Sow Seeds of Beauty like “The Lupine Lady”

Read. Again, of course. This time the inspiration comes from a children’s book. I find some of the genre, especially the classic ones, both soothing and uplifting. I’m going to take this detour, and leave you waiting until next week for Consequential Strangers, Part 2.

Here are some reasons I like to read or listen to children’s stories: often there are beautiful sentiments of what is possible, before we start listen to all the no’s, narrowing our focus to only the material facts of survival. The best children’s books highlight possibility, and beauty, and being one’s best self. And they don’t focus on all the things you “can’t” do.

A stellar case in point is Barbara Cooney’s “Miss Rumphius,” also known as “the Lupine Lady.”

The story is simple, as our plans for our future often are when we are young. The young girl, Alice, who lives in a city by the sea, listens to her immigrant Grandfather’s stories of travel and adventure, and decides that she too will do these two things, as he has: travel the world and see faraway places, and later, when she is old, settle in her own house by the sea.

“That is all very well, little Alice,” says, her grandfather, who is now an artist, “but there is a third thing you must do. You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”

Alice agrees, but she isn’t quite sure what she can do.

But she builds her life around these three goals:

  1. Travel to faraway places.
  2. Retire later in her life to her own home by the sea.
  3. Do something to make the world more beautiful.

In the meantime she grows up, moves to a city away from the sea, and works as a librarian. But her frequent visits to a nearby ‘conservatory’ remind her of tropical islands and the pull of far away places.

She begins her travels around the world, visits islands, climbs mountains, and makes friends she will never forget. Goal one accomplished.

When she injures her back getting down from a camel, she thinks it is time to find her own home by the sea. “And it was, and she did.” Goal two is accomplished.

She is happy in her seaside home, watching the sunrise and sunset. She plants a beautiful garden with the flowers she loves – especially lupines. And although she is “almost perfectly happy” in her seaside home, she knows one thing is missing, one goal – a promise even — still has to be fulfilled.

She has to think of what to do to make the world more beautiful. And she still doesn’t know what that will be.

For awhile she can’t do anything because her bad back keeps her in bed all winter.

But in the springtime she feels better. She is able to go for a walk, and she sees lupines all around her, far from her own little garden. Though she had not been able to sow more seed, the wind and the birds have done the job for her.

Now she knows how to accomplish her third goal: Do something to make the world more beautiful, in her own special way.

She orders many lupine seeds from the best seed catalog. Then she spends time sowing seeds whenever and wherever she can, spreading her own version of “blue, purple, and rose-colored” beauty, in her own little world and as far beyond as she is able.

People begin to call her “that crazy old lady.” Of course some people will respond to anything different, even to efforts for the sake of beauty, with ugly names. But if you get called crazy for doing something good, something different or better, then you may be on the right track. No one did anything extraordinary by striving to be like everyone else.

Anyway, her fame begins to spread like the lupine seeds and their colorful flowers. People, especially children, begin to appreciate her endeavors. Then she gets the more fitting name, “the lupine lady.”

The story, told in retrospect by her great-niece, ends with a tale of when the lupine lady is very old. Her niece and her young friends gather by the gate of the little house by the sea. Her great-aunt lets them in, and delights them with her stories of faraway places.

Her great-niece, also called Alice, like the young Alice who became the Lupine Lady, also wants to go out and see faraway places, then come back to her own house by the sea. Her aunt tells her the same thing her grandfather had told her long ago: “That is all very well, little Alice,”she says, “but there is a third thing you must do. You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”

Her young niece agrees. But she too wonders what she will be able to do, just as her aunt had done as a young girl. The story ends this way, with the great-niece’s potential contribution yet to be discovered.

There is a lesson in this that we can all apply. You don’t have to know at first what you will do to add some beauty or value to the world around you. You just have to make it part of who you intend to be, and you will find, or stumble upon, the specifics as you go. Though we can’t change the world at large or solve its problems, we can make the little world around us a bit nicer and more beautiful for the people near us, and perhaps a little beyond.

The Lupine Lady set out to do three things with her life, and she accomplished all three. The first two led to an interesting and fulfilling life, but the third went further. It helped her to have the more profound joy of giving to others. It made her memorable, remembered, and loved.

What about you? What will your “lupines” be – poems, songs, paintings, home-cooked meals for a neighbor in need, acts of kindness and compassion, taking the time to really listen? The list is as endless as your imagination and the particular type of beauty that is unique to you. You may not even know what it is, but if the goal is there, you will find something to do, and your “garden” will go far beyond the boundaries of your own life, and make you happy too.

 

 

 

 

“Consequential Strangers” How the People You Know a Little Benefit Your Life a Lot — Part 1

So today the emphasis is on the “read” part.

I recently read an excerpt from a book called “Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don’t Seem to Matter…But Really Do” by Melinda Blau and Karen L. Fingerman. I may have to make time to read more soon, because it intrigued me; it’s an idea I’ve thought of before, but not in such specific terms; and the concept seems to be getting attention lately.

Just as an aside for all you fellow reading addicts on limited budgets, there’s a great online library app called “Overdrive,” that allows you to borrow audiobooks and e books on your phone or tablet for free, using your library card number. I’ve put this book on my request list since my library system doesn’t offer it yet.

From the little I’ve read so far from and about the book, I gather that the argument is that though our primary relationships – those with our family members and close friends – are the most important to our physical and emotional well-being, the people we see often and know only a little, people we might call acquaintances, also matter in and enrich our lives and can even add to our well-being.

These are not really “strangers,” in the sense of the millions of people we don’t know at all. But they are not close enough to be called friends either. They are people we come into contact with regularly and whom we usually know by name or at least by sight and may exchange a few words with. So we could call them secondary relationships.

In a world where people can have a thousand “friends” on social media, we sometimes tend to call everyone we know a friend. But of course there is an important difference between our inner circle of close friends, and other people we know more casually. Still, this book provides the insightful observation that these other people we know, especially if we see them regularly, also make an important contribution to our lives.

They are often people we know in one specific context – neighbors, co-workers, the barista at our favorite coffee place, PTA members, and service providers – such as our car mechanic, hair stylist, and chiropractor. We tend to see them repeatedly over time, sometimes every day or week, sometimes just a few times a year. But we gradually get used to seeing them and get to know a little about them, their lives outside that context, and maybe some things we have in common.

I’ve been thinking of who my “consequential strangers” are, and made a partial list. First, there are my neighbors, in the conventional sense — the people who live near me, especially the other renters in my four-plex, such as the lady in the apartment next to mine. Though we know little of the details of each others’ lives, we have a few of the most basic things in common, we are women, unmarried, in our middle years of life, who like animals –particularly her tiny, sweet dog, Ella. We also share a wall, which is in itself a kind of distant intimacy.

Living in close proximity, we look out for each other, bring in mail and packages if the other is out of town, and so on. We even exchanged phone numbers so we can send texts to communicate such logistical matters when necessary.

Then there is my across-the-street neighbor, an elderly gentleman who takes care of his infirm wife and helps out several other neighbors. I often see him out tending his tidy Japanese garden when I pass by for my walk, and we talk for awhile. He once gave me an origami bird he made, letting my choose the color I wanted from a large jar of the tiny creations he was generously distributing.

Further down the street is the family with three Golden Retrievers, my parents’ favorite breed. I see them out walking their large canine family sometimes, but don’t know their names or the dog’s names. One time one of the Retrievers escaped and ended up by my house, and I knew where to take her.

In the next category are the people – and their dogs — that I see a little beyond my neighborhood, on my daily walking route. I have come to depend on seeing them, petting their dogs, getting to know the names of the dogs first, and then sometimes the names of the owners. I think this item on the list deserves its own post, because these people and pets have become important to me, a part of my social life, and a vicarious way to enjoy pets when I don’t have any of my own at this time. So look for more about this distinct social sphere in Part 2.

Then there’s my landlord, also a neighbor just down the street, who is always ready for a chat and available to help with whatever I need, even when it goes beyond the usual maintenance you’d expect from a landlord. He even graciously came in one time to dispose of an unusually fierce looking insect from under my kitchen sink.

Though I work partly from home, alone, I also have a part-time job, as a massage therapist at a hotel.

At any given time, I have about half a dozen co-workers, which I usually see and work with one at a time. Over the years, a couple of these have stayed the same, while the rest come and go.

One is a partially blind man who started working there several years before I did about 12 years ago, so I’ve gotten to know him pretty well. I’ve heard about the high school soccer careers of his two daughters, and their subsequent departures for college; his training with his guide dog, after years using only a cane; and how that dog has changed his life.

Once-in-awhile, if his wife is out of town or busy, I’ll drive him home, with his dog, Roderick, in the back seat. So Roderick is a kind of “co-worker” too, though when he gets to the massage center his harness comes off and he’s off duty.

There’s also a large and varied front desk staff at the hotel, who schedule my appointments, so I speak with them frequently, and try to remember all their names. This has become even harder, now that there is a set of twins among them. Thankfully there are name tags for backup. Sometimes we’ll chat for a few minutes when they call, or before or after a massage. Like with the other therapists, some change often, while a few have been around quite awhile. 

And of course I can’t forget my clients, though since most of them are visiting from out of town, I don’t get to work with them regularly. Some I see only once, others maybe once or twice a year, and one requested me multiple times during her stay. Some of these leave me with interesting stories and a feeling of connection that keeps me thinking about them after they’ve gone back home.

Now, getting a little further out in the circle of acquaintance are the fairly universally friendly staff at Trader Joe’s, my main place to shop; the clerks at the Culligan store where I fill my water bottles nearly every week; and the employees and owners at the local farm stand I like to frequent.

Since I don’t have any family that lives in town, I’m not a particularly social person, and my best friend — like me — is both busy and on the semi-reclusive side, I don’t see a lot of primary relationship people in person in an average month, except twice a week at my place of worship, where everyone there, though not all close friends, are closer than consequential strangers. They are in a deeper and closer sense my community.

Still, the more casual relationships stated above, those consequential ‘strangers,’ do fill a role in my somewhat solitary days, and there are some of them I’d miss if I never saw them again. So now I’ll likely give even more thought to these “peripheral” people, appreciate what they add to my life, and try to add some brightness to theirs as well.

So, there’s not so much a call to action this week but just some food for thought. Who are the “consequential strangers” in your life, and what do they contribute to your well-being and engagement in life?

Don’t Listen to Those Who Say You Can’t Do It

Most of the time, being a good listener is a good thing. More often, people need to learn to listen more, not less. If you really listen, you will learn so much, not just about what is said, but about the person saying it. By listening you will enrich your own life, improve your relationships, avoid trouble, and benefit from the advice, experience, and viewpoint of others.

You will also honor the other person by showing that their thoughts, feelings, and viewpoint are worth your time and attention. This is vital in building a relationship.

But I’m talking here about unsolicited advice, of the negative kind: predictions of doom; naysayers telling you it can’t be done. In this case the viewpoint is not only unhelpful, it is in fact harmful, even if well-intentioned. This is where not listening becomes a useful skill.

We tend to believe what we hear often, whether it comes from outside, or whether it becomes part of what we tell ourselves over and over.

Read. Think. Walk. Write. Let’s also add watch. I like to learn things from films, the same way I do from books. In this case a short, seemingly cute animated film taught a valuable lesson. It was called, I think,“The Little Frogs.”

First we see a group of frogs running around, then two fall into a large, deep hole. (As an aside, I wanted to know what a group of frogs is called. I found out it is an army, sometimes also a chorus – which I like better – or possibly a colony).

The other frogs are a chorus (pun intended) of gloom and defeat. Rather than finding a way to help the frogs get out of the hole, they discourage them from even making the attempt. “You’ll never make it,” they say. “DON’T EVEN TRY.”

Then, as it starts to rain, they have the great idea to wait until the hole fills with water. Then the two stranded frogs can swim out. Okay, maybe. But not the most appealing option.

But this idea urges the chorus on even more to shout at the frogs not even to try. One frog, however, is determined. Completely ignoring their advice, he jumps toward the hole’s edge, over and over again.

The other frog asks why it is even trying. But the determined frog is focused, eyes beaming, with the goal firmly in sight. Suddenly it jumps with all its might … and makes it.

Everyone is thrilled, amazed, and perplexed.

They were wrong. It could be done. But why didn’t he listen?

Then he says in a little voice, “Thank you for encouraging me.”

They are even more bewildered. “Encouraging you …?!” Then they realize.

The frog that jumped is deaf.

All their fervent discouraging words seemed like cheering to him. To their credit, they take the lesson, and turn to the frog still in the hole. “You can do it,” they shout. They cheer him on until he gives it a try. Hope and strength renewed, he takes a literal leap of faith, and sails over the hole’s edge to safety.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

There is a lesson here not just for the naysayers that could instead be supporters, but for those of us who are affected by their negativity.

Sometimes not being a good listener is a good thing. Sometimes it’s helpful, even necessary, to be a little deaf.

Recently I saw an essay topic that asked: what would you tell your younger self about your writing career?

I decided that, among quite a few other things, I would tell my young self to listen both more and less to my parents and others, even the teachers who gave me A pluses on my papers, who said I couldn’t make a living as a writer.

I’m not talking about naysayers in general, people who are negative and don’t really care about you. Just ignore them. But I mean those who really had my best interests at heart, but focused on avoiding risks, whatever the cost.

But under all my stubborn determination not to listen to them, a part of me did. It was the subconscious part of me, which tends to exert a stronger influence than our conscious thought. I didn’t take their advice and give up pursuing what I wanted to do, but I really heard the part about how it probably wouldn’t work. I would never be able to make even the barest living doing one of the only things I loved and was good at.

I should have listened, not to the negativity, but to the concern and caring behind the words. I should have listened about having a more practical backup system. Not the way it was stated: “Just get a job and write as a hobby.” Less than helpful. But the underlying idea –find a way to support yourself, with a less creative form of writing, or some compatible work, until you find a way for the writing to support itself – and you.

What I heard was, just give up. Just do something boring and ordinary that you hate, and forget about what you feel you were meant to do.

That’s the part I shouldn’t have listened to. And especially, that underlying idea that I couldn’t do it. Plenty of other people make their living with words. So why couldn’t I? I should have listened more to the practical concern, but less, much less, to the idea it was too hard, beyond my reach, not worth even trying.

So if people are telling you not to even try what you want, need, to do, get a little deaf. Don’t believe you can’t do it. Instead, get advice from people who have done it, and take practical steps to get there, and to meet your needs along the way.

As for those who mean well but think it can’t be done, remember that lot’s of things are hard. Lot’s of things were impossible, unheard of, until someone did them. For example, where might transportation be today if the Wright brothers had been easily discouraged?

Instead of focusing on why it might not work, if someone believes they can do it, or must do it, believe it too. Instead of saying it’s too hard, don’t even try, say, it may not be easy, but if you care enough, try hard enough, you can do it. Instead of yelling, “just give up,” cheer them on instead. And while you’re encouraging them in their efforts, go find a piece of strong rope, just in case they need a little help up.

What about you? When in your life do you wish you had listened? When do you wish you hadn’t? When would it have served you well to be deaf, to hear, not what was said, but what encouraging things could have been said instead, like the deaf frog, who knew he could do it, because they seemed to be cheering him on.

Eye of the Beholder; Perception of the Thinker

Light things take flight.

Heavy things hit hard.

Once on my walk I saw a feather floating along lightly in the wind. I figured it must be a metaphor for something. The above lines, admittedly less than stellar poetry, came to me. But then I had to think about what it might mean.

I think this is the lesson: though there are of course some matters that are serious and should be given the proper weight in our handling of them, many of the situations we encounter in our daily lives can become light or heavy, positive or negative, depending on the way we choose to view them.

We sometimes make things more important, more threatening, and subsequently more distressing, than they need to be, simply by the way we think about them.

One minor example in my own life is the perceived bad manners of people with whom I have casual, passing encounters. For example, the cars that don’t stop when I’m a pedestrian trying to cross the street ; the pedestrians that don’t smile or nod a thanks when I’m the driver and stop for them; the gardener who blows leaves and dust in my walking path.

Small things, but for me manners touch deeply on who I am and what I believe in. I’m not talking about Emily Post, or using the right fork, or even holding the door open for someone. What I mean is simply treating other people with consideration, kindness and respect.

It’s the same idea as Jesus’ statement: “all things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you must also do to them” – often called “The Golden Rule.” It also involves not treating others like they are less important than you. There is far too much rudeness in the world, and driving is one of those circumstances where a small choice can add to that rudeness, or replace it with politeness.

I think these are important issues. (Maybe this would be a good subject for its own discussion.) But though the principles are important, maybe the individual acts aren’t as important, or as indicative of good or bad manners as I sometimes make them out to be. At times, we’re self-centered without being deliberately selfish. We’re just thinking about getting where we want to be, not about being rude to the person trying to cross the street. We may not even notice that person. So I’m learning to give people the benefit of the doubt. 

This example shows how the way we think about things – the frame we put on them – even our expectations, can turn something minor, even innocuous, into a major grievance that unnecessarily robs us of some peace, energy or happiness. It’s a matter of perception and perspective.

Whether an event or interaction falls heavily on our shoulders, like a brick, or harmlessly floats away like a feather, depends a lot on us and how we think about it.

For instance, I’ll make this confession: When I stand on the corner of a busy road to cross the street for my favorite daily walking route, I used to tend to judge the drivers by whether or not they stop to let me cross. There is no crosswalk, so they are not legally obligated, but it seems to me that good manners, courtesy, unselfishness, and respect for other human beings does dictate that they stop if conditions allow.

In my mind I have an unfortunate tendency to put it this way: will this driver be a gentleman or a lady, or will they be a rude ruffian?

If they don’t stop, and especially if they go by fast and loudly and seem unapologetic about it, I tend to view them as inferior in manners, morals, and refined sensibilities – a real insult to mine. Then I fume for half the block, then spend the rest of the block beating myself up for not rising above it. I feel badly about my own manners if I glare at them, shake my head in disgust, or otherwise overreact.

Then there are other times when I decide that it doesn’t matter. I now try to make this my default response. I tell myself they are in a hurry to get to work, they didn’t see me, they didn’t know if they should stop, or they just didn’t think about it. I decide that if they do stop, it will be a nice surprise, a gift, but not a necessity.

If I don’t judge them, I’m much happier. I don’t have to take it personally, and I don’t have to waste energy on negative emotions about something that really could be entirely neutral. Really, it doesn’t even matter why they didn’t stop. What matters is how weighty I choose to make it.

So, if I just wait a few extra seconds, jog across the street, and enjoy the rest of my walk, that brick becomes a feather. Not an issue at all. I am so much happier when I remember this. And I feel better about myself. And once I’m across the street I don’t think about the drivers that didn’t stop at all. I don’t make it a problem, so the only thing that raises my heart rate is my jogging speed.

This leads me to another encounter with a small thing floating by as I walked, and a related thought on the power of our thoughts to shape our reality.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Maybe It Really Is Just a Butterfly

On another walk, a brownish-orange blur fluttered near me. My first reaction, mostly unconscious, was to flinch and hurry away. Rationally or not, I am afraid of bees, wasps, and similar flying/buzzing/stinging things. I think my subconscious interpreted this blur as one of these things – a threat.

Then, as I looked closer, I realized it was really a small butterfly. Only a butterfly. Happily a butterfly. Something I not only see as harmless, but that I find beautiful and pleasant. A small, colorful symbol of joy flitting by. Okay, cliché, but don’t we all really feel that way when we see one?

Butterflies embody three basic qualities. 1. They do not hurt anyone. 2. They are beautiful, something to admire and enjoy. 3. They will usually fly away quickly and not bother you. All of these qualities make an encounter with one a positive, completely nonthreatening experience.

And then I made the metaphoric connection, as I often do with things I see on my walk: many times, more important encounters and bits of information we come across are like this. They may at first seem like a bee that may sting us but if we look closer, if we think about it the right way, maybe it’s really harmless, even potentially pleasant, like a butterfly.

This could relate to situations at work, conversations, small things we observe or encounter in our daily lives, as well as bigger things like substantial changes in our lives, work, relationships, businesses or living situations.

Our first reaction may be to feel threatened. It’s a bee, maybe even a wasp. This could hurt. But it could be completely harmless, even – like a butterfly – something good, something we could find beauty in.

This is something we can all work on in our daily lives. Will we make it heavy or light? If something is neutral, or we don’t yet have enough facts to have real reason for alarm, can we assume it’s a butterfly? Harmless, transient, containing potential for beauty or opportunity.

So here’s my challenge for you, and I’ll try it too. Let’s make a conscious effort in the coming week to turn as many things as possible into feathers or butterflies. Let’s see moments in our lives as light, harmless, attractive, or intriguing whenever possible, lightening our load when it depends at all on the weight we chose to assign to them.

Read. Think. Walk. Write.

Hi Everyone, this is my first post to my new blog: Read. Think. Walk. Write.

Welcome!

No, this is not, intentionally, a parody of a popular book and film. And it is not a list of imperatives, an authoritarian to-do list. It is, rather, a definition – of one writer – and a starting point – for one blog – that has such a variety of things to say it doesn’t yet know how to describe itself.

Often writing, like walking, and like life, takes shape as it progresses, sometimes going in unexpected directions, making new discoveries and connections along the way.

Most of the time you ask someone what they “do” and you mean what do they do for a living. But most of us, at least if we’re living as we should be, are so much more than what we do to make money. In fact we are much more than what we do at all. Who and what we are, our character, values, talents, personality, relationships, etc. are so much more important in defining us.

But what we do, aside from our job, is also important to who we are, and gives us interesting things to talk and write about.

And all of this can enrich our work as well, especially if we are creatives, business owners, or simply want to improve our work and personal relationships and communications.

There are four things that I do, and have done most of my life, that are part of who I am, and that continue to help me become whoever I will be. Most of these are pretty much like breathing to me – they are done almost as automatically, and are essential to life as I know it and want it.

My four things are: reading, writing, thinking, and walking. Often, they are interconnected. On my daily walks I think (new ideas, problem solving, philosophizing, a line for a poem, an idea for an article, etc.). Often I then write about what I thought about on my walk. And those thoughts I had while walking probably started with something I read sometime. And so on. They are connected, and they are, or have the potential to be, much bigger than they look at first.

It may seem that my daily walks, what I read, my thoughts and ideas, and even most of what I write might be of little interest or value to anyone outside my small circle of family and friends. But that’s not necessarily true, or at least I hope not.

What you want to know, if you are to keep reading this, is what do the thoughts/ideas/readings/writings and walks of one obscure poet/copywriter/content creator/person whose name I’ve never heard mean to me? What can they do for me, my life, my work?

First, let me say that to begin with, in addition to writing web content for businesses, I am a creative writer and poet, which means that while my product may seem a bit obscure, of interest only to literary enthusiasts, the process – that of looking more closely at things, experiencing life deeply, making unusual connections, and then communicating all of this in a way that is relevant to the human experience – is what may be of value to a wider range of readers.

Sometimes if you just step back and look at things differently, maybe with the eyes of a poet, you can change how so see your life, or a particular part of it, and even how you live and work.

We are all trying to gain new insights on how to improve our life, work, happiness, and all that it means to be a human being. My hope is that some of this poet’s thoughts may give you a new perspective, an usual idea, something you can make use of in your own lives. (I do many other kinds of work, which I will elaborate on and draw material from later, but for now, let’s see what the poet has to say that may speak to even those who don’t read poetry.)

In my mind this is what much writing, in any form, is really about. Its not just story, dialogue, theme, rhyme scheme, whatever. What a written work of art really is is a form of communication, intimate communication even, with people who would otherwise be strangers.

This is what reading did for me growing up an only child in a world I didn’t know how to fit into, and it is also what I hoped to do for others when I began to write.

That was years before the internet, and all it has done, good or bad, for communication, writers, and readers.

I started out writing journals, and have filled countless notebooks over a period of more than two decades. The next step of course is to share the more relevant of these thoughts with a wider audience. Hence, the web log, or journal, better known as a blog. This will be like my version of Emily Dickinson’s “letter to the world” but in my case I hope that some citizens of that world will write back to me. Your comments and thoughts are welcome.

I will set this one firm ground rule.: I think its a good way to approach all of life, but on the internet, when this is often not the way things are done, its especially important. ALL communication on this site will be kind, respectful, and profanity-free. Thank you for helping to make this an absolutely safe, positive place to share thoughts and ideas and to grow.

A lot of these posts will begin with something along the lines of : “On my walk today I saw/heard/thought …

Then I will go on to explain how something I noticed on my walk gave me an idea that seemed to apply to a larger area of life. Often what I read, and what I think about, on my walks and otherwise, will become material for what I write. And writing itself generates more thoughts, and the desire to read more.

They feed each other. And we, as thinking, reading, writing, walking humans also feed each other. Each unique perspective can give the rest of us some substance we can use and apply to our own life’s path.

Now, let’s try for a general definition, as a beginning.

This blog is partly about physical and mental health, especially as we deal with the challenges of growing older, and how walking and writing relate to them. It is also about new ways of thinking that could enrich our lives and work.

Just like a long walk with various paths to choose from, this blog will provide different views of life and work, different perspectives at different times, and will grow and change along the way, based partly on your feedback. So please, join me on the journey, and we’ll see where it takes us.

For now, I will try to post once a week, generally on Tuesdays. I hope you’ll keep coming back.

I’d love to hear your comments about what walking, both as physical act and metaphor, means to you and how it enriches your life and thoughts.