Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath.
Owners of small boats sometimes end up in the path of large shipping vessels due to not paying attention to shipping etiquette and rules, so sure, it’s something people might need to read up on. Still, as you can imagine, the title of this one sent the sarcasm meter into the red:
As if that wasn’t enough, Madeleine B. piles on an additional layer of sarcasm icing on the sarcasm cake:
"Creativity is like sex. You fumble your way through, you get lost in it, you fall in love. Both are passionate, rhythmic, pleasurable, and flowing. Both can bear fruit. And both can rack your soul with vulnerability, bliss, fear and awkwardness.
I like to bare my soul once in a while, but what I love even more is exposing other people’s secrets. The people I speak of are writers. They lust writing. When you’re in lust, you can be desperate to keep that feeling alive. So when creativity goes limp, writers are the ones who know the secrets to keeping it interested. They know how to flirt with it, tease it and arouse it. In fact, they know hundreds of ways to get their creative freak on.”
In order to determine whether a clam is happy you simply have to ask it whether it is happy. If it responds in any way, then you have a happy clam. Otherwise, the clam is horrifyingly pissed off and is contemplating the best way to kill you. You will find that most clams hate your guts.
Love Sonnet XVII
by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were the salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I set out to write about my mom tonight. The Ride for Roswell opened up a lot of memories for me and I felt that it would be helpful to write them out. This is something I’ve done a lot of in the past. I’ve written pieces which have been passed around, and pieces which I will never show anyone. It’s not easy though. Not just because of the emotions, but because it’s such a vast topic that is almost impossible to boil down to a short essay. How would I break down and analyze a relationship which was so integral to my fundamental development as a person?
It’s hard to watch someone die of cancer. She fought the disease for 13 years until her poor, broken body could no longer fight. But fight she did. I do believe that she willed herself to live as long as she did. She made her body obey her mental order, and that order was to endure the disease, the disfigurement, the drugs, the bleeding, the daily wrapping of her swollen arm. She endured for everyone else’s sake. She might have been ready to go, but we weren’t ready to let her.
Cancer stripped her of everything which the world told her made her feminine: first her uterus and ovaries, then her breast, then her hair. It must have been hard for a woman who was a model in her younger years and who loved keeping up with fashion. As her arm swelled it made her clothing choices very limited. Wigs were hot and sticky in the summer, and risked blowing off in the winter. Yet despite this, she was the most beautiful woman. She didn’t need her physical appearance to define her femininity.
I could talk about memories with her, or talk about how I felt when she died. I could talk how just thinking about her not seeing me get married or having children can instantly make me cry. Or how knowing I’ll never see her again, or hug her again, or cuddle with her again makes me feel empty. Maybe I’ll try to fill that void for the rest of my life.
I could write about all these things. I could include poems I wrote about her, and diary entries where she is mentioned. I could compile all these things , look at them collectively and have a good cry.
But I don’t feel that is necessary anymore. While the void is there, the pain is gone. While the tears still come, they are no longer bitter. I’m no longer mourning her, I’m just missing her. I don’t need to “work out” her death in my head anymore. The dreams are less frequent. The memories of hospice are slowing fading to just the good ones.
Like her, I’ve adapted. I’ve changed, perhaps in some ways that I’m not proud of. But overall, I think she’d still be proud of me, and I know she’d love me. She’s still my model for the woman I hope to be one day.
So Mom, I’m not going to describe your struggle, or say again what you’ve taught me about life and being a woman. I’m not going to talk about you as a cancer patient. I’m not going to say you were a saint. I’m going to put those titles down to rest. You were all those things, but to me, you were most importantly - my mother.
And to you, as my mother, all I want to say is:
Mom, wherever you are, I want you to know I love you and always will, and every time I hear “Somewhere over the Rainbow” I think of you and smile.
The nuns taught us there were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow. Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.
Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.
The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.
At my job, there are a lot of “regulars”. These customers come everyday, at the same time, order the same thing, and usually carry on the same conversation with me. Here are a few.
75 year old veteran. Always gets a little container of cut fruit and a large coffee. He’ll add on a small coffee as well if his friend is with him. Obviously a player when he was younger, he still tries cheesy pick up lines on me. “When you’re around I don’t need to put sugar in my coffee.” nyuk, nyuk.
Tim Hortons traitor:
Mid 60’s. Comes every night armed with his paper and his Tim Hortons (!!!!) coffee. I always tease him about it, and we have a chuckle.
Late 60’s-early 70’s. Comes at 7pm every single night. Gets a small green tea. Always tips 30 cents. Always talks about his grandson at MIT and leaves after saying ” A day a a time.” Adorable.
Is the mother of another regular. Comes every night while her husband shops. Has beginning stages of dementia and is usually in a cranky mood. She always orders a medium coffee and complains at how expensive it is. Every time. Without fail. Sits by herself usually until her husband comes back. Spends her time glaring at me from across the cafe.
Adorable old couple:
I want to adopt these two. Husband always buys a small coffee with dinner and has adorable smiles to spare. Wife is quiet but always smiles and cleans up after herself. Husband always comments on my ever changing hair color and always says he misses my “crazier” dye jobs.
Radio producer dude:
Late 20’s, always makes me pick his frappe flavor before he goes to work all night. Very chatty.
Cappuccino freeze lady:
late 60’s? Very bubbly. Always orders a medium cappuccino freeze, decaf, skim milk and extra ice. No whip.
late 30’s? Fairly new to the “regulars” list. Always gets a medium cappuccino. VERY talkative. Always says how I look JUST like Kirsten Dunst.
“‘If you allowed yourselves to think of God, you wouldn’t allow yourselves to be degraded by pleasant vices. You’d have a reason for bearing things patiently, for doing things with courage… The tears are necessary… Whether ‘tis better in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them … But you don’t do either. Neither suffer nor oppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It’s too easy… What you need is something with tears for a change. Nothing costs enough here… Exposing what is mortal and unsure to all that fortune, death and danger dare, even for an eggshell. Isn’t there something in that? Quite apart from God–though of course God would be a reason for it. Isn’t there something in living dangerously? I like the inconveniences.’ 'We don't,' said the Controller. 'We prefer to do things comfortably.' 'But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.' 'In fact,' said Mustapha Mond, 'you're claiming the right to be unhappy.' 'All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.'” -Aldous Huxley
"Dear Love, Have love letters disappeared, I wonder? Do people still share heartfelt expressions of affection? And do they still do it with paper, pen and ink? Are we too timid? Or too ‘scheduled’ to find the time or for it ever to occur to us? Maybe it has become too easy to send text messages and e-mails. We no longer feel the tactile effects of opening an envelope and unfolding a thoroughly handled piece of paper. Although not a touch, or a replacement for one, yet still a connection of something touched by both. Instead, we touch little squares of plastic. We punch at them, most of the time with little concern for spelling or punctuation. Lacking a personal touch and lacking in substance and expression.
Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women. There’s a shoulder where death comes to cry. There’s a lobby with nine hundred windows. There’s a tree where the doves go to die. There’s a piece that was torn from the morning, and it hangs in the Gallery of Frost— Take this waltz, take this waltz, take this waltz with the clamp on its jaws.
I want you, I want you, I want you on a chair with a dead magazine. In the cave at the tip of the lily, in some hallway where love’s never been. On a bed where the moon has been sweating, in a cry filled with footsteps and sand Take this waltz, take this waltz, take its broken waist in your hand.
This waltz, this waltz, with its very own breath of brandy and death, dragging its tail in the sea.
There’s a concert hall in Vienna where your mouth had a thousand reviews. There’s a bar where the boys have stopped talking, they’ve been sentenced to death by the blues. Ah, but who is it climbs to your picture with a garland of freshly cut tears? Take this waltz, take this waltz, take this waltz, it’s been dying for years.
There’s an attic where children are playing, where I’ve got to lie down with you soon, in a dream of Hungarian lanterns, in the mist of some sweet afternoon. And I’ll see what you’ve chained to your sorrow, all your sheep and your lilies of snow— Take this waltz, take this waltz with its “I’ll never forget you, you know!”
And I’ll dance with you in Vienna, I’ll be wearing a river’s disguise. The hyacinth wild on my shoulder my mouth on the dew of your thighs. And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook, with the photographs there and the moss. And I’ll yield to the flood of your beauty, my cheap violin and my cross. And you’ll carry me down on your dancing to the pools that you lift on your wrist— O my love, O my love Take this waltz, take this waltz, it’s yours now. It’s all that there is.