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The Currency of Tears

In Nevada Barr’s novel, A Superior Death, Ms. Barr describes a tender encounter between the principal character, Anna Pigeon, and a diver named Hawk.

“I’m sleeping on the Belle tonight,” she said. “Can I offer you a nightcap?”

“Only if the night comes with it.”

“It does.”

They walked together, not touching, to the boat. Anna latched the cabin door behind them… Hawk sat on the blue-vinyl-covered bench and watched without speaking as Anna cranked open the hatch, letting in the soft night air, the light of the stars. He watched while she put two cassettes in her well-used player and punched play on one side and pause/play on the other. As Cher’s voice sang, “It’s in his kiss,” he smiled.

“Be gentle with me,” he said and Anna laughed.

“Your first time?”

“Might as well be.”

“Orphans in the storm.” She sat beside him and he took her face in his hands, smoothed her hair back with callused fingers.

“If anything was new to Anna, it was the sadness. As they made love, sweetly, gently, she felt Hawk’s tears falling on her neck and breast. She found herself crying too, without knowing why. In sympathy, she realized, but whether for Hawk or herself she couldn’t tell.”

Excerpt from A Superior Death by Nevada Barr

A tender encounter, for sure. And the tears, the tears falling on Anna’s neck and breast. A mix of Hawk’s from not being able to be with someone he loved more than Anna and of Anna’s from missing a husband who died much too soon.

We make lots of concessions on our way through life, especially in honor of love. The more painful ones come to tears. But love is not a feeling. It is being for the other person. “To love is to be for another and to act for another, even at a cost to oneself” (Charlene Payne Kammerer). In the freedom we give ourselves for loving, the loving may require a payment in a currency of tears.

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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to the countless dads, teachers, mentors, coaches, health care workers and caregivers who offer their love, attention, guidance and expertise to children everywhere. Today is your day and we thank you!

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Summer Solstice

Summer, a magical time when the shadows are short and the days are long. A time to abandon shoes and run through lush grasses like a child. Stop to pick wild flowers along the way to nowhere. Run in circles and roam aimlessly beneath blue skies, releasing worries to the wind. Get lost. Find your way. Get lost again. Let the day take you where it will.

Go deep within the Milky Way at night. Dream until the sun comes up. Rise at will and do it all over again.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade.

—William Shakespeare

Happy summer, everyone!

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You’re Not Alone

𝘓𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦. 𝘐𝘵 𝘱𝘶𝘵𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘯 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘶𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘢𝘪𝘳 𝘴𝘮𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳.
—𝘏𝘦𝘯𝘳𝘺 𝘙𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘴

𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆
𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒅𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎?
𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆
𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒅𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈?
—𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑩𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒍𝒆𝒔

𝕀 𝕨𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕥𝕖𝕝𝕝 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕀’𝕞 𝕝𝕠𝕟𝕖𝕝𝕪
‘ℂ𝕒𝕦𝕤𝕖 𝕚𝕥 𝕞𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕓𝕖 𝕤𝕖𝕝𝕗𝕚𝕤𝕙
𝕀 𝕨𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕒𝕤𝕜 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕥𝕠 𝕙𝕠𝕝𝕕 𝕞𝕖
‘ℂ𝕒𝕦𝕤𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕨𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕕 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥’𝕤 𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕡𝕝𝕖𝕤𝕤
—𝔸𝕝𝕖𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕒 ℂ𝕒𝕣𝕒

𝙻𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚏 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚗𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚙𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚢.
—𝙼𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚃𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚊

𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝓉𝓇𝑜𝓊𝒷𝓁𝑒 𝒾𝓈 𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝐼 𝒶𝓂 𝓈𝒾𝓃𝑔𝓁𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒𝓁𝓎 𝓉𝑜 𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓎 𝓈𝒾𝓃𝑔𝓁𝑒, 𝒷𝓊𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝐼 𝒶𝓂 𝓁𝑜𝓃𝑒𝓁𝓎 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒𝓁𝓎 𝓉𝑜 𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓎 𝓁𝑜𝓃𝑒𝓁𝓎.
—𝒞𝒽𝒶𝓇𝓁𝑜𝓉𝓉𝑒 𝐵𝓇𝑜𝓃𝓉ë

Iᖴ YOᑌ ᗩᖇE ᗩᖴᖇᗩIᗪ Oᖴ ᒪOᑎEᒪIᑎEᔕᔕ, ᗪO ᑎOT ᗰᗩᖇᖇY.
—ᗩᑎTOᑎ ᑕᕼEKᕼOᐯ

🄰🄻🄻 🄶🅁🄴🄰🅃 🄰🄽🄳 🄿🅁🄴🄲🄸🄾🅄🅂 🅃🄷🄸🄽🄶🅂 🄰🅁🄴 🄻🄾🄽🄴🄻🅈
—🄹🄾🄷🄽 🅂🅃🄴🄸🄽🄱🄴🄲🄺

𝐿𝑜𝓃𝑒𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒽𝓊𝓂𝒶𝓃 𝒸𝑜𝓃𝒹𝒾𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃. 𝒞𝓊𝓁𝓉𝒾𝓋𝒶𝓉𝑒 𝒾𝓉. 𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝓌𝒶𝓎 𝒾𝓉 𝓉𝓊𝓃𝓃𝑒𝓁𝓈 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑜 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓁𝓁𝑜𝓌𝓈 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓈𝑜𝓊𝓁 𝓇𝑜𝑜𝓂 𝓉𝑜 𝑔𝓇𝑜𝓌. 𝒩𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝑒𝓍𝓅𝑒𝒸𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝑜𝓊𝓉𝑔𝓇𝑜𝓌 𝓁𝑜𝓃𝑒𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑒𝓈𝓈. 𝒩𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝒽𝑜𝓅𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝒻𝒾𝓃𝒹 𝓅𝑒𝑜𝓅𝓁𝑒 𝓌𝒽𝑜 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊, 𝓈𝑜𝓂𝑒𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝒻𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓈𝓅𝒶𝒸𝑒. 𝒜𝓃 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓁𝓁𝒾𝑔𝑒𝓃𝓉, 𝓈𝑒𝓃𝓈𝒾𝓉𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝓅𝑒𝓇𝓈𝑜𝓃 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝑒𝓍𝒸𝑒𝓅𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃, 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓋𝑒𝓇𝓎 𝑔𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓉 𝑒𝓍𝒸𝑒𝓅𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃. 𝐼𝒻 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝑒𝓍𝓅𝑒𝒸𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝒻𝒾𝓃𝒹 𝓅𝑒𝑜𝓅𝓁𝑒 𝓌𝒽𝑜 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊, 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝑔𝓇𝑜𝓌 𝓂𝓊𝓇𝒹𝑒𝓇𝑜𝓊𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝒹𝒾𝓈𝒶𝓅𝓅𝑜𝒾𝓃𝓉𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉. 𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝒷𝑒𝓈𝓉 𝓎𝑜𝓊’𝓁𝓁 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝒹𝑜 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝑜 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇𝓈𝑒𝓁𝒻, 𝓀𝓃𝑜𝓌 𝓌𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝒾𝓉 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓌𝒶𝓃𝓉, 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝓁𝑒𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒸𝒶𝓉𝓉𝓁𝑒 𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒾𝓃 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓌𝒶𝓎.
—𝒥𝒶𝓃𝑒𝓉 𝐹𝒾𝓉𝒸𝒽

𝙸’𝚖 𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎. 𝙸 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞. 𝙸 𝚍𝚘𝚗’𝚝 𝚌𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚒𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚢 𝚞𝚙 𝚌𝚛𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚗𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐, 𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚢 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚢𝚘𝚞. 𝙸𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚎𝚍𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚐𝚊𝚒𝚗, 𝚐𝚘 𝚊𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚒𝚝—𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝, 𝚊𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚕𝚕. 𝙸𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚍𝚘𝚗’𝚝 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚎𝚍𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞, 𝚝𝚘𝚘. 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎’𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚍𝚘 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚖𝚢 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎. 𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚞𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚕 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚍𝚒𝚎, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑 𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞. 𝙸 𝚊𝚖 𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗 𝙳𝚎𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝙸 𝚊𝚖 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗 𝙻𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚎𝚡𝚑𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚖𝚎.
—𝙴𝚕𝚒𝚣𝚊𝚋𝚎𝚝𝚑 𝙶𝚒𝚕𝚋𝚎𝚛𝚝

Feeling lonely? You’re not alone. We’re listening. We understand. We’re here for you and we’re sending love and compassion your way. Look for it. Feel it. Embrace it. Share it.

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The Doldrums

There are lovers who are lonely,
beds full of dreamless bodies that toss and turn
on each other,
crying themselves into darkness,
darkness taking over the moonlight,
the sunlight falling way to rain.

Their thoughts are dappled with ambivalence,
bleeding hearts rimmed with emptiness,
spilling everything that was
into the nothingness of now,
for they gave and lost themselves,
and lost and gave and lost again.

No longer shining like the sea
nor raging like rivers,
they drift into the doldrums,
the place where half souls dwell
without their mates,
existing as ghosts in the flesh.

Longing for the movement of bodies
of water,
longing for completion
of souls,
longing to go back, longing to take back,
longing, longing, longing to hear the wind whisper
I’ve got you and I’ll carry you home.

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Art Artists Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Love Letters Lovers Shelter

Exquisite Expression of Love

Frida Kahlo once wrote to Diego Rivera: “Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. My fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.”

Today this exquisite expression of love might be paraphrased as:

Nothing compares to your hands, to be healed by their touch. My soul is forever imprinted with the burn of your gaze from the moment we met. You are the light that outshines all darkness. The warm and glowing rays of the sun. The romantic and mystical beams of the moon. Our orchestrated union is rejoiced in the heavens. All that I am, all that I was created to be, is made better by you. I am completed by your existence, made whole by your presence.

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Love Letters Nature

Said the Lady to the Man

When Nature gives a gorgeous rose,
Or yields the simplest fern,
She writes this motto on the leaves—
To whom it may concern!”
And so it is the poet comes
And revels in her bowers,
And, though another hold the land,
Is owner of the flowers.

John Godfrey Saxe

To whom it may concern, and darling, this concerns you. Today I write of the Athyrium filix-femina, better known as the lady fern. Hers is a quiet beauty. Unlike a rose, she does not dazzle with showy and sweet smelling blossoms, nor does she need to. She’s been around for 60 million years — she knows what she’s doing. Her hardiness defies her fragile looks and delicate nature. Give her a damp, shady environment and she will grow in abundance. The lady fern is native to northern regions of North America, Europe and Asia. This lovely lady is well travelled.

It’s easy to see the beauty in a gorgeous rose. The everyday beauty you bring into my life allows me to see beyond the obvious. More and more, I am drawn to the simplest fern. Everywhere I look is a memory of you, of us, and a dream of our future. So let’s settle in and embrace what is simple and enduring. When we find the grace and elegance in everyday life, we are bound to thrive.

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Honor Intimacy Light Love Nature

Light Talks

Thomas Aquinas says something I want to say to you in a poem called, What Does Light Talk About?

When you recognize her beauty,
the eye applauds, the heart stands in an ovation,
and the tongue when she is near
is on its best behavior,
it speaks more like light.

What does light talk about?
I asked a plant that once.
It said, “I am not sure,
but it makes me
grow.”

When I see you, I promise I will recognize and honor your beauty. My eye will applaud, my heart will stand in an ovation, and my tongue will be on its best behavior.

It will speak like light to comfort and encourage you.

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Commitment Love Nurture Parents Relationships

Thanks for Caring

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To the countless moms and dads and teachers and mentors and health care workers and professional and unprofessional caregivers who offer their love, attention, and guidance to children everywhere, we thank you!

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Fresh Start Nature Seize the Day

Go Round Again

The Virginia-born musician, Swamp Dogg, has just released a new album called “Sorry You Couldn’t Make It.” John Prine joins him on two songs, and in one them they ask life to let them go ‘round again. “Oh life, won’t you afford us another chance? Everything we put our hands on, we blew it. Women, jobs, money, friends, and we knew it. Acting crazy and talking dumb all the time.” I can’t sing a note but I’ve hummed that refrain before. Life, please afford me another chance.

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The other morning I noticed a flower spreading its petals toward the sun. It seemed to me to be lifting its arms toward the heavens instinctively embracing the day with no worries about getting to go ‘round again. I guessed it was filled with a heaping-helping of gratitude for whatever the day would provide. Not a wasteful use of one’s time and energy.

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Love Letters

DESTiNATiON

Hi there, handsome. I’ve been thumbing through my shoebox full of love letters, admiring your sentiments and penmanship. Your strong and orderly handwriting has a unique flair. Your lowercase i’s are playful and flirty amidst your capitals, and you often write in purple ink. I love opening the mail to find a good old-fashioned love letter from you. The last one you wrote brought tears of joy to my eyes:

MY LOVE—
KAHLiL GiBRAN WROTE:
“OUR SELF iS CONSTANTLY ON A PiLGRiMAGE TO THE HOLY CiTY.” iF HE WERE HERE TODAY WITH THE SAME PROPHETiC iNSiGHT, HE WOULD SEE MY ‘SELF’ iS CONSTANTLY ON A PiLGRiMAGE TO ‘YOU.’ I WiLL NOT REST UNTiL I REACH MY DESTiNATiON.

It’s been tough being separated during a pandemic. It really puts things in perspective. But guess what? I came across an adorable little house today. What do you think, my love, could this be OUR DESTiNATiON?

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Relationships

She Nuts Up

Loving Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ She Nuts Up.

Oh, my woman’s just the sweetest little thing;
she’s got brains, she’s got class, she’s so fine;
but something bad musta happened to her back in the day,
‘cause there’s so something wrong with her mind.
Oh, she nuts up. Man, she nuts up. And it ain’t about if, naw, it’s just about when, for God knows she’s gonna nut up again.

I’m smiling, almost laughing at Rick’s grief because I can relate. I know someone who nuts up every now and then. But my someone usually goes ballistic because I provoke her. I touch the wrong buttons, maybe mishear, misspeak, or misunderstand. I don’t always handle our relationship properly, I know. I’m just thankful my someone’s nuts up is sort of charming in a searing hot and caustic kind of way. And when it calms and passes, like Rick says in the song, she makes everything right when we turn out the lights, and rock the house at midnight.