AirToob Lightning

Tags  →  self improvement


From my great friend Sandy, who over the years has given me beautiful things like these


"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds" —G.K. Chesterton


Photo and quote by my great friend Sandy, who over the years has given me beautiful things like these




I think about the life I live
A figure made of clay
And think about the things I lost
The things I gave away

And when I'm in a certain mood
I search the house and look
One night I found these magic words
In a magic book

Throw it away
Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open
Let the sun shine through
'Cause you can never lose a thing
If it belongs to you

There's a hand to rock the cradle
And a hand to help us stand
With a gentle kind of motion
As it moves across the land

And the hand's unclenched and open
Gifts of life and love it brings
So keep your hand wide open
If you're needing anything

Throw it away
Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open
Let the sun shine through
'Cause you can never lose a thing
If it belongs to you

Throw it away
Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open
Let the sun shine through
'Cause you can never lose a thing
If it belongs to you

'Cause you can never lose a thing
If it belongs to you
You can never ever lose a thing
If it belongs to you

You can never ever lose a thing
If it belongs to you
You can never ever lose a thing
If it belongs to you



A beautiful song, written and beautifully sung by Abbey Lincoln, a jazz singer, actor and civil rights activist who was strongly influenced by Billie Holiday. Abbey died in August 2010.

If you like this, you will find a really interesting New York Times article about her life and work here.

Thanks again to ensemble5 for this one.



Artwork by Joanne Raptis - the original author of these great words is unknown!

Found on the always-beautiful pages of ensemble5.


This is one of those two-reviews-for-the-price-of-one deals!

My younger daughter recently gave me two great recommendations, which are linked. The first is this book, an effective antidote to depression, apathy and the fast materialistic world that offers us so much, yet somehow prevents us from enjoying life.

It contains a wide range of suggestions, with activities ranging from "Go out and look at the stars" and "Sit still until you see wildlife emerge" to "Be a BookCrosser" - which was my daughter's second recommendation.

Here is Alex Quick's description from the book, complete and unabridged:

BookCrossing is the world's biggest free book club, with three-quarters of a million members in around 130 countries. There are no membership subscriptions, nothing is ever sent in the post, and there is no obligation ever to buy anything. The idea instead is to share your books with people by leaving them in public places on park benches, in tea-houses, on the bus, on church pews or in changing rooms.

Each book is first registered online so that it can be individually tagged as a BookCrossing book. Members write the BookCrossing ID number of the book inside it and release it into the wild. The person who picks it up can (if they wish) log on to the BookCrossing site to say they've found it, before themselves re-releasing it (after reading it, obviously). In this way a BookCrossing book can travel around the world, its former owners following its journey like anxious parents keeping tabs on a gap-year child.

Book-crossing is worthwhile for several reasons: it clears your bookshelves of books that you've enjoyed but would like to pass on; it brings you into contact with an online community of readers where books are discussed, reviewed, rated and tracked; and it's possible to hunt for books that have recently been released in your area. To date, nearly six million books have been registered, and it's quite likely that there are dozens floating around near you. In effect it makes the world one big free library.


If you are interested, click the image above to visit the BookCrossing site.


(Original post: October 2nd, 2009)

It is easy to be depressed by the sheer worthlessness of many people.

You could, for example, make the mistake of reading the thoughts (I use the term loosely) of the human cockroaches who make some of the comments on (for example) YouTube, or listen to politicians or religious fundamentalists trying to tear down whatever it is that they don't believe in, irrespective of truth or decency.

And then along comes one person like William Kamkwamba, and suddenly the world is a good place again.

From the introduction to the book "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind":

"At 14 years old, William Kamkwamba wanted to do something to help his family, his parents and six sisters, survive the famine that was spreading across Malawi. The drought had already meant his father, a farmer, didn't have enough money to send William to school. So William improvised. He went to a local library, and with limited English skills began reading books about science. He then began making several trips to the local junkyard and before too long he'd had the requisite parts to build a windmill. He knew if he could provide electricity to his home his mother's life would be easier, and if the windmill could pump water from the earth, his father wouldn't have to depend on the rain from the skies."

Do read and share his inspiring story - one person really can make a difference.



If you like this...

[More on life improvement...]
[More good stuff from Africa: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency]



Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

- Max Ehrmann


Thanks for the picture (author unknown) and for the prose poem (a long-time favourite in our family) to my SU friends Mark (FredZepp) and Janine Flynn, who have sadly left SU (probably for better things) and who so far haven't left a trail...

Max Ehrmann, it surprised me to find out, was an attorney from Indiana. More about him here.

If you like this poem, do check out the poetry site on which it appears. It offers "a range of spiritual and illuminating poetry from a diverse range of cultural and poetic traditions", and there is some wonderful stuff there.

This poem features on my web page that I call The Bright Side.