Quote of the Day

Life did not begin at my birth

I am fond of this quote, in particular, because it is always a humbling reminder that I am not the center of the Universe.

“There is divine beauty in learning. To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me. And I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers, and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences. And so are you.” – Elie Wiesel

Buchenwald Concentration Camp, WWII.  2nd row, 7th from left is Elie Wiesel.

Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel KBE was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. Gary Henry pays great tribute to Wiesel in Story and Silence: Transcendence in the Work of Elie Wiesel.


Quote of the Day

Conversation reflects what’s on the mind. People do our jobs for us – they reveal themselves, if only we would listen. The problem is, we rarely listen carefully enough. – Noah Lukeman from The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life

I happened upon this quote in the context of learning how to be a better writer. But it struck me so strongly, I ended up plunging down a rabbit hole full of questions revolving around being a better listener.

I have a friend who talks. A lot. He has an incredible memory and his mind is like a set of encyclopedias running a marathon. Unfortunately, if someone is speaking to me, especially at breakneck speed in order to get everything out before he loses my attention or has to take a breath, he’s actually wasting his breath. My mind can only remember what someone else says for a few seconds, not necessarily in the correct order and I’m attempting to interpret and categorize as I go. And although I may be using ‘I’ while making these statements, I really mean WE.

According to Sharon Drew Morgen,

our brains arbitrarily delete or redefine anything our Communication Partners (CPs) say that might be uncomfortable or atypical. Unfortunately, we then believe that what we think we’ve heard – a subjective translation of what’s been said – is actually what was said or meant. It’s usually some degree of inaccurate. And it’s not our fault. Our brains do it to us.

What if we just started by intentionally recognizing everyone with whom we’re speaking as a Communication Partner? And then move forward with the recognition of our CP as a goldmine of knowledge, experience, biases, “assumptions, triggers, habituated neural pathways, and memory channels that sift out what’s being said”? download.png

Stay tuned…I haven’t even gotten to the part about listening to the voiceless yet.

Quote of the Day

Light new light in the hearts of people

Angie Filtered
Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people. -Mother Teresa
Endurance, Seasons

Rocky IV training in the mountains of Montana

The snow at our house is starting to feel like sand at the beach. It’s just a part of the terrain. You have to lift your knees a little higher when you walk and when you run, it feels like you’re starring in a slow-motion movie. It inspires me to train like Sylvester Stallone on a Russian countryside farm in Rocky IV. And…we’re only halfway through November. Bring on the snow, Montana. Let’s do this.


Quote of the Day

Kafka on the Shore


“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore

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

Repost of another's beautiful work

The words of artiche: Black Strat Blues

via Black Strat Blues

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 9.45.16 AM

poetry, Quote of the Day

A Song in Labor

A riff rings in my ear. An earworm beckoning. A song in labor awaiting its due date.

There are too many subjects to consider focusing upon for this song that knocks at the door to my soul. I let the song in and we have a conversation. “Can’t you put them all together?” the riff asks.

“If only I possessed that much wisdom and patience. It would take a lifetime to learn all the lessons these atrocities teach.”

“You’re already 42. I’m not leaving.”

And the riff rings again.


poetry, Quote of the Day

Thank you, Veterans

My grandpa is the little guy being held up by his buddies. ❤

Take A Moment To Thank A Veteran

When you see someone in a uniform,
Someone who serves us all,
Doing military duty,
Answering their country’s call,

Take a moment to thank them
For protecting what you hold dear;
Tell them you are proud of them;
Make it very clear.

Just tap them on the shoulder,
Give a smile, and say,
“Thanks for what you’re doing
To keep us safe in the USA!”

By Joanna Fuchs

poetry, Quote of the Day, Tolerance

Quash the ignorant with enlightenment

montana snowI made the long journey from Oregon to Montana yesterday.

In Oregon, you can’t pump your own gas. In my RV, you have to open the driver’s door in order to open the gas tank. This usually means that I spend the next few minutes answering questions about mileage, my tires or my destination. Every once in a while, I get to dig into the life of the person standing in the rain who deals with people all day.

Yesterday it was a man who happens to work part-time at a gas station,  happens to be black and happens to be work full-time as a fireman. He told me about a woman who threw out the comment, “You’re probably a convicted felon…” as flippant as a statement about the weather. As my face grew hot with disgust and rage and shame, I asked him how he responded.

“I told her they don’t hire convicted felons.” He turned to me and smiled as I waited for more. But clearly that was it. I raised my eyebrows and nodded with respect. “Way to rise above, ” I said.

“The ignorance just keeps growing…” he said, shaking his head. My tank was full and he had to move on to more customers whom I hoped were more kind and less ignorant than the one he described. He wished me safe travels home and I left that small town in which I was born. That small town filled with family I love and memories that warm my heart. The old phrase from college fills my head again:

Quash the ignorant with enlightenment. STAT.