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Alice Roosevelt died on Valentine’s Day of 1884, just 36 hours after giving birth to a daughter.
She was just 22 years old and passed away in the arms of her loving husband, future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.
On the same day, in the same house, Roosevelt had already said a final goodbye to his mother, Martha “Mittie”, who had died of typhoid fever.

Theodore's diary entry for that day read as follows:

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Reality

He wrote on a piece of paper with his pencil.
Psychosis: out of touch with reality.
Since then, I have been trying to find out what reality is, so that I can touch it.
- Jeanette Winterson

Picture by Alva Bernadine

Picture by Alva Bernadine

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Things To Do

When asked for his definition of paradise, Johnny Cash replied:
“This morning, with her, having coffee.”

The following to-do list by Johnny, sold at an auction in 20110 for $6,250.
Remarkable, as to me it seems invaluable.
❤️ 

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One of Maurice Sendak’s best compliments

I absolutely adore this story by the late, great and lovely Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are:

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it.
I answer all my children’s letters—sometimes very hastily—but this one I lingered over.
I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it.
I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.”
Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.”
That to me was one of the highest compliments I've ever received.
He didn't care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything.
He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

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Dogfish

Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing
kept flickering in with the tide
and looking around.
Black as a fisherman’s boot,
with a white belly.

If you asked for a picture I would have to draw a smile
under the perfectly round eyes and above the chin,
which was rough
as a thousand sharpened nails.

And you know
what a smile means,
don’t you?

*

I wanted the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;
I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,

whoever I was, I was

alive
for a little while.

*

It was evening, and no longer summer.
Three small fish, I don’t know what they were,
huddled in the highest ripples
as it came swimming in again, effortless, the whole body
one gesture, one black sleeve
that could fit easily around
the bodies of three small fish.

*

Also I wanted
to be able to love. And we all know
how that one goes,
don’t we?

Slowly

*

the dogfish tore open the soft basins of water.

*

You don’t want to hear the story
of my life, and anyway
I don’t want to tell it, I want to listen

to the enormous waterfalls of the sun.

And anyway it’s the same old story – - -
a few people just trying,
one way or another,
to survive.

Mostly, I want to be kind.
And nobody, of course, is kind,
or mean,
for a simple reason.

And nobody gets out of it, having to
swim through the fires to stay in
this world.

*

And look! look! look! I think those little fish
better wake up and dash themselves away
from the hopeless future that is
bulging toward them.

*

And probably,
if they don’t waste time
looking for an easier world,

they can do it.

- MARY OLIVER

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