*sigh*

There were even bigger rallies to end Bush’s Middle East wars.

We marched in the streets, we voiced our demands, we even voted the other party into power.

 

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Shhh…

One time a relative stopped by the house– I’ll call her “Kathy,” because that was her name– complaining that her life was seriously out of balance and she didn’t know what to do.

I suggested she sit quietly.

She immediately burst out into loud, sustained cackles, because the very idea of sitting quietly was so patently absurd to her.

We live in a world that never gives us a quiet moment. Cell phones, radios, television and movies, angry talk shows, gaudy billboards; they all seem to be conspiring to keep us distracted and occupied.

The pursuit of happiness is making us all miserable.

In the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, by the way, it was worded “the pursuit of property.” Americans have been brainwashed to believe those are the same things.

They aren’t.

Kathy continues to be miserable, drama and chaos surrounding her like the winds of a hurricane.

And I still believe if she would just sit still, she could change her life.

And I believe that if enough of us just sat still, we could start a revolution.

We could heal this planet.

Poles

There’s a North Pole and a South Pole, but there’s not an East Pole or a West Pole.

It would be very hard to give someone directions if you were standing at the North Pole, because every direction would be South.

If you took a compass to the North Pole, it would point South. Magnetic North is not the same as Axial North. If you took a compass to Magnetic North I like to think that it would spin around and around, but it would probably just try to point down.

If you started at the North Pole and began walking South, eventually you would find yourself walking North again. But if you started at the Equator and began walking East, you would just walk East forever.

That’s kind of disturbing.

Human Nature

I had a job once as an appliance salesman. I didn’t last long.

I had decided to be a different kind of salesman. People complain about pushy salesmen all the time, so I decided that I would simply explain the different features and abilities and allow them to make up their own minds: no pressure, no hard-sell.

It’s easy to remember how many I sold. It’s a nice, round number. In three weeks I sold exactly zero units. Customers would spend a long time talking with me, then decide to go home to “think it over.”

Eventually the top salesman took pity on me– of course, I was no threat to him– and pulled me aside. “You aren’t selling washers and dryers,” he told me, “You’re selling yourself.  If they like you, they’ll buy from you.  Flatter them–  if it’s a man, compliment either his boots or his belt buckle; if it’s a woman compliment her dress.”

He demonstrated on the next man who walked through the door. “Oh, my!” he cried, “That’s a fine looking pair of boots!” The customer beamed. He left with our most expensive washing machine and an overpriced maintenance agreement.

I found the scene so depressing that I quit later that day.

Yesterday somebody told me that he wished there was a news service that just gave us the facts without trying to sway us to one side or the other.

I thought to myself, “No, you don’t.”

Threes

My three favorite actors:

  1. Bruce Dern
  2. Donald Sutherland
  3. John Lithgow

My three favorite actresses:

  1. Laurie Metcalf
  2. Octavia Spencer
  3. Alexis Bledel

I enjoy watching actors like Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson build to a big explosive payoff, but I’m more impressed with the actors who can play the quiet scenes.

The most difficult thing for an actor to play convincingly seems to be joy. It’s not hard to make people feel sad, and making people angry is literally as easy as raising a finger, but the actors who can lift your spirits and bring a smile to your face are the ones who really have something special.

Magic

I was downtown today in the middle of running some errands when my eye caught my left hand, and I noticed I wasn’t wearing my wedding ring.

I was crushed. I don’t always wear my wedding ring, but I make a point of always wearing it when I leave the house. I stretched out my fingers and looked again: Nope, not there.

I stopped for a cup of coffee with my parents, and a glint caught my eye. The ring was on my finger!  I stretched out my fingers and looked again: Yes, it was there. I spun it around and around. It was real, and it was there on my finger.

I was dumbfounded.

I can think of only two explanations: either I somehow stared directly at my hand and overlooked the ring, or I am a wizard.

I consider both explanations to be equally plausible.

Humble

“I’m humbled, honored, proud.”  ~Michelle Obama, at the unveiling of her official portrait (source)

I don’t think she knows what the word “humbled” means.

Of course, the word “literally” now literally means “figuratively,” so maybe the definition of “humbled” changed, too, while I was distracted with other things.  Maybe I’m the one using it wrong.

That’s a humbling thought.