A quote to remind everyone during this pandemic that there is hope

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“I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.”

― Samwise Gamgee

Please everyone – in this time of great peril and the great unknown of what is ahead. Listen to the scientists and doctors warnings. Learn from the mistakes we have already seen. No one ever saw something of this magnitude coming, but it is here and experts say the worst is yet to come. Check on loved ones. Check on your neighbors. Practice kindness. Practice Social Distancing. Wash your hands frequently. Don’t touch your face. Cover your cough. If you experience symptoms call your doctor. Help us flatten the curve by staying home. Don’t sacrifice your safety, those you many live with, or anyone else by acting recklessly. We cannot afford it. Please find things to do around the house to pass the time. Read a book, watch a movie, check your entire pantry for expired food, write in a journal, do yoga, go for a walk in your neighborhood, listen to music,play board games, play video games, clean out your closet, and bake and cook like never before. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that because right now we are inside the tunnel.

Soulmate

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As our fingers intertwine

I am yours

And you are mine

The fascinating movies we watch

The delicious things we cook and bake

I know that our paths crossing was no mistake

When we are together the world just stops moving

Our communication continues improving and our connection is pure

Of this I am sure

When I’m in your arms

There’s no place I’d rather be

To see your beautiful eyes looking upon me

Your love and care for me is your finest trait

And after searching my entire life I know for certain

I found my soulmate

My heart is with you wherever you go

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It was a very difficult day for me to even grasp

I received some very bad news and it deeply hurt my soul and made me gasp

You knew what to do make make it okay

With a few beautiful words that I continue to replay

Your words said something magical that made everything better, no longer did I feel low

Because you said “My heart is with you wherever you go”

Love will win

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Words cannot come out

Even though I have no doubt

How much I love you

It’s true

I am not plagued by doubt

I’m plagued by fear

Fear of losing you

Fear of no knowing what to do

Fear because I know it’s true

That you love me and I love you

I’m startled by how quickly friendship turned to like

And like turned to love

I know people will doubt

I know they won’t believe me at all

In the past I’ve put up an enormous wall

So tall that no one could climb through

Until the day that I met you

Now I feel the love in your touch and kiss

When we aren’t together it’s that feeling I miss

I miss the way you smile

The one I would walk a mile just to see

Your beautiful eyes staring back at me

I do surrender

I do give in

Because it happened now

Despite my qualms

Love will win

My prince

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A chariot (your car) awaits as I step out the door

You open my door, make sure I have my seatbelt and off we go

You drive slowly, carefully through the snow

We head to dinner and a movie now

I’m sitting in your car wondering how

How did I get so lucky with a man like you?

A man that is kind, understanding, caring and makes me dreams come true

The day is effortless, the day is fun

We laugh and joke until the day is done

When we saw the movie you held my hand

And stroked my finger gently

It felt like heaven please help me

To understand this

How after all this searching and hoping we shared a goodnight kiss

I stepped out of you car and realized this

I am your princess and you are my prince

You care for me in every way

In your arms I’ll forever stay

Until the next time we meet once more

I can only imagine what life has in store for two people falling head over heels

I hope you sleep well and I will too

And one day all our dreams will come true

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Review

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Have you ever felt a happy glow of joy in your soul? Perhaps a kiss or a special moment caused that glow of joy in your soul to occur. A giant glow of joy in my soul descended upon my soul during and at the conclusion of It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a true story of a troubled man who was able to heal with the help of the wondrous Mister Rodgers whom he was asked to interview on a story about heroes. It’s hauntingly beautiful the way Fred Rodgers teachers Lloyd to cope with his feelings, and I believe we all need someone in our lives to help us in this way. Watching this film caused time to stop for me. I was transported into a new world of both joy and pain, and I learned how joy helps conquer pain and how grief is a natural yet difficult part of life. Fred Rodgers swims, prays, writes letters, in order to cope with death, divorce, and war- because “it gets dark” as Lloyd says. The task of learning how to cope with pain and strife and turn our life into the best possible thing it could be is the lesson of this film. “Sometimes, just sometimes we get to change a broken world with our words.” That is what Lloyd states and is also able to do with his words as he is assigned an article on heroes and Mister Rodgers is chosen. We witness the life of Lloyd and the life of Mister Rodgers unfold and become interwoven until it creates this warm quilt of love.

Are you happy is a good question that this movie poses and both men spend the movie on a journey to seek happiness in a sometimes cruel, cold world. “Oh God, Lloyd please don’t ruin my childhood,” Lloyd’s wife says when referring to the piece he is writing about heroes, and he writes something that charms the entire nation and touches hearts. During the interview, Mister Rodgers says “When I focus into in that camera I try to speak to a single child at a time and focus on their needs”. One of the needs is met when Mister Rodgers says “Do you know what that means to forgive? It means to release a person from the anger we feel. Sometimes it’s the hardest to forgive someone we love.” Mister Rodgers is leading a lesson on forgiveness, one we could all learn from. Fred Rodgers tells Lloyd and the audience this to try in an effort to reach into Lloyd’s pain and attempt to help him heal. The interview continues with: “What brought you back to the show?” Lloyd asks mister Rodgers. “I realized that there was still so much to talk about,” Mister Rodgers says, and follows that up by saying. “If we could through television programs and all other programs show that everyone is precious” It gets personal when he says to Lloyd after breaking down the walls he put up, “I’m sure if she saw you today the person you became, she would be so proud.” Fred is talking to Lloyd about his deceased mother.

“A hospital is where you go when your body is hurt, but where do you go when your feelings are hurt?” is a question posed by Mister Rodgers. I think the answer to that poignant question is Turning Point, and I would also add that’s where you go when your mind hurts, because I know mine does sometimes. The scene where Lloyd’s father Jerry is in his apartment and Lloyd is frozen in anger broke my heart after Lloyd’s dad said “I may never come back here” Lloyd’s father begins trying to ask for forgiveness, but then he collapses and everything goes in slow motion. Lloyd and his wife are staying with Lloyd’s dying father. It’s the silent calm sadness that washes over me and I watch Lloyd staring off and thinking about all the things in his life – past, present, and future all at once while he feeds the newborn child he has. “I like you as you are, exactly as you are. Exactly and precisely as you are no doubt or question,” is the most beautiful soothing lullaby I have ever heard, as Lloyd sings to Gavin.

Then the theme of forgiveness comes full circle as Lloyd’s father asked Lloyd to forgive him for leaving him and his sister and his mother was dying. The theater grew silent and I gasped. And then I heard those beautiful three words that a human can say to another and caused that glow of their soul – I love you. Lloyd’s article about Mister Rodgers, his interaction with him changed his trajectory in life. Then Mister Rodgers visits Lloyd and his dying father and that when tears began rolling down my cheek, because for that moment in that theater on that screen my faith in humanity was restored. Thank you, Tom Hanks, for recreation of a beloved character and absolutely made in a beautiful day in the neighborhood for all who experience and will experience this film. “Fame is a four-letter word like tape or face. It’s what you do with it that matters” – Tom Hanks and Mister Rodgers never let fame get to their heads and that is absolutely incredible feat to accomplish, to be humble and when given a platform to speak to make sure that you reach the most vulnerable people, children. I also learned that “death is sometimes we fear but it is human and anything human is manageable”, is something Fred Rodgers shares. Lloyd talks about himself as being a part of a group of broken people. “I don’t think you are broken – you are a man of conviction a man who knows what is wrong and what is right and know that your father helped shape those convictions and helped shape who you are” is what he says, allowing Lloyd a deeper connection and some much needed closure. As Mister Rodgers drives off, Lloyd does the sign language for friends that he was taught and as Mister Rodgers drives away, he drives straight into my heart as he truly embodies what it means to be a hero, true to the article that Lloyd wrote. “If you think of him as a saint that his way of being is unattainable”- Joan Rodgers says of her husband. In a way Mister Rodgers was a saint, but he was human and was capable of deep love and understanding which he spread through the world through his television show, and the joy he brought to so many was captured brilliantly in this film. Thank you for this precious gift you have given the world. As Mister Rodgers said “it’s such a good feeling to be alive” and this movie gave me an incredible rush of feeling alive.

Thoughts on The Goldfinch

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The goldfinch is the most remarkable novel I have picked up in recent memory. The daunting 771 pages made it seem like I would never finish, never know what happens to Theo and perhaps more curiously, to the painting. I thought the narration in this book was what gave it its brilliance from the start. I was immediately immersed in Theo’s world and with the turn of every page enchanted by the characters and the city of New York. Theo, and his friends (and guardian) Andy, Boris, and Hobie couldn’t have been more different but were all such key characters to the story. They came and went as the author saw fit and that was the brilliance of this novel. Just like the painting “disappeared” from the museum and then reappeared after quite a journey, people appeared and reappeared in Theo’s life, fleeting moments in a coming of age story for the ages. The loss of Theo’s mother forever haunted him and I believe it caused his downward spiral. And despite his father’s behavior that loss also stunned him. I don’t know who is to blame for the unbelievable drug use in this novel, however I believe Theo and Boris used drugs to numb their minds from reality. What that left me with was Theo’s reality. Maybe I should be incredibly disturbed by this book, but Theo’s story broke my heart and I was truly hoping that he and Pippa would have a happy ending. However, I have heard from someone wise, that sometimes people with jagged edges cut each other until they both shatter. Therefore, The was no way that they could be together and Pippa makes that point herself. This novel shocked me but also made me consider how cruel life can be. I wonder only, how Theo and his life go forward after the events that unfolded in Europe and how despite his travel and unknown status of engagement, how is Theo really feeling inside?

Dreams. They Never Retire.

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Dreams. Some of us have them. Some of us do not. Sometimes. All the time. Somewhere and everywhere. There are sometimes built over time with posters in bed rooms, movies running in our minds, and hope in our hearts. As with some movies, these can take unexpected and sometimes unfortunate turns. Because sometimes we get sick. We forfeit the championship game before the try-outs even start. We hang up our soccer shoes and remember things like the nick names we got while we attempted to fulfill them. Bruiser was my nickname and a part of my dream. Soccer was my sport, defense was my position. Then after eighth grade I got sick, and sophomore year called for no more P.E. period for me. Funny how some dreams bring other ones into light. The dream to create. Write. Compose. To be part of something bigger than yourself. To change views. How to be humble. My junior year I stepped into this new world and new dreams were pressed on fast forward. Dreams. You never really forget your dreams. To be a writer, runner, and Lover. They stay with you as you complete your morning jog, your bacon cheese burger, your chores, your romantic dinner, your fight with your roommate. As much as you try to alienate yourself from them. They call to you. To be social was another dream I never fully held on to but my bubbly personality came through and I have wonderful friends. Love, it seemed to always be slipping from my grasp when finally it seemed it had never existed. Perhaps this is the year. Now on the in-betweens, I’m trying to envision new dreams. Not to replace old ones. To be a smile now. You see funny thing about dreams. They never retire.

I am floating…

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I am floating, floating far away
To where I am going I can’t really say
I’m floating swiftly in the blink of an eye
I floating away, please bid me goodbye
It’s fast and far that’s where I will go
No sense in even looking, you’ll never know
I will fly to a place entirely of my own
A place where I can weep secretly, alone
I’ll use my face to hide the pain
Even though my eyes are stained
I’ll pick up a shell off the beach so far away
Only a few minutes more,
Because longer I can’t possibly stay
And somehow in some strange way
The shell reminds me of you today
It is my greatest bliss and my worst foe
Hurriedly I will pack up and go
I’ll go back to where I came
Although it will never be the same
It’s silly to look for someone to blame
In my adventure I will see
A brief glimpse of what it’s like to be happy
Then the beach waves will rush in
Crush my hopes, recall only your sin
And my ignorance to think you actually cared
Thinking our friendship was existent and strong
Thinking of what it was that I did wrong
Knowing my guard will never be down again
With the entire world entire race of men
I’ll pick up the seashell and as I do
Instead I’ll simply despair realizing one thing is true
I will never love another the way I loved you
I will be half a heart until
I find another man who makes it stand still