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Susan Joy Diersen
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All the Questions


by Susan Diersen on January 20th, 2017


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As we all know, as we age, so do our parents. I have come to the age where my parents and most of my friend’s parents are at points of transition. They are reaching their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Many are moving to transitional housing, nursing homes and some are passing away. With these changes, the children often need to return home to help with the transition or tend to the home and its contents after the parent passes.  I enjoyed the poem “All the Questions” which was featured in American Life in Poetry Column and I want  to share it with you.

American Life in Poetry: Column 617

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Those of you who've returned home to visit parents may recognize the way the familiar and the strange wash together in this wise and peaceful poem by Robert Tremmel. The poet is from Iowa and his most recent book is There is a Naked Man, (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2010).

All the Questions

When you step through
the back door
into the kitchen
father is still
sitting at the table
with a newspaper
folded open
in front of him
and pen raised, working
the crossword puzzle.

In the living room
mother is sleeping
her peaceful sleep
at last, in a purple
robe, with her head
back, slippered feet
up and twisted
knuckle hands crossed
right over left
in her lap.

Through the south window
in your old room
you see leaves
on the giant ash tree
turning yellow again
in setting sun
and falling slowly
to the ground and one
by one all the questions
you ever had become clear.

Number one across:
a four-letter word
for no longer.

Number one down:
an eleven letter word
for gone.

 

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Introduction copyright © 2017 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

 





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Live Thankfully


by Susan Diersen on July 23rd, 2016


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A few days ago, I took my daughter’s sidewalk chalk and wrote the phrase “Today I Choose to Live Thankfully” on the sidewalk in front of our house. I did this, partly because it was a nice day outside and it was a nice distraction from the work I had waiting for me inside. However, I did it mostly because I wanted to share the phrase with those who would be walking by that day, in hopes that it may brighten their day and cause them to think about the blessings in their lives.  

As I was sitting there coloring with my chalk, I thought, it would be fun if I could get people to participate as well, so I created a sign that said “Join the fun. Let’s fill the sidewalk. Grab some chalk and add what you are thankful for.”  I wrote the words “I am thankful for” on another section of the walk and left the sign and some chalk and waited to see what would happen.

A mother and two young boys stopped, read it, grabbed some chalk and wrote something. After they were gone, I ran out to see what they had written; one wrote “the universe” and the other wrote ‘Pokémon”.  I was optimistic that maybe now that someone had started others would also join in. As the day went on, many people stopped and added things that they were thankful for such as pizza, health, freedom, grandchildren, nice weather, the bus, love, food, daughters, friends, summer, flowers and smiles. 

Throughout the day some people walked right by without paying any attention to it at all, but some stopped and read the writing on the sidewalk, some read the sign and joined in and some took photos of the writing on the sidewalk.  I was hopeful that this small exercise was helping people feel positive. Late in the day, when I went out to read the sidewalk, my hopes were confirmed. The sidewalk was full! Also, there were people who expressed their gratitude for the activity; one wrote “this idea” one said “this inspiration” and another wrote “I love that you did this. Thank you!”

I would encourage anyone willing, to try it on their sidewalk! If you do, share the experience and photos on our facebook page MyiLive or share on Instagram and Twitter @  #myilive. 

 





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Spring Snow!


by Susan Diersen on April 9th, 2016


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While where many of you live, the trees are leafed out and the flowers are in full bloom, it snowed today in Minnesota! Sure, I can see the green leaves of my tulips, beginning to struggle through the cold ground of my garden and I have heard a few robins chirping in the yard, announcing their return from warmer climates, but I will say it again, it snowed today in Minnesota!

Often in Minnesota, we have a few warm days in March. Days that, after a hard cold winter, make us excited for the arrival of Spring and Summer. Our heads are full of hopefull  thoughts of sunny day walks, trips to the lake, fishing, baseball, ice cream cones, outdoor concerts and art fairs. Then, just hours later, the temperature plummets, the wind chill and snow return, reminding us that Spring is still a few months away.

This time of year, after Spring has teased us with a mild day, I am reminded of a poem I discovered in 9th grade. It was from the book On City Streets, an anthology of poems selected by Nancy Larick and published by Bantam Books. The poem, “December”, by Sanderson Vanderbilt, has become one of my favorites. Over the years when I was ready for spring to come, I would grab the book from the shelf and re-read the poem. After years of this practice, I have of course memorized it. It is funny, on snowy spring days like today, I often find myself, repeating the poem in my mind as I look to the sides of the road, hoping to see the snow melting into the sewer grates. For me this poem, not only represents the coming of spring, but also hope, and the role we play in it. Enjoy the poem!

 

December

 

A little boy stood on the corner

And shoveled bits of dirty, soggy snow

Into the sewer-

With a jagged piece of tin.

He was helping spring come.

 

-Sanderson Vanderbilt





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Adult Coloring


by Susan Diersen on January 14th, 2016


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I was in line at the check out of my local grocery store the other day and noticed that in the magazine rack, along with the usual magazines, there were adult coloring books. I had previously seen adult coloring books and supplies at art stores and book stores, but this was the first time I had seen them at a grocery store. Seeing the coloring books in the magazine racks  made it clear to me, that adult coloring has been become a popular activity.  Many people are finding that coloring is a great way to unwind and relax. -

On our Fully page, we have shared articles about coloring as well as a feature article from Jennifer Narr Anderson who talks about how we can all “Art”.  Take a moment to check out those articles on the Fully page. If you are interested in giving coloring a try, I would suggest downloading printable coloring pages from the internet or pick up a book at a store or on order one from the “Coloring Books for Adults” section in the Myi Live Store.

 

Live Gendelfully!

(Generously, Deliberately and Fully)





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The Results are In


by Susan Diersen on January 7th, 2016


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On New Year’s Eve we ran a fill in the blank post on FaceBook. It read “In 2016 I resolve to_______________” We asked people to fill in the blank and we were overwhelmed with responses. Here is a list of some of those responses:

…Be happy

…Find peace

…Be mindful

…Share hope and joy

….Live in the present

…Be a better person

….Get closer to God

…Get healthy

…Love more

…Lose weight

…Love Life

If you would like to fill in the blank you still can on the post on the MyiLive facebook page. We are thankful to all those who shared their resolutions with us and we are hopeful that we at MyiLive can be an inspiration for all to succeed in their dreams for 2016.

Live GenDelFully! (Generously, Deliberately and Fully)





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New Years Eve


by Susan Diersen on December 31st, 2015


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Well it is that time of year again. How did the year go by so quickly? I hope that you all had a wonderful year! I am sure many of you may be reflecting about the past year and thinking ahead to 2016. We have posted new content on the  Live Deliberately page that pertains to the coming of a new year and resolutions. There are new articles, a poem and a comic. I hope you can take a moment to look at the new content.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? If so, you can share them in the "Fill in the Blank" post on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/myilivegendelfully/. Just click the link to go to facebook to join the conversation! (once there, find the "Fill in the Blank" post from 12/31 and  type your answer to "In 2016 I resolve to_____________________" in the comment section.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve and Live GenDelFully!

 





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Purple Cows, A Bearded Man and Mittens


by Susan Diersen on December 22nd, 2015


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I was first introduced to poetry as a young child.  Before I could read, my Mother read me poems from the Childcraft Encyclopedia, and when I was older I spent hours reading them to myself. I enjoyed the short humorous poems the most. I read them so much, I could recite them then, and still can, even now, 40 years later. In fact, I cannot pass a cow pasture without reciting “The Purple Cow “ by Gelett Buress, while scanning the black and white herd, looking for just one purple one (ya never know, right?) And thanks to Edward Lear’s, “There Was An Old Man With A Beard”, when I see a bearded man I am sure my eyes linger too long on his unruly facial hair;  maybe if I look closely enough I will see the movement in the hair caused by  “two owls and a hen” or maybe “four Larks and a wren”.   I can’t put on a pair of mittens to this day without saying “Thumbs in the thumb place, Fingers all together” from “The Mitten Song” by Marie Louise Allen and don’t even get me started talking about “Eletelephony” by Laura Elizabeth Richards!

My love for poetry became stronger as I grew up. When I was a sophomore in High School, I came across a poetry book in the school library titled, “Climbing the Stairs” by Mark Vinz. I do not remember why I chose to check out that particular book, but I know that I never wanted to return it! When the book became due to be returned to the library, I would renew it as many times as policy allowed.  When I had exhausted my allowed renewals, I would return the book, wait a few days, and then check it out again. I remember feeling guilty that I was hogging the book, but I just wanted to have it with me! I wanted to continue reading and re-reading the poems in that book.  I eventually bought a copy of the book. It sits by my bedside, always there for me to pick up to re-read one of its poems.

I love poetry.  I love the simplicity of it. I love the complexity of it. I love the power a poem can have.  A poem can make me laugh. A poem can make me cry. A poem can make me feel so much, and some poems make me feel nothing at all. (when that happens, I just say “OK” and move on to another).

On the MyiLive website, we will be sharing a variety of poetry. I hope this site will be a place for you to begin to experience poetry in your life; a place where you may read a poem that makes you laugh, or cry or think about things differently. You may also read a poem that does nothing at all for you and that is OK, just read another until you find one that works for you.  My hope is, that you will give poetry a chance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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The Importance of Being Vigilant


by Dave Corp Diersen on December 15th, 2015


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Almost 40 years ago, I was uncomfortably squirming in a wooden fold-down chair, as a series of speakers talked to us on what should have been important things – though I would be generally hard pressed to remember much and nearly anything that was said. The lecturers seemed well-prepared and sincerely wanting to make me and my fellow high schoolers ready to be  participating, thoughtful, and informed citizens and future community leaders;  but honestly I was more intrigued and curious about how the boy two seats over was making such a strange series of noises with his lips.  However, towards the end, a particularly energetic and engaging presenter caught our attention when he promised that if we listened, he would tell us the one thing – he promised the ONLY thing – that would make any of us, make all of us together, make a generation, make America…fail.

He paused and waited until the room was entirely quiet.  It was the back side of the 70’s and I was waiting to hear him tell us about corruption, prejudice, a lack of patriotism, pollution, or the country’s declining academic achievement.  His answer was none of these issues, but he went on to tell us how it contributed to all of them and kept any of them from getting better.  He softly and simply gave us the answer:

“Cynicism.”

In the rest of his talk he powerfully explained something that I thought I understood then, but know I have only fully come to realize through time.  In its most reduced form, he simply explained that cynicism is most dangerous because it blocks out hope and the sad pathetic cascading effects of that.  But it was his closing that made his speech a daily part of my life.  He said, realities and even the well-intended words of those who love you most, might without intent, nudge you towards cynicism.  He bent over and pointed his finger at us and repeat towards each part of the stage, “be vigilant.” 

I have thought of this man’s speech almost daily.  It is easy to forget what is offered to us if we only dwell on the negativity that is so freely easy to find.  So, today MyiLive is posting a wonderful Ted Talk by Neil Pasricha, in our Fully Section, called “The 3 A’s of Awesome.”  In it he describes how his blog, that simply identifies one small and wondrous thing every day, has became such a phenomenon.  I know this Ted Talk reminded me to “be vigilant”. It helped me notice something simple I otherwise wouldn’t have. Today, a person driving from the other direction slowed down and waved me through so I could make my left turn.  How easy it would be to not realize the importance being vigilant.

I hope you enjoy this Ted Talk and can start to think of your own special things every day, so that you will help yourself – and all of us – to remain vigilant against cynicism.

Live GenDelFully!

 

 

 

 





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The Beauty of Snow


by Dave Corp Diersen on December 13th, 2015


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Most days, I am quite happy for the lack of snow this year. I do not participate or even enjoy most cold weather sports or activities -- and I surely don’t like shoveling snow or driving in it.  But, still, if I’m honest, I would miss it if it were not an annual visitor.  If I had never experienced a snowfall, I surely would have avoided one of life’s disrupting phenomena, but then again, like so many things they make us pause and pay attention.  I would have missed one of most truly beautiful things anyone can experience.

Snow is an incredibly unusual adaptation of ordinary precipitation.  Rain typically falls and makes an announcing sound as it arrives, leaves things appearing and smelling wet, and then disappears.  Snow generally floats down, silently accumulates, and covers everything in a white blanket, removing the true colors and shapes ordinarily seen.  As a person who loves the beautiful exploding colors of a painted world, I am amazed by how simply beautiful a landscape is when it is devoid of its colors by a coating of snow.  As a person who loves the continual sounds of nature, music, or a friendly conversation, I am surprised by how breathtaking it can be to stand in the strange quiet that remains, right after the snow stops falling.

I am sure you will enjoy the photo writing provided by another wonderful content contributor, Tracy Patterson.  Her beautiful pictures and writing explore both the beauty of snow itself, but perhaps even more importantly, what is most important in finding that beauty.

Live GenDelFully!





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First Content Contributors!


by Susan Diersen on December 7th, 2015


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Besides helping people live more generously, deliberately and fully, one of the main goals of Myi Live is to provide a place for artists and writers to share their work. People can become Content Contributors to Myi Live and share their writings, art or photography.  I am excited today because our site currently shows the writing and photography of our first two content contributors! 

Ronald Trutty is a photographer who tries to engage the viewers of his photographs to be active viewers rather than a being a passive participant in viewing. The photo above is one of Ron's as well as the header photos on the Live Generously and Live Deliberately pages. Michelle Genereux provided our first blog post. You can read her piece, Children Make Us Brave, on the Live Fully page. Michelle is a health care worker and mother. You can read more about these two contributors on the Content Contributors page.

We are looking forward to content from others! If you want to learn more about submitting your writings or art, check out the Submissions page.

Live GenDelFully!

 





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It Has Been a Fun Week!


by Susan Diersen on November 19th, 2015


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It has been a fun week at Myi Corporation! We launched MyiLive.com and our MyiLive Facebook page. We have been thrilled with the numbers of people who are reading the site and following Myi Live on Facebook. It is even more exciting to see people sharing our posts with others.

If you are new here, you may be wondering what GenDelFully is all about. At its simplest level, GenDelFully is a made up word that takes the first three letters of the words Generously and Deliberately and all the letters of the word Fully and joins them together. The concept is that if you put these three aspects of living together, you get something more complete, in-balance, and powerful than you can have by living according to the principles of any one of them. We believe that deciding to Live GenDelFully provides a pathway for people to lead more satisfying and fuller lives.

Myi Live is a site for people to join in and participate in exploring living a fuller life. One way to do that, is to become a content contributor. We are looking for images, writings, links, poetry, book or movie reviews or video or audio. By getting the contributions of others from of all walks of life, belief systems, or demographics, we can create a truly amazing sharing site that helps all of us learn about and participate in these important character elements of living. If you are interested in being a contributor, please check out the submissions section of the site.

Myi Live will be updated regularly with content, so visit often and of course, follow us on our social media sites. Also, while you are here, take a moment to check out our Shops, where we will have customized merchandise and selected items from Amazon that support Living GenDelFully.

Have fun exploring our site – and – remember… Live GenDelFully!





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Introducing GenDelFully


by Susan Diersen on November 13th, 2015


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This is truly an exciting day at Myi Corporation. We are excited about getting the MyiLive.com site operating, but we are more excited than anything that we now have a robust vehicle for explaining, exploring, and sharing how and why we believe to Live GenDelFully is so important and how it can make such a difference in your life.

At its simplest level, GenDelFully is a made up word that takes the first three letters of the words Generously and Del iberately and all the letters of the word Fully and joins them together. The concept is that if you put these three aspects of living together, you get something more complete, in-balance, and powerful than you can have by living according to the principles of any one of them. We believe that deciding to Live GenDelFully provides a pathway for people to lead more satisfying and fuller lives.

For the launch of this site, we authored the primary content for each of the sections by explaining what we believe it is to Live Generously, Live Deliberately, and to Live Fully. In the future, we will be compiling content from many sources including our members. By getting the contributions of others from of all walks of life, belief systems, or demographics, we can create a truly amazing sharing site that helps all of us learn about and participate in these important character elements of living.

Myi Live will be updated regularly with content, so visit often and of course, follow us on our social media sites. Also, while you are here, take a moment to check out our Shops, where we will have customized merchandise and selected items from Amazon that support Living GenDelFully.

Have fun exploring our site – and – remember… Live GenDelFully!