[ always tell stories ]

Express Gratitude, Even If The Words Don't Come

“Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep.” -- Felix Frankfurter 

(Courtesy of A Flower a Day)

Be A Well And Not A Fountain

“The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection, and not a fountain;
 to show them we love them not when we feel like it, but when they do.”
-- Nan Fairbrother

(Courtesy of A Flower a Day)

For The Self-sufficient Among Us (And Those Aspiring)

“I don't need anyone to rectify my existence. The most profound relationship we will ever have is the one with ourselves.” - Shirley Maclaine

Is That A Sword In Your Pocket Or Are You Just (un)Happy To See Me?

Ambivalence - Although it walks and talks like a passive action, the result is vastly different.

“Ambivalence is one of the sharpest, deadliest weapons one can wield against a loved one.”


Departing The 'Me' Generation... Shaping The Footprints We Leave

Courtesy of Brandon this morning:

"I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all. "

-Leo Rosten

Nothing To Fear Except Fear Itself... And Those Who Peddle It

This came out of the DNC convention tonight... among many zingers and thoughtful lines, this one stood out.

In a piece produced by
Steven Spielberg in celebration of our troops, Army solider Terron Sims recalled something his dad told him while he was at West Point:

"There's nothing wrong for a man to fear. But there
is something wrong with a man allowing fear to control his actions."

Pretty cool.


Heads-up Fishermen: Life Is Way Too Short To Fuck Around

Let's close out an awesome July with a quote for those who hit the dating scene to fish for a partner.

Drumroll, please...

"Don't put your worm in the water if you ain't ready for the catch."

That's all.

Here's My 'Postsecret': Byron Has Definitely Fallen Hard

I was doing my green duty riding Marta to the airport the other day and stumbled across this note... it was initially hidden from my view, but when a passenger got up I spotted it.

There was a nice gal seated to the left of the note, across from me, who thought I was nuts taking this picture -- but I wanted to capture it. All the Marta riders around me cocked their heads to figure out what I was doing.

In the spirit of "Postsecret," a collection of secrets from anonymous sources (thanks to Wayne and Ed for showing it to me), I've helped give Byron one last chance to reach the girl of his dreams.

This made riding Marta that day totally worth it.

I also gave the gal who tolerated me shooting this picture my info, so I hope she gets back. If so, give me a shout! Thanks to her for putting up with me.

So... Here is an example of honest and spontaneous affection that seems to have not found its recipient... So I'm putting this out there to keep his hopes alive.

# # #

Update: I did hear from my gal pal on Marta! Thanks to Marina for dropping me a line. See the comments section for more.

The Curse Of 'Imaginary Problems' - And How To Fix It

Thanks to Medill alum Robert Kazel for posting about this, a quote from the late Leo Buscaglia, who was an author and professor at USC. Kazel sent this out to us after a hot exchange between a bitchy alum wanting to curtail certain forms of speech on the Medill listserv.

We are our own worst enemies sometimes, and each other's, too; so instead of short, hurtful bursts of attitude -- be real and settle differences. Work to make things right.

"Don't be afraid of disagreements and arguments," Buscaglia said. "The only people who don't argue are people who don't care or are dead. In fact, don't have short arguments. Make certain they are thoroughly over and done with."

As in... live a conscious life. Don't leave unfinished, self-serving actions out there with the idea that they *might* shape or advance your agenda.

If we don't act from a place of love, all the time, we are just taking up space.


Put Your Heart On A Treadmill... For Longevity, Prosperity

In remembering Tim Russert last week, NBC Nightly News ran a segment about the work that Russert did for kids, specifically the Boys & Girls Club of Washington, D.C.

He donated proceeds from his speeches and advocated for youth advancement all the time -- many qualities people didn't know about him.

The piece concluded with one of Russert's favorite sayings:

"No exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down to lift up another person."


The Residue Of 'Temporary Madness' Is... A Deeper Love

Thanks to Stephen for posting this on his page.

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being 'in love' which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident." (taken from Captain Corelli's Mandolin)

The Best Of Men... Are Tenacious And Youthful In One Package

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, appearing on the tribute "Meet The Press" episode celebrating Tim Russert (1950-2008), honored the longtime host today with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:

"Remember, the nicest men in the world are those who always keep something of the little boy in them."

True for all of us. That show,
the longest running in TV history, will have enormous shoes to fill.

Who's going to operate the whiteboard this November? Sad

David Gregory is a great choice to replace Russert, even though it is way too early to be thinking about that.

After all, someone could only succeed him -- he was irreplaceable... especially during this unprecedented and historic political year.


Selfish Is As Selfish Does

"I am convinced that the majority of people would be generous from selfish motives, if they had the opportunity."

Charles Dudley Warner

I don't care what the reasons are -- just be generous. But... intention is always nine-tenths of a life lived well, so there's that, too.

Our 'Difficult Days Ahead' Include Sacrifice And... Prosperity

I wanted to remind myself of something tough but true today. Here's what I landed on.


New Tagline, New Captures... New Vibe

From here on out, "always tell stories" will be the tagline that accompanies willpollock.com.

The phrase basically embodies everything I do, on a personal and professional level. so I guess it just made sense.

You'll also find this month's header capture, "
chaingang," which features an image from a junkyard in West Midtown. The well-known destination has this bright-orange rail car just sitting there with a bunch of other castaway items. Georgia Tech photography students are frequently seen shooting that place.

Shown in this post: "Lust in Luster," an image from Pike's Market in Seattle.


'The World Offers Itself To Your Imagination'

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

- taken from "Dream Work" by Mary Oliver, published by Atlantic Monthly Press; photo courtesy of panhala.net.

...That's Assuming They'd Know Where It Goes When They Find It

Dept. Of Homeland Security: Has Anybody Seen A Blue Folder?

The Onion

Dept. Of Homeland Security: 'Has Anybody Seen A Blue Folder?'

WASHINGTON—"I can assure everyone that the assistant secretary could have sworn she had it when she went through the metal detector," said DHS Secretary Chertoff.


Don't Wait For A 'Vanishing Friend' To Say What You Feel

Thanks To Jackie Jean for passing this along.

"Around the corner I have a friend, that has no endYet the days go by and weeks rush onAnd before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friend’s face,For life is a swift and terrible race,He knows I like him just as well,As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,And now we are busy, tired men.Tired of playing a foolish game,Tired of trying to make a name."Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on JimJust to show that I'm thinking of him."

But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,And distance between us grows and grows.Around the corner, yet miles away,"Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."And that's what we get and deserve in the end.

Around the corner, a vanished friend.Remember to always say what you mean.If you love someone, tell them.Because when you decide that it is the right time, it might be too late.

Seize the day. Never have regrets. And most importantly, stay close to your friends and family, for they have helped make you the person that you are today."

After all, what is love without expression?


On Christmas Day, A Lesson In Getting Along In Georgia

Every once in a while we are shown a reminder of how great we are as a people - as champions of goodwill, togetherness and, eventually, prosperity for young people. The International Community School is one such example, joining refugees from some 40 countries with other families in Decatur, Ga., for a unique and enriching learning environment in Stone Mountain, Ga.

The school's story,
told today in The New York Times, shows that our best learning begins with the environment and tone we set for our young people and their instructors -- not with quotas and false, pressure-filled benchmarks. The school's "experimental" status, says the NYT, means it is

"more at risk of closing if its students fail to make adequate yearly progress, the standard by which the national education law judges public schools."

In this case, "No Child Left Behind" can actually mean "No child left out."

Take a minute and click through to the NYT article and soak up this unique example of learning, compassion and inclusion.

Merry Christmas and Happy Happy to all today.

...And I'm Always Blaming The Dog

I overheard this on a travel-writer listserv:

"Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life."

-Lawrence Kasdan

A Return To Depth And Understanding...

John Amaechi, speaking on Oprah's "Gay Around The World" program this week, was asked about why he came out of closet.

"There's something incredibly powerful about people who are genuine or authentic," he said, "not just in terms of their sexuality, but in every regard. There is something almost transcendent about it."

If you haven't heard him speak, watch it on
YouTube, or below. And if you don't think we still have a problem, just look at the user comments on YouTube -- they'll change your mind about how much work's left to do.


Eleanor Roosevelt Was A Cool Chick

"Women are like tea bags - you never know how strong they are until they get in hot water."

Just heard on the Situation Room while Wolf was interviewing Maria Shriver. How cool is that??

Sex Sting, A Prostitute's Black Book, Page Scandals... What's Next?

OK, this made me laugh out loud.

Jack Cafferty asked his viewers whether or not Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) should reconsider his resignation, this response from Charles in Lansing, Mich.:

"That's a hard call. Half the Republicans want him to resign, and the other half want his phone number."

How funny is that? CNN and
The Situation Room have some truly clever viewers.

I Just Love That Gary Nurenberg.

His lead into a CNN piece this afternoon on the Powerball jackpot (now up to $300 million), was absolutely classic. On how everyone is clamoring for the cash:

"If we weren't a nation of dreamers, the lines wouldn't be this long."

I'd add a link to his CNN bio, but I couldn't find one on the
anchors & reporters page. Sad


Am I A Slinky To You?

This came from Reeno today:

Some people are like slinkies,
They don’t really serve a purpose,
But it still brings a smile to your face
When you push them down the stairs.

Sound logic can be so funny sometimes.


Chalk One Up For Reality Creation

I stumbled across this little gem on the Hasselblad Web site:

"The best way to predict the future is to create it." -- Peter Drucker

I put my money on prosperity.

Quote 2 Remember: Garry Shandling on 'Real Time'

"You talk about War -- it's an old paradigm," Garry Shandling told Bill Maher last night during the "Real Time" panel discussion, referring to our "War on Terror" language. "This winning and losing thing is where we are behind in our consciousness. I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." (Photo courtesy of nndb.com.)

Quote 2 Remember

"Imagination encircles the world." -- Albert Einstein