Real-Life Feel-Good Stories (from my own life) that I need to tell some day:
- Unknown Skinny Man who pulled me off a burning lawn mower, carried me to the house, kept Mom and I from approaching it when it was about to explode, and then disappeared.
- Black Man & Son in Chicago who threw me over a wall to save me from falling ice-chunks; near where I had been standing a small car was crushed by one, and pieces from it landed where I had been. They too disappeared before I could thank him.
- Voice to “Go Limp!” during car crash, and the folks who cared for me. I was never able to find their house again.
- When I honked ’til awakening a slumped-over driver on the freeway.
- When I helped a lost driver find their way to SB and the Lord protected me.
- When a Black Man & Son came to our apt. door (in M,W) and intervened from another man who had been stalking us.
- When an Encyclopedia Sales-Kid came to C.H. and stayed ’til a stranger in a car left the neighborhood; the car-stranger had been following me on my bike.
- When a dove showed me the way home from a mall in FW.
- When a rotted stump saved my brother’s life.
- The morning God gave me Tangible Joy.
- When God save me from over-dose suicide-attempt.
- Wow. There are so many more! Praise be Jesus; thank You, Lord; I bow to You; Your Mercies are unending.
Did you know the English language has words galore of Irish origin? (Galore being one of them; so is slew.) Besides enriching our vocabulary, Ireland has contributed immensely to our culture in America. Here’s a few of my favorite things from the Emerald Isle:
- Baileys Irish Cream
- Irish coffee with Baileys
- “Oh Danny Boy”
- green, green landscapes, green that seems lit from within
- the name Hooley
- the word hooligan
- irrepressible good humor
- C. S. Lewis
- W. B. Yeats
- James Joyce
- St. Patrick
- Waterford crystal
- Donegal tweed
- fishermen’s sweaters
- wild land/seascapes and appreciation for the wild
- quirky proverbs
- and beautiful blessings
On this St. Patrick’s Day, may God bless the Irish, and
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
(An Old Irish Blessing)
Things I need: things, qualities, anything that helps me enjoy living.
- Books, believing
- Coffee, cats, chocolate
- Freedom, faith, flowers
- Love, laughter
- Meaning, music
- No! (yes, I need “no” in my vocabulary, in my experience)
- Open-ness, open-views (figurative and literal)
- Peace, process, poetry, piano!
- Truth, tenderness
- Up (upward thinking/viewing and the notion of defying gravity)
- Value, veracity, validation
- Xeric plants! I love succulents! I love plants that grow despite little water!
- Zero (yes, the number and the notion of zero; I find it both mystifying and so practical it’s nearly banal.) I also like that (until the 20th century), there was no notion of zero in musical-math.
So, ask me on another day, and this list might have variations. And I realize “need” can be defined in many ways and the degree of need can be easily argued. For today, for this list, what I mean is: these are the things/ experiences/ values that I regularly treasure/ embrace/ consciously and deliberately choose as part of my (mostly daily) living and for which I am always grateful.
For a more starkly realistic list of what I truly need?
What all human-beings need:
- Love (somewhere, somehow, some experience of being loved/ valued and the opportunity to love other.)
- Some degree of shelter, some amount of food and water, some degree of personal hygiene, some opportunity for communication (even if only within one’s imagination)
- Meaning/ faith/ hope.
I think that’s probably all we need: sustenance for our bodies, relating for our social selves, hope for our souls.
Thanks be to God for all Your blessings, graces, mercies. Praise be Jesus forever. Lord, give me the grace to be ever-more grateful and gracious, ready to receive and to share.
My Favorite Things (Besides God, family, and myself!)
- Music: Especially classical piano solo; most especially Chopin, Beethoven, Schubert, Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Brahms
- Books: Especially British and Russian Literature; most especially Tolstoy
- Coffee: hot/cold, black/altered, pure/flavored, any way you want to fix it; especially hot, black, dark roast
- Scripture: Old and New Judeo/Christian scriptures, especially Genesis, the Psalms, Isaiah, Hosea, the Gospels, select verses, and Revelation
- Sleep: especially in my own bed, in the dark, with absolute silence
- Trees: especially hard-wood forests
- Flowers: all!
- Ocean: especially the Atlantic
- Writing: lists, my thoughts, processing ideas, letters
- Pens: especially short and fat, heavy, metal ones
- Journals and great quality paper
- Color! Especially tertiary colors and “colors” that waver between two or three colors or shades or hues
Things I can’t stand:
- Cruelty: actual or implied, to humans or animals or anything conceptualized as being able to suffer
- Noise: meaningless sound, any sound that is too loud, any sound whose purpose is simply to fill up silence
- Bullying: whether bullying a child or an adult, I can’t stand bullying behavior
- Lies, deceit, deception, cheating, dishonesty, profiting from wrong-doing or untruth — intended or not
- Evil in any form
- Intentional killing of any human-being for any reason
How I respond to things I can’t stand but can’t change:
- Pray for God’s intercession
- Pray for revelation and/or discernment of what I CAN do
- Do at least one positive thing in response no matter how small, because there is ALWAYS a positive option
- Persist in faith, hope, and love.