone, the dying person, the caregiver, family, friends, and lovers. It can arise before death, a response in anticipation of the loss to come or to all the losses in the course of an illness–loss of health, social roles, the ability to speak or move around. Grief is not an event but a process. It is as individual as each of us and as unique as the person we’ve lost.

If you don’t grieve fully, in a way that is true to your own heart, you may end up with cynicism about life and fear of future involvement, fear of any risk. Be kind to yourself. When it is time to let go, you’ll know. Then let go. The memories will still be there without the attachment. It’s not about returning to ‘normal,’ but becoming someone new, free to be present for whatever your life is now."

– Ram Dass, From "Walking Each Other Home"

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Low Rider Song

This was how I started my day. When a souped up low rider came back here to hang out.
So I had to play this.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ram Dass Interview

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/02/magazine/ram-dass-interview.html

Write it on your heart...

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The earth laughs in flowers.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is not the length of life, but the depth.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Complete Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
― Emerson, Ralph Waldo

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

One Night

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays

Ai Weirdness

Janelle Shane's humor blog about artificial intelligence

The Ai's Carol

https://aiweirdness.com/

and New paint colors invented by neural network
https://aiweirdness.com/search/colors

Schlepping Nachas

This has been an all-star weekend for a proud and loving father: me. I have three terrific daughters, each brilliant, beautiful, loving, and loved. And each had very good news to impart. Which I’ll share in a moment.

But first, a linguistic clarification. Many readers—perhaps most—may know that to schlep is a Yiddish word meaning to carry or drag. But schlepping nachas does not refer to carrying around tortilla chips with melted cheese and/or guacamole. (That’s “nachos.”) Rather, nachas is a happy feeling of pride in someone else’s accomplishment, sort of the inverse of the German word, Schadenfreude, pleasure taken in another’s failure. As for pronunciation, the ch in nachas is neither soft like macho nor hard like chorus, but rather guttural, like the ch in Ach du lieber. And as for usage, schlepping nachas generally refers to happy pride in the accomplishments of one’s children.

source

Wise Guru

We are, every one of us, like a wise guru in charge of a mental patient.
Jamie Catto

No Parachute

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche”
― Jamie Catto, Insanely Gifted: Turn Your Demons into Creative Rocket Fuel

Jamie Catto Harvesting Treasure

Jamie Catto - discussing the making of Becoming Nobody, the film with Ram Dass
Video
https://www.jamiecatto.com/book

Night of Bad Smells

We were at Price Rite last night and when we got back into the car it smelled like fried fish. It made no sense. We had purchased carrots cauliflower and cabbage! I got out of the car and sniffed around. As we drove out of the parking lot I figured it out. The McDonald's at the corner had fried a bunch of fish sandwiches and the scent got trapped in our vehicle.

We'd been Xmas shopping and were zombies. We stopped in to buy beer at the Bellingham Denny's Liquors. The air inside had a strong odor. I couldn't figure out what it was. At the checkout I asked the lady with the glittery red fingernails. She said it's the scent car dealerships spray into a new car. "We're using it as air freshener." It was so strong (and awful). It followed us home. I stripped off my clothing dumped it into the washer and took a shower. Crazy!

Monday, December 23, 2019

RIP Ram Dass

Film Trailer: Becoming Nobody
Love Serve Remember foundation
New York Times Obit
BBC Obit on Ram Dass

New Car

"My instapot is my new car."
"Where are we going?"
"Rice and beans!"

Sweets

"I don't like sweets," I told her.
"I love sweets," she said. "I have an expression I made up about myself, You could put sugar on a stone and I'd eat it."

THE RUMI PRESCRIPTION by Melody Moezzi

How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life
by Melody Moezzi

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a book that is more memoir than how-to manual, Moezzi (Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life, 2014, etc.) chronicles her effort to apply Rumi’s 13th-century poetry to her 21st-century life.

Some readers may be surprised that the bestselling poet in the United States is a Muslim mystic who died nearly 750 years ago. Moezzi, however, isn’t the least bit stunned that Rumi’s words resonate with contemporary Western readers; it just took her a while to embrace them herself. She grew up in Ohio “dodging dead Persian poets” because her father “is a tried-and-true Rumi addict, and like most children of addicts, I grew up resenting the object of my father’s addiction.” But as an adult, the author decided to mine the Sufi mystic’s poetry to seek remedies for some of her own modern maladies—e.g. anxiety, fear, etc.—and found his words life-changing. Each of the chapters begins with a diagnosis and ends with a prescription, featuring stanzas of Rumi’s work that Moezzi translated and studied with her father. Though Rumi's poetry and its impact on her life are noteworthy, there are two narrative elements that stand out more. First, the author’s prose offers an intimate, endearing look at her relationship with her father. Second, Moezzi weaves throughout the narrative discussions of her interminable efforts to destigmatize both Islam and mental illness—not in a self-promoting way but as an advocate for herself and others; the book could shatter a variety of prejudices and stereotypes. Furthermore, the author’s translation of Rumi’s poetry will appeal to many readers because it’s well distilled and reads much like a series of aphorisms. Moezzi doesn’t claim to fully understand or precisely apply Rumi’s ancient wisdom; she’s simply telling the story of how his body of work has influenced her life.

A heartening narrative of family, transformation, and courage.
Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-525-53776-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22nd, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2020

Fragile Creatures

“Why Dream?

Life is a difficult assignment. We are fragile creatures, expected to function at high rates of speed, and asked to accomplish great and small things each day. These daily activities take enormous amounts of energy. Most things are out of our control. We are surrounded by danger, frustration, grief, and insanity as well as love, hope, ecstasy, and wonder. Being fully human is an exercise in humility, suffering, grace, and great humor. Things and people all around us die, get broken, or are lost. There is no safety or guarantees.

The way to accomplish the assignment of truly living is to engage fully, richly, and deeply in the living of your dreams. We are made to dream and to live those dreams.”

― Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (SARK)

Last Night

Last night at JOBLOT I spotted a woman with 6 quarts of maple syrup in her carriage. What a great gift idea.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Pema Chödrön

Article

1. “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”

We must stay alive and willing to accept all people without judgment.

2. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

The yin and yang of dark and light—it’s a constant and needs to be revered in order for us to be whole.

3. “You are the sky. Everything else—it’s just the weather.”

Your life, much like a clear blue sky, a seemingly infinite space of freedom and possibility; stressors or our emotional reactions, the variable weather of your day. As with all life-events (big or small), it can be all too easy to identify with what’s happening in the moment, good or bad. Only when we are able to look beyond these emotions and expectations we can see the true nature of our entire life.

4. “Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not squeamish about taking a good look.”

5. “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”

We have the choice to either be responsible for our actions or walk away from them. It’s not always pretty, but it is necessary.

6. “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”

7. “If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart.”

Focusing on who wronged us is a moot point. It’s so much more of an enriching and growing experience to set our sights on what is actually causing us so much pain.

8. “We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart.”

9. “To be fully alive, fully human and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.”

10. “We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.”

Pizzelle Making

Making Italian Pizzelle one at a time on my Great Grandfather's Authentic Antique Italian Pizzelle

“underwater is a different world”

“When I come here, I forget about everything else.”

“It is just me and the water, and it is safe,” she added.

For Women in Kabul, ‘It Is Just Me and the Water’
Article

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Pizzelles!!

https://bakingamoment.com/thin-and-crisp-pizzelles/

https://kitchenencounters.typepad.com/blog/2014/12/-savory-parmesan-pepper-pizzelle-snackers-.html

Nell Zink

Nell Zink: ‘How do you change the world? To build something you need an eco­system working together. To break some­thing, you just need a bullet.’

Winter Solstice

from The Writer's Almanac:

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night in the Northern Hemisphere. Poets over the ages have proffered plenty of advice for the coming months. Poet Pietro Aretino, born in the 15th century, said, "Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius." William Blake wrote, "In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." There's a Japanese proverb that says, "One kind word can warm three winter months."

Emily Dickinson wrote,

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

That Other Life

As for the usefulness of poetry, its uses are many. It is the deification of reality. It should make our days holy to us. The poet should speak to all men, for a moment, of that other life of theirs that they have smothered and forgotten.
Edith Sitwell, Lecture "Young Poets" (1957) published in Mightier Than the Sword: The P.E.N. Hermon Ould Memorial Lectures, 1953-1961 (1964), p. 56

Electric Eel

I am not eccentric. It's just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel in a pool of catfish.
Edith Sitwell

Edith Sitwell

It is a part of the poet's work to show each man what he sees but does not know he sees.
Edith Sitwell

And Silence

My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.
Edith Sitwell

Be Oneself

Why not be oneself? That is the whole secret of a successful appearance. If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a Pekingese?
Edith Sitwell

Friday, December 20, 2019

Lifeguards Who Text

At this point it is unwise for any insurance company to allow life guards to have cell phones on deck.
Article

The Library

The library is my medicine cabinet.

The Difference Between Fixing and Healing

On Being with Krista Tippett
Rachel Naomi Remen
The Difference Between Fixing and Healing
transcript.

Refuge

"We avoid suffering only at the great cost of distancing ourselves from life. In order to live fully we may need to look deeply and respectfully at our own suffering and at the suffering of others. In the depths of every wound we have survived is the strength we need to live. The wisdom our wounds can offer us is a place of refuge. Finding this is not for the faint of heart. But then, neither is life."

My Grandfather's Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen MD (pp138.)

Thursday, December 19, 2019

In the Ears

“For women, the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time.”
― Isabel Allende, Of Love and Shadows

Isabel Allende

“If I write something, I fear it will happen, and if I love too much, I fear I will lose that person; nevertheless, I cannot stop writing or loving...”
― Isabel Allende, Paula

The Process

“Writing is like making love. Don't worry about the orgasm, just concentrate on the process.”
― Isabel Allende

Unsuspected Reserve

“We all have an unsuspected reserve of strength inside that emerges when life puts us to the test.”
― Isabel Allende, Island Beneath the Sea

Erotica

“Erotica is using a feather; pornography is using the whole chicken.”
― Isabel Allende

Journey

“Writing is a process, a journey into memory and the soul.”
― Isabel Allende

Storyteller

“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not.”
― Isabel Allende

Fear

“Fear is inevitable, I have to accept that, but I cannot allow it to paralyze me.”
― Isabel Allende, The Sum of Our Days: A Memoir

Not be Forgotten

“Write what should not be forgotten.”
― Isabel Allende

The Library

“The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night.”
― Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende

“We only have what we give.”
― Isabel Allende

Accept

“Accept the children the way we accept trees—with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are.”
― Isabel Allende

Memory

“Memory is fiction. We select the brightest and the darkest, ignoring what we are ashamed of, and so embroider the broad tapestry of our lives.”
― Isabel Allende, Portrait in Sepia

Shrill Sound

The screaming roof vent on the building next door is going 24/7. The shrill sound follows me wherever I go.

William Saroyan

I've told every young writer I know to do the job all the way through, even if he thinks it’s no good. Then he’ll have the precedent of having finished a work. It isn’t unlikely that he’s been mistaken anyway. All writers are discontented with their work as it’s being made. That’s because they’re aware of a potential and believe they’re not reaching it. But the reader is not aware of the potential, so it makes no difference to him.

WILLIAM SAROYAN

A Bowl of Roses

Like a bowl of roses, a poem should not have to be explained.
LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI

Isabel Allende

“You can't find someone who doesn't want to be found.”
― Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits

Headaches

Discovery: headaches don't hurt in the pool. As the old ladies say "there's no pain in the pool," just before and after.

Tobia Wolff

In writing you work toward a result you won't see for years, and can't be sure you'll ever see. It takes stamina and self-mastery and faith. It demands those things of you, then gives them back with a little extra, a surprise to keep you coming. It toughens you and clears your head. I could feel it happening. I was saving my life with every word I wrote, and I knew it.

TOBIAS WOLFF

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Louis Jordan Five Guys Named Moe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EaUqLrfEMU

Nourishing Mother

Alma mater (Latin: alma mater, lit. 'nourishing mother'; pl. [rarely used] almae matres) is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one formerly attended. In US usage, it can also mean the school from which one graduated.

Public Library

David Mamet — 'My Alma mater is the Chicago Public Library.'

Greed

“How can I be secure? (Pause.) Through amassing wealth beyond all measure? No. And what’s beyond measure? That’s a sickness. That’s a trap. There is no measure. Only greed.”
― David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross

David Mamet

“It is more frightening but it is not less productive to go your own way, to form your own theatre company, to write and stage your own plays, to make your own films. You have an enormously greater chance of eventually presenting yourself to, and eventually appealing to, an audience by striking out on your own, by making your own plays and films, than by submitting to the industrial model of the school and studio.”
― David Mamet, True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor

baking five loaves of semolina sourdough

Monday morning I mixed up a batch of dough in a bucket using a teaspoon of yeast, kosher salt, my rye sourdough starter, semolina flour, some pinhead oats and cornmeal. I placed it in the fridge. Each day it rose a bit more, developing flavor, working the magic. This morning at 6AM I cut and shaped the dough placing them into greased loaf pans. I used my bench cutter to make a cut down the middle of each loaf so they could expand correctly. I let them proof in the unheated oven. Usually I start with a cold oven because it's easy and out of the way. Also, I can pay attention hoping to allow the dough some last minute push as the oven preheats. After two hours they were ready to bake. They rose beautifully and are a golden yellow from the semolina flour. The scent is extraordinary.

Dana Milbank

It was as if an accused white-collar criminal, during jury selection for his bribery trial, had offered the judge a briefcase full of unmarked bills.
-Dana Milbank

Patricia Fuller

Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.
PATRICIA FULLER

Hot Tea with Ice Cube

My friend Moncef always drinks his tea piping hot but then he drops in an ice cube. I find this fascinating. It feels like a metaphor for life. I want it hot but I want to put the breaks on.

E.B. White

Advice from this elderly practitioner is to forget publishers and just roll a sheet of copy paper into your machine and get lost in your subject. Write about it by day and dream about it by night.
E.B. WHITE

Yes

If you're a writer, the answer to everything is yes.
NIKKI GIOVANNI

impossible to help

My experience with trying to help people to write has been limited but extremely intensive. I have done everything from giving would-be writers money to live on to plotting and rewriting their stories for them, and so far I have found it all to be a waste. The people whom God or nature intended to be writers find their own answers, and those who have to ask are impossible to help. They are merely people who want to be writers.

RAYMOND CHANDLER

Joe Fassler

If you’re willing to lower your expectations, to temporarily mute your inner critic, then incremental progress is always possible. And that’s where novelists have struck on something. Above all else, writers are people who allow themselves the freedom to suck—unrepentantly, happily, even. They’ve learned through hard experience that out of failure comes something better. And that the only catastrophe, really, is the refusal to keep trying.

JOE FASSLER

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Herbie Hancock

Watermelon Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bjPlBC4h_8
Head Hunters (full album)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m3qOD-hhrQ

Olena Osipov

Hello! My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog.

I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.
Recipes https://ifoodreal.com/healthy-instant-pot-recipes/

Dina Overland

Here’s what I believe deep in my heart and soul: every single painful event comes with a hidden blessing that can help you feel deep appreciation, love, and gratitude. But you have to be willing to acknowledge and feel the pain before you can move past it and uncover that tremendous gift.
- Dina Overland

Rumi

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
- Rumi

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”
-Rumi

Rumi

You already have the precious mixture that will make you well. Use it.
— RUMI

Quiet is Beautiful

I just write what I want to write. Quiet is very beautiful to me, the medium of everything that matters. I'm grateful for the patience of my readers, certainly. But the fact is that a novel takes over a writer's life for literal years. What I write, day by day and word by word, is much of my felt life. It would be a terrible capitulation to give up my explorations of quiet because of anxiety about the receptiveness of readers. I have found that readers are very much to be trusted.

MARILYNNE ROBINSON

Ballerina (Animation) by Steve Subotnick

Here https://vimeo.com/219310719

Silver Apples of the Moon

Silver Apples Of The Moon - Morton Subotnick 1967 (Full Album Reissue)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G1hRNLlYpg

Edel Rodriguez

Artist https://www.commarts.com/features/edel-rodriguez

Mystery

"Mystery is as common as a trip to the grocery store. In Guide for the Perplexed, E.F. Schumacher notes that the endless debate about the nature of the world is founded on differences in the sensitivity of the eyes that behold it: "We can only see what we have grown an eye to see. Some of us can only notice miracles. Some of us can only see in times of crisis. Yet we can all learn to see God in the folded sheets."
- Rachel Naomi Remen MD, Kitchen Table Wisdom Stories that Heal pp283

Life Itself

I am not much of a meditator. No matter. I have come to suspect that life itself may be a spiritual practice. The process of daily living seems able to refine the quality of our humanity over time. There are many people whose awakening to larger realities comes through the experiences of ordinary life, through parenting, through work, through friendship, through illness, or just in some elevator somewhere.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, MD Kitchen Table Wisdom Stories that Heal pp288

Unanswered Questions

After 20 years of working with people with cancer, I find it possible to neither doubt nor accept the unprovable but simply remain open and wait.

I accept that I may never know where truth lies in such matters. The most important questions don't seem to have ready answers. But the questions themselves have a healing power when they are shared. An answer is an invitation to stop thinking about something, to stop wondering. Life has no such stopping places, life is a process whose every event is connected the moment that just went by. An unanswered question is a fine traveling companion. It sharpens your eye for the road.

- Rachel Naomi Remen MD, Kitchen Table Wisdom, Stories that Heal p293

Magic Words

In some fairy tales there is a magic word which has the power to undo the spell that has imprisoned someone and free them.
[...] My magic words have turned out to be "I don't know."
p294 Kitchen Table Wisdom Stories that Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

Cognitive Dissonance

The ability to seek and find meaning in life is based more than anything on the capacity to hold paradox and maintain an unblushing cognitive dissonance.

p303 Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen

Writing Well is an act of RESISTANCE by Benjamin Dreyer

Article

Benjamin Dreyer

Language is here to serve those of us, all of us, who use it, and when one’s perhaps unconsidered thoughts as to what is correct run smack into the honor we owe another person, one can only hope that it’s honor that wins out.
Benjamin Dreyer

Monday, December 16, 2019

How Swimming Reduces Depression


https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-swimming-reduces-depression/
How Swimming Reduces Depression
By Therese J. Borchard

Don DeLillo

First you look for discipline and control. You want to exercise your will, bend the language your way, bend the world your way. You want to control the flow of impulses, images, words, faces, ideas. But there’s a higher place, a secret aspiration. You want to let go. You want to lose yourself in language, become a carrier or messenger. The best moments involve a loss of control. It’s a kind of rapture, and it can happen with words and phrases fairly often—completely surprising combinations that make a higher kind of sense, that come to you out of nowhere. But rarely for extended periods, for paragraphs and pages—I think poets must have more access to this state than novelists do.

DON DeLILLO

Life as an Orchestra

“A colleague told me that he thinks of his life as an orchestra. Reclaiming his integrity reminds him of that moment before the concert when the concertmaster asks the oboist to sound an A. 'At first there is chaos and noise as all parts of the orchestra try to align themselves with that note. But as each instrument moves closer and closer to it, the noise diminishes and when they all finally sound it together, there is a moment of rest, of homecoming.'

'That is how it feels to me,' he told me. 'I am always tuning my orchestra. Somewhere deep inside there is a sound that is mine alone, and I struggle daily to hear it and tune my life to it. Sometimes there are people and situations that help me to hear my note more clearly; other times, people and situations make it harder for me to hear. A lot depends on my commitment to listening and my intention to stay coherent with this note. It is only when my life is tuned to my note that I can play life's mysterious and holy music without tainting it with my own discordance, my own bitterness, resentment, agenda, and fears.'

Deep inside, our integrity sings to us whether we are listening or not. It is a note that only we can hear.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

My Grandfather's Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen

“Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways. ”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“Our purpose in life is to grow in wisdom and in love.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen MD, My Grandfather's Blessings - Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging

“How strange to think that great pain may be impermanent. Something in us all seems to want to carve it in granite, as if only this would do full honor to its terrible significance. But even pain is blessed with impermanence...
p 259”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“Perhaps real wisdom lies in not seeking answers at all. Any answer we find will not be true for long. An answer is a place where we can fall asleep as life moves past us to its next question. After all these years I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“It has been said that sometimes we need a story more than food in order to live.
p 374”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“Life wastes nothing. Over and over again every molecule that has ever been is gathered up by the hand of life to be reshaped into yet another form.
p 259”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“The marks life leaves on everything it touches transform perfection into wholeness. Older, wiser cultures choose to claim this wholeness in the things that they create. In Japan, Zen gardeners purposefully leave a fat dandelion in the midst of the exquisite, ritually precise patterns of the meditation garden. In Iran, even the most skilled of rug weavers includes an intentional error, the “Persian Flaw,” in the magnificence of a Tabriz or Qashqai carpet…and Native Americans wove a broken bead, the “spirit bead,” into every beaded masterpiece. Nothing that has a soul is perfect. When life weaves a spirit bead into your very fabric, you may stumble upon a wholeness greater than you had dreamed possible before.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“I recall vividly the night before one of my own early surgeries, an eight-hour affair that would alter my body permanently. I was twenty-seven and unmarried at the time. Late in the evening a pleasant elderly woman, a technical aide, had come to my hospital room to shave my abdomen in preparation for the procedure. As she went about this humble task with great skill, she had asked me about the next day's surgery. Filled with resentment, self-pity, and a sense of victimhood, I told her what was planned and burst into tears. She had seemed quite surprised. "How would YOU feel if they were going to do this to YOU tomorrow?" I asked her angrily. she had taken my question literally and had thought it over. Then, patting me gently, she had said, "If I needed it to live, I would be glad for the help." Her answer had changed everything.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“Whether we are aware of it or not, we will refine the quality of our humanity throughout the course of our lives. More and more, people seek spiritual techniques to help them do this. But joy and suffering will do this for you, too. Every lifetime offers countless opportunities to become more whole.
Life offers its wisdom generously. Everything teaches. Not everyone learns. Life asks of us the same thing we have been asked in every class: "Stay awake." "Pay attention." But paying attention is no simple matter. It requires us not to be distracted by expectations, past experiences, labels, and masks. It asks that we not jump to early conclusions and that we remain open to surprise. Wisdom comes most easily to those who have the courage to embrace life without judgment and are willing to not know, sometimes for a long time. It requires us to be more fully and simply alive than we have been taught to be. It may require us to suffer. But ultimately we will be more than we were when we began.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“All life has in it the dimension of the Unknown; it is a thing forever unfolding. It seems important to consider the possibility that science may have defined life too small. If we define life too small, we will define ourselves too small as well.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“Sometimes just being in someone's presence is strong medicine.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

“No matter what means we use, service is always a work of the heart. There are times when the power of science is so seductive that we may come to feel that all that is required to serve others is to get our science right, our diagnosis, our treatment. But science can never serve unless it is first translated by people into a work of the heart.”
― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Prayer

Prayer is not a way to get what we want to happen, like the remote control that comes with the television set. I think that prayer may be less about asking for the things we are attached to than it is about relinquishing our attachments in some way. It can take us beyond fear, which is an attachment, and beyond hope, which is another form of attachment. It can help us remember the nature of the world and the nature of life, not on an intellectual level but in a deep and experiential way. When we pray, we don't change the world, we change ourselves. We change our consciousness. We move from an individual, isolated making-things-happen kind of consciousness to a connection on the deepest level with the largest possible reality. And then the question "How did you become well?" becomes more a question about mystery than about efficacy. A very different kind of question.
-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom (pp270-271)

Mark Nepo

“If peace comes from seeing the whole,
then misery stems from a loss of perspective.

In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts. When feeling a splinter, we must, while trying to remove it, remember there is a body that is not splinter, and a spirit that is not splinter, and a world that is not splinter.”
― Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

Truly Love

“Those who truly love us will never knowingly ask us to be other than we are.”

― Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

Mark Nepo

“Each person is born with an unencumbered spot, free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry; an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God. It is this spot of grace that issues peace. Psychologists call this spot the Psyche, Theologians call it the Soul, Jung calls it the Seat of the Unconscious, Hindu masters call it Atman, Buddhists call it Dharma, Rilke calls it Inwardness, Sufis call it Qalb, and Jesus calls it the Center of our Love.

To know this spot of Inwardness is to know who we are, not by surface markers of identity, not by where we work or what we wear or how we like to be addressed, but by feeling our place in relation to the Infinite and by inhabiting it. This is a hard lifelong task, for the nature of becoming is a constant filming over of where we begin, while the nature of being is a constant erosion of what is not essential. Each of us lives in the midst of this ongoing tension, growing tarnished or covered over, only to be worn back to that incorruptible spot of grace at our core.

When the film is worn through, we have moments of enlightenment, moments of wholeness, moments of Satori as the Zen sages term it, moments of clear living when inner meets outer, moments of full integrity of being, moments of complete Oneness. And whether the film is a veil of culture, of memory, of mental or religious training, of trauma or sophistication, the removal of that film and the restoration of that timeless spot of grace is the goal of all therapy and education.

Regardless of subject matter, this is the only thing worth teaching: how to uncover that original center and how to live there once it is restored. We call the filming over a deadening of heart, and the process of return, whether brought about through suffering or love, is how we unlearn our way back to God.”

― Mark Nepo, Unlearning Back To God: Essays On Inwardness, 1985 2005

Beliefs we Carry

There are laws of our inner world that bind each of us as firmly as gravity, beliefs we carry about ourselves and about life in general that we experience as true in all conditions and at all times. A feeling of personal unworthiness is one such inner law. One moment of unconditional love may call into question a lifetime of feeling unworthy and invalidate it.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom (pp258)

Giving Darshan

Dying people have the power to heal the rest of us in unusual ways. Years afterwards, many people can remember what a dying person has said to them and carry it with them through their lives. Perhaps dying people give a sort of darshan to the rest of us in the same way that spiritual teachers do.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom (p255)

Receiving

One of the reasons that many physicians feel drained by their work is that they do not know how to make an opening to receive anything from their patients. The way we were trained, receiving is considered unprofessional. The way most of us were raised, receiving is considered a weakness.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom (pp254)

Healing is Mutual

One of my patients once defined a healer as someone who can see the movement toward wholeness in you more clearly than you can at any given moment. I remember flying to a medical conference with one of my colleagues. Between San Francisco and Boston, I healed him twice and he healed me three times.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom (pp252)

Holy Places

The places which we are seen and heard are holy places. They remind us of our value as human beings. They give us the strength to go on. Eventually they may even help us to transform our pain into wisdom.

- Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom, (pp244)

Trust

Seeing the life force in human beings brings medicine closer to gardening than to carpentry. I don't fix a rosebush. A rosebush is a living process, and as a student of that process, I can learn to prune, to nurture and cooperate with it in ways that allow it best to "happen," to maximize the life force in it even in the presence of disease.

The trust of process that comes from personal knowledge and experience is really the foundation of helping and comforting one another. Without it all of our actions are driven by fear. Fear is the friction in all transitions.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom (pp225)

A Process

It has taken me somewhat longer to recognize that a diagnosis is simply another form of judgement. Naming a disease has limited usefulness. It does not capture life or even reflect it accurately. Illness on the other hand, is a process, like life is.
-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom (pp224)

Instinctive Attachments

In our instinctive attachments, our fear of change, and our wish for certainty and permanence, we may undercut the impermanence which is our greatest strength, our most fundamental identity. Without impermanence there is no process.
-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom (pp223)

Turkey Meatballs

1& 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs (or rolled oats, or seasoned stale bread)
3 pounds ground turkey 85 percent lean
1 cup minced onion
3/4 cup fresh parsley (or more onion)
3 eggs beaten
5-7 minced garlic cloves
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp basil
3/4 teasp oregano
3/8 cup olive oil (for brushing the tops)
1& 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teasp fresh black pepper

shape using scoop and place on greased rack over baking pan
brush meatballs with olive oil
bake at (preheated) 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes depending on how large you make them.

original Recipe

from Kitchen Table Wisdom

When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person. That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and others. That which is hidden.

In this culture the soul and the heart often go homeless.

Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you.

Not long ago I was walking in the rain in the place where I was born, New York City, thinking of the green place where I now live, grateful for the ease which things grow there. Not all things have room to grow and fulfill themselves. The rain made me intensely aware of the hardness and grayness of this world of cement and brick and the awesome capacity of human beings to prevail over what is natural and bend it to their will. For miles and miles there seemed to be nothing living that could respond to the rain. But the important thing is that the rain comes. The possibility of growth is there even in the hardest of times. Listening is like the rain.

-Rachel Naomi Remen Kitchen Table Wisdom (pp220)

Silencing the Howling Turbine

Our neighbor has a screaming roof vent that is frankly sheer torture.

Article

Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

One of my favorite stories was told by a young medical student who shared a memory from his childhood. As a child he had lived in a Victorian house in San Francisco and his mother used to bathe him every day in a claw footed bathtub. At the end of the bath she would stand him up, pull the rubber plug and reach behind her for a towel to dry him with. One day while he was waiting to be lifted from the tub he inadvertently stepped on the drain, cutting his foot badly on its sharp edge. He had shrieked and his mother had cried out too, lifting him out of the tub, holding his bleeding foot, and warning him to never ever stand on the drain again. So every day after that, when she pulled the plug and turned away from him to reach for the towel, he would be very careful not to stand on the drain. One day he was standing there looking at the drain and being careful not to stand on it when he suddenly noticed the water, circling the drain on its way out of the tub. Seeing this for the first time he became concerned. The edges of the drain were very sharp. What if it hurt the water to circle the drain? So every day after that when his mother lifted the plug and turned to get the towel, he would carefully drop his washcloth over the drain to be sure that the water would not be hurt going down the drain. We were all healers long before we were experts.

Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

Kitchen Table Wisdom

I just finished reading Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Patricia Highsmith

The unconscious mind takes the germ of an idea and develops it, but usually this happens only when a writer has tried hard, and logically, to develop it himself. After he has given it up for a few hours, getting nowhere, a great advancement of the plot will pop into his head. I have been waked up in the night sometimes by a plot advancement or a solution of a problem that I had not even been dreaming about.

PATRICIA HIGHSMITH

Friday, December 13, 2019

Sitting Still

“Sitting still as a way of falling in love with the world and everything in it; I'd seldom thought of it like that.”
― Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

“In an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still.”
― Pico Iyer

The Art of Stillness


“More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk.”
― Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

Pico Iyer

The less conscious one is of being “a writer,” the better the writing.
― Pico Iyer

“Writing is, in the end, that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.”
― Pico Iyer

The Job

“The job of the writer is to take a close and uncomfortable look at the world they inhabit, the world we all inhabit, and the job of the novel is to make the corpse stink.”
― Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley

“We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we can love one another, we can break open the sky.”
― Walter Mosley, Blue Light

Murakami

The good thing about writing books is that you can dream while you are awake. If it’s a real dream, you cannot control it. When writing the book, you are awake; you can choose the time, the length, everything. I write for four or five hours in the morning and when the time comes, I stop. I can continue the next day. If it’s a real dream, you can’t do that.

HARUKI MURAKAMI

Walter Mosley

The first thing you have to know about writing is that it is something you must do every day. There are two reasons for this rule: Getting the work done and connecting with your unconscious mind.
WALTER MOSLEY

Love

"I firmly believe that LOVE [of a subject or hobby] is a better teacher than a sense of duty - at least for me."

Albert Einstein

Fairy Tales

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Albert Einstein

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Story Soup

My pal Jean once said, cooking is always a story. This week I made my favorite sauteed broccoli with garlic. While I was cooking I set up a pot of white rice to be ready at the same time. I remembered the rice bag instructions which I never follow: do not rinse. The broccoli was delicious and the rice came out gummy. I felt ridiculous and angry. I realized that the rice was even more gummy because at the last minute I cooked it in leftover steaming water from my boiled dinner the night before. It was the concentrated liquid from potatoes, cabbage and carrots cooked in the pressure cooker. I told a friend about my gummy rice mishap and she said, make congee. So the next morning I took out a big pot and threw in the gummy rice and more water and a few chicken bouillon cubes. Then I decided to add all of the cooked vegetables from the leftover boiled dinner. I added ginger root and garlic. Then I added more carrots and freshly chopped onions and the last half of raw cabbage. I was about to overflow the pot. I transferred it all to a larger one and simmered it. We ate it for supper late last night. The cabbage was aldente and the soup was bland and ugly. It was boring and I was grumpy. "You can throw it away," my husband offered. I had two large containers of it. Today while swimming I told myself a good and experienced cook knows how to invent on the fly and solve problems. I thought of some ideas for salvaging these perfectly good vegetables. The trick was to not make the soup even larger by trying to save it or we'll be eating it for the rest of our lives. When I came home from the pool I pureed the soup with some sprinkles of Adobo. I poured myself a bowl and warmed it up. It was a colorful delicious vegetable porridge but it needed fat. I added a tablespoon of peanut butter and warmed it up. It was fantastic. It became West African. The peanut flavor spoke to the aldente cabbage and sweet carrots. I was so happy because I saved the soup and found a story. I can't wait to have some more for supper.

Colm Tóibín

“She felt almost guilty that she had handed some of her grief to him, and then she felt close to him for his willingness to take it and hold it, in all its rawness, all its dark confusion.”
― Colm Tóibín, Brooklyn

Colm Tóibín

“I don't come out of an oral tradition, I come out of silence.”
― Colm Tóibín

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Becoming a writer was partly a matter of acquiring technique, but it was just as importantly a matter of the spirit and a habit of the mind. It was the willingness to sit in that chair for thousands of hours, receiving only occasional and minor recognition, enduring the grief of writing in the belief that somehow, despite my ignorance, something transformative was taking place. It was an act of faith, and faith would not be faith if it was not hard, if it was not a test, if it was not an act of willful ignorance, of believing in something that can neither be predicted nor proved by any scientific metric.

VIET THANH NGUYEN

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Richard Rhodes

If you’re afraid you can’t write, the answer is to write. Every sentence you construct adds weight to the balance pan. If you’re afraid of what other people will think of your efforts, don’t show them until you write your way beyond your fear. If writing a book is impossible, write a chapter. If writing a chapter is impossible, write a page. If writing a page is impossible, write a paragraph. If writing a paragraph is impossible, write a sentence. If writing even a sentence is impossible, write a word and teach yourself everything there is to know about that word and then write another, connected word and see where their connection leads. A page a day is a book a year.

RICHARD RHODES

Jesmyn Ward

“Though the white liberal imagination likes to feel temporarily bad about black suffering, there really is no mode of empathy that can replicate the daily strain of knowing that as a black person you can be killed for simply being black: no hands in your pockets, no playing music, no sudden movements, no driving your car, no walking at night, no walking in the day, no turning onto this street, no entering this building, no standing your ground, no standing here, no standing there, no talking back, no playing with toy guns, no living while black.”
― Jesmyn Ward, The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race

Jesmyn Ward

Can't nothing bother me when I got my hands in the dirt, he said. Like I'm talking to God with my fingers.
― Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing

Doris Lessing

Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
DORIS LESSING

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Marcus Aurelius

"Our actions may be impeded, but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way."
― Marcus Aurelius

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts."
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them."
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Wolf Kahn + Emily Mason

Article

Monday, December 09, 2019

Ursula K. Le Guin

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places

Margaret Atwood

“Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there's no way in or out. In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It's loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

John Berger

“When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story's voice makes everything its own.”
― John Berger, Keeping a Rendezvous

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Story

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
-Maya Angelou

Thrive

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
-Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

"Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else."
-Maya Angelou

The Man

“The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
-André Breton

André Breton

“Keep reminding yourself that literature is one of the saddest roads that leads to everything.”
― André Breton

Love

"As for life's tragedies, our love will defeat them. Love is the most effective cure. In the crevices of disasters, happiness lies like a diamond in a mind, so let us instill in ourselves the wisdom of love."
- Naguib Mahfouz

Fear

"Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life."
-Naguib Mahfouz

Home

"Home is not where you were born. Home is where all your attempts to escape cease."
- Naguib Mahfouz

The World

“The world is a story we tell ourselves about the world.”
― Vikram Chandra

To Hear a Good Story

“Ask him why there are hypocrites in the world.'
'Because it is hard to bear the happiness of others.'
'When are we happy?'
'When we desire nothing and realize that possession is only momentary, and so are forever playing.'
'What is regret?'
'To realize that one has spent one's life worrying about the future.'
'What is sorrow?'
'To long for the past.'
'What is the highest pleasure?'
'To hear a good story.”

― Vikram Chandra, Red Earth and Pouring Rain

To Read

“And so I began to read,' Sorkar said. 'And at first the complete works were like a jungle, the language was quicksand. Metaphors turned beneath my feet and became biting snakes, similes fled from my grasp like frightened deer, taking all meaning with them. All was alien, and amidst the hanging, entangling creepers of this foreign grammar, all sound became a cacophony. I feared for myself, for my health and sanity, but then I thought of my purpose, of where I was and who I was, of pain and I pressed on.”
― Vikram Chandra, Red Earth and Pouring Rain

Vikram Chandra

“I want a certain density that encourages savoring. I want to slide warp over woof, I want to make knots. I want entanglement, unexpected connections, reverberations, the weight of pouring rain on red earth. Mud is where life begins.”
― Vikram Chandra, Mirrored Mind: My Life in Letters and Code

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Richard Rhodes

I like writing very much. I often ask my writing friends if they like to write, and they always say they don't. They love the research, perhaps the fun after a book is published, but not the task of writing itself. I think that is the glory of the work. You have assembled all of this information. You have thought about it. You have dreamed about it. You're ready. You are bursting with all of this and then you have this meticulous, but somehow not entirely rational, process of organizing it so that you communicate it transparently to other human beings. That is great fun.

RICHARD RHODES

Pen Pal

Message in a film canister 36 years later.

Beth Brownsberger Mader

Fluffy Broaches

Friday, December 06, 2019

Fear & Resistance

“Fear doesn't go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

“Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

This Second

“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.

This second, we can sit down and do our work.”

― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Soup Supper

Tonight it was 40 degrees and rainy. We were tired and trying to come up with a plan for what to make for supper. I had a quart of chick pea stock leftover from pressure cooking a pound of beans two days ago. I decided to use it as a base for a soup. It already had olive oil in it. I poured it into my large pressure cooker. I added two chicken bouillon cubes and more water and a whole head of celery chopped, a pound of carrots chopped fine, and a whole bunch of onions (about 6) coarsely chopped. Then I added a cup of uncooked rice. I closed the lid and had it under pressure for ten minutes. It was thick, sweet, hot, delicious and soothing. It reminded me of my friend Lisa Chune's winter porridge called con·gee* or jook. The onions meted away and the rice thickened into porridge. The carrots and celery were delicious and colorful. I'll make this again sometime.

/ˈkänjē/
Learn to pronounce
noun
noun: congee; plural noun: congees

(in Chinese cooking) broth or porridge made from rice.
Health benefits of congee
Another recipe
https://healthynibblesandbits.com/basic-congee-recipe-jook/

Books

“Whenever my environment had failed to support or nourish me, I had clutched at books...”
― Richard Wright, Black Boy

Richard Wright

“They hate because they fear, and they fear because they feel that the deepest feelings of their lives are being assaulted and outraged. And they do not know why; they are powerless pawns in a blind play of social forces.”
― Richard Wright, Native Son

Bow

“The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.”
― Richard Wright

Violence

“Violence is a personal necessity for the oppressed...It is not a strategy consciously devised. It is the deep, instinctive expression of a human being denied individuality.”
― Richard Wright, Native Son

Richard Wright, Native Son

“Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.”
― Richard Wright, Native Son

Richard Wright

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.
-RICHARD WRIGHT

Resistance

You're not "wrong" if your head is your own worst enemy. You're not "weak." You're not "sick." Everybody experiences Resistance. Resistance is an objective force of nature, as immutable as gravity.
-Steven Pressfield

Dedication

When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
― Steven Pressfield

Become

“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”
― Steven Pressfield

Trying

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

In the Arena

“It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Steven Pressfield

We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.
STEVEN PRESSFIELD

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Eudora Welty

“Art is never the voice of a country, it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction.”
― Eudora Welty

Part a Curtain

“My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible veil of indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other's presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight.”
― Eudora Welty

Daring

“I am a writer who came from a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”
― Eudora Welty, On Writing

Place Heals

“People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel...but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make.”
― Eudora Welty

Don't Know

“Write about what you don't know about what you know. ”
― Eudora Welty

Dream

I was in a mill building that was full of working artists. They were all out in the open working next to each other. I spoke to a sculptor who opened a cupboard and there was a live cow and calf, another cupboard had a live pig.
"I love cows," he said.
"Me too."
"They love to drink milk, they can't seem to get enough of it," he said feeding the pig coffee grounds.
"But don't they eat hay?"
"Hay?"
"Yes, and grain," I said and I woke up.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Dream

I dreamed that Barbara Streisand lived around the corner on East School Street. She was having a gigantic yard sale and I walked over to say hello.
"I'm having a yard sale to pay for my mother's medical bill's," she said. Music was playing.
"What's this song, I love it," I said.
"That's a new song from my next album."
A man showed up wearing a brown vest with a pattern of embroidered carrots on it. We both went gaga over it. He took off the vest and gave it to her. He looked like a young Alan Dershowitz.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Creative Ecosystem

I've been thinking of these two words together. When I get adequate sleep, food, sunlight, exercise, and writing practice, I am cultivating a healthy ecosystem. I'm imagining myself as a terrarium.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Vivian Gornick

It was then that I understood the fairy tale about the princess and the pea. She wasn't after the prince, she was after the pea. That moment when she feels the pea beneath twenty mattresses, that is her moment of definition. It is the very meaning of her journey, why she has traveled so far, what she has come to confirm: the unholy dissatisfaction that will keep life permanently at bay.
- Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City (pp. 54-55)

Dream

I was in my childhood home. I asked my step-father if I could make a short video of him. He said "No, because I am dead!"

Faith

“The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.”
― Swami Vivekananda

Thoughts

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. ”
― Swami Vivekananda

Believe

“All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do any thing and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”
― Swami Vivekananda, Lectures from Colombo to Almora

Reject It

“Anything that makes weak - physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject it as poison.”
― Swami Vivekananda

Grow

“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
― Swami Vivekananda

Expansion and Contraction

“All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love's sake, because it is the only law of life, just as you breathe to live.”
― Swami Vivekananda , Letters of Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda

“Neither seek nor avoid, take what comes.”
― Swami Vivekananda

One Thing

“Do one thing at a Time, and while doing it put your whole Soul into it to the exclusion of all else.”
― Swami Vivekananda

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Tonight

We heard bang bang bang bang (pause) bang bang bang bang (equal spaces in between). We looked at each other and said, "that sounded like gunfire." The police showed up then fire dept + ambulance. Then the yellow crime scene tape blocked off the street.

Be Real

“A moment of truth is very powerful. Instead of smiling to be polite, just frown. Instead of laughing when you are nervous or uncomfortable, just speak your truth. Instead of acting like everything is all right, proclaim it isn't alright, and talk about your feelings! Honor your truth. Honor yourself. Be real.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

Before

“Who were you before the world told you what you were not?”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

Within

“Within you, you will find everything you need to be complete.”
― Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

The Worst Bullies

“The worst bullies you will ever encounter in your life are your own thoughts.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

Calm Mind

“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life.

Collect Hope

“Your past is like a bag of bricks; set it down and walk away. Quit collecting every painful word, memory and mistake. Collect hope.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

Consumers

“We believe we are the consumers, but we are the consumed.”
― Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

The Storm

“The storm is out there and every one of us must eventually face the storm. When the storm comes, pray that it will shake you to your roots and break you wide-open. Being broken open by the storm is your only hope. When you are broken open you get to discover for the first time what is inside you. Some people never get to see what is inside them; what beauty, what strength, what truth and love. They were never broken open by the storm. So, don't run from your pain — run into your pain. Let life's storm shatter you.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

Hurt, Pain, + Suffering

“We are all damaged. We have all been hurt. We have all had to learn painful lessons. We are all recovering from some mistake, loss, betrayal, abuse, injustice or misfortune. All of life is a process of recovery that never ends. We each must find ways to accept and move through the pain and to pick ourselves back up. For each pang of grief, depression, doubt or despair there is an inverse toward renewal coming to you in time. Each tragedy is an announcement that some good will indeed come in time. Be patient with yourself.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

“Your suffering needs to be respected. Don't try to ignore the hurt, because it is real. Just let the hurt soften you instead of hardening you. Let the hurt open you instead of closing you. Let the hurt send you looking for those who will accept you instead of hiding from those who reject you.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

“If you can sit with your pain, listen to your pain and respect your pain — in time you will move through your pain.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

Freedom

“There is something beautiful in you seeking freedom.”
― Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

The Roots

“If you do not like a certain behavior in others, look within yourself to find the roots of what discomforts you.”
― Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

Listening

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”
― Bryant McGill

“There is no greater intelligence than kindness and empathy.”
― Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

Bryant McGill Quotes

“No one is more insufferable than he who lacks basic courtesy.”
― Bryant McGill

“Good manners are appreciated as much as bad manners are abhorred.”
― Bryant McGill

“Stop holding-on to the wrong people. Let them go on their own way; if not for you, then for them.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

“Toxic relationships are dangerous to your health; they will literally kill you. Stress shortens your lifespan. Even a broken heart can kill you. There is an undeniable mind-body connection. Your arguments and hateful talk can land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. You were not meant to live in a fever of anxiety; screaming yourself hoarse in a frenzy of dreadful, panicked fight-or-flight that leaves you exhausted and numb with grief. You were not meant to live like animals tearing one another to shreds. Don't turn your hair gray. Don't carve a roadmap of pain into the sweet wrinkles on your face. Don't lay in the quiet with your heart pounding like a trapped, frightened creature. For your own precious and beautiful life, and for those around you — seek help or get out before it is too late. This is your wake-up call!”
― Bryant McGill