Myself

Best Friend: A Blog Post

by Jemal Yarbrough

Sometimes, just looking at an image reminds of you the possibility of life, specifically on how a day can do.  My best friend Jemal managed to do that for me today.  I don’t know if he realizes how much of an influence he has been in my life.  We started as law school colleagues, part of the SCALE program at Southwestern School of Law, not realizing that we would still be keeping in touch more than a decade later.  Our days are Thursday as I happen to have a weekly meeting in morning near his house, and in those few hours we manage to keep each other sane.  I think I get the better end of the deal as he has to hear my incessant whining about something or the other.  As much as he will hate this blog post, I could not resist the opportunity to acknowledge his brilliance as an attorney but also his creative side.

If you follow this blog in any sort of way, you will notice that a majority of the images are by Jemal’s amazing photography.  His images manage to always move me with their intense focus and simplicity.  He manages to say more in one image than I can with a 1000 word post.  Each of us have something that is uniquely ours to own, and Jemal has made photography his bitch.  Sometimes, you have to let the ones close to you know how much they mean to you.  Love ya bro!

Brownness

Food For Thought for Saturday, August 27th, 2011

A ‘Yes’ Face 
Charles Swindoll  
   

During Thomas Jefferson’s presidency he and a group of travelers were crossing a river that had overflowed its banks. Each man crossed on horseback fighting for his life. A lone traveler watched the group traverse the treacherous river and then asked President Jefferson to take him across. The president agreed without hesitation, the man climbed on, and the two made it safely to the other side of the river where somebody asked him: "Why did you select the President to ask this favor?" The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the President of the United States who had carried him safely across. "All I know," he said, "is that on some of your faces was written the answer ‘No’ and on some of them was the answer ‘Yes.’ His was a ‘Yes’ face."


"The most significant decision I make each day is my choice of an attitude. When my attitudes are right there’s no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme and no challenge too great." – Charles Swindoll

Brownness

Food For Thought for Friday, August 26th, 2011

Wooden Bowls 
Author Unknown  

    

A frail old man lived with his son, his daughter-in-law, and his four-year-old grandson. His eyes were blurry, his hands trembled, and his step faltered.

The family would eat together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon, drooping to the floor. When he grasped his glass of milk, it often spilled clumsily at the tablecloth.

With this happening almost every night, the son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

"We must do something about grandfather," said the son.

"I’ve had enough of his milk spilling, noisy eating and food on the floor," the daughter-in-law agreed.

So the couple set a small table at the corner.

There, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed their dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in wooden bowls. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather’s direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening, before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly: "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy replied, "Oh, I’m making a little bowl for you and mama to eat your food from when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

These words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears streamed down their cheeks. Though no words were spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening, the husband took grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days, grandfather ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk was spilled or the table cloth was soiled.

Brownness

Food For Thought for Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Growing Good Corn 
Author Unknown  

 
There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

Brownness

Food For Thought For Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Aesops Fables: The Dog & Its Reflection


It happened that a Dog had gotten a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook.

  As he crossed the brook, he looked down and saw his reflection in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also.

  He made a snap at the reflection in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen again.

Beware lest you lose the real thing by grasping at its reflection.

Myself, Writing

Writing 2: A Blog Post

Story of I
Image via Wikipedia

Finally did my morning pages after a few months and thought I would share with you:

same, the random ideas come but nothing stays long enough for me to jot down.  I am still struggling with the idea of writing something and time is growing near.  I am almost 40 without a story to my credit. I want to be published dammit.  What can I do to seduce you back?  Why have you abandoned me?  What do you need to flourish inside of me?  Work is not me, you are me yet you hide, devise ways to stay away, making me seem incapable, unwilling to start putting something down for posterity.  It is as if you are afraid that I will misuse you, abuse your nature, blunting the truth down to ignorance.   What can I do to show you that I am more than capable, that I will be to true to you and no other?  Our dance has gone on too long, the flirtation now a joke.  It is time to commit to each other, to make it a real marriage.  I do not know how to get flush you out, to get you to give me the words to show my truth.  Instead, you have given me only silence and small teasers of what could be, wriggling away from my grasp whenever I come close to you.  Enough!  I need you. I want you.  I desire you like nothing else.  Come back to me. Make me whole.  Make me right.