Tag Archives: Inspiration

Good Night, Dear Souls – August 28, 2014

PennyMoon

Do you want to know what my favorite saying is?  “Today I learned…”  (with “This week I learned…” as a fair back up).  To me, there really is nothing more thrilling than learning something new, being exposed to information or ideas I did not know about, and meeting people who share a different point of view with me.

In my pursuit of stuff to learn, I have sort of chucked away conventional common sense and glommed onto the words of William Butler Yeats: “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”  That’s right.  Despite all the training given to me in childhood, I talk to strangers.  In grocery lines, in restaurants, at stop signs, the ladies’ room–pretty much anywhere conversation is possible.   Strangers are infinite sources of knowledge–you can sometimes learn more from a stranger than you ever could from a friend.  Strangers challenge your status quo and push you to move beyond your comfort zone.

One of the best friends I ever had, Renee, was met like this.  I saw her in the hallway at college and she happened to be carrying a binder with an 8×10 photo of George Takei as Sulu on the back.  Now, this was long before it was “great to be Takei,” when he was just an actor in a failed sci-fi show.  But I saw that picture and my dealie-boppers twitched.  I pointed and yelled, “Sulu!” at her. (Yes, I was in college….)  A friendship was born out of two strangers bonding over a photograph.  And while we shared a lot of interests, Renee was very different from me and challenged me to move beyond my own limitations.

So many of the wonderful, crazy, inspired experiences I’ve had in my life have stemmed from the fact that I don’t let not knowing someone get in the way of an intellectual or spiritual connection.

In this light, I want to point you toward a web-site called “I Talk To Strangers.”  Robbie Stokes was working at the United States House of Representatives when he made a decision that would astound most people.  Determined to not just change the world, but connect it, Stokes sold everything he owned and began a journey.  He challenged himself to meet and talk to as many people as he could, and encourage them to do the same.

Imagine that for a moment.  Dedicating your life to meeting people, and inspiring every person you meet to do the same.  Can you fathom the ripple effect of such an act?  Stokes could, and he’s bringing others into the wave.  His site offers opportunities for volunteering and employment, as well as blogs and videos.

All because one guy wanted to meet people!

What could you do, if you were brave enough (and crazy enough, perhaps) to follow your passion?  Where would you go, and who would you become?

What an amazing world we live in, and what amazing people for us to meet!  I am going to volunteer, and I’m going to keep talking to strangers.

Sleep well, and dream of fascinating conversations, my friends.

Deb 

Like the sap of a tree

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By the time Friday comes around, it feels like I’ve had a tap attached to my spine (like a maple tree).  All the life essence is slowly drained by the stresses and frustrations of The Day Job until I feel depleted and weak.

The more I delve into the world of writing (and getting paid for writing), the harder it is to keep myself motivated at The Day Job.  I do important work, and I’m very good at what I do.  But there are days, weeks even, when I wish I could just head out in a random direction and live off my wits for a while.

The good news is that these impulses aren’t very strong, nor do they stay for very long.  But they remind me, profoundly, that life is not what you do for a living, nor is it where you live and what you have.

Life is the sap of a tree, and you only have so much of it this time around.

So, what are you going to do?  Let life drain you dry for its own profit, or use your own life-blood in the way you want?