Nature, Perspective, Quote of the Day

Kindness is like snow.

It’s another snowy day in Montana…

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Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.

-Kahlil Gabran

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Perspective, Quote of the Day, Seasons

When two people meet

I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen… When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you’ve got two new people.

-John Steinbeck

It snowed again last night. I was going to write something about Weathering a Montana Winter, but then I remembered that it isn’t even Winter yet and even then, it would only be my first. I have so much to learn.

Enter: John Steinbeck holding The Winter of Our Discontent. Then I did a little digging and it turns out that recommending books to read while snowed in as a quintessential must for bloggers. There are so many recommendations. Let it snow.

Stoic Arthur in the snow

Perspective, Quote of the Day

Keep your perspective

There are seasons in life. Don’t ever let anyone try to deny you the joy of one season because they believe you should stay in another season… Listen to yourself. Trust your instincts. Keep your perspective.
– Jane ClaysonFall Foliage Photography

Perspective, poetry

Biracial Hair

I happened upon a post by a 6th grade teacher (at least she was at the time of the 2014 post) by Jesska Daugherty. The post was about The Poet Warriors Project and how Biracial Hair by Zora Howard is one of the first poems she has her student warriors learn in order to address the subject of identity. Zora Howard is the youngest poet to win the Urban Word NYC Grand Slam finals. She was 13.

Talk about inspirational art: you know, that thing we use to speak the truth in a way that captures the attention of an audience for more than 4 seconds. Art: that thing extending beyond 140 characters or a #hashtag. ART: that thing allowing you to openly cry or laugh or stand up and shout in agreement because it touches that tender scab on your soul that keeps breaking open again and again. Please artists, on behalf of this little white woman watching an orange man trying to turn our country upside down –  and not in a good way – trying to drag our culture down and backwards rather than raise us up: please don’t stop sharing your art with the world.

Check this out and be inspired by Zora’s words. I know it’s long and intense, but at least make it to, “I’m not a fucking cookie!” By then you won’t be able to stop.

Identity

Perspective, Quote of the Day

Smooth your own path by helping another

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If we all tried to make other people’s path easy, our own feet would have a smooth, even place to walk on.

– Myrtle Reed

Perspective, Quote of the Day, Travel

The balance of extension

No journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.

– Lillian Smith

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When I travel, particularly to another country, I have this intense urge to fill up every moment of my schedule with something amazing and exciting. But what I’ve discovered, time and time again, is that I end up falling asleep with a pen in my hand or a finger holding down a key on the computer day after day because I can’t get enough and then I can’t find enough time to process everything I’ve experienced. My plan for the day may be perfectly timed, except for that factor I always seem to forget: the unexpected pleasures along the way. Sometimes it’s a person, or a restaurant, a museum or a setting so exquisite that I can’t resist the urge to stop.

And breathe and engage all my senses and let the moment wash over me; lingering long enough to return in my dreams. Whether on a journey halfway around the world or just outside your front door, another journey is hidden within that holds the potential to be just as rich and exquisite. That extra moment that you take to breathe in the sensation of whatever beautiful distraction you happen upon may be exactly what your inner landscape needs to truly expand and grow.

Expect

Perspective, Quote of the Day

Abundance is

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Abundance is, in large part, an attitude.

– Sue Patton Thoele

Endurance, Gratitude, Music, Perspective, poetry, Quote of the Day

Rise

rise woman on beach
A free and powerful woman on the beach in Oregon who I couldn’t help but capture in action. -Angie Kopshy

In the US, I feel like 1920 was the original ‘Year of the Woman’ as we finally earned the right to vote. The Year of the Woman came up again in 1984, in 1992 and back in March of this year, Priyank Jain, a frequent speaker on the importance of girls’ and women’s empowerment globally, predicted that 2017 would be The Year of the Woman. Just three days ago, the African American Film Critics Association proclaimed 2017 The Year of the Woman. Thanks to Alyssa Milano‘s #metoo hashtag,  girls and women across the globe have been inspired to rise up and speak out. #Metoo turned into #wetoo and this issue, which has been festering just under the surface for so many women for so long, is suddenly front and center. And let us not forget to thank and acknowledge and listen to Tarana Burke for lighting this fire ten years ago.  If you haven’t had the chance, check out Democracy Now‘s work on this topic.

I’m borrowing the words from one of my band’s songs because I can’t seem to find a quote or poem that says what I want to say right now. Girls, boys, men and women all over the world, stay tuned for the next move and don’t let #metoo become history before we transform this fire into a new future and a stronger culture. There is an immense amount of collective energy that can taper down into an incredible metamorphosis if we continue to listen, support and act. Metamorphosis is literally the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages. Imagine that.

Rise

An ancient sage suddenly appeared at my feet. She placed her hand upon my heart and whispered, “This is your destiny.”

A woman in black with hair as gold as the sun took my hand. She said, “Close your eyes. Open your mind. Feel the power of this land.” She said, “Daughter of my daughter’s daughter; blood of mine. We’ve been waiting for all your life. It’s finally time to rise. It’s time to fight.”

A band of ancient shamans stopped me in my tracks. They placed their magic on me and said, “You can never go back.” They said, “Sister, on her hero’s journey, take our hands. We’ve been waiting for all our lives. Here we stand to rise.”

We can’t wait any longer. We can’t hide the fire that’s been burning ever stronger. We can’t deny. It’s time to rise. It’s time to fight.

It’s time to rise. It’s time to fight.

 Taper

Perspective, poetry, Quote of the Day

Brave: #metoo –> #wetoo

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Brave is: Anyone who acknowledges that #metoo turned to #wetoo because we have an epidemic on our hands and the time for change is now. I mean, it was really time for change a lifetime ago, but it took women a while to realize that they should unite rather than fight. Thank you to the many brave women and men of our past, our future, and most importantly, right now. Here we stand in our high heels or combat boots, in our short skirts or suits, hand in hand at last. Let us rise up together, humanity, because as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says:

Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.

There are so many great poems on bravery out there, but one of my favorites is She Is a Brave Woman by Alexandra Gold.

Brave

Perspective, Quote of the Day, Travel

The risk of doing nothing

“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.”

-Denis Waitley

 Risky