the words we live by

Ok but can we talk about how the Paladin’s bayards don’t just suit them, but actually ARE them? THE BAYARD PICKS THE PALADIN, MR. POTTER.

The bayards are frankly the coolest metaphorical device happening in this show and I haven’t seen anyone talk about it yet (I’m sure someone has, but I feel like it’s not really… a thing??), and if my major has taught me any(useless)thing it’s to get stuck on functional motifs in storytelling so

Keith

I mean this is just fun. You’re probably not surprised that he gets the big blade because he’s main-character-red and the emo/possibly-Asian-one, but let’s consider a few things: 

The fact that it’s sharp on both sides acts as a physical reminder of the duality happening within his character (he cuts others down, but internally he’s cutting himself down just as much: a double-edged sword). 

Furthermore, that double edge reminds us that it’s a loner’s weapon: he needs to be able to attack with each swing, in any direction, because no one’s coming to back him up. It may be space, but dude is clearly rockin’ the lone wolf/samurai vibe. The length backs that up a bit as well–it keeps everyone he sees as an ‘enemy’ or a ‘rival’ at a distance (//side-eye @ lance). 

What’s even more interesting is that if you look at Keith’s relationship with his bayard compared to his Marmora blade, they represent his hidden and public selves: who people see him as/expect him to be vs. who he truly is and wants to be (is afraid to be) himself. 

Most people only see his bayard, a classic warrior/knight weapon that represents strength and grace and leadership. Keith brings this out in battle, in front of his friends, before enemies, etc. But when he’s alone at night or when he’s holed up in the desert, the blade on his mind and in his hand is his Marmora dagger. Despite being a secret for so long, it is actually this blade (and not the bayard he got from Voltron) which Keith always keeps close to him (and which he keeps strictly concealed). 

He covers up the mark on the hilt as if to cover his own hidden thoughts and feelings (and maybe even dubious past). In public, he feels he can proudly show his bayard but doesn’t want anyone to know he has the dagger, even before he himself knows what it might mean. 

Even more interestingly, this blade also represents close combat–letting people get close to you–and the desire to protect others, showing that these are things Keith thinks about, feels, and even wants, but is afraid to show to those around him. What’s more, while the obvious skills and general cool-dude-ness associated with the bayard are something Keith has earned/achieved by his own merit, the Marmora dagger (and all the things it represents) were something he was born with; something inherently part of him. Ironically, once Keith learns more about his dagger and what it represents, it becomes longer–it adds distance, just as the truth about his past puts distance between him and the other paladins.

Like, I could literally (gladly) write an entire essay just on the symbolism of how Keith treats these blades, but you get the idea. 

I was gonna do Shiro next but his is even sadder than Keith’s so let’s do

Pidge

So some things about this are obvious: it bears a (kind of adorable similarity) in shape to her head. It’s small, she’s small, but if you underestimate either of them you will be sorry. It’s an incredibly quick/nimble weapon (a great parallel for her stinging wit). Her bayard is designed for quick, surgically precise movements, which is exactly how Pidge works (both mentally and metaphorically).

However, while it has great attack capabilities, that’s clearly not the bayard’s (or Pidge’s) main purpose; it’s a necessary consequence in the pursuit of other goals. Rather, the transformative and flexible uses of Pidge’s bayard emphasize the desire to be useful and to solve problems over attacking. This is belied by the fact that Pidge forms Voltron’s shield. Pidge would much rather think her way out of/around a problem than charge in head-first

Her bayard is a reflection of that. Pidge’s bayard is also the most technically complicated, which is another great parallel for her mind. Furthermore, the grappling hook function of her bayard echoes her desire to find things out of reach, and cast out into space and bring those things close to her, or herself to them (*cough*MATT*cough*). 

TL;DR: it’s an all-purpose, unassuming weapon meant to perform multiple tasks in an efficient, creative way, and it focuses on problem solving/extraction more than brute attack (though it packs plenty of punch when cornered). And, of course, though she be but little, she is fierce.

Lance

As his swagger (and even his name, like talk about being on the nose) suggests, Lance is totally in-your-face, up-in-your-business blabbermouth who seems pretty simple to understand. So why does he have the weapon that arguably requires the most finesse, patience, and also has a long range? Because that’s what Lance is really like under all that talk. It may seem like Lance lives with the words “are we there yet” on his tongue, but consider this: Lance wanted to be a pilot, but was originally relegated to commercial-class ranks. Did that stop him? Nope. He kept at it until he made it to the top of those ranks (it’s safe to assume that if they only promoted one pilot to fighter-class after Keith’s expulsion, it would be the top of the commercial-class students). That’s more patience than any of the other paladins have shown.

As a gun in a team that has close-combat weapons, Lance’s bayard automatically assumes a supportive role (despite all his talk about beating Keith and being the best), and we see this multiple times throughout the show. His first day as a fighter-class pilot, what does Lance do? Talks to his team and says they should stick together. How does he find out about Shiro? He’s following Pidge and asking about what she’s up to–crazy theories that others wouldn’t care to hear out. There are a lot of other examples of this (notably, when he throws himself in front of Coran), but from the get-go we’re slyly shown that Lance actually cares about and pays attention to those around him (even though he keeps talking about kicking their butts and being #1). It makes sense, then, that his weapon would be one designed to support and provide cover for others. In fact, we see Lance doing exactly this in the first episode when Pidge mouths off and he rushes in to cover for her.

Sadly, as one of the longer-range weapons, Lance’s bayard is also one of the loneliest metaphors in the group, and we see the reason for this just as much in VLD: Lance doesn’t feel appreciated (or sometimes even accepted) by the people around him. He often feels distant, though not by choice. He may shoot (ha) his mouth off a lot, but at the end of the day it’s pretty apparent that this boy craves love and attention, almost as much as he wants to be perceived as a ‘top gun’ (double ha) within the group.

A gun–especially the rapid-fire type that Lance has–further mirrors his tendency to be impulsive (and even impetuous) rather than controlled and thoughtful. On the bright side, though, it is exactly that willingness to pull the trigger that has catapulted the gang forward on a number of occasions.

Shiro

Between Shiro’s arm and his bayard there are so many different things going on here I don’t even know how I can touch on all of them. If I could write an essay on Keith’s weapons, I could write a BOOK on Shiro’s.

First, let’s talk about Shiro’s actual bayard. In Zarkon’s hands, you can read this as a physical extension of Shiro’s freedom, or even as Shiro himself: Zarkon took the bayard–something meant to be used for good–from another world, and then warped it in the hopes of using it to cause destruction. 

The good news is that both Shiro and the bayard escape Zarkon’s clutches because of Voltron, and though Zarkon intended to use them, they instead become the strongest weapons to fight against him. They will always feel the effects of Zarkon’s influence and ownership–the bayard because of Zarkon’s former paladin connections, and Shiro because of his arm and PTSD–but they still fight. In the end, it is Zarkon’s obsession with them as his former ‘possessions’ that becomes his downfall. So deep is his trauma that Shiro actually waits until it looks like they’re about to die (when Voltron is in an electric headlock) to activate his bayard. Why? Because he doesn’t trust his arm, he doesn’t trust his hold on the bayard or the lion (don’t even get me STARTED on how the lion–down it’s right-hand weapon and still somewhat under Zarkon’s control–represents Shiro himself), and as a result he doesn’t trust himself to be stronger than Zarkon. 

Even when Shiro finally gets the bayard back, he doesn’t call it his bayard, or the black bayard; he calls it Zarkon’s bayard (and it looks the part). This can be seen as a mirror for how Shiro sees himself: even though it’s a bayard, Zarkon tainted it, and now it doesn’t belong to him even though it’s rightfully his and he has it in his hands (which, ironically, is still technically Zarkon’s hand… you get the picture).

However, as Keith corrects him (”you’ve got your bayard”), the bayard rejects the changes Zarkon forced upon it, and reverts to a form that matches Shiro and the other paladins (likely how it looked before Zarkon started using it for evil). Just as the paladins healed Shiro by rescuing him and making him part of Voltron, Shiro does the same for the black bayard. Indeed, he only pulls out the power necessary to retrieve the black bayard once he wakes up to find the team fighting to protect him. It might be telling symbolically that Shiro leaves his bayard behind when he goes missing at the end of the season–perhaps he’s won his freedom only to have it taken once again.

 Which leads me to… 

The black bayard could also represent Shiro’s memories: both are known to exist, and we get hints/flashes/teases throughout the show, but both are initially “lost”. Slowly, it is revealed just how both Shiro’s bayard and his memories have been taken/corrupted by Zarkon. We see this in the way Shiro’s memories haunt him, only to frustratingly elude  him when he needs them. When Shiro finally tries to find out more about why Zarkon has the bayard, he’s also facing his own mind–his memories, his insecurities, and his apprehension at what fate awaits him–as well.  In this sense, when Shiro reclaims the black bayard, he is also reclaiming so much more: the hold/fear Zarkon held over him, the insufficiency and anxiety he felt because of it, etc. 

You can also read the bayard as a mirror for Shiro’s arm: Zarkon took Shiro’s arm and replaced it with something Galran. Shiro joins Voltron only to find that Zarkon also has his metaphorical right hand–his weapon. Shiro can’t use the weapon he should be holding (in a hand he doesn’t have because of Zarkon) because Zarkon took it. Talk about a vicious cycle. This symbolism is supported all through season 1 and parts of season 2 where we see Shiro simultaneously struggle with controlling Zarkon’s lasting effects on Voltron and coming to grips (ha) with controlling his arm. It’s hinted–both during battle and through PTSD–that if Shiro doesn’t control his arm, it will control him, just as Zarkon demonstrates that if Shiro can’t reclaim the bayard, Zarkon will use it to kill him (we see a similar parallel with his memories). 

I’m just going to stop here because the black bayard and Shiro’s arm can represent so many different things that it totally distracts me and I can only really do it justice by literally sitting down and writing out a full on dissertation on it.

But TL;DR: Shiro’s arm and his bayard are in a crazy, soap-opera drama with Zarkon on so many different levels and it is symbolistically incredible.

Hunk

Hunk’s bayard, much like Hunk, is pretty straight-forward and simple. Physically, it’s a big weapon. A big, hulking (Hunking????) weapon. It looks incredibly imposing, but its chief function isn’t destruction, but preventing destruction. Just as Hunk likes to avoid violence, his canon is mostly used to disable enemy weapons as part of Voltron, and individually Hunk uses it to provide long-range cover fire for his team (when he tries to use it in a more actively combative role, he just ends up almost shooting Pidge… gg, Hunk). 

Unlike Lance’s more nimble and quick-fire weapon, Hunk’s takes a lot of strength to move around and a long time to power up–this mirrors Hunk’s own well-rooted stance (he’s not easily swayed), and his cautious nature. He doesn’t do things off-the-cuff or on a whim; he thinks them through first. Indeed, it’s almost always Hunk warning the others of the possible outcomes of their proposed escapades. 

He’s also slow to anger, just as his weapon is slow to fire. However, once he has decided to take a shot, his firepower is incredible, just as when he does decide to take action (like with the Balmerans), his will is unstoppable. 

I could go on for days, guys. I have so much stuff I had to cut out because even the hardcorest Voltron fans don’t care about underlying motifs this much, I know, but AGH. GUYS. GUYS. THE BEAUTY??? OF THIS WRITING??? IN A KIDS’ SHOW????? 

Bless.

PS this is long I didn’t proof read it SO SUE ME

Lyrics written by Namjoon

Because he didn’t only write “I’mma beat that p*ssy like you never ever felt before”

-“Having tight schedules Even tough i’m tired,I smile
Cause in a family called bangtan i’m a not an only child”
-Unpack Your Bags

-”I can be assigned to many places,
But why can’t I find the real me anywhere?”-
So 4 More

-”I don’t know whether I’ve lost the way
or whether from the beginning I was lost
even when I’m with someone, one corner of my heart is lonely”
-Adrift

-”This sea is too deep
Still, I’m lucky
Because even if I cry, no one would know”
-Whalien 52

-“Never be late to do what you wanna do right now
Because at one point of someday,
Everything you did
Would be exactly what you will be” -
O,RUL8,2?

-”Thank you for letting me be me
For helping me fly
For giving me wings
For straightening me out
For waking me from being suffocated
For waking me from a dream which was all I was living in" -SAVE ME

-”I just wanted to succeed
the words I tediously heard from others were only that
I thought I could catch the mirage known as happiness
but the me in front of my desk wasn’t happy even for a moment
Without my mom knowing, I put a sheet of white paper between the pages of my workbook
My identity that I wrote down matched to the drum and bass”
-Voice

-“The grown-ups confess
That we have it so easy
They say that we are happier than our portion
Then how do you explain my unhappiness?
There’s no conversation topics beside studying
Outside, there are so many kids like me,
Living the life of a puppet
Who will take responsibility?”
-N.O

-”Life isn’t about living along but living through
As you live through, you’ll disappear some day
If you keep spacing out, you’ll be swept away,
if you ain’t no got the guts, trust”
-Tomorrow 

-”I empty my drink but it gets filled with loneliness […]
All I did was color you in my white, blank paper
But then I realized, it already became a finished picture”
-Hold me tight

-”Hey you, who’s looking over the Han River
If we bump into each other while passing, would it be fate?
Or maybe we bumped into each other in our past life
Maybe we bumped into each other countless times”
-Reflection

-”My mother said the sea is blue
She said to let out your voice as far as you can
But what to do, it’s so dark and there are only different whales
speaking entirely different words”
-Whalien 52

-”The media and adults say we don’t have willpower
condemning us like stocks
Why are they killing us before we can even try
Why are you hanging your head and accepting it already?” -Dope

-”Life is more beautiful knowing that we’ve taken a loan on death
Even light is treasured more when there’s darkness
The sunshine appears after we’ve passed through the storm”
-Life

-”Let’s be happy, let’s be happy
Even if we live with these heavy words in our mouths every day
To be honest, I still don’t know
Why am I often lonely”
-Adrift

-“I’m living to understand the world, 
But why hasn’t this world tried to understand me”
-Always

-”Back then I thought this was a big place
But my ambition grew too big
That big house became too small now”
-Move

-“In the darkness,
People look happier than the day
Everyone else knows where they’re supposed to be
But only I walk without purpose”
-Reflection

-”Outside was a whole battlefield so I bring out the chopper
Every night inside me I quietly fight with myself
My heart pounds, my colleagues stab me in the back
While saying that I became a moron after joining a company”
-Awakening

-”It’s just one life
Who are you living for?
My heart stopped when I was nine or ten
Put your hand on your heart
and ask what you dream was
What is really was”
-O,RUL8,2?  

*This was Sarah for you daily Namnam appreciation

(cred to Lynn and papercrowns!)

2

Hello, old friend.
And here we are, you and me, on the last page. By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone. So know that we lived well and were very happy. And, above all else, know that we will love you, always. Sometimes I do worry about you, though. I think, once we’re gone, you won’t be coming back here for a while and you might be alone, which you should never be. Don’t be alone, Doctor. And do one more thing for me. There’s a little girl waiting in a garden. She’s going to wait a long while, so she’s going to need a lot of hope. Go to her. Tell her a story. Tell her that, if she’s patient, the days are coming that she’ll never forget. Tell her she’ll go to sea and fight pirates. She’ll fall in love with a man who’ll wait 2000 years to keep her safe. Tell her she’ll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived and save a whale in outer space.
Tell her this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.

17.05.07 fancafe - bts_Rap Monster

00:53
may is….may is the month of family.

since childhood, may felt more like the middle of the year than June or July. I thought it was the same month as inflection point of the year. It has a lot of public holidays too.. Labour Day.. Buddha’s Birthday.. Parents’ Day.. Teacher’s Day.. but of course the main (holiday) is Children’s day !

therefore, it becomes may bam! my heart would flutter pointlessly. It’s the month with many days off from school right? I think everyone would do it if you have school days…maybe. Isn’t it that the weight of may alone approaching distinctly, perhaps our childlike innocence is still alive?

the last end of year stage occasion.. everyone, the members and company too said 2017 all together. we’ve already approached half way through the year, time really flies. yesterday I thought about the word “future”.미未(not) 올래來(coming). A word that we live by bound the most together with words of happiness and love. but suddenly there is not future. I thought that.

because its already may of 2017 that we waited eagerly for, maybe the that future is just a myth. because the most important thing is right now. I thought that saying to do it in the future- later on- that future would never come. something about it is superficial but now is the future soon. I’ve always hoped for something for the future and for something to change, but then I couldn’t manage to smell of the trees of the present. it seems that there is a little water given too to speak of. that the present is the future soon

you may be curious. In the meantime I’m getting a some things ready that are fun again. because we have a lot of things to prepare, the pace is a bit slower than before. because we want to make them more carefully and elaborately. I miss when I didn’t know about the world and had fears of the old past. but there are pros and cons. I think I want to show you since I did it so finely. still..I’m daring to do my best. dare I.

BTS is barely starting. Up until now, we have tried things we haven’t before and we want to try more. It’s barely may more or less.. It doesn’t feel like may has come somehow. The may now and the may 10 years ago have many differences but, when I see my little cousin getting excited to go to lotte world, I’m still thrilled and envious. we will be like this. the weather is warm despite it getting hotter as the summer quickens.

how is everyone’s may? In your hearts, me. us. I thought (about that) for a moment, what season, what month will i stay in. But it’s sad that I can’t hear all the stories. I will try to do my best though. Like music if I can do it. warm and hotly.

trans; @hobuing | do not repost

8

Hello, old friend, and here we are. You and me, on the last page. By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone. So know that we lived well, and were very happy. And above all else, know that we will love you, always. Sometimes I do worry about you, though. I think once we’re gone, ‘you won’t be coming back here for a while, and you might be alone, which you should never be. Don’t be alone, Doctor. And do one more thing for me. There’s a little girl waiting in a garden. She’s going to wait a long while, so she’s going to need a lot of hope. Go to her. Tell her a story. Tell her that if she’s patient, the days are coming that she’ll never forget. Tell her she’ll go to sea and fight pirates. She’ll fall in love with a man who’ll wait two-thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her she’ll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived and save a whale in outer space. Tell her this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.

2

On Shinhwa’s celebration of 7000 days since debut, Kim Dongwan reminds fans that Shinhwa isn’t responsible for their lives & no one is responsible for Shinhwa’s lives either. And that Shinhwa Changjo are Shinhwa’s strong companions, history, & living witnesses. Such wise & mature talk that’s coming out from a veteran group to their “mature” fans. Respect! ..
Let’s always make sure we behave like the mature fandom Shinhwa believes we are. Let’s, as the longest-running fandom, always set a good example for other fandoms to follow.
Until you’re 60 & beyond, we’ll always be by ur side, Shinhwa ^_^ 

I love how every party I go it plays Gasolina, but now it have a whole new meaning to me

10

UC Berkeley

remember when we shut down milo yiasjkfkdfjkl from speaking tonight

Remember that we only have this one life.

Only one.

And yet, it is so short. We only have so much time. Look back, and it will seem like you were just born yesterday. See how fast time has flown by? It’s astounding.

So take a moment. Right here, right now. Remember how valuable you are.
Remember how short life really is.

Are you living your dreams? Are you working on yourself? Your relationships? Your talents and goals? Are you genuinely happy? Do you feel contempt?

We only have so many days. So many seconds.
Please, make sure you don’t waste a single one of them, for they will continue to fly by faster than we can even notice.

—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin

Ten Basic Rules For Better Living
by Manly P. Hall

1. Stop worrying

The popular idea that a worrier is a thoughtful and conscientious citizen is false. The Egyptians realized this when they included worry among the cardinal sins. Do not confuse thoughtfulness and worry. The thoughtful person plans solutions, but the worrier merely dissolves in his own doubt. If you think straight, you will have less cause for worrying. The worrier not only suffers the same disaster many times, but undermines his health and annoys all others with whom he comes into contact. There are many things in this world that require thoughtful consideration, but there is really nothing to fear but fear.

2. Stop trying to dominate and posses your friends and relatives

Each of us likes to feel that he is running his own life. The moment we recognize the rights of others to seek life, liberty, and happiness according to their own dreams, hopes, and aspirations, we begin to conserve our own resources. It is very debilitating to give advice which is ignored or rejected, and equally disappointing to attempt to posses and dominate persons who immediately resent and combat our dictatorial tendencies. We are hurt when they do not see things our way. If we save advice for ourselves and those who seek it from us, and who are therefore grateful, all concerned will be the better.

3. Moderate ambition

There is a tendency to overlook natural and simple blessings while we plunge on toward distant goals. Each individual has certain capacities. If he can recognize his own abilities and work with them, he can attain personal security. If, however, he is constantly seeking that which is not reasonably attainable, he can never know happiness or contentment. The wise man observes the disastrous results of uncontrollable ambitions, and chooses moderation. It is not necessary to be famous in order to be happy, nor must one be the leading citizen in the community in order to gratify ones social instinct. The ambitious usually pay too much for what they get, and are the more miserable after they get it.

4. Do not accumulate more than you need

There is no real distinction in being the richest man in the graveyard. Many earnest citizens act as though there were pockets in shrouds. We are supposed to have outgrown the primitive belief that we should bury a mans goods with him so that his spirit might enjoy them in the afterworld. Here, again, the middle course is the wisest. Let us reserve some of our energy for enjoyment, and not give all of ourselves to the task of accumulation. Many a man who has made a million has not lived to spend it. A rich life can be more practical than a monumental bank account.

5. Learn to relax

Great tension is an abomination. The more tense we become, the more stupidly we are likely to act, and, according to the old Buddhists, stupidity is a cardinal sin. Today, many so-called efficient people are perpetually on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This is not so likely to be due to overwork as to unreasonable driving impulses from within themselves. Some say that they are overtaxing their resources to keep their jobs or to maintain extravagant families. Whether you believe it or not, you are a better producer and a better provider if you do not collapse from psychic exhaustion at some critical moment when you are most in need of good health. If your associates do not realize this, they may be in need of practical counsel.

6. Cultivate a sense of humor

As never before, we must brighten and lighten the corners where we are. The more seriously we take ourselves and our responsibilities, the duller we become. It is a saving grace to realize that, although living is a serious matter, we can take it too seriously. Also bear in mind that genuine humor is not bitter, cynical, or critical. It is the ability to laugh with the world and not at the world. If we must laugh at someone, let it be ourselves. Humor is a spice to living. It adds flavor to work, zest to play, charm to self-improvement, and proves to others that we have a security within ourselves. A sincere, happy laugh, like the joyous rippling of childrens laughter, relieves tension and restores good nature. Incidentally, it makes friends and inspires confidence.

7. Find a reason for your own existence

Unless you believe in something bigger than yourself, have some purpose more vital than accumulation or advancement in business or society, you are only existing, not living. A simple pattern is to realize that the laws of Nature that put you here seem to be primarily concerned with growth. You are a success to the degree that you grow, and you grow to the degree that you become a wiser, more useful, and more secure person. In other words, we live to learn, and by this very process, we learn to live. Broaden your horizon, develop an interest in all that is fine, beautiful, and purposeful. Great internal good comes from the love for music, art, great literature, broad philosophy, and simple faith. Strengthen the inside of your nature, and the outside will be better.

8. Never intentionally harm another person

Never by word or deed return evil for good, or evil for evil. Weed negative and destructive thoughts and emotions out of your personality, or they will ultimately contribute to your misery. As we look around us, we see the tragic results of individuals and nations that harbor grudges or nurse the instincts for revenge. The harmless life saves those who live it from many of the mortal shocks that flesh is heir to. Our critical attitudes and our long memories of evils that others have caused only reduce our present efficiency and endanger health and vitality. Even the selfish man realizes that he cannot afford to keep a grudge, and the unselfish simply will not permit grudges to accumulate because they know better and they believe better.

9. Beware of anger

When ill-temper controls us, we are no longer able to control ourselves. In a moment of anger, we may create a situation which will require years to remedy. Why should we spend our time trying to recover from our own mistakes? If we disapprove, let us state our case simply and quietly, and remember that we should never try to correct another when we have already committed a fault as great as his. A quick temper is a serious handicap in business or in the home. It is useless to say that we cannot control anger. This is as much as to admit that we have lost the power to control ourselves. If we resent the unkindness of others and the collective irritability of this generation, let us make sure that we are not one of the irritating factors.

10. Never blame others for our own mistakes

It is hardly necessary. Each of us seems to have an incredible capacity to do things badly and select unwisely. Actually, we are in trouble because we have not made constructive use of the power and abilities which we received as a birthright. Others can hurt us only while our inner life is too weak to sustain in the presence of trial or test. Instead of resenting misfortunes, and seeking to excuse our own limitations, we must face the facts. Either we are stronger than the problem and can solve it intelligently, or the problem is stronger than we are, and the only solution is to increase our own strength. Others are not to blame for our unhappiness. Each man must seek his own peace of mind, and, as the Arabian Nights so well expressed it, happiness must be earned.

At the weekly group meeting

Juliet: so next time we see opal I think I should just start doing backflips to assert dominance

Artemis, picking m&ms out of trail mix in a crystal bowl: Juliet that’s the Best Idea I’ve ever heard

Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return.
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
—  Sydney J. Harris
10 Things Your Friends Wish You Knew

1. Your time is the best gift you can give. – In your relationships with others, nothing you can give is more appreciated than your sincere, focused attention. So don’t listen with an agenda or the intent to reply. Hear what is being said with the intent to truly understand.

2. You have the power to make a big difference. – Everyone in life wants to be loved and accepted. Your greatest achievements in life will be the direct result of finding this love and acceptance within yourself, and radiating it out to those around you.

3. What makes us different is what makes us special. – Don’t be too quick to judge others or bully them for being different. And don’t put up with those who call you “a friend” and then judge and bully you. Let go of the need to prove yourself to everyone else, and you’ll free yourself to accomplish what matters most to you.

4. Love is meant to be shared. – So many people save their ‘loving.’ They consciously avoid putting their heart into their relationships, surrendering, opening up, and sharing, because they want to save it all for the right people (best friends, lovers, etc.) But the problem is when the right people come along they don’t realize it, they don’t know how to open up, and they don’t know anything about the act of loving.

5. You have to love yourself too. – The best thing you can do to improve the quality of your relationships is to work on loving and healing yourself.

6. Praise and recognition matters. – Give genuine praise. This is an investment in them that doesn’t cost you a thing, and the returns can be amazing. Be sure to follow this rule: “Praise in public, penalize in private.”

7. Small gestures of kindness go a long way. – It seems like such a small thing, but in our busy lives we often forget that a kind word, a helping hand, or just a smile and a quick “thank you” can create a bright spot in another person’s life.

8. Without honesty there is no friendship. – Honesty is the first chapter in the book of all wisdom. Honesty is the only path forward. It’s always better to tell people the truth up front. So don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts. Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile.

9. Loyalty means the world. – True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated. When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but an obligation.

10. Reaching out and staying in touch is important. – Stay in touch with those who matter to you because they’re worth the extra effort. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of. Paying attention to these people is always a priority.

I think we all die plenty times while we live;
heartbreaks and  broken minds,
ripped skin and bleeding hearts.
Actions and reactions,
everything leads to another
and then we die
over and over.

But we live too.
Oh, do we live so many times while we are alive!
Butterflies and tilted smiles,
healed scars and love at first sight.
Beautiful words that lead to smiles
everything leads to another
and we live
over and over.

We die,
we live,
but in the end
we are happy and whole.