Tag Archives: solitude

sucking the marrow of life

Dead Poets Society quotes - We Do it Together - 博客大巴:

My father was 85 when he was killed on a Texas highway. Another car plowed into his from behind. The other car was driven by a nurse late to work and heavily medicated. She survived with minor injuries.

My father was working at the time of his death. That’s not surprising to me. He grew up in a poor single parent family during the depression. He and his siblings knew hunger. For my father, to be a man meant you worked. And so he worked. He worked until the day he day he died.

Good meaningful work is a key part of our humanity. But, there’s far more to life than being busy. Work is not the end all and the be all of our existence.

Now, at almost 70 I am taking Thoreau’s admonition to heart  I have come to realize that going into the woods is vital if I am to live deeply and suck the marrow of life. The more time I spend immersed in nature, the more alive I feel.

Take time to live before you die. As someone recently told me, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal.” We only get one chance.

burning daylight

Today begins a new era of my life. I start writing yet another a new chapter in my life history.

I awoke this morning for the first time in 35 years not actively leading an organization in the fight to end hunger in our lifetime. Even though I have been moving in this direction for a couple years, it’s still a situation that is going to take some major getting used to.

So, I am starting off the new year and this new period of my life by heading into the mountains for a 24 hour retreat. A little time alone in the woods has always been good for what ails me, and I have too long neglected the practice of slipping away for a couple days of primitive camping on a regular basis. That changes starting today.

I will reflect on this in more detail in the days to follow, but for now it’s time to get going. I’m burning daylight as my father used to tell me..

May all of you have a most blessed 2016, and may each of you do more than ever this year to help create a world without hunger.

the answer is less stuff


I am a fan of this website on living a simple life by Joshua Becker

The older I get the more I realize that happiness doesn’t come from things. The joy we all seek comes from relationships and an inner recognition of how truly blessed we are.

More stuff is not the answer. Contentment comes from our awareness that the more stuff we own the less freedom we actually have. We truly do not need more stuff.

We need more silence, more solitude and a deeper appreciation for all that we already have.

But, that would be un-American, wouldn’t it?

giving voice to the voiceless

I have now been in San Diego for a full week. The good news is that I get to head back to North Carolina in only two days. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed myself here in sunny California. It is just that I am looking forward to warmer weather and a chance to be quiet for a day or two.

Every waking moment has been filled with people. And the older I become, the more of a strain that is for me to handle, at least politely. Between the breakfasts, lunches & dinners and the constant meetings, receptions and presentations, I am with and in front of people constantly. And even though I truly love doing what I do, there are times when I can feel my system starting to labor under the constant pressure of too much of a good thing.

I am definitely at that point in the trip. My need for quiet, extended silence, and solitude has become a living, breathing companion at this point, almost physically begging me to flee the unrelenting pressure of people, all clamoring for just a little piece of me. And to be honest, it is growing more difficult by the minute not to give in, turn tail, and run like a thief.

What keeps me at my post is that I have an opportunity granted to few, and I know it. I am allowed to give voice to the cries of the hungry. I am able to be the voice of the voiceless, and make those normally invisible least of these among us, visible even if for a brief and fleeting moment.

And for such a privilege I continue to give thanks. If even one person I meet out of a hundred becomes a true friend of the poor and hungry; if only one in a thousand to whom I speak becomes a leader in the fight to end hunger, then my time has been well spent.

Today, I lost another 25,000 of my family. I cannot accept the fact that those of who can, refuse to do all in our power to save them. Join with me to end hunger in our lifetime. Let’s change the world forever.