Scratching the Surface

Be the bridge. Be the light. Be there. image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Be the bridge.
Be the light.
Be there.
image by The Tromp Queen, CC license

This time of year seems to be filled with peace, joy and love… but when the surface is scratched there is often sorrow, pain and sadness.

I’m praying for several very sad, troubling, desperate situations for various friends and families.

Take time to really listen and be there just in case YOU are the one who is the bridge,
the safety net,
the strong hand to hold.

Be kind.
Be patient.
Be light and salt.

Most of all — be there.

Who knew? part deux re-do

amelia and Eleanor

In my first “Who knew?” post, I included several quotes from the two women.  In that case it was Martha Graham and Helen Keller.  I realized tonight I did not include any quotes in my “Who knew? part deux” post.

In that second post, I commented on the friendship between Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt.  Being adventuresome, outspoken, and intelligent women, they said many memorable and challenging statements during their lifetimes. I’ve chosen several of my favorites to share with you.

Enjoy!  I hope you feel as inspired by their words as I do.

Amelia Earhart quotes:

Amelia Earhart by aircraft
Amelia Earhart by aircraft (Photo credit: San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives)

On anticipation:

Anticipation, I suppose, sometimes exceeds realization.

In my life I had come to realize that when things were going very well indeed it was just the time to anticipate trouble. And, conversely, I learned from pleasant experience that at the most despairing crisis, when all looked sour beyond words, some delightful “break” was apt to lurk just around the corner.

Amelia Earhart and Lockheed Electra 10E NR1602...
Amelia Earhart and Lockheed Electra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On action and purpose:

The most effective way to do it, is to do it.

There are two kinds of stones, as everyone knows, one of which rolls.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.

Never do things others can do and will do if there are things others cannot do or will not do.

Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.

Roots on Roots... Tree on Tree

On kindness:

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed.  A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.

Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart (Photo credit: San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives)

Advice for women:

A girl must nowaways believe completely in herself as an individual. She must realize at the outset that a woman must do the same job better than a man to get as much credit for it.

photo by quirkyjazz
photo by quirkyjazz

 Love of reading and school:

Like many horrid children I loved school, though I never qualified as teacher’s pet. Perhaps the fact that I was exceedingly fond of reading made me endurable. With a large library to browse in, I spent many hours not bothering anyone after I once learned to read.

Image from Hubble telescope


After midnight the moon set and I was alone with the stars. I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, and I need no other flight to convince me that the reason flyers fly, whether they know it or not, is the aesthetic appeal of flying.


Amelia Earhart's Lockheed 5B Vega

Courage is the price that
Life exacts for granting peace.

The soul that knows it not
Knows no release from little things:
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear the sound of wings.

Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii)

Nor can life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull gray ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare
The soul’s dominion.

Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the resistless day,
And count it fair.

poem by Amelia Earhart

Deutsch: Mohnblumenfeld in Flandern, Belgien.

(end of Amelia Earhart quotes)


Eleanor Roosevelt quotes:

On Light:

Fire burning bright
Fire burning bright (Photo credit: Droidicus)

What is to give light must endure the burning.

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

Determination (Photo credit: Gulfu)

Courage and Fortitude:

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’  You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

English: Photograph of Rosa Parks with Dr. Mar...
(ca. 1955) Rosa Parks μεand τον Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do what you feel in your heart to be right– for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

Curiousity (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren’t paying attention to you.

For it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

flag waver

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.

Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.

Life Lessons:

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.

The most important thing in any relationship is not what you get but what you give.

LIFE Magazine (September 27, 1923)  ...item 3....

One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. … All you need to do is to be curious, receptive, eager for experience. And there’s one strange thing: when you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.

01-21-13 Learn Something New
Learn Something New (Photo credit: roswellsgirl)

I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could.

Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product.

Happiness (Photo credit: 4nitsirk)

I consider those are rich who are doing something they feel worthwhile and which they enjoy doing.

Roosevelt flying with Tuskegee Airman Charles ...
Roosevelt flying with Tuskegee Airman Charles “Chief” Anderson in March 1941 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You rarely achieve finality. If you did, life would be over, but as you strive new visions open before you, new possibilities for the satisfaction of living.

It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.

Clam Shells on the Beach
Clam Shells on the Beach (Photo credit: camknows)

(end of Eleanor Roosevelt quotes)

It hurts because it matters

It hurts because it matters.

“So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are).
But that’s not what I actually needed.

What I actually needed was for someone to tell me
that it hurt because it mattered. 

I have found this very useful to think about over the years, and I find that it is a lot easier and more bearable to be sad when you aren’t constantly berating yourself for being sad.”
– John Green

See 20 more John Green quotes here.  

It hurts because it matters.

We were in a small practice room on campus. If you’ve never been in a practice room it is a bit like a walk-in closet. There is a piano, a piano bench, maybe a chair and usually a music stand. Sometimes there is a mirror. The rooms are small and are supposedly soundproof. In reality they are stuffy, dusty, and sometimes smelly!

But back to my story . . . I was accompanying one of the amazing young singers here recently. She sang this fantastically difficult passage gloriously (as always) — from a Handel aria — it is fast, complicated and very high! She sings it with such a lovely ease (though it is not easy at all!) and the sound spins and shimmers.

I stopped and looked up at her with my eyes suddenly full of tears. She stopped and said, “What? What’s wrong?” I croaked, “I’m going to miss you so much.”

I will miss her talent, her humor, her quirkiness, her musicality, her dedication, her humility — her love of thrift shops, of purple and of God (not necessarily in that order!) — her glorious high B flats! All of that.

We hugged.

We shed a few tears.

My mom happened to be visiting that day, so she was also in that tiny dusty practice room and she said —

“The risk of loving is worth the pain.”

I’ve had a few more teary days since then. During the last voice lesson for each of my students I reflected about the journey I’ve been on with each of them, and on the journeys I’ve been on with other students before them.

I can’t yet put it all into words, but I have been hanging on to this idea to get me through —

The reason it hurts so much
to let go and say good bye
is that it matters.

A line of text from a Chanticleer CD came to mind as I was writing this post. The song I remembered is called “Wild Grass.” It is one of a set of Tang poems set to music by composer Chen Yi. The second is from the same set of texts, and I just discovered it tonight while I was searching for the wild grass text.

English: Wild Grass in India

Wild Grass

Wild grasses spreading o’er the plain
With every season come and go. 
Heath fire can’t burn them up, again
They rise when the vernal winds blow.
Their scent o’er runs the old pathway;
Their color covers the ruined town.
Seeing my friend going away,
My sorrow grows like wild grass o’er grown.
–Bai Ju-yi (772-846)

Sky and earth forever last,
Lonely, I felt sad with running tears.

–Chen Zi-ang (661-702)

English: Lonely Tree In the fields to the west...
English: Lonely Tree In the fields to the west of the A515 near Cubley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)