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Daring

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 7:16pm

Captain Ramius: “When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result his men were well motivated”

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Categories: Citizens

Felicity

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 3:44pm

Words spring from [Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s] mouth with an air of improvisation, just like the style of play he’s honed on the ice. He does everything on feel. Opponents never know what he’ll do against them — come to think of it, neither does he — when he rushes the puck up the ice like he’s screwing around in a road hockey game.

-Matt Larkin, The Hockey News, 9-11-2017

Categories: Citizens

Peace

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 1:04pm

Humility is having an accurate assessment of your own nature and your own place in the cosmos. Humility is awareness that you are an underdog in the struggle against your own weakness. Humility is an awareness that your individual talents alone are inadequate to the tasks that have been assigned to you.

-David Brooks, The Road to Character (2015)

Categories: Citizens

Restraint

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 11:23am

Once we fall, however slightly, into immoderation, momentum gathers and we can be lost to whim.

-Epictetus, Manual for Living (1994, Sharon Lebell translation)

Categories: Citizens

Humility

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 7:48pm

No more runnin’ down the wrong road
Dancin’ to a different drum
Can’t you see what’s goin’ on
Deep inside your heart?

Always searchin’ for the real thing
Livin’ like it’s far away
Just leave all the madness in yesterday
You’re holdin’ the key when you believe it

Shine, sweet freedom
Shine your light on me
You are the magic
You’re right where I wanna be

Oh, sweet freedom, carry me along
We’ll keep the spirit alive on and on

We’ll be dancin’ in the moonlight
Smilin’ with the risin’ sun
Livin’ like we’ve never done
Goin’ all the way

Reachin’ out to meet the changes
Touchin’ every shining star
The light of tomorrow is right where we are
There’s no turnin’ back from what I’m feeling

Shine, sweet freedom
Shine your light on me
You are the magic
You’re right where I wanna be

Oh, sweet freedom, carry me along
We’ll keep the spirit alive on and on

-Michael McDonald, “Sweet Freedom,” Running Scared soundtrack (1986)

Categories: Citizens

Weakness

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 7:13am

In the struggle against your own weakness, humility is the greatest virtue.

-David Brooks, The Road to Character (2015)

Categories: Citizens

Optimism

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 7:20pm

Categories: Citizens

Knowledge

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 6:30am

I lived through my death before living my life. At the age of seven my brother died of meningitis, three years before I was born. This shook my mother to the very depths of her being. This brother’s precociousness, his genius, his grace, his handsomeness, were to her so many delights; his disappearance was a terrible shock. She was never to get over it. My parents’ excessive despair was assuaged only by my own birth, but their misfortune still penetrated every cell of their bodies. And within my mother’s womb, I could already feel their angst. My fetus swam in an infernal placenta. Their anxiety never left me.

-Salvador Dali, Maniac Eyeball: The Unspeakable Confessions of Salvador Dali (2009)

Categories: Citizens

Weakness

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 4:24am

Bubbles: “Ain’t no shame in holdin’ on to grief. As long as you make room for other things, too.”

The Wire, Season 5 (2008)

Categories: Citizens

Honesty

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 7:58am

Know first who you are and what you are capable of. Just as nothing great is created instantly, the same goes for the perfecting of our talents and aptitudes. We are always learning, always growing. It is right to accept challenges. This is how we progress to the next level of intellectual, physical, or moral development. Still, don’t kid yourself: if you try to be something or someone you are not, you belittle your true self and end up not developing in those areas that you would have excelled at quite naturally.

Within the divine order we each have our own special calling. Listen to yours and follow it faithfully.

-Epictetus, Manual for Living (1994, Sharon Lebell translation)

Categories: Citizens

Respect

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 7:46am

There is a universal way people should be treated, a way that respects their dignity as living creatures …

-David Brooks, The Road to Character (2015)

Categories: Citizens

Courage

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 1:44pm

Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen … yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

-Bradley Whitford

Categories: Citizens

Weakness

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 7:44am

You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

-Marcus Aurelius

Categories: Citizens

August 2017

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 3:10am

30 Wednesday
– Waking up early and feeling as though you slept late.
– Weakness. Oh what emotions it stirs!

29 Tuesday
– Sadness. For then you know how much you care.
– Despair. For then you know what you have lost.
– Weakness. For then you know you are not hiding.

28 Monday
– Cool air as you make puddles of sweat.
– A day without the phone.
– Finally completing a task that had been in the back of your mind for longer than you can remember.
– What happens when you keep going despite discomfort.

27 Sunday
– Standing in the dewy grass, your dog contentedly sniffing the ground and chewing on some grass, butter coffee on hand and writing coming without effort.
– Sunday workouts: they turn the day into something it never used to be.
– Friends who make you laugh and take you in even if you suspect they think you’re a little weird.

26 Saturday
– In the office all alone — save for a couple of helmet-wearing maintenance men — getting ahead, finishing a project.
– Afternoon naps.
– Listening to your soul.

25 Friday
“The Wire.”

24 Thursday
Free lunch.

22 Tuesday
Looking down at your dog during morning walk and feeling your heart fill. He has been with you all these years, through the toughest challenges of your life and some of your highest moments, too, and he will be with you on these morning walks, sniffing trees and watering mailboxes, for at least a handful more. Though the vet says his heart is getting bigger, you’re struck by how he’s shown you how yours has grown some, too.

21 Monday
Having a best day after waking up in a worst kind of mood.
– The instant attitude adjustment that comes after squatting 380 pounds.

20 Sunday
– Realizing it takes more to knock you down now.
– An air of change.

19 Saturday
– When you suddenly figure out something you’ve been sitting with for weeks, then, whoosh, it’s decided in a five-second flash.
– Learning about Judav Payeng, a man who on his own created a forest.
– Moments of stillness.
– What happens when you show up without a script.

18 Friday
Sleeping through the morning workout. Sometimes it’s hard to do. Really. Not today!

17 Thursday
When the to-do list actually gets … a little bit … smaller.

16 Wednesday
Sending your friend something in the mail you just know he’s going to laugh hard at.

15 Tuesday
– Going to the hardware store. A real one. Not one where people where smocks and the ceilings are 48 feet high.
– Getting all kinds of smiles at the hardware store because you brought your little buddy with.

14 Monday
Learning a new language.

13 Sunday
Receiving a thoughtful, unexpected message.

9 Wednesday
– The day off.
– Clean carpets.
– Being proactive about the little buddy’s health care.

8 Tuesday
– The day off!
– Yoga. Again. It’s becoming a thing.
– Lights that look like the moon.

7 Monday
– The day off!
– Being around people who make you want to root for them.
– Opening boxes of memories.

6 Sunday
– Evening yoga.
– Sweat.
– Disclosure’s “You Help Me Lose My Mind”
– A clean home.
– The car wash.
– Finding yourself at the car wash as it’s about to rain.
– Getting soaked.

5 Saturday
Anniversaries.

3 Thursday
The fact that the psyche affords limitless — inexhaustible — opportunities to grow.

Categories: Citizens

Weakness

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 9:40am

What happens when people open their hearts?

They get better.

-Haruki Murakami

Categories: Citizens

Weakness

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 5:36am

So keep your held high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.

-Marilyn Monroe

Categories: Citizens

Courage

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 7:44pm

The number of people who love you is growing. A new environment you visit will give you a boost in more ways than one, so make sure to put yourself where you’ve never been before.

-Holiday Mathis, “Horoscope,” StarTribune, 8-27-2017

Categories: Citizens

Authenticity

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 9:48am

Self-importance is not the way of the true philosopher. Nobody enjoys the company of a braggart. Therefore, don’t oppress people with dramatic stories of your own exploits. Nobody cares that much about your war stories and dramatic adventures, though they may indulge you for a while to appear polite. To speak frequently and excessively of your own achievements is tiresome and pompous.

You don’t need to be the class clown. Nor do you need to resort to other indelicate methods in order to convince others you are clever, sophisticated, or affable.

-Epictetus, Manual for Living (1994, Sharon Lebell translation)

Categories: Citizens

Learning

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 3:04am

But ask around and people in the know will say [San Jose Sharks forward Joe] Pavelski, the 205th player drafted in 2003, is a true student of the game, blessed with hockey smarts. Which is why less than 48 hours after his double-metal miss (in a crucial playoff game), he had already reviewed the video, trying to turn heartbreak into a learning experience. “You watch it a little bit because you want to see what it really was like,” Pavelski said. “You try to learn from your mistakes. And whether it was a mistake or not, there are certain areas where you’re still always trying to get a little better.”

-David Pollak, “Aging Like Fine Wine,” The Hockey News, 2017-2018 Yearbook

Categories: Citizens

Learning

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 11:25am

A veterinarian named Dave Jolly sent me an e-mail that cut to the chase:

“The heart cannot be taught in a classroom intellectually, to students mechanically taking notes. … Good, wise hearts are obtained through lifetimes of diligent effort to dig deeply within and heal lifetimes of scars … You can’t teach it or e-mail it or tweet it. It has to be discovered within the depths of one’s own heart when a person is finally ready to go looking for it, and not before.

“The job of the wise person is to swallow the frustration and just go on setting an example of caring and digging and diligence in their own lives. What a wise person teaches is the smallest part of what they give. The totality of their life, of the way they go about it in the smallest details, is what gets transmitted.

“Never forget that. The message is the person, perfected over lifetimes of effort that was set in motion by yet another wise person now hidden from the recipient by the dim mists of time. Life is much bigger than we think, cause and effect intertwined in a vast moral structure that keeps pushing us to do better, become better, even when we dwell in the most painful confused darkness.”

-David Brooks, The Road to Character (2015)

Categories: Citizens
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