Category Archives: Quotes

Stop Looking At Closed Doors

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”-Helen Keller

This has been true in my life and maybe in yours too. We can get stuck looking at that closed door.  Better to seek out the open ones that are still waiting for us.


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image of Door by Tama66 on Pixabay.com

The Flat

“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that does not mean those places leave us. Once entered, we never entirely depart the homes we make for ourselves in the world. They follow us, like shadows, until we come upon them again, waiting for us in the mist.”
Ari Berk

The last flat¹ we lived in in San Francisco had a little room off the kitchen where there was a sink with a window over it, and there were counters and shelves on each side of the sink. I thought of it as a pantry but it was probably more like a scullery, “since the scullery was the room with running water, it had a sink…”². Scullery³ sounds like a place to store sculls, catacombs. There were no skulls in our pantry.

800px-DJJ_1_Catacombes_de_Paris by djtox on Wikipedia.

Catacombs of Paris by Djtox

The kitchen had a built in breakfast nook with a vinyl covered U-shaped banquette, like a booth in a diner. My mother loved the nook. Flats are like large apartments. Ours had a kitchen, den, two bedrooms, living room, 1¼ bath. I say ¼ bath because there was a small room in the hall with a second toilet. The rooms of the flat were bigger than a typical modern apartment in the US. Our flat was on the top floor. You had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to the front door and another flight once you got inside. My mother did not lock the front door. You were not afraid living in The City in those days. Flats seem more like homes than apartments.

10754345204_a0846b68e7_zThe Mission District by Ken Lund on Flickr

Mission District by Ken Lund

This (above) looks something like the flat we lived in, only nicer. Below image is not too far from my old neighborhood.

800px-CastroAnd20thStreetInSanFranciscosCastroDistrict via wikimedia

2oth and Castro Street


footnotes:

1.flat: A set of rooms forming an individual residence, typically on one floor and within a larger building containing a number of such residences.-Oxford Living Dictionaries

2.Pantry-Wikipedia.

3. Etymololgy of scullery: Middle English squilerie, sculerie department of household in charge of dishes, from Anglo-French esquilerie, from escuele, eskel bowl, from Latin scutella drinking bowl-Merriam-Webster Dictionary online.

One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image The Scullery Maid  painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi via Wikimedia

 

Talk of Sealing Wax

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax….-Lewis Carroll

In the BBC film version of Pride and Prejudice (1995), Mr. Darcy stays up all night writing a letter to Elizabeth Bennet in an effort to clear himself of unjust charges by Mr. Wickham. He seals the envelope with sealing wax stamped with his signet ring. This letter writing scene was not in the original book by Jane Austen. In Pride and Prejudice, letters were the way of conveying information from a distance. Or in Darcy’s case, a way to speak from the heart without speaking face to face. The people in the story had to wait to find out what was happening with their friends and family. There was no texting, emails, or phone calls. I remember, not so long ago, this was the way we communicated. There was something special about receiving a handwritten letter. There was the anticipation built up of when the letter would come and the excitement of its arrival.  There was noting the choice of stationary and the handwriting of the sender. Sometimes it could be hard to read some of the words depending on the penmanship. There could be cross outs. You saved special letters in a box. I remember I liked my writing to be clear and hated to cross out words so I would end up throwing out cards or paper and starting over. You wanted your lines to be straight inside and on the envelope, and you might pick out special postage stamps. I remember my mother in law, my husband’s aunt, and I addressing my wedding invitations by hand. For my daughter-in-law’s rehearsal dinner I picked out special postage stamps with images of wedding bands. I have a Montblanc fountain pen that I have to fill with ink. Texting or emails just can’t compare. How romantic to receive a handwritten letter sealed with wax with impression of a signet ring. I miss letter writing and receiving handwritten letters.

4022418729_513a95839f_z


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words are sealing/ceiling. Featured image of illustration from Pride and Prejudice by C. E. Brock via wikimedia. Image of letter with wax seal by Charlotte Gilhooly via Flickr.

It’s Good To Be Bored

 

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.”-Rollo May

I read an article in Quartz “I kicked my smartphone addiction by retraining my brain to be bored,“by Jordan Rosenfeld. In it he lists several reasons he and psychologists have found why boredom is good for our brains and creativity:

  • unscheduled downtime feeds the creative process
  • we come up with creative ideas when our minds are allowed to wander
  • it inspires lateral thinking or coming up with creative solutions
  • it can help us get in touch with our emotions when we are not distracting ourselves

Rosenfeld goes on to say “I’ve certainly noticed that when I stay away from my phone and the Internet during the day, I don’t feel as tired in the evening. That over-stimulated feeling of mental clutter goes away—and I’m itching to enter the worlds of my fictional characters again.” Mental clutter, that is a good term for it. Our brains can get so clogged up with it that we don’t have space for our creative ideas.

Engaging creatively requires hitting the reset button, which means carving space in your day for lying around, meditating, or staring off into nothing.”-Derek Beres

The above quote is from another post “Being Busy is Killing Our Ability to Think Creatively.” We are so distracted checking our smartphones, Facebook pages, Twitter, and Blogs that our brains are fizzled away to mush. Maybe it is a great plan for mind control that we be distracted with all this constant trivia. In Beres post, he quotes another author, Cal Newport, who says we are “in danger of rewiring [our] neural patterns for distraction.” That is a scary idea and I am not sure if it is based on brain science, but I am determined to rescue my brain from all the trivial and distracting input. How about you?


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image ‘Meadow’ by atlantis0815 on Pixabay.com

Creativity

“But nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great, ever came out of imitations. What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”-Anna Quindlin

Is expressing ourselves creatively essential to our well-being and lives even if we are never famous, never receive recognition? It is great to hear about an artist who continued to create because that was what she had to do. She did not have any formal training but did it anyway. Eventually she was able to receive recognition and some income from her art. This post is dedicated to all of us who want to express our creativity and may never be recognized.

Maud Lewis had rheumatoid arthritis and lived in a small house without indoor plumbing or electricity. “Her pleasure didn’t come from the pride of having done a painting, but the creative act itself and the enjoyment others seemed to get from her work.”-Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

I am sharing a post from Hyperallergic by Olivia Gauthier about the film Maudie.

Some more info about Maud Lewis and her paintings from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. And a story from NPR, Home is Where The Art Is: The Unlikely Story of Folk Artist Maud Lewis.


We Are The World Blogfest is hosted this month by: Belinda WitzenhausenLynn HallbrooksMichelle Wallace, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia SteinIf you would like to join in this blogfest you can link up here. Featured image of Maud Lewis in front of her home via the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Wikimedia.

We Are the World Blogfest

Push Back

“We’ve all seen the television commercials, read the articles, or watched the movies in which society tries to tell us that people our age only have two options: become pathetic, useless individuals living in a shell of our former selves OR we must cover our wrinkles, refuse to retire, and become motorcycle-riding thrill seekers. Neither extreme scenario is necessary for us to get the most from life after 60.”-sixtyandme.com

Listening to the negative messages could take years off your life and it does make you feel worse because we internalize it.

We are all going to be old and we have a choice in the way we think about it, the way we think about ourselves. And there are as many ways to be as there are people. We do not have to be one extreme or the other.


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image of older couple by Erika Wittlieb on Pixabay.com

 

 

Words of Wisdom

“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every morning I scan my email inbox and see how many I can weed out. I try not to let too many emails accumulate. I get emails from organizations I have donated to in the past, asking for more donations, or asking me to sign petitions on this issue or that. I have started ignoring them more often now because I feel that I can not afford to be making donations and tell myself I should probably be the one who gets donations. I get tired of signing petitions, but still do a bit of it. I get emails from different newsletters and websites I have signed up to. I may have found an article of theirs interesting and decided I would like to read more, and I end up with all these emails from them. I have noticed that so many of the websites and newsletters are in the business of giving us all advice on how to live our lives with subject lines like: How To Get More Joy In You Life, Why It’s So Hard To Say You’re Sorry, The Best Cities For Successful Aging, The Next Food City You Should Pay Attention To, What a Healthy Relationship Looks Like. I have noticed that posts about how to be happy and have good relationships are a frequent topic of many writers. When we are struggling with our problems or lonely we might be drawn to read their advice. Are we all supposed to pack up and move to a city that has the best food and chance for us to have “successful aging?” I have this vision of selling our house and moving to one of these places and then finding out they have decided to cut back on their services and not be a best city for successful aging. And then I would be stuck.


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill.  Featured image ‘Woman sitting at desk writing’ via Pixabay.com