I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
“What if you started a school that presupposed the goal was happy kids? And I mean happy with a capital H. Balanced. Thoughtful. Compassionate. Doers. What if their resume wouldn’t ever matter? Some of you have heard me say before that the only people who care about your GPA are people who you’ve given no other basis to evaluate you. So, what if instead you wanted to build an education that fostered interestingness? Understanding? Action? Experience? . . . I’ve yet to see test scores correlate with happiness. I’ve yet to even see test scores correlate with learning with a L, …”
~ Chris Sacca
“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Be amazed by each morning breath. By the boys’ precious smiles. By the sunrise each morning.
While they may seem the same, each is unique.
At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.
~ Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express
There are things about you quite unlike any other.
Things always known by your father or mother.
So if you decide to be different one day,
no worries . . . I’d know you anyway.
~ Nancy Tillman, I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love
Listen! The wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!
~ Humbert Wolfe
The autumnal equinox arrives precisely at 4:21 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Fall being my favorite season, I’m excited for: cinnamon sugar donuts with apple cider, apple picking (maybe), rounds of golf among the colorful leaves, the chill in the morning air, pumpkin carving, . . .
Unfortunately, the sunrise will not move north (back into direct view of our living room window) until after the winter solstice, which is December 22nd, 2015.
FIVE STARS. The only thing that would make it better would be pictures! And there are plenty of those online.
I recently finished, Dream Golf: The Making of Bandon Dunes, and it has awoken in me an interest in golf architecture. The book is authored by Stephen Goodwin, and is an excellent account of Mike Keiser’s growing passion and development fundamentals and the architectural details of bringing links courses to the west coast of the United States. I could hardly put it down, and was further intrigued by the extended details about the construction of Pacific Dunes and Old Macdonald, both designed by Tom Doak, whose design firm, Renaissance Golf Design, is located in Traverse City, MI. And little did I know that my favorite course growing up, High Pointe Golf Club in Acme, MI was his first design. If only it were still open, I would love to go back and explore its many still-familiar features. And I learned of “The Dunes Club,” Keiser’s first course, located in New Buffalo, MI (!) . . . a nod to Pine Valley and one of, or the, top nine-hole club in the country. (Who knew?!)
Upon finishing the book, I went to the public library and checked out two golf architecture books to flip through, initially, with hopes of reading more in depth soon. I’ve even scouted farmland nearby, dreaming of digging a nine-hole links course with little more than the spade in my garage and good intentions. Alas, I may need to make my millions before I venture down that road. But at least Dream Golf has brought a new part of the game to life for me.
I’ve since learned that there are the following courses at Bandon Dunes, all of which comprise “a golf trip that must occur”:
– Bandon Dunes – D. Kidd
– Pacific Dunes – T. Doak
– Bandon Trials – B. Crenshaw & B. Coore
– Old Macdonald – T. Doak & J. Urbina
– The Preserve – B. Crenshaw & B. Coore
– The Punch Bowl – T. Doak & J. Urbina
– Shorty’s – D. Kidd
Following are some of my favorite excerpts from the book.
“As a golf course developer, he was starting out pretty much from scratch. He had never invested in any kind of golf deal, and he wasn’t even a member of a golf club. But golf was in his blood, and when he said no to the investment bankers dangling their schemes in front of him, he knew in a general way what direction he wanted to take. He was headed toward that shining, elusive realm known as the kingdom of golf.”
“But the best architects still believed that good land—undulating land, not steep but with pronounced topographical features, and with porous soils, not a heavy clay—was a sine qua non for a good golf course.”
“To learn golf architecture one must know golf itself, its companionships, its joys, its sorrows, its battles—one must play golf and love it.”
“He wrote thoughtfully and persuasively about the principles of design, declaring that golf holes were either heroic, strategic, or penal in nature, and that a good architect mixed these three types of holes according to his site, blending them into one harmonious composition.”
“Mike was in heaven. He loved the simplicity and grandeur of the golf courses and the complete lack of pretension in all the other arrangements. The clubhouses were modest, the food was plain, the hotels were drafty, the weather was the usual Irish mix of rain and mist with occasional peeks of sunshine, but the golf was splendid.”
” “The Almighty intended this place for gawf,” Old Tom declared when he first laid eyes on the dunes of Machrihanish.”
” “It seemed that this land had been lying here for years waiting for someone to lay a golf course upon it,” Bobby Jones wrote after his first sight of the valley that now forms the amphitheater at Augusta National.”
“A great golf course is “nature perfected.” It is neither wholly natural nor can it be wholly unnatural or manufactured.”
“A walk in the vast and barren sand hills of Nebraska is not nearly as compelling as a round of golf at Sand Hills Golf Club.” (A course I had the privilege of playing in the fall of 2014.)
“For Mike, the lesson was crystal clear: If you wanted to create something exceptional, something extraordinary, you had to be fearless. You had to be prepared to follow your dream.”
“Though educated as a lawyer—he was assistant district attorney and later assistant city attorney in charge of prosecution in his hometown of Topeka, Kansas—his lifelong passion had always been golf course design, and, after becoming a contributing editor on architecture for Golf Digest in 1985, he had become one of the most influential critics in American golf.”
“Though he didn’t say so in the letter, David imagined the clubhouse and village as having an effect similar to the one that towns in Scotland had. In towns like Machrihanish or North Berwick or Carnoustie or St. Andrews, the golf course starts at the town’s doorstep, so to speak, pushes off into the wilds of nature, and then, at the round’s end, returns to civilization.”
“He relied heavily on his land-use attorney, Al Johnson, whom he’d selected partly for his unflappable calm. (“Al wore sweaters like Mr. Rogers. He was the ultimate down-home lawyer, which was exactly what I wanted.” (Note that I like this quote because I’m a lawyer and my last name is Rogers.)
“In Anatomy, Tom’s chapter on “The Green Complex” carries as its epigraph a quote from C. B. Macdonald: “Putting greens are to golf courses what faces are to portraits.””
“Throughout the round, he made sure that I noticed the weave and roll of the greens, and the variations in the Chicago Golf Club version of the Macdonald/Raynor iconic holes—the Punchbowl, the Cape, the Biarritz, the Double Plateau, the Redan, the Eden, the Road.”
We clean out the basement form time to time, trying to keep the “stuff” from piling too high! I’m notorious for holding on to things . . . especially, all of my collections of everything from childhood. I enjoy the re-discovery upon returning to the items, but sometimes it’s apparent that things have to go. Plus, we have to make room for Harvey and his little brother’s collections!
The following quote is a good approach to dealing with the less important possessions that pile up . . . like extra jackets, clothing, kitchen appliances, old sports equipment, parts of lost tools, etc.
“Look at a possession. Pick something. Anything. Have you used that item in the last 90 days? If you haven’t, will you use it in the next 90? If not, then it’s OK to let go. . . . [B]e honest with yourself. If your material possessions don’t serve a purpose or bring you joy, then they are likely in the way of a more meaningful life.”
By Mary Oliver
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from
those who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” ~ A. Lincoln
“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” ~ Pablo Neruda
“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” ~ Barbara de Angelis
“Time is our most precious commodity.” (Economic good, something useful or valued.)
“Productivity is a means to an end; not an end unto itself.”
“It’s not productivity. It’s not innovation. It’s identity. If you’ve lived a life where holidays are a nuisance, where you’ve missed your favorite uncle’s funeral and your children’s childhoods, in a culture that conflates manly heroism with long hours, it’s going to take more than a few regressions to convince you it wasn’t really necessary, after all, for your work to devour you.”
“I’m a huge proponent of not subscribing to other people’s definition of “having it all.” Having it all doesn’t necessarily mean being a law firm partner and having kids. Decide what it means for you, and then strive to achieve that.”
“The idea is to make the largest dent in the universe that you can and have fun while doing it.”
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
“It was the first kiss for both of us. We never really talked about it afterward, but I think about the events of that day again and again, and somehow I know that Winnie does too. Whenever some blowhard starts talking about the anonymity of the suburbs, or the mindlessness of the TV generation. Because we know that inside each one of those identical boxes, with its Dodge parked out front, and its white bread on the table, and its TV set glowing blue in the falling dusk, there were people with stories. There were families bound together in the pain and the struggle of love. There were moments that made us cry with laughter. And there were moments, like that one, of sorrow and wonder.” ~ Narrator, end of first episode of The Wonder Years
“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” ~ Dalai Lama
“Already, by the first of September, I had seen two or three small maples turned scarlet across the pond, beneath where the white stems of three aspens diverged, at the point of a promontory, next the water. Ah, many a tale their color told! And gradually from week to week the character of each tree came out, and it admired itself reflected in the smooth mirror of the lake. Each morning the manager of this gallery substituted some new picture, distinguished by more brilliant or harmonious coloring, for the old upon the walls.”
~ Walden, by Throeau
Bill Watterson, the author of the comic, Calvin and Hobbes, gave a commencement address at Kenyon College in 1990. It was recently highlighted by Zach Klein in comic form. Here is the same excerpt, as text:
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.
You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.
It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season—like all the other seasons—is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them.
“The most dangerous way to lose time is not to spend it having fun, but to spend it doing fake work.” How to Lose Time and Money – Paul Graham.
From a speech titled, “10 Timeframes,” given by Paul Ford to MFA graduates. (LINK) This is an excerpt of the second of his ten timeframes
You know that decades are a recent invention? Decades are hardly a century old. Not the concept of having ten years of course, but the concept of the decade as a sort of major cultural unit, like when I say “the 90s” and you think of flannel shirts and grunge music and great R&B music, or when I say “the 80s” and you think of people with big hair using floppy disks. You need a lot of change for a decade to be a meaningful demarcation. Back in the 1600s they didn’t really talk about centuries as much either. It was all about the life of the king, the reign (of King James and so forth), or the era.
And then they invent clocks and clocks get cheaper and cheaper. Clocks are an amazing experience, right? Two hands, and a bell. This sense of relentless forward motion and they go in only one direction. Imagine doing user testing on clocks.
You say, “You’re a farmer—tell me about a normal day.”
And the farmer says, “Normally I wake up then depending on the month I might plant or reap the harvest.”
And you say, “How do you know what to plant?”
And the farmer says, “I’ve got this poem that we’ve been using for generations, so like, in June I mow my corn, in August I harvest my wheat with a sickle, stuff like that.”
And you’re trying to build understanding, you say, “That poem sounds really useful. But I’d like to talk about a new approach to time. What if I could divide every single day into 24 big parts called hours, and each of those into 60 little parts called minutes? So now instead of having just a whole day, you have 1,440 little pieces of time and you can arrange them and do whatever you want. What is your reaction to that?”
And I think the farmer would probably be polite but I’m guessing he’d be thinking, “Clock? That’s the single stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
You know, someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around.
With their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves, our child, is suddenly exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice, and every parent knows there’s nothing we will not do to shield our children from harm. And yet we also know that with that child’s very first step and each step after that, they are separating from us, that we won’t — that we can’t always be there for them.
They will suffer sickness and setbacks and broken hearts and disappointments, and we learn that our most important job is to give them what they need to become self-reliant and capable and resilient, ready to face the world without fear. And we know we can’t do this by ourselves.
It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself, that this job of keeping our children safe and teaching them well is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community and the help of a nation.
And in that way we come to realize that we bear responsibility for every child, because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours, that we’re all parents, that they are all our children.
This is our first task, caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.