Friday, April 25

The Circle of Life

An ancedote. News local to Alberta, the government is ramping up the nursing programs because we are quite short of them now. People not for emergency are being turned away and becoming frustrated, and nurses are working under less than ideal conditions: staff shortages as well as people who are rude and ticked off about the state of the care they are--or aren't--recieving. Many taxpayers of Alberta who visit the hospitals are upset at paying for services that they cannot use.

The reason there is such a shortage of nurses is that about 15 years ago the government decided to slash nursing education and funding becuase of apparent overpopulation in the nursing field. Thousands found themselves suddenly jobless--those who didn't were demoted.
"I am a 44 year old nurse who has been in
the health care field since i was 16 years
old. I first worked as a "candy stiper", then as
a "nurse's aide" and then took Registered
Nursing. I worked as an RN until
I moved to Alberta in 1992. Because of the
huge nursing cutbacks at that time, I was
unable to find work as an RN and I worked
as a nurse's aide again. In 1999-2000 I took
the refresher RN course and am now working
as an RN."(1)
The budgetary slashing was quite effective for reducing the number of nurses and their associated costs. In fact, from 1990 to 2000--this includes the period of the budgetary cutbacks--the number of new nurses entering the workforce dove by 40%.(2)

There were too many costs and/or nurses; introduce the cutbacks. Now there are too few nurses to deliver the level of care we need and we suffer shortages.
It makes me think of a bodily regulatory system (such as insulin regulation), but if you don't remember anything from your biology classes this anolgy will have no meaning for you. The problem exists, there is a delayed reaction as society realizes it exists and decides what to do about it. Then we perhaps overcompensate, and have to react to the new state of things.
All this to show just how life goes in cycles. I myself am a cyclical producer, that is to say, my productivity is greatly influenced by whatever cycles affect me, whether it be at work, in creativity with writing, photography, or general artsiness, or upkeep--regular haircuts, doctor's and dentist appointments, maintaining a clean home, etc. This past week especially I have had no motivation, and then the complete lack of desire motivated me to become better. Strange, isn't it?
Cycles everywhere....

Monday, April 21

Snownight moments

I went outside to get pictures of the snow!

I like the snowflakes being shone on!

Photography. Soon I will be getting a DSLR so I can actually learn all the cool stuff. For now all I can do is research models and take lots of pictures all the time!
I'm going through the pictures I have amassed and.... I took a lot of crappy pictures last year. So far, since August, I have taken over 3700 pictures (and I took so many less during the dark, dark winter months than all the others). Add those to weed through to all the crappy ones I took the year before that and you have a big mess!

I only got back home around midnight last night - then the internet wasn't working! But I am satisfied with my night snow pictures.

Night has a certain feel to it. It is peaceful and open. When I venture into the empty street after the sun has set I feel one with the sky. Air moves in me, through me, swirling up to whisper to the clouds and twine around twig finger caresses. Paths beckon invitingly with dark mystery, promises of stars and sweetness.

From Wikipedia on the night:
"In almost all cultures, there exist stories and legends warning of the dangers of night-time. In fact, the Saxons called the darkness of night the 'death mist'."

I love the night. Then, humanity's footprint seems benign and almost charming, even the city smog seems a part of it all. Night brings unity. Night reconciles, heals, smooths.

Lente curite noctis equi
Run slowly, horses of the night

Sunday, April 20


I'd just like to share some of the things that I have enjoyed recently:

Art blog by a dutch student, Nina. Her work is neat and pure, always colourful and cheerful. Nina has such a sweet personality and a distinct voice

Time stops at Grand Central

The power of performing arts--wish I could have been one of those stunned passers-by!

Le Compteur

I just discovered this artist and album this weekend. The songs of the album Le Volume du Vent by Karkwa, fracophone music group, are a blend of surreal and sweet sound, feeling faintly familiar.
I could waste my life listening to the unique music wind its way through my head. I actually picked it up because of the cover, and now it sits cozily with the 20-some CDs on my shelf.
You don't need to understand French to appreciate the music .Karkwa is a Candian group! You can visit their website here.

Last week I visited Etsy and was instantly enchanted. The Ebay of handmade items surprises in quality and diversity; you can buy anything from art to dishes to clothes to furniture. If you're like me and like unique, cheerful things, you'll like Etsy. The site is fairly sophisticated and provides an option to sort by color, category, or artist.

Troglodyte Photography is also a Canadian source of talent. (The main photographer is actually from St. Albert, my town, but I found him on the web before I found him "in real life") I'm not sure how many shots and how much patience it takes to photograph something like this, but clearly it was worth it.

Orisinal: Morning Sunshine offers more than just games to play on the web; this is art! The site and its games have a light, serene feel to them. After 15 minutes of trying various games you'll feel more at peace than when doing yoga!

Saturday, April 19


I volunteered at the Marian Centre this morning. I had decided not to bring my camera, but looking at the bright easter eggs hanging from the ceiling like little wishes about to hatch made me wish I had. Not bettering my regret was the lunchroom, where hot soup was served to a colorful variety of the less well off. But looking back, and trying to describe the physical scene now, it was more the feeling in that place that I ached to capture. The Marian centre feels like a place of work the moment you step in. But it feels like it has a purpose, saturated with holiness, with meaning. Even washing the dishes seems like something sacred you are doing to help save the world.

Grant was having fun spinning around today. This makes me think of cotton candy, or a bright round lolipop.

Snow in a landscape seems to bring the sky closer, make it touchable, give it presence.

Friday, April 18

No. 7 eau de toilette: success in a bottle

A page from a book about Wayne Gretzky reads, "For those blessed with the talent to make it and the luck to get the chance, the road from minor hockey to the National Hockey League is reasonably straightforward."

When I think of luck, I usually think of a quote that my mother once said to me:


is when preparation
meets opportunity

I'm not sure why some people actually believe in luck and others vehemently deny its existence, or what their views reveal about their faith in God and their own power to make things happen. I suppose it's just like any other personal belief, a subjective measurement of life's events and what caused them.

Personally, I think that anyone who leaves something ertirely up to luck is a fool. Luck does not pull third-remortgagers out of debt, nor does it make the stay-at-home blob become a millionaire in world market. 'Luck' is when someone who is an avid reader of a certain magazine and the people who run it meets one of its employees and subsequently gets a job there. If someone who didn't read the magazines carefully and know a lot about the history and the company met the same employee, it would be a much harder feat to accomplish.

The picture above (clouds), some would say, is a moment of luck, that I just happened to press the shutter at the right time. But that's not how it happened. I saw the cloud, took a few photos of it as it moved towards the sun, and eventually, shot this one.
In photography 'opportunity meets preparation' is the mantra: waiting in soggy fields for the target to come in view, holding an aching crouching position for the moment of perfect light.

In other areas of life, however, this is much less obvious... how do you prepare for what you don't even know is coming? Well a job in neural science with the most prestigious hospital or research group will come up eventually. To prepare for that is to get the education so you actually know what you're doing, be ready to act and have a plan the moment there is a lead to persue in your dream job. If you fail to prepare, the chances are quite slim you will be successful. Would you be in the right-most lane in 4-lane traffic if you knew, eventually, that you wanted to turn left? It's basically lining yourself up for the eventuality you want.

Oh... now I feel as though I've just taken the magic out of it.... But the point remains: opposite to what the title of this post suggests, you have to do a bit of work and waiting to achieve your dreams. But isn't it more worthwile?

Thursday, April 17


I had a day off today, completely and totally off!

So I went on a set of adventures!

Just a random picture... I call it, "Sepia Cell"

In the Crimson Quill, downtown St. Albert.

Found the stitch function on my camera...
The city hall/St. Albert Library

I was by the river, right where Groat Road crosses the river... saw this guy hanging out.
I swear it's the biggest gopher I've ever seen...
He's so fat. And cute! ^^
He was actually camera-shy! When I started taking pictures, he hid under the cement. Then I turned my back and took pictures of some seagulls, and he's out again! Until I point the camera at him, that is...

On the Legislative Grounds

I really like this black bench against the yellow straw......

Nice and bold.

...I'd love to sleep here....

The Legislature!

I kind of just wandered around outside the Leg for a while, in the gardens with all the dead plants, trees wihtout leaves, and fountains without water...

At a home store in Riverbend.... When I have a house I am totally doing this!!

I love these keys!!

Live musicians in Bourbon Street at West Ed.

The sax player is my old clarinet teacher who used to make fun of me all the time...

I just loved going to lessons :)

Peppers from Boston Pizza's

The chairs looked like they had some collective consciousness....

They looked like they felt at peace, not having to sit in line, ready to serve the bottoms of a miscellany of people..

(click on the picture for the full-size version)

My favourite picture today!

Wednesday, April 16

Eyes of an artist

I hate arbitrary things. They are, to me, the worst things in the world. Give me rules with a reason behind them, however inane or backed by misplaced concern. Tell me to do something for someone because it makes you laugh that I don't like it. Make me work only in days that the sky is free of clouds. Just don't pick something randomly. "Just 'cause it's Wednesday"? I balk at these things with no reason for being the way they are.

I think it's because I fear a world of chaos, where coincidence is devoid of meaning and actions lack some overall purpose. Yet, I do not turn to religion, I turn to life around me, looking at picture after picture of trees and clouds and water in the supreme moment of beauty, as though if I witnessed enough perfect scenes, nature's beauty would show that it has a purpose, and I would see the light.

Until recently, I thought I was almost an atheist, or that my need for God, some higher being, or organization of the world, was a weak one. But many, if not most, people have this need: it manifests itself in devotion to God and religion, spirituality, superstition, science, art, music, movies, and writing.

Wikipedia says
The subjective experience of "beauty" often involves the interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. In its most profound sense, beauty may engender a salient experience of positive reflection about the meaning of one's own existence. An "object of beauty" is anything that reveals or resonates with personal meaning.

I suppose that's why humans create anything of beauty in the first place...

Love yourself today!

I have a friend who likes the drama. She watches the new generation of soap operas: the ones like the OC with beautiful young people getting into all kinds of situations. She also likes those hospital shows, which also happen to have a lot of interpersonal drama. And of course, she writes some fanfiction stories that follow the same formula. Drama keeps it interesting, right?

The thing with my friend is that, as far as I can tell, she's reliving the same stories over and over again. We all do! Gaining self-confidence; believing in love again; shedding your old self; overcoming weakness or negativity; challenging beliefs; breaking barriers such as cliques.... loving your best friend; the geek, nerd, unpopular; unsuccessful at life or love; being stuck in a rut....
Sound like a lot of movies? The whole reason I am even writing this now is because Made of Honor is coming out soon.

These are the kinds of things that we see on children's television that we want our children to learn, yet, many of these archetypal situations are portrayed in adult films. How much difference is there when you're 'gown up', really?

Well here I am nitting at these themes, but it actually happens in real life. What would be the appeal otherwise? It's as though, if we watched enough Cinderellas find their princes, our dreams would come true too.

What I see is that we are growing out of problems and finding ourselves in new ones just the same... Do we realize how much work life takes? ...and some people just happened into the right life, the right family, the right set of standards, the right examples, or at least close enough to be quite successful and happy. Then there are those who have none of it, but amazing strength.

(I myself recently decided I would follow my artistic side more, and put my writing skills to use, improve them. And to motivate myself to take pictures more. I am looking forward to learning to use an SLR camera because it will just add depth to my work. I hate learning picky technical things, though, so I must have patience. lots of patience.)

The way out is being positive, dream.... then make tiny baby steps, one at a time. Deddication really is the key to success, I have to remember that.

Love what you do. Build habit. Every day.

Monday, April 14

Death as art

Today's pictures...

Themed on dead leaves

The fallen are beautiful...

Charon's ferry

Sunday, April 13

Spring has sprung... ?

Oh, Sundays! This morning I woke with my alarm and stumbled upstairs--I caught the tail end of the sunrise! So I decided to go for my first bike ride of spring....okay, so after I took this picture I realized that it isn't spring yet. On the plus side, I did get out to take a couple of pictures in the beautiful, glorious dawn-light!

Yesterday while we were watching tv we heard a bonk of a bird hitting one of the windows in our house. As I walked over to give Mocha his supper I saw a bird lying on our pack patio. I moved it to the wheelbarrow (to be safe from Mocha's adventures in the backyard). I wasn't sure if it was stunned or... finished.

When I checked this morning, he was still there, in the same place...
When I had moved him the day before, his neck had moved, and he was so delicate, soft and beautiful. He had still seemed to hold a hope, yet... it must not have been a big one.

When my mother saw him, she said it was a shame as it was such a beautiful bird that had met its end with a window. This comment made me think of Thursday night, when J was asking me about Grant.

Grant is severely autistic, and lower-funtioning. He is non-verbal, but does communicate with pictures. I have taken a few pictures of Grant and every once in a while J will comment on his good looks. Well on Thursday she asked some questions about Grant and what his life was like; she said it was too bad that someone so good-looking was the way Grant is. Grant's autism is not written in his bone structure or his smile... It's disarming.

Me and Grant

There are so many beautiful things in the world... if we chose to honor every one of them I think we might become lost, overloaded.
A celebration of orange!
I am so excited about putting this up here!

Over the past month or so, I have been looking to complete my collection of orange things. Not many things are this particular color. Of course, there are many safety items that are orange (like reflective vests, tarps, and annoying signs) but I don't like those as much. Near the end I started seeing orange everywhere!

Some different sources say that orange is stimulating, that it symbolizes change or flexibility. I don't know why orange seems to be such a rare colour, and why, therefore, these things are orange...

I like orange, such a happy colour, but still a strong one....

Saturday, April 12

'Photo shoot' release!

It's hard for me to remember that my actions are not in isolation. I always seem to forget about the rumour mill and the fact that my actions affect other people... It creeps me out so much that I could go to a grocery store and see someone I know who has learnt of my news before I've had the chance to talk to them! It awakens a desire to leave this place for one where no one knows me yet....

I suppose that's why the blog appeals to me so much. Anyone reading it will know who I am, but doesn't give me the same pressure to be a certain way because that's what everyone expects from me.

That and, I like sitting at home, playing on my computer and going through my photos. I'm not really a party person. Wrong time in my life to be this way, eh? An attractive, twenty-ish girl who doesn't like going out...? I'm sure it will come back to bite me when I'm older.

I finally got around to sending Tristan the pictures of him and Ben and Grant. I took those almost a month ago now. We were going for a walk with the boys and I was taking pictures of the bare trees, when he asked if he and Grant should be in the photos. Impromptu photo shoot!

I was quite surprised and impressed by Tristan's enthusiasm and good humour to go along with my photo-taking efforts! I was also quite happy that at least a couple of the pictures turned out really well...He's so cute with the boys, like a brother, or someone who's known them for a long time...

Thursday, April 10

Stop dreaming sometimes!

My boyfriend, L, has many girl friends (sometimes it makes me worry), one of which I had very briefly chatted with on his msn a couple of times. Just from a few sentences and a couple of pictures I made an image of her in my head. She had rich red hair (looked dyed, but still a beautiful color), a nice complexion and pale skin, a tiny little nose stud, and a couple of cool photos of her. She looked happy in those pictures. The kind of things I admire and wish I had (my nose is not cute enough for a stud).

Well L and I were at the mall when we chanced to pass his friend, by the doors. I turned to see her, the magic building up inside me. She was a little shorter than I had pictured, but otherwise perfect; when she opened her mouth to speak I thought butterflies would emerge.

When we parted a few minutes later I was silent, struggling with the maelstrom in my head. She was young. Not physically. In maturity. She swears. She smokes. I was simply stunned. Where was the fairy I had imagined, wise and perfect? Why had I conjured that image in the first place? How could I have allowed myself such a fantasy, not questioning its veritability, not even suspecting it to be inaccurate? What does it all mean?

Who is this girl, really, the whole person? Does it even matter? For me, not really. She is the friend of my love, with whom I will soon part (moving: university). What is important to me is where I went wrong, how I had made such a leap into fantasy. And what does it say about L that his friend is such a young person? What does what it says about L say about me?

Last night, I met her briefly for the second time. She said she would have had a smoke and talked with L if I hadn't come. It may have been some sort of consolation prize for L, but for me.... I just felt rebuffed. The fairy image is buried deeper under the real girl, a person who just rejects her friend's friend.

I was thinking about this, and remembered something that happened with a woman at work. She was newer than I, and saw me walk four flights of stairs rather than the elevator every morning. We also frequently visited the workplace watering hole at the same time, where she witnessed my consistency in choosing water over coffee, tea, or pop. Every time she saw me doing this, she would tell me how she admired me for doing it.

Well, one Monday I was not feeling particularly energetic and took the elevator. As she stepped on and saw me there, she said to me "I am surprised you are taking the elvator; you usually take the stairs! I get such motivation from seeing you do that". That must have been the breaking point... Whether it comes at the beginning, middle, or the end of a relationship, there is that moment. The person you are looking at changed from being some angel, fairy, perfect creature, into a human in your eyes.

Those moments... In the aftermath of one of those moments I find myself reeling in pain; I lose faith in the goodness of the human race and the magic of the universe. If this person I admire can't live up to my dreams, what hope have I got? But those moments are good, otherwise I would dream and nothing else...


Wednesday, April 9

Eat, drink, and be merry....

Do you know why they call them blogs?
The word blog sounds like slog, as in, 'we slogged 4 days through the soggy marsh, our hearts as heavy as our deadweight boots, our spirits pulled by pneumoia greys'.

In Mars & Venus, Whyte Ave

The thing about writing a blog, though, is that it is something we see as voluntary; we tend not to see going to work and living life as voluntary, yet on certain days we have the same attitude. Perhaps it is the pull of an elusive reward, experience and enlightenment.

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana

Self-doubt clouded my mind with a fog just as heavy as that in our city yesterday, turning me into a walking shell. I question everything I do. Just Monday I had decided to work on a project--this is the product of 5 minutes of work with tinfoil. I had thought, inspired by my post on build-up of consistent effort, to make some sort of art project. Yet I could not find the meaning of doing anything more on this project these past couple of days.

How to have the confidence to know what you are doing is right? I think you cannot ever know that you are on the course to make the world a better place. I think we must save that kind of self-inspection for times of retrospect. It is much safer to admit that something was a wate of time after you have done it, than to be dithering on the doorstep of action. (And who knows... it might bring great results!)

As George says, enjoying your time on earth will solve most of your life problems, for death will certainly put an end to them. Having that confidence that you are alive just to experience life is probably one of the greater struggles of the human race. Strange, though, that we cannot directly show this. Imagine watching two hours of 'I shall set out to enjoy life!'--not even Disney could pull it off. It's one of those intangible causes of noticeable symptoms in our lives.

And if you wanted more carpe diem, read an article on James Lovelock, an independent scientist whose scarily accurate, almost prophetic predictions have been ignored by the rest of the scientific world until recently.

Lovelock predicts that by 2020 extreme weather will be the norm, causing global devastation; that by 2040 much of Europe will be Saharan; and parts of London will be underwater.
"[Ethical consumption, carbon offsetting, recycling and so on] is a deluded fantasy. Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won’t make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable"
What would Lovelock do now, I ask, if he were me? He smiles and says: "Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan."
E rocking out... while she still can

James Lovelock article
(I could not find the original article on :

Tuesday, April 8


Fog unfurled along the low banks of the river this morning.

I actually stopped to take some pictures!

Mist always has a magical feel to it, as though it were a current carrying everyone's secret whispers, and that, if you pulled it around you like a blanket, it would protect you from the world.

It is so rare to see such heavy fog for so long in Edmonton, Alberta. Ours is usually a dry climate. Perhaps that is why it has such a feel of magic for me, born and raised here.

That being said, mist is generally pretty cool.

Monday, April 7


It's not so easy in life to illustrate contrasts. Sometimes, given our situation or our biases, we may not even be able to recognize them. Things like riches and poverty aren't even directly juxtaposed, but rather, their effects: poor health versus good health, beauty and art compared to a lack of such things...

Contrast is found in every setting imaginable. It seems we cannot live long without finding a conundrum with opposing arguments that somehow combine to make life beautiful. In society: rich and poor, failure and success, health and illness, luxury and need.

We can learn from studying the contrasts and contradtictions in one person. Someone may, for example, be notoriously outspoken in many situations, and startlingly silent in others. Sometimes it is only one element that is changed, perhaps a participating member. It is in studying people that we see that mind-boggling contradictions are caused by a single motivation.
In this example, we may think that the motivation is a need for attention, which is why in situations when the person is quiet we are perplexed. Perhaps it is more a desire to make others look foolish in order to look better, a will to look smart and witty with quick comments, or a wish to be in the role of the leader. If we add a certain element--be it a person, place, atmosphere--the desire will manifest itself in different way. Perhaps the subject knows that the added person (especially of the opposite sex) likes the 'strong and silent type'. It is still a symptom of the desire to look like a leader, to look more appealing.

But enough with theoretical examples, I don't want to use up too much pretentiousness today.

I had been thinking of getting a tattoo. Before I decided to hold off, however, I thought out a rough idea of what I wanted to be inked with.


Bird of death, destruction, hatred, war, and chaos... followed by a rebirth of peace, love, and innocence.

Red is an angry color, having the same virtues as the poenix in full force. It symbolizes anger and hatred, but also represents passion, which would be perfect for my tattoo background meaning--passion that L, my significant other opened me to (more than others in the past), and that brings success to almost everything.

I liked the idea of having the flames of the phoenix 'melt' into waves of water. (like the drawing above) Blue is an 'opposite' to red, calming, relaxing, harmonious. Water has the same qualities, cooling, healing, life, peace. The juxtaposition of the red flames and blue water would serve to exaggerate the contrast between the two, if done right.
Images from

Sunday, April 6

Musical chairs

Feeling too frustrated and hopeless to do anything but blow myself up on minesweeper, I listen to the music, finding tracks in which to lose myself. Music is wonderful. Forget the world, love everyone around you, relive memories smelling of lilacs in the rain or must and leather. Every inflection of every emotion has music suited to it. Some serve to dullen our senses and emotions, others to intensify.

It seems contradictory that a song produced by one person is liked by millions around the world, and that each of those listeners feels it expresses their own self. What a testament to human nature... When you say, "I love this song", the other person doesn't love the same song that you do. Each person associates different memories, meanings, friends, and points of view. The intensely personal nature of what one actually hears means that no two peole can feel quite the same.

I wish there was some kind of roadmap to feelings--who wouldn't? Sometimes we are caught up in emotions stronger than we predicted. Other times a lack of sentiment can surprise and worry us. I find that music helps me to settle into a certain mood or emotion, can motivate me or feel more sad, depending on what I want.

Not all of us can be musicians, or artists, or photographers, poets, models, film directors, sports players. In some ways these people are changing our world every day, setting the bar of most goals in a season to making us believe in the human race. On the other hand, only a few people in any field rise to this level.

Seeing the significance from the point of view of the lowly worker bee is a daunting task, and discouraging to even want to look. Without the routine pushing of the same buttons there would be no electricity, our work places would become unendurably filthy, we'd have no stamps to send mail in the post, liquid paychecks would not be deposited to bank accounts.... it all starts to build up.

Biomass food pyramid: basically, one hawk eats everything underneath him in the pyramid. Without that extra pound of plant life, a rabbit would die, and a snake would go hungry, and this could be the final blow to the hawk. Each of these organisms contributes energy to the next level. So all the great, amazing, world-changing people are approximately the sum of all the people who have ever helped them--and the people who have helped those people, and so on.
Images from

Saturday, April 5

Nowhere near enough media attention

Despair woke me this day. I sat in a lethargic gloom playing video games on the couch just outside my--if you can call it that--bedroom, the voice of action a tiny scream in the background. It is not an acute sense of defeat, but rather an all-encompassing one; not the lightning that strikes suddenly, but the enless rolls of thunder announcing your doom.

How do we choose what has value in this life? How to discover and use our talents, on what to spend our time, what of value to pass by on the way to other things in life?

Some people choose something relatively obscure and enjoy being leaders in their fields, leaders in innovation. After all, if no one else even thinks of doing what you are doing, chances are high that you will be the best at it.
I am not discrediting these wanderers and their fantastical creations. It takes someone unwilling to submit to the doggedly persistent pressures of societal conformity--the small tool that makes running us, the cattle, through the system as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

Others need the challenge of beating the competition. The concrete certainty that they are the best is as tangible as the blood pumping through their veins and the money thrown at their luxuries.
This is a different kind of work altogether. It takes a different kind of courage to win these medals... To know that defeat is chasing you, always around the corner, that it will quickly catch up with you the moment you falter.

Those are things we notice. The most important victories, however, are not those that are headliners in the national papers, broadcast live in twenty languages. Monumentous as those wins are, life as we know it would not exist without the daily compromises we make. Overcoming squeamishness to deal with a baby and it's messes; being pushed by a friend to go beyond the possible; seeking advice from a helping professional; making sure seatbelts are worn; voting in a political election... building the underlying assumptions of our society, good or bad, into our daily routines to keep us going.

And these are the ones that are hardest to do consistently, day after day after day. No one applauds when you actually get up out of bed to go to work today, even though you really didn't feel like it. Awards are not given out when you go just a couple minutes out of your way to make someone's life a bit easier. I suppose the only thing that we can do is not to expect to accomplish amazing things every day.

Well, they did say that Rome wasn't built in a day...

It's the build-up from thousands of repeated efforts that results in something beautiful and strong, like a flourishing company, a succesful adult child, a work of art, an ability to whittle well.

Or a stalagmite.
Images from