for Jim Milstead and Judy Teresa, friends and mentors
Over the decades, I’ve embraced or fought off despair
at various times. When I realized finally that more than
anything I needed a program of 12 concurrent steps I could
use in learning how to live, Jim and Judy were there. Without
telling me what to do or how to live, they are unintentional
examples and simply show me.
Each concurrent step is a key element to success. I work
on these continuously, and focus on practice and results.
Live fearlessly and unapologetically,
but learn how and know when to say “I’m sorry.”
Be loving and fierce, and charm friends and others.
Pay attention and be attentive.
Don’t be remote or overly talkative.
Be mindful and engage intelligence for good.
Have a deep curiosity – one unending, like the wind.
Read widely, take classes, and attend seminars.
Be generous and know when to listen and offer hugs.
Foster hope and love for animals and children;
engage loved ones and mentor friends.
Write furiously and expansively.
When rage is called for, channel it productively.
Keep active and keep on trying;
don’t fold under pressure and never give up.
When the curtain begins to fall, I will do what I imagine
they will do: bow gracefully and exit with only words
of gratitude and love on my lips.
Andrew Shattuck McBride
Published in the 2012 Kumquat Challenge chapbook, a very nice chapbook!
I’d like to thank all of the people involved in conducting the Kumquat Challenge this year. A few of the people include Sally Sheedy, Ara Taylor, Linda Lambert, and Heather Williams. Great job!
Each year several staff members of Whatcom Community College organize the Kumquat Challenge. It is a challenge to write a poem using ten words chosen by these staff members.
This year’s set of words is as follows: charm, never, wind, element, fold, remote, curtain, keep, foster, and step.
While this contest is open only to people associated with WCC (e.g., staff members and students), incorporating a specific set of ten words in a poem is a great mental stretching exercise. Try it!
Blessings to all, Andy