A World Full, A Cup Full


“…although the world is full of suffering,

it is full also of the overcoming of it.”

Helen Keller


Helen Keller’s words remind me of something Frederick Buechner said in his essay for Going on Faith: “All the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.” It also makes me think of some advice that Fred Rogers left us: When bad things happen, look for the helpers.

So keep your eyes open; be aware of the bad. But don’t drown in that cup.

Nurture peace. Cultivate kindness. Carry the calm.

Keep moving toward what brings life.

Look for the helpers.

And be one.


Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2020 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Where Do You Dwell?

“I dwell in possibility.” – Emily Dickinson

We sat cross-legged, seven friends and I, a circle of artists, each in turn responding to a poem we had just heard, one of David Whyte‘s: “Start close in / don’t take the second step / or the third / start with the first / . . . ” I couldn’t see the next step in my life, the one close in. A tiny voice of panic was whispering to me that, at my age, there was really nowhere I could go from here.

Before I could respond, a woman older than I updated us on her health. She couldn’t walk without pain. It should have been discouraging. But, peaceful and relaxed, she told us that she was looking forward to all the possibilities the future held for her. It made me realize that I could choose to dwell in panic or possibility – only one provides the calm I want for my spirit.

Helen Keller said, “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” Dwell not in problems but possibilities. Nourish peace, cultivate loving kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:


Shadow of the Week – a poolside table:



Text and photos © 2016 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Life Is . . .

“Life is like a trumpet –

if you don’t put anything into it,

you don’t get anything out of it.”

W.C. Handy


The month of May brings graduations, Mother’s Day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Memorial Day – occasions when we focus for a moment on life in the big-picture sense. Writers can often help us see that big picture. Here’s an array of thoughts from a variety of writers on what life is, ranging from the funny to the poignant to the thoughtfully wise. I hope you enjoy them.

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” – Hans Christian Andersen

“Life is what happens to us when we are making other plans.” – Allen Saunders

“Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.” – Jean De La Bruyere

“Life is one long process of getting tired.” – Samuel Butler

“The first hundred years are the hardest.” – Wilson Mizner

Life is “a little gleam of time between two eternities.” – Thomas Carlyle

Life is “a B-picture script.” – Kirk Douglas

“Life is just a bowl of cherries.” – songwriter Lew Brown

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.” – Vladimir Nabokov

“Life is a gift, given in trust – like a child.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“Life is a lot like jazz . . . it’s best when you improvise.” – George Gershwin

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Life is like a play: it’s not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” – Josh Billings

“Life is not an exact science, it is an art.” – Samuel Butler

“Life is a zoo in a jungle.” – Peter De Vries

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

“Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” – Dr. Seuss

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna’ get.” – Forrest Gump, fictional character created by Winston Groom

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” – John Gardner

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

“Life is a creative, intimate and unpredictable conversation . . .” – David Whyte


Nourish peace, cultivate loving kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature photo of the week:


Shadow of the Week:



Text and photos © 2016 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.