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Dear Reader,

View this page as a place where you and I can have a conversation on subjects that are meaningful to both of us. On a regular basis I plan to post a topic or question on my mind which I encourage you to respond to (see below).

On this same page you will also find some of the responses that have been sent in by those who have viewed this web site. Please feel free to submit your own questions and thoughts which I might comment on and share with other viewers. I truly look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Archive for February, 2010

WRITER’S PROMPT: What Are Your Simple Pleasures?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

John Kelly, writing in the February 1 Washington Post (”This List Is Alive with the Sounds (and Sights) of Simple Pleasures”), pointed out a few of his favorite things guaranteed to life his heart or bring a smile to his face.
As examples, he included seeing a fox walk across a bridge; a dog that jerks its hind leg in its sleep — even ”walking into a public restroom and discovering that is is equipped with actual paper towels, not a dryer that weakly blows lukewarm air on your hands.” Simple things, indeed.

When I think about the simple things that give me pleasure, these come to mind:
.Finding in the flea market an old CD of music by Bach.
.Being greeted by my dog when I come home, she making me feel like a bright light has returned to her life and all is now right in her world.
.My wife lovingly rubbing my neck when it is so stiff that I can hardly turn it.
.Sitting down at the kitchen at night after dinner with a new book in my hands.
.My daughter telling me she loves me.

Now, what about you? What the the simple pleasures in your own life, the ones that make life so rich and yet rarely cost us any money?
Please share with us.

WRITER’S PROMPT: Your Happiest Memory

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Author Amy Bloom, writing about happiness in The New York Times Book Review Jan. 31, 2010 (”The Rap on Happiness”), says, ”The real problem with happiness…[is] happiness itself. Happiness is like beautify: part of its glory lies in its transience. It is deep but often brief….To hold happiness is to hold the understanding that the world passes away from us, that the petals fall and the beloved dies.” She adds that no matter how much joy we may receive from good times, from, say, experiencing the sun on our faces, nothing can ”save us from the adult understanding that it cannot last forever.”

Her words touched me and also saddened me. I am in mourning for an old friend who just died, and the loss of her has shaken both my wife and me and left us with a sense of hopelessness. There is another void in our lives now which we will not be able to fill — her friendship brought happiness to our lives. Her lingering death in a hospice shook me up. It follows the earlier sickness of my own wife during the past year and my own illness the year earlier. I have tried to learn once again to take nothing for granted, including happiness, but to do my best to enjoy whatever good and joy may enter our lives, even if it is only temporary.

But happiness seems to remain elusive at times.

What about you? Are you happy? What makes you happy? When have you been most happy in your own life? Are you able to accept the fact that happiness may not last forever, or have you found a way to be as happy as you can each day?
Please share.

WRITER’S PROMPT: Your Best Birthday

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Today is my birthday and it started out beautifully as I opened a friend’s beautiful e-card from which fireworks and balloons sprung out to greet and start off my day in a spectacular way. The card showed one birthday candle waiting to be blown out, and it was very fitting — the one candle signifying to me the start of a new beginning. On your birthday you can feel fresh and maybe reborn a little — anything goes because it’s your special day.
And I thought back to earlier birthdays and the things family and friends did for me to make me feel so special. There always seemed to be good cheer, often a birthday cake with candles, sometimes some lovely presents, and, most important, people’s love. Their love made everything wonderful.
What about you? What is your happiest birthday memory? What are the things you do to celebrate your special day? What would make a perfect birthday for you?
Please share.