Cory Booker 2020

Environmental Justice and Climate Change

Health Care is a Human Right

Reproductive Rights

Ending the Gun Violence Epidemic

Affordable, Safe, and Inclusive Housing For All

These are the reasons why I’m choosing Cory Booker at the NH Primary.

Books to Read in 2020, Book Lists

So many lists of books to read.

Although, today, I found this from the Critic’s Notebook (NYT)

Critic’s Notebook

I’m adding Wendell Berry to top reads in 2020.

Other lists:

Top 10 Outdoor books, although I’ve read most of them.

This looks interesting:

And, of course, the ultimate list, the Best Books of 2019.

I’m currently reading Second Mountain.

“Happiness comes from accomplishments; joy comes from offering gifts. Happiness fades; we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn’t fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude and hope. People who are on the second mountain have been transformed. They are deeply committed. The outpouring of love has become a steady force.”

What I Know For Sure

My friend Kendra is crazy about the sunrise. A few times a year she makes a concerted effort to see a sunrise in New England because they are part of her family history. Today she posted on her Facebook page a quote from Oprah Winfrey about a sunrise from Oprah’s book about knowing what is true. Here is the quote Kendra used in her post while capturing a most wonderful sunrise while on vacation in South Carolina: “that every sunrise is like a new page, a chance to right ourselves and receive each day in all its glory.

Her post reminds me of an article I clipped from Oprah Magazine in 2012. I remember something about instincts and trusting your intuition but I have to go back to my archives (a.k.a. my notebooks and journals) to find the article I clipped. 

I find it instantly and see that it was written by Winfrey in May 2012, a few years before she published her book, What I Know is True. 

In the article Oprah reflects on a photo of she and Jesse Jackson. She writes about how the photo transports her back in time to her first celebrity interview and, as a news reporter, she was covering Jackson’s speaking engagement at a local high school.

She goes on to write in the article, what I feel is something true about me that gets lost in daily work and living, 
“I had a fondness for telling other people’s stories, extracting the truth of their experience into digestible nuggets that could inform, inspire, or benefit someone else. Still I was uncertain about what to say or how to say it. The truth is, I was just moving on instinct.

I love this story and I love re-reading it often, and being reminded about it. Oprah was moving on instinct at an early stage in her career but didn’t know it was working for her until much later. How many times have I done something on instinct, hoping it works out, not knowing? A lot! 

So when Kendra writes about something that she knows is true, I remember what is true for me: trust my instincts and going with it. Use that intuition without knowing the outcomes. Sometimes following my instinct has led me down a path of fear and anguish, and other times I’ve had experiences that have changed my life for the better when I trusted my intuition. [moving to Tucson, moving back to Colorado, moving back to New Hampshire]

“Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn’t lie.”

Some days I complain to the ones I love about how hard everything has been lately for me but a little quote I see, briefly, this morning, reminds me how lucky and fulfilled I really am. Life is challenging almost every second of it but I’m so happy with the people in my life, the ones who stay in my life. If only I could keep this thought when my brain takes a downward dive into doubt and despair. What I know for sure …….

Anne Lamott

“What saved me was that I found gentle, loyal and hilarious companions, which is at the heart of meaning: maybe we don’t find a lot of answers to life’s tougher questions, but if we find a few true friends, that’s even better. They help you see who you truly are, which is not always the loveliest possible version of yourself, but then comes the greatest miracle of all—they still love you. They keep you company as perhaps you become less of a whiny baby, if you accept their help. And that is so much easier said than done.”

Notes on Hope, Anne Lamott quotes

I’ve been listening to Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott for the last week in my car; driving to work, driving to the mountains and the many trips to find a second dog to adopt. The audio book is only three discs and I’ve listened to the entire book three times as of this writing. I just love her, and her words make me laugh at the absurdity of living in this world; and at the same time nod my head and say amen. 

But what happens to me when I Iisten to her over and over is that when I start to write, some of her words spill onto my page. 

Such as today as I was writing in my journal about some interactions I had earlier, and in the past, and when I looked back on them I knew I was behaving badly. I felt justified at the time, saying and doing what I said and did, but as I wrote I knew it wasn’t the best way to act. It reminded me of Anne reading from Notes on Hope saying that there are times that she knows she is feeling righteous and arrogant. She knows that she is wrong. But then she apologizes, prays, gives to the poor and calls a friend. I feel that way too, looking back at things I’ve said in the past – I feel badly about my behavior. I’m going to try not to do it again. I will pray a lot. And I will, apologize. And I will give back by giving blood. 

Anne just makes me feel better. I will listen to her book a few more times before returning it to the library. For now, I’ll just finish up this post with a few quotes from her other books that help me when I feel sad and unworthy. But they also remind me that I have so many great things in my life: primarily my friends. Being a friend is my saving grace. 

It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”

― Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

“I’m as scared and angry as everyone else, but one of the blessings of being a little bit older is that being scared and angry doesn’t last as long. And you don’t always remember why you are scared and angry.”

“Almost every facet of my meager maturation and spiritual understanding has sprung from hurt, loss, and disaster.”

Yes Anne, this is what you do for me:

Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.” – Anne Lamott