Things My Wife Sends Me

Nirav Patel Photography

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My wife often sends me people, ideas, and links of inspiration. This week she sent me Nirav Patel.

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“I am drawn to quiet moments,” writes, “I think it originated from attempts at self-preservation when I was living in neighborhoods that were...difficult” (via).

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“I still look for the glimpses of quiet when the world is turbulent. These images are a window into my world” (via).

Reminds me of Tupac’s “The Rose That Grew From Concrete”.

You can follow Nirav on instagram or his website.

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Photography : Art : Nirav Patel

The Eggshibit

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My wife showed me this guy today. As advertised, it was a “life changing eggsperience!”

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This one is my favorite.

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You can follow @the_eggshibit for more, and watch his Youtube video to see how it all started. Enjoy!

Also check out:

Smallest Sushi on Earth  :  Smallest Cup of Coffee  :  Cracked - art made out of saltine crackers.


A flower from my wife

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“The heart is a bloom, shoots up from the stony ground.”

A lyric that follows me now, down every dirt road path and onto the old cracked sidewalks, where little girls giggle as they silly talk and my mind drifts again to another world we lived in. A place that taught me a plant can survive in the most surprising, sometimes inhospitable places. And the human spirit can thrive, even in change, even if smothered or weary. 
Beautiful flowers can grow out of concrete.
- Josey Miller (@storyanthology)

Yeah, she’s pretty awesome.

Click here for more thoughts, pictures, and inspiration from my wife,

Do something great

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My wife sent me this photo on the same morning I listened to this podcast, Do Meaningful Work and Change the World with Adam Braun, "the CEO & Co-Founder of MissionU, a debt-free college alternative for the 21st century that CNN called 'perfect for young people who are eager to launch their career'" (via), and I truly enjoyed it. 

One of the more inspiring, or challenging, portions of the podcast came at near the 30 minute mark. It's his last interview question to anyone wanting to work for him and his ideas. The question is, "What do you consider to be your single greatest success that is unrelated to your career or your family?"

I asked this question to a few friends of mine and, as intended, it engaged us in a lengthy personal conversation about life. Mainly because we disagreed with the question, "There isn't time or energy for much work outside of my career and family!" And maybe that's okay, because the point of the question is to get to know someone, beyond the job, and find their deeper purpose, their deeper self - not what they did. Because it gets to the question of character. 

So when we struggle to find an answer outside of teaching or parenting or husbanding, that's okay, because we're not bragging about what we've done - our simple accomplishments - but the moments of growth, of inspiration, and of where we've been able to see where our work, our ideas, and our presence has been able to change the world. 

What would your answer be?

 

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  On Living   Favorite Podcasts

Featured Photographer : Hajjat Hamidi

Thanks to my wife, I recently came across this Iranian photographer, Hojjat Hamidi, and I think it's time you do too.

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Ever wonder what people are thinking? I do. And I could sit and stare and wonder at this photograph for hours.

 

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 The Horse Story

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When my wife saw this she said, "Who takes photos like this?" and I wasn't sure how to answer because I couldn't pull myself out of this moment. Just gorgeous. 

To see more of Hojjat Hamidi photos, follow him on Instagram. He has over 26.6k followers, so I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

 

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Photography  :  Inspiring art

A space for home

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This transition process is taking longer than we expected. We still don't have lampshades, we have to borrow my in-laws vacuum almost weekly, and our dining room still doesn't have a working table and chairs - we have to crowed around a small countertop island to eat as a family.

But those are simple things that can easily change in the near future. It's the other stuff that's taking time, the human stuff, the kids crying themselves to sleep because they're thinking and dreaming and missing China stuff. The missing home stuff. And I didn't know what to do. 

We can talk about China and their friends, revisite old photographs and some of our favorite memories, and we can talk about all the blessings we've been able to experience since arriving back in the states. But that doesn't seem to help. Not much anyway. So resort to words like, "It will be okay, I promise. You just need time," or, "by this time next year, you'll be feeling much better, I promise." But they're empty. Because really, I have no idea if it will be okay, if things will get better. If they will ever stop missing home.

My optimism, in the end, amounts to nothing.

But then, this morning, my wife sent me a text that convicted and challenged my heart. She was writing to share the news that she'd been featured on a forum that receives close to a million submissions, and she was one of seven people chosen. "It's not a big deal," she wrote, "but it is just a little encouraging. She continued:

It's funny how I am feeling so sad about loss and constantly worried I'll shrivel, but there are spaces of delight here. Just comparing apples and oranges. But getting this photo featured means more than just that. It means there is hope for a Home again. Even if it's hard to believe now.

I loved the way she said that, "there is hope for a Home again. Even if it's hard to believe now" because it reminded me that hope is active.

It is her taking pictures every day, even when she doesn't feel like it because its her and her passion and the best way she knows how way capture life, because soon enough these times will be gone.

It's her working on a home, daily, even when there isn't any more money left or much to do so she rearranges the few pieces of furniture for a second, third, and forth time because that's how she builds a home, little by little, and over time. 

It's how she moves towards hope.

Hope is active, optimism passive. Optimism believes things will get better and turn out okay while hope gets off the couch and ensures that they do - even when it's hard to believe that it will.

"There are spaces of delight here", and with hope, those spaces will expand and grow and fill up with memories, laughter, and Life. 

Until this space becomes our Home.

 

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Open Thoughts  :  On Living  :  Josey Miller Photography

Poems my wife sent me

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The other night, I asked my wife if she thought I was beginning to pigeonhole myself - if I was always writing about the hardships of relationships and beginning to lose sight of the good and beautiful.

She shrugged. "Maybe," she said, "But if that's where you're at, maybe it's okay."

"Maybe," I said, still uncertain.  

This morning, she sent me these three poems. And they boosted my spirits.

All we can control

in this silly

and wildly perfect

life,

is the love

that we

choose to give out

without any regard

to ever

getting it back

in return.

-Tyler Knott Gregson- 

Perfect and yes and fully agree. I don't even want to say anything about it, for fear of ruining it.

 

Goodbye is a shaping word,

a lathe to the wood around us,

skilled hands to the marble

we once were.

I am carved, and I

am smoothed

by the losses, by the sound

of walking away.

I heard them say it, all of them,

and all the while,

I thought of home,

I thought of home,

I thought of

home.

-Tyler Knott Gregson-

I don't know what all the goodbyes have carved in me, and I'm pretty sure some have left me splintered, not smooth, but they have brought me home. To my front porch after a long day's work, eager to hug the giggles inside. They've brought me up the stairs, to cuddle and tickle and read with my kids at night, and they've brought me to my wife. My sweet and patient wife who shapes and sands and loves my rough and splintered edges. 

Because of home, we can choose to love without any regard to ever getting back in return. Because of home.

 

Run. For your life, for your joy, for your calm and peace of mind. Run. because your legs are strong and our lungs are aching for the taste of air. Run. Because what's the point of life spent walking in the middle?

-Tyler Knott Gregson-

More then ever, I sense the race set before me, and it is time to run - for my life, for my joy, and for the calm and peace of mind that comes with running toward a good and perfect prize. 

Run.

Away from the guilt and shame and burdens I can no longer carry or do anything about.

Run.

For purpose and excitement and love, with home in my heart, and life in my mind.

Run. 

Run.

Run.

Because my legs are strong and the road is long and there is much to do and little I can control.

It's time I get started.

 

Thank you, my good wife, for the poems you sent.

Thank you.

 

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Poetry  :  Inspiration

 

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