Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Empty Cups

When children – most commonly boys – are not able to get their cup refilled consistently they often become impulsive and inattentive. Other children, more commonly girls, can become timid and mousy because they are not allowed to be assertive or independent. It’s the tabletop experiments all over again. The only thing some boys know how to do when they are frustrated is be aggressive; the only thing some girls know how to do when they are frustrated is to sulk or follow passively along.

From "Playful Parenting," by Lawrence J. Cohen: Pg. 145 –

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wild Women

It is our brush with Wild Woman that drives us not to limit our conversations to humans, not to limit our most splendid movements to dance floors, nor our ears only to music made by human-made instruments, nor our eyes to “taught” beauty, nor our bodies to approved sensations, nor our minds to those things we all agree upon already.

This is a book of women’s stories, help out as markers along the path. They are for you to read, contemplate and follow toward your own natural-won freedom, your caring for self, animals, earth, children, sisters, lovers, and men. I’ll tell you right now, the doors to the world of Wild Woman are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.

The wildish nature does not require a woman to be a certain color, a certain education, a certain lifestyle or economic class . . . in fact, it cannot thrive in an atmosphere of enforced political correctness, or by being bent into old burnt-out paradigms. It thrives on fresh sight and self-integrity. It thrives on its own nature.

So, whether you are an introvert or extrovert, a woman-loving woman, a man-loving woman, or a God-loving woman, or all of the above: Whether you are possessed of a simple heart or the ambitions of an Amazon, whether you are trying to make it to the top or just make it through tomorrow, whether you be spicy or somber, regal or roughshod – the Wild Woman belongs to you. She belongs to all women.

From "Women Who Run With the Wolves" Introduction: Singing Over the Bones (pg. 20-21).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Worst-Case Scenarios

Don’t spend a lot of time imagining the worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice. When things go bad, don’t run, don’t hide. Stick it out, and be scrupulous in facing every part of your fear. Try to be still. It will take time, but you’ll find that even the gravest problems are finite—and that your choices are infinite.

From A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox (page 88).

Life is Good!

Life is good, and there’s no reason to think that it won’t be—right up until the moment when everything explodes into a fireball of tiny, unrecognizable fragments, or it all goes skidding sideways, through the guardrail, over the embankment, and down the mountain. This will happen (and probably more than once.).

From A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox (page 80).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun With Dick And Jane

I was taught to read with Fun With Dick And Jane. While I didn't particularly enjoy that book, I appreciate that it was an important step on my road to reading.

In the words of Anna Quindlen:

It is like the rubbing of two sticks together to make a fire, the act of reading, an improbably pedestrian task that leads to heat and light. Perhaps this only becomes clear when one watches a child do it. Dulled to the mystery by years of STOP signs, recipes, form letters, package instructions, suddenly it is self-evident that this is a strange and difficult thing, this making symbols into words, into sentences, into sentiments and scenes and a world imagined in the mind’s eye. The children’s author Lois Lowry recalled it once: “I remember the feeling of excitement that I had, the first time that I realized each letter had a sound, and the sounds went together to make words; and the words became sentences, and the sentences became stories.”

Our Layered Earth

I just finished reading Anna Quindlen's book, "How Reading Changed My Life." She has a lot of great things to say about reading...Things that most readers will nod their heads in appreciation of as they read.

Try this one:

Reading became the pathway to the world, a world without geographic boundaries or even the steep risers of time. There was a time machine in our world, but not the contraption of metal and bolts and motors imagined even by a man as imaginative as H. G. Wells. Socrates was wrong: a reader learns what he or she does not know from books, what has passed and yet is forever present through print. The mating rituals of the Trobriand Islanders. The travails of the Donner Party. The beaches at Normandy. The smoke from the stacks at Auschwitz. Experience, emotion, landscape: the world is as layered as the earth, life cumulative with books. The eyewitnesses die; the written word lives forever.
Trust me - as one who recently got back from a Grand Canyon experience (a word which herein means the longest hike of my life) - the earth is very layered. :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Duck Hunting

I recently read a new book, titled "What Now?" by Ann Patchett. The book was based on a speech she gave at her old university, and it is quite well-written. She is a journalist, and has interesting things to say about her journey to become a writer. Like this:

I learned the most from sticking with my dream even when all signs told me it was time to let go. I came to understand that fiction writing is like duck hunting. You go to the right place at the right time with the right dog. You get into the water before dawn, wearing protective gear, then you stand behind some reeds and wait for the story to present itself. This is not to say you are passive. You choose the place and the day. You pick the gun and the dog. You have the desire to blow the duck apart for reasons that are entirely your own. But you have to be willing to accept not what you wanted to have happen, but what happens. You have to write the story you find in the circumstances you’ve created, because more often than not the ducks don’t show up. The hunters in the next blind begin to argue, and you realize they’re in love. You see a snake swimming in your direction. Your dog begins to shiver and whine, and you start to think about this gun that belonged to your father. By the time you get out of the marsh you will have written a novel so devoid of ducks it will shock you.