Tag Archives: #worldtraveler

A young poet

A few Sundays ago, I read Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet.

And I have now re-read it.

So many passages are worth pondering. I shall share a few.

“Leave to your opinions their own quiet undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be pressed or hurried by anything. Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. to let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life: in understanding as in creating.

“There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as through eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything!”


Speaking about sensual pleasure: “In one creative thought a thousand forgotten nights of love revive, filling it with sublimity and exaltation. And those who come together in the night and are entwined in rocking delight do an earnest work and gather sweetnesses, gather depth and strength for the song of some coming poet, who will arise to speak of ecstasies beyond telling. And they call up the future; and though they err and embrace blindly, the future comes all the same, a new human being rises up, and on the ground of that chance which here seems consummated, awakes the law by which a resistant vigorous seed forces its way through to the egg-cell that moves open toward it. Do not be bewildered by the surfaces; in the depths all becomes law.”


On solitude and suffering: “We are set down in life as in the element to which we best correspond, and over and above this we have through thousands of years of accommodation become so like this life, that when we hold still we are, through a happy mimicry, scarcely to be distinguished from all that surrounds us.. We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn in to princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”


A benediction: “Do you remember how [your] life yearned out of its childhood for the “great”? I see that it is now going on beyond the great to long for greater. For this reason it will not cease to be difficult, but for this reason too it will not cease to grow.

“And if there is one thing more that I must say to you, it is this: Do not believe that he who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life has much difficulty and sadness and remains far behind yours. Were it otherwise he would never have been able to find those words.”

May we all go beyond for the greater, and never cease to grow, and embrace the difficulty.

(translations by M.D. Herter Norton)

#TBT: GSE

Nineteen years ago this month.

I was part of a Group Study Exchange of four young (under-40) professionals, going to Brazil from central Indiana, all under the auspices and sponsorship of Rotary International.

This trip changed my life.

Read more: https://jeffreycarter.wordpress.com/travel-memoirs/brasil-2001/.

#TBT: places

As travel restrictions mount, I’m thinking of all the wonderful and meaningful places I’ve traveled since 1994, and the important cultural and personal relationships that were the focus of these trips.

A lifetime of memories lives in these photos:

England

Memories of various trips to England have been popping up on Facebook.  I am ready to visit again.

@AmericanAir, a resolution

Well then.

After going public last week with frustrations and dead-ends, I am now on the receiving end of some resolution.

Iberia Airlines did not have a lost-baggage or delayed-baggage compensation claim form on their website. Every mention of delayed baggage led to a dead end.

I pointed this out to my wonderful contact at American Airlines, Liliana, who simply said “Let me see what I can do.”

And a day later I had a call from Central Baggage Resolution at American Airlines. Two days later, this email arrived:

“Thank you for contacting us and for your patience while we reviewed your claim. Again, I’m sorry for the inconvenience you experienced while traveling to Morocco.

“As we discussed, I’m sending you a check for $410.17 that you should receive in two to three weeks.  

“As a gesture of goodwill and to encourage your continued business, I’ve made arrangements for an electronic voucher (eVoucher)” for use toward the cost of an airline ticket.

This was Iberia’s mess to clean up, but American stepped in and took care of it.

Folks, social media works. So does kindness, which I have extended in oodles to every American employee with whom I have spoken. So does directness in stating the problem and the expectation of what a resolution will look like. General gripes don’t gain resolution; specific requests do, even if the resolution is “we cannot do that, and here’s why.”

So once the voucher and the check arrive, this whole incident will be a story to tell and a memory to file. A mild inconvenience is over.

THANK YOU, American Airlines!

Back at work

Returning from Morocco, jet-lagged and weary and worn, but carefree in some ways, I am now back at the office.

And the cares have returned!

Friday is our last audition day of the season. We should see another 10 students or so who wish to come to Webster.

I’ll take the weekend off, then hit the summer punch list hard on Monday.  Our decennial accreditation visit happens in just over a half-year, so much of my summer will be spent on that.

The next holiday beckons in early July!

Memories of this week: