Friday, June 17, 2016

Summer to-do

Putting some action into goals for the summer:

1. See a concert - tickets bought.  Lawn seats are the best seats.
2. New places - Minneapolis, Edmonton WA - check.
3. Visit old friends - one visit confirmed for Sept.  Finding a day for a roadtrip to CT.
4. Read 2 books
5. Explore at least 5 new places in New England - Franklin Park Zoo, check.  Orion State Park, check.  3 more...
6. Grow something edible
7. Visit the farmstand and make dinner
8.  Night swimming
9.  Family hike
10. Pack a picnic lunch 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tiger in Captivity

I heard this story on an old Tim Ferriss podcast this morning.   Simple, but a lot to think about:

A tiger was rescued from captivity.  He had been confined to a 12x12 concrete area for more than 5 years.   When the animal activists reached him they brought him to a beautiful sanctuary.  Within days, the tiger had carved out a 12x12 corner for himself and didn't move beyond it.

Are we taking advantage of the full sanctuary or have we found a 12x12 corner.  


Wednesday, June 8, 2016


We stayed outside later than usual last night.  But you were playing so well and the night was so pleasant, I couldn't resist. What a gift that we call this place home.

Little one, you have always taught us so much.  It is my greatest gift to watch you uncover the world. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Amor Fati

From Elizabeth Lesser's Facebook page.   Gosh, she's good. 
“AMOR FATI means love of fate. The philosopher ...Friedrich Nietzsche described amor fati as the ability not to merely bear our fate but to love it. That’s a tall order. To be human is to have the kind of fate that doles out all sorts of wondrous and horrible things. No one gets through life without big doses of confusion and angst, pain and loss. What’s to love about that? And yet if you say yes to amor fati, if you practice loving the fullness of your fate, you will thread ribbons of faith and gratitude and meaning through your life. Some will reject the idea of loving your fate as capitulation or naïveté; I say it’s the way to wisdom and the key to love.”
Remembering those two words this morning had the effect of lifting me out of negativity, fear, and resistance. I took a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. AHHHH. That’s right. I remember. I don’t have to fight with fate. I can stand in the storms of life—whether it’s my daughter-in-law’s breast cancer treatments, or the hatred being whipped in this year’s presidential campaign, or the fact that I am standing as I type this because my back has gone out again…I can embrace all of this with an open heart. I can feel the tenderness of the human condition, shower love on myself and on the people in my life, and relax into my fate and the fate of our shared world. Meeting life with loving acceptance does not condemn me to inactivity. In fact it energizes me, gives me hope, and reveals better next steps.
Nietzsche wrote this: “I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! . . . And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.”

                                             Elizabeth Lesser's photo.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer to-do

Via this Huffington Post Article:

1. Sometimes, in the morning, go take a walk along the seashore completely alone: look at the way sunlight is reflected on the water and think about the things you love the most in your life; be happy.
2. Try to use some of the new words we learned together this year: the more things you manage to say, the more things you’ll manage to think; and the more things you think, the freer you’ll be.
3. Read as much as you possibly can. But not because you have to. Read because summers inspire adventures and dreams, and when you read you’ll feel like swallows in flight. Read because it’s the best form of rebellion you have (for advice on what to read, come see me).
4. Avoid things, situations and people who make you feel negative or empty: seek out stimulating situations and the companionship of friends who enrich you, who understand you and appreciate you for who you are.
5. If you feel sad or afraid, don’t worry: summer, like every marvelous thing in life, can throw the soul into confusion. Try keeping a diary as a way to talk about how you feel (in September, if you’d like, we’ll read it together).
6. Dance, shamelessly. On a dance floor near your house, or alone in your room. Summer is dance, and it’s foolish not to take part.
7. At least once, watch the sunrise. Stay silent and breathe. Close your eyes, be thankful.
8. Play a lot of sports.
9. If you meet someone you find enchanting, tell him or her as sincerely and gracefully as you can. It doesn’t matter if she or he doesn’t understand. If they don’t, she or he wasn’t meant to be; otherwise, summer 2015 will be a golden time together (if this doesn’t work out, go back to point number 8).
10. Review your notes from our class: Compare the things we read and learned to the things that happen to you.
11. Be as happy as sunlight, as untamable as the sea.
12. Don’t swear. Always be well-mannered and kind.
13. Watch films with heartbreaking dialogue (in English if you can), in order to improve your language skills and your ability to dream. Don’t let the movie end with the final credits: live it again while you’re living and experiencing your summer.
14. In sparkling sunlight or hot summer nights, dream about how your life could and should be. During the summer, always do everything you can to avoid giving up, and everything you can to pursue your dream.
15. Be good.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A post on change...

A great post on change via Design for Mankind.  I highly recommend reading it all but here's an excerpt:

Changing your life isn’t about having faith in your ability to fly, to rise above, to conquer your dreams.
It’s about having faith that the fall won’t kill you.
It’s realizing that a failure elsewhere is better than a success here.
When it comes to career change, one of the most important metrics for me was imagining someone else in the shoes that I was about to leave.  How did it make me feel?  I knew it was time to go when I really, truly, felt no pangs of jealousy about the person who would ultimately replace me.  It was hers now.  Pass the torch without remorse, regret, stones left unturned. 
The path that followed that initial change wasn't simple.  I'm not here to report it was.  It was quite tumultous.  But it was worth it.  and the bumpy ride that took place post-change was, in fact, easier than the inertia.