Get Smarts With Stories

I love stories. A good story isn’t only for kids. A hearty tale is filling, leaving me satisfied. I am entertained and I learn, but learning wasn’t the point. Stories are my sunshine, my light. Here are some I enjoy.


A dispute arose between the North Wind and the Sun, each claiming that he was stronger than the other. At last they agreed to try their powers upon a traveller, to see which could soonest strip him of his cloak.

The North Wind had the first try; and, gathering up all his force for the attack, he came whirling furiously down upon the man, and caught up his cloak as though he would wrest it from him by one single effort: but the harder he blew, the more closely the man wrapped it round himself. Then came the turn of the Sun.

At first he beamed gently upon the traveller, who soon unclasped his cloak and walked on with it hanging loosely about his shoulders: then he shone forth in his full strength, and the man, before he had gone many steps, was glad to throw his cloak right off and complete his journey more lightly clad.
Fortune and Fate
Photo by Los Muertos Crew on

Along similar lines, here is an audio which I listened to recently. I hadn’t heard either. I especially enjoyed Luck vs Wisdom. It’s about 15 minutes or so. There’s a commercial and then the second story. No torture, I promise.

LUCK VS WISDOM (with Host Simon Brooks)

What is more important? Luck or wisdom? Discover the answers with host Simon Brooks and Joel Ben Izzy telling “Luck vs Wisdom” and Jenni Cargill- Strong telling “Reaching for the Moon”.

The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of stories. — Muriel Rukeyser

Love in Cuchara Pass

I’ve wanted to share part of my Colorado trip, but I haven’t taken the time to organize my thoughts. Sometimes you have to do it. Organize later.

Off the highway in Las Animas County, Colorado, my boyfriend and I stopped for a chance to rest and take few pictures. It was more interesting than I was expecting. I found out later the area is called Cuchara Pass. We were north of a town called Cuchara on the downhill grade before you get to La Veta.

We both love Aspen trees. And driving through scenic Colorado in September is divine. The Aspens were beautiful—but they were Summery green—not yet turning golden for fall. It was a sunny day with a blue sky over us and the wind blowing softly through the round leaves. Perfection. As I walked into the grove, I noticed the fallen logs, which make for outstanding photography. Nature shots are my favorite to take. I happened to look up and see the Cupid hearts with initials carved into the bark of a tree. Several of the initials are replicated on other trees. Aha, a story. Those are the things that keep me curious, what keeps me alive. Art.

Disclaimer: I don’t encourage this practice—it’s harmful to trees. If someone finds this location, please don’t add more scarring to their skin.

Wind in the trees

Interested in learning more about the area? Here are some links I found.

Thank you for stopping by!

A Windy Day

I wanted to feel secure, to be carried, to at least be helped with the many things in my arms. I wanted my mom to hold me. But it didn’t happen that way. Mom said I needed to be a big girl and learn to do things myself. 

It was May and the end of school. The Oklahoma winds were blowing across the plains,  propelling my tiny kindergarten body forward. With my school projects in my arms, I walked toward my mom’s car.  I didn’t feel capable. It was as if the wind was going to use this poster board as a kite, pulling me upward into the sky.  I trapped it tighter between my elbows and ribcage. My skinny legs couldn’t hold my body to the earth. At any moment I knew I’d float away upward and my papers would be lost. Everything would be lost. But I kept stepping toward my mom, silently pleading for her to step forward. 

I’d like to say I grew confident in my strength, but no, I didn’t. Instead, the synapsis string of scarcity formed in my brain. I was not enough. And there was no one here for me. It left an emptiness in my stomach, like when you go down a hill too fast in a car. I couldn’t lean on my parents. It was obvious.

It wasn’t the first time. Hell, no. I remember many times before. Deep sadness and feeling alone. But you learn to shut it down. That was when my mind completed the circuitry of understanding. The lightbulb zapped. My parents were not capable of being The Brady Bunch parents.

They also were not anything like Marianne Williamson’s amazing parents.

When you have generations of people who have been deprived of love because of poverty, war, lack of education, The Great Depression, and families who have struggled to survive, the children of those generations won’t have strong support. They aren’t capable of loving with full hearts. They were not taught.

That kindergarten day,  the wind showed its face to me. It was the wind that has blown across the plains of our state for generations. It’s known our names and tasted the dust of our bones. It is lack. I don’t fear it. It is empty and dry because we have forgotten where we came from and who we are. We have forgotten to love our people. 

What if the wind took me away? Could I return?

If you like this, check out Catch Me

I Can’t Change Your Mind

Don’t pretend your argument is perfect. You show me your perfect solution and we’ll show you our pet unicorn. Think Like a Freak

I listen to a lot of podcasts and debates and sometimes I tire of the same arguments over and over. I’m sure the debaters do also. People rarely change their minds even with the proof staring them in the face. One question asked a lot is, “What would change your mind?” A common response is, “Nothing.” It reminds me of the police officer being called in on a domestic dispute. He stands between the abusive husband and his bruised wife. While she stands there crying she will side with that abusive husband more times than not. He didn’t mean to hurt her. He doesn’t know his own strength. I shouldn’t have said what I said. Where will they be next week? Right back at fighting. Familiarity trumps truth.

Is it hopeless to show proof? Not hopeless, but not usually effective.  Also, someone else listening might benefit. The tide of time and the redirection of society’s habits are usually what changes most of us. Look how far we’ve come on human rights. There was a day that it was thought that women had no souls or as in the Aztec society, those of the lower class were considered soulless. So it’s not hopeless. It’s the continual drip. The constant pressure. So we keep arguing and keep proving, not because it will change anyone’s mind today, but because it could change society.

For instance, Clair Patterson,

Clair Patterson, a geochemist who pinpointed Earth’s age for the first time and also uncovered a secret: Lead contamination is a major and potentially deadly problem…After much time and effort, Patterson’s scientific work with lead paid off, leading to a ban on lead in products like gasoline, canned goods and paint in the United States. –

I like the story of the wind and the sun from Aesops Fables

THE WIND and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.

I can’t change your mind, but I might change your future. Or you may change mine.

She Let Go

10 of 365 - Let Go

I was once afraid to let go. I was afraid of drifting away on the wind, like Winnie the Pooh.

With no direction, I didn’t know if I’d drift to the closest tree with honey or blow up into the sky and be lost forever. But I let go. When it hurts too much to hold on, you let go.

She let go

On the last day of school when I was five, I came out the school door to find my mom. My hands and arms were full with a big poster, sacks with crayons and paper, and stuff. A big gust of wind came and I was afraid I’d be picked up. I was tiny. The wind felt strong, but mom was in front of me and I ran towards her. I knew she would grab me. She was my anchor and probably still is in many ways.

Once, when I was an adult, I was helping my in-laws. They had huge nursery greenhouses full of plants they sold wholesale to florist. The greenhouses had coverings of heavy plastic that they replaced when torn. We were in the middle of prairie land Oklahoma, where the wind really does go sweeping ‘cross the plains. I had an end piece of a 100 foot long piece of plastic sheeting and the wind was showing her might. All of the others were struggling on their hold so I didn’t feel alone. But one thought was there. What if the wind picks me up? Yes that nagging fear has followed me all my life. Well? What if?

What would happen if the waves of the ocean would have lifted me and carried me away. What if the balloons had too much helium and I drifted into the sky? What would it mean? Would I never see land again? All I’ve ever noticed was the fear. The first taste of panic. I’ve never thought of it in practical, light of day terms.

Dandelion wind

I could lose my footing in the ocean, but I would just as quickly be pushed forwards. The wind may have temporarily lifted me but I would be slammed back down again. It might be painful but I’d probably survive. Truly, I lacked control over life and it was terrifying to me. Still learning this. There is no control. We grab and cling and grasp with all our might, but we can’t hold on forever. Let go. I promise, the wind won’t take you completely away. You will not fly away into the clouds, just moved. When you let go, you learn. You learn what’s important and what is habit. You learn how strong you really are. Life is full of surprises. Some good and some bad. We may not want a change, but they tend to happen anyway. I like this moment. I want it to stay. I even believe I can keep it a little longer sometimes. If I hold my mouth just right and say the right words and think the right thoughts. You know what I mean?

The truth is, the right words are pretty. And being positive is healthier like jogging and eating your vegetables, but not going to keep the bad guys out. We all have a set point. The base of who we are. It’s our foundation, our steady. When I went through my “dark night,” the words came to me, Go back to what you know for sure. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I felt inside of me an understanding. I to go to the basis of my beliefs. That took me all the way down past religions and holy days and all the frills of rituals. What do I believe? What do I know for sure? I AM LOVED and I LOVE. At that time I wasn’t sure about marriage, or family, or even God. But I did know love. If I am able to move mountains, but if I have not love, I am nothing.

Love is my anchor. Love is my guide. It helps me decide which way I want to go. If only I stop and check my motives, I can see clearly because of love. The one thing I was so blessed to have in my childhood was love. And it kept me.