Everyday when I write your note I start with your name "Joanna." Then I think... "What day is it?" and think of yesterday's note and add one more. 3-4-96, 3-5-96, 3-6-96. The days pass, one by one. No matter where we are, or what we do, whether we're old or whether we're new, it's just the days of our lives we're passing through!
Take time to relax and think about Life.
I wonder... what Life could be if we thought about things to do that help others and in return help ourselves. I wonder........ Love 'ya.
Oh Theo - is it true? When you wear your new black shoes you can jump as high as you choose? Oh Theo - is it true?
Oh Theo - tell me no lie. When you play superhero you can fly back and forth across the sky? Oh Theo - tell me no lie.
Oh Theo - is it so? You're the greatest from head to toe. Tell me tell me I've got to know. Oh Theo - is it so?
The world Joanna - you can't imagine how beautiful it really is. Think of the different places - tropical islands, snow-capped mountains, deserts of sand, miles and miles of green fields. It's awesome! Think of the kinds of weather - bitter cold - blinding sun - stormy wind and rain - cool breezes, warm winds. It's awesome! Think of the people in the world - black and brown, yellow and red and white - old, young and babies of each. It's awesome! And just think. You get to be here in the middle of it all. So what do you do? You smile - you say "thanks" and you live!
The world is a beautiful place. The world is a confusing place. The world is a happy place. The world is a sad place. The world is so big. The world has so much to do in it. The world is small. The world is boring sometimes. The world is so exciting. The world is so fun. The world has so much love in it. The world is yours - use it well.
In the mornings sometimes I'm struck by the simple beauty that we take for granted every day. If only we would open our eyes, tune our brains to the wondrous beauty channel, and see the amazing things that are right before our eyes. A morning picture for you. Enjoy!
What could be better than getting up every day - taking a deep breath and swinging your legs onto the floor and standing up? What could be better than just being young and alive? Enjoy it! Live it!
What is happiness after all? Is happiness getting what you want when you want it always? That sounds more like some kind of incredible lucky selfishness to me. Yet getting what you want sometimes could be part of being happy. What does "want" have to do with "need"? Sometimes things we need we don't think we want. Funny but true. Those are the needs we don't recognize yet. Later we realize that something we needed as missing. Maybe happiness has to do with recognizing what our particular needs are and understanding the difference (and accepting it too) between our needs and things that we want. Why am I talking like this this morning? I don't really know. I guess that struggling to separate my own needs from my wants is something I'm involved in and I hope you are too. The more you understand yourself the better you are!
Open your mind Theo. I know that we all see the world with our own eyes. Our own unique eyes. From the time we are born our biggest challenge is to understand ourselves and to understand that other people are different from us - different not wrong. So learn from other people. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Listen, think & learn.
One of the hardest yet most important things for anyone to do in their life is to see themselves - see and understand. Understanding yourself is a broad phrase and I mean it in a broad sense. Understanding just who you are, what you believe in. Understanding your limitations yet always trying to expand them and grow out of them. Recognizing that you're changing and attempting to direct that change. Make goals and then work to achieve them - doing what it takes even though it's hard. Shaping for yourself a vision for yourself. Recognizing that you will only have this one life, no second chances to start over, to accomplish those goals. So make the most of each day, each opportunity. Find the joy in growing and becoming Joanna!
When Michelangelo went to carve his sculpture of David, the marble was a huge, rough block. Michelangeo said he could "see the finished work inside the stone." So he began to carve. He chipped here where the head would be. He chipped there where the hand would be. He carved and carved for weeks and months. He knew what he wanted it to look like and he didn't stop until he had it. Carving a sculpture. Writing a paper. Becoming a ballplayer. They all take time, effort and the desire to be your best. I love you so much!
Life can be so beautiful Joanna. Incredibly beautiful! A sunset, a beach, the mountains, the clouds, an "A" on a test, a smile from a boy you like, a hug from your best friend. So beautiful it almost hurts sometimes. Yet life can be full of pain too. War, murder, poverty, drug addiction, fatal car accidents, a "D" on a report card, a snub from someone you thought was a friend, the guy you like hooking up with someone else, missing the free throw that would have won the game. All different degrees of beauty and ugliness for sure, but all these things co-exist in our world, in our lives, and why? Why the ugliness and pain? Why in every sport does one person or team win and one loses? It just can't be any other way. I love you so much!
Time goes by without stopping - ever! Babies turn into boys who turn into men. Changes happen slowly and seem to sneak up on us. When we realize it and become aware it's like they happened overnight. We are shocked. But we shouldn't be surprised. We knew it would happen one day.
Good morning. It's funny how we act differently around different people. I know that I act different around the director of a museum than I do with my employees or with a stranger. Buddhists believe you treat all living things with the same respect regardless. Jesus taught that as well "Love thy neighbor as thy self." Are your parents your "neighbor"? Are your teachers and friends your "neighbor"? Are the homeless people on the street your "neighbor"? Are starving children here and all around the world your "neighbor"? I think so.
Walking Sunny this morning through the neighborhood, I could hardly believe we live in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the World. Green grass wet with last night's rain, the sky gray but tinged with pink and blue and the ground around our house covered with pink petals. Take time to notice and appreciate your surroundings Theo. Our world can be such a beautiful place. In your life, help to keep it that way. Be responsible, live responsibly. We really have no choice. I hope we choose a responsible leader this Fall.
A silly cartoon of a very beautiful girl. Your pictures were sitting here when inspiration struck. We are who we are even though we do our best to make ourselves into who we want to be. At 50 I still struggle every day to be a better person - to be more like I want myself to be. Some days I succeed better than others. All the days of my struggles merge to form the picture of me. The good days and the bad days blend into a whole. At least that's the way I see it!
"On your own two feet!" Ever hear of that expression? Ever thought about what it means? I'm thinking about it this morning because we all have to stand on what we have. God gave us two feet to stand on and he gave us those same two feet to take us where we want to go. Most of us don't think about our feet too much - they're a long way from our head - but where would we be without them? Your feet are strong enough to hold your weight and then some. They're strong and flexible enough to walk you anywhere you want to go - to run and get you there faster if you want. They may be a long way from your head but they'll listen to you and go where you tell 'em!
Good morning starshine! Reach with hope for the light. It's there in front of you, play catch with it. Watch it. Study it. Bask in it. Work for it. Try. Try. Try. Grow towards it like a flower towards the sun. It's the salt in your stew. It's the honey on your lips. It's always there, just out of reach, but calling you on. Run, swim, climb, hop, skip, jump, sing, smile, dream to it. Always reaching. Never arriving. Full of love.
You know, every morning I read stories in the paper that make me cry. Stories of whole countries full of people being murdered or starved or washed away in floods or dying of diseases. So many people suffering in the world today, while we talk about sports and colleges and new clothes. I'm guilty of blocking it all out as much as anyone else is. It's hard to live your life crying for the whole world. At the same time it's important to understand how fortunate and blessed we are as a country as a people as a family. How many talented people in the world never get a chance to work hard at their dream? I love you!
Good morning! "Sink or swim" I was just thinking about what that phrase means. When you're in the water it's up to you if you stay above water and make it to shore. The water doesn't, can't "care" about you and what you do. It's all up to you. It's not so obvious a choice on dry land. You can sit back and do nothing and survive. What would the phrase be that catches the dry land choices? "Sit or run"? Maybe... To sit could be akin to death and to run could be achievements. I'll have to think about it some more...
It's all about being quiet and listening. Listening to the quiet voice inside your head. Listening to the sounds of the world around you and hearing yourself in it. Your thoughts... what do they sound like? Do they sound like dreams? Hopes? Wishes? Do they sound frustrated and angry? How about happy and full of love? Be silent sometimes and hear yourself think. It's good to listen to yourself, to listen to your ideas, dreams, goals. When you can hear yourself, only then will you be truly able to hear others (good advice for me too!). I love you so much!
A quiet morning this morning. We slept in the guest room and I forgot to set my alarm, but fortunately woke up anyway. Quietly. Gray and damp outside as I walked with Sunny. Quietly. A single seagull flew hard and straight towards Coney Island. Quietly. No bird sounds save a morning dove a few houses down hooting. Quietly. Around here it's just the hum of the refrigerator and the scratch of my pen as a truck breaks at the light. Quietly. If you're up I can't hear you. I guess you'll be down soon and we'll be off to school. Quietly.
What a dumping yesterday hunh? Everything is smoothed and rounded and waist-deep white. Now, in the morning light, the snow is gray blue with a hint of lavender - beautiful. People can dump on people sometimes, rounding out their features, burying their unique light in a glob of anger and frustration. People can be supportive and illuminating of other people as well, bringing their specialness out into focus with the light of love. We build up; we tear down; we do both. I guess one goal for ourselves could be that we try always to build up more than we tear down. To illuminate and support more than we bury and crush. A worthy goal.
The world of ideas. That's what we live in. Ideas are everywhere and all around us, coming at us and coming from us. What ideas to listen to, to follow, to choose, to believe in - which ones are "right" - if not objectively "right" at least right for us? When we hear something for the first time, what's our test for truth? How do we judge its correctness - its appropriateness? Ideas come at us from all directions - too many to handle really so we make filters for ourselves so that only certain kinds of ideas get our attention and we disregard the rest. That filter changes as our maturity changes, as our interests change. It's healthy to be aware of our own filters and to try to open them up a little bit when we can. It's called being open minded - a good thing!
To walk, to dream, to wonder about it all. To think big, to think small, to stand down or to stand tall. Who will hear us when we call?
To fly and fly and fly and fly yet be nowhere but high. To laugh and laugh and laugh yet cry. Go all day long and never see the sky. Impossible to speak without sounding a sigh.
Yet we walk and dream as time rolls past. We fly and laugh and hope to last. Sailing on tied to the mast. We see the time in our shadow cast!
Someone left a fortune cookie fortune on the counter here and it reads "If you wait too long for the perfect moment, the perfect moment will pass you by." Sounds pretty true to me, although it's really hard to know when you're waiting too long or just the right amount of time, because there's some luck involved in the equation as well. "Hurry!" "Act now!" "A limited time offer." We hear these sales slogans every day, but that's other people trying to urge us to buy. The fortune is about decisions we have to make and whether we miss our chance to be what we want to be. So be what you want to be Theo!
The sun rises up in the eastern sky just like it's done millions and millions of times. Will it continue for millions and millions more days? Creation. The earth. Art. Life. Find the key to unlock your door and follow the path forever more. Experiment, learn what works, what feels right and what seems wrong. Put it in your mouth and taste it before you say no. Open your heart first to yourself, then to another. At 17 try everything you can and embrace or let go and live as you do. Discover not deny. What are your choices? Who says? Who are you? Where are you going? Why? These are not scary choices - this is the excitement of living. Celebrate yourself every day. I love you so much!
There ain't no reason things are this way. It's how they always been and they intend to stay. I can't explain why we live this way. We do it every day.
from Brett Dennen - Ain't No Reason
There is a reason actually - several of them. Things like selfishness, greed & laziness are a few I can think of right off. We all are guilty of them at one time or another. It's hard to break out of the comfortable shell we live in, see people suffering, see things that need changing, and decide to do something about it. Be a son, be a brother, be a friend, be a student, be an athlete, be a ceramist, be a lover, be a father, be a changer of things. One hat at a time or all at once or any combination, that's what life is. We are born thinking only of ourselves. Growing up - maturing - is about learning to turn that energy outward to the world. You're on that road. Walk it well!
Mornings - school mornings - work mornings - sleep in mornings - up early mornings - dark dog walking mornings - swimming mornings - biking mornings - beautiful blue mornings with incredibly bright crescent moons and a scattering of stars - so crystalline - so beautiful - achingly so - so glad to be alive morning. Decision-making seems fresh and possible on mornings like this. God seems in his (her) heaven on mornings like this. It's good to be loved on mornings like this. To feel that love in your bones, in your heart, in your head, in your smile, in the first person you meet on the street. I love you!
Go to the well and draw the bucket up. Drink deep from the icy cool - drink again, as often as you like... It's there for the taking. It's there for those who work to bring it up. You called it. You want it. So drink!
Poetry churns and humms like an engine that only you control. Reading is like turning the key and starting off on a journey. Writing is a gift from me to you and you to me - pass it on. Living is a raft trip down the Colorado river paddling for dear life. Love is holding on to the back of a bird as it soars and dips and perches on a sea cliff nest. Singing is unlocking the door. Learning is the greatest gift to yourself you can give.