Another TimeDefenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

W. H. Auden, from “September 1, 1939,” in Another Time

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Left-handed: Poemsthe train has left the
station you can’t take it
Once the promise has been
broke you can’t unbreak it.

If the letter has been sent
you can’t rewrite it.
If the cigarette’s been smoked
you can’t not light it.

Not the candle’s snuffed
you can’t see by it.
Once the seat’s been sold
no one can buy it.

The phone is disconnected:
don’t talk to it.
The window’s painted black;
you won’t see through it.

The scotch tape end is lost,
you can’t unwind it.
The earring’s in the lake;
you’ll never find it.

And now the money’s squandered—
you can’t give it
back. And time is short;
you have to live it..

Jonathan Galassi, Left-handed: Poems

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“The thing about growing older, dear,” she once told me, “is that you don’t ever stop being the age you were, you just add each new age to it. So I never envy the young, because I’m still twenty years old myself, and thirty, and forty, and so on. By the time you’re my age, you have so many selves to be, and draw upon, and enjoy, that I can only feel compassion for young people, who still have so very few.”

Terri Windling, “Thoughts upon a mid-fifties birthday…..” Myth & Moor, 3 Dec. 2013.

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christopher-jolly-at-unsplash-com3. Look at the stars.

It won’t fix the economy. It won’t stop wars. It won’t give you flat abs, or better sex or even help you figure out your relationship and what you want to do with your life. But it’s important. It helps you remember that you and your problems are both infinitesimally small and conversely, that you are a piece of an amazing and vast universe. I do it daily—it helps.

Kate Bartolotta, “How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps.” Be You Media Group, 7 Sept. 2013.

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Strength for the Storm: Finding God in Every CrisisLet a life-threatening crisis arise, and small kindnesses such as an encouraging word, the touch of a hand on the shoulder, or just the presence of another person suddenly take on a depth of significance heretofore unimagined. Even the bravest among us, the most self-reliant, experience an inner strengthening from such human contact. The circumstances may still be just as grim, but somehow they don’t seem as dark or foreboding. Therefore when the storms of life come crashing in, the first thing we need to do is ask for help. Remember it is not weakness but wisdom that causes us to seek the help of others rather than trying to go it alone.

Richard Exley, Strength for the Storm: Finding God in Every Crisis

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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and IndonesiaOf course, by now I’ve also made friends with Giovanni and Dario, my Tandem Language Exchange fantasy twins. Giovanni’s sweetness, in my opinion, makes him a national treasure of Italy. He endeared himself to me forever the first night we met, when I was getting frustrated with my inability to find the words I wanted in Italian, and he put his hand on my arm and said, “Liz, you must be very polite with yourself when you are learning something new.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

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