Day #322: Ananda

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'EngleI am grateful for “ananda.” I remember this from my first reading of the book. It’s a goal.

“Ananda,” said Mrs. Murry thoughtfully. “That rings some kind of bell.”

“It’s Sanskrit,” Charles Wallace said.

Meg asked, “Does it mean anything?”

“That joy in existence without which the universe will collapse and fall apart.”

(Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet)

Day #321: Saved by Love

I am grateful that Reinhold Niebuhr wrote this for me to be reminded:

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime;
therefore we must be saved by hope.
Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense
in any immediate context of history;
therefore we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous,
can be accomplished alone;
therefore, we must be saved by love.’”

Day #319: The Crucible

Photography by The New York Times / Getty,
from the article published in The New Yorker, October 13, 1996

It was seventh grade. Our school play was “The Crucible.” We examined that book through the lens of acting, understanding it more fully than reading the book. It had a profound influence on me. From Arthur Miller: “In those years, our thought processes were becoming so magical, so paranoid, that to imagine writing a play about this environment was like trying to pick one’s teeth with a ball of wool: I lacked the tools to illuminate miasma. Yet I kept being drawn back to it.”

In this article, the playwright shares the story behind his drama about the Salem witch trials: “Why I Wrote The Crucible,” Arthur Miller, The New Yorker, October 13, 1996.


Day #314: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am grateful for the wisdom left to us by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When I slip into despair, I often read one of his speeches, or a part of one of his books.It is here I find hope and a boundless belief in the power of love and the practice of peace. In June 1959, Dr. King wrote, “John Donne caught it years ago and placed it in graphic terms: ‘No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.’ And he goes on toward the end to say, ‘Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.’ We must see this, believe this, and live by it if we are to remain awake through a great revolution.” A great revolution … is that what is happening around us?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Day #304: Stillwater Public Library

If you follow this column, you know that I sometimes share a quote from the Quote Collector at the Stillwater Public Library in Stillwater, MN. The combination of photos and words, which often seem to be just what I need for that day, are a blessing. I’m grateful for those moments to stand outside myself and consider the universe of ideas.

Three people staring at a star-filled night sky
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” {Thornton Wilder}

Day #208: Rosalie Maggio

I am grateful for Rosalie Maggio and the lifetime of work she has done collecting quotes (think about how organized she must be) and writing books about non-discriminatory language, how to say it and how to write it (the right words and phrases for every occasion), and great letters for every occasion. If you’re a writer, you know how much you enjoy having her books on hand. And if you’re not a writer, well, you know how much you need to have her books on hand. Rosalie lived in our area for awhile and I was privileged to meet her. I am in awe of this women’s prodigious knowledge of language … and grateful that she shares a daily quote that provokes me to think. She is an Extraordinary Woman.