words for the weekend

Words For The Weekend (Breathe, Anne Lamott and The Vigil) Volume XIIIr (repost)

Hi everyone! I’m taking a short break to do some traveling and enjoy the sunny skies, so I’m reposting one of my favorite weekend posts from last October (original post HERE). Enjoy and I’ll catch up with you all soon! Love, Christy

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This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 10/13/12 (Volume XIII). I hope you enjoy them too.

* For a little twist this week, all quotes are from Anne Lamott. Her quotes inspired the selection of this week’s song and poem as well. Anne’s work is available on Amazon HERE.

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Cause you can’t jump the track
We’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button boys so cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe, whoa breathe just breathe

2Am and I’m still awake writing this song
If I get it all down on paper it’s no longer inside of me threaten’ the life it belongs to.
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary screamin’ out aloud
And I know that you’ll use them however you want to…

~ Anna Nalick, “Breathe (2AM)” (lyrics), from album “Wreck of the Day

Alternate Song: “Breathe In Breathe Out” by Mat Kearney:

“Breathe in, breathe out, Move on and break down, If everyone goes away I will stay. We push and pull, And I fall down sometimes, I’m not letting go, You hold the other line. Cause there is a light in your eyes, in your eyes…”

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“Left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe,” he said. “Right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe.” ~ Anne Lamott in Salon, April 25, 2003

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Source: Pinterest.com

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Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived…Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation… Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here. ~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it. ~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are. ~ Anne Lamott

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Source: Pinterest.com

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Joy is the best make-up. ~ Anne Lamott

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Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up… Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. ~ Anne Lamott

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Here are the two best prayers I know: Help me, help me, help me and Thank you, thank you, thank you. ~ Anne Lamott

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Source: Oprah.com

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Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship. ~ Anne Lamott

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If you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. ~ Anne Lamott

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VIGIL by Dennis O’Driscoll

Life is too short to sleep through.
Stay up late, wait until the sea of traffic ebbs,
until noise has drained from the world
like blood from the cheeks of the full moon.
Everyone else around you has succumbed:
they lie like tranquillised pets on a vet’s table;
they languish on hospital trolleys and friends’ couches,
on iron beds in hostels for the homeless,
under feather duvets at tourist B&Bs.
The radio, devoid of listeners to confide in,
turns repetitious. You are your own voice-over.
You are alone in the bone-weary tower
of your bleary-eyed, blinking lighthouse,
watching the spillage of tide on the shingle inlet.
You are the single-minded one who hears
time shaking from the clock’s fingertips
like drops, who watches its hands
chop years into diced seconds,
who knows that when the church bell
tolls at 2 or 3 it tolls unmistakably for you.
You are the sole hand on deck when
temperatures plummet and the hull
of an iceberg is jostling for prominence.
Your confidential number is the life-line
where the sedated long-distance voices
of despair hold out muzzily for an answer.
You are the emergency services’ driver
ready to dive into action at the first
warning signs of birth or death.
You spot the crack in night’s façade
even before the red-eyed businessman
on look-out from his transatlantic seat.
You are the only reliable witness to when
the light is separated from the darkness,
who has learned to see the dark in its true
colours, who has not squandered your life.

“Vigil” by Dennis O’Driscoll, from “New and Selected Poems” © Anvil Press Poetry (Visit Poetry Daily for the well-written essay “The Future of Irish Poetry?” which includes more of O’Driscoll’s work and thoughtful analysis on current Irish poets.)
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Source: pinterest.com

Words For The Weekend (My mother is a poem), Volume 36

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 5/11/13 (Volume 36). I hope you enjoy them too.

In honor of Mother’s Day on May 12:

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“She is not the picture on the magazine
She’s the woman just behind you at the checkout stand
She may appear to be common but she mystifies
In all the ways the wisest men and children understand
‘Cause she has eyes that sparkle with her love
And she has a smile that’s as gentle as a dove
And no woman from a movie or an ad could ever hope to be
As beautiful as she

She is not a highly honored diplomat
Held responsible to lead the world to peace
But what she does is every bit as serious
Amidst the turmoil everywhere that will never cease
‘Cause she has hands that wipe the tears away
And she has a voice that makes everything O.K.
And no woman from the papers or T.V. could ever hope to be
As indispensable as she

And it breaks my heart every time I see her wonder
If she means anything in this world that pulls her under
And she doesn’t always see the way that Heaven smiles above her
That’s the reason I try to always tell her that I love her

‘Cause she may not be known for giving millions
To the charities and auctions on the news
But I believe she’s given more than anyone
In all the times she’s ever had to choose
To give up sleep to rock her children every night
And give her heart to always hold their dreams so tight
And the best that you or I could ever hope to be
Is as wonderful as she
And the best that you or I could ever hope to be
Is as wonderful as she”

~ “She” performed by Cherie Call (her website and lyrics HERE). Available on “Beneath These Stars”  Video HERE

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Alternate song: “Child of Mine” performed by Carole King on album “Carole King The Carnegie Hall Concert June 18, 1971,” video link HERE.

“You don’t need direction, you know which way to go
And I don’t want to hold you back, I just want to watch you grow
You’re the one who taught me you don’t have to look behind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Nobody’s gonna kill your dreams
Or tell you how to live your life
There’ll always be people to make it hard for a while
But you’ll change their heads when they see you smile

The times you were born in may not have been the best
But you can make the times to come better than the rest
I know you will be honest if you can’t always be kind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine”

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What I Learned From My Mother

BY JULIA KASDORF

I learned from my mother how to love

the living, to have plenty of vases on hand

in case you have to rush to the hospital

with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants

still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars

large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole

grieving household, to cube home-canned pears

and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins

and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.

I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know

the deceased, to press the moist hands

of the living, to look in their eyes and offer

sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.

I learned that whatever we say means nothing,

what anyone will remember is that we came.

I learned to believe I had the power to ease

awful pains materially like an angel.

Like a doctor, I learned to create

from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once

you know how to do this, you can never refuse.

To every house you enter, you must offer

healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,

the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.

From Sleeping Preacher, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992. Copyright © 1992 by Julia Kasdorf. Via PoetryFoundation.Org

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~ Abe Lincoln Image via Tumblr

~ Abe Lincoln
Image via Tumblr

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“My mother is a poem
I’ll never be able to write,
though everything I write
is a poem to my mother.”
Sharon Doubiago

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Words For The Weekend (Try Not to Worry, Keep in the Sunlight, Come Into the Peace of Wild Things), Volume 27

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 2/2/13 (Volume 27). I hope you enjoy them too.

A special thank you to everyone for the thoughts, prayers, hugs and support this week during my time of worry and uncertainty around my dog’s health. Her biopsy went well, though she had quite a loopy evening. Results Tuesday or Wednesday… I’ll keep you all posted as I learn more. I’m doing my best to not worry–a perfect topic for this weekend’s selection (and a helpful distraction for me to compose). A quick note on the first two songs: my mom would often sing these songs to me as a child–to this day, they still calm and ease my worried mind. As for the closing song, I discovered Bob Marley later in life, and while “Three Little Birds” may better fit the Don’t Worry theme, “No Woman, No Cry” relaxes me more when I am stressed. I mentioned to a friend that it’s impossible to be sad and listen to Bob at the same time. I hope you enjoy the songs and quotes. Thanks again for all the love! ~ Christy

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“And if I ever lose my eyes
If my colours all run dry
And if I ever lose my eyes – Oh,
I won’t have to cry no more
Yes, I’m being followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow moon shadow
Leaping and hopping on a moonshadow
Moon shadow moon shadow”

~ Cat Stevens (Yusuf), “Moonshadow”, on  album “The Very Best of Cat Stevens“, video link HERE.

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Alternate song: “Everything’s Alright” performed by Yvonne Elliman from “Jesus Christ Superstar” original cast recording, video link HERE

“Try not to get worried, try not to turn on to
Problems that upset you, oh.
Don’t you know
Everything’s alright, yes, everything’s fine.
And we want you to sleep well tonight.
Let the world turn without you tonight.
If we try, we’ll get by, so forget all about us tonight”

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“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ~ Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

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“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen.
Keep in the sunlight.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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“But I can hardly sit still. I keep fidgeting, crossing one leg and then the other. I feel like I could throw off sparks, or break a window–maybe rearrange all the furniture.” ~ Raymond Carver, Where I’m Calling From: New and Selected Stories

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“They need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won’t be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.” ~ Jack Kerouac

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“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

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“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:27 and 6:34

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“There are very few things in the mind which eat up as much energy as worry. It is one of the most difficult things not to worry about anything. Worry is experienced when things go wrong, but in relation to past happenings it is idle merely to wish that they might have been otherwise. The frozen past is what it is, and no amount of worrying is going to make it other than what it has been. But the limited ego-mind identifies itself with its past, gets entangled with it and keeps alive the pangs of frustrated desires. Thus worry continues to grow into the mental life of man until the ego-mind is burdened by the past. Worry is also experienced in relation to the future when this future is expected to be disagreeable in some way. In this case it seeks to justify itself as a necessary part of the attempt to prepare for coping with the anticipated situations. But, things can never be helped merely by worrying. Besides, many of the things which are anticipated never turn up, or if they do occur, they turn out to be much more acceptable than they were expected to be. Worry is the product of feverish imagination working under the stimulus of desires. It is a living through of sufferings which are mostly our own creation. Worry has never done anyone any good, and it is very much worse than mere dissipation of psychic energy, for it substantially curtails the joy and fullness of life.” ~ Meher Baba, Discourses

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“That the birds of worry and care fly over you head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” ~ Chinese Proverb

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“Don’t worry. Worry is useless. I worried anyway.” ~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

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“You worry too much. Eat some bacon…what? No, I got no idea if it’ll make you feel better, I just made too much bacon.” ~ Justin Halpern, Sh*t My Dad Says

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STRANGE MIRACLE

O Wondrous creatures,
By what strange miracle
Do you so often
Not smile?

~ Hafiz, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy

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THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry, “The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

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“Good friends we have had, oh good friends we’ve lost, along the way
In this bright future you can’t forget your past
So dry your tears I say

No woman, no cry
No woman, no cry
Oh my little sister, don’t shed no tears
No woman, no cry

Everything’s gonna be alright
Ev’rything’s gonna be alright
Ev’rything’s gonna be alright
Ev’rything’s gonna be alright”

“No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley, available on “Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers

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