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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2007


The Caterpillar Whisperer

Emily talking to caterpillar
Originally uploaded by marytsao.
Mike and I had a tag team weekend with the kids. He took Saturday and spent the day with the kids at his mom's while I stayed home and worked on the newsletter for my mothers club. I took today and spent the day on the Stanford campus at the Stanford Community Day festival while he stayed home and worked.

At the Community Day the kids and I saw dancers and children's musician Andy Z perform, ate lemon ices, checked out some of the Rodin sculptures at the Cantor Arts Center, and marvelled at the many caterpillars hanging from the trees by silk strings. It must be caterpillar season. I really wanted to view the Richard Avedon photography exhibit at the Cantor Arts Center, but it took me about 10 seconds to realize that the kids weren't going to behave for a quiet tour through a gallery. I'm going to try and get back there later this week.

The weekend flew by, and tomorrow will be a busy day, too. We've got our regular chores of cleaning and grocery shopping, but the highlight of the day will be when my sister Barb and her friend Jim show up from their day of fishing for Pacific Ocean salmon. If Captain Smitty is to be believed, they'll be bringing with them lots of fresh salmon. Hope that's true! I'm looking forward to barbequed salmon for dinner tomorrow night.

Have you ever heard of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann? It's an inspirational poem about happiness, and I discovered it while reading A Hole in the Fence and her post Things I Love or Don't Love About Technical Writing. Her post was great and as a former technical writer, I completely related to it. At the end of the post she quoted a bit from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Desiderata is Latin for "desired things". I found the entire piece online and very much enjoyed it. Maybe you will, too.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.