I once tried to write a column for Woman's Day titled "Decorating with Dead Animals" but the idea was rejected. I think the editor thought I was joking. I never intended to display animal antlers, horns, hides, and even a head, in my home. I argued successfully against it for a few years, before I lost that battle. I did love Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt's Oyster Bay home, and visited often as a child, and it was full of trophies from his hunts. The umbrella stand was an elephant's foot, as I recall. But that was then, and this is now, and we are not Roosevelts.
"The issue is not whether to stand firm or compromise but how to express our firmness. When we express it with poise rather than rudeness, not only are we truer to our better selves, but we infuse our dissent with a power it wouldn't have otherwise. To brawl is human. To be civil works."- P.M.Forni from Choosing Civility: The Twenty Five Rules of Considerate Conduct
Poet Mary Oliver says praying, writing, creating, living your life in a meaningful, courageous, and as with most writers, a public way-- we stick our hearts out-- doesn't have to be the "blue iris" and that "a few small stones" will do. As a gatherer of rocks and pebbles, heart shaped mostly, but lately I've been drawn to the round dark shale stones with a circle of quartz that looks as if someone drew them on with chalk, I love that line: a few small stones. I could do worse than rub a few pebbles together as "a doorway into thanks" for the privledge of having you read what I write.
"People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back."
--Alice Walker, The Color Purple
"This is what dogs give us-- a connection. A connection to life on earth, to all that binds and cradles us, lest we begin to feel too alone."--Patricia McConnell in For the Love of a Dog
A friend sings this song in the car in the morning as she leaves home:
I have something in my pocket
That belongs across my face.
I keep it very close to me
In a most convenient place.
I bet you'll never guess it
If you guessed a long, long while.
So, I'll take it out and put it on;
It's a great big Brownie smile!
“When it's time to die, go ahead and die, and when it's time to live, live. Don't sort-of-maybe live, but live like you're going all out, like you're not afraid.” ― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
'Live like you are not afraid'-- I love that line.
I won't say I'm used to bad news-- but certainly the headlines lately leave little room for optimism-- the president is off the rails, Hollywood too, and fires and floods, mean-ness and murders in Las Vegas, injustice, misogyny, bigotry, racism,the future of the planet, the Cubs last night.
Then there was this on the local radio: "Two young Haines residents are facing felony drug charges after a package containing a significant amount of heroin was allegedly intercepted on its way to the local post office."
It breaks my heart.