Tom Swift - Untethered Dog

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A Commonplace By Tom Swift
Updated: 17 weeks 5 days ago

Action

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 4:25am

Teams — like the markets — tend to fluctuate from year to year, which is also why [Edmonton Oilers forward Milan] Lucic had a pretty sensible take on the season that lies ahead. Optimism abounds, but wariness is never a bad thing either, he believes.

“At the end of the day, you have to be cautious a little in case of overconfidence and over expectations,” he said. “I went through that in Boston. Sometimes, you just expect to be there and that doesn’t get it done.

“Getting it done gets it done.”

-Eric Duhatschek, “Milan Lucic Holds Court on Oilers’ Chances, Leon Draisaitl, and Cam Talbot’s Workload,” The Athletic, 9-19-2017

 

Categories: Citizens

Freedom

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 3:22am

I’m fading out of sight
My wheels are the only sound
Runnin’ at the speed of light
I can’t slow down

Out on the open road
Racing to beat the night
No matter where I go
Guess I’ll get there all right

So why don’t I understand
What’s trippin’ me up
It used to be a simple thing

I can’t hold on, I can’t return
Time to let go, start to live and learn

I took the one way flight
Too high to see the ground
Now I know how long it takes
A heart to come down

Why don’t I understand
What’s trippin’ me up
Oh, it ought to be a simple thing

I can’t hold on, I can’t return
Rivers will run, bridges will burn
I’m not sure just how
But there’s no lookin’ back now

I can’t hold on, I can’t return
Rivers will run, bridges will burn
I’m not sure just how
But there’s no lookin’ back now

I can’t hold on, I can’t return
Rivers will run, bridges will burn
I’m not sure just how
But there’s no lookin’ back now

No lookin’ back now
No lookin’ back now
No lookin’ back now

-Michael McDonald, “No Lookin’ Back,” No Lookin’ Back (1985)

Categories: Citizens

Action

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 7:44pm

Wisdom is Revealed
Through Action, Not Talk

Don’t declare yourself to be a wise person or discuss your spiritual aspirations with people who won’t appreciate them. Show your character and your commitment to personal nobility through your actions.

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

Categories: Citizens

Growth

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:00pm

Once the necessities for survival are satisfied, the struggle against sin and for virtue is the central drama of life. No external conflict is as consequential or as dramatic as the inner campaign against our own deficiencies. The struggle against, say, selfishness or prejudice or insecurity gives meaning and shape to life. It is more important than the external journey up the ladder of success. This struggle against sin is the great challenge, so that life is not futile or absurd. It is possible to fight this battle well or badly, humorously or with cheerful spirit. Contending with weakness often means choosing what parts of yourself to develop and what what parts not to develop. The purpose of the struggle against sin and weakness is not to “win,” because that is not possible; it is get better at waging it. It doesn’t matter if you work at a hedge fund or a charity serving the poor. There are heroes and schmucks in both worlds. The most important thing is whether you willing to engage in this struggle.

-David Brooks, The Road to Character (2015)

Categories: Citizens

Acceptance

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:57am

Hang on through the tense parts of the day in the knowledge that they will pass soon enough. These little conflicts, inconveniences, and expectation adjustments are really unavoidable.

-Holiday Mathis, “Horoscope,” StarTribune, 9-17-2017

Categories: Citizens

September 2017

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:04am

19 Tuesday
– When the words come easy.
– Expanded consciousness.
– The snake in the toilet bowl.
– Being firm yet not hard.

18 Monday
Knowing you are good at helping people — and realizing you get as much from it as they do.

15 Friday
– Squirrels.
– Not having to be right.
– Not having to be good.
– Moving forward, flaws and all.

14 Thursday
Playing games at work.

12 Tuesday
– Rabbits on the path ahead.
– Your dog’s eyes.
– The pigeon who appears next to you on your morning walk, right there in the parking lot, reminding you of another pigeon at another time and place that had appeared next to you during one of those moments for which there are no words.

11 Monday
– Sunshine at lunchtime.
– Unexpected ice cream.
– Sadness.
– Strength.
– A blemish on your arm that reminds you this is your skin.

10 Sunday
That a certain friend was born.

9 Saturday
– The feeling of throwing a solid punch.
– The right song at the right time (redux).
– Doing more than you need to — but not more than is useful.
– The ding on your windshield as you drive down the highway. It leaves a mark but that mark is minute. The hurled item doesn’t penetrate. And it doesn’t slow you down in any noticeable way.

6 Wednesday
– Crisp air.
– Holding both: the part of you that is strong, capable, kind, caring with the part that is weak, erratic, angry, fucked up. They are you, both.

5 Tuesday
– Work. Demanding-commanding-immersing-distracting work.
– Feeling valued.
– Listening to weakness, honoring it, accepting it, allowing it to be.

3 Sunday
– A free ticket.
– Neighbors who don’t mind if you poop a little on their lawn (dog involved).

2 Saturday
– Helping out. Spur of the moment. And, hey, look, free doughnut!
– Getting some needed OT in.
– Texting. Really. You love it and hate it. Love it with friends who light you up.

1 Friday
Working at a place that recognizes your skills and then values them enough to put them to direct and meaningful use.

Categories: Citizens

Beauty

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 8:44am

Lost and lonely lives
Floating like waves at sea
We make it day by day
Watching the world go by

In a moment when time stands still
From here we look out on forever

Darling, our love
One love that never fades away
Our love
This love will light the world on its way

Shattered, broken dreams
Sifting like grains of sand
We claim it and here we stay
Watching the world go by

And with the strength that we spend in this life
In hope that it goes on forever
We believe as we promise to try that

Darling, our love
One love that never fades away
Our love
This love will light the world on its way

In a moment when time stands still
From here we look out on forever
And we can see all that time will tell

Darling, our love
One love that never fades away
Our love
This love will light the world on its way

-Michael McDonald, “Our Love,” No Lookin’ Back (1985)

Categories: Citizens

Truth

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 8:14am

Welcome to your life
There’s no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you

-Tears for Fears, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Songs from the Big Chair (1985)

Categories: Citizens

Humility

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 6:23am

Pride is the central vice. … Pride blinds us to the reality of our divided nature. Pride blinds us to our own weaknesses and misleads us into thinking we are better than we are. Pride makes us more certain and closed-minded than we should be. Pride makes it hard for us to be vulnerable before those whose love we need. … Pride deludes us into thinking that we are the authors of our own lives.

-David Brooks, The Road to Character (2015)

Categories: Citizens

Stability

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 3:04am

If someone treats you disrespectfully or speaks unkindly about you, remember that he or she does so from their impression that it is right to do so.

It is unrealistic to expect that this person sees you as you see yourself. If another person reaches conclusions based on false impressions, he or she is the one hurt rather than you, because it is that person who is misguided. When someone interprets a true proposition as a false one, the proposition itself isn’t hurt; only the person who holds the wrong view is deceived, and thus damaged. Once you clearly understand this, you will be less likely to feel affronted by others, even if they revile you. You can say to yourself, “it seemed so to that person, but that is only their impression.”

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

 

Categories: Citizens

Daring

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 7:20pm

Categories: Citizens

Knowledge

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

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

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