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Poem: “To Do List,” by Rob Baker

Atop ragged-edged scratch paper I write "Mon." and under this copy Sun.’s uncrossed-off items: "buy birdseed," "b-day e-card to Adele," "call re: basement leak," "bring ashes to cemetery," for instance I notice one task on the Sunday list ("Pour boiling H2O down...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Rosalynn & Roberto

August 18, 1927 Rosalynn Carter "You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don't win, at least you can be satisfied that you've tried. If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, you don't branch out, you...

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Poem: “Song of the Builders,” by Mary Oliver

On a summer morning I sat down on a hillside to think about God - a worthy pastime. Near me, I saw a single cricket; it was moving the grains of the hillside this way and that way. How great was its energy, how humble its effort. Let us hope it will always be like...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Russell & Oscar

August 14, 1925 Russell Baker "Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things." August 15, 1917 Oscar Romero "Do you want to know if your Christianity is genuine? Here is the...

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Poem: “Everyday Grace,” by Stella Nesanovich

It can happen like that: meeting at the market, buying tires amid the smell of rubber, the grating sound of jack hammers and drills, anywhere we share stories, and grace flows between us. The tire center waiting room becomes a healing place as one speaks of her...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Robert & Carl

August 11, 1833 Robert Green Ingersoll "Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself." August 11, 1925 Carl T. Rowan "It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from...

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Poem: “What We Need is Here,” by Wendell Berry

Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes. Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way, clear in the ancient faith: what we need is here. And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear. What we need is...

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Happy Birthday To . . Neil & Wendell

August 5, 1930 Neil Armstrong "It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small." August 5, 1934 Wendell Berry...

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Happy Birthday To . . . James & Maggie

August 2, 1924 James Baldwin "I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain." August 3, 1905 Maggie Kuhn "Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind -...

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Poem: “School Prayer,” by Diane Ackerman

In the name of the daybreak and the eyelids of morning and the wayfaring moon and the night when it departs, I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder, as an...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Deval & Ingrid

July 31, 1956 Deval Patrick "In times like these we should turn to each other, not on each other." July 31, 1957 Ingrid Washinawatok el-Issa "The current economic order-based upon an ideology that does not recognize the wealth of the natural order, that cannot place...

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Poem: “My Work Is Loving The World,” by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird - equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young and still not...

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Happy Birthday To . . . George & Antonio

July 26, 1856 George Bernard Shaw "You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'" July 26, 1875 Antonio Machado "Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking." "Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Emma & Karl

July 22, 1849 Emma Lazarus "Until we are all free, we are none of us free." July 22, 1893 Karl A. Menninger "Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us,...

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Poem: “The Journey,” by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice – – – though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. ‘Mend my life!’ each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Nelson & George

July 18, 1918 Nelson Mandela "Our human compassion binds us the one to the other—not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future." July 19, 1922 George McGovern "The highest patriotism is not...

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Poem: “Questionnaire,” by Wendell Berry

1. How much poison are you willing to eat for the success of the free market and global trade? Please name your preferred poisons. 2. For the sake of goodness, how much evil are you willing to do? Fill in the following blanks with the names of your favorite evils and...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Woody & Pema

July 14, 1912 Woody Guthrie "This land is your land, this land is my land, From California to the New York Island. From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and me." July 14, 1936 Pema Chodron "Compassionate action starts with seeing...

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Poem: “All of These People,” by Michael Longely

Who was it who suggested that the opposite of war Is not so much peace as civilization? He knew Our assassinated Catholic greengrocer who died At Christmas in the arms of our Methodist minister, And our ice-cream man whose continuing requiem Is the twenty-one flavours...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Bucky & Malala

July 12, 1895 Buckminster Fuller "We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody." July 12, 1997 Malala Yousafzai "Let us...

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Poem: “Because I Make Mistakes,” by Gautam Sen

Because I make mistakes, Because sometimes I take the right turn When I’m supposed to take the left, Or the left turn When I’m supposed to take the right, Because sometimes I walk straight on When I’m supposed to stop, Or loiter when I should be walking on. It’s...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Peter & Mavis

July 10, 1867 Peter Finley Dunne "A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case." July 10, 1939 Mavis Staples "If you don't get out among the people, how are you going to know what they need to hear...

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