Quote for Today: Mary Oliver

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Oxygen

Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its home, the soul.
So the merciful, noisy machine

stands in our house working away in its
lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel
before the fire, stirring with a

stick of iron, letting the logs
lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room,
are in your usual position, leaning on your

right shoulder which aches
all day. You are breathing
patiently; it is a

beautiful sound. It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know

where to drop the knife of
separation. And what does this have to do
with love, except

everything? Now the fire rises
and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red
roses of flame. Then it settles

to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds
as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:
our purest, sweet necessity: the air.
― Mary Oliver, from Thirst

Image: Hold Hands © Sam Caplat with CCLicense

 

Quote for Today: Scott Stabile

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I choose not to look upon the fact that I am healthy, have food in my refrigerator and have clean water to drink as givens. They are not givens for so many people in our world. The fact that I am safe and (relatively) sane are not givens. That I was born into a family who loves me and into a country not ravaged by war are not givens. It is impossible to name all of the circumstances in my life I’ve taken for granted. All of the basic needs I’ve had met, all of the friendships and job opportunities and financial blessings and the list, truly, is endless. The fact that I am breathing is a miracle, one I too rarely stop to appreciate.

I’m stopping, right now, to be grateful for everything I am and everything I’ve been given. I’m stopping, right now, to be grateful for every pleasure and every pain that has contributed to the me who sits here and writes these words.
Scott Stabile

Public Domain Photo via pexels.com

Quote for Today: Richelle Goodrich

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It is easy to say I am thankful for the sweet and beautiful things in life: flower gardens, ice cream cones, diamond rings, dances under moonlight, children’s laughter, birdsongs, and the like. The challenge is recognizing things of value in the dark, sour, uglier parts of life. But if you look hard enough, you will find that even tough times offer pearls worthy of gratitude.

Richelle Goodrich, Slaying Dragons

Image: Survival for the Next Generation, Bangladesh by Bd person with CCLicense

Quote for Today: William Wordsworth

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What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
William Wordsworth, from “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”, Recollections of Early Childhood
Image: Poppy, Snug Harbor Botanical Gardens, Staten Island, 2014, by Katherine McDaniel

Quote for Today: Heidi Barr

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So even though Grandpa’s life has closed its final chapter, the story that he embodied continues each time we take a handful of dirt to check moisture levels or turn our head at the sound of the wind shifting directions before a storm. It lives on as we give thanks for the abundance that we have, whatever it looks like. It lives on in every decision we make that puts someone else first.
Heidi Barr, Prairie Grown: Stories and Recipes from a South Dakota Hillside

Public Domain image via publicdomainpictures.net

Quote for Today: Sylvia Plath

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I knew I should be grateful to Mrs Guinea, only I couldn’t feel a thing. If Mrs. Guinea had given me a ticket to Europe, or a round-the-world cruise, it wouldn’t have made one scrap of difference to me, because wherever I sat – on the deck of a ship or a street cafe in Paris or Bangkok – I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Image © Jeremy Johnson with CCLicense

Quote for Today: Thích Nhất Hạnh

If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.

A Synkroniciti Top Ten List: Most Popular Original Works of 2014

Our second year went by so quickly! Here’s the first look back, featuring our most viewed original art of 2014.

2014 was a great year at synkroniciti. We held two successful Open Mics in the Houston area and saw growth in readership, artistic interaction and community building. We’ve begun to archive original poetry and art, and last week we posted Chapter 1 of Beloved’s Journey, the first novel to be serialized on the site. I am continually surprised and excited at the new developments and turns and awed to see synkroniciti encouraging and changing the lives of people who come in contact with it.

Thank you for being part of all of this and Happy Holidays! I look forward to sharing 2015 with you.

kat

Here are the most viewed works made by synkroniciti and featured on the blog in 2014. Please click on the images to view the blogposts. I look forward to featuring some collaborative pieces next year!

10. Out of the Deep Waters (painting in acrylic)

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9. Nubia’s Shoes (poetry)

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8. Beloved’s Journey, Chapter 1: Beloved (serialized novel)

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7. Germination (painting in craft acrylic)

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6. Cloud (poetry)

© Raymond Shobe with CCLicense

© Raymond Shobe with CCLicense

5. At the Temple of Sinawava on the Virgin River (poetry)

© fortherock with CCLicense

© fortherock with CCLicense

4. Seductive Fruit (painting in craft acrylic)

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3. The Dream of the Green Lady (painting in acrylic)

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2. Yo soy un Corazòn (poetry)

© Jasaya with CCLicense

© Jasaya with CCLicense

1. Metamorphic Fairies (pencil)

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Wondrously Made: Nubia’s Shoes by Katherine McDaniel

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Public Domain Image via Pixabay

We all have struggles in our lives, areas in which we are lacking. Why are some of us so resilient?

This is the first of three poems which were commissioned by Houston Grand Opera for Houston Artists Respond, based on videos from Baker Ripley Community Center in Houston, Texas. I selected the stories of three women who immigrated to the United States from Latin America and interwove their experience with my feelings.

This poem tells the tale of  a woman from Nicaragua who received her first pair of shoes at the age of sixteen, a hand-me-down from her mother’s employer. Never did a pair of plastic shoes bring about such joy, although that joy was laced with trial, as you will see. Nubia’s humor and strength of character are inspiring. How many of us, who I daresay have enjoyed more advantages, are as grateful as she is?

If you would like to read the other poems in the set, we have shared them here and here.