I just couldn’t resist sharing a bit of humor in the face of the present tragic times. Normally, I abhor ad hominem attacks. Sometimes, though, there doesn’t seem to be any other way to confront overwhelming destructive power…
“The Liar Tweets Tonight” by Roy Zimmerman and the ReZisters
The chance to work with colleagues who genuinely care about students and teaching
The opportunity to work with students who are eager to learn and think critically
Virtual friends whose creativity, passion, and kindness bring blessings of beauty, laughter, and new knowledge
A long life that has brought me to an old house in the northlands where I can marvel at the beauty of tiny crystals and wonder how many billions it takes to blanket the earth for hundreds of square miles under three feet of snow
And the health and strength to shovel
PS – If you’re curious to know how my car got the name “White Pony,” here are some links to older posts that tell pieces of the story:
Dear Sherri I doubt that you remember Billings Montana in August Air filled with smoke from the fires burning just beyond the ridge But I think of you fondly smiling almost every time I stand by the sink doing dishes
I remember our laughter in a bar after a long day when you were among the few to treat me like a friend even though I carried the heavy isolating distinction of keynote speaker at the BIA human services conference
Others looked at us our tears streaming as we laughed while you recounted stories about your nosy neighbors who reported you for feeding deer a nuisance to their sculpted yard and your creativity and humor watching their response to your latest prank peeking with binoculars through your kitchen window by the sink to watch them watching you through their binoculars to surveil your latest visitors
Life-sized sheep you crafted out of paper maché and placed in your yard as if they were “grazing” repeatedly moving them when you knew the neighbors weren’t watching to add to the illusion
The authorities finally grew weary of your neighbors’ fallacious complaints and left you alone to live as you wished feeding wildlife you loved
I am sorry I lost track of you after so many jobs and moves but I will always be grateful to you for bringing kindness and laughter into my life and forever brightening the mundane task of washing dishes as it did again this sunny morning
Do you ever want change something that annoys you? I don’t mean people, you know. I mean something like a moldy, funky bathroom.
“Ah, no,” you may tell yourself. “I wouldn’t know where to start.” So you make a few superficial changes and learn how to ignore the things that bother you. The things that you know will ultimately create problems.
Then one day you look closely. Who knows why now, but suddenly you can no longer screen out the dirty yellow daisy wallpaper on the ceiling that is sagging ever lower and peeling off. So you pull it off and discover that the glossy green paint underneath is even worse. It’s harder to ignore and you find yourself with a messy project you didn’t plan to tackle at this moment.
It would be easier to simply gut the whole bathroom and start over, but that’s not an option for many reasons. So you reflect on which steps need to be taken first and begin, learning how things are made in the process of deconstructing them, one by one, each in the proper order. You learn to laugh at your limitations and clumsiness.
“I need some kind of tool to pull this glued-on rubber baseboard off,” you think to yourself. “Yeah,” you answer, “like longer, stronger arms.” And you laugh and keep trying until you figure out how to work smarter not harder. You learn patience and tenacity.
You still have other work to do. You’ve lived with this mess since you moved here seven years ago. So chill out, but don’t give up.
Remember things can only be done step by step. Remember to take care of yourself and your other responsibilities as best you can for now. Remember to take pictures next time so you can see where you started not just what you know still needs to be done. Remember to have fun and laugh at yourself as you misplace tools, tip over the paint bucket, put curtains on rods backwards, and spend hours figuring out how to put on fancy bathroom fixtures that your guests can figure out how to deconstruct in an instant.
Remember messes are temporary necessities. Living with the constant mess of books, papers, and now, all the stuff related to remodeling means taking some time just to breathe and escape into fantasy now and then.
But most importantly, remember that nothing lasts forever –except –the legacy of the love, laughter, gratitude, and celebratory joy you breathe into what you do.
I apologize for being so slow replying to comments and visiting your blogs. I do want you to know how deeply I appreciate all of you and the important work you share.
This post describes some of the reasons why I have been absent from the blogosphere. Teaching, spending time with my lovely granddaughter, and of course shoveling snow, have also made it difficult to for me to stay up-to-date blogging.
Meanwhile, the signs of spring are evident this morning.
The snow is gradually melting given warmer days, and come May, the class I am teaching will end. Maybe my repair work will be done by then, too, just in time for yard clean up and gardening. Hopefully, I will even have time and space to return to blogging and editing/ revising my book manuscript. In the interim, I send my best wishes to all of you.
Sometimes, I just feel an irrepressible urge to be silly. It seems as though we are all so weighed down by troubling events in the world right now. After posting a serious poem this morning, I looked out of my window. And laughed. Delighted. And this silly poem ran through my thoughts.
“Should I post it,” I wondered? “Why not,” I replied? “It might lighten another’s day.”
So here it is. Please excuse me if I appear to be a bit irreverent and risque, but too much sorrow is unhealthy.
Oh, please. Tell me it just ain’t so!
As winter winds begin to blow
buffeting the rapidly falling snow
But with my new long-johns on
Photography Day Five: “Connect.” Many years ago, I discovered a fascinating device. I was among the twelve people who gathered in my Reiki practitioner’s home for a workshop on healing. At one point, she asked us to sit in a circle on the living room floor.
Our Reiki instructor, Carrie, held up a small glass tube and said, “This will demonstrate the power of human connection.”
(Canon Power Shot A560 camera)
“I want you all to join hands with the person sitting next to you, except for you two,” Carrie said pointing at me and the young woman to my right. “I want you each to hold the end of the stick that’s closest to you.” When all the others in the circle joined hands, we touched the opposite ends of the tube. As we did, the circle complete, the stick lit up and buzzed.
Then Carrie pointed to the young man seated across the circle from us. “Let go of your partner’s hand.” When he did, the stick grew dark and silent. The stream of energy needed to light the tube requires an unbroken connection to glow.
“For those who doubt the fact that we all carry energy within us and pass it on to all those whom we touch, this stick proves otherwise.”
(Canon Power Shot A560 camera)
My neighbors and their friends graciously agreed to let me photograph them holding the energy stick. They had never heard of it before and were curious. They learned, as I have throughout the years, connecting with others in celebration can be fun…
The energy stick does work with only one person holding both ends, but it’s a challenge to photograph the results. (I had to click the photo below with my chin.)
(Sony Cyber-shot camera)
Note: For anyone interested, this version of the energy stick was created by Steve Spangler for Be Amazing Toys, Salt Lake City, UT.