The Peonies

Thank you again Tony. Your work never fails to inspire me. 

Dark Matter

Originally written in 1999.

In the year I turned thirty nine
the peonies did not die
quite the same way
as the peonies always had before 

In the year I was thirty-eight
the fragile man I was then
looked at the peonies
in the backyard

The progress of the year 
seemed so fast 
I thought about how quickly
those pink and white heads

would droop and drop their petals
fade and decay
I feared that if the year of thirty-eight 
continued this pace into

my years of forty forty-one forty-two and beyond
every thing I had learned
by putting myself together 
would come undone

But then in the year
I was thirty nine
I learned that in remembering
the scent of peony

the heat of their pink
the regal ice of their white
in all these memories
there was enough of youth to make

my mortality irrelevant
I learned that thirty nine was an opening and not
an end…

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Wednesday’s Words to Ponder

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt 

“Justice cannot be for one side, but for both”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

“You must do things that you think you cannot do”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

               “Never allow someone who is not allowed to say yes, to say no to you”.                           – Eleanor Roosevelt

“When will our conscience become so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

      “I once had a rose named after me and I was flattered. But I was not happy to read the description in the catalog: not good in a bed, but up against the wall”.                     – Eleanor Roosevelt

“A woman is like a tea bag –  you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884, in New York City. The niece of Theodore. Roosevelt, who would become president and who married a man who also became president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Eleanor took on the role of the first lady and made it her own. She wrote her own newspaper column, My Day, advocated for human rights and women’s rights. She held press conferences and after the death of her husband went on to chair the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission.

 

Despite being married to the president, she was not content to sit back idly and smile for the camera. She developed her own public voice while working with the American Red Cross. Eleanor accepted increasing challenges following her husband’s polio attack that would render him dependant on physical assistance for the remainder of his days.

 

As her husband took on the mantle of command of a nation, she forever changed the role of a first lady. refusing to be relegated to a life of domesticity, she gave press conferences and rallied people for causes that she held worthwhile. Among the causes she campaigned for were human rights, children’s causes and issues relating to women. She worked tirelessly with the League of Women Voters. She focused on ways to alleviate the suffering of the poor and against racial discrimination. During WWII she traveled abroad in support of American troops. She continued this role until her husband’s death on April 12, 1945.

 

Despite her plans to fade away from public life, that was not to be. In 1945, then President Harry Truman appointed her delegate to the United Nations General Assembly which she served until 1953 when she became chairperson for the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission helping to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an endeavor she considered to be her highest achievement in a remarkable life.

 

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy reappointed her to the United States delegation to the U.N. and to the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps and chair on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

 

On November 7, 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt died in NYC of aplastic anemia, tuberculosis and heart failure. She was 78 years old and was laid to rest on the family estate in Hyde Park, NY.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt set a standard for First Lady that has not been equaled. She was a humanitarian of the first order and dedicated her life to fighting for social and political change and committed to bringing the issues that would affect them, to the people.

Bisous,

Léa

Three poems by Gaia Holmes — And Other Poems

Feckless Sometimes it makes him angry, this dying, and I keep doing things wrong, forget to soften the stars with almond milk before I bring them to his bedside on a saucer, buy the wrong kind of green tea, the wrong kind of holy water from the village shop. He says there are […]

via Three poems by Gaia Holmes — And Other Poems

Open letter to all Leaders – Time’s up

Incorrectly reblogged from another source, I stand corrected and bring you to Anna’s own blog. If you haven’t been here before, it is time! It is truly a favorite.

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna


If you wanna spread this letter, you are welcome to share it worldwide. Tag it with #timesup if you want. If you want to make a translation of the text to other languages and share it, do it. We all have to help out saving our planet. This is one way among millions to help.

The image is free to share.

Anna

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Dear Mother Earth 2018 — Annas Art – FärgaregårdsAnna

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  –  George Bernard Shaw

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

 

I am so sorry you have to experience anthropocene. Since I wrote to you in 2016 it feels like we humans haven’t done a single thing to make the anthropocene an anastrophe (opposite of catastrophe). I’m sorry for your melting glaciers, your burning forests, the tsunamis and all asphalt and concrete we humans smothering your […]

via Dear Mother Earth 2018 — Annas Art – FärgaregårdsAnna

Desiderata

“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”      – Anne Frank

“Peace cannot be kept by force; but by understanding.”  – Albert Einstein

The following, I read as a young child. I’ve carried it with me for a very long time. It was always there, within the folds of my heart. It remained a compass for my journey. I’ve never been good at following the main path. I feel strongly about its message and feel the need to share it today. Thank you Max Ehrmann for your words and thank you for reading on.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

 

Paix, Peace, Shalom et Bisous,

Léa