Thursday, March 31, 2016


#1 - I've been involved in a monthly volunteer gig for years now - not sure how many, at least five. It started out as a food shelf, then evolved, then evolved again. Now it is run like an old school co-op grocery. It happens to be only a couple miles away from where the sweet man lives, so today I walked to my volunteer shift for the first time.

#2 - Pretty yummi soda - Joia
Orange- Jasmine- Nutmeg which was a new product on the shelves of the grocery

#3 - Sweet man met me at the grocery store at the end of my shift. I often go over to his place afterwards since it is so close by, but this is the first time he has come to check it out, and buy some groceries. I sold him on the Joia soda.

#4 - I saw the list of chores that he printed on a spreadsheet for his kids. I asked him if he was open to comments on it and thankfully he said yes. I thought some of it was a bit complex. I asked him to start with what they already are responsible for that - enforce that consistently and then add a couple things. Keep it simple and achievable! He was receptive and agreed which means a lot to me.

#5 - A story in the Sun magazine about a guy who put garlic in his ear for an earache and then it got stuck which I read during lunch and they reread to the sweet man while he made dinner.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Reaching Again and Again

#1 - I learned today that Stephen Levine died a couple months ago. I was reminded of a moment in my car, maybe 15 years ago, when I was listening to an audio tape of his. A woman asked him a question and it was through his response that I experienced both the depth of my judgements and a well of compassion.

I had never heard anyone respond to another human being in such a caring manner.

I didn't even know such things were possible.

#2 -"Are you ready to do the puzzle Gampa?"

#3-  I asked my niece how she knew how to do a rather complicated origami.  She said she learned from the instructions.

 "But the instructions aren't here," I replied.

"I remember," she said pointing to her head, "like you when you are driving." 

#4 - Not only the letter but getting clearance to share these lines-

As I contemplated what I'm displaying here it doesn't quite match how I'm feeling. Today I feel pretty ho hum.

So there is how it feels and what I'm reaching towards, again and again, with practice.

#5 - A Rilke quote I came across on Krishna Das's website -

“Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
So don’t be frightened, dear friend, if sadness or anxiety casts a shadow over your life. Something is happening within you. Remember that life has not forgotten you. It holds you in its hand and will not let you go. And after all, why would you want to live without pain and unease? You don’t yet know what mysterious work these feelings are accomplishing inside you.”
– Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


#1 - p.133 - I will not provide the details as to why I've listed p.133 as my #1 gratitude today because I do not want to give away anything that will lessen the impact of a genius piece of literature called Momo by Michael Ende. Maybe you are already familiar with this stunning piece of fiction as it was written over 40 years ago by the author of The Neverending Story. If you, like me, are a little late to this ball game let me assure you that this really is a book for "all ages". That does not merely mean ages 4 to 104, but rather 1973 to 2016. It again and again imbues me with a zeal of passion and recognition.

Is Michael Ende still alive? I just checked. No he is not. But on Wikipedia it says this, "He often expressed frustration over being perceived as a children's writer exclusively, considering that his purpose was to speak of cultural problems and spiritual wisdom to people of all ages." Amen Mr. Ende.

In fact I had this book with me on the last car ride I took with the man I am dating and his girls, but they had another audio book going and the mood in the vehicle didn't feel conducive to listening to me read, and...well, I wasn't sure this was a good book.

#2 - HOWEVER, all that has changed and I can assure you at the next opportunity - the four of us will all be listening to this story - myself for the second time - with eager enthusiasm.

I just checked if the library had any more books by Mr. Ende and there are two others, but one is in German and the other in Chinese. Momo will have to suffice for now. Momo!

I have not felt this passionate for a while. God bless the soul of this man.

#3 - I will be picking up the sweet man's children at school today. I did this once before, but it was during winter break, so this will be the first time during more "normal" life. If I haven't settled down by that point they are going to hear an earful of Momo enthusiasm. The oldest has some sort of jump roping performance tonight and when I talked to the sweet man last night about his plan for pick-up, dinner, and the performance it didn't sound like it was going to work very well. So I am happy to be able to step in and assist.

#4 - Usually I wait to post my gratitudes until later in the day, but I was so excited about Momo, which I was reading during lunch, that I couldn't wait to express my enthusiasm.

May we all find such fires for our souls.

May the warmth of people such as Mr. Ende and Mr. Rogers (below) keep us toasty.

May such presences never be short in our lives.

May we continue to drink from such cups that we may all be filled.

May the words of blessing pour through us.



#5 - Sweet, sweet, sweet

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Abortion Diary Podcast

#1 - I went to listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on National Public Radio and saw that one of my favorite people, Senator Cory Booker, is the guest this week. I was thrilled and wanted to save it, not listen yet, so I ended up clicking on another link which led to

#2 - The one part of the abortion debate that is blatantly missing - the personal experience of it -

#3 - I'm impressed with the women who are breaking the silence on this issue.

#4 - It was a warm day and quite convenient that my niece was over so that we could go for a walk to the park after work. She had a great time standing/walking on a twirling thing so that the equipment was moving but she stayed in place. Also quite conveniently she initiated going home right about the time that I wanted to - in full imagination mode with a stick as a baton.

#5 - I am quite tired and may be getting sick, so far this winter when I've felt this way I've done

A. Gone to bed early
B. Taken oil of oregano, prescribed by the sweet man

and then been fine. I'm grateful that I'll be home around 7:30pm and can plan to start preparing for a quiet night in bed right then, that is a tremendous luxury and I do not take it lightly.