“In the acquisition of a new habit, or the leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible. Accumulate all the possible circumstances which shall reinforce the right motives; put yourself assiduously in conditions that encourage the new way; make engagements incompatible with the old; take a public pledge, if the case allows; in short, envelope your resolution with every aid you know. This will give your new beginning such a momentum that the temptation to break down will not occur as soon as it otherwise might; and every day during which a breakdown is postponed adds to the chances of its not occurring at all.” —William James (1842-1910)
"A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do.
I'm still doing it." —Miles Davis
"You may get real tired of watching me, but I'm not going to quit." —Harrison Ford
"People think it's an obsession. A compulsion. As if there were an irresistible impulse to act. It's never been like that. I chose this life. I know what I'm doing. And on any given day, I could stop doing it. Today, however, isn't that day. And tomorrow won't be either." —The Batman
On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in the New York Harbor, a gift from the people of France, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.
The statue became a symbol of hope, welcoming immigrants to the USA.
On her pedestal is inscribed "The New Colossus" by American poet Emma Lazarus:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
It's interesting to contemplate this sonnet today.
Here in Anglozona, where I make my home, immigration remains a divisive and hotly debated issue as we approach the centennial of our statehood.
The word "immigrant" carries a strong negative connotation around these parts. Apparently, we palefaces forget that we are the aliens. Our claim to this territory is quite recent, and dubious at best.
I don't know the Tohono O'odham or Apache name for the white man's arrival, but I don't believe we were "greeted as liberators."
I do know that the shameless land-grabs of northern Mexico, which our history books disguise with convenient euphemisms (treaty, purchase, Manifest Destiny), are referred to in Mexican texts as The North American Invasion.
Nevertheless, it's 2011, and here we are.
And there stands Lady Liberty, lifting her lamp, welcoming immigrants.
I'm celebrating her anniversary by seeing the movie Green Lantern, which opens today.
It seems fitting.
My favorite comic book from childhood, Green Lantern is an inspirational superhero space opera.
It tells the story of myriad aliens, coming together in teamwork and harmony, heroically using their creative imaginations, strength of will and light to overcome the evil, destructive power of fear.
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment, and do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds, and shine." ~Buddha "Happiness is not a memory but a reality. Reality is neither past nor future but only now. NOW is the greatest time there ever was." ~Nicholas Payton
"Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. So why not just be happy?" ~Snoopy
"I'd been studying the microphone for a dozen years when I suddenly saw what I'd been doing wrong. I'd been singing too loud. One night I was listening to a record by Lester Young, the horn player, and it came to me. Relax, just relax. It's all going to be all right." ~Marvin Gaye