Life’s Like an Hourglass, Glued to the Table – Vol. 11

There is never an end to loss, or hope
I give up the ghost for which I grope
Over and over again saying Amen
To all that does or does not happen—
The eternal event is now, not when

~ “Now” by Samuel Menashe

“When I came back [from WWII], I heard people talking about what they were going to do next summer. I was amazed that they could talk of that future, next summer. As a result, I lived in the day. For the first few years after the war, each day was the last day. And then it changed. Each day was the only day.” ~ Samuel Menashe

The eternal event is now, friends, not when. Each day is the only day. Resolve to live. Breathe. Try to enjoy the ride. Love, Christy and Jennie

***

“If we are unduly absorbed in improving our lives we may forget altogether to live them.” ~ Alan Watts

***

“‘Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe”

~ “Breathe 2AM (acoustic)” by Anna Nalick, Shine EP

***

“You can try to escape the story of your life, but you can’t. It happened. The baby died, the dog died, the heart broke. I knew you when you were young, I know your heart broke too. I will know you when we are both old and maybe wise. I hope wise. I know you now, your story. Mine is not the one I would have chosen in the beginning, but I’ll take it. It is my story. It’s only mine and it’s not over. There’s time. There is time. There is so much time.” ~ Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) in Enlightened

***

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Spoken perhaps not by The Buddha but a buddha.

Spoken perhaps not by “The” Buddha but “a” buddha. (info)

***

If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears. ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

***

“The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming. But again and again we avoid the long thoughts. We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. And why not, after all? We get confused. We need such escape as we can find. But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need – not all the time, surely, but from time to time – to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember – the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.”
~ Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces (with thanks to Whisky River)

***

“Thank you for the days
Those endless days those sacred days you gave me
I’m thinking of the days
I won’t forget a single day believe me

I bless the light
I bless the light that shines on you believe me
And though you’re gone
You’re with me every single day believe me”

~ “Days” by Elvis Costello, from soundtrack Until the End of the World (original by The Kinks)

***

The Children of Time

by Iain S. Thomas

January has issues with her mother, February is always talking about things he wants to do while March does them, April eats sweets and May pays for them, June is the oldest but not the wisest and July always has an opinion on everything. August never stops trying do the right thing, even if he doesn’t always know what that is. September once saw something so sad, she never stopped crying. October holds the lift for anyone, vice-presidents and street-sweepers alike (for his memory, not for theirs) and November makes fun of him for this. December is tired but always hopeful. He has never once stopped believing.

Monday’s obviously a bastard, quite literally as dad can’t remember what or who he was doing. Tuesday’s temperamental but ok as long as you stay on her good side. Wednesday doesn’t say much and Thursday sometimes hums just to break the silence. They’re in love. Friday’s always wasted and she and Saturday hold each other tightly until their delirium fades.

But Sunday, Sunday knows she’s the end. But she closes her eyes, and she pretends with all the strength in her tiny heart that really, she’s the dawn.

~ “Children of Time” by Iain S. Thomas (PleaseFindThis), I Wrote This For You 

***

“Sure, everything is ending,” Jules said, “but not yet.”
~ Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

***

“I looked Death in the face last night
I saw him in a mirror
And he simply smiled
He told me not to worry
He told me just to take my time

We close our eyes, and the world has turned around again
We close our eyes and dream, and another year has come and gone.”

~ “We Close Our Eyes” by Oingo Boingo, Boi-Ngo

***

About Living (Part III)

by Mattie J. T. Stephanek

I wanted to live
To be
One hundred and one
Years old.
But that is no
Longer my goal.
When I die,
I die.

I cannot predict.
I cannot control.
I cannot change
What is to be,
Which is what it is
And will be
What it will be.
I wanted to live
To be,
And not die.
But,
While I’m alive,
I live
To the fullest.
I treasure each sunrise.
I remember each sunset.
I dance every dance and
I sing every song and
I celebrate every moment.
I wanted to live
To be.
And,
I am spending my time
On earth before death
Living,
Rather than dying,
And not wasting a moment
Of the precious gifts
Of time and
Of life and
Of being, for now.

“About Living (Part III)” by Mattie J. T. Stepanek, from Reflections of a Peacemaker: A Portrait Through Heartsongs,edited by Jennifer Smith Stepanek. © Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2005.  (With thanks to A Year of Being Here)

(To learn more about Mattie, 1990 – 2004, visit mattieonline.com and watch the very moving memorial video below. Have a Kleenex handy though, no, better have the whole box. -cw)

***

I’d Pick More Daisies

by Nadine Stair, 87

If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

~ Nadine Stair (info)

***

“I went up in the ferris wheel for a last ride before being thrown into seventh grade. It went up into the stars and fell back to earth and rose again, and I had a magnificent vision, or think I did, though it’s hard to remember if it was that year with the chocolate cake or the next one with the pigs getting loose. The ferris wheel is the same year after year. it’s like all one ride to me: we go up and I think of people I knew who are dead and I smell fall in the air, manure, corn dogs, and we drop down into blazing light and blaring music. Every summer I’m a little bigger, but riding the ferris wheel, I feel the same as ever, I feel eternal. The combination of cotton candy, corn dogs, diesel smoke, and sawdust, in a hot dark summer night, it never changes, not an inch. The wheel carries us up high, high, high, and stops, and we sit swaying, creaking, in the dark, on the verge of death. You can see death from here. The wind blows from the northwest, from the farm school in Saint Anthony Park, a chilly wind with traces of pigs and sheep in it. This is my vision: little kids holding on to their daddy’s hand, and he is me. He looks down on them with love and buys them another corn dog. They are worried they will lose him, they hang on to his leg with one hand, eat with the other. This vision is unbearably wonderful. Then the wheel brings me down to the ground. We get off and other people get on. Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.” ~ Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

***

Rue

by Samuel Menashe

For what I did
And did not do
And do without
In my old age
Rue, not rage
Against that night
We go into,
Sets me straight
On what to do
Before I die —
Sit in the shade,
Look at the sky

~ “Rue,” Samuel Menashe

Sunrise by cw

“Rising Heart” by christina’s words (cw)

Glowing country sky
Bright warm sun says, “Good morning!”
My heart shines with hope.

***

“Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right”

~ “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, from Love

***

This week’s “Life is an Hour Glass”-themed music playlist via YouTube, features music by: Pink Floyd, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, and more. Thank you Mary, Cayman and CTS for the inspiration.

Playlist link:

Special Notes:

  • DON’T MISS: Michele @ Mished-Up’s recent post on her 2014 theme word, FREE.
  • Thank you, supporters, for the generous blog awards and kind accolades. We appreciate you.
  • Are you addicted to Words? We are too! Get a daily dose of Words at our new site, Words For The Year. No commentary, no theme, no plan even — just Words. One selection, once a day, from Christy and/or Jennie.
  • We’ll be streamlining our look here over the next couple of weeks. Don’t worry if you get a loading error — just means we’re tinkering — it won’t be for long.

To end with a smile, and you will smile … ladies and gentlemen, Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Durante singing “Old Man Time.” Enjoy, and “have a good time every day,” love, Christy and Jennie

~~~

38 comments

  1. I am always taken aback by how you ladies are able to assemble such a depth of perspective on your given topic. The songs (Breathe in acoustic is even better than the original way, which I love. And Kinks, God. Elvis is a favorite.) and then the poems and writings (from Menashe to Watts to Thomas and Egan.) . . . all sewn to their just right places. And then there is Mattie Stepanek, who I can never read or listen to without tearing up. It’s rare to come upon a child and a wise old man in the same person, but we all did so when we met him, didn’t we? I’m tearing up now, and I just have to let you know, wow. And damn. And most of all, thanks.
    It’s more than words. It really is.

    Like

    1. This one, this post. This. Well you know, Cayman, I’ve been working on it a while and over Christmas and New Years and being in that special mental state that only comes from a mix of awareness and illness, and pain even, with a sprinkling of gratitude thrown in, it was a challenging yet soulful post, cathartic if you read between the lines. (And how is That for a run-on?)

      And then you mention Mattie.

      Mattie came into my life after I lost my grandparents, and remained, in spirit, a source of joy to my family during health issues and more loss.

      And then to reenter my life this week when most needed…? It makes me believe–even more–in angels. He was, is, a true peacemaker in the lives that he touched and continues to touch.

      Live for today.
      Just be.
      Watch the sun rise,
      then watch it fall.
      Between, dance.
      Then sit,
      in the shade,
      And look at the sky–
      At this grand eternal
      Happening now
      All around you.
      And breathe it in,
      Then let it go.
      -cw

      (Enjoy your weekend, Soul Man, love)

      Like

      1. You’re all that and then some, Tupelo. Your comments are posts, tell you what.
        Peace and love

        Like

  2. The Children of Time excerpt blew me away.

    And Oingo Boing? Wow, that was unexpected!

    Like

    1. December is tired but always hopeful. He has never once stopped believing.

      Isn’t that a beautiful piece?

      Danny Elfman … has always been a crazy genius. Boi-Ngo is a great album.

      Like

  3. Beautiful post and lovely video.Happy new year.jalal

    Like

    1. Thank you, Jalal, it’s nice to see you. Happy new year to you and your family, Christy

      Like

  4. Perfectly judged for the new year; an interesting theme. I really like the Beuchner, especially this: ‘But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need – not all the time, surely, but from time to time – to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us.’ Thank you!

    Like

    1. Thanks Liz. The whole concept of time has been on my mind lately. The changing calendar year just intensified the theme, I’m glad you thought so too.

      Sounds like the Remember quote was a favorite for many. Me too. I think our past grounds us — moors us — otherwise we’re just drifting. We may not be sad or anxious, but we’re not rooted either.

      It’s important to remember–not ALL the time, but sometimes. Yes.

      Have a great week my friend, x

      Like

  5. Hi Christy and Jennie,
    Beautiful as usual. I’ll be visiting your post frequently this week. You must have been channeling my mood from last Saturday. I spent hours working in the woods vacillating between being grateful for the present, worried about the future and sad about some things in the past. Eventually the woods and the work helped me resolve it all 🙂
    Your quote from Laura Dern reminded me of another by Brene Brown, “If we own the story, we can write the ending.”
    Thanks for your continued compilation of wonderful words…they help me every week!
    xo, M

    Like

    1. Worried and sad… Yes I know those feelings too. I like how you worked through them, and I like that you found some strength in these words.

      Brene Brown… So true. We can change out story any day. There’s freedom in that.

      Oh… And I loved your Run Like a Dog. Made me smile when I needed one, and little pup in front of the fire? Squee! Spot loves nothing better than to sprawl in front of the fireplace. She loves her walks, but she is a couch potato at heart. 🙂 I love when you write about your dogs… More please. 😉 not less, more. xo, c

      Like

  6. You’re right, Christy, this one was a whopper of a post. I love that Children of Time excerpt. Makes me like December again. I will have to put ‘enjoy the journey’ on my list of things to do this year–so I don’t get so caught up in improving and achieving goals that I forget to take in the whole picture and live as well. Enjoy your weekend.

    Like

    1. December is tired but always hopeful. He has never once stopped believing.

      Isn’t that sweet? I like that almost as much as Sunday believing she is the dawn.

      Goals and plans and resolutions are all fine and dandy, but don’t forget to live and pick daisies and eat bacon donuts, right?

      Enjoy your week, Char!

      Like

  7. mishedup · ·

    But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need – not all the time, surely, but from time to time – to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember – the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.”

    ummhmmmm….love that
    and the Kinks may appear in a post this month, thanks for that song.
    LOVE the new blog and thanks for the shout out.

    so, so good, this one. But they always are!
    Thanks Christy…..
    grateful the world keeps turning with you

    Like

    1. “The name of the room is Remember.” … sigh. I think Ruiz has a point about living in the moment and not letting the past make us sorrowful or the future anxious, but we need to Remember. We need to honor that place inside us, that place that keeps others alive, you know? And I know you do.

      Thanks for the kudos on the new site, we’re excited about it. Just a down and dirty, no frills, here’s what is on our mind Today, type of thing.

      Always turning, and trying to enjoy the view from the top to lift me up during those times at the bottom…
      xo

      Like

      1. mishedup · ·

        oh my….

        just realized no comments on new site.
        Actually a good idea…then it’s yours and ours and just out there in the universe, but I always want to say something.
        This is me not commenting!
        xo

        Like

        1. Haha, and this is me not responding. 🙂

          Did you like Kindness? I thought about you, it had that same Merwin/Oliver vibe.

          You’re always welcome to comment over here on any of the daily stuff that strikes a chord. I just didn’t want anyone to feel they HAD to comment or like, including myself, and Jennie too… It’s different–I’m adjusting to it too, but it’s nice I think. Releasing these little offerings out into the eternal–like little butterflies, I hope they land softly where and when someone needs them–“it is I you have been looking for”–Little acts of kindness to travel with you–like a shadow or a friend.

          Like

          1. mishedup · ·

            I adore that poem.
            there, comment made!
            BTW..the director of The muppets video is a good friend f mine.
            there..brag made!
            and now I am going to leave it alone because it is perfect with no comments…a meditation, a thought, a laugh..just in and of itself.

            Like

          2. Very cool! Tell your friend the video helped a young girl ease out of an anxiety attack and into a happy laughing place yesterday, and then it helped her into gentle sleep for the night. 🙂

            And it did the same for me earlier in the day. Talk about little happy butterflies of kindness…

            Like

  8. Wonderful choices! I am especially drawn to the Elvis Costello and the Boingo (go figure) but your choices in quotes resonate.

    Thanks!
    Michael

    Like

    1. Hey Michael!! Glad you enjoyed, of course I thought of you with the Boingo (same album as Home Again). And Elvis… Have you heard that soundtrack to Until the End of the World? It’s phenomenal. Prob the best strack I’ve ever heard, Forrest Gump the second I think. It’s early 90’s — Nick Cave has a song, as does D Mode and Talking Heads, you’d dig it.

      Like

      1. I remember the U2 song by that name but not that soundtrack. I will definitely look for it and get it!

        Like

  9. As always, beautiful choices for the theme. The Tolkien one is a personal favourite. Even as I procrastinate over writing my final blog post, I’m relieved to see that incredible souls like you will continue with such amazing writing. Namaste x

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs

    Like

    1. Love that quote, B, thank you. Courage… Yes. And it takes courage to move on, I’m proud of you for moving on to the next chapter.

      Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
      Rumi 🙂

      I hope you’ll drop by to say hi from time to time. I think we’re connected on Twitter too, right?

      I’m so glad to have met you! xoxo

      Like

  10. Words didn’t show in my reader, I just found it buried in my email. Casablanca, nice touch. 🙂
    Love Dirty Vegas too.

    Like

    1. That Dirty Vegas was another lucky find. I knew I wanted the song, but the original is more clubby, keyboard driven. So when I found it stripped, it was like hearing the song for the first time. Loved it! Glad you did too.

      And Casablanca. Yes. For old times’ sake. :).

      Hmmm not sure about Reader? Maybe too long or something? I’m glad you found us in your email!

      Like

  11. Love it! “Here Comes the Sun” I’ve always loved, but that video of Armstrong and Durante is priceless. Great post as always, Christy! It has been a pleasure following your blog this year. Happy New Year! Hope you have a wonderful 2014! 🙂

    Like

    1. Armstrong and Durante was a jackpot of a find, EJ, wasn’t it fabulous? Found it looking for the Casablanca tune.

      Saw your posts earlier… Yay I’m glad you’re going to the Blues Fest! Dmb! Hope it didn’t cost a kidney, though it would be worth it. Totally.

      Like

  12. Whistler · ·

    Excellent, thanks very much. Happy 2014.

    Like

    1. Happy 2014 to you too. Love The Pretenders, thanks. I’ll add that to the YouTube playlist when I get on the laptop later.

      Hope you have a great week, posting as RoS on Mon or Tues, drop on by if you get time. -c

      Like

  13. Christy andJen, this quote could not be more timely..
    ‘not all the time, surely, but from time to time – to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember – the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.”

    December is my time of Remember, to honor the past not wallow in hit as i once did so ty for that profound validation and for this entire post.

    Like

    1. You are so welcome, I’m glad it was timely for you. I mentioned to Liz above that it’s so important to remember–it keeps us moored and grounded, otherwise I think we just kind of float. Not that floating isn’t nice sometimes–it is–but nostalgia, ancestry, heritage, memory… They keep us, and, most importantly, others alive.

      It’s nice to see you posting again. Big fan of your work.

      Have a wonderful week, Christy

      Like

  14. whiteladyinthehood · ·

    It was GREAT! I had never heard of Mattie…it was a very moving video.

    Like

    1. I am so glad I could introduce you to Mattie’s work! He was a remarkable bright light full of peace and hope. His website has a ton of good info–and maybe even some ideas for your school crew.

      Xoxo

      Like

  15. Gah, I loved all of these.

    Um, new tattoo?:

    “Before I die —
    Sit in the shade,
    Look at the sky”

    I read the poem to Joe – absolutely loved it. Thanks for another great post, ladies. 🙂 xoxo

    Like

    1. Rue, not rage, against the dying light. … Sigh, isn’t that beautiful, Nicole? Menashe’s work is new to me, but man, talk about brevity. He kept going back to poems, seeing how he could whittle them down down down to their core. Concise. So few words, so much meaning.

      Finding “Rue” allowed me to find “Now” which is already a lifetime fave. “I give up the ghost for which I grope” I am ink-free, but would almost embed those words into my skin, as they are now embedded into my heart.

      Love you hun, check RoS when you can, it’s about Spot but you’ll recognize the “not today” bit.

      xoxo

      Like

  16. muggleinconverse · ·

    You’ve once again managed to pick some my favorites and introduce me to some new ones. Great topic.

    Like

    1. Oh good! This volume is one of my favorites. They’re all “my babies” — but this one was extra special.

      (So good to see you! I hope ’14 is off to a good start for you.)

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      Like

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