Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
— Jonathan Swift
With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things. — William Wordsworth
I love words and this is a great one. Pronunciamento. Meaning… pro·nun·ci·a·men·to [pruh-nuhn-see-uh-men-toh, -shee-uh-] noun, plural pro·nun·ci·a·men·tos. a proclamation; manifesto; edict.
I came across this one today as I was looking around the dictionary. Or more precisely, in this new age, dictionary.com. It’s a wonderful word found in a wonderful place. Dictionaries are exciting, to me anyway. I’ve been reading them since I knew what one was and found one in our house. Words. Wonderful.
I used to play word games with some of my work mates. Emails going around with sentences made up of words with the same letter. Peter picked pickled peppers. Like that. We’d start with A and work our way to Z and back again, or we’d rhyme, or be cute some other way with wonderful wacky words. Fun, to us anyway. We’d stretch our minds, our vocabularies, and we’d laugh and laugh. Words are good like that.
Today as I looked around I came across this great word. Had never heard of it. And now I love it. I am also, I think, going to use it here. Make a pronunciamento about things I’d like to do this summer… a proclamation of sorts. Here, publicly, live and “in person”. Maybe if I put some things down here I will do some of them… maybe I already have. Maybe I would anyway. No matter… it’s a fun exercise.
(Riley is playing with her Uncle Kevin right now… he’s rubbing her belly, she’s growling, barking, and jumping up to wiggle around and play bite at him. She’s like popcorn. It’s cute. They missed each other.)
Anyway… back to the pronunciamento.
100 things to do this summer… and in life.
- Be present.
- Act with grace.
- Ride my bike around town.
- Use the frisbee golf set I purchased.
- Play with Sebastian.
- Eat grapes.
- Get my photos better organized.
- See an opera again.
- Hold hands.
- Be patient with people.
- Sing loudly in moving vehicles.
- Eat more whole food, less processed food.
- Play guitar again.
- Travel to foreign places.
- Be silly.
- Dance suddenly and randomly at home, and sometimes in public.
- Be child like.
- Hug my honey more than I already do.
- Use the library more than I do.
- Make pudding.
- Sleep outside.
- Be less afraid.
- Live more sustainably.
- Don’t buy anything for myself, including music, clothes, videos, etc. unless it’s second hand. (related to previous point)
- See a few movies in the park.
- Stop and listen to live music (street corners, festival bands, etc.)
- Paint something.
- Go to the drive in.
- Take photographs that inspire me.
- Continue to evolve.
- Give more than I get.
- Show respect to strangers.
- Buy meat from a farmer.
- Write and send actual letters.
- Study other cultures and ideas.
- Honor my ancestors.
- Swim in wild waters.
- Walk in Central Park in New York, eat lobster in Maine, watch hot air balloons in New Mexico.
- Use the crockpot to make dessert.
- Put my feet in lakes, oceans, rivers, puddles, tiny wading pools.
- Do another paring down of my clothes and shoes.
- Eat tomatoes from our tomato plant.
- Sit quietly outside in the wind and sunshine listening to the trees and not talk or play on the computer or phone or any other man made thing.
- Live responsibly.
- Worry less.
- Try new foods that scare me a little.
- Use hairbrushes and wooden spoons as microphones.
- Give the pups even more attention than they already get.
- Go snorkeling.
- Take random day long road trips with my honey to nowhere in particular with good music playing and great conversations.
- Embrace my dorky nature.
- Go to museums.
- Dinners with friends.
- Be in awe.
- Make people laugh on purpose.
- Make and eat pudgy pies.
- Talk to strangers.
- Laugh at myself and things that might irk me, but shouldn’t.
- Be the nicer version of me in taxing situations.
- Do things I love more than things I should do.
- Make and drink naturally flavored sun tea.
- Make a fort out of blankets.
- Smile often and only from the eyes.
- Camp in wild beautiful places.
- Put my toes in the sand.
- Eat more fruit and less bread.
- Read at least two books a month.
- Make stuff.
- Take care of my honey like she deserves.
- Skip, hop, and jump.
- See the AFI top 100 films.
- Know what’s going on in the world.
- Read poetry again.
- Play games and cards.
- Volunteer my time.
- Be passionate in life.
- Always look people in the eye.
- Wear funky hats.
- Write random and unexpected emails to friends and family more often.
- Get paid for being creative.
- Take the dogs to parks and on walks.
- Be an agent of positive change.
- Travel to new places.
- Take the train more often.
- Ride a bus to Chicago or maybe some other random place.
- Sit around our chiminea with good company.
- Make a s’more or two.
- Say what I mean and only that.
- Smell flowers.
- Live free.
- Eat handcrafted ice cream.
- Help out friends and family.
- Be kind to myself.
- And lastly, though I could go on, laugh laugh laugh at why WordPress has famous nuns and Saint Peter as recommended highlighted links down below this as I type. Hmmmm….
Richard found himself imaging the Earl sixty, eighty, five hundred years ago: a mighty warrior, a cunning strategist, a great lover of women, a fine friend, a terrifying foe. There was still the wreckage of that man in there somewhere. That was what made him so terrible, and so sad. ~ Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere
A couple of quotes recently added to my inspirations page. I used to have one up in my room when I was in college, and the other, later, up in my office.
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
In honor of national poetry day I thought I’d post a good one from Pablo Neruda.
‘Perhaps not to be is to be without your being.’
Perhaps not to be is to be without your being,
without your going, that cuts noon light
like a blue flower, without your passing
later through fog and stones,
without the torch you lift in your hand
that others may not see as golden,
that perhaps no one believed blossomed
the glowing origin of the rose,
without, in the end, your being, your coming
suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life,
blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze:
and it follows that I am, because you are:
it follows from ‘you are’, that I am, and we:
and, because of love, you will, I will,
We will, come to be.
Of his wife, Obama then said, “I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.” Vanity Fair, March 2009.
Less is sometimes more.
I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips. ~Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit
“Burning cathedral of the summer”… she ain’t kiddin’. Seriously though… love this quote.
Here are some other summer quotes for your perusal and enjoyment:
In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams
A life without love is like a year without summer. ~Swedish Proverb
Heat, ma’am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones. ~Sydney Smith, Lady Holland’s Memoir
Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world. ~Ada Louise Huxtable
I read this quote today in the Sierra Club’s Daily Ray of Hope e-mail. I loved it and thought I’d share.
The forests are the flags of nature. They appeal to all and awaken inspiring universal feelings. Enter the forest and the boundaries of nations are forgotten. It may be that some time an immortal pine will be the flag of a united peaceful world.
– Enos A. Mills
My friend Penny and I work at the same place, for the time being anyway since she’s retiring soon (yeah Penny!), and we love to occasionally play a bit of a word game with each other. Here’s how it went today… Oh, and Penny, I’m going to miss you when you leave this place, so you had best keep emailing, cause this is just too much fun. You have to read the exchange from the bottom up… starting with A… you’ll get it when you scroll down and start reading. Oh, and one last thing… for some reason, when I transferred our exchange to this venue, Penny’s side of the conversation came through really dark. I’ve tried everything to fix it, to no avail. So… apologies for the eye strain you might suffer, but reading it is worth it if you’re a word person.
>>> 11/2/2007 3:58 PM >>>
This WAS fun! Gave me a smile every time an email popped up from you!
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 3:56 PM >>>
Ta Da! Thanks for playing today – this was fun.
>>> 11/2/2007 3:55 PM >>>
zoologist Zora zipped zealously
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 3:54 PM >>>
Thanks for the chuckle – I had to share with Dawn and Anita. Good job!
Yodeling Yolanda yawned yesterday
>>> 11/2/2007 3:20 PM >>>
xenophobic (fear of foreigners) Xavier xerocopied (photocopied) xiphopagus (conjoined twins joined by a band of flesh on the torso) – yes, I cheated and looked some of this up!
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 3:18 PM >>>
Warren winked while walking
>>> 11/2/2007 3:05 PM >>>
LOL Good one…
Voracious Velma vanquished Velvetta
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 2:56 PM >>>
Uma urgently unhooked undergarments
>>> 11/2/2007 2:46 PM >>>
Temperamental Tina tortured toads
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 2:44 PM >>>
Sam seriously swatted sparrows
>>> 11/2/2007 2:35 PM >>>
Ray roguishly raked rattlesnakes
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 2:30 PM >>>
Quirky Quincy quaffed quinine
>>> 11/2/2007 2:26 PM >>>
Pretty Paulette pranced proudly
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 2:25 PM >>>
Ornery Olivia ogled Oliver
>>> 11/2/2007 2:15 PM >>>
Naughty Nina nailed Nick
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 2:14 PM >>>
Mad Mary mangled Mike
>>> 11/2/2007 2:12 PM >>>
Love-lorn Lara liked Lance
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 2:07 PM >>>
Kevin Kangaroo kicked kiosks
>>> 11/2/2007 2:03 PM >>>
Jubilant Jane jerked joyously
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 1:11 PM >>>
Inventive Inga ignited irises
>>> 11/2/2007 11:48 AM >>>
Horrible Harold had herpes
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 11:17 AM >>>
Gorgeous Georgiana groveled gregariously
>>> 11/2/2007 11:11 AM >>>
Fun Frank found fish
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 11:06 AM >>>
Evil Ed evoked envy
>>> 11/2/2007 10:47 AM >>>
Daring Darla Drank Drambui
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 10:43 AM >>>
Careless Carlotta caught codfish
>>>11/2/2007 10:35 AM >>>
beautiful bonny bought berries
>>> Penny 11/2/2007 9:56 AM >>>
Angry Angelina ate apples….
Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.” – Bill Scheel, Starbucks customer from London, Ontario. He describes himself as a “modern day nobody”.
After reading this quote I actually got online a bit later and went to the Starbucks “The Way I See It” section of their webpage. While there I found some really good quotes. I’m going to include a couple of those here. If you’re into this sort of thing and interested in reading more, click the link above. You might not always agree with what you read, but that’s the beauty of words, and opinions, they carry personal meaning, are almost always subject to personal interpretation, and they can spark fantastic conversations.
The Way I See It #31
Risk-taking, trust, and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. Without risk, nothing new ever happens. Without trust, fear creeps in. Without serendipity, there are no surprises. –Rita Golden Gelman Author of Tales of a Female Nomad. She has had no permanent address since 1986.
The Way I See It #233
I used to think that going to the jungle made my life an adventure. However, after years of unusual work in exotic places, I realize that it is not how far off I go, or how deep into the forest I walk that gives my life meaning. I see that living life fully is what makes life – anyone’s life, no matter where they do or do not go – an adventure. –Maria Fadiman Geographer, ethnobotanist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer.
The Way I See It #280
You can learn a lot more from listening than you can from talking. Find someone with whom you don’t agree in the slightest and ask them to explain themselves at length. Then take a seat, shut your mouth, and don’t argue back. It’s physically impossible to listen with your mouth open. –John Moe Radio host and author of Conservatize Me.
The Way I See It #270
Taste is subjective. Taste is democratic. Taste is powerful. Taste – the combination of texture, aroma, temperature, aesthetic and environment – is also a window into someone else’s life or culture. Be confident in your taste, but remain curious and expose yourself to new tastes. Allow your taste to constantly evolve and grow – while keeping and cherishing the memories that taste creates. –Marcus Samuelsson Chef, co-owner of Restaurant Aquavit and author of The Soul of a New Cuisine.
And, lastly, my favorite of the groups I read today. This guy’s description, which I included here in part of the interview Starbucks did with him, of loving unconditionally and paying love forward, is completely inspiring.
The Way I See It #27
Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back but so they will kiss their children, and their children’s children. –Noah benShea Poet, philosopher and author of Jacob the Baker, Jacob’s Journey and Remember This My Children.
And part of the interview (the rest can be found at the Starbucks website by clicking on the link above) with Noah benShea…
Noah, what was the spark behind this particular quote? Is there a story or event that inspired it? And why did you think it would be particularly suitable for a Starbucks cup?
For five years I wrote a weekly essay for The New York Times Regional Syndicate (and continue to do so on my website, http://www.noahswindow.com.) When my daughter was graduating from university and my son from high school, I stopped to think about all the notes I had left them while they were growing up: Don’t forget to clean up, wash up, pick up, etc. Then it struck me, what if I didn’t think I was coming home, what could happen in any post-9/11 New York minute, what then would I want my kids to remember if I wasn’t around? And I wrote an essay and now a book entitled Remember This My Children.
In that process, it struck me that most of life is a series of reciprocal trade agreements: I give you this. You give me that. Teaching and parenting are the only exception. A teacher or parent gives, and what they get is the unparalleled experience of giving without expectation – the soul-gratifying experience of planting a tree from which you will never pluck the fruit.
I wrote the line trying to touch this idea. This is what I want my children to know. I want them to know that life, in any venue, at its best is an opportunity to pay love forward.
And when the folks at Starbucks told me the title of their program was “The Way I See It,” I thought to myself, bottom line, that’s how I see it. Whether in the schoolroom, the living room, the bedroom, or the boardroom, loving forward is life’s most noble adventure. Love is a ladder; it allows us to climb out of ourselves.