Name Written on Water

The early death of love poet John Keats was probably from his misguided medical treatments as much as from Tuberculosis. The tragedy and pain of his death (without significant success at the age of 25) was further complicated by his financial struggles, even though he had a substantial inheritance that could have greatly helped him, but was never made known to him.

Upon his deathbed, he asked that his epitaph be, “Here lies One/Whose Name was writ in water.”

This insight into the absurdity of taking our existence too seriously, his work, and the frustrations of his life and death, too many to recount, often rescue me from despair when I am confronted with senseless injustice or confounded by seemingly random or easily preventable pain and loss.

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Life only makes sense in this context. Learning to love.

Happy V-Day.

The Geneology of Hopelessness

  1. Expectations!
  2. Dashed expectations.
  3. Disillusionment and pain.
  4. No new options in sight.
  5. Deciding recovery (of whatever it was that was lost) is impossible.
  6. Resignation to despair.

There is nothing I can do about steps 1-4. But Step 5 holds transformational power. If I alter Step 5 to: Decide to accept the world as it is and passionately work to find an alternative path, Step 6 is eliminated from the DNA.


“Life isn’t about finding pieces of a puzzle, it’s about creating…and putting those exceptional pieces together.” -Glenn van Dekken


Two-Minute Tune-Up 2.5.13 Your First Clue

If the most important thing in your life is:

  1. The team you support
  2. The show you watch
  3. The celebrity you admire
  4. The politicians you criticize
  5. Or, even, your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, or your pets

You may be living vicariously and short-changing yourself.

Not that these things are not interesting or important. They are just not as critical as fulfilling your purpose in this world should be. Before objecting, remember that the best thing we can do for the people in our lives is to experience our own greatness. Subsequently, we are more complete and nourished for whatever life brings.

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Two Minute Tune-up 1.6.12 Simplified Explanation

Life from cradle to grave for many can be summed up simply.

The Two Paths:

Stage 1 play

Stage 2 take charge

Stage 3 pile high

Stage 4 doubt

Stage 5 sigh

Stage 6 Find LIFE

Stage 7 Give gifts

Stage 8 Peace


Stage 1 play

Stage 2 take charge

Stage 3 pile high

Stage 4 doubt

Stage 5 pile higher

Stage 6 silent cry

Stage 7 grow stiff and

Stage 8 die

Most people live lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them. – Thoreau

So glad you have chosen the first path!

Two Minute Tune-up 4.28.11 I’m no idol, but I was born to belt it out!

It could be the pain-killers or maybe the soul-full singing on American Idol, but right now, this moment, I am sure each of our lives are meant to be great. 

 Babyface said James Durbin was born to sing Carole King’s song or maybe Carole King was born to write for James Durbin. Either way, it was wow-obvious.

It strikes me, though, if James Durbin worried about how weird his ears were and how he was too chubby to be anyone’s idol, he probably would not have sung the way he did last night.

And…I may not be born to sing but I know I was born to belt it out in some other way…in spite of all the things that I am not.


Two Minute Tune Up 4.26.11 “…a woman who had loved and been loved back.”

Khaled Hosseini in A Thousand Splendid Suns, wrote this line for his main character as she headed toward execution. Her last peaceful thoughts were about her significance. She had loved and been loved back. Not so bad, she thought. But this love had come at the very end of a painful life without love.

The message from the end of this book reminds me of Tale of Two Cities where Sydney Carton finds the ever illusive love and redemption on his way to the guillotine. Many years ago this scene made such an impact on me that I named my daughter, Sydney, after Dickens’ character, Sydney Carton.

Love is worth living and dying for. Give it today…without any strings attached.

Nothing is more important.