Saturday, September 26, 2009
We know only that our entire existence is forced into new paths and disrupted, that new circumstances, new joys and new sorrows await us, and that the unknown has its uncanny attractions, alluring and at the same time anguishing.
The mere sense of living is joy enough.
A master was fanning himself. A monk approached and said: “Master, since the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach, why must you still fan yourself?”
“Although you understand the nature of ‘wind is permanent,’” replied the master, “You do not understand the meaning of its ‘reaching everywhere.’”
“What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?”
The master just fanned himself. The monk bowed.
At that point, we had kind of drifted away from the high energy motivation of listening to "Eye of the Tiger."
Friday, September 25, 2009
I emailed a friend of mine today and was telling him about an honors seminar that I taught a few semesters ago called "The Power of Quiet." It was about relaxing, reflecting, enjoying calm and quiet and being intentional about making time for quiet in your life. It was an opportunity for students to find quiet places on campus and images taht produced a sense of calm in their lives. What I failed to consider, however, is the fact that students who sign up for a course called "The Power of Quiet" are ones who might be difficult to get to speak up in class.
I enjoyed the class.
Maybe next time I could teach one called "The Power of Yelling" or the "The Power of Talking in Class in Relation to Getting an A in the Class."
The photo above includes a the jet ski from which I was thrown. I could have died. I did not. I did tread water while the other two people rode in to shore. When my friend Tina came back to rescue me I told her it was just like being on Bay Watch.
I did not have the courage to try and ride on the jet ski again. It was not fun for me. However, I did let people take turns pulling me around on a tube while they paddled a kayak.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I love a good conversation. You know, the kind where when you're done you think, "Whew! Now that was a good conversation!"
... Okay, so I don't know the last time (if ever) that I've actually thought that. I don't find that I think the word "Whew!" hardly at all.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
~ Eric Hoffer
I love that quote. Based on it, my enemies do not fear snakes or fire or small spaces. I think my enemies fear words.
If that's the case, then I can hold my own against them.
I will use clowns and dolls to scare them.
I hope they don't read this!
Monday, September 21, 2009
People only see what they are prepared to see.
Sit just to sit. And why not sit? You have to sit sometime, and so you may as well really sit, and be altogether here. Otherwise the mind wanders away from the matter at hand, and away from the present. Even to think thorugh the implicatons of the present is to avoid the present moment completely.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Like on Little House on the Prairie the kids would get an orange in their stocking or an apple or something. In the movie The Godfather, a young Vito Corleone brings home a nice pear to his wife on the day he's fired from working at the deli.
There was a time when something as simple as a nice piece of fruit was a celebration.
Not now. Except you can buy those fruit bouquet things. I don't really get those. They look kind of cool, but I would bet the fruit doesn't taste so good.
If someone was going to give me a piece of fruit as a gift here are things I would not want:
pink lady apples -- i don't like them.
fruit from the tree of knowledge -- just a bad idea.
fruit of the loom characters from TV -- seriously, where would I keep those guys?
fruit flavored medicine -- you can tell me it's "cherry" all you want, but it still tastes like medicine.
Kinds of fruit I would like:
a golden apple -- not golden delicious, but a solid gold apple. The size of a watermelon. Or a solid gold watermelon would be fine, too.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Be slow to fall into friendship, but when thou art in,
Thursday, September 17, 2009
~ Roger Staubach
I don't like people who don't try. Try your best, try something new, but just try. Even if you try my patience, maybe that's better than just sitting there.
I need to this about that a little more. It sounds good right now, but when my patience is being tried maybe I wouldn't think it was such a great thing after all.
And, by the way, thinking about trying and actually trying are not the same thing. Follow-through is important. I think about removing the popcorn ceiling in our living room almost every day. Until I actually put forth a little effort, though, it's still going to be popcorning there.
There is one who, though not having eaten rice for along time, feels no hunger. There is another who, though eating all the day long, never feels satisfied.
Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it, and then move on.
Don't ever take down a fence until you know why it was put up.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard.
~ Sloan Wilson
This morning Elizabeth realized she had forgotten to bring home her conferences slip for Chris to sign. She was worried about getting "yelled at" by her teacher (a woman whom I have met and whom I doubt makes a practice of yelling at children).
Elizabeth: (to Chris) Could you write your signature down or something so I could copy it on the paper?
The fact that forgery seemed a logical solution to her dilemma is disquieting at best.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren’t certain we knew better.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The sound of water says what I think.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
She was never really charming till she died.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
~ C.S. Lewis
I love road trips. My dream vacation is to get in the car, have a general sense of what direction to head (usually South or West) and then -- just go. Whatever I see I was supposed to see and the things I miss I missed for a reason. I like to be aware of where I'm headed, but flexible enough to change direction or take a detour if the right opportunity presents itself.
I find it interesting that "detour" is "routed" spelled backwards. Well, not exactly, but close. That must mean something.
One day a farmer’s horse ran away. That evening his neighbors gathered around to commiserate with the farmer over such bad luck. The farmer said, “May be.” The next day the horse returned, followed by six wild horses. The neighbors couldn’t believe the farmer’s sudden good luck. The farmer said, “May be.” The next day, while trying to ride one of the wild horses, the farmer’s son was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbors again commiserated over the farmer’s bad luck, but all he said was, “May be.” The day after that, army officers came through the village conscripting the oldest sons, but the farmer’s son was rejected because of his broken leg. When the neighbors came to say how fotunate everything turned out, the farmer said, “May be.” ~ Zen Story