Archive for March, 2016

March 28, 2016

Let your soul speak

Thought of the moment, courtesy of French philosopher Simone Weil:

The danger is not lest the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but lest, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry.

March 18, 2016

Hold “home” with longer arms

So many people feel alone and isolated in today’s Western society, where cavernous, echoing homes; drive-through meals; and tiny, emoticon-filled cell phone screens dominate.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Tiny house builder Dee Williams suggests that if we take the chance to reach out to the people and places around us — to interact in person, face-to-face, in ways that let us look into each others’ eyes, feel the sun on our skin, and exchange a smile, touch or hug — we might all feel a stronger sense of belonging in this world. Williams writes in her memoir The Big Tiny:

If more people understood how nice it is to have a sense of home that extends past our locked doors, past our neighbours’ padlocks, to the local food co-op and library, the sidewalks busted up by old trees — if we all hold home with longer arms — we’d live in a very different place. . . .

We wouldn’t feel so alone, no matter the size of our houses, no matter whether we had good health or [not]. We would begin to see the each moment presents an opportunity to relax, to notice that the wind has shifted and a storm is coming, or that our friend’s toddler has decided to wear dinner instead of eating it. We would see that each minute counts for something timeless and, if we want, we can all find our way inside these big, tiny moments.

March 10, 2016

Proof that one voice really can make a difference . . .

I woke up this morning to find workers cutting down the trees in the yard behind my apartment. When I talked to the workers, I learned that they had been asked to remove all the trees in order to “save” the pavement in a nearby parking lot, which was starting to buckle under the trees’ root systems.

This is, to my mind, a major misplacement of priorities. Something is very wrong when people value paved surfaces like parking lots over living, breathing trees — trees that mark the seasons with their budding and falling leaves; trees that provide hang-outs for birds; trees that offer a tiny shred of natural beauty and a few pearls of peace in our “go-go-go” urban concrete environment.

I wrote a letter to the apartment board, expressing my dismay in their decision to cut down the trees. I described the value the trees brought to me and the neighbourhood by their very presence. I didn’t think my letter would do any good — the trees were being cut down as I typed the words and pressed send.

A few hours later, I received a call from my landlord. He said that the apartment board had taken my letter to heart and were going to stop cutting the trees down.

So half the trees in my back yard will live.

All because one person (me) wrote one letter defending something they believed in, and one group of people (the apartment board) was open enough to listen (and for that, I want to thank them).

Heartening proof that one voice really can make a difference. . . . 🌱

March 9, 2016

What’s your “Code of Life”?

By what principles do you choose to live your life?

When author and woodworker Spike Carlsen lost his 58-year-old father to a heart attack, Spike found this “Code of Life” scrawled on a piece of paper tucked at the back of his father’s desk drawer. It’s a simple man’s personal promise to live an honest and fulfilling life. And it’s good incentive for you create your own touchstone for a life well lived.

“Code of Life”

Let me achieve and hold fast to:

  • An awareness that my problems and successes are gnatlike in another’s eyes.
  • Simplification. The will to do it now.
  • Seeing the best in others and ignoring idle criticism about them.
  • Honesty with others, even though I may deceive myself.
  • Never taking myself seriously, but only my job.
  • Some personal privacy and respect for the same in others.
  • Recognition of substance from trivia and fighting only for the former.
  • The ability to laugh with others.
  • A few friends who share these views.

(From Cabin Lessons by Spike Carlsen)

March 1, 2016

Speak up (a woman’s creed)

Thought of the moment, courtesy of Eleanor Roosevelt:

She wasn’t dressed up
She wasn’t stuck up
And she wasn’t afraid to speak up.

Your voice is strong and your words hold value.

Honour your voice; speak your words.