Category Archives: Laurie Wagner

Something Good

1. Reuniting a War Veteran with His Beloved Dogs. I’m a total sucker for those videos where a person serving in the military comes home and surprises someone who loves and misses them, (mostly because I wish they never had to go in the first place). I’m a complete mush for stories about people and pets reunited after time apart. And I absolutely adore stories of animals helping people with physical disabilities or things like PTSD or anxiety, whether they are certified service dogs or not. This video is a combination of all three and I love everything about it.

2. “The Day Beyoncé Turned Black” – SNL, so funny, because it’s true.

3. In related news: Dear White Reader, here is your weekend Beyoncé reading list from An Ordinary Life.

4. This 21-Year Old is Cleaning Up Our Oceans. “21-year-old Boyan Slat found a way to actually clean up our planet’s oceans. The largest ocean cleanup in history will begin by 2020.” Yes, please.

5. Give a Girl a Journal, an amazing project from the equally amazing Jamie Ridler. “With a journal, every girl has the opportunity to discover her own way of expressing herself. She has the chance to hear her own voice, to have an open and honest conversation with her own heart. In her journal, a girl can discover who she is. The ‘Give a Girl a Journal’ movement is about giving all girls a chance to be who they are, to be creative and to express themselves, all in their very own journal. You can help.”

6. 5 Life Hacks Fur Cat Owners. You don’t have to have a cat to enjoy watching the video, the kitty joy.

7. Karen Walrond, 48: Embracing What It Means to Be ‘a Woman of a Certain Age.’ I love this series, and I want to be just like Karen when I grow up — can I do that even though she’s a year younger than me?

8. If “dieting” doesn’t work, then what? from Isabelle Foxen Duke.

9. 7 Lessons From a Tiny Wardrobe (and pictures of what I’m wearing now) from Be More With Less.

10. How Sharon Salzberg Found Real Happiness on Lion’s Roar. “Facing her suffering head-on has made Sharon Salzberg one of today’s most relatable Buddhist teachers. Lindsay Kyte talks to Salzberg about her difficult life’s journey, establishing loving-kindness as a key practice in American Buddhism, and how we can all find real happiness.” Such a great interview.

11. Johnny Depp gives Donald Trump the Funny or Die treatment in surprise biopic. (I only watched the trailer, because I’m not sure if I could handle 50 minutes of Trump, even if it is fake and meant to be funny).

12. Celebrating Butch: A Powerful Photo Collection on Female Masculinity. A beautiful collection of images.

13. Gay at home dad, a sweet, funny Twitter account.

14. What Are You Practicing—Self-Judgment or Self-Compassion? Jamie Greenwood on Tiny Buddha. Jamie’s honestly is a compassionately fierce thing, and this article is no exception.

15. Wisdom from Aristotle, “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Oh, snap!

16. On the Eve of My Ex-Husband’s Second Departure, from Laurie Wagner, one of my most favorite women, writers, teachers, humans.

17. How to Find Your Voice, from Laura Simms, in which she says, “You gain nothing—we gain nothing—when people who are compelled to speak stay mute. We don’t need noise, but we do need caring people to speak up about the things they care about.”

18. An Open Letter to My Friends who Support Donald Trump. Word.

19. Wisdom from David Whyte,

Enough.

These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to life
we have refused
again and again
until now.

Until now

20. Sit Down, Shut Up, and Write Your Fucking Book: Uplifting Tips for the Aspiring Author from McSweeney’s.

21. Eric Garner’s daughter talking about Bernie Sanders will leave you breathless, a beautiful and heartbreaking video.

Wild Writing: “As You Go Through Life”

The Poudre River, from our walk this morning, just before I noticed a mink running along the ice

The Poudre River, from our walk this morning, just before I noticed a mink running along the ice at the edge

We recently started our spring session of my Wild Writing class, and I’m so glad to be back at it. In class on Friday morning, after I read my last piece, Laurie said “blog it” before moving on to the next person, so here it is.

Prompt: As You Go Through Life by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Laurie doesn’t typically share poems that rhyme, but like she said, this one just has too many good lines. I was surprised when I Googled it to find a link to share with you that it was published in 1910, that the poet is long gone.

“Bend and let it go over you.” I keep coming back to this when I’m teaching yoga — that balance isn’t about finding a fixed point and sticking there, stable and still, but rather it’s about all the tiny (and big) adjustments we make to keep from falling over, to stave off collapse, and how even collapsing, giving up and going over, is part of balance. We fall over, we soften into it, and then, if we’d like, we get up and try again.

It reminds me of the story Pema Chödrön tells about her teacher, how she asked Chögyam Trungpa in a moment she was having a really hard time what she should do, how to handle it, and he told her it’s like standing in the ocean, how each wave crashes into you, knocks you down, takes you in and under, but you get back up. And in time, you get stronger, you learn to move with the waves, and instead of feeling like you are drowning, like it’s so bad and so hard you are going to die, you are able to move with it, to meet and ride the wave. Bend and let it go over you.

I wonder if students who aren’t teachers understand that a teacher only ever teaches one of two things — what they know so well they have it memorized, so it’s safe and easy, requires no real effort and little attention; or we teach what we need to learn, what we are trying to figure out, what seems so big and complicated it feels like we’ll never be able to understand it, what terrifies us, what makes us tender. In one case we phone it in, in the other we send out an S.O.S., it’s almost a cry for help, but we know, we trust that there is help to be had, that our bones know, and if we keep asking the questions, either answers will come or we’ll surrender to not knowing.