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The one who contributes nothing

Remember the middle-school project? In her book Short Stories by Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine talks about the middle-school student who doesn’t do his–or it could be “her,” of course–share of the project. Everyone else works hard, but he doesn’t do anything. “And what if he didn’t care at all? What if he depended on us, even […]

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Let go

You can’t control everything—although I often try to. “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us,” Joseph Campbell once said. –Joy

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Take it easy

“Take it easy—but take it,” Woody Guthrie once said. I found that quote recently when I visited the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. –Joy

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A dirt path

I saw this message on a sign in a gift shop in Bar Harbor, Maine. “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” –Joy

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Advice from nature

“Wisdom branches from a tree,” suggests the Your True Nature company, which made my “Advice from a Lobster” t-shirt. And, here’s more advice from Your True Nature. • Inspiration flows from a stream. • The blueberry says: Be well-rounded. • The horse says: Be stable However, I like the advice “Wisdom branches from a tree” […]

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No cell service

While we were in Maine, my daughter sent us a text message with a photo of our dog, Ginger—who was happy staying with Mary Elizabeth. She didn’t miss us at all. I tried to reply, but I was in a cabin on a lake with lousy cell service. I finally wrote: “I have not had […]

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What life is about

“Harmony, balance, rhythm,” said George Pocock, who designed the racing shell for the University of Washington men’s crew team’s 1936 Olympic victory. “There you have it. That’s what life is all about.” We read about Pocock in Daniel James Brown’s book The Boys in the Boat.

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A wonderful day

I have repeated this delightful quote that I found in a restaurant in New Mexico several times: “Today is a perfect day…for a perfect day.” But, a few days after I returned from my trip, I found another quote at Barnes & Nobles, and I like it even better: “Life does not have to be […]

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Brutal honesty

I can’t think of a better present than a book, especially when it’s a gift from a good friend who knows exactly what kind of book you will enjoy. My friend Mary Ann recently gave me a copy of Rainbow in the Cloud—The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou. I will share some of Angelou’s […]

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Sanctimonious?

“True, madam, those who have most virtue in their mouths, have least of it in their bosom,” Marlow says to Kate in Oliver Goldsmith’s “She Stoops to Conquer.” I recently saw the play at Shakespeare in the Park in Dallas, and I discovered, during a little bit of online investigation, that Oliver Goldsmith disliked the […]

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