It is the birthday of Thomas Jefferson.
The Writer's Almanac reports that he wrote to John Adams, "I have given up newspapers in exchange for Tacitus and Thucydides, for Newton and Euclid; and I find myself much the happier."
Jefferson said, "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock."
I am reading The Tao of Willie by Willie Nelson with Turk Pipkin.
Willie Nelson was exposed to music at an early age. He writes that "Sister Bobbie and I both have perfect pitch, which means our grandparents taught us to reproduce the memory of how many vibrations per second were passing through the tunnels between our ears." What a way to think of it, these vibrations passing through our ears.
Willie writes about connection and opening the heart and not sweating the small stuff. He writes about grace and turning on "the switch that turns darkness to light." To do that, he suggests we "slow down, remember who we are and what we would like to be."
He speaks of how utilizing his breath fully enriches his life.
"Breathe from your chest; breathe from your gut; breathe from your heels."
"The logic of the circle of life is to plant a tree and breathe deep."
And there is this:
"If you forgive your enemies, it messes up their heads."
In honor of his Cherokee ancestry, he quotes an Ojibwa elder:
"In the old days our people had no education. All their wisdom and knowledge came to them from dreams. They tested their dreams and in that they learned their own strength."
May we use all, books and learning and dreams.