Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Work

Through the Tenor

The morning work drive doesn’t fail to impress one each day. Yet there are those days when nothing fails to incite a response. Guess it is one of those times when the inner tenor is unbalanced and everything seems murky.

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…” Nicholas Sparks

Some days the music lives up to its beats. Some days it doesn’t. Some days one feels like dancing in the rain; other days we crib about the mud and the splatter on the shoes. Some days we live for the thrill of our work, though at times we long for a change of job. The truth is, we all have our own moody days and that’s okay. For working mothers, it is okay to miss a nutritious breakfast and make do with sugary cereal or just milk. Some days it is okay to get the laundry done at the dry-cleaners or just splurge on that expensive massage. Some days it is okay for dads to just hang out at the pub or just go for game night at a friend’s place. Some days it is alright for kids to enjoy a weekday movie and get up early for their homework.

As nature shows through the tenors of the sea or the whine of the tempestuous wind, each element of life can be affected by the sway of the inner mind, circumstances of that moment and the feel within. One may feel happy a minute and melancholy the next couple of hours; but that is okay. Each of us need to experience our moods, listen to them and feel their cry. For only then, one can learn to get back on the balanced footing. It is okay to cry and laugh; scream and sing or stamp and dance.

Being human, emotions are always a part of us. Not letting it control us completely is what is important. Just like how fast they come, they will be gone too. Yet it is through these turn of moods, one discovers the passion of life. Life on an even tone is bland. We need all the stuff that goes to give the special essence of life’s potpourri. And that, my dear readers, is what brings the momentum into our lives and the spring in our steps.

“The sea has its moods. Sometimes it is melancholic and morose, other times fierce and feisty. But always passionate. Even when calm, one can sense the depth of the sea’s passion.” Jocelyn Murray

Moods
by Jack London
Who has not laughed with the skylark,
And bid his heart rejoice?
Laughed till the mirth-loving heavens
Echoed his laughter back?
Joyed in the sheer joy of living,
And sung with gladsome voice,
Lays that were cheerful and merry,
And bid his heart rejoice?
Who has not frowned in the gloaming,
And felt the skies grow black;
While o’er him spread the dark mantle
Of sullen, solemn Gloom,
Whose mutterings broke the silence
Like echoes from the tomb –
Like echoes of lost endeavors –
Reproaches from the tomb?
Who has not cursed in his passion,
As Anger’s stinging lash,
Biting and smarting and racking,
Fell on his naked back?
Felt in his veins feverish tumult,
The strife, the savage clash,
As when hot steel, leaped from the scabbard,
Meets steel with crash on crash?
Who has not wept in his sorrow,
And looked in vain for morn;
Waiting with hopeless yearning,
The sun from out the bourn?
Heard from the world the sad sobbing
Of Faith and Hope forlorn?
Known that the sun had forever
Gone down into the bourn?

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Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections, Work

More than Exist

While working in the first job opportunity after college, my brother had to move out to the new city. Over the next couple of months as the call duration and frequency to home decreased, my parents’ radar went into full frequency mode and it had grabbed yours truly. After all a couple of calls, the instinct sense that something was wrong was pretty strong. Whether it was by His Grace that a work travel opportunity had presented itself to his office or just a matter of chance; making the visit was an eye-opener. The short phone conversations and the decreased frequency of calls wasn’t just due to work stress but the unhappiness in doing something which he never wanted to. Though it took plenty of courage and risks; he did get out of the mess and went on to another office doing the advertisement projects that he had trained and wanted to.

“Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.” Theodore Roosevelt

We all get stuck in those unexpected ruts. Full of promise and hope of what was once good, mayn’t seem so a couple of months later. That is when it is time to call a temporary halt to reexamine the situation and find a path out. The tussle is between the surety of the present and the uncertainty of the next that causes one to choose the former. Yet in the long run, it isn’t just existence that drives one person forward, but the courage to take the path to do what one loves to do.

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” Henry David Thoreau

The inner spirit has to stay strong. When things may go downhill for a time, take a break and choose to do something about it. Even though it may be a late attempt, but it is way better than to just exist. It is that spark in each of us, that gives the glow and a special meaning to the gift of life, time and love that we all have been fortunate to be blessed with.

Credo
by Jack London

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark
should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor
every atom of me in magnificent glow
than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The function of man is to live
not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

 

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Reflections, Stories Around the World, Work

One Pair to Many

During the initial phases of my career, there were many roadblocks, of which one stays prominent in the mind. This instance was when a project had to submitted within three days, instead of the stipulated one week timeline. With the project being allotted to three colleagues, time was too short to complete the work in a satisfactory manner within three days. During the coffee break, the rest of us were informed. What happened then was those three pairs of hands were joined by another four pairs, the latter having near about met their own deadlines. Suddenly the three day deadline was not an impossible feat to achieve.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John Holmes

Many instances one feels that things mayn’t be accomplished. Yet looking back, at the end of the day, one discovers that it was possible after all. The “hows” of the happening may be because of additional pair of hands, tackling the situation in small bite-sized portions or simply Divine Grace. Most of the times, it is the latter that often helps one face the impossible days.

As the story of the “Stone Soup” goes, each of us needs to just bring what one has at hand to make the final soup. When what one has at hand is submitted to Him, it would be multiplied in a manner beyond expectation as long as one places complete faith and trust in Him. The scriptures teach us of the feeding of five thousand people, all from a sparse fare of five loaves and two fishes. When these items were surrendered to Christ, He had increased it and thousands of hungry mouths.

““Bring them here to me,” [Jesus] said.” (Matthew 14:18)

Such is the outcome when one surrenders their efforts, talents and services to Him; it will be accepted and increased beyond own expectations or imagination, making the impossible possible. All these are possible, only when one is willing to bring what is in their hands to Him and enlist His Help, His Grace and His Mercy. With all this, the feat of achieving the impossible, but possible through Him, gives a feeling of warmth and lightness, filling one with peace and happiness from within.

“Stone Soup,” an old tale with many versions, tells of a starving man who comes to a village, but no one there can spare a crumb of food for him. He puts a stone and water in a pot over a fire. Intrigued, the villagers watch him as he begins to stir his “soup.” Eventually, one brings a couple of potatoes to add to the mix; another has a few carrots. One person adds an onion, another a handful of barley. A farmer donates some milk. Eventually, the “stone soup” becomes a tasty chowder. Though this tale illustrates the value of sharing, but it also reminds us to bring what we have, even when it seems to be insignificant. (Source:vk.com)

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections, Work

Trap of “Trepidation”

Stepping into the college life, miles away from home, was an awesome experience, especially in learning about life skills, new friendships as well as tiny “take home” messages from the encounter of others’. From the archive of memories was one with my adjoining floor mates. Bitten by the “cooking bug”, which had initially started off as a dare, my friend had embarked on the mission to bring to the house, dished cooked from scratch ( nor processed, prepackages or half cooked meals). For a person of score years who hasn’t even made her own coffee, this dare was a challenge to be over-turned.

As the smells from the common kitchen happened through the odd hours of the day or wee hours of the morning, numerous recipes were attempted (many had flopped) and the cons turning more in number as compared to the “pros”, some days we had questioned if the challenge was worth it. Couple of months, when she had won laurels for the best dessert category in the “food fair”, all this trouble was worth it.

“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self…. And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.” Søren Kierkegaard

Looking back, there were more of “should you” and “do you think” than “good luck”. Yet ignoring all the voices around, the focus was on the final goal. Similar instances have happened in each of our lives. While one looks for the perfect approval from others, time runs it’s own course and own choices go unfulfilled. For those who do accomplish their dreams, one discovers that they never paid full to the voices around them alone. Some did hear them, but never listened. Others listened but never retained or dissected them. Few did pay attention, decided if it was worth further regard and if not, just went ahead with their own dreams.

“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.” C. H. Spurgeon

No one needs an acknowledgement or recommendation to follow own choices. If one really wants to do it, go ahead and reach for it. None of us need a stamp for the green light from others, especially for our shaping own thoughts, ideas and plans. Unless one believes in own self, knowing own dreams and strengths; what we want to truly do will never be done. So charge ahead and seek that dream that makes each of us happy and at peace and content form within.

An Ocean of Angst
by Don Wells
It seems like we live in an ocean of angst
telling us we shouldn’t, we dare not, we can’t
we can find so many ways in which we can fail
that we just spin in circles, chasing our tail

And listening to strangers’ whispers of doubt
but ignoring the voices of friends that shout out
“yes! you can do it! we believe in you”
and deep down in your heart you know it is true

Because you see people, simple and plain,
accomplishing miracles every day
they are the dreamers, the crackpots, the few
but they’re not any more special than you

We all have great dreams within our grasp
but to make them a reality we need to ask
will you succeed if you try your best?
the answer, of course, is a resounding yes!

Because every time you try to excel
whether you succeed or, more likely, fail
each attempt you make is a single push up
not much by itself, but they eventually add up

And even if you find that you’re dream has departed
you’ll find that you’re stronger than when you started
so pick a new dream and keep trying again
and success is bound to be yours in the end

Posted in Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections, Work

Of an endeavor nonpareil

The interstate athletics and sports competition during the school years sees plenty of friendly sparring as well determined efforts to be the one to take the trophy home. Seated in the spectator arena and cheering for my nephew from the sidelines brought back memories from my high school days. During the last day of the three day event, my school was tagging along in the third position. Lagging behind, the only way to get the trophy home would be to score gold or silver in the relay, javelin and high jump. The problem was that some were participating in more than one event. The coach with the consent of participants did a quick shuffle with the athlete in their best sport competing alone for that event.

With these changes, some of the reserves were on the front-line for the relay. As the tension was mounting high, each of us gave it all we had, keeping the “will we win” doubting thoughts far from our mind. Towards the end of the day, we did claim the trophy for that year by a very close margin. That feat wouldn’t have been possible if all participants of hadn’t joined forces for the final day.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford

Forwarding to the present day, each member of the team has their own special importance as well as role to play. Each link needs to give their best strength for the chain to stay strong. While one aims to give their best in their chosen field, sometimes their shine may be seen in the another scene. While all mayn’t reach the first place, giving their very own best gives a sense of peace and contentment. Being human, we all maybe assailed by regrets at some point of time or the other. Once we learn to give it our best shot in whichever capacity one may be in, one experiences the joy of an effort and work well done. As unpredictable life maybe, enjoying the feeling of inner peace, contentment, confidence and happiness within are few of the best and subtle gifts of life over time.

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” Andrew Carnegie

Be the Best of Whatever You Are
Douglas Malloch

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley — but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass —
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail —
Be the best of whatever you are!

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Quotes, Stories Around the World, Work

Standing Strong

One of the longest suspension bridges of those days, this hybrid cable-stayed or suspension bridge; it was opened on May 24, 1883 to be the first fixed crossing over the East River, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Renamed to Brooklyn Bridge (1915), proposals for this bridge were made in the early 19th century with the design plan initiated by architect John A. Roebling a famed canal engineer and bridge designer, completed by his son Washington A. Roebling. In those times, the initial design plans were considered to be a feat highly improbable to be accomplished. Yet applying the concepts of the known studies into practice in the modernization process, use of the wire-rope concept, suspension principles, anchorages and caissons.

“This is the vocation of our own and of every age: to grasp the knowledge that already exists, to make it our own, and in so doing to develop it further and raise it to a higher level; in thus appropriating it to ourselves we make it something different than it was before.” Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831)

During during the initial surveys, an accident saw the amputation of Jon A. Roebling’s crushed toes, resulting in a tetanus infection leaving him in incapacitated and untimely death (June-July, 1869). As his son, Washington A. Roebling took over the project, the construction of the bridge continued and several improvements were made on the bridge design and the building of the two large pneumatic caissons which became the foundation of the two towers. Unfortunately a fire onsite (1870) in one of the pneumatic caissons caused him to suffer from decompression sickness, severely affecting his health and rendering him unable to move, talk or even visit the site.

Determined to continue the project, he had developed a code of communication with his wife using the only finger that he could move and tapping out the instructions against her arm. As for his wife, Emily Warren Roebling, she taught herself bridge construction, continued the day-to-day supervision and project management among other duties of the chief engineer. As recorded in McCullough’s The Great Bridge (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972) that “nowhere in the history of great undertakings is there anything comparable” to Roebling conducting the largest and most difficult engineering project ever “in absentia.”

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Over the years, undergoing subtle changes and renovations, the Brooklyn Bridge still stands tall, a witness to exemplary will, strength and belief in ow dream, even in the face of strenuous hardship and hurdles. This great bridge recounts one of the most inspiring tales of motivation, perseverance and determination to own up their dream and make them come true.

In the face of repeated roadblocks, both father, son and his wife never gave up their dream. Though adversaries were rampant, they still found a way around it and completed one of the most finest structures in architecture, laying down a strong bind to the infrastructure that helped the economy flourish.

Each of us have our own set of snags as we set about a project. While some may be on a physical level, others may be at the personal front, or psychological or emotional extent. Facing all these impediments, one must always keep their true dream close to their heart. Where one can get support, take help. To know own strengths through struggles takes immense courage and iron will to stay on course and make sure it happens. As long as one thinks, plans, moves ahead, knows and firmly believes that one can do it, one will.

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World, Work

Maintain the “Equipoise”

While entering work, there was a new notice at the bulletin next to the elevator. It was a new poster based on Don Miguel Ruiz, “The Four Agreements”. With the elevator still stuck on the top floors and time on my hands, a quick run through the words of these agreements provided a fresh perspective.

“Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.” Don Miguel Ruiz

On detailed reading and review of the poster resulted in one accepting the beauty of the words. While these work agreements may help to pave a better work place scenario, when practised in the true spirit, they aid one to stay happy within.

There are endless encounters with people in our daily lives. On some days, it may be a few, on other days it may be a lot many. Yet all these contacts leave an impression in the mind of which some may be happy, some give off a feel of kindness or at times, a negative vibe around each experience. Yet when one tends to brood over and feed on the negative vibe more, the inner peace gets lost.

“I am content; that is a blessing greater than riches; and he to whom that is given need ask no more.” Henry Fielding

By keeping the humanness in our basic interactions; more than the positive impact left, it is the feeling of happiness and contentment within that leaves one in peace. Every hour of our lives has a lot to offer. Time is never predictable, neither is the chance to experience the joy of living. If the inner balance is upset, efforts must be made to regain it. Those efforts always start from within. For to to be in harmony with the inner self, is a gift of Grace in itself.

Be impeccable with your word. “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”

Don’t make assumptions. “Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.”

Don’t take anything personally. “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

Always do your best. “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”

Source: Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (1997)