Welcome, I'm so glad that you're here!
This week's quotes came from:
Vincent van Gogh, who painted The Starry Night in an asylum in the south of France 130 summers ago. In the depths of his mental health crisis, he went about his work, and he created a work of art that millions of people clamor around every year;
and...Audrey Hepburn, whose life was somehow even more remarkable than her filmography. In addition to winning an Emmy, a Grammy, and Oscar, and a Tony (i.e., joining the EGOT club), she earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her tireless work with UNICEF;
and...Booker T. Washington, who is one of history's most complicated and controversial figures, but also knew quite a lot about labor; and...Josh Ritter. Your buddy Matt is a huge Josh Ritter fan. And why wouldn't I be? Dude can WRITE (and not just great songs). Steven King has called him a "gifted novelist." Joan Baez liked his song "Wings" so much that she covered it, and then invited him to tour with her. He is one of Paste Magazine's 100 Greatest Living Songwriters, and he should be. (He's also a super-nice guy.) Friday's joyful word centered on a little dose of Josh's heartbreaking AND resilient 'divorce album' - the Beast in its Tracks (track #12, "Joy to You Baby");
And, Pema Chodron, one of our time's most endearing spiritual leaders (random facts: her birth name was Dierdre and she used to teach elementary school). I don't think that Pema 'rocks', per se, but I'll bet that she could, because Pema says.
There was a lot of joyful news to report this week! For example:
A mailman retired:
SPOILER ALERT: I absolutely love this story, and I hope that you do to.
Floyd Martin worked the same postal route in Marietta, Georgia, for 35 years. He was so beloved by the residents that they decorated their mailboxes for him as he drove the route for the final time:
And then 300 people threw him a surprise party.
One family organized a GoFundMe account, in hopes of raising $5,000 so that Floyd could fulfil a lifelong dream of vacationing in Hawaii.
News of Floyd's relationship with the neighborhood started spreading, as did news of his dream vacation.
The GoFundMe target of $5,000 was reached in 2 hours...they had to shut the account down three days later, because people had donated $32,822.
As Floyd told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I'm so filled with joy right now."
I don't know Floyd Martin, but I suspect that he was full of joy a long time before then.
What Floyd said in his retirement speech bears repeating:
I love you guys. I said it. I mean it. That's what the world needs more of right now: loving and caring and compassion, and taking care of one another. I don't know where we lost it. But you guys have shown it. And I thank you.
and...somebody paid for some groceries:
I don't know Ruth Reed, but I'm a big fan. This story - covered by several sources about one year ago - is summed up well by Today:
Retired teacher buys coffee for stranger low on cash — and it's Keith Urban [the country music star married to Nicole Kidman]. The former New Jersey teacher thought she was just doing a solid for a regular Joe in need of a couple bucks.
In case you don't have time to watch the entire video below, I encourage you to check out Ruth Reed's conviction - right around the 3-minute mark - when she says [about the media's reaction to this story] :
I wanted to get out that we need to be kind to each other. And we do. But, guess what? We are kind to each other. We are. I don't care what it says anywhere else. We are kind to each other.
And so it is. Ruth knows!
and...the USA (and Canada) celebrated Labor Day:
From CNN, here are:
Wherever you are, and whatever you get up to today, please enjoy yourself. If you see somebody working for you and those around you, please consider saying 'thank you' - that small gesture can go a long, long way in improving someone's day (theirs and yours).
and...a group of spontaneous volunteers tracks storms (and saves lives):
According to the CEDR Digital Corps homepage, they are:
...students, teachers, millennials, retirees, engineers and trade workers, coming together during disasters to help others. From our computers and our mobile devices, we are able to gather data in real time and bring it to formal disaster response teams on the ground.
The hurricanes of 2017 showed the world a gap between those in need of rescue and the first responders looking to rescue. We intend to bridge that gap!
And these fine folks can boast of some truly joyful successes:
Over 10,000 rescues facilitatedOver 12,000 data points mapped: infrastructure conditions, gasoline, power, water and food distribution points, etc. [Go, geographers, go!]Over 100 Zello Broadcasts in Spanish and English regarding conditions in Puerto RicoPublished hundreds of hurricane-related health and safety social media posts helping those in disaster zones. For resources directly related to Hurricane Dorian, you can find them on various social media or check them out online here.
and...somebody's daughter and son-in-law had no idea what she was talking about when she asked about the small diamond ring that she found in their Subaru:
Tom Hallman, Jr. over at the Oregonian/OregonLive reports from Clackamas County where folks are urban, suburban, rural, and wild! Tom says:
The first thing Eileen Korey noticed when she got into the car that Wednesday afternoon in early May was a small diamond ring in the tray between the front seats.
It hadn’t been there before.
Weeks earlier, she had taken the car in to have the airbag replaced as part of a nationwide recall. The Subaru Outback belonged to her daughter and son-in-law and she was helping them out.
Now she was picking it up. That’s when she saw the sparkler.
This is a tender and unlikely story of a lost engagement ring and an enduring story of love that takes us through the journeys of Holocaust survivors, and the good deeds Eileen Korey.
Check it out. And then get ready to rock. And then rock!
Before getting out of here for the week, I'm going to add a couple of musical plugs from this week's emails:
Yes, this is a strange video. Yes, it rocks. Yes, it brings me joy!
Here is a near-perfect intimate, live version of our featured Josh Ritter song. Sure, it seems to start off somber enough, but do you catch him smiling along in harmony with the incomparable Zacharia (Zack) Hickman (on bass) at the 3:08 mark?
Josh says, "There's pain in whatever we stumble upon - if I'd never have met you, you couldn't have gone - but, then I couldn't have met you - we couldn't have been - I guess it all adds up to joy in the end." Indeed!
So, joy fans, there you have it! Another great week is in the books. Here's to your joy!