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Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

How To Make Friends

Enjoy these quotes from my book on friendship:

US! Celebrating the Power of Friendship

Stand often in the company of dreamers…They tickle your common sense and believe you can achieve things which appear impossible.  mary anne radmacher

Smiles are wordless paragraphs of friendship. mary anne radmacher

A new friend expands experience much like a new idea opens the mind.  mar –

When you have one friend you hold the hand of the world.  mar –

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I’ll Take That CUP of CAN’T without the T…

It was my second Saturday that I sat with the small group of knitters.  Once my good friend learned that my passionate interest in knitting was going to “stick” she invited me to be a part of this long-standing group that sits! and knits.  More than knitting, they share solutions with each other than have specifically to do with knitting and in general have to do with life.  In fact, Bonnie, my friend who recently taught me the basics of knitting said she found metaphor for just about every problem in life in the process of knitting. (That’s a story for another day!)

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We were each working on our projects and engaged in vibrant and easy conversation when a stranger approached the table announcing, “You women are driving me crazy with your knitting.  I can’t knit.  I haven’t a creative bone in my body.”

My friend cast a sympathetic look toward me.  She knows “them’s fighting words” to me who helps people discover their innate creative at many different levels.  I held my tongue and kept moving my needles while I listened to a series – a very creative series, I might add, of sentences using
“can’t” in more incarnations than I have room to list here.  Trust me – there was a world of can’t contained in her paragraph of problems as it relates to knitting, specifically, and fiber arts in general.  She had some harsh words for crocheting, as well.

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The most seasoned knitter at the table took the bait.  She explained there were four essential steps to successful knitting. 1-2-3-4.  There it was.  My friend offered her a cup of can without the “T.” What I quickly heard was this stranger was more attached to the story of Can’t than in learning how she could honestly say,”Hey!  I can knit.”  Unable to resist, halfway through I turned to her in the midst of her “cant-ing” and said, “I learned to cast on, knit, purl and cast off just last month.”

I think how she dismissed my newly acquired knowledge with something that would be spelled like, “Phfyughfft.”  Pretty close.

I turned to the non-tutoring knitter on my left and quietly said that there were an awful lot of “can’t’s” flying around our table.   She assured me not to worry.  That we at the knitting table did indeed prefer our cups of CAN with the “T.”

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Do you?

Enjoy these uplifting quotes:

courage doesn’t always roar.  sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “i will try again tomorrow.”  mary anne radmacher

In science, one can learn the most by studying what seems to be the least.  Marvin Minsky

What you risk reveals what you value.  Jeanette Winterson

I keep six honest serving-men/ (They taught me all I knew); / Their names are What and Why and When,/ And How and Where and Who.   – Rudyard Kipling –

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.  – James Thurber –

A key to a vital life is an eagerness to learn and a willingness to change.  – mary anne radmacher –

 

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a fresh look at my author site

Thanks for the attention you pay to me, here.  And I hope you’ll find some

fresh inspiration at my author site:  maryanneradmacher.net

I’ve put into practice the “what if i pretended this was easy?” question and have grown

increasingly comfortable building and rebuilding my own web center.

I’m introducing an original series of posters called “Silver and Gold.”  When you have a

few minutes, please spin by and thumb through my pages!

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Courage Doesn’t Always Roar…

I used to write at a local coffee establishment. “The Beanery.” They were mad for coffee and the bulk of the baristas were passionate about all things coffee. There was a way to tell: their passion translated into the perfect cup of coffee. Or, it didn’t. The butterscotch colored froth on top that announced a perfectly brewed cup of espresso was the first indicator of excellence. Taste followed. There were days that I consumed a beverage of less than stellar quality. And some few days I asked them to “try again.”
You may be familiar with one of my poems,
“courage doesn’t always roar. sometimes courage
is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
‘i will try again tomorrow.’”
It is one kind of matter to personally decide to try again. It’s all about personal accountability and a dedication to giving something a fresh shot in the invigorating light of a new day.
It’s another matter to ask someone else to try again. Another matter entirely. There are all kinds of issues rolled into this – it’s the reason why people will endure one of the worst meals they’ve ever been served and vow to never again frequent that particular establishment.
Whether it is personal or public, the chance to “try again” is an opportunity. When an eatery is consistently not getting something right and no one says anything…how do they know? Absent honest feed back a restaurant learns too late the areas they need to improve. Business rolls back and they end up closing their doors.
On the rare occasion when I would trundle back to the coffee counter and gently announce, “I know how you feel about your coffee so I thought I’d better tell you this one was not quite right.” In all instances that I can remember, they were so appreciative. Asked me for more information and conducted a staff process assessment right in front of me. I watched as the discovery unfolded: a missed step, a piece of equipment not quite tightened. Fortunately for me, their objectives matched mine – we all wanted the end result to be an ideal cup of coffee. Not a pretty good cup, or a “close enough” cup – but as close to perfect as we humans get to come in such things.
There’s a very tentative line between going with the flow and simply tolerating something. I understand the line for me and this is what it looks line. I would not ask a barista to “try again” if I were served a wretched cup of coffee while traveling and having discovered a coffee bar out in the middle of between here and there. Nor would I send food back to the kitchen in such an establishment. I do not know them. I’m not vested in their process or success and I know that, like me, travelers don’t come specifically to a place like this, they stop here on their way to somewhere else. In that context, “good enough” is indeed good enough. In instances like these I go with the flow. Accept what comes and call it good. Enough.
Tolerance. Or in this line drawing, intolerance. I speak up when the consequences matter to me. When I know the owners and want them to have continued success. I share my experience when I know the objective and goals of the establishment.
The request to “try again” works for me when core values are shared. When there is a mutual view. In this context the request in an invitation to greater performance.
When core values are not shared the request becomes a judgment and often the beginning of a disagreeable exchange. Even disintegrating into an argument. Often this type of exchange ends with, “I was only trying to help,” and hurt feelings on both sides of a counter.
So this morning as I am again enjoying the environment of a coffee house committed to excellence I remember this lesson. In reflecting I realize this is an effective measure for many different relationships. In a friendship, when the foundational intentions are shared – such exchanges become opportunities for shared growth. In associations where the core intentions are dramatically different – such a request becomes fodder for a fight.
I sip my delicious cup of java, put down my fork next to a delectable gluten-free scone which I’ve nearly finished and am grateful that I have opportunities in my day, in many venues, to “try again.”

*****

– mary anne radmacher’s poem, “courage doesn’t always roar” is included in the Oxford Dictionary of American quotations and finds uses around the globe. It is the title of two books and is quoted in dozens of other publications. Visit her facebook space – facebook.com/couragedoesn’talwaysroar.

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