By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    In snyc.
    A simple swing on a jungle-gym conveying.
    She's stretched out like a board with her legs and arms extended, gripping the metal chains, gaining momentum with a cycle of knee and elbow bends, reaching higher and higher for the sky.
    She looks into the sun, lays her head back, and laughs openly.
    Beautiful. Energizing. Engaging.
    She's not alone ...
    A beautiful little boy is extended on top of her, laid back in perfect mimicry and symmetry against her body. His head is pressed tighly against her breast, forced down by gravity's pull into an intense embrace.
     Together their faces are lifted toward the sun. Higher and higher they go ... feet almost touching the sky.
    Shouting and laughing in a triumphant language, the little boy is shrieking in pure and utter delight,
    "Higher ... go higher."
    And together they go.
    The shadows dance and the memories are pure.
    The little boy and his "Me-ma" share their secrets and love for life ...
    On a single swing.
    "Emotion is energy in motion."
    -Peter Mcwilliams


    By: Darrelyn Tutt

    I have a very quiet friend,
    Her name is solitude;
    She fills the busy world of talk,
    With silent interlude.

    She speaks a tranquil language true,
    Yet never fills the air,
    With simple talk or idle chat,
    And yet I know she’s there.

    For solitude communicates,
    A message of her own;
    She beckons and invites me,
    “Come away and come alone.”

    In conduct so becoming,
    And an invitation free;
    She offers timely friendship,
    And she wisely counsels me.

     I have a very quiet friend,
    Her name is solitude;
    No other friend so faithful been,
    As silent interlude.
    “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”
    -Pablo Picasso


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Grab a cup of coffee ...  and respond reflectively to the twelve questions presented.
    Your answers may surprise and challenge you:
    1) What are your short and long range goals. How quickly and concretely can you identify them? 
    *Individuals with specific goals are more deliberate, disciplined, and successful in life than those without.
    2) If you could spend a fun day doing whatever you wanted and with whoever you wanted, what would you do and who would you do it with?
    When was the last time you enjoyed a fun day?
    3) Consider the last funeral you attended.
    What impact (positive or negative) did that individual have on you?
    What impact did you have on them?
    4) Songs, lyrics, and quotes tend to lodge themselves in our minds for a reason. What words are being rehearsed in yours and for what reason?
    5) Reflect on two individuals, past and present, who inspire and challenge you.
    What traits do they possess that draw you?
    6) Outside of your spouse and family members, who are your closest friends?
    Do you respect them and do you wish to become like them?
     Your response is a direct revelation about you. Do you like who you're becoming?
    7) Name five traits you possess.
    Did you find yourself selecting negative or positive traits?
    Your answer is quite a revelation of your attitude toward yourself.
    Which trait matters most to you?
    8) What subjects do you possess the most knowledge about and what conversations generate the most interest in you?
    Who are you passing that knowledge off to that would most benefit?
    9) Consider three lessons you've learned the hard way and identify them in concrete terms.
    How do these lessons continue to affect your life in positive and progressive ways?
    10) What obstacles stand between you and your goals or desires?
    What will you do "today" to arrive one step closer?
    11) What do you believe about God and eternity?
    What does the amount of time you give spiritual matters suggest to you?
    12) Recall the three most intimate acts you've ever experienced.
    Reflect on them carefully and consider what they reveal to you about your defining of intimacy and "why" they had such a profound effect on you.
    Remove yourself unapologetically from frenzied activity and allow your mind, soul, and spirit time to process and absorb your experiences, reflections, and answers.
    Your responses are a revelation about you and, if you're listening closely, wield the power to communicate a profound message to you.
    Also ...
    Consider which of the twelve questions you found yourself returning to and which questions you most enjoyed answering or found most provoking. These, also, are a revelation about you and identify something important going on in you.
    Be gentle with yourself in your answers.
    Be thoughtful.
    Be honest.
    And above all ...
     Be intentional about the life you live.
    "Still around the corner there may wait;
    A new road or a secret gate."


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    The heart of man is a barren place,
    And the soul of man is dry;
    Tis the recognition of this truth,
    That precedes God’s vast supply.

    Not a thing on earth, not a wealth beside,
    Can assist nor aid estate;
    But the depth, and height, and the grace of God,
    Who perceives man’s needy state.

    From a place on high, from a realm unseen,
    Lies an access to the throne;
    From the Holy Mount flows a healing fount,
    That He freely gives His own.

    Coursing down to flow on the soul below,
    Ebbs a sweet and sure supply;
    From the fount so pure running crystal clear,
    Through the soul that once was dry.

    The heart of man is a barren place,
    And the soul of man is dry;
    Tis the recognition of this truth,
    That precedes God’s vast supply.


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Today is a celebration of my mother-in-law Stell's 99th birthday.
    I've been asked to get her all "dolled-up" for the day, so some time in the nursing home will be ours in just a few hours, and then we'll head to a Community center in town where the party will begin.
    All of Stell's eleven children will be present along with many of their kids and grands.
    The day is one of much anticipation.
    A special dress has been laid out and I've got a few necessities in tow:
    A curling iron to spruce up a beautiful head of soft white hair, a soft rose blush for her tender round cheeks, and a soft coral to make her lips pop.
    Two coats of coral (favorite color) nail polish will be applied, and then I'll line her up in front of a vertical mirror where she'll fuss a wee bit more, put a few strands of hair in place, and then we'll walk out the door.
    The day will be beautiful.
    We'll arrive at the Community center in style and all of Stell's children will be waiting, except Dawn who passed away this past Memorial weekend. Her absense will be keenly felt and she will, undoubtedly, be a subject of much conversation.
    Several of the boys will be waiting at the door and get her comfortably situated in her wheelchair. She'll let them fuss over her and love every little minute of it.
    Stell's boys "can do no wrong" and have always landed with a little extra favor according to the girls.
    For some little reaon, I think I have too, but let's not tell anyone.
    Shhh ....
    Exclamations on her "loveliness" will be hers throughout the day and a large "Happy Birthday" will be her greeting. She'll chuckle and ask teasingly who's birthday we're celebrating, and the party will start in Stella style.
    Food will line the long tables against the wall and "buffet style" will be an accommodating factor throughout the day for the hungry and wandering. Ha.
    Chicken, chicken, and more chicken, followed with potato salad, coleslaw, beans, chips, and veggie trays, and enough desserts to last to Christmas will line the tables.
    A large birthday cake with her name emblazened on it will be the "finale" on the end of the table, and probably a few candles for photo reasons.
    Stell will do a little "drive-by" and splurge on all her favorites throughout the day while enjoying conversations with all her children.
    She'll doze off and on throughout the day;
     repeat the same stories and listen to her children's stories.
    She'll hold great grandchildren, and exclaim over the "growing up" others.
    By 3:30 she'll be exhausted and we'll all know it's time to call it a day.
    A perfect "ninety-nine" day.
    We'll pack up, say our good-bye's, and I'll listen to conversation between mother and son from the backseat all the way home.
    Then she'll get home and rest,
    lie her head on her pillow,
    and rehearse the beautiful day.
    Ninety-nine candles.



    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    The mind is a curious thing composed of complexities.
    The Periodic Table of Elements fascinates me and so I'm studying it and learning.
    Hmmm ... why?
    +Is it the curious letters themselves which challenge a "word" crazed person?
    +Is it the challenge of linking letters to specific elements and learning about them?
    +Is it a hungry mind simply desirous of exploration in a new world?
    +Is it the wonderment of categories, orders, and properties assigned brilliantly?
    +Is it the challenge of identifying curious numbers with the elements and knowing what they mean?
    +Is it the discovery of precise order that I appreciate and wish to understand on the Periodic Table?
    +Is it the mind of the man credited with the creation of the Periodic Table?
    Yes ... to all of the above but an emphatic yes to the questions emboldened.

    Dmitri Mendeleev is the brilliant mind behind the original Periodic Table.
    Dmitri Mendeleev was the "... Russian chemist who developed the periodic classification of the elements. Mendeleev found that, when all the known chemical elements were arranged in order of increasing atomic weight, the resulting table displayed a recurring pattern, or periodicity, of properties within groups of elements. In his version of the periodic table of 1871, he left gaps in places where believed unknown elements would find their place. He even predicted the likely properties of three of the potential elements. The subsequent proof of many of his predictions within his lifetime brought fame to Mendeleev as the founder of the periodic law."
    -Bernadette Bensuade-Vincent
    Dmitri was born on February 8, 1834 in Siberia (Russian Empire) and died on February 2, 1907 in St. Petersburg Russia.
    A man with an intriguing history, I've appreciated familiarizing myself with a condensed biography of him.
    Dmitri's upbringing captivates me, his mind challenges, and so does the individual who witnessed and perceived his early potential which, in Dmitri's case, happened to be his mother.
    The "power of one" I am reminded is a significant power and number, indeed.
    It doesn't have to be a mother ... just a significant "other" who makes an extraordinary difference:
    Sibling. Relative. Friend. Foe. Teacher. Student. Neighbor. Artist. Employer. Employee. Author. Possibly even a stranger at just the "right" moment.
    We all have at least one individual who aided and empowered us in some extraordinary way and helped us at a crossroads in our lives. We also have the potential to become someone's else's "power of one" in our today.
    It's an empowering consideration.
    I challenge you to create a "periodic table" composed of individuals who have empowered you and aided you in your life. Assign numerical value to them and the power of the "atom energy" they supplied you with in a needful season.
    Assign individuals with positive numbers according to positive energy and impact and see if it doesn't have an extraordinary effect on you.
    It's a stimulating assignment.
    That's all for today,
    I've more elements to discover and more adventures to experience.
    The possibilities are endless ... with regard to the elements.
    The Power of One.
    "I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper."
    -Dmitri Mendeleev


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Seven books sit vertically on my writing desk available and ready for quick retrieval:
    J.I. Rodale's "The Word Finder"
    Unger & White's "Vine Expository"
    Matthew Henry's Commentary
    Dale Carnegie's "Public Speaking"
    Tony Robbin's "Awaken the Giant Within"
     Webster's Dictionary
    KJV Bible
    These particular books are a steady source of instruction and inspiration to me;
     not a day goes by without at least two of them being utilized.
    The authors provoke, challenge, and inspire.
    The books instruct, teach, and ignite.
     A companion of wise men, I'm seated with the best, and I've a deep respect for the comrades I've chosen.
    Beside my books sits an 8x11 silver framed quote; a gift from my husband during a painful and unforgettable season of life.
    "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
    -Teddy Roosevelt
    The quote grows more compelling and provoking with time.
    My red-checkered book bag is filled with library books ready for return and replacement situated on the floor by my feet.
    Andrew Jackson, Nelly Bly, Harry Houdini, John Hancock, and Chief Joseph need rest and must go home. They've engaged me wonderfully this past week and inspired and sparked sensational thought. I'm grateful for their companionship ... appreciative of time with them.
    "Reads" with new authors provoke countless discoveries and expose the mind to new ideas, adventures, and undertakings.
    Books are safe companions and the library, a safe institution; where the mind can devour, discover, and explore that which it is hungry for.
    Mmmm ...
    For the love of books.
    "I grabbed my book and opened it up. I wanted to smell it. I wanted to kiss it. Yes, kiss it. That's right, I am a book kisser. Maybe that's kind of perverted or maybe it's just romantic and highly intelligent."
    -Sherman Alexie


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Difficult conditions have the power to positively "recondition" the mind.
    Utilize them.
    Edson Arantes do Nascimento
    Famously known as Pele'.
    Networth: $100 million
    Pele' was born in Brazil in 1940 into a life of poverty.
    He had access to a stuffed sock in his childhood and made use of it.
    He kicked it around ... a lot.
     Assuming the natural athletic ability of his unsuccessful soccer playing father, he met up with countless challenges and overwhelmed them all.
    He graduated from a sock to a soccer ball and displayed unusual and original talent in the sport.
    Somebody quite extraordinary was watching the "boy with the sock" and recognized his obvious and eager talent early. At the age of 15 he was signed up with a professional soccer club and at the age of 18 he dazzled the world at the 1958 World Cup wearing Brazil's national colors.
    Pele' enjoyed a long and successful career in soccer (aka football in other parts of the world).
    He earned the FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) Player of the Century title in 1999 along with Diega Maradona from Argentina.
    He scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games and became a living legend and national treasure to Brazil and the soccer world.
    He played in four World Cups and his Brazilian team won three (1958, 1962, 1970.)
    His gift to the soccer world was speed, agility, and vision.
    His gift to the world was inspiration, determination, and resilience.
    Anything is possible.
    No excuses.
    Take your "sock" and kick it hard ...
    And change the world.
    "Success is not an accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    A bit of trivia.
    See if you can guess the mind and the man behind the facts?
    +Considered exceptionally brilliant and innovative, this individual had only two years of formal education. He made up for his lack of schooling by an investment in books and intentional reading. One specific aid to his intelligence was memorization. He would cultivate composition skills by rewriting, from memory, the words and ideas of great men.
    +This individual received honorary degrees from Harvard and Yale and was a founder of the University of Pennsylvania.
    +This individual was known as the mysterious "Silence Dogood" writer, who took on a fictitious persona in his teens and wrote to matters regarding women's fashions, women's rights, marriage, and religion.
    "Silence Dogood" was a fictitious widow
    (a supremely curious factoid, yes?)
    +This individual arrived penniless in Philadelphia in the 1700's.
    He purchased a print shop and became a great writing sensation through his published and popular "Poor Richard's Almanack."
    +This individual amassed great wealth at a young age (42) and began an early "retirement" studying science, creating and patenting countless inventions.
    +This individual believed in peaceful compromises and was among the last of the founding fathers to resign himself to a separation with Mother England.
    +This individual owned two slaves in his lifetime but later became an abolitionist.
    +He loved swimming and his aquatic exploits earned him an honorary induction in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
    Hmmm ... and yes indeed:
    Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin was an interesting and invested character who believed in an ongoing system of tangible, personal betterment. He believed in the power of the pen.
    He wrote down everything:
    Goals, ambitions, dreams, desires, inventions, and strategies (personal and public) were stated openly and determinedly on paper. He mapped out everything through words and recorded the positives and negatives afforded. Failures were deemed helpful in the long term and he grew to embrace them and ascribe them an unusual value.
    Give me Benjamin's mind over his money any day!
    The man was a genius.
    Better yet ... I consider him my friend.
    Study the lives of individuals you admire and keep a paper and pen handy always.
    Learn from them and imitate their success and see whether it doesn't attach itself to you.
    Know where you're going and how to get there.
    Improve yourself.
    Apply yourself.
    Learn from your mistakes.
    Create a pattern and patent for learning that changes your life and the lives of those around you.

    Intelligence is an acquired state.
    Take possession of it.
     "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
    -Benjamin Franklin


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Nature is a natural therapy and healing remedy for the soul;
    an organic agent of solace and tranquility.
    Stroke for stroke my arms move in rhythm,
    shoulders engaged, and elbows extended.
    My kayak moves through the gentle waters;
     my soul paddles deep into the presence of God.
    And I hear Him whisper ...
    "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard."
    Psalm 119:1-3
    The soul must go where it can hear, experience, and safely worship God.
    The soul must go where it is nurtured and encouraged to experience and explore depth and intimacy with its Lover,
    communion with its Maker,
    confession with its Redeemer.
    Nature provides a tranquil air void of people and pollutant;
    void of politics, projection, and pretense.
    The voice of God is heard and His word prevails in the wonder of Nature.
    The voice of God sounds out ...
    and His message is pure.
    Cattails gather in clustered cliques of brown suade, a few bulging over with harvest white cotton. My hand strokes the suade, cracks open the bursting cell, and my fingers feel the wonder of God's creation.
    So soft, white, and clean.
    A sunbathing turtle idles quiet on a log,
    I touch him with my paddle and prompt a splashing. He dives into the water transmitting bubbles to the top, then shortly rises and returns to his place of sunning. I think that's happened to me a time or two also.
    The sharpened pencil of a tree suggests a beaver near to me, and all around me a sharpened sense of God's glory.
    Trees, naked and full, line the shoreline,
    and greens of every hue beneath the blue.
    Breathtaking beautiful is everywhere around me.
    My kayak glides effortlessly across the waters.
    Stroke for stroke and grace for grace ...
    the glory of God.
    In tranquility of Nature.
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