thought starter.

A quote from the International Design Awards 2011 Best of Show Winner's Piece:

"Inert objects -- and people -- lose their charm pretty quickly. It's hard to be inspired by something that never changes. So get moving. Never stand still. Gain momentum. Feel free to start small -- once you begin, it'll be ease to keep going."

Jessica Kuhn, online & associate editor of HOW Magazine poses the thought of whether these words take on any meaning "to you," the reader. I find that I, along with my friends, have reached that point in our lives where we feel we've either figured it out, are on the verge of doing so, or don't think we ever will. Me? Well, I think I fall someplace in the middle of the mix; however, I'd add that it's with a hard lean toward the latter. 

Regardless, what I find to be the more pressing question is this: is it fear and/or the comfortable boundaries we set for ourselves that keep us from reaching our full potential? This happens to be a question I ask myself too often. (Maybe that reveals something about me.) The "what" may possible be within the second layer of that question, which pushes the need to take a deeper look inside to truly figure out what's most important: comfort or the satisfaction of personal success (and I'd argue development). Wouldn't we all like to have both? 

I've been thinking lately that I'll have to start working even harder in my own personal journey of life to achieve such a perfect balance. I can always tell when things get too comfortable: I grow antsy. The one thing I will confirm is that I'm definitely not "inert." Let's consider Newton's First Law: An object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Now apply this physics to your life. This "unbalanced force" doesn't mean you come to a complete stop, it just means you take on a different pace, a new direction. For me, the "unbalanced force" may be a new passion, hobby or interest; I thrust myself into them, exploring just enough so that I come out on the other side, once again, in balance (although I have been a bit wobbly at times). 

A little shaking up does a body good; it keeps you from staying too idle, for too long. It isn't always easy to find the motivation on your own, which is why I don't. Instead I get a healthy dose of "forces" from those I surround myself with, who are more often than not the "mover and shaker" type (my kind of style). They're the ones who keep me inspired, which is just how I like to live.

What have you done differently lately? What's inspired you? 

Just a little something to ponder in the spare minutes of your day.



filling the repository

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
 E.E. Cummings

Love is...


teeny tale: the heart.

I remember the day he turned to me and asked how it was possible that the feeling of love could so easily be summed up with a heart, the heart, with a muscular organ that pumps blood, which was more than just another element in the equation of life. To him, blood wasn’t something he associated with feeling good, with feeling alive. No. Instead, it was that thing that was symbolic of pain, of being hurt. And he said that he guessed that part wasn’t completely misleading. Sometimes, he said, he thought he felt love (the good kind) in his stomach, sometimes in his head and on rare occasions even in his toes. Then he told me that to him, love was a total-body experience; it shouldn’t be confined to one organ. And he seemed so content with his conclusion that I didn’t want to tell him it was because of “that thing” that pumps through that “one organ” that he could feel that kind of love in all those kinds of places.

And, in case you missed it, here's the teeny tale from last February: conversation hearts.


olive, the littlest frenchie bulldog...ooo woo ooo

As soon as I close the door behind me, I hear the little pads of her feet hit the hardwood, her tags jingling. She greets me, presenting a toy or bone, and she sits patiently, trembling until I set my bags down to give her her first afternoon rub. I ask if she wants to go out, and her playful nature drives her to deke from left to right; she's stalling, although she and I both know how badly she needs to go. She watches me, with my coat buttoned, hat on and gloves limp, gathered in the clutch of one hand, her harness and leash in the other. I turn away, in an attempt to show dominance, but also to shield the smile--she's such a funny creature. Team Olive: 1. Team Me: 0. 

Once we finally hit the drive, she heads out toward the sidewalk and I can't help to wonder if she's walking me or if I'm walking her. And as we carry on, kicking up the freshly fallen snow, I have my answer: the near 30 pounds of pure muscle that she is, is pulling me right along; I love that she gives me energy when I have none. Somehow we're running, always she leading the way, and I try to keep a decent clip in my clunky rubber boots. It feels good to get the blood pumping, and I think it's best to keep her going, to keep her warm, while my fingers begin to numb. She's nibble, and as she's dodging branches, I'm being dragged behind chuckling at the fact that this pup is showing me up. She even looks back to make sure I'm keeping up, while I look down, hoping we don't hit an icy patch. And then a neighbor appears from around the corner, and our mindless romp comes to a complete. Halt. There are sounds she makes that I was unaware were even possible, and they come out when she spies another person, another dog, anything she wants to get a closer look at. But now that she has my endorphins pumping, I desperately try to drag her back, and eventually we scuttle off. She makes her mark with a piddle on this lawn and that corner and then bounds her barrel chest through the highest snow pile she can find, only to pull me with her to pick up her other mark; the cuffs of my pants fill with flakes. 

I'm glad she gets me out when the temperatures fall below 35: my preferred lowest temp. I wouldn't want to miss this extra time with her. Just the two of us checking out the neighborhood; she's taught me to be more observant. Together, we smell what people are having for dinner and who's house that wonderful fire smell is coming from. She takes note of the dogs that have been out for a walk and probably wonders where they are now, while I note the large footprints that are followed by two smaller ones and wonder which house that father and child live in. When we return home, I wipe her paws and she bounds up the stairs. And then I sit, to write, to leave my mark, and she climbs in my lap to join. On this day, I couldn't think of anything better.

as much for me as it is for you.

Sam Beam is Iron & Wine. Iron & Wine is Sam Beam. I've seen Mr. Beam perform before, but he was accompanied by a full band; it wasn't the sweet, melodic solo experience I had yearned for. He'll be swinging through my neck of the woods again to share songs from his new album, and rumor has it that it's a solo tour. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. In the meantime, I've been enjoying this NPR Tiny Desk Concert. In the chance that I'm met that night in April with more than Sam Beam, I'll be able to pop back here quickly after the show to calm my tattered nerves. (Bonus: this gem also ends with an old favorite, thanks NPR for this little treasure.)