Monday, April 30, 2018

Lifelong learning

"I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind. Yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers."  ~Khalil Gibran


At LeBear on Lake Michigan / Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Stillness

"Quiet is the new loud." 
~Joe Robitail

Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach / Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Honesty

"It is discouraging how many people 
are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit." 
~ Noel Coward

At Cranbrook House & Gardens / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Motivation

"Nothing will work unless you do." 
~Maya Angelou

Dig right in / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Writing workshop: "Details, Details"

“The truth of the story lies in the details.” 
~Paul Auster

Cindy La Ferle

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Join me at the Royal Oak Public Library on Wednesday, May 2 (7:00 – 8:30 PM) for a creative writing workshop focusing on how to identify and describe the colorful specifics that editors look for in personal essays, columns, and feature stories. Designed for new writers, this workshop will help you discover how to make your writing sparkle and stand out from dozens of other submissions. We'll do some short writing exercises in class.

The program is free to the public, but seating is limited and advance registration is required to reserve your space. Phone 248-246-3715 or visit the Royal Oak Public Library site for more information.

Copies of my essay collection, Writing Home, will be available at a special discount ($10) to registered workshop attendees.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Spring bulbs

"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." 
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

In Glen Arbor / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Having enough

"For me, the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. 
It is enough. I am enough. My kids are enough." 
~Brene Brown

Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

True friendship

"False friends are like shadows, always near you at your brightest moments but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour. True friends are like stars; you don't always see them but they are always there." ~Habeeb Akande



Nightfall in Vinsetta Park / Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Doing your part

“Do your little bit of good where you are; 
it's those little bits of good put together 
that overwhelm the world.”  
~Desmond Tutu

In Clawson Park / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Advice from Rumi

“There is a force within 
that gives you life. Seek that. 
Ignore those who 
make you fearful and sad."

~Rumi

Palm Beach gardenia / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Positive aging

"We all have the capacity to remain strong, 
attractive, and vital in mind, body, and spirit 
throughout our entire lives. 
Deterioration with age is not inevitable." 
~Dr. Christiane Northrup


Morning still life / Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Let there be light

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled 
by a spark from another person. 
Each of us has cause to think with 
deep gratitude of those who have 
lighted the flame within us." 
~Albert Schweitzer


Lake Michigan / Cindy La Ferle

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On Sunday, we had a doozy of an ice storm that left us with the sad wreckage of fallen branches and uprooted trees all over the neighborhood. And -- for more than 250,000 people in southeast Michigan -- no electricity for a couple of days. Throughout the region, schools and businesses closed; traffic lights stopped working. 

As one of my neighbors put it, we all take for granted the convenience of electricity. When it goes missing, we're forced to improvise. We light fires and read books by candlelight. We find alternate ways to get meals and stay warm. We recharge our cell phones in our cars. And we try to look out for our neighbors. 

Last night (our second night without electricity) I kept in touch with friends in the same predicament. One pal, who was staying with a family member, learned that her power had been restored earlier than expected. She texted to tell me that my husband and I could come to her house to get warm. Likewise, First Congregational Church of Royal Oak opened its doors and welcomed everyone to drop by for a hot meal. As the old saying goes, you learn who your true friends are during an emergency.

When our power came back on after 4:00 a.m. today, I felt a deep surge of gratitude. I savored my fresh pot of morning coffee more than ever, reminding myself that Mother Nature had taught me yet another lesson in appreciation. ~Cindy La Ferle


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Generosity of spirit

“Being generous often consists of simply 
extending a hand. That's hard to do if you are grasping tightly to your righteousness, your belief system, your superiority, your assumptions about others, and your definition of normal.” 
~Patti DighLife Is a Verb

Fruit stand on Old Mission Peninsula / Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

The gift of empathy

“Every man has his secret sorrows 
which the world knows not; 
and often times we call a man cold 
when he is only sad.”  

Private journal / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, April 13, 2018

The zen of relationship

“How a person seems to show up for us 
is intimately connected to how 
we choose to show up for them.” 
~Marianne WilliamsonReturn to Love


Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Patience and hope

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope 
that if you just show up and 
try to do the right thing, 
the dawn will come." 
~Anne Lamott


Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Rebels

"The only way to deal with an unfree world
 is to become so absolutely free 
that your very existence 
is an act of rebellion." 
~Albert Camus


Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Trusting the process

"Slow down, calm down,
don't worry, don't hurry.
Trust the process."
~Alexandra Stoddard

On Main Street in Ann Arbor / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, April 9, 2018

The power of great poetry

"And there was a new voice, 
which you slowly recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper into the world...." 

~Mary Oliver, "The Journey"


Cindy La Ferle

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April is National Poetry Month. And while I'm arriving late to the party this week, I've celebrated poetry all my life. I fell in love with it as a child, and still recall sitting on the couch with my mom while she read the silly, sing-song rhymes of Dr. Seuss. 

Poetry opened the door to creative writing for me when I was a teenager. I composed a lot of (bad) poems years before I started writing articles and essays. In college, like many literature students, I read Emily Dickinson and was required to study a long list of 18th-century romantic poets, including Wordsworth, Blake, and Coleridge. Today, I count Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield, David Whyte, and Jane Kenyon among my go-to contemporary poets. I don't write much poetry myself now, but was thrilled when I got a haiku published in The Christian Science Monitor a few years ago. 

Poetry speaks to my soul in ways that novels and articles cannot -- and I love how I can read a favorite poem at different times and find entirely new meaning in it. The powerful piece below, for instance, always resonates whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed by the needs of others, struggling with a medical diagnosis, or trying to make a creative decision. I often read it aloud to students in my writing workshops. 

The Journey
By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting
their bad advice‚
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do, 

though the wind pried
with its fingers
at the very foundations‚ 

though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen 

branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind, 

the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice, 
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper 

into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do‚ 

determined to save
the only life you could save. 

***
  

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A change of scenery

"A vacation is what you take 
when you can no longer take 
what you've been taking." 
~Earl Wilson


Sunrise on Delray Beach / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Optimism

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved 
except by those who dared to believe that 
something inside them was superior to circumstance."
~Bruce Barton


April showers? / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Cultivating positive thoughts

"Why should I be unhappy? 
Every parcel of my being 
is in full bloom." 
~Rumi

Courtyard on Worth Avenue, Palm Beach / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Slowing down



"Life goes headlong. 
Each of us is always to be found 
hurrying in the chase of some fact, 
hunted by some fear or command behind us. 
Suddenly, we meet a friend. We pause." 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


At Brys Estate Winery & Secret Garden / Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Keeping an open mind

“When we think we have things already 
figured out, we’re not teachable. 
Genuine insight can’t dawn on a mind 
that’s not open to receive it.” 
~Marianne Williamson, Return to Love


At Morikami Gardens, Delray Beach / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, April 2, 2018

A vacation mindset


"To achieve peace of mind, 
you need to resign as 
general manager of the universe."
 ~Larry Eisenberg


At the Flagler House & Museum, Palm Beach / Cindy La Ferle

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