Letters of Life

Month: May 2012

Love What You Do. Get Good At It.

Recently, an online news source featured some commencement addresses, speeches given at the graduation ceremonies at notable institutions in the US. My favourite was the one given by TV comedian and satirist, Jon Stewart, of the Emmy-award-winning The Daily News with Jon Stewart. Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare… Read More ›

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Always Summer

June bids the start of summer, and though things don’t change where I live–either it rains or it doesn’t–in my mind, the sky is a stronger shade of blue, the morning air as soft as the evening twilight, and one decides to collect white dresses. Afterall, these are like snowflakes; no two are ever alike.

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Embrittlement

Something has died and I can’t hide and I just can’t fake it . . .  Carol King, Tapestry (1971) Burnout is something you’ve all felt before. That feeling of deep tiredness, fatigue, that terrifying listlessness one struggles against. One cause of burnout, I learned recently, is not so much that we’re solving problems, but… Read More ›

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Pink

The last in a 12-part series on colour.  Wonderment Then a wind blew; And he who had forgot he moved Lonely amid the green and silver morning weather, Suddenly grew Aware of clouds and trees Gleaming and white and shafted, shaken together And blown to music by the ruffling breeze. Like flush of wings The… Read More ›

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Breakfast

Yesterday, I decided to treat myself to breakfast, the kind one is usually served at resorts on tropical islands or similar. I went to a popular sandwich cafe and sat down. About 20 inches on the left, two women sat facing each other at the next table, chatting. I glanced at their table for ideas… Read More ›

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Restoration

First Fig My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light. Edna St Vincent Millay, A Few Figs From Thistles, 1920 These are the burnt-out ends of smoky days.

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Gifts from the Heart

A nocturne, evocative of night, wafts out from my laptop as I write. It comes from a CD, a double-album of Arthur Rubinstein deftly weaving an aural tapestry from  the epic works of a legendary Romantic composer. Those nocturnes, along with The Visible World (2007) by American author Mark Slouka, were gifts from an old… Read More ›

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Running at the Speed of Light

The four men walked briskly to the start point of the trail, a path of bright earth hemmed on both sides by stands of trees by the edge of the reservoir lake. Joining us regulars was the “new” guy, a seasoned marathoner-Ironman type. Typically, he took off at the get-go. The rest of us, in… Read More ›

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Brown

The eleventh in a 12-part series on Colour. It’s not a colour you notice. It’s a wood floor you stand on, it’s a door you walk through, it’s the trunks of trees whose leaves you look at. And when it’s on cats, it’s the classiest, most inimitable shade of brown you can find.

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Yellow

Part Ten in a series on Colour.  Yellow is the colour now in the Northern Hemisphere as spring skips into summer. Here in the tropics, yellow is always with us and sometimes taken for granted. Yellow is warmth without the burn, light without the glare, is resolute in the biblical charge to rejoice. If things… Read More ›

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Grey

Part Nine in the Colour series. A child of beautiful white and elegant black, grey encompasses all the lovely things of its perfect parents. Grey ( I prefer the English to the American spelling “gray”, for the “e” makes the word look elegant and lively) is favoured both by the sophisticated, the simple, and the… Read More ›

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Orange

Part Eight in a series on Colour. Babylon The child alone a poet is: Spring and Fairyland are his. Truth and Reason show but dim, And all’s poetry with him. Rhyme and music flow in plenty For the lad of one-and-twenty, But Spring for him is no more now Than daisies to a munching cow;… Read More ›

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Scintillating Conversation

A break from the series on colour. I was looking for an orange picture in iPhoto to go with a post about the colour orange when I scrolled onto this. I realize it’s been a while since I’ve had text-message conversations like this one. Much as I long for less technology, some days are just… Read More ›

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