Saturday, February 27, 2010

the art of racing in the rain

this is the title of a book my mom and her husband lent me to read a while back.
this may also be an appropriate label for my activities today.
and I want to talk about both of these, beginning with the latter.

I've ridden in the rain many times, and lived to write about it here. there is some perverse pleasure in it: the discomfort, the ridiculousness of it, and at times, the irony of the fact that had I scheduled things just a little bit differently, I wouldn't be doing it.
I know to go slower, I know how helpful fenders are, and I know that a breathable rain jacket is a necessity. I know that wet feet make for a miserable me, and that the drops that make their way through the helmet to my scalp are only pleasurable if the rest of me is warm.
today's century ride in southern utah may necessitate a bit of riding in the rain.
weathermen are often wrong, so I am hopeful that the entire ride will be dry. and to be completely truthful, I wouldn't be racing in the rain anyway, as I don't race as the word is used in the competitive sense.
but the word race may also be used in another sense, that of just moving quickly or rushing.
and this I plan to do, so that I might possibly beat the incoming rain.
regardless, there is definitely an art to it, and I hope that I will be artful in my riding whether the pavement is wet or dry.

now on to the book.
this book, by garth stein, is a beautiful book.
it is a book about love, about life, about triumph and commitment and achievement. about hopes and dreams and goals and loss and karma.
written from the perspective of a dog. a clever, loyal, witty canine gifted with human understanding, of course, but nonetheless, a dog.
I cried when I read it, at the beginning, at spots along the way, and wholly and fully at the end. I cried because it reached into my heart and touched all those places that connect with others, those places full of empathy, humanity, divinity.
I love a good, quick, no-brainer read---I need this kind of book for escapism---and I love a good literary novel that takes me somewhere I've never been. this is neither, yet it's another kind of book I love, a book that points out with startling clarity that one of the greatest gifts we humans have is the trait of resilience. and another of these greatest gifts is the ability to love, and this theme leaps and bounds through the book as well.
the art of racing in the rain hit me hard, possibly because I've just experienced a loss of my own coupled with the fact that I am a dog person. perhaps a cat lover who has a neat and tidy life wouldn't care quite so much for this book.
what I know, though, is that I will carry a bit of this book with me as I ride today, remembering that riding in the rain is an art, that love abounds, and that we all have the resilience inside to carry us through whatever comes our way.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


socks wear out. this is a fact.
especially those white ones you wear inside your tennis shoes.
if you put them on your feet, wear them, and actually move around and participate in the world, they will eventually develop holes somewhere and reach a point where no amount of darning will revive their former state of cushiony life.
and if you try to keep your favorites around, extending their lives, what you will eventually discover is that the only way to do this is to keep them off your feet and in the closet.
which makes them only the favorite socks you used to wear.

I have a pair of Favorite Socks that have already crossed the line into the Not Good arena, but I do not want to throw them away. because truly, there's only a hole in one of them. the other is still okay. and I don't want there to be a hole, because I really love these socks, and the sides and tops are still fine . . .

letting go is difficult.

I find something I like--or even love--and it spends time in my space, and I am so happy with its form, its function, its fragrance, its ambiance... whatever it might be. then, over time, it fades or becomes less fruitful or loses its essence or becomes depleted or dies. at this point there is grieving, there is acceptance, and there's often a desire to replace.
sometimes you want the exact same thing, precisely what you had before, and it can't be found.
(now this is where google can be extremely helpful, and I have used it numerous times to try to track down something I don't know where to find. of course, I don't always have success. but it's sure better than how it used to be, searching through catalogs and running from store to store, or just having to give in to the impossibility of ever finding that nutty item you just have to have.)
other times you're ready for something different.
and some times, just some times, a replacement is not possible at all.
you acknowledge the loss, you grieve, you--at some distant point--finally come to acceptance, and you carry what was as a part of you forward, inside, always.

socks grow holes, candles burn and melt away, chocolates get eaten, mugs break, plants and even people die.
new is not always better, but it doesn't have to be worse. new can be exciting, stimulating, invigorating, and possibly even better for you. but nostalgia or just plain longing for the old often remains, for just as long as it needs to.
for socks, this may be a few months.
for my beloved orchid, perhaps a bit longer, even years.
for people, possibly forever.
and it's all okay, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the personal ad

people in bike class have been talking about which events they want to commit to, and there's always some of that hey, come with us talk bouncing around. which is great, and seems like fun, but sends me to a place of thinking, yes, but then I'll be all alone when you all take off ahead of me.
this is the problem with having blue card friends.
or even white card male friends.
or even white card female friends who are still faster than me.

I need to find someone who rides just like me.

a new kind of personal ad: 1.45 power-to-weight ratio looking for same to ride bikes with during events. male-female-androgynous-homosexual-heterosexual-doesn't matter: this is about riding a bike. must not be too strong of a rider, yet must be slightly obsessed and willing to sweat like hell. prefer a morning person, as events usually start early in the day and I don't do well around grumpy people. just looking for company, and don't mind exchanging dumb jokes and stories that wind and twist around before coming to an end which can be in the middle or anywhere else. not too chatty, though, as I sometimes slip into a meditative place while riding. would be helpful if accustomed to carrying a few extra snacks, cartridges, and tubes, and would be a great bonus if adept at changing tires. must be willing to stop for refueling, but not be one who spends a great deal of time at rest stops.
just looking for someone to keep me company while the rest of my friends take off up the hill or across the flats.

what do they say about choosing friends you want to emulate? apparently I'm quite good at that.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Milestones with a Capital M

I've written before about milestones.
they are huge and important, crucial really, in how we process our movement through life.

I have passed a Milestone.
and I want to shout it from the mountaintops:
I have reached a point beyond the panic barrier, a place of safety.

okay, okay, what--you wonder--am I talking about?
I am talking about the mental games I engage in each time I work out at an extremely high heart rate. the infamous zone 5, the VT, ventilatory threshold.
if you google VT, these is a description you might find if you spend about 30 minutes digging through citations, medical speak, and a lot of obfuscation as I just did:

The point during graded exercise in which ventilation increases disproportionately to oxygen uptake.


here's a better place to go for a definition, because I think this person captures my understanding (and lack thereof) of it all: joe friel's blog. and if you don't feel like popping over there, I'll briefly tell you what he has to say about it: we're all confused.
it seems that those of us who read about and participate in the world of fitness use these vaguely and variously defined words in different ways with the result of some quiet and rarely discussed mass confusion.
lactate threshold.
anaerobic threshold.
ventilatory threshold.
in Power Camp World, these have different meanings (of which I am still unclear), as apparently they may or may not in the real world.
joe friel suggests that they are often used interchangeably and come down to the same point: the point at which you are redlining.
oh, redlining, of course. now I get it.
joe suggests it's the place a fit person can work for about an hour; this is definitely not the Power Camp World's VT. but perhaps it is the Power Camp World's LT. or its AT.


I digressed.
all I really wanted to say today is that I have finally reached a point where I have overcome my VT panic. I have conquered my own mind. (though this really sends my mind whirling: I have trained my mental self to conquer my mental self. think about that.)
my body has finally convinced me that the You Are Going To Die part of my mind is wrong, and the You Will Survive This part of my mind is absolutely, completely, positively and permanently correct.

I was telling john about this yesterday, and he gave me another word for it: breakthrough. I have broken through a barrier, one which I hope to never again sink beneath.
I have challenged myself twice this week with extended work sessions at and above VT, and neither time did I experience panic mode. (although I did experience about 15 seconds of certainty that my abdomen was going to explode if I didn't get off the bike and go relieve my bladder right now, but then even that belief faded away to nothing.)
I am saying goodbye forever to those I Am Going To Die thoughts, banishing them to my early years as a cyclist.
from now on I move forward firm in the belief and understanding that panic is unnecessary. I can do this, I have done this, I will continue to do this.
I am on the other side of the wall.

congrats, me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

energy one and energy two

I've been thinking about energy today.

there's this kind of energy:

it is the end of the fourteenth week of power camp, and more than a few people in class have commented on their level of depletion. you can eat all the bananas and power bars you want: there still exists a point where you are just done. when you give and give and give, your body sometimes sends up a white flag, begging for respite.
and then there are times when you think you have nothing left, but you do. somehow, your body reaches deep within and finds something to spit out at the world.
this is the come and go energy that is fueled by nutrition, muscles, training, hydration, drive and determination, sleep, and respite. (yep, intervals, bananas and kale all fit nicely here.)

then there's this kind of energy:

it is the end of the fourteenth week of power camp, and many of us campers know a great deal about each other. we know who will be there consistently, and we know who goes running on wednesdays instead of coming to class. we know who the first few through the door will be each morning; we know who will arrive ten minutes into the warmup.
we get a sense of each other, we learn who we like to sit next to, who fits our own way of being.
our energy field, what I consider an almost palpable aura, is there with us no matter how many bananas or whole wheat bagels we've eaten, how many challenging classes we've been to in the past week, or how little sleep we've had. it's bigger than our daily fluctuations: it's who we are and how we present to the world. it tends to be fairly consistent within (and without) a person, though there are always highs and lows and subtle changes due to inner growth.
some energies I love to be around. they are peaceful and calm, positive and hopeful. which does not mean the owner of this energy can't be active and outgoing, dynamic, realistic, accessible. we can have traits that seem in conflict with our overall energy field.
some energy fields are intense, some are almost angry, some are so spiky and bright I can't get too close.

energy can be tweaked, both with glucose and with effort.
I know at times my energy field has been heavier and more solemn than usual, and I can feel that in my physical efforts. I may still be able to perform, but it has a bit of the feel of running through water. when my energy field is lighter and more love-filled, everything happens more easily, from spin class to making lunches for my kids to mowing the lawn.

this is my self-prescription: for energy one, more bananas, less chocolate cake, darn it all.
for energy type two, meditation, yoga, and more headstands. because there's nothing like spending some time viewing the world upside down to connect you more firmly with the joys and wonder of your own reality.
give it a try.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

six senses

monday's ride:

I smelled wet leaves and wood fires burning in fireplaces, winter's ponderous atmosphere and quick breaths of spring's potential.

I felt cold drops of water sneak through the ventilation holes in my helmet and make their way through my hair to my scalp, I felt the wet kick-back from my tires that penetrated my bike shorts and chilled my rear, I felt cold air dance on my cheeks.

I saw low dripping clouds hover above the foothills, leaving a dusting of snow in their wake, I saw running rivers and standing puddles and drops of rain, thick and fat, giggling on their way down from high above.

I heard cacophonies of birds in community trees, the splash as I crossed gutters heavy with water, the thick sound of my tires revolving again and again upon the dark and wet asphalt.

I tasted water fresh from the sky and water kicked up by my front wheel, the latter flavored with specks of dirt and as unwelcome in my mouth as the former was welcome.

I knew peace, I knew calm, I knew certitude. I knew myself centered and full of peace, one with my bike, one with the world and everyone within.
I knew I would return, in my mind, to this ride, in moments of need, to smell the wet, feel the cold, hear the birds, taste pure water and taste the grit, and see my way to a place where I am fully, thoroughly, contentedly me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

the urge

I've been singing the queen song under my breath all morning, you know, the one that states I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it now . . .
and I'm watching the rain continue to fall, lightly, down to the thoroughly sopping wet ground.

and I believe it will dry up by this afternoon so I can go ride my bike.
I am hanging on to this belief with every ounce of my being, and I will not let go.

I so want to write here about my outdoor ride: the chill air upon my cheeks and the freshness circulating through my respiratory system, the smells of a humid february day and the pure excitement of riding a flat road at a brisk pace instead of sitting in a sweat-filled room listening to music pound from speakers mounted on the four enclosing walls. I want to write about my new wheels, how fun and fabulous they are, how I can feel their gift to me with each revolution: I'm light, I'm aerodynamic, I'm here to help you swoop and fly.
I want to write about joy and freedom and purity and connecting with what truly matters, that vital spark of energy within that ignites when I'm participating in the great big world out there.

I've spent a lot of time during the past 5 weeks indoors, being quiet and alternatively contemplative and numb. I've read a library shelf's worth of books, and I've sat huddling under blankets trying to lessen the chill of my stunned and aching heart. I've ignored the greater world, and I've looked out my windows with a sense of incomprehension. the world continues, it gently rotates and grows and shrinks regardless of whether I participate in it or not.
I haven't wanted much to participate in it this last while. an occasional urge has pushed me out, and then I've retreated again to the safety of my home's protective womb.
today, however, I want to honor the almost microscopic voice within that is asking me to go out there, to touch and feel and breathe and listen.

if the skies will only play along with me, and take their moisture further up the hillside, to where all the skiers and boarders beg for more. and leave this lone cyclist to a bit of dry pavement, where she can honor that tiny voice and find a place to fully be who she craves to be.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


you know my middle name could easily be commitment, and I'm pretty sure you know how I feel when I blow it.
so I am dissatisfied with myself today.
because yesterday was an odd day and ~ although early in the day I was aware that there was a task to be performed ~ I neglected to write and post anything here.
at one point, before the rain began coming down relentlessly, I thought that I would be riding outside and would write about that.
then a bit later, when I decided to go snowshoeing instead, I thought that I would write about that.
but what came to pass is that I returned from showshoeing in the snowy, vigorating cold, and forgot completely about my commitment.

as I sat to write this afternoon a fleeting thought passed through my mind: I could put yesterday's date on today's post and hope that no one realized.
that thought sat with me for about half a second before my sense of authenticity and integrity grew jagged and arched its back and threw that idea out of my reality.
so here I am, once again admitting that I am a fallible human.
I have beautiful intentions, and work to be the very best me that I can be.
but I slip up sometimes, and I have weaknesses. I am foilable and full of foibles. although I strive to be connected more with my spiritual, divine side, where I can step outside of my human self and have empathy and understanding of this weaker being, the truth is that I must nevertheless live and breathe within this flawed human person who I am.

now we know that I eat too much cake and have a terribly unhealthy sweet tooth issue, but I've spent a great deal of energy working through my other shortcomings. one of my greatest remaining struggles is to learn to live my authenticity while balancing my own needs with those of others. how to be in control of getting what I need for myself without causing hurt or harm to others. how to not give away my joys in an effort to give others what I think they might need.
I believe, perhaps, that the process of mothering is what causes so many of us females to find ourselves dealing with what I'm describing. we spend so many years putting our children's needs out in front, that we too easily lose touch with what our own needs might be. and some of us forget that what nature craves is balance, and healthy relationships do the same.

perhaps yesterday I needed a day off from creating a posting here.
perhaps I didn't know how to recognize that ahead of time.
and possibly my true and wise inner self made the decision for me, unbeknownst to my outer, oblivious self who instead lazed and read and relaxed in oblivion.

socrates famously stated that the unexamined life is not worth living:
I suppose I will never know.

Friday, February 12, 2010

upon reflection...

I reflect, sometimes, upon what I've written here. I'll have pondered and typed and posted, and then felt uncomfortable about the way I phrased a sentiment or stated a view.
a statement I made yesterday has been niggling away at me, and I need to modify it's stark declaration.
I stated that I've forgotten what abundance feels like.
too much of the time I have; the world is tossing ugly news around like a giant badminton game rife with dirty, gray, hopeless birdies. war, depression, pain, death, negative indicators, joblessness and hopelessness, recession, inflation, climate change, resolute despots and bickering politicians . . . and then my own personal loss has added to this low-hanging, oppressive atmosphere so that I have, for great chunks of time, forgotten how to connect with an understanding of abundance.

however, I do still feel abundance, more often than the collective me realizes.

I feel it when leaning back on my couch, looking out my windows and watching thick flakes of snow float down to the earth.
I feel it when listening to my favorite songs on my ipod, when my heart swells and my body wants to move with the rhythm and my voice aches to burst into song.
I feel it in the library, surrounded by so many thousands of books that I realize I will never, ever want for a story to fuel my soul.
I feel it when I look at the snow covered mountains that surround our valley, steadfast and decisive and resolutely in place for hundreds of mere mortal lifetimes.
I feel it when I see tiny shoots of spring green grass hiding under the weary and worn surface of my lawn.
I feel it when I have time, opportunity, and a soft and gentle couch upon which to curl up with jake's blanket and ugly doll and take a nap.

I know abundance. I feel it, it's familiar and valued, and I know that once the world recaptures its breath and rights itself, we will all, once again, feel it more deeply and truly and consistently.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


as old as I am, I haven't yet lived long enough to thoroughly learn that everything changes.

I want to believe that I've learned this, that I understand it, that I hold it to be true.
but I haven't, and I don't.

I'm literal, I believe in what I see, what I experience. I rely on my past experiences to explain to me how the world works. which isn't all bad, but it's a way of being that struggles valiantly to preclude a belief in possibilities.
and I want to believe in possibilities.
in new outcomes.
in visions of a different way of being.

william blake, some two hundred years ago, wrote these words:
what is now proved was once only imagin'd.

this is difficult for me to internalize. of course at a logical level I understand it completely, and can throw out examples right and left, beginning with airplanes and moving on to the internet and ipods. but I also remember growing up, watching the Jetsons and buying into the belief that by the time I was a full-fledged adult we would all be flying our own little personal cars along the sky freeways above our city.
and that a robot would cook and clean for me.
no one on the Jetsons ever suggested that we would use computers to converse with people around the globe, nor that we would be playing movies and tv show episodes on the desperately slim conversation devices we all carried around with us. though most of us still drive old fashioned gasoline engine cars, the world wide web and iphones and blackberries now exist.

my imagination is too timid.

one day, near the end of last year, I was talking with a friend about dreams, not the nocturnal ones but the ones you have for your life, for your children, for those who inhabit your personal world as well as the great big world itself. at that moment I realized that I had become someone who was afraid to dream big. that there was this something within me that squelched my desires, bisecting them and cutting them down into smaller pieces that would fit in scanty, slight boxes that I labeled Reality, Possible, Likely.
that I had become someone who dreamed little.

I can no longer imagine world peace, and it's hard for me to consider that enough people care about others to make a difference in the way we interact with each other.
I've forgotten what abundance feels like.
I can't imagine that I'll ever ride my bike fast enough to set a new personal best on any route.
all I can envision is me, plowing along, doing the same old thing I've been doing.

now this isn't entirely true: I do have dreams and visions of a different way of being. but I have to fight myself to get myself to accept them. the No You Can'ts and Uh-Uhs and Dream Ons are so very loud they outspeak the quiet voice that insists on a prosperous, successful, competent and capable and happy me.

someday, they'll prove things that I haven't ever even dreamed of. that my mind doesn't know how to imagine.
but I also like to believe that someday, I will prove to myself that those things I've dared to dream, that I've fought back and conquered my pesky ego over, will come to fruition.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


this morning I've been cleaning things. rag, warm water, soap, elbow grease.
and since I was on a roll, cleaning things, I decided to throw my bike into the melee, and get it cleaned up as well.
I have been terribly neglectful of my bike. I rode it on december 19th, and then again on january 30, and those were probably the only 2 times I touched it after november. both those rides were on roads thick with grit, cinders, and rivulets of melting snow, so it probably won't take much use of your imagination to picture what the underside of my bike looked (and felt) like. not to mention the chain, thick with dirty black grease.

the impetus to throw my bike in with the other to-be-cleaned items: an upcoming visit to the bike shop. because it's time to finally install two of my fabulous Christmas presents that have been leaning against my office wall for the last 7 weeks: new wheels.
which adds pressure to my biking, as they are supposed to make me faster. cool.
but what if they don't?
what if power camp doesn't make me one bit stronger/better/faster?
what if I'm still old clump along me?

at least I'll have a clean bike?

I was cleaning things to give them away. some of jake's things, some things that will be able to help someone else. his car seat, his wheelchair, a few other things. things that I didn't worry so much about cleaning until it was time to give them to someone else.
what does this say about me?
that I don't clean things until I know that other people will see them?

what it really says, I suppose, is that I'm doing my best. and that life is so very full of Things That Need To Be Done.
that even though I want to live in a spotless house and drive a shiny clean car and have a bike in tip-top-tuned-and-cleaned shape, it just is not going to be that way. I will at times, feel caught up and ahead of the game, and at times operate in a Tackle What Needs To Be Done Now manner of triage.
and more often than not, this latter kind of system works.
because as much as I like to be prepared, some things in life you can never prepare for.
and as much as I wish I could, I can't make my kids' school lunches two days ahead of time.
some things just have to be done at the time they need to be done.

thus jake's cleaned car seat and other things were ready to go when they were picked up.
and my bike is clean and ready to go to the shop.
dinner plans are made, I have gas in the car to get my girls to their piano lessons,
and tomorrow morning, I will make lunches for my kids to take with them to school.

then during the day tomorrow, I will tackle whatever needs to be tackled.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


today I have nothing to say and I'm not going to make anything up, as I usually do when I have nothing to say.
today I'm stopping here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

credit and a half

I am worthless in here today.
that's what I said to bob and andy in the weight room this morning at 6:35.
bob's response was,
if we compared your worthless and my worthless, I'm sure you'd come out ahead.
that made me feel better, to know that it wasn't just me.

I want to feel energetic and powerful and capable all of the time, and my reality is this: I don't.
and since I can only live inside my own head, and not those that belong to other people, I struggle when doing self assessments.
this is what I wonder: do other people in power camp climb on those bikes in the morning and think, oh God, another day of spinning my legs around and wishing it were over and feeling like I just can't keep going?
do other people in the weight room think to themselves, gosh, why is it that this doesn't seem to get any easier, and how do weights get heavier from one week to the next, and, gosh, why does everyone else make it look easy?

nick was in the weight room this morning, nick my swiss friend who in 2009 lost his wife of half a century or so and also broke his back in a water skiing accident.
prior to this morning, I last saw nick right before Christmas, when he was still having difficulty navigating stairs. he wasn't quite ready to return to working out at the JCC, and he didn't look as though he was quite ready to return fully and vibrantly to the community.
this morning he looked good.
this is what he had to say about it:
I see myself every day, and I can't see any change from day to day. but this week I'm better than I was three weeks ago, so something must be happening.

this is when faith keeps us going. a belief in something that isn't readily visible or measurable each day. a belief in the process, a belief that we are growing, changing, healing, progressing.

this is when I need to go do a headstand. because my headstands are markedly better than they were a year ago. they are not perfect. they are still slightly wobbly and I'm not yet ready to do one away from the wall. but the day will come when they will be even more stable than today's, and I will be able to do one in the middle of the room.

and perhaps the reason that I don't feel stronger and more capable in power camp is that I keep raising the bar. I take for granted the progress I've made and how very, very far I've come. it's no longer enough to survive the experience: I want to excel, to thrive, to conquer. so each day that I perform adequately I give myself credit for surviving, when in reality I should give myself credit and a half because I did it better than I allow myself to acknowledge. I am better than I was two weeks ago, a month ago.
I need to give myself a pat on the back for my iotas of forward movement, whether they appear to be measurable or not.
because they are there.
scooting along, moving me toward . . . the next best version of myself.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

on being preprogrammed

this is my first thought upon waking each morning: maybe I can get a nap today.

I am weary, and tomorrow morning's class is a very challenging one. The workout scheduled is one of the toughest I've ever done, which has caused me to question why I am doing this.
who am I trying to be? why do I feel I must do this?
and the answer that comes to me is that I am internally programmed to continually seek improvement. it is my job to keep moving toward becoming the best version of myself possible.

that doesn't allow for much slacking.
at least not in significant areas. if improvement is possible, I will feel a tug. yes, I experience numerous tugs each day of my life. I feel them during conversations with my kids, during interactions with colleagues, while doing chores around the house, and when deciding what to next put into my stomach.

I'm apprehensive about tomorrow's class. but to skip it would be to chicken out, to avoid an opportunity for mental and physical stretching. stretching which will hopefully lead to new levels of strength in both those areas.
and then, maybe, after class, I can have a nap.

Monday, February 1, 2010

the day job

this is the best part of my job: I'm able to be a silent observer of human kind at its best. I am a voyeur, let in on people's secrets, their compassion and gratitude and love, without their real awareness. they don't know who I am, or where I am, or anything about me. and still they trust me with missives that travel across the country, reach out their slender fingers and touch the very core of the human beings to whom they're sent.
I, the silent witness, am gifted in an extraordinary way by this process.

I've written love letters, notes of gratitude, brief messages of condolences and of congratulations. I've transcribed wishes for a return to health, wishes for peace and healing. I've passed along beautiful quotations and simple, heartfelt declarations of love.
this business of mine is all about gratitude, love, healing, manifestation: these are deep and powerful aspects of our humanity.

I've often thought that if I'd been wise, I would have gone into business selling some commodity, something that is purchased and then used up, so that the consumer must buy my product again. candy, maybe. or lip gloss. cookies, hair products, gourmet pretzels, something.
instead, I created this item that sits, patiently, durably, and is basically indestructible, forever holding a message of depth and truth.

every time I receive a new order with a message to relay to the recipient, I see and touch divinity. which is really not a bad thing in a day job.