A Poem and A Photograph

There can be no rebirth without death

There Can Not Be a Rebirth Without a Death

I rushed to this place of beginnings to trap these words
Before they dissipate into the Sunday dusk.
Love was breathing on me all day, walking side by
side, as I wondered around the roads you carved
Onto the white matter that had not produced one
Memorable story, till God introduced us to each other.

Can I talk to you about loss? I can only mention this
Since finding your picture next to mine on an altar
Revealed the truth of my condition: wounded heart,
Born wanting sweetness not grown in the region
I was reared. The kind of loss not based on a having
or a loosing, but an always, a never, a darkness.

Can I talk to you about loneliness? The type experienced
In the company of others, shared over decades of empty
Gestures and unfulfilled promises, bred in regret,
Hidden behind a smile and the accommodating touch
I learned to demand and receive for no apparent reason
Other than a convenience exchanged in time and space.

Can I talk to you about fear? The suffocating kind, familiar,
Constant. The one deciding that venturing outside isn’t right.
It predicts that around each corner, a darker alley lies. And
When you make a run for it, it blows out the light lighting
The tentative path you long studied and planned, as the way
Leading back to possibilities that feel deserving at times.

Can I talk to you about time? I am becoming its friend—
Recognizing the generous ways it allows the rebirth
Of a fate we believed had been abandoned, left for dead.
Destiny can not be lost in the never-ending circling
Of the minute hand, it is made truth and blessing now,
inspiration, present-moment shared and realized.

Can I talk to you about love? Just a reminder of sorts:
Each time it opens my heart, out pours patience and grace,
With the kindness and belief that bears all things worthy. Hopeful,
Enduring love, devoid of arrogance or envy. Newly born
Into the eternal space we occupy today. Faithful lovers,
Here to manifest the gods’ perfect creation. Nothing less.

The Cost of Pursuing Art

Joan Didion, 1972. (c) Jill Krementz
Joan Didion, 1972. (c) Jill Krementz

From Laura Bogart via Dame:

The best thing that ever happened to my writing life was breaking my ankle. Painful, yes, but it bought me seven weeks of forced bed rest—kind of like a paid writer’s retreat, except for the part where I had to figure out how to get myself to the bathroom.

I’ve written in the margins of life since I was a college student selling cardigans at Lord & Taylor; a graduate student tutoring kindergarteners on the alphabet and prepping high-school seniors for their SATs; an adjunct with a five-class courseload across two campuses; and a late-twentysomething/early-thirtysomething “in marketing and editorial.” Lunch breaks bled into long nights, and long nights bled into weekends. All the while I was chafed raw: I had to eke out my passion in the hours between helping other people achieve their dreams—or at least get what they wanted.

This prolonged, uninterrupted time out of the office was the silver lining of a catastrophic injury.

There’s more…

“The Love of My Life,” she called him

and he thought, everyone should have a Love of My Life, to be able to write love poems to them, like this one:

Blessing The Wounds

You sent me alone to the concert hall
Where only half the notes played
Until the music discovered your face—
Your smile alive, in the smiles of my friends.

You called to say you weren’t coming
But when I turn around, there you are,
Reflected on each one of my walls and
Weaved in the silky sheets that cover my bed.

I spread you on my morning bread,
Drink your sweat to calm my thirst.
My palms rest on your skin. My fingerprints
I press, branding forever your flesh.

Thirty days I walked, my eyes shut
And in the darkness of my steps
I follow the warmth of your breath
Through the dessert to the valley beyond.

Blessing the wounds we’ve carried,
Our true love joins us in the search for home.
We learn leaving from some lovers,
Only one can teach us the way back.

Je Suis Dieudonne

 Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, the French comedian better known as Dieudonne, has been arrested and held on charges of apologizing for terrorism in the wake of a Facebook post that referred to last week's deadly attacks in Paris. (c) Michel Euler/AP
Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, the French comedian better known as Dieudonne, has been arrested and held on charges of apologizing for terrorism in the wake of a Facebook post that referred to last week’s deadly attacks in Paris.
(c) Michel Euler/AP

From NPR:

Controversial French comedian Dieudonne has been arrested in the wake of the deadly attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and held on charges of apologizing for terrorism. He was one of 54 people held across France; none has been linked to the attacks.

There’s more…

Tourist Art

Lisette Poole for the NYT
Lisette Poole for the New York Times


From the New York Times:

HAVANA — Kadir López was working in his studio at his elegant home here when the doorbell rang. It was Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“I had no idea they were coming,” said Mr. López, whose work incorporates salvaged American signs and ads that were torn down after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.

About an hour and $45,000 later, Mr. Smith had bought “Coca Cola-Galiano,” an 8-by-4-foot Coca-Cola sign on which Mr. López had superimposed a 1950s photograph of what was once one of the most bustling commercial streets in Havana.

A year later, recalling the event, Mr. López is still happily incredulous.

“Where else in the world does Will Smith turn up on an artist’s doorstep?” he said.

There’s more…

A Poem And A Photograph


Inconclusive Thoughts

Inconclusive thoughts
And convictions. Unfinished
Building of character. The job
Not yet completed.
The slippery task of defining
My life, escaping again
Through fingers of frost.
As I speed through
This hazy early morning of thought,
I see rain, and then,
The slow lifting of ancient fog.

Your Second Act Begins in 2015

From Bruce Rosenstein, via Next Avenue:

In 2007, British psychologist Richard Wiseman followed more than 3,000 people attempting to achieve New Year’s resolutions including the top three: lose weight, quit smoking and exercise regularly. At the start of the study, most were confident of success. A year later, only 12 percent had achieved their goals.

and the grand finale!

To make meaningful New Year’s resolutions that you’ll really keep, set long-range resolutions for your second act. This way, you can help reach the goals that matter to you in the context of your entire future, not just a single year.

(MORE: Resolutions From the Wisest Americans)

To make holistic New Year’s resolutions, look to the wisdom of Peter Drucker, the father of modern management who died in 2005 at 95. Drucker’s iconic 39 books and countless articles were always forward-focused.

I’ve studied Drucker’s career for 30 years and had the privilege of interviewing him while working as a researcher and business writer at USA Today. So, armed with Drucker’s sage insights, I recommend you make these five long-range resolutions for your second act:

1. I resolve to embrace uncertainty rather than avoid it.
Don’t assume that tomorrow will be like today. It could be, but the future is unknown. And while uncertainty can be unsettling, remember this: we’re all in the same boat. There’s more…