Saturday, January 31, 2015

Snow Day Zeppolis

So this happened:


Zeppolis. Pillowy little clouds of ricotta and lemon zest, fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar, then eaten warm. It's a classic, simple recipe.

These happen to be gluten free. You're welcome.

To start, you need three or four cups of oil for frying. I used canola, but coconut would probably also be divine. Start heating it while you make the dough. It needs to be 350 degrees to fry well. Hotter than that, though, they burn. Cooler and they soak up all of the oil. #Balance

In a small bowl, stir together: 

1 c. all-purpose flour (I used gluten free)

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

In a medium bowl whisk:

3 large eggs

3 T. sugar

(until frothy, but don't beat it half to death)

To the egg mixture, add:

1 c. ricotta

2 T. grated lemon zest (make it organic)

2 T. vanilla

(and mix until combined, but don't overmix)

Add flour to ricotta mixture and stir to combine.

Before you start frying, mix together 1 c. sugar and 1 t. cinnamon in a bowl. Better yet, a paper bag. You'll see why.

Drop by teaspoonfuls into the hot oil. They should only take a minute or two. Flip them over to brown evenly on both sides. If they are burning or cooked on the outside but raw on the inside, your oil is too hot.

When the zeppolis are done, use a spider to get them out of the oil and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Let drain briefly, then toss while still warm into the cinnamon-sugar.

Perfection. The zeppolis should be a contradiction: dense but pillowy, light but satisfying, soft but crunchy.

You could call these breakfast because EGGS and RICOTTA. Or you could make them as an after-snow snack with a cup of hot chocolate. They take almost no time to whip together.

What's your snow day go-to?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Productivity And The Narrative


(have you done anything today?)

In spite of myself and the snow day yesterday, I managed to be minorly productive, editing for a couple hours and finishing up a job that's due Friday.

And then the "t" on my laptop's keyboard went out.

It's still not really working, in fact. I have to press the hell out of it and then proofread very, very carefully. Turns out, there are a plethora of words that utilize a "t." And just like that, all of my happy feelings about being productive drained away and I started thinking about why when I have time and the urge I spend it on work for other people. After all, I have two perfectly wonderful book ideas, both of which are almost completely outlined and have been started.

I also happen to have quite a few handy excuses as to why I "can't" write them right now:

1. One of them requires a better kitchen and more tools than I have unpacked. 

While technically true, this excuse is rendered invalid by the fact that much can be done while my new, beautiful kitchen is being constructed.

2. I don't have a camera to take pictures.

Not even technically true. I have a camera (not a good one, but it exists) and an iPhone. Tammy Stroebel works almost entirely with her iPhone and has all sorts of great recommendations for cheap or free editing tools. Plus, any blog named "Rowdy Kittens" must be authoritative on the subject. I do have a lovely camera picked out, thanks to my lovely friend Mandy, but in the interim, learning how to use what I have can only benefit me.

3. That damn "t."

And we arrive at the only excuse that holds any water. It has taken me four times as long to type these 296 words because I have to slow down and make sure I have hit the "t" in the correct place. I have also been trying to limit my use of the letter, which is proving highly problematic. I would like to throw this computer at the wall and buy another. That may have to happen sooner rather than later (see also "Computer shutting off when I move it"), as we pay rent with the writing I actually get paid for.

The main issue with #3 for me, though, is not dropping the cheddar for a new computer. It's what I need for work, and it's tax deductible.

It's whether or not #3 is just another excuse to avoid my own writing, and, if it is, why. This past weekend at yoga teacher training (YTT) we talked about the stories we play in our heads, the ones that keep us from letting go and moving forward. Like the ones about what we deserve and what we are good at. Every time I sit down to write those stories fire up in my head, and I think what keeps me away from my own stuff is how bad they make me feel. My name for this voice is the Anti-Cheerleader, and she is a loud, bossy bitch. In YTT we went through several meditative ways to get past these voices to see our true nature, and one among us went through Byron Katie's process of The Work.

Boiled down, it is remarkably simple: figure out if the story you have about yourself is true or not. If not, let it go.

Ha. Joke's on everybody because letting go of the narrative we have about our lives and ourselves and the people around us is incredibly hard. That narrative is why we stay in the crappy job and the bad relationship. It's why we follow the herd out of high school into college and don't actually choose a path so much as allow it to be chosen for us by what others say and think we should do.

It's why even when I write 10,000 words a week and complete a huge editing job and manage a rehab and take four yoga classes and docent two museums tours and do two days of workstudy and parent a child in one week that I still feel guilty for taking a nap in the middle of the day sometimes.

This narrative is what stops me from leaping more into my own writing: maybe it's not good. Maybe I don't deserve the success it could bring. Maybe it will bring more pain. Maybe I don't deserve a new computer.

You have a narrative, too. Maybe it says if you don't make XX amount of money you aren't successful. Maybe your story deals with how you parent or what life is supposed to be like (versus what it actually is).

Letting go of the narrative is incredibly difficult, but as with any process, the first step is identifying your story. What is your narrative?

(Today's blog was brought to you by the letter "T," that sonuvabitch)


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Love Yourself. And Get Back To Work.


So Elizabeth Gilbert is maybe a bit of my guru. Maybe that makes you throw up in your mouth a little. Maybe you saw Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love and then wrote Gilbert off forever. Maybe you think it's cheesy that she went off on a quest around the world and then made a bajillion dollars.

Maybe you're just a teeny bit jealous that she came home and made a mint.

Whyever you don't like her (and yes, I made up that word), I don't care. She is a fabulous writer, an in-depth researcher, a crafter of tales, a believer in telling the truth as she sees it, and a tireless supporter of flying one's own freak flag.

So it makes me thrilled to no end to read today her advice on writing. Specifically, this part:

"As for discipline – it’s important, but sort of over-rated. The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: “I’m going to write for an hour every day,” and then you won’t do it. You will think: “I suck, I’m such a failure. I’m washed-up.” Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn’t take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness (which comes from a place of kind and encouraging and motherly love)."

This speaks to my soul, as both a somewhat undisciplined writer and a person who really needs to say nicer things to herself in her head. Every week I send out anywhere between five and ten queries for writing jobs, either in response to a job posting or just out of the blue. Usually that generates one or two writing opportunities a week, most paid, but some just because I like the assignment, I support the mission of the publication I am submitting to, or I want to get more exposure. Do the math, though: if I send out ten queries, that means I get, every week, eight instances, minimum, of radio silence. Sometimes all ten.

But that's not even when my inner anti-cheerleader kicks in. She fires up when I am working on my personal writing, the stuff I do for me. She asks me why I think I'm so special, or what I think I can add to the already overflowing cup of information. She is the reason why it is so hard to sit down and write my own work. She is the reason why the above statement is so profound: writing is a process, not a product. It teaches me just as much about myself as I offer up to other people (and often way more of the former). The learning curve is steep, and I need to allow myself the grace of the climb.

She continues to address the other part of the equation, though: discipline.

"I repeat those words back to myself whenever I start to feel resentful, entitled, competitive or unappreciated with regard to my writing: 'It’s not the world’s fault that you want to be an artist…now get back to work.'  Always, at the end of the day, the important thing is only and always that: Get back to work. This is a path for the courageous and the faithful."

The world owes us nothing. When bad things happen, we ask, "Why me?" When good things happen we say, "Oh, I deserve this." I deserve nothing but what I am willing to work for. After basic human rights that should be afforded all on earth (don't get me started; that's another post entirely), anything I can earn for myself is what I deserve. I could have moved to Maryland and been a teacher. I could have gotten a nine-to-five shuffling papers or tended bar or some other such job. I chose instead to write.

I don't for a minute fail to recognize how much I have to be grateful for. This is a path for the courageous and faithful. And a big part of that rests in gratitude for how many advantages I have started with. When things get hairy and procrastination and doubt and resentment creep in, the only way to beat it back is to get back to work. Even if that work is writing lists about all the things I should be doing or outlining a chapter AGAIN. Even if it's cutting and pasting an introduction the old-timey way, with scissors and black duct tape because that's all I have.

Gilbert reminds me to stay on the path. Her work is a testament to her advice. What courageous path are you on, and who helps you to stay on it?


Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Jumble Of Thoughts


You know those days when you have so much going on that you can't seem to get it together? Thoughts and actions swirl together like a tornado and you end up flipped around six ways to Sunday. On days like these, it's all I can do not to back my car into a stationary object or lock myself out of the house.

This entire week has been like that.

From dealing with the rehab and having to make snap design decisions to organizing writing tasks so that not only am I making money but I am also making art to negotiating how much parental involvement in teen technology is too much, here's what's been happening that has prevented me from actually writing at all this week:

Mercury in Retrograde

Blame it on the planets, for sure, but technology and communication has been giving the Kolbeck household fits. My computer continues to occasionally shut off whenever it feels like it, and it has been running slower than molasses in January. Additionally, The Child dropped her phone in a PUBLIC TOILET on our no-technology outing last Sunday #irony), so she has been coming to terms with the fact that she must pay the $150 deductible AGAIN for a new one.

This is all challenging enough without adding the conversation of how much parental monitoring of technology is too much. The Child believes that it is an invasion of her privacy. I have pointed out that while I reserve the right to pick up her phone and leaf through her inbox, Instagram, whatever, I rarely do. I also pointed out that I am home alone all day and could easily rifle through her personal belongings, but I absolutely don't. I believe she is entitled to private thoughts and time away from her mother in that way, but for the next three years and four months, I am the boss of her and am responsible for her well-being. That includes attempting to head off dangerous mistakes if I see them happening (e.g., assholes online).

It should be noted that The Child has done nothing to raise any suspicion, but I don't want to be one of Those Parents, you know, the ones who insist that their precious angel couldn't possibly do anything untoward. Teenagers are dumb; their decision-making muscles are flabby. In many ways, it's not their fault. They require guidance and limits and boundaries; we are trying to figure out what is reasonable and fair. I have to balance wanting to keep The Child safe with allowing her to unfold her wings a bit.

If you have kids, I would love to know how you deal with this issue. Please comment below. Suggestions are always appreciated!!

House Rehab

So we aren't doing it ourselves, but it turns out that there are lots of decisions to be made when rehabbing a house, some of which can be very expensive, and some of which stack onto each other in a Jenga-like tower where if you pull out the wrong faucet shape or floor covering the whole house looks awful and doesn't work.

If you are not an interior designer, one room is a struggle, much less the whole house. And if you have trouble making a decision (I am a bit of a waffler) it can take ages to decide between polished chrome and oil-rubbed brass hardware for the tub because that influences the ENTIRE BATHROOM. And that decision, turns out, is SUPER EXPENSIVE.

$500+ on a tub faucet and drain assembly and one shower head/shower turner on-er thing. That's a lot of cheddar.

Add to the fact that you may or may not have decided to fabricate your bathroom vanity yourself out of reclaimed 114-year-old wood from the house, and you may or may not have also committed to building an Edison chandelier for the dining room, and the week can get a little stressful.

Pro tip: don't ask your 14-year-old for input on every decision. Because then they will expect to be consulted and if their taste is nothing like yours you are stuck. Let them decorate their own room and what will be their bathroom, knowing that when they move out you can always paint over it.

Writing for Dummies

Being a freelance writer is incredible. My time is my own, and I can do whatever I want whenever I want, like work whenever and wherever I want to.

It's also a bit problematic because I can do whatever I want whenever I want, and sometimes I want to do anything but write. So there's that. If you are a bit of a procrastinator, this can be an issue if, say, you are having computer issues due to planetary alignment or you come down with an illness that lays you out.

Full disclosure: I have never missed a deadline, and everyone I write for has wonderful things to say about me. So there's that.


I have two books in the works that I am not really allowed to talk about until they are farther along. I set myself this rule hoping that it would push me to write more on them. Thus far, limited success.

I feel like I am still balancing my work with relocation, parenting, child rearing, and yes, almost two years in, pain-in-the-ass grief and loneliness (mama needs a man friend, but that's another post).

Two of my goals this year are to procrastinate less and to be nicer to myself in my head (I can be an asshole in there sometimes). They are definitely related. When I sit down to write my books, the voice pipes in: "Why are you writing this? Aren't there eleventy million other books just like it? Who's going to read your stupid book? And you can't even get past the first chapter! You call yourself a cook? Whose recipe is that? You can't do it!"

It's the anti-cheerleader. And she's kind of a bitch.

So I would like to shut her up a little this year, and the only way I know to do that is to just write.

Do you have that cheerleader? And how do you make her shut it?

Anyway. That's a thousand words about why I haven't written here (but I've missed you!). Did your week shape up nicely, or were your thoughts a jumble like mine?

(Image: mine. It's a trash can that the City of Baltimore handed out to residents when the city slogan was "Believe." This particular trashcan is lying on the floor of the basement in the rehab.)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Scones: The United Nations Of Breakfast Pastry


Today is chocolate-chip scone-making weather.

This morning I woke to the sound of our next-door neighbor playing his saxophone. It was a little early for last night's late night, but he is very good, and it was like playing a Coltrane record, like a real record, not a remastered CD or some other stupid technological refinement that takes all of the soul from the sound.

Even the farmers think it is scone-making weather; there were no pickles or granola at the farmer's market this morning (wind chill temp: 3 degrees), and the cute British boy with the delicious beets was also MIA. So I went to new vendors, spreading my little cash around and letting everyone keep the change. It's the simple things.

Back to scones.

They couldn't be more simple. Some flour (my GF flour mix is perfection here), baking powder and soda, salt, sugar, butter. Then sour cream, egg, and whatever you like. Chocolate chips can be spiced up with finely chopped candied ginger. You could add lemon zest and a little more sugar and some finely chopped rosemary (go easy on the rosemary or it will taste like a lemon-flavored pine forest). Add prosciutto and cheese. Or bacon and maple syrup.

But scones warm the house and smell divine. Baking is chemistry, and not just in the laboratory sense. From time to time (like today) I wake The Child up with a warm scone and a cup of peanut butter hot chocolate. This does more than fill her belly; it eases my non-morning child into the day and smooths parent-child relations for the day.

Scones are the United Nations of breakfast pastry.

When it is cold, you need something that warms everything in your body, from your belly to your very being-ness.



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Anxiety Redux


It's the most wonderful time of the year here, a time when all roads lead to February 16th. My anxiety has worsened appreciably over the last week or so, as has my undercurrent of self-doubt and loathing. On these days, there isn't much to do but keep putting words on paper and paint on canvas and my body on the mat and hope for the best.

I am cheered remarkably in these times by writers and artists who have an absolutely horrible time working for any number of reasons but do it anyway. Chuck Close be damned, sometimes it is hard to just show up and do the work. Don DeLillo has brought me appreciable comfort of late with his acknowledgement of how easy it is to do nothing:

"A writer takes earnest measures to secure his solitude and then finds endless ways to squander it. Looking out the window, reading random entries in the dictionary."

And like Madeline L'Engle, I am trying to get even more comfortable with failure:

"Human beings are the only creatures who are allowed to fail. If an ant fails, it’s dead. But we’re allowed to learn from our mistakes and from our failures. And that’s how I learn, by falling flat on my face and picking myself up and starting all over again. If I’m not free to fail, I will never start another book, I’ll never start a new thing."

But on nights like tonight when I am shaking with anxiety under the covers, two pills and a belt of bourbon in to managing this stifling and maddening attack, it is hard to feel anything but sorry for myself, burdened with taste but not talent, desperately lonely at times like this when all I want is someone to take care of me.

Then I get the text that school is two hours late tomorrow due to cold, and it feels like a reprieve. I get up from the bed and I let the dogs out. The air is frigid and instantly numbs my cheeks, and the city is utterly silent, remarkable in that it is days after snowfall and people are usually out and about, even after dark. The distant hum of JFX is utterly silent. For just a moment I feel anxiety's grip loosen just a bit. Just a bit.

I paint. I pretend for a moment that what I have in my head will be what makes it on to the canvas, but I paint with the knowing that I can erase whatever is there with a violent swath of white when I wake in the morning and see the beautiful mess I made.

I sit down to practice the fullness of my doubts and desire, my fantasies and flaws. Each day I follow them as far as I can bear it, for now. ~Glenn Kurtz~

My flaws will win these next four weeks at least, but I will still practice. I am lucky, I am grateful. Even wracked with anxiety that leaves me breathless and unable to function I realize the gift I have been given.


The moon is full and the air is cold. There is time enough for worry and doubt.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Kickin' It Old School


When Sicily was little, every summer on or around the last day of school, we would sit down and make a list titled "What To Do Instead Of Watching TV." The summer TV rule was no TV while the sun was up, an occasionally unendurable stretch of time with an only child and a limited budget. So we made a list, and when things got rough, we would consult the list and randomly select something.

Starting tomorrow and running at least through January, we may need to make a similar list. Every Sunday Sicily and I are going on a media blackout. In fact, if you are reading this on Sunday, it is only through the magic of Hootsuite because from waking to sleeping we will not be texting, Facebooking, Instagramming, Tweeting, Tumblr-ing, or any of those other -ings that have nothing to do with living.

Even as we decided to give it a go I felt a flash of panic, a clear indication that this is an absolutely necessary experiment. The average American child sits in front of a screen of some kind (TV, computer, or video) for seven and a half hours a day; the average adult in the U.S. watches five and a half hours of TV daily. For kids, that's 114 days of screen time annually. For adults, it's 80 days lost to TV (other screens are not included because measuring work screen time is difficult, but suffice it to say that it would up the total significantly).

In layman's terms, that's a shitload of television and computer time.

I will speak only for myself and say that when I complain about not having much time to do anything, all I need to do is look to the number of times I check my Facebook or email, or dip into Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr. I believe we go online in part to feel connected to the world and the people around us, but then the exact opposite thing happens. We disconnect from what's around us to check in with people we don't know or who are four time zones away and sleeping. Or pretty boring, if we are being honest (which I always try to be).

As Sicily gets older (and more teenage-ier), it is more important to me that she knows that the most important thing that is happening is the thing that is happening right now, right where she is. There is nothing before that moment, and there may be nothing after that moment. The interwebs have this funny way of distorting time so that it speeds by, and I want her to lift up her head and look around. Technology is an amazing thing, and we won't be going Amish any time soon, but I want us to both get an important weekly break from the virtual world to step back into reality.

On Sundays we will go out into the city and explore, make some art at home, write freehand (which used to be my preferred method of work, a freehand first draft), read, visit friends in person, and anything else that doesn't involve electronics.

The rules:

  • No texting or social media. No exceptions.

  • Music on phones is okay, but no surfing. Throw it on shuffle and listen to what plays.

  • Exceptions will be made for Sunday Seahawks games. Fortunately, the first playoff game is on a Saturday, but after that, the rule will be relaxed for football only.

  • If you need to talk to us, call. We will answer.

Pretty simple. Kickin' it old school. See you on Monday...


Pie For Breakfast


It's raining outside. The thin drops of water ping off the metal awning covering the porch and the sound filters itself through the windows into my ears as I sit in front of the computer, only just starting my second cup of coffee and finishing up a piece of peanut butter cup pie.

Pie for breakfast.

It is one of the simplest things that I love so much, and, according to my Ayurvedic dosha, it's perfectly acceptable. Something sweet, at least. Maybe not pie. But I choose to interpret "sweet" as "pie" this morning, and what's done is done.

It's a simple, gluten-free pie. I have no pictures of the process. I only can tell you what I've done.

Crush about 20 gluten-free Oreos (one whole pack. You could also use gluten-filled Oreos, or you could have a simple graham cracker crust) and mix with melted butter until just wet. Press in a pie pan and chill. Sip on some gin and juice while you wait. #LaidBack

Whip 1 cup of peanut butter (any kind), 1 bar of cream cheese, and a little sugar until smooth and creamy (only use sugar if you use peanut butter without sugar. If your peanut butter has sugar, don't add anymore. Trust.). Fold in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, whipped into submission as well as stiff peaks. Spread into chilled crust. Chill even more. Overnight is best. That way it is set and ready for breakfast, but I doubt you can wait that long.

To serve, top with homemade fudge sauce, or buy some really good fudge sauce and use that. You could add whipped cream if you like, or you could sprinkle with a homemade ice cream topping that includes chocolate sprinkles, turbinado sugar, and coarse sea salt. Eat for breakfast.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Good Morning, Good People


One of my favorite yoga teachers told me the story of an old man in New Mexico who walks around with a staff wound with Christmas lights, greeting everyone with the phrase, "Good morning, good people."

Of course because I have the mind of the a steel sieve, I have forgotten some of the details. He may or may not have been a Franciscan friar. Or maybe he was homeless.


He walks around every day and offers this greeting to the world. I think it is a greeting I would accept from a stranger, even before coffee.

Today is the first day of the new year. "They" say that whatever you do today is what you will do all year. To that end:

  • Today I will be grateful for my friends.

  • Today I will do something creative. Maybe finish a painting I am working on. Maybe write in one of my books.

  • Today I will plan something exciting for this year, something for me.

  • Today I will do yoga.

  • Today I will be kind and generous to the animals we live with. They are so selfless and just want us to love them. They deserve lots of love and an extra-long walk in the cold, sunny out-of-doors.

I am reminded on this day of the poem that Maya Angelou read at Bill Clinton's first inauguration. The weather was just like this, maybe a touch warmer, and the day was about as incredible as it could possibly be. We stood far away from the podium and could only see the faintest bit of Angelou's hat, but her words rang across the mall, through the leafless trees, washing over me. It was a poem of hope and of love, and it is 100% appropriate for this new year.

It's long, but it is so very worth it.

On the Pulse of Morning

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers--desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot ...
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours--your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Maya Angelou, 1/20/93

Good morning, good people. Have a beautiful day.