Advice worth pausing for

Today’s a day when we remember and reflect on the violence thrust upon us as a nation and many people as individual human beings on that clear blue-sky morning of September 11, 2001.

A few months later I quoted Christoffer M. Carstenjen from his own website. Chris was one of two from the English/Morris dance communities killed. He was on UA flight 175 enroute to join a group of bikers for a ride up the California coast. Reading it today, I realized that much of it is now advice I pass on to younger co-workers and friends. Let’s resolve to live and live fully and well every day for as long as we have.

Best of all…..

Keep healthy, wealthy and wise. Your job is important, but don’t live for just your job! Keep active and an open mind. Practice random acts of kindness. Complement someone each day. Listen to all sides of a story before making a decision. Don’t be afraid to admitting on being wrong. Learn the meaning of Life. Try, please try, to live within your means. Don’t worry about saving money for your kids’ college costs, it means lots more if they pay their own way. Save at least 15% of what you make for retirement. Try to meet someone new everyday. Ann Landers really means well. Plan for the future. Listen and surround yourself with positive people and speakers. Don’t let the turkeys get you down. Write when you get work.. :-)

Take care,

Christoffer
aka Sir Sword Boy , The Porch Guy, and Mr. Wonderful

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Friday Night Excitement

There I was, writing a too-long poem for August Poetry Postcard and… a bat appears.

Let me just say, I moved pretty darn fast. Locked myself in the bathroom while I tried to figure out what to do, having no cast iron skillet handy (family legend) When I’d put on shoes and steeled myself I opened the door and contained it and escorted it without further incident to the great outdoors. Hope it’s gone in the morning. Only hurt myself a little in the process of vacating the bedroom LOL.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the too-long poem or just write a short bat one LOL.

Someday

Someday, my friends, I will apologize for having filled my social media with scary news stories, abominations of the current world and calls to action, but today is not that day.

Words from Tolkien

Where will wants not, a way opens. — J.R.R. Tolkien

and this perenniel beacon:

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule. – J.R.R. Tolkien

and my oft-quoted:

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

Monday, the odd day off

Had good intentions to do what had to be done. Managed a load of laundry, putting out the trash cans and some painting.

The Things We Do (Getting Ready and Doing the Work)

I’m the first to admit, I can be an over-learner. Other times I don’t really care about the details, the fine minutiae, or even the over-arching tale. But when I’m trying to learn something, trying to do something, I’m there. I read, I listen, I ask questions.

I quilted for many years. I could tell you all about techniques, about the work of contemporary quilters and about antique quilts. I made several quilts a year, often a couple big quilts in there. One year, about to photograph two quilts for a competition the next day, I got up in the morning with two quilts and went to bed in the wee hours with a third totally unexpected quilt. It was a few more years before I got into that competition but I got there.

A few years after that, I made a quilt that got accepted. It was a big deal. Not only did I make the quilt but I took the slides that I sent in to be juried. That was a big deal to me. I’d learned a lot about photography in college and then didn’t use it in the way I thought I would.

Anyway, then for a few years I didn’t make quilts. Didn’t have a quilt thought in my head. One day I decided to make bread. I got a serious book about bread making (not the super-serious book that I still covet, The Taste of Bread but a great book nonetheless). I learned about the impact of temperature and action on the dough and the differences in flour and all sorts of things and learned to make a pretty darn good loaf of bread and more importantly, pizza dough. There’s something seriously alchemistic about taking flour and water and a little yeast (very little yeast) and for the pizza dough a splash of oil and making something that is life-sustaining.

I tell you this because you’ve been watching my entry into watercolor and I appreciate your response a lot. I’m warning you that there’s more to come. Because that’s what I do. I gather the tools, I take some classes, I read, I look at the work of others, I watch videos, but just like quilting and bread-making, the work is the work and it’s got to get done so I do it. I’m a beginner and I’m getting better at knowing how it works.

From the Quote Box

I do the best I know how, the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing it to the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me will not amount to anything. If the end brings me out all wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference. — Abraham Lincoln