“Dust everywhere… and out of that emerged this beautiful boy with the bluest eyes I’d ever seen, holding his hand out to help me to my feet.” – Marie Lu, Legend. We ate sushi and spaghetti for Thanksgiving last week with a giggly group of old and new friends in the remote Costa Rican surf/yoga mecca of Nosara, a place my wife and I hold deeply sacred. Sitting alone on my board the following morning, Black Friday, I stared into the vast blue and recalled the last time we visit
At a religious service last month, invited to pray silently, I shut my eyes, inhaled deeply and began my routine gamut of wishes: ongoing health for my children, longevity for my parents, personal creative success, etc. Suddenly, my thoughts came crashing to earth, as I remembered my friend Ron and his 16-yr-old son, Sam, a champion freeskier who, just a week earlier, suffered a major wipeout and now lay in a serious coma. It seems, when we invoke a higher power, most of us t
“Did you play tennis today in gym class?” I asked my 7-yo, as we walked into the house after school. “No Daddy. You forgot to pack my gym clothes,” he said, flashing a you dumbass grin. My wife took a well-deserved, girls-only ski trip two weeks ago (yes, our lives are profoundly privileged). As she carved perfect S’s on her snowboard, I did my best to keep my kids fed and clothed and deposited at school on time. Luckily, no one lost an eye. But, after only one day, I longe
“Everyone has two lives. The second one begins when you realize you have only one.” Steven Sotloff. She Gets It. I wish everyone looked at my art like this. If you are not amazed at something right now, you’re either not paying attention or you’re a fool. When you turn on the faucet, if water comes out, be dazzled. If it is drinkable, be awestruck. Much of the world would give anything for such basics. And yet, each day, all day, we walk oblivious to our good fortune. And
Goodbye Old Friend, 20″X23″ Acrylic, paper, antique book pages and cardboard on panel with original poetry, 2005, Stuart Sheldon “Speak to me in your dreams. I am listening.” Henry Miller A friend of mine was a teenager when he lost his dad. In his early thirties, my friend told me, “I dreamed of my dad last night. It doesn’t happen often, but I always love when he visits me in my dreams. I get to see him and talk to him and catch up.” I’d never thought about a dream as such
“Hey, douchebag. There was a lot happening between Vietnam and Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. Plenty of chances to get your war on. Too bad you didn’t have the balls to join.” ~~ US Soldier’s note to me. Apparently, a number of individuals who fought in our recent wars wanted to kick my ass after a reader shared last week’s post, I Have Created Life But Never Taken It, on a popular website for military personnel. I am grateful for these candid reacti
I never went to war. Never killed a man. Never got shot at. Never watched a friend die mid-sentence. Why am I even going here? Because the comfort of our lives cannot be overstated. Many suffered and still suffer beyond measure for our well-being. So that you and I can remain blissfully ignorant of what it means to fight to the death for all that we enjoy and take for granted. Today is Thanksgiving. And so was yesterday. Today is Memorial Day … and so is tomorrow. We too ofte
There are ways. Camping alone on Kauai with nothing but a surfboard and a backpack, I boiled water for ramen and huddled in a small covered area around two concrete tables with a group of fellow campers. Each dusk, as the Pacific lapped at the sand a few feet away, a motley crew prepared their separate meals, then ate in a cluster, making small traveler talk. Where you from? Where you been? Where you going? This particular night, as we scarfed sub-satisfying dinners, the vibe
The best way out is always through.
Robert Frost A Bay Area friend’s daughter posted this on FB yesterday: I was going to post all the petty complaints I have about my commute until the bus passed a man on the wrong side of the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge. I hope the police talk him out of jumping. My heart breaks for all those who reach that point of desperation when they feel that their life is not worth sparing. Earlier that same day, before knowing of his daughter’
Stuart Sheldon, We Can’t Be Too Bold, acrylic and typing on Chinese funeral paper on panel, 12″x12″, 2003 “Are u happy, Daddy?” my then-3-year-old, Kai, asked a while back. The mere question impressed me … this mother of all questions … make that father. “I am happy,” I answered. “Why?” Another superb question. “Because I like my life.” Put it on my tombstone. That was the entirety of our exchange. I asked Kai that question several times since, and his answer is always this
By the time I hit 40 I was utterly over myself. Tired of the sound of my own voice. Bored stiff by my too-often-told lame jokes. I yearned more than anything for the renewal of a child. The road to that child was long and tortuous. So much so that I thought the lights might go out in my eyes forever. So when, at last, that child arrived, I first began to understand the true meaning of “we.” I joined my wife, Jodi, on the post-partem room bed and we watched our hours-old son f
Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward. If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.
Frank A. Clark. Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.
Confucius. Gratitude preserves old friendships, and procures new.
Anonymous. God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to s