“A dying friend once told me, ‘I wish I hadn’t spent so many Mondays wishing it were Friday. I also wish I had made better use of those Fridays, for better stories on Monday.’”—(via -theperfectmistake)
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.
”—Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via oliviacirce)
“No matter how good things are, there will always be solitary nights you spend in your bedroom, in a car, or in a party full of your closest friends when it feels like the walls are caving in.”—Dan Campbell (via owkwerd)
“Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. Do well, live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living.”—(via phaenda)
Give lots of compliments, even if you’re shy. Everyone else is too.
Change. Get a haircut, try new perfume, get new sheets. Become better than you were before.
Eat healthier. Learn to cook something fancy.
Get up earlier and watch the sun come up.
Wear soft clothes, take a bath, drink something warm.
Meet someone new, even just a friend.
Become closer with your friends and your family. Call your mother. Cry with your best friend. Tell everyone how much you appreciate them.
Keep your room clean. Buy some candles. Let the natural light in.
Make a list of reasons why you’ll be better off without them. Believe they are true, because they are.
Listen to new music.
Write everything you’re thinking and feeling. Write letters. Write happy letters, sad letters, and angry letters, even if you’re never going to send them.
It’s okay to be sad, but not forever. Sadness is not as beautiful as music makes it seem. Lack of sleep makes your eyes droopy, not deep. Wake up every morning and tell yourself you’re going to have a good day.
Go to the library. Don’t forget to look in the music section.
Remove them from your life. Get rid of the things they gave you if they make you sad. They’re not worth it. You will never be happy if you continue to hold on to the things that make you sad.
Make new memories.
Try to find something to appreciate in everything you do or experience.
Being alone is okay, you don’t have to surround yourself with people.
Become your own best friend. Buy yourself coffee and drink it alone in a cafe. Take your time.
Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you were the one who carried you through the heartache. You are the one who sits with the cold body on the shower floor, and picks it up. You are the one who feeds it, who clothes it, who tucks it into bed, and you should be proud of that. Having the strength to take care of yourself when everyone around you is trying to bleed you dry, that is the strongest thing in the universe.
“I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are— particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done to (for) me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain (“I’m not a big one for paying compliments…”), but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.”—(via mel-butler)
“Get excited about the little things. About wearing a new outfit for the first time. About Sunday brunches with your best friends. About the new cute guy in your class. About finding an extra dollar in your pocket. About anything that even remotely makes you happy because as you grow up, passions fade and enthusiasm gets mistaken for foolishness. So don’t let the grey world stop you from shining.”—note to self (via elauxe)