Sixty seconds to a minute, sixty minutes
to the hour, but nothing past that.
61. I have slipped off the clock.
Every second, minute, hour, day – a bonus.
Home runs. The record book. Mister October.
The great Sufi poet and mystic, Jalal al-Din Rumi, was born on September 30, 1207.
Rumi is the most widely read poet in the world.
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down the dulcimer.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Smokey Bear is celebrating his 70th birthday. He looks older. But not old.
Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear,
Prowling and growling and sniffing the air
He can find a fire before it starts to flame
That’s why they call him Smokey, that’s how he got his name…
For Smokey’s 70th Birthday, here’s country star Eddy Arnold with a few fire prevention tips and singing the very catchy “Smokey the Bear”.
Ever wondered - is it Smokey Bear or Smokey the Bear?
Smokey’s official name has no “the” in the middle though. It was added in 1952 to achieve proper rhythm in the song “Smokey the Bear”, written by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins.
It’s the birthday of Edward Hopper
Hopper had only sold one painting by the time he was 40 years old, but his first major exhibition — in 1933 at the Museum of Modern Art — made him famous. His pieces in that show had titles like Houses by the Railroad, Manhattan Bridge Loop, Room in Brooklyn, Roofs of Washington Square, Cold Storage Plant, Lonely House, and Girl on Bridge. Though his work was more realistic and less experimental than most other painters at the time, he painted his scenes in a way that made them seem especially lonely and eerie.
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
Leaves floating on the trout streams
And above the hills
The high blue windless skies
Now he will be a part of them forever"
Ernest Hemingway - born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, IL
Ernest Hemingway is buried in Ketchum, Idaho, but on a memorial outside town overlooking Trail Creek is this eulogy that he wrote in 1939 for a friend (Gene Van Guilder) - but it applies pretty well to his own life.
Labor began with bursts of colored pyrotechnics
to accompany the baby’s declaration of independence.
Tonight, with wine in the soft darkness,
I can see the first-quarter moon, bright Vega,
the universe of love in her eyes.
if my father were here–
over green fields
Today is the birthday of Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, born in Kashiwabara, Japan in 1763. He was a lay Buddhist priest of the Jōdo Shinshū sect known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa (一茶?), a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea (lit. “one [cup of] tea”).
He is regarded as one of the four haiku masters in Japan,…
Today is the birthday of poet William Butler Yeats. He was born June 13, 1865, in Sandymount, Republic of Ireland, he died January 28, 1939 in Menton, France.
A poem of his that I have always liked and that may be apprpriate now that he gone but still remembered…
When You are Old
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
It’s the birthday of Marilyn Monroe — born Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles, California June 1, 1926.
"I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful."
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise."
- William Shakespeare “Sonnet 106”
It’s the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, who is traditionally believed to have been born on this date in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.
He left behind no personal papers, so our knowledge of his life comes to us from public and court documents. His father, John, was a glove-maker and alderman, and his mother, Mary Arden, was a landed heiress. The baptismal register of the Church of the Holy Trinity in the Shakespeares’ parish shows an entry on Wednesday, April 26, that reads, “Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakespeare.”
Babies were traditionally baptized on the first Sunday or holy feast day after their birth. The Feast of St. Mark was on April 25, and although normally that would have been Shakespeare’s baptismal day, it was also considered an unlucky day, and that may be why the child was baptized the following day instead.
Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and several epic narrative poems.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, he coined 3,000 new words, and he has contributed more phrases and sayings to the English language than any other individual. Shakespeare gave us such commonly used phrases as “a fool’s paradise,” “dead as a doornail,” “Greek to me,” “come what may,” “eaten out of house and home,” “forever and a day,” “heart’s content,” “love is blind,” “night owl,” “wild goose chase,” and “into thin air.”
It’s the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, born Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, in Vinci, Italy in 1452.
He is known for his art - including the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, two of the most famous paintings in the world - but he left fewer than 30 paintings when he died, and most of those were unfinished.
He was a perfectionist and procrastinator, having worked on the Mona Lisa on and off for the last 15 years of his life. The Last Supper was likely only finished because his patron threatened to cut off his money.
He spent much of his time drawing up plans for inventions like the submarine, the helicopter, the armored tank, and even the alarm clock, none of which came to fruition in his lifetime.
Remaining today are at least 6,000 pages of his drawings and notes on everything from astronomy to anatomy — mostly written backward, decipherable only in a mirror.
When he died, he apologized “to God and Man for leaving so much undone.”
It’s the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, born in Zundert, Holland March 30, 1853. Many people think he was French because his painting fame comes from his time there.
He is known for his sunflowers, starry nights and Impressionism - and because he cut at his ear and committed suicide at the age of 37.
His brother Theo was an art dealer, and for years he had supplied Van Gogh with a small monthly stipend; in return, Van Gogh gave his brother every canvas he painted.
He wrote thousands of letters to Theo. In one letter he wrote:
“How much sadness there is in life. The right thing is to work.”
He moved to a small town north of Paris and painted feverishly until some kind of insanity overtook him.
Two days before he died, he wrote:
“I feel a failure. That’s it as far as I’m concerned — I feel that this is the destiny that I accept, that will never change.”
It’s the birthday of George Harrison, born in Liverpool, England, in 1943.
He was the youngest of the Beatles and he joined the band when he was only 14. In the early days, he was crowded out of the limelight by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and he was only granted two tracks on an album.
When the band split in 1970, he finally recorded and released songs that had been unused - he had enough material for the triple album, All Things Must Pass .
His memoir, I Me Mine (also the title of a Beatles’ song he wrote), was published in 1980, and is dedicated “to gardeners everywhere.” George became know more for his guitar playing, interest in spirituality and support of causes, most famously evidenced by his Concert for Bangladesh.
He died of cancer in 2001.
Colette(born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette), author of more than 50 novels, the best known being Gigi. When she died in 1954 at 81 years old, she was the first woman in the history of France to be given a state funeral — 6,000 people filed by her casket and covered it in flowers.
It’s the birthday of Virginia Woolf, born Virginia Stephen in London, England (1882).
After the death of both her parents, she moved with her siblings into the unfashionable — and cheap — neighborhood of Bloomsbury, which soon became the literary and intellectual center of England.
Woolf’s brother hosted evening meetings that came to include D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, Aldous Huxley, and others.
Woolf suffered most of her life from bouts of depression, and one doctor prescribed long walks as a remedy. It was on these walks that she conceived of many of her novels, including Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927). These novels employed a new brand of stream of consciousness, distinct from James Joyce and others.