I haven’t posted an encouraging quote for awhile but I crossed paths with this one via Brain Pickings a couple of days ago and it seems eminently appropriate for the times we’re living in. To say the zeitgeist has been getting me down is an understatement. I keep coming back to the conviction that community, connection, and love is the only thing that can save me – us – from chaos and despair.
I have been saying it to myself in much less poetic and profound ways than Tennessee Williams does here, though. This is a beautifully wrapped reminder of what it means to be human.
Today’s quote comes directly from The New York Times’ International Women’s Day-themed Daily Briefing. And it couldn’t be more appropriate to where I’m at right now.
Also, the briefing noted that Senegal ranks in the top ten countries with the most female representation in Parliament. I had no idea. Go, Senegal!
I unexpectedly and very pleasantly had the day off, and with nothing pressing to do, I started the mammoth article I’ve been meaning to read for three months, added words to my neglected French vocabulary list while finally streaming Lemonade, ran a couple of miles at dusk, and generally lazed about doing semi-taxing but rewarding things that are only enjoyable when done at leisure. And I did indeed note that I was happy, and feel grateful for it.
I hope you are having a happy day, too.
I harbor a very strong fear of posting cheesy* motivational quotes by multi-millionaire self-help gurus on my blog, but since everything I want is on the other side of that fear, I’m doing it anyway.
*yet powerful, practical, and true
I’m not sure whether anxiety and depression are feelings, or mental states that keep you at a distance from your feelings. Regardless, a big old ball of anxiety tinged with despair has been hanging over me like that little Zoloft cloud lately, and every which way I’ve tried to fight it – or not fight it and simply get through it – has failed miserably…
…including posting this quote. Oh well. Maybe it’ll work for you.
(I don’t know whether this rightly belongs in the “inspiration and encouragement” category, but I don’t have one called “let’s all feel like shit together,” so it’ll have to do.)
Trying times. So many hate-filled people causing so much needless pain. I wish I could go hang out on Desmond Tutu’s couch and listen to him make me feel better about the universe. Last week I said I would pay to be David Sedaris’ friend. Today, I think I would turn over my life’s savings just to sit at a kitchen table with Desmond Tutu and David Sedaris and feel that all is right with the world.
Perhaps I should give up on language learning and join an ashram instead…
I don’t actually need any hump day inspiration considering that I got back from vacation last night and did literally nothing at work today but hang out and hyperventilate/chatter about said vacation while extremely high on espresso and life.
I’ll share photos once I sift through all 1,500+ of them and find the gemmiest of the many, many gems… Because where I went, it was eye orgasms every which way you looked.
Hasta pronto, mis amigos! No puedo esperar para mostrar mis fotos del más magnífico vacaciones en la historia de vacaciones! (I’m still high on that coffee, fourteen hours later.)
Mary Oliver’s poem is particularly meaningful to me since I visited Cebu, where Magellan died, while myself far from home, and way outside my comfort zone both personally and professionally.
I went to the Philippines for work almost exactly one year ago. During some free time in Cebu city before heading to the remote outer reaches of the island for a shoot, we hired a tour guide to show us the sights.
I learned that Magellan landed on Cebu in the 1500s, planted a huge cross, converted some important people to Christianity, and proceeded to be killed three weeks later while attempting to forcefully convert some others. (Which is why I wish Mary Oliver had chosen someone less objectionable to illustrate her message. But I digress.)
We visited the cross, which is considered the most important relic in the Philippines. Not being Catholic, I was interested in its historic rather than religious value, and I was disappointed that it is completely encased in a protective covering, so you can’t actually see the 500 year-old timber.
Anyway… point is, the tiny villages I spent time in while in the Philippines were the furthest I’ve ever wandered from home, geographically or experience-wise, and Mary Oliver’s metaphor is actually quite on-the-nose and literal in my case. Especially because there were several instances in which I believed (delusionally) that I was going to die in the Philippines.
Thankfully that did not come to pass, the trip was an amazing exercise in stretching myself, and I am now free to find another far-off island to die in.
[Top photo is from Iloilo, two islands west of Cebu.]