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Click to go to the most current Cliff Between the Lines
Life, viewed sideways. Emotions, amplified. Answers, questioned. Me, between the lines.

- A Wounded Heart, Who Can Bear?
- Drowning Under a Tidal Wave
- Clawing My Way to the Sunlight
- Yes, Santa Claus, There Is a Virginia
- Fugu
- Touching the Spirit
- A Hole in the Universe
- Riding on the Dreams of Others
- Turning Into a Shark
 - A Heart, Ripped Asunder
- Surrendering to the Roller Coaster
- Hunting in the Jade Forest
- Dodging the Shark
- Dancing With Invisible Partners
- The Captain and the Harliquin
- Courting the Devils
- The Captain Makes His Mark
- Mad Dog to the Rescue
- Innocent in the Big City
- Dropping the Ball Briefcase
- Scrambling Brains
- Cheating the Reaper, Again
- What If the Man Behind the Curtain Is No Wizard After All?
- All of Us Have a Soundtrack
- Working With Broken Machines
- Happy Anniversary, Baby
- Standing on Stars
- Running the Film Backwards
- Identity Crisis ("Who am I?")
- Can We Ever Really Admit the Desires of Our Heart?
- Forgiveness is a Rare Thing
- Having Your Heart Caressed By the Creator
- Working With Broken Machines
- A New Leg to Stand On
- The Real Spirit of Christmas
- Chatting With Infinity
- Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
- We All Have a Great Capacity for Loss
- Brushed Lightly By Might Have Beens
- We See the World Through Our Own Looking Glass
- Every Storm Passes Eventually
- Accidents Can Introduce Destiny Into Our Lives
- Freedom Depends on the Walls Around Us
- Pulling Aside the Velvet Curtain
- Riding the Razor's Edge
- Dying With Strangers
- In Your Face
- Between the Lines
- The Bobcat
- Angel With a Coffeecup
- Innocent in the Big City
- Chains of Gossamer
- Playing With Knives
- Stumbling Through Memories (Ooops)
- Picture This
- Running the Film Backwards
- Playing the Score, Tasting the Music
- Coins and Corals and Carved Coconuts
- My God, I Confess
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 1, Speechless)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 2, Taxi)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 3, The Pan American)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 4, Guano)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 5, The Andes Express)

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"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."

Walt Whitman (1819-92)

"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."

Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)

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Thursday, August 19, 2004


Function: noun
Etymology: Greek mythos
1 a : a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon b : PARABLE, ALLEGORY
2 : What our national athletic heroes become, in our society

I love the Olympics.

Most sports just don't enthuse me. Baseball, for example. I've only ever watched one professional baseball game from beginning to end, and that was because a friend of mine took me to the game with him. I get excited about football about once every five years or so, and we won't even mention golf.

But, the Olympics. There's just something different about them. Each time they are held, either winder or summer games, they are always touched by the heroic.

I don't know about you, but I crave heroic.

Inside me, there is something that cries out that yes, there is a place where good triumphs, a place where hard work pays off, a place where the underdog can rise up and become a champion. A place where hardships are difficult but surmountable, where life works the way I always believed it was supposed to.

I will never forget until the day I die sitting there in 1996 holding my breath as Kerri Strug ran for her vault with a damaged ankle she could barely walk on. Sacrificing herself for the team, she flung her slight frame into the air and stuck the landing, even though the pain was excruciating, clinching the gold medal for her team.

And tonight, we saw another pseudomythical performance by Paul Hamm. After literally falling off the mat onto the judges table during his vault in the men's all around, he rose to the challenge and clinched the gold medal by following the disaster with two of the best routines he had ever done, winning gold by only thousandths of a point over the very capable and talented Koreans.

Kerri and Paul, heroes both of them. When it was so easy to give up, they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and kept going.

What a good lesson.

If I could take my personal world view and distill it down to one page, those names would be on it along with so many other heroes. Heroes are not "other people."

Heroes are us.

Each of us has challenges in our lives of one sort or another. Some have more than others. Every one of us has the opportunity to become a Hercules in our own right.

Heroes may be fighting in a sports venue, in circumstances and danger, or just on a one to one or even a personal basis. The shared trait is that they are fighting. They refuse to admit defeat. If they get knocked down, they will get back up, over and over and over.

It is never the winning that makes a hero. It is the struggle.

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)

Permalink: 8/19/2004 12:30:00 AM |
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