Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

Best Lines

townelake1.jpg“Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

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February 19, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Carpe Diem Quotes, Freelance Writing, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Peace, Writerly Stuff, Writers, Writers Who Say It Way Better Than Me, Writing | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday to You/Happy Anniversary to Me

birthday_candles_215.gif There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

On this day in 1993, I had a baby. 

The thing is, I didn’t know I was sick.  I was pregnant.  Way pregnant.  And what way pregnant woman do you know that doesn’t have swollen ankles and difficulty breathing?

It’s a miracle I lived through that day. 

This morning as I look across the Happy Birthday breakfast table at my fifteen year old son, I get a little teary.  I’m so thankful for the miracle that he is, for the joy he brings to the table, not to mention the miracle that allows me to be here to bear witness to this remarkable young man’s life. 

The words of the birthday prayers found in the back of the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer come to me as I watch my son scarf down french toast as only a teenaged boy can do.  For him I thought of this prayer:

“Watch over thy child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he fall; and in his heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

And for the 15th Anniversary of the Day I Survived, I thought of this one:

“O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on your servant as she begins another year. Grant that she may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen her trust in your goodness all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ”   

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

January 25, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Blogroll, Carpe Diem Quotes, Episcopalians, Family, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Peace, PPCM, Winter | 2 Comments

Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

screensaver-7_29.jpgA Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.–Eva K. Logue

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Best Lines, Christmas, Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings, Peace, Winter | Leave a comment

Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

advent_wreath.jpg “…Psychology says, ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’ In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves.” – Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., ,THE PRIEST, Oct. ‘87, p.26

December 12, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Best Lines, Christmas, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings, Winter | Leave a comment

Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

act200.jpgThe message of the Christmas tree, therefore, is that life is “ever green” if one gives: not so much material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, and fraternal help and forgiveness, in shared time and reciprocal listening. – Pope John Paul II

December 12, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Best Lines, Christmas, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings, Winter | Leave a comment

Another Fine Example

happy_tuesday_orange_flower.jpg There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around usRalph Waldo Emerson

 I love stories like this.  Carpe Diem indeed!  M:)

November 13, 2007 Posted by | Best Lines, Carpe Diem Quotes, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Just Wow, Michele's Musings | Leave a comment

A Peanuts and Cracker Jacks Kind of Day

ball_field.jpg Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.  ~Carol Bishop Hipps, “October,” In a Southern Garden, 1995

I squeeze hard, breaking the seam of the hard outer shell housing salty goodness within.  Shell flutters to the ground, and piles up around my feet as I pop roasted peanut into my mouth.  October breeze ruffles loose strands of hair escaped from my pony-tail. I brush my hair back and consider the day.  Bright, sunny, blue, and breezy.  Cool.  I love this day.

As I squeeze another peanut,  I look around.  Families grouped in twos and threes surround my family and me.  My father and mother sit in front of me.  My husband to the side.  We all face forward and watch as high school aged boys in dusty white pants and school colors throw the ball, hit the ball and run bases, honing their skills while entertaining those of us who spectate.

The stands we sit on are hard, wooden, weathered, sturdy.  The word historical comes to mind, as well it should.  The baseball park we enjoy this day is 94 years old, only one of two Class A Minor League parks of its kind and age in the nation.  Willie Mays played here.  Johnny Bench played here.  My dad played here. 

Today, my son plays here.  My dad smiles.  Big.  So do I. 

My husband turns to me, revealing a new treat:  Cracker Jacks in one hand, Double Bubble bubble gum in the other.  Within minutes we compare Cracker Jack prizes as we work to see who can blow the biggest bubble.  Cool.  I love this day.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele 

 © Michele Bernard 2007

October 23, 2007 Posted by | Autumn, baseball, Best Lines, Family, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Notes from the Cheap Seats, Parenting, Sports Stuff | 5 Comments

Another F-ing Thought for the Day

When someone comes with arms open to embrace you, you can’t feel enmity any more.  The act of friendship invites forgiveness.  Tom Tate.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

September 24, 2007 Posted by | Another F-ing Thought for the Day, Best Lines, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Just Wow, Michele's Musings | Leave a comment

The F Word

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of attending the United States premier of the Truth in Translation project at Southern Methodist University.  It was a truly powerful experience.  From the back of the program:

“We live in a world that is increasingly driven by fear and vengeance.  This is incompatible with the notion of forgiveness.  Yet we cannot survive unless emotional and perceptual reconciliation can be made.  This story is not just about one country, one context, one event, but about all of us right now, everywhere we look.” – Michael Lessac, Artistic Director, Truth in Translation

At intermission, instead of the usual get-me-to-the-bathroom buzz, the audience sat silent, mesmerized, unwilling to break the spell binding us the them, the actors portraying the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission translators who are telling the stories of both the victims and the perpetrators of the crimes of apartheid in first person.  I sit wondering how.  How does one get to forgiveness after such atrocity? 

Finally standing, I walk to the theater lobby.  The mood reminds me of a post-Lenten service, people walking, not talking, carefully avoiding eye contact.  Large banners, courtesy of The Forgiveness Project, hang from ceiling to floor, pictures of people, their stories underneath, each sharing their personal paths to forgiveness.  

Reading their stories, I’m overwhelmed with both gratitude and shame.  Gratitude for being spared the heart-breaks these people have endured and shame for holding onto the angers and grudges I hold.  They were so large yesterday, but today, in the face of those who’ve made the decision to move past hate and anger, choosing forgiveness and reconciliation instead, they feel small, petty, stupid. 

And in the middle, was this banner.  It helped me get a better grasp around the question of how.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

September 10, 2007 Posted by | Another F-ing Thought for the Day, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Music, Theater | 3 Comments

Thank you Mrs. Johnson

in-memory-of-lady-bird.jpg  Where flowers bloom so does hope – Lady Bird Johnson

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

July 12, 2007 Posted by | Best Lines, Carpe Diem Quotes, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational | Leave a comment