autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

Every so often, a book comes to my attention that perhaps wouldn’t have normally. I’ll read a review, or hear it recommended, and think “Hey, that sounds interesting”, and I’ll make a note to myself to pick it up if I see it, or sometimes i’ll just grab it off the Amazon Kindle store where it will sit, waiting for me to find a moment to crack it open.

I don’t, at this point, remember who recommended the book “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar” by Cheryl Strayed. It’s been sitting in my Kindle Library for some time. But a couple of days ago I randomly opened it and began to read. Today I finished it.

I don’t recall the last book that so often made me laugh out loud, so often moved me to tears, so often stopped me dead in my tracks with a perfectly phrased insight or so often made me just stop, walk away from the book because I needed time to think and digest.and reflect on what I had just read.

I’ve read collections of advice columns before, from Dan Savage and Miss Manners and others. This is very likely the first collection of advice columns I will read again and again, because as much as I took from it, there’s more to take and find and connect with.

If you’re a human being who is currently in the process of living a life, I recommend this book.

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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I just want to share this as far as wide as I can, because it says everything.

This, i believe…

ROGER EBERT: On kindness

Roger Ebert (1942-2013) was the world’s most respected and celebrated film critic. I can’t possibly do justice to his legendary career in the movies. For that, I…

The text, excerpted from Rober Ebert’s memoir reads, for the benefit of those who cannot see the image:

“Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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I was just now linking someone else to the brilliant work of Ze Frank, and it occurred to me:

1) How much I love the first episode of his new web show
2) How much it still affects me
3) How I need to listen to it every day until I internalise it.

QOTD

Nov. 28th, 2011 05:52 pm
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Ran across this while looking for something else:

"You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present."
~Jan Glidewell
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"With my depression, there aren't so many things that give me joy, and I should be able to celebrate the shit out of the things that do. If I hate just about everything in the world, let me love what I do love hard and unrestrainedly. And even when we're teenagers, and allegedly immature enough to get away with enthusiasm, we start getting pressured to act cool, so we temper that enthusiasm so goddamn early. I'm done with it. No great art ever was made by dampening your love of anything. No great life was lived by pretending you didn't give a shit."
--[personal profile] maevele, in a post here

(h/t to [livejournal.com profile] firecat for bringing it to my attention)
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I love a good quotation, because a good quotation is a concentration of thought, whether profound or humorous. I keep an extensive quotes file of things that have struck me as worth reading over from time to time, as many others I know do.

So today, I was over at the excellent Making Light blog. I read ML regularly, but I generally do so via RSS, so I don't often find myself on their actual webpage. But today, I was, and a quote in the sidebar caught my eye and literally made me catch my breath.

“Forgiveness requires giving up on the possibility of a better past.” (unknown)

Now, this is nothing I didn't already know, and its even something I've tried to express in the past. But I'd never seen it put so elegantly and succinctly.
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For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and know the gesture which small flowers make when they open in the morning.

You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, to parents whom you had to hurt when they brought in a joy and you didn’t pick it up (it was a joy meant for somebody else); to childhood illnesses that began so strangely with so many profound and difficult transformations, to days in quiet restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, but it is still not enough to be able to think of all that.

You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of women screaming in labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open windows and the scattered noises.

And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them.

from The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke.

h/t to Andrew Sullivan for the pointer.
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This was shared to me originally over on Facebook by [livejournal.com profile] museinred, but I wanted to spread it to a wider audience.

If you are a parent, you need to read this. If you're ever thinking of becoming a parent, you need to read this.

Oh, hell, you just need to read this, whoever you are. Something to seriously think about.

Single Dad Laughing: You just broke your child. Congratulations.:
I'm going to be blunt. People see my relationship with Noah, and quite often put me up on a pedestal or sing my praises for loving him more than most dads love their own kids.

Damn it. I don't understand that, and I'll never understand that. Loving my son, building my son, touching my son, playing with my son, being with my son... these aren't tasks that only super dads can perform. These are tasks that every dad should perform. Always. Without fail. There is nothing special about me. I am a dad who loves his son and would literally do anything for his well-being, safety, and health. I would gladly take a rake in the face or a jackhammer to my feet before I cut my own son down or make him feel small.

[sigh] I am far from a perfect dad. And I always will be. But I'm a damn good dad, and my son will always feel bigger than anything life can throw at him. Why? Because I get it. I get the power a dad has in a child's life, and in a child's level of self-belief. I get that everything I ever do and ever say to my son will be absorbed, for good or for bad. What I don't get is how some dads don't get it.
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This was sent to me in the from of a typical "forward this to all your friends for good luck" e-mail. Of course, it was sent to me be someone I love dearly and who is not prone to sending me random forwards, so i took the time ro read it.

As the new year starts, there's some good stuff here to ponder (and some of it is stuff I'd already learned the long way around), so I'm going to share it with all of you.

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
4. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.
5. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
10.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.
16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice
21. Spend some time alone.

(source is allegedly the Anthony Robbins Foundation, though the e-mail did not give a specific citation.)
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It's been many years since i read the comic strip Broom Hilda, though I remember having a couple of paperback collections of it when I was a kid. I honestly forget that it's still around.

Someone on rec.arts.comics.strips linked to this one, though, and I just had to share it.



"Broom Hilda" by Russell Myers



"Sometimes the burdens that we carry
Are the blessings we forgot
And I've learned a lot about the difference in the two
It's in the point of view
That you've got"
--Ben Wakeman
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When Pablo Casals was 95, he would practice his cello six hours a day. Someone asked him 'Why do you do that?'

He said, 'Because I think I'm making progress.'

QOTD

Nov. 10th, 2005 04:39 pm
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"We all have chosen the "wrong" decision at some time or another which has drastically affected our lives. You can't change any of those things. I wouldn't so much dwell on the past. I'd put that same energy and time into changing things now. We learn from our mistakes and try not to make them again."
--Becca Allen ([livejournal.com profile] chirosinger)

QOTD

Nov. 9th, 2005 07:26 am
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In response to my last post, [livejournal.com profile] eiblyn mentioned having the Thoreau quote on a magnet on her fridge, which reminded me of the magnet I have on my fridge and I thought I'd post it.

"live with intention.
walk to the edge.
listen hard.
practice wellness.
play with abandon.
laugh.
choose with no regret.
continue to learn.
appreciate your friends.
do what you love.
live as if this is all there is."
--mary anne radmacher

As a credo, I could do much worse.
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I keep a quotes file. I've kept a quotes file since I was in college, although my original one was in a notebook and got lost in the fire, so the one I have currently only dates back a few years. In it, I note things that strike me as either funny or profound. Some of them are from famous people, but many of them are just things that see in the course of reading Livejournal or Usenet or mailing lists or whatever i happen to be perusing.

Sometimes, I go through it to see what jumps out at me, and then I ponder that for a while. It's a good way of focusing my mind, and sometimes I'll find that something hits me with a different or deeper meaning than it did when I first selected it.

Quotes for contemplation... )
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"The struggle is good. Being unsure of what God is calling you to is good.
Wrestling with angels and demons in the wilderness is good. Not knowing is
good. Being afraid is good. Being real and human and wanting truth so bad
that you can taste it is good."
--Gordon Atkinson (Real Live Preacher)
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I got this in e-mail. You may have seen it before. Some of it is trite. But it's all good advice, and I feel like pondering it awhile.

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

...AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
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It is, perhaps, the cruelest of this life's many injustices that idealists are forced to live in the real world.
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Garrison Keillor writes about our values:


This is Democratic bedrock: we don't let people lie in the ditch and drive past and pretend not to see them dying. Here on the frozen tundra of Minnesota, if your neighbor's car won't start, you put on your parka and get the jumper cables out and deliver the Sacred Spark that starts their car. Everybody knows this. The logical extension of this spirit is social welfare and the myriad government programs with long dry names all very uninteresting to you until you suddenly need one and then you turn into a Democrat. A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment.


(thanks to [livejournal.com profile] filkertom for the link)
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I posted this back in 2002, because I liked it, and I think it's worth repeating again during these uncertain times:

Seething Bilious Hate, Down 3% - Where is all the good news? Why is the media so obsessed with horror and misery? Herein, some possible salve
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" Thus we come to the fourth law of success and happiness ...for I gave you one more power, a power so great that not even my angels possess it.

I gave you ... the power to choose.

With this gift I placed you even above my angels ... for angels are not free to choose sin. I gave you complete control over your destiny. I told you to determine, for yourself, your own nature in accordance with your own free will. Neither heavenly nor earthly in nature, you were free to fashion yourself in whatever form you preferred. You had the power to choose to degenerate into the lowest forms of life, but you also had the power, out of your soul's judgement, to be reborn into the higher forms, which are divine.

I have never withdrawn your great power, the power to choose.

What have you done with this tremendous force? Look at yourself. Think of the choices you have made in your life and recall, now, those bitter moments when you would fall to your knees if only you had the opportunity to choose again.

What is past is past ... and now you know the fourth great law of happiness and success ... Use wisely your power of choice.

Choose to love ... rather than hate.
Choose to laugh ... rather than cry.
Choose to create ... rather than destroy.
Choose to persevere ... rather than quit.
Choose to praise ... rather than gossip.
Choose to heal ... rather than wound.
Choose to give ... rather than steal.
Choose to act ... rather than procastinate.
Choose to grow ... rather than rot.
Choose to pray ... rather than curse.
Choose to live ... rather than die."

-- Og Mandino, The God Memorandum

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