On the Brink of a New Year

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  I have in the past, but they’ve been unrealistic and somewhat discouraging after the first week.  No chocolate until I get down to a certain weight?  Who am I kidding?!

I’ve decided to make some realistic changes instead.  Write daily in a gratitude journal.  Read the daily entry in Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy.  Write more love notes to my husband.  Give myself permission to take time off–to be still (this is an ongoing personal battle).  Eat more fruits and vegetables.

You know, I never thought I’d say this about a Mayo publication, but Dan brought home The Mayo Clinic Diet book this past week.  Can I just say that they’ve done something incredibly simple…and right?  Lots of pictures.  Simple and understandable daily solutions.  Don’t worry, I haven’t lost track of what I was saying.  This has something to do with it.  In the front of the book, as an introduction, they make the comment: “Add 5 habits; Break 5 habits; Adopt 5 bonus habits.”  And really it’s that simple.  You can change one thing at a time, until you feel capable of all the changes at once.  Amazingly rudimentary, but profound, in that oftentimes, we don’t think of it as a step-by-step process, which life is.

So, one change today.  I’m offering up something to read, absorb, and enjoy.  Tomorrow is a new day, and that’s a wonderful thing.  Don’t you agree?

LOVE these.

“There’s a ‘very tiny crack in which another world begins and ends.’” –Slavko Mihalic

“Good morning, sun.”  –Liliana Elliott

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” –Thoreau

“Why, who makes much of a miracle?  Not me!  I know nothing else but miracles!”  –Walt Whitman

“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.”  –François duc de La Rochefoucauld

“One Can Miss Mountains

and pine.  One

can dismiss
a whisper’s

and go on as

before as if
everything were

perfectly fine.
One does.  One

loses wonder
among stores

of things.
One can even miss

the basso boom
of the ocean’s

rumpus room
and its rhythm.

A man can leave
this earth

and take nothing
–not even

with him.”

–Todd Boss

Marie Howe, “Prayer” in the The Kingdom of Ordinary Time

Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention — the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage

I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here

among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.

The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?

My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.

Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.

For my fellow writers:

“Writing in the Dark” by Denise Levertov

It’s not difficult.
Anyway, it’s necessary.

Wait until morning, and you’ll forget.
And who knows if morning will come.

Fumble for the light,
and you’ll be
stark awake, but the vision
will be fading, slipping
out of reach.

You must have paper at hand,
a felt-tip pen, ballpoints don’t always flow,
pencil points tend to break.  There’s nothing
shameful in that much prudence: those are our tools.

Never mind about crossing your t’s, dotting your i’s–
but take care not to cover
one word with the next.  Practice will reveal
how one hand instinctively comes to the aid of the other
to keep each line
clear of the next.

Keep writing in the dark:
a record of the night, or
words that pulled you from the depths of unknowing,
words that flew through your mind, strange birds
crying their urgency with human voices,

or opened
as flowers of a tree that blooms
only once in a lifetime:

words that may have the power
to make the sun rise again.

You have more power and beauty and wisdom than you know.

What are the changes you will make for this coming year?

Happy New Year!

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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