|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
May 2012 (135 posts)
It's Friday! Whew! We made it through the week. Now here are a few more things to be grateful for:
Look out for this shocking (and beautiful) sight in the skies on May 5
The house(s) that books built
At last: Words for all those things you could never put your finger on
There's nothing like a good (or really, really bad) pun to lighten things up
Better with age: At 102, this WWII vet is still volunteering. See what she has planned for this year.
Recycled from old sails, these washable totes are virtually indestructible and can take Mom from a weekend on Martha's Vineyard to a morning at the greenmarket.
Next time she wants to serve tea for two this porcelain pot with side-by-side spouts will be twice as nice.
This lightweight, water-repellent gym bag features pockets galore, a ventilated shoe compartment, and a ring holder for baubles.
Forget for a moment, if you can, any dorm-room associations you may have with the topsy-turvy artwork of MC Escher, and while away a few minutes/hours clicking through the artist's visually fascinating, mathmatically-inclined work. The intricate patterns, the carefully-crafted optical illusions, the things turning into other things. Remember the wonder you felt on first seeing them?
Spanish artist Cristóbal Vila has imagined, in his new short film, Inspirations, what MC Escher's workplace may have looked like. Open Culture calls the video "three minutes of unbridled imagination," and it is indeed an interesting tribute to a beloved artist, a way to peek inside a creative mind:
What would inspire you to create something new? Chess sets and lizards? A tin can full of feathers (as I vividly recall from the studio of an artist friend of my mother's)? A vision board covered in clipped magazine images? Tell us in the comments!
Today's Thank You Game challenge is to thank someone who has
helped you be brave.
I most want to thank Maya Angelou (who's in the photo above) for helping me to be brave. In my most fearful moments, she has been the one I relied on most, and called first.
Years ago I phoned her complaining about what I've now long forgotten. She shared these words, "Courage is the most important of all the virtues, without it, you can practice no other." It takes courage to be kind when others are not. It takes courage to be truthful when a lie might suffice. It takes courage to keep moving forward, when you'd rather quit. I've learned that courage, or opting for bravery, is feeling the fear and still doing what is necessary to overcome it. And in the very act of bravery you don't feel brave but just feel what is true and most real.
Ironically one of my most desolate moments, barely being able to speak in between sobs of despair, I called Maya looking for comfort and sympathy. Instead she sternly chided me, "STOP IT" she said. "Stop your crying right now and say THANK YOU!"
"Why would I say thank you for this?" I said. "Say thank you because you know God, and you know He put a rainbow in every cloud. The rainbow is coming. Say thank you even though you can't see it. It's already there."
So in the worst of times, I still remind myself of that great lesson and say "Thank you"...and then prepare to see the rainbow.
Today's rainbow was Mastin Kipp's post on The Daily Love. I took the dogs out at 6am. Sat quietly under the oaks I call the Apostles, (because 12 of them together form a beautiful canopy). It's my favorite spot to Be.
Came back inside read The Daily Love and found the rainbow.
It was exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded.
Thank you Mastin Kipp for helping me be brave.
Here's one woman who'd reach for the kale in a heartbeat, though: Nell Stephenson, a competitive endurance athlete and author of the new book Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous With the Diet You Were Born to Eat. Kale is Stephenson's favorite vegetable; on the morning we spoke, she'd just had breakfast, which included a raw kale salad made with olive oil, garlic, red onion and freshly ground pepper. She incorporates the super-healthy leafy green into every meal (even snacks). "The more leaves, the better; the more greens the better," she writes. Still, Stephenson understands that the vitamin-packed leafy green can be a bit harsh. To get past that, she has some pointers: buy organic, if you can (it really does taste better, she says); choose lacinato or dinosaur kale over curly (those varieties have a more delicate flavor), and massage it before eating (Really! Rubbing it with some olive oil and then letting it sit in a bowl with some lemon or lime juice breaks it down and renders a more gentle taste).
Once you've taken those steps, you're ready to try some of Stephenson's kale recipes. Two of them--Chicken or Turkey Avocado and Apple Wraps and Kale Chips--are easily portable; while the author's take on Eggs Benedict has the power to pull you out of bed 10 minutes earlier than usual so you can enjoy it at home before conquering the day.
Lisa Oz's Lemony Kale Salad recipe
6 new superfoods you definitely haven't tried before
Vitamin-packed fruits we love
Tell any little kid "It's time to go," and see if you don't get the response, "Five more minutes!" This response, however, is not actually about time at all. "Five more minutes," they know, means "not yet," but the difference between one minute or five or five hundred is negligible. "Is it bedtime?" my daughter asks me at 10 in the morning, when the sun passes behind a cloud. The day after Halloween: "Is it Halloween again yet?" And then, mid-April, "Why is it taking so long to be Halloween again?"
But really, who does understand how time works? We've all had five minuteses that went in the blink of an eye, and others that lasted eternities. We've all had days spent traveling that seem to expand to include a lifetime; hours at a desk that creep by as if wounded. And yet in our daily existence, we've stripped time of its mysteries: we don't think much about it past how to fit tasks into the calendar. We glance at clocks as if they were maps, just to see where we are in the day, how late or how early for the next thing.
So next time you want to know what time it is, I suggest looking here.
In Mark Formanek's "Standard Time," workers painstakingly change a huge, wooden "digital" clock manually, minute by minute. The process is sometimes graceful (changing an 8 to a 9 looks like a dancestep), sometimes painstaking (those 10s!), but every minute makes itself felt. The longer you watch, the more absurd "telling time" seems as a practice. As the official website says, "Even though the workers are trying hard to construct every single minute, they are constantly on the verge of failing." Who hasn't had a day like that? Still, we construct each minute, even if sometimes it's less graceful than others.
It's Blue O'Clock
The Wind Map
Men! What are they thinking? We can't always answer that, but we'll be posting our favorite glimpses into their world in this space every Thursday.
* Watch this video of Newark Mayor Cory Booker reciting a poem he wrote about hometown hero Bruce Springsteen, and then take back everything unkind you've ever said about New Jersey. (Facebook.com/CoryBooker)
* Any Perfect Strangers fans out there in need of a mood boost? This videogame is a great reminder that nothing's gonna stop you now. (NothingsGonnaStopMeNow)
* "When I was writing the Cider House Rules, I realized, 'You seem to work best with a last sentence.' And once I know, like a piece of music, what it sounds like at the end where I'm going, I make a kind of roadmap in reverse back to where the story should begin. So far that last sentence has never changed. Never. I see that last sentence and I write towards it, it's waiting for me." Time spends a morning at home with John Irving. (Time)
Today's Thank You Game challenge is to thank someone who
brings beauty into your life.
My life is filled with so much beauty. I'm surrounded by it.
First and foremost I thank my friend, and brother Bob Greene. He brings beauty in every way and makes everything better. I thank his wife whom I call my sister, Urania. Her attention to supervising every detail is unparalleled.
I'd like to thank Andre Walker (that's him in the photo), who for 27 years has nourished and taken care of my hair and is himself a beautiful person inside and out. Never a diva moment, not even a complaint, never late, and never missed a day of work in TWENTY SEVEN years!
I appreciate beauty in all forms, especially nature. Trees make me happy, so does baby grass (the color of green apples). And no matter what kind of day it is, the sky is always beautiful to me. Look up!
For the mom whose middle name could be Wonka...
Isabella's Cookie Company's Blooming Blossom Sugar Rush Cookies. She'll flip for these flower-shaped goodies, which are made with butter, eggs and buttermilk, and frosted with creamy vanilla icing and sprinkles.
For the mom who never packed a lunch box without a candy bar...
Cookie Panache's I Heart Mom Cookies. These adorable sugar cookies are decorated by hand with red, pink and white designs. Each treat is as big as the palm of your hand; sweettooths will love that they can "just eat one" and still get their sugar fix.