Tag Archives: gift

gift.

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 Harper Lee — the famously private author, might never have written the classic “To Kill A Mockingbird” if it hadn’t been for a 1950s Christmas gift. 

Back in 1956, Lee was a ticket agent for British Overseas Airways Corporation. Like most struggling writers, she was having trouble balancing her job and finding time to write. She told this to her New York City friends, Michael and Joy Brown (who were also friends of Truman Capote).

Michael was a successful “industrial musical writer” whom American corporations hired to create performances to inspire their workers. His clients ranged from DuPont to JC Penney, and he was raking in the money for songs like “The Wonderful World of Chemistry.”

So in 1956, the Browns’ gave Lee the best Christmas present of all: An entire year’s salary so she could take time to write whatever she wanted. “There was an envelope on the tree, addressed to me. I opened it and read: ‘You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas,'” she wrote in McCall’s Magazine in 1961. “ They assured me that it was not some sort of joke. They’d had a good year, they said. They’d saved some money and thought it was high time they did something about me.”

Lee took that time to write “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which sold over 40 million copies worldwide, has been translated into over 40 languages,  served as the basis for a hugely popular film, and for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.

“when life gives you a gift, receive it with all your heart.”

-enid ivanov

 

 

 

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credits: Megan Willett-Wei, Insider

a different kind.

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this tiny dog

has lived a full life

gifted to me by my dear friend

having once

belonged to

her husband’s mother/grandmother

i would love to know its story

it has seen the world and is beautifully imperfect.

 

“art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.”

~ Anni Albers

worth more.

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try as he might

my colleague was not able to convince anyone

to steal from him

or trade with him

 for this monstrosity of a white elephant gift 

that he randomly chose

at our faculty holiday party

it was as huge as a shield, very heavy, and not the most beautiful

(even said on the back that it was microwaveable,

but would not come anywhere near fitting

into any microwave i’ve ever seen,

and was edged in metal)

but we did laugh about it the entire time

and that is certainly worth something. 

‘the manner of giving is worth more than the gift.’      

-pierre corneille

fold.

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i held this gift of a tiny origami star

made from a square of beautiful paper

admiring it in my hand for a time

knowing it will be held in my memory

for a long time to come.

“WHEN YOU FOLD A PIECE OF PAPER,

YOU’RE ESSENTIALLY CHANGING THE MEMORY OF THAT PIECE”. 

-ERIC DEMAINE

golden.

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feeling grateful

for a wonderful surprise

from two of my friends

who gave me their set of original golden books

something i have always wanted 

since i was a young child.

they knew i would treasure them.

“life is always bringing unexpected gifts.”

-mary sarton

open it.

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apparently i have a bit of a reputation for opening my gifts early.

how bad is it when my sister thinks

i may get overexcited

and try to intercept a delivery at the post office?

i’m not worried,  she’ll never know…

p.s. if she happens to be reading this,

i’d just like to say for the record 

that it was already a little bit open when i found it.

wisdom and kindness.

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what a lovely afternoon spent

with a family whose three daughters

 each of us have taught and loved in our turn over the years

as they gave thanks to all of their teachers

by cooking and serving us an amazing brunch

at a beautiful table

complete with many homemade delights

main courses, sweets, desserts, coffee, and fruit prosecos

dad and daughters prepare our meal

while mom finalizes the drinks and details in the dining room

such an amazing and generous gesture

as their last daughter leaves the familiar comfort

of our elementary school

and moves on to her next chapter

in the middle school division

along with her lovely family

who we will miss

and who have taught their daughters

the wisdom of gratitude and kindness.

“what wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”

-jean-jacques rousseau