Done and Done! | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot. ~Michael Althsuler August was the rare month in which I never wondered, where did the time go? In fact, more than once I wanted to hurry August along. I had two goals to accomplish. The first and easier of the two: run 50 miles. The second, a sight more challenging: write every day. Publicly. Depending on your relationship to either running or writing, you may have ranked the goals differently. For me, the exercise was no sweat. I've run 50 miles in a month previously. It was my first time this year, but not my first time, you know, ever. Barring unforeseen challenges, I assumed it could do it. The writing, however, is a different matter entirely.…
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Love at First Sight | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Love
Brida's mom and dad were soul mates. Yet one day, her mom relayed the story of a loving encounter with another man. She sought solace about life, and headed to church to pray. He was awaiting a mechanic and visited that church to pass the time. The two began talking life and civilizations past (he was an archaeologist). Before long, the sun had set: There was I, like a 38-year-old adolescent, feeling that someone desired me. He didn't want me to leave. Then all of a sudden, he stopped talking. He looked deep into my eyes and smiled. It was as if he'd understood with his heart what I was thinking, and wanted to tell me that it was true, that I was very important to him. For some time,…
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Good News | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative
I am so proud of my friend, Oliver. He's the mayor-elect of Miami Gardens, Florida. It wasn't a matter of luck; it's been a dream of his for years. His dad, his name sake, passed away two years ago. "He really would've gotten a kick out of this," he said. ~ I miss my parents. Sometimes the longing appears as a whisper, barely heard above the din of every day. Other times, it's a bit more demanding. Louder. I hear daddy's voice. Picture his shoulders shrugging as his body convulses with giggles. There was always a hint of sarcasm. Teasing. Mama comes bearing warnings and stories in equal measure. Reminds me to tie up loose ends. Flashes me scenes of days past. I miss them, especially her, most, when there…
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Beyond the Bright Side | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality, Temple Building
Success is not a matter of accumulating more of this or that; it is not measured in quantity. It means changing the quality of your life. Wealth, power, fame and knowledge alone cannot make you happy, no matter how much of these you acquire. Nor can you take them with you when you die. But by improving the quality of your life you will at last approach true happiness. ~Daisaku Ikeda But how does one change the quality of life? Lots of guidance encourages us to remain steadfast in difficult times; refuse to give up during challenging circumstances. Some people mistake this kind of rhetoric to mean just look at the bright side. This understanding is inaccurate, or at the very least, incomplete. The better reading is that you should…
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Unasked. Unanswered. | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge
I met my aunt for dinner this evening and she surprised me with a gift: vintage photographs of my maternal grandparents and parents. I don't have access to a scanner, or I'd show them to you. One photo, black and white, features my grandparents, my tiny mom, and her tinier brother. We figured it was from 1944, as there was no newborn sister yet, and the siblings were born almost exactly a year apart. They sat on the grass in front of the house my grandparents built, looking as people often do in older photos - kinda smiling, kinda uncomfortable. It's one of the few pictures I've ever seen of my grandfather. He passed away when I was very young.  Another photo, color, was taken two decades or so later. Aunt, uncle, grandma, and grandpa are standing…
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On Framing Death

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality
Although born with breath in our bodies, at some point we exhaust our share. Our supply runs out. We draw the last one. When that fateful day happens, we die. Whether we merge into the cosmic consciousness and become one with the essence of all there is, take a mystical trip upward or downward, come to inhabit another body, or simply cease to exist, is another matter entirely. I stake no claim on knowing. But we can say with conviction: no one continues in their current form forever. Death is something no one can escape from. It follows life as surely as night follows day, winter follows autumn or old age follows youth. ~Ikeda Since we arrive with the guarantee that we will also depart, I always wonder why some…
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Don’t Give Up | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity, Writer's Craft
Anyone who has ever made a resolution discovers that the strength of their determination fades with time. The important thing is not that your resolve never wavers, but that you don’t get down on yourself when it does and throw in the towel. ~Daisaku Ikeda 23 down. 7 to go: I have made a commitment to write (and share) every day for 30 days. Some days it’s been a joy – especially those days when I have time to truly craft or be playful on the page. It’s also rewarding when I’m feeling a bit righteous and want to make a little noise about something on my heart. Unfortunately, not all days are sunshine. When I’m tired, or my day simply hasn’t gone as planned, I often debate skipping and…
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Returning for Love | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge
It was love at first sight – the Caribbean Sea. A girlfriend and I celebrated her birthday on Barbados. We made friends with the locals, navigated roundabouts while driving on the wrong side of the street, sampled the island rum, and won prizes dancing and guessing famous songs. I purchased a beautiful amber bracelet with matching earrings from a man on the beach. But mostly we bronzed in the sun and played in that divine water. Water ski. Jet ski. Snorkeling. Sitting still, admiring. I cried when we left. And maybe I shouldn’t have, because my tears brought me back. Daddy died suddenly. Friends, family and serendipity brought me to St. Maarten to mourn. The water was a little unsettled there, or perhaps it was my broken heart. But it…
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Favorite Things | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
From time to time, friends mention various and sundry ailments or concerns, and inquire as to whether I might recommend a remedy. Occasionally, I can! Below, you'll find a brief catalogue of the items I share most regularly. Beginning Meditation Most people naturally assume my Buddhist practice incorporates meditation. It does not. However, meditation, even a few seconds once in a while, can benefit anyone. One year I felt unreasonably harried and unfocused and thought learning more about meditation would help me slow down a bit. It did. I particularly like Jack Kornfield's easy going and clear delivery and guided practice sessions. Once every year or so I listen to his mini-lectures and sessions again, as a good reminder to slow down and be fully present. Shallow or Irregular Breathing…
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Continuing Faith | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality, Temple Building
To accept is easy; to continue is difficult. But Buddhahood lies in continuing faith. Nichiren wrote The Difficulty of Sustaining Faith to one of his most trusted disciples, Shijo Kingo. Shijo was being pressured to give up his practice of Buddhism, and Nichiren reminded him that difficulties were predicted in the Lotus Sutra – that he must bear this firmly in mind and remain steadfast. Although this letter is about maintaining faith in Buddhism, the encouragement is applicable to anyone. Victory lies in never giving up. It requires one to be relentless in her commitment to a task. How many times do we start something – anything – with energy and verve, only to be to swayed when difficulty comes along? For instance, let’s say your goal is to run a…
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