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There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

A Psalm of Life” is a poem written by American writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, often subtitled “What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist”

Tell me not, in mournful numbers, 
   Life is but an empty dream! 
For the soul is dead that slumbers, 
   And things are not what they seem. 

Life is real! Life is earnest! 
   And the grave is not its goal; 
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, 
   Was not spoken of the soul. 

“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” 

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful? 
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful? 
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce, 
Or a trouble is what you make it, 
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts, 
But only how did you take it? 

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that! 
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat, 
But to lie there-that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce
Be proud of your blackened eye! 
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts; 
It’s how did you fight-and why? 

“Your learning’s at fault this time, anyway:
Don’t waste it again on a live bird, I pray.
I’m an owl; you’re another. Sir Critic, good day!”

“Who stuffed that white owl?”

No one spoke in the shop,
The barber was busy, and he couldn’t stop;
The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading
The “Daily,” the “Herald,” the “Post,” little heeding
The young man who blurted out such a blunt question;
Not one raised a head, or even made a suggestion;
And the barber kept on shaving.

“Don’t you see, Mr. Brown,”
Cried the youth, with a frown,
“How wrong the whole thing is,
How preposterous each wing is,
How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is —
In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck ‘t is!
I make no apology;
I’ve learned owl-eology.

I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door,
And never put on again.

I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done 
The greatest injustice of all
Could be at the gates like an old friend that waits
For the comrade he’s gladdest to hail.

Who Am I?

 I am your constant companion.
 I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.

 I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
 I am completely at your command.

Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and
I will do them – quickly and correctly.

 I am easily managed – you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons,
I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss

To love is to risk not being loved in return,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try is to risk failure.

What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.- Mark Twain

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination.

Mary Jane Oliver (September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019) was an American poet who won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2007 The New York Times described her as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet. Wild Geese is a selection of her best-known poems, including the title-poem and ‘The Journey”

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Author: Mark Nepo
Title: Breaking Surface

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won’t let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can’t be done.

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

Title: Our Deepest Fear
Author: Marianne Williamson
Source: A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson
Movies Cited: Akeelah and the Bee, Coach Carter
Our Deepest fear quote is often misattributed to Nelson Mandela

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.

Poem Title: The Road Not Taken
Author:  Robert Frost
Year first Published: 1916
Source: The first poem in Mountain Interval Poetry Collection by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

Title: The Laughing Heart
Author: Charles Bukowski
Source: Betting on the Muse by Charles Bukowski

Betting on the Muse is a combination of hilarious poetry and stories. Charles Bukowski writes about the real life of a working man and all that comes with it.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.

Poem Title: The Invitation
Author: Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Source: from the book The Invitation by Oriah, Mountain Dreamer

  • It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting -your hearts longing.
  • It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
  • It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
  • I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.