Swing dance at our Reception

Swing dance at our Reception
Dancing to Come on Come on: by Mary-Chapin Carpenter:

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Blessing? - I Hope You Dance!

In Biblical Days, it was expected that the older generations would pass a blessing onto the younger. Although I'm in good health, right now, I'd liked to pass a Blessing onto future generation. So, to my children, that I have contact with, and those that I don't ...
to my Grand Kids, those who I do not have contact with, and those I may never see, ... and to my nieces and their children ....I Hope Your Dance!

Here a video of the lyrics for that Country song by Lee Ann Womack.

... and for those of you, without access to video, here are the text of the lyrics:

I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)

(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

Promise Me That You Will Dance

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Philosophy of Life? Life's a Dance, You learn as You Go!

In his online course, Thomas Moore asks participants to decide on a Philosophy of Life that has room for both the good, uplifting, inspiring times and those difficult times that come to us all, at one time or another. I wrote this as mine:
"Life is a Dance!" (short version) or "Dance to all the Rhythms and Notes of Life, including the spaces in between the Notes" (Long Version.

Of course, there is always a country music song that speaks of real life (especially the downside). Here is a video of John Michael Montgomery's "Life is a Dance, You learn as You Go".

.... and just in case, you can't watch videos, here are the lyrics:
When I was fourteen I was falling fast
For a blue eyed girl in my homeroom class
Trying to find the courage to ask her out
Was like trying to get oil from a waterspout
What she would have said I can't say
I never did ask and she moved away
But I learned something from my blue eyed girl
Sink or swim you gotta give it a whirl

Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go

The longer I live the more I believe
You do have to give if you wanna recieve
There's a time to listen, a time to talk
And you might have to crawl even after you walk
Had sure things blow up in my face
Seen the longshot, win the race
Been knocked down by the slamming door
Picked myself up and came back for more

Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go

Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go

Life's a dance
Life's a dance
Life's a dance
Take a chance on love
Life's a dance
You learn as you go

Keep Dancin'

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Our Celebration Dance!

I could understand your complaint that I haven't written much about our dancing, so here, I remedy that. Every other Thursday, we look forward to 3 days off from our jobs: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and sometimes a Thursday and/or Monday. We have this ritual dance to celebrate.

This first video is of our unrehearsed raw joy;

and this is a more refined, performance piece.

This is also a test to see if it posts to Facebook. I hope you still respect us in the Morning. LOL

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thomas Moore interview: Transcending Unconsciousness

I have often been plagued by the realization that I will never do anything "Great" with my "one wild and precious life". After all, my grade school teacher, wrote on my report card, "Kenneth, has the necessary attributes for becoming a great man." How disappointed she would be. But, I am acquiring a vision of what truly would create a "Great" life for me and those with whom I come in contact.

All of you who have visited this blog know that I have a great affection for Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul. In his book, "Writing in the Sand", Moore summarizes the Gospel Spirit this way: "Firstly, you cultivate a deep respect for people who are not of your circle and whom society rejects...Secondly, you do everything possible to deal effectively with demonic urges in yourself and in society. You do something about aggression, paranoia, narcissism, greed, jealousy, and violence... Thirdly, you play the role of healer in every situation.(Elsewhere, he explains that the word for healing can be translated "care".)... Finally, you stay awake and don't fall into the unconsciousness of the age. You also help others wake up to a thoughtful life imagined in fresh, original, and convivial ways."

What a radical challenge and worthy purpose for any life.

In the following interview, Moore expands on that final image of transcending unconsciousness.
Thomas Moore interview: Transcending unconciousness

I hope you find these words leave you wanting to read Writing in the Sand. Remember that you can often read extensive excerpts of the books that interest you, at Amazon(dot)com's "Look Inside Feature" and at books.google(dot)com.

In the meantime, have a "Great" life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Bucket List - Letter

For all of us, estranged from our children, maybe it wouldn't be as catastrophic as we imagine, if we did contact them!

The Bucket List - Two Questions

1. Have You found Joy in Your Life?
2 Has Your Life brought Joy to Others?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Summer's Growth!

I took the first (or top) video on April 22 of this year when we cut our decorative grasses down. If your listening to my comments on the second video, I didn't compute the duration correctly. It was only 4 months, since we cut them down. What a prolific summer for tall grasses, but not, as you can see, for the lawn.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It is Not Length of Life, But Depth of Life - Emerson

I just finished an hour hike through our neighborhoods, so I'm tired and should be eating something but I'm grabbing a quick glass of water and one of soy chocolate milk, instead. I wanted to get some musings on paper before they leave me.

Even family members ask themselves why would Ken be walking for an hour over western PA's hilly terrain. I would answer them today by saying that it's for my health, not just my physical body, but my soul's health. In past years, I've been a runner. In my younger days, I've run 5 or more miles and was surprised to find that during those lonely periods that my mind seemed to be quicker and somehow taping into a different part of my brain because of the interesting connections and observations that I was making. Books and articles have been written about this change in consciousness, and some have called it "Runner's High", possible being produced by chemicals released during exercise. This change of consciousness was so addicting, that I experienced withdrawal symptoms when I wasn't able to run and it was a strong motivation for me to return to running after getting on a medication that has controlled my arrhythmia and allowed me to get back to exercising. My wonderful discover has been that I get the same expanded consciousness by walking or hiking on neighborhood streets that I don't get on the treadmill at the YMCA.

During today's walk, I found words to explain why the first episode of Laura Linney's new show, The Big C, meant so much to me. When I was first diagnosed with the heart arrhythmia, I went through an initiation of sorts. Instead of seening happy celebrating people wavying at loved ones on those early morning news shows, I saw people who are going to die, like me. It's the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. All of a sudden I was taking medication that was making me more and more lethargic and increased my life long tendency to put on weight and of course, my chance of dying. After several years of trying different drugs in ever increasing dosages, I finally changed doctors and found one with a different set of meds in his tool box, one of which allows me to get back to a more normal life.

So just as Laura Linney's character, is allowing herself to try things that she has never done before; telling a student, the tough truth or spilling the wine herself on the sofa, I want to live my life, somehow in a "deeper" way, and try to discover what that means. I have a plaque on my mantle. It's by Ralph Waldo Emerson and says, "It is not length of life but Depth of life". Another writing informs this exploration, too; I remember, perhaps Thoreau said it, "most men get to the end and find they have never really lived". Please let me know if you have the actual quote and author.

I'm really grateful that the new heart doctor has allowed me to escape, for now, from the valley of the shadow of death. With the help of my wife, swingdancer Donna, I've been able to loose 30 plus pounds and take 6 1/2 inches off my waste. I want to live my life, remembering how precious each moment is, discover each day, how to live more deeply.


The Big C - Season 1, Episode 1

Sure hope you can take 29 minutes and 12 seconds to watch this first episode of the new Showtime series. I suspect Showtime will make a few episodes available in hopes that you will want to subscribe. I may be tempted or just wait for the first season DVD. I have liked Laura Linney in everything that I have seen her act in, and this doesn't disappoint.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our Day Trip to Coopers Rock.

I really do want to write about our vacation to Asheville, NC, but as a direct result of the fabulous time that we had on that trip, we decided to take a one day trip to a local place with sights similar to what we saw on our vacation. Coopers Rock is a State Forest of West Virginia. It's located just south of the PA - WV border on Interstate 68, a fast 2 hour trip from our home in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Heading down Interstate 79, we were able to see beautiful green forests as attractive as anything we saw in the Smoky Mountains but with some breaks of view into rolling hills and sometimes farmland.

In addition to the beautiful interstate drive, I found the Washington, PA country music radio station that is unique in this era of satellite-delivered uniform music. WKZV 1110 AM plays old time country music like done by The Bellamy Brothers and The Forester Sisters. As we drove by, where their station signal was strongest, we sang along with our all time favorites and as we entered the park, we finished our 2 hour drive, singing "I Love Beer" with Tom T. Hall.

This picture is of the Cheat River, know for it's whitewater kayaking and rafting. It was taken from the overlook at the park.

We took a picnic cooler and came prepared to do some "easy" bouldering, a novice approach to rock climbing. During our hiking, we met 3 groups of serious climbers who had installed climbing ropes from the tops of the rock formations they intended to climb. We, also, met a couple from the Pittsburgh area who where carrying folded foam pad that they placed at the base of rock that they would free climb, without any ropes, the more intense kind of bouldering.

Although you can pick up a map of all the trails, if you want to see rocks, up close, I recommend taking the Rattlesnake Trail that begins just to the left of the concession stand. It leads to Rock City, a collection of rocks and boulders that you can walk among, stand on, and trip over. Although I had taken my tennis shoes, I insisted on wearing my open toed sandals and stubbed my toes a number of times.

Just want to wet you appetite for this wonderful location. Hope you can make it, and enjoy it as much as we did. If you would like to see more pictures of our adventure, CLICK HERE!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kissing You Goodbye!

From the sublime (see the previous post) to the ridiculous; I always tell people that this is my favorite country song (Listen at 1 min 24 sec in), but I really didn't know it was an actual song before. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Just For Fun, Again!

While cleaning out some paper work, I found some writing of mine that I dated -Dec. 2, 1993 and the answer is:

I write like
H. G. Wells

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

...and I know, I'm no H. G. Wells......

Just For Fun!

Just for fun, I used this WEBSITE to find who I write like -

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

And before you think to post it - "You, Swingdancerken, are no Dan Brown" - ;-)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

You can be Free and Interdependent, too

Happy 4th of July, everyone! To receive your e-card celebrating this day, CLICK HERE.

On this, the anniversary of the birth of our country, I've been reminded that there is more to freedom than independence. There are healthy ways to be interdependent, too. I received this email from the ToDo Institute and wanted to share it with you.

Beyond Fireworks: Celebrating Our Interdependence
by Gregg Krech (Audio Podcast)

"Independence often stimulates a sense of pride - a sense that I am competent, capable and can get along without others. Interdependence, on the other hand, stimulates a sense of humility, a reminder to be grateful, an acknowledgment that we cannot exist except through the efforts of others."

Soon we will be lifting our heads toward the sky to witness the dazzling display of fireworks that mark the celebration of Independence Day. It's a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our good fortune of being born, through no effort of our own, on the soil of a country which offers us a great deal of freedom. We can easily take this freedom for granted. We mostly go where we want to go, say what we want to say, worship the way we want to worship -- and pay little attention to this gift of freedom. But freedom is different from independence. (To listen to this podcast, click the link below scroll down to the July 01 post which includes an audio player)

Beyond Fireworks: Celebrating Our Interdependence (10 min.)

Connected: A Declaration of Interdependence (Video)

We're excited about an upcoming film called Connected: A Declaration of Interdependence. Fabulous images and animations create a powerful display of our complex and interwoven lives. This beautiful little film makes viewers "laugh, think and then rethink their preconceptions of progress, independence and the consequences of their actions in an interdependent world". This trailer is a little gem in and of itself, giving us an interesting peek at the big picture.

View the video here (approx 1 min.)

I didn't realize until I saw this post right next to yesterday's post on 'Recognize the Diversity', how connected to the subject of interdependence it is.
Namaste, Everyone!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Recognize the Diversity in Yourself - Thomas Moore

I was exploring the recent update to one of my favorite websites, BARQUE: THOMAS MOORE AS CATALYST. It was entitled, Thomas Moore writes about the sounds of silence , and contained a link to the Resurgence Magazine article on the subject. Of course I had to explore to see if the British magazine had made Moore's other articles available and I found an extremely meaningful article.

It's title, Your Many Selves: Recognise the diversity within yourself and you will begin to see it in others , immediately sparked my imagination. I'm sure that I've read this before, but it seemed to have a renewed immediacy for me. I imagine that this concept, of "many selves within each of us" is the reason that I began to be comfortable with the different aspects of my own complex personality and so, too, demands that I return to Moore's work.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Best Buy Recycling Program

Recently I was trying to find a place to dispose of a couple of old printers, a small analog tv, and some computer modems. We contacted the only place that we thought of that might take them, so that they don't end up as landfill. They wanted to charge us in order to take them off our hands. Now, after we dumped them in our trash for pickup, we learn today that Best Buy has a recycle program to prevent electronics from ending in the environment.

The description of the program is HERE but be sure to read the FAQ LINK. I sure hope they still have this program when I need it next.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beginning to Care for the Soul

While listening, again, to "Soul Life", a six cassette "Care of the Soul" retreat by Thomas Moore, I began to be aware that I was having thoughts of my own while listening to the words spoken by Moore. I remembered what he said at the beginning of tape 4 entitled 'Art and Soul'. When someone asks him, "How can I begin to care for my soul?", he answers "...respond to however the soul is making itself felt at the moment. Before I said it might be something in the house that needs attention. It might be an aspect of relationship. Pay attention, ...noticing what the soul is asking for at this particular moment." As I paid attention to my responsive thoughts, I remembered a practice that I learned for the first time, years ago.

I was attending, and my life was deeply emersed in what I, now, believe, was a very cult-like church. One of the characteristics that flow from a cult-like culture, is that there is no distinction between the individual and the organization. You lose tract of your own thoughts, feelings and experiences and everything is filtered through the doctrine of the organization. Somewhere along my journey, however, I learned a very power practice that, I believe was instrumental in separating me from the organization. I read or heard somewhere, "Do not write down what I say, but what you think, as a result of what I say." It may take some deliberation, to understand how subversive that practice is. As I sat in church, instead of feverishly writing copious notes on what the preacher said, I began to write about my thoughts, memories of experiences and images that came to my mind. I began to recognize myself and my thoughts and experiences as being separate from that of the church and sometimes in opposition.

For the life of me, I can't remember where I first heard about that practice, but I strongly believe that I first heard about it from Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, a Christian, Sales Trainer, Motivator, Speaker and Life Coach long before there were any Life Coaches. He wrote "Life is Tremendous" and was a great advocate for the power of enthusiasm, reading and books. I had forgotten about the practice for a long time until I was reading Parker J. Palmer's book, "Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation". Palmer is a practicing Quaker and author and activist in the field of Education, holding workshops and retreats on how to combine "Soul and Role" helping educators to bring heart to their classrooms. In "Let Your Life Speak", he describes how people who come to workshops take notes about what the retreat leaders say and even participants whom they deemed wise, but seldom wrote down the words that they,personally, uttered. He began recommending that they write down their words and I would add: write what you think as a result of what you hear.

Palmer writes, "Verbalizing, is not the only way our lives speak, of course. They speak through our actions and reactions, our intuitions and instincts our feelings and bodily states of being perhaps more profoundly than any through our words. We are like plants, full of tropisms that draw us toward certain experiences and repels us from others. If we can learn to read our own responses to our own experience - a text we are writing unconsciously every day we spend on earth - we will receive the guidance we need to live more authentic lives." Doesn't that sounds like the "soul" that Thomas Moore talks about!

So, as I try to remember, everyday, to not just consume the "great" and "not so great" posts on the internet, or in my reading or TV watching, I'd be interested in your thoughts as a result of what I wrote....and of course, I'll pay attention to how I respond to what you write....and we'll care for our souls, together.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Thomas Moore on Good Morning America Health

Barque: Thomas Moore posted that there would be an interview about "Care of the Soul in Medicine" on ABC's Good Morning America Health. This interview was done on ABCNEWS Now, available on some cable outlets but I found THIS VIDEO ON HULU. I just received a link on ABCNEWS videos. Hope you are able to view one of these links.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beyond Assembly-Line Health Care

While I'm waiting with great anticipation for the release of Thomas Moore's next book, "Care of the Soul in Medicine", I did find this excerpt through the Barque website. I'm sure we have our own horror stories of soul-less, inhumane medicine, but Moore uses his alchemic skill with words to describe an experience, which are for us, indescribable. The book will be published by Hays House on this coming April 15 and this excerpt was published in their newletter, Present Moments. If you are interested in a longer excerpt, be sure to check out Google Books. I'm wondering if posting your own stories of good and bad experiences with modern medicine might be useful either here, or on Facebook, or better yet, on Barque: The Thomas Moore Forum.
Inspiration Care of the Soul in Medicine
Beyond Assembly-Line Health Care
by Thomas Moore

Why a hospital without a soul is just a body repair shop . . .

A few years ago I was feeding my two dogs, one an aged collie and the other a young and energetic mutt. I had a bowl of dog food in each hand, and when I tried to walk into the house from the porch I tripped over a doormat and fell, hitting my forehead hard on the sharp edge of the doorjamb. I was alone in the house and was dazed at first. When I came to, I saw blood all over my hands and felt a lump on my bleeding head. I sat down, not knowing what to do, since I couldn’t think clearly. At that moment my wife and daughter arrived from a shopping trip and drove me immediately to the emergency room of our local hospital. I walked into a crowded reception area and was told to wait my turn and get my insurance information out. I couldn’t think very clearly, but I had enough presence of mind to see that this visit would be good material for my book.

My first impression was not a positive one. The receptionists were too busy and rushed. Maybe they did a quick triage and decided I had minor abrasions. There were people present with serious problems. But I was treated brusquely and felt no sense of care. I didn’t feel that I was in a place of healing as much as a “factory” where the assembly line was moving too quickly.

Eventually a harried doctor came and gave me a dozen stitches. He didn’t introduce himself and I didn’t think he went about his work with a great deal of care. The scar on my forehead even today is very noticeable, while the work the plastic surgeon did on my face when he removed my precancerous lesion is impossible to detect. Maybe it was just a matter of skill—a plastic surgeon versus an emergency room resident. I suspect that the lack of soul in that place was also a factor, because ultimately it is the soul that heals, even when it is only a matter of stitches.

The soul is the invisible factor that draws people together, brings out their humanity, and gives depth and meaning to whatever they do. When you treat people as objects, as cases and syndromes and machines in need of repair, you will not be a healer, not even a doctor or nurse. You will be a technician, a human repairman, a functionary in a world of objects. Soul will not enter into your work, not into your skillful use of techniques and not into your relationship with your patients. Your work will not satisfy you, not because it isn’t worthy work but because there is no soul to give it a deep human pulse.

On the other hand, when soul is present, when you are capable of being present as a human being and making a connection to a patient, even simple applications of your skills will make your work fulfilling and bring you close in touch with the people who come to you for help.

A hospital with soul is a place of healing. A hospital without soul is a body repair shop. The depth of human feeling and care will show itself in the people, in the building and in the atmosphere. In a sense, it is the atmosphere that heals. Religion scholar Karoli Kerenyi once wrote that you sense the presence of the god in the atmosphere of a place. In a hospital you may sense the presence of Asklepios. If you do, whether or not you name him, you will know that the place has soul and that it has what is required to heal.

Thomas Moore has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist. In 1994, he added best-selling author to the list when he challenged us to bring more depth to our lives by nurturing our souls. The result was his blockbuster book Care of the Soul. Today, he is a renowned spiritual writer and teacher who continues to remind us that healing is so much more than just simply treating the body. His latest book Care of the Soul in Medicine will be released on April 15. You may order this book online at either BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, or wherever books are sold. To meet Thomas in person at one of his upcoming workshops, click here. For more on Thomas’ work, visit www.careofthesoul.net.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

LYRICS TUESDAY - If I'd Never Met You!

I almost didn't make it but I wanted to show you lyrics from another song from Corbin/Hanner's album - Every Stranger has a Story. These romantic lyrics are from their song,

Dennis Craig, Dave Hanner (Play On Publishing, ASCAP) 1996

If I'd never met you would the sky be so blue
Would the stars shine as bright or the moon be so full
And would I have a song to sing, the whole day through
If I, if I'd never met you
If I'd never met you would I know what heaven is
Would I understand the magic that's in an angel's kiss
And would I believe in dreams coming true
If I, if I'd never met you
I used to be the one who said I'll never settle down
Been on my own so long, what's the sense in changin' now
But when you least expect it, love sneaks up from behind
Now I can't imagine me without you by my side
If I'd never met you the stars would still be bright
The sky would still be clear on a cold autumn night
And I'd still be a dreamer without a dream come true
If I, if I'd never met you

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

LYRICS TUESDAY - Every Stranger has a Story!

Everyone who know me, knows that I like traditional country music. I don't care for most of what is called country music today. For me, I enjoy the stories that are told in country music. I guess that is consistent with some of my other interests. Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, sees stories as a way to care for the soul. And I really am glad to see the book and website of Christina Baldwin, called Storycatcher, Making Sense of our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story.

I've been noticing that while I'm listening to my ipod music while on the treadmill at the Y, I'm hearing lyrics that mean something and sometimes, remembering stories associated with that song. Recently, while listening to the title track of "Every Stranger has a Story" by Corbin/Hanner, I remember how impressed I was at the emotionally touching lyrics of almost every track. So today I want to post the lyrics of that title track and hope you will follow up and perhaps borrow the CD from a local library. Of course on several sites you can even hear some of the melody. I've embedded a link to the website where I got those lyrics.

I'd like to know, from your comments, if the words had any impact on you.

Bob Corbin, Randy Van Warmer (Bro N' Sis Music,BMI;Coljes,BMI;
Dixie Stars Music/Vanwarmer Music,ASCAP ) 1995

Stand on any corner, on any street in any town
Choose any one you see, pick any face out of the crowd
If you could take a look inside, read the pages like a book
You'd see passion and desire, fury and fire
Anywhere you care to look
Every stranger has a story, every heart has a tale to tell
Every life has it's pain and glory, a fall from grace, an escape from hell
Every stranger has a story, so listen well
You walk right by someone, you don't know where he's been
What he's seen and what he's done, or what's been done to him
Don't judge him by his cover, all that glitters isn't gold
For every line in his face, there's a time and place
When his blood ran hot or his luck ran cold
Every stranger has a story...
From the first cry, to the final sigh, like actor in a play
The scenes unfold, the story's told, a page is turned each passing day
Every stranger has a story...

Thank you Corbin/Hanner for such a soul lifting song.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Gentle and Yielding is the Disciple of Life

I recently recalled that I had seen this in April 2005. I thought it was time to repost this for a new audience. I originally saw this at http://barque.blogspot.com/2005/04/why-this-site.html .
Hope you find it inspiring.

"A man is born gentle and weak.
At his death he is hard and stiff.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
At their death they are withered and dry.
Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.
Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.
The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome."
-- Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching