Two Words Issue #2: I Can


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This is issue #2 of the motivational magazine. Each issue is based on a two-word phrase and several authors each write 300-700 words on that phrase.

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Two Words Issue #2: I Can

  1. 1. words Summer 2009 Issue Two TWO sdrow A magazine dedicated to Hope, Inspiration, & Change “I Can...” from a Simple Phrase
  2. 2. words Summer, 2009 Volume Two r’s e ot A magazine dedicated to ito N sdrow Hope, Inspiration, and Change from a simple phrase Ed TWO So on my magazine, I realized that maybe I needed to heed the message behind this issue’s theme: “I Can.” So… much of what we I Did. do — possibly all of it — is determined by whether we start our thought Fifteen minutes here, an hour there, a couple of stolen with “I can” or “I cannot.” When we think, “I can,” we seconds between appointments, and little by little, pixel almost magically find a way. It might be not easy. The by image, font by graphic, it has materialized. Finally! results often do not appear as we expected. There are Each issue, several authors volunteer to take a two- barriers and obstacles along the path. Yet, somehow, word theme and write 300-700 words about it. The only someway, we manage to arrive at our goal. requirements are that the pieces are well-written and Conversely, should we determine our actions are come from the heart. I attempt to compliment their words impossible, voilà, the result too will be as expected. with strong graphics. The combination is intended to evoke a feeling in you related to the issue’s theme. So much of what we do is determined by whether Indescribably Grateful we start our thought with “I can” or “I cannot.” Several of the writers have graced these pages yet again, Words determine thoughts. Thoughts beget feelings. returning from Issue number one and I am so thankful for Feelings direct actions. Choose your words well. their encores. I am also incredibly fortunate to bring in several new authors, and even to be able to increase the Important lesson article content by one. This issue, was slated to be out two months earlier but it I am indebted to every one who writes for Two Words. seemed that life was fighting me every step of the way. (Their too-brief bios are now on the inside back cover.) Every time I would sit down to work on producing it, Without them, Two Words would be blank pages on other deadlines and commitments would rise up, always glossy paper. Of course, we are all owing to you, the at the most inopportune moments, and cause delay reader, for your willingness to read what we say. Your after delay. And since I’m a one-person shop, virtually support has been noted. Your comments have been everything is basically done by me. Should I get distracted appreciated. Your input has been heart-warming and or blocked, there goes the workforce. supportive. Thank you. I hope you find strength and S support from the pages of “I Can.” However, as I bemoaned my obligations and responsibilities and felt guilty for not spending more time cott “Q” Marcus,publisher, editor, and founder of Two Words magazine is a professional speaker, coach, and syndicated columnist. As a “Recovering Perfectionist,” he uses a unique approach to help people transform their thoughts and beliefs to get more than they ever knew they could. He is the author of several books (available at www. and he blogs regularly at as well as Although he started speaking after losing 70 pounds over a decade ago, he will not watch what you eat if you do not watch what he eats. However, he just might speak to your group in exchange for enough chocolate or french fries. He can be reached for writing, speaking, or coaching at: • 707.442.6243 •
  3. 3. Faith’s Leap Marcus H Daniel H ere I am, standing thirty feet above the Van Duzen River. I am clothed in a pair of swimming trunks and nothing else. My friends sit in the sand and grit on the side of the riverbed. They cheer me on, “Jump Daniel, its not that far! It’ll be over in a sec, just don’t look down.” As I ponder whether or not to succumb to my friends’ Uncertainty pressures, I stare down at the water. It looks like a blue still lingers in green concrete floor, several stories below. As if this my mind. Unknown will stop the inevitable dive, I hesitate. Can I do this? possibilities of my future I take in my environment and this situation I have creep into my head. I still gotten myself into. I look down one get homesick and cry to myself side of the river, in my bedroom. The tears releasing seemingly winding the buildup of fear that accumulates. on infinitely. In the other direction, fallen redwood This new life is scary, but its fun. trees wrapped with rusty chains litter the forest It’s 2009. floor, a graveyard from the logging so many I’m in a happy relationship with a beautiful years ago. I hear the birds flying above the woman. I have a rambunctious terrier that crest of the canyon in which I stand. likes to chew on her squeaky moose. My I am scared. What if I jump and brother plays video games while my other hit a shallow spot of the water? roommate paints upstairs. I have a good What if I hit too deep of a patch and job and a group of people who care for me. never surface? What if my pants come It has been over five years since I’ve moved off in the water and I’m left naked, out on my own. I’m happy and although breaching like some pink whale? Too it was frightening getting to this point, I many possible nightmare scenarios do “I am scared. What wouldn’t change a thing. No longer am I not relax my already nervous thoughts. if I jump and hit a homesick for where I grew up. There have I’m 19, moving to Los Angeles. been too many good times involving laughter shallow spot of the and smiles. Los Angeles isn’t this unknown I have never lived on my own before. I’ve water? What if I hit void, but the adventure I needed to take. just quit my job and Southern California seems so frightening and different. too deep of a patch My toes are on the edge of the fallen log. I feel the bark under my heel. I take one more look All my friends live in Humboldt. Who and never surface?” do I know in L.A.? What will I do? at the water. I release all my trepidation. I can do this. Suddenly I am airborne. I take a deep I move into my first apartment. I get a breath as I feel the cold burst of water envelope me. I float steady job that pays a steady paycheck. I pay my bills. underneath the surface of the water as if I was flying in a I buy my own groceries. I make new friends. I settle dense atmosphere. Nothing but peace surrounds my mind. into life without my parents within walking distance. Then I surface. My friends are clapping and laughing. I look Routines start to settle in and I find myself thinking less up at the log. It doesn’t seem so high from this angle. I join of Humboldt as home and more of L.A. as my place of my friends in laughter. Everything is fine. All my tension residence. The phone calls to Dad are less about wanting is released and damn if this water doesn’t feel great. to come back home and more about my new adventures.
  4. 4. I Unlimited Options Kimberly Barclay I can make a difference. When I let go of the need to control or label or define anything other than at life with childlike amazement and joy. I can let go of agendas and attachments to outcomes as I remember that I am completely supported by the Universe/God/The Angels. Living this way allows me to be present what is in this moment, I am at peace. When I am at peace, I can create peace for others and shine light into the darkness in my world and in the world of others. when it seems hope is dim. I can inspire. I can cause a ripple effect of loving kindness I can look with amazement at things that are without looking for anything in return. I so miraculous that — even though science can accept all human beings as divine no may be able to define it — I cannot fully matter what they say or what they do. I comprehend it. I can see the magic in our can separate people from their behavior hearts beating, our breathing, the blood and realize that they are doing the best pumping through our veins, the miracle of they can do — even if their best does birth, the clouds in the sky, the everlasting not appear to be the best for everyone. sun and the effortlessness of nature. I can By non-judgment I can liberate myself to look at the earth rotating in space, the maintain my inner peace and continue the galaxies, and the infinity of life; and believe ripple effect of this peace in the world. in a greater source than myself. The miracles I focus on create more miracles in my life. I can be the change I would like to see in the I can be a creator and an observer and world by starting with myself first. I can love look at every day with the same energy as myself unconditionally and realize that I have waking up on Christmas morning when moments where I may have not made the best I was little. I can rejoice and be joy. choices. I can, in turn, unconditionally love all of humanity and appreciate the duality I can become a beacon of light. Through of roles in the world. I can remember the surrender into the unknown and enjoying perfection of duality — if there is not dark, the journey, without the pressure of a we cannot see the light. I can look at things destination, I embrace every moment and from a bigger perspective and know that my radiate loving kindness and compassion limited thinking mind cannot comprehend to all I come in contact with. I can be the perfection of the universe from a divine essence in human form. judgmental human thinking point of view. I I can make a difference. can see perfection. I can let go of control. I can continue to be, and not define myself by what I do. When I live life this way, I am able to live in the present moment and look
  5. 5. “I can become a beacon of light.”
  6. 6. My Song Mary Driver “Those first weeks were terrifying. and I was scared witless most of the time .”
  7. 7. II can sing. Well, sort of. It’s something I have to tell myself over and over every Thursday and Sunday. Yeah, I can sing. All my life, music has called to me and, Anglican church. There were no tryouts (thank God), so I when I walked in one Thursday night for rehearsal, I was simply given a folder and a seat in the soprano section. Those first weeks were terrifying. The music was glorious, but tough by anyone’s as alluring as pianos, violins, cellos, and standards, and I was scared witless most of other instruments might be, none is quite as the time. However, little by little, I learned compelling as the human voice. The trouble my way. My fellow choristers, especially is that no other instrument is as permanently our soprano section leader, are among the attached to the musician as the voice — what finest (and most tolerant) people I have ever you’ve got is all you’ll ever get. No trade- met. Our choirmaster (who would rarely ins, no up-grades, no refunds on defective be described as tolerant) is nothing short merchandise. For me, that’s a problem. It’s of brilliant in his own musical talent and been a problem since fourth grade when I amazing for his ability to bring someone like didn’t pass the audition for school choir, since me to a level of accomplishment far beyond sixth grade when my father told me I had a my own expectations. In the years that I voice “like a burro,” and since high school have been with this group, we have sung when I really, truly, desperately wanted to the work of major composers, including but sing with my boyfriend’s rock band. I bought not limited to Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, a guitar, taught myself to play the standard and Mendelssohn. We have recorded two folky stuff of the times, and occasionally a CDs, been the choir-in-residence at three of few people would listen to me for a minute or England’s major cathedrals (Wells, Ely, and two before politely moving away. Okay, I got Durham), and we have taken on projects that it. I don’t have a great voice. I’m not Kathleen most church choirs wouldn’t attempt: Bach’s Battle, or Joan Baez, or even Grace Slick. St. Matthew and St. John Passion(s), Faure’s I temporarily solved the problem of finding Requiem, and Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on an audience when my children were toddlers. “The Old 104th Psalm.” When I gave them a bath, I would bring my Many of the pieces that we have done have guitar into the bathroom and sing to them. taught me much beyond just the music, not I could get through four or five tunes before the least of which is that perseverance pays the water got cold and their chattering teeth off. Two years ago, I was asked to be part of overpowered “Puff the Magic Dragon.” As a select group of Compline Schola singers they grew and could no longer be captive who are chosen for their lighter voices. For bathtub listeners, I learned to content someone who admittedly attends church myself with playing and singing when my more for the choir than the liturgy, there is husband was away on business and the kids an element of the divine in were asleep. Those secret midnight gigs finally finding my voice. I were awesome—the crowd adored me! am humbled, honored, and Then, about a dozen years ago, someone who grateful to be a part of this group. didn’t know any better invited me to be part of the chorus in a community show. From And maybe, just maybe… the very first rehearsal, I realized that in a I can sing. group, I could hold my own. I was not strong enough to be a soloist, but with other singers I was able match pitch and color pretty well. From there, I found my way to the choir of an
  8. 8. Brandon Marcus Who Knows? S everal years ago, during one of those endless summer days when anything seems possible, I learned how to juggle. I had a small book that came with four – count ‘em four! – juggling balls. The only other things I needed were time and patience. I had plenty of the former and very little of the latter. To make a long story short I’ll say this: I never did learn how to juggle. Which is a shame because I would make a great clown and any circus would be lucky to have me. It was maybe a year later that I tried my hand at playing the piano. Borrowing a friend’s keyboard and picking up a How To guide at Borders, I locked myself away in my bedroom and learned scales, notes and the rest. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I was no Elton John or Billy Joel. Hell, I wasn’t even an eight-year-old Billy Joel. I couldn’t play the piano for the life of me. Let’s move on. I’m not much of swimmer. I really enjoy splashing around in the pool and can spend hours doing dives and cannonballs. In fact, swimming is one of my favorite things in the world. However, if you needed a lifeguard – if your life depended on it – I wouldn’t recommend calling on me. Like I said, I can swim and enjoy the heck out of it but I’m nowhere near professional. No Michael Phelps am I. Though I have attempted his diet. What else can’t I do? I can’t sing. I can’t dance. Well, I take that back. I can dance in the sense that I hear music and I move my limbs in a rhythmic fashion. Is it attractive? Not really. Is it fun? Of course. Every attempt at painting has resulted in disaster. I can’t stay balanced when jumping on a trampoline. Any football I throw will more than likely crash through a valuable vase or window. If camping, I’ll find the freshest patch of Poison Oak in the forest. In fact, I’m not so hot when it comes to nature. I’ve fallen off a cliff before. Seriously. I can’t do camping. Yet, I love the outdoors. I kind of sound like a sad sack. However, that’s not the case. For every failure I’ve concocted, every smeared canvas, every off-key chorus, there’s a life lesson. There are many, many (many) things I can’t do. But I’ve found this out by trying. They say life isn’t a spectators sport and I totally agree. Sitting on the sidelines is boring and unproductive. So many people see daunting tasks and shrink away in fear, never even attempting what may very well be possible. My dad always said you’ll never know if you never try. That’s the lesson I’ve taken from all my flawed journeys through music, language and art: you can always, always try. I know there is a list of things I’ll never master and that’s completely fine with me. I don’t need to play the piano or speak fluent Spanish. However, I’ve tried to learn both. So while I may not have gotten where I planned, I feel productive because an attempt was made. Like I said, I can’t do everything but I can try. And who knows? Maybe I’ll pick up the piano again in a couple years. I’ll tell you how it goes.
  9. 9. “For every failure I’ve concocted, every smeared canvas, every off-key chorus, there’s a life lesson.”
  10. 10. T he first book I thrust at my mother when she offered to read me a bedtime story was always The Little Engine That Could. The engine starts by looking up at an imposing mountain and the tracks climbing it. Starting out somewhat tentatively it chugs “I think I can.” Gaining confidence as it climbs and finally crests the mountain, the engine finally coasts down the other side puffing “I thought I could.” The distant wail of a steam engine heralded the approach of a freight train on the outskirts of Dunkirk. My grandfather and I bundled into his black sedan, clattered over the bricks to the end of Park Avenue and stood on the station platform, craning our necks to see the first glimmer of the headlight. Its faint glow grew until the stack emerged, billowing smoke as steam vented from the undercarriage. After a brief stop to unload freight, the conductor waved his lantern, the brakes released and the train inched to life again, gaining speed and disappearing around the bend toward the glass works. Then it was back to the kitchen for cocoa and marshmallows. My father returned home when I was three and my mother tried to introduce him to me. I ran to grab his picture, the only daddy I had known until then. He was off fighting a war in Guam when I was born. As I grew up, I remember picnics, taking the Coburg ferry across Lake Ontario from Rochester to Canada and riding a steam train from Rochester to visit my grandparents in Dunkirk. My father arranged and oversaw each of these outings. I relied on him to make everything okay and he did until I started becoming independent. As a teenager, I was not particularly rebellious but still managed to annoy my father on a regular basis. He developed a pattern of gritting his teeth and wringing his hands and his theme became “What if” He could see an impending catastrophe in just about every situation. I began to second-guess myself after a while. After several false starts, I finally developed a life plan, which felt promising to me. Still my father worried. How would I pay for college? Wasn’t it too soon for me to get married? Was having children premature?
  11. 11. Could I? Joseph G. Langen He seemed to have lost faith in himself as well as in me. I began to wonder about myself too. Could I land a bachelor’s degree, a mater’s degree, a doctoral degree? I refused to worry and forged ahead often plodding uphill like the little engine. The day I passed my oral exam, the final frontier on the way to my Ph.D., I called my parents to share my good news, sure my father would find something in my success to worry about. He responded by telling me he knew I could do it. All I could think was, “You did?” Had he believed in me all this time? Did my accomplishment bolster his confidence in me? Was he just being polite? “He lost faith in himself Considering these events after many years, I realized how important stories can be as well as in me. in guiding our lives. Perhaps this is why I started I began to wonder writing them along with other reflections. They have about myself too.” taken me from “I think I can” to “I thought I could.” photograph © Joseph G. Langen
  12. 12. Spectacular Failure Shawn McGee
  13. 13. II can fail. I can fail in large spectacular ways and I can fail so slightly that others will think I did not fail. I failed when I was young and I failed when I was not so young. I failed spectacularly out of high school when I turned down a scholarship to enlist. I failed spectacularly in my first marriage. I failed in jobs, and I have failed in my personal goals; spiritually, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. I know I can still fail. More importantly, I can pick myself up and try again. I picked myself up after my enlistment. I went to college. I picked myself up after my divorce and improved myself. I am remarried. I picked myself after I quit, was fired, or laid off. I have a career. I picked myself up after each failure in my personal life. I learned my personal life is a journey filled with failures and successes. I picked myself up after every spiritual failure and disappointment. I picked myself up after I learned that being in Mensa does not mean I am always the smartest person. I picked myself up more than once through weight loss and gain. I picked myself up again when I learned that doctors could help. I picked myself up when I felt crippled inside and realized I was my only enemy. I can succeed. The reason I succeed is because I know I can still fail. I succeeded when I went to school after I successfully completed my enlistment. I received my degree in mathematics I succeeded in my second marriage — ten years and counting — because I failed in my first. I learned how to be satisfied with myself and to love myself. Then I could love another. I have succeeded in my career because I have failed at jobs. I learned new skills. I learned what I was good at and what I struggled with. I learned how to make other people valuable as well as myself. I have a career that makes me happy. That is success. I keep myself motivated for new personal goals because I know the pain of failing at them. I succeeded spiritually when I realized I was not looking for a destination or an answer. I still succeed spiritually. I am aware I can still fail, but I know I can pick myself up and still succeed. I succeeded intellectually when I put it to the side and realized it was a hindrance and well as a blessing – like everything else. I succeeded when I could put genius into perspective. I am aware I can still fail intellectually, but I know I can pick myself up and still succeed. I succeeded when I went to the doctor about my weight loss and found out that there are reasons for men to see a doctor and medicines just weren’t for the weak. I can still fail — but as I am doing now — I know I can pick myself up and still succeed. I can fail. Because I can fail, I can pick myself up. Because I can pick myself up, I can succeed. “ The reason I succeed is because I know I can still fail.”
  14. 14. Unlimited Power Roupp I Sue I s it possible the words, “I can,” are in our DNA? Some people get threads of those two words winding around their DNA chain, and others ? Maybe not. Those two words expand as we grow into ourselves, filling us with confidence, if we choose to live by them. For others, the same two words — unattended to — atrophy and even die. When I grew up, I was shy, scared, and determined; all at the same time. I grew up in a dysfunctional household — what writer doesn’t? I desperately wanted an education, but Dad said, “Be a secretary, or maybe a proof reader; get a job, have something to fall back on.” But I wanted a college degree. I moved out at 18. I worked three jobs; and over the next dozen years, earned a bachelor’s degree; and part of a master’s degree; 12 years at three different schools. During that time, I married, and had a child. Valuing education, and then figuring out a way to get a degree without family support was never in question in my mind. It was challenging, but I didn’t consider “hard” to be an obstacle I couldn’t get around. My husband owned a company, and I worked there for years as the operating officer. He needed help; he had 22 employees. I said, “I can do this.” I learned how to manage people and how to keep everyone on track. Then I left to finally pursue what I was meant to be. So many negative things happened to his company after I left. Do I feel guilty for leaving? Sure. But sometimes, when you do what you must, instead of what you are meant to do, the words “I can” get laryngitis; even you can’t hear them. Then magic happens. When you do what you should be doing, the words are loud and clear; to yourself as well as to others. I wanted to write; I wrote my first poem in third grade, and always returned to poetry and writing for nourishment. But could I be good at writing poetry — not just “good enough,” but really skilled? Was I selfish to want to do what I wanted to do, after years of doing for others? Maybe. Part of saying “I can” is assuming responsibility for being true to who you really are. Who I really am is a writer — who happens to know a lot about business. Has it been hard? You bet. Still, I persisted, pushed by my “I can,” insisting I could make a life as a writer.
  15. 15. “ Those two words are powerful because they move us out of our powerless state and into motion.” I am President of Off Campus Writers’ Workshop. I have won prizes for my poetry, and I have got it published. I host a TV show, Poetry Today; and I have guest-edited a literary journal, been a judge in a poetry contest, and done freelance writing. I have private clients, where I work as their editor — not far from the proofreader my Dad wanted me to be. Now I tell writers, “You can,” as they struggle to write or sell something they have written. Those two words, “I can,” are powerful because they move us out of our powerless state and into motion. We can achieve so much in our lives — whether it is bringing joy to others, being true to ourselves, or doing good in a crazy world; because we choose to believe that somewhere in our DNA, “I can” lives and breathes, and grows stronger as we use it every day.
  16. 16. Fantastic View Scott “Q” Marcus
  17. 17. II stood on my head today. Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Actually standing on my head would require a level of flexibility and dexterity not possessed by yours truly as my feet cannot even reach that big ol’ noggin of mine. Besides, even if they could, why would I choose to stand on it? It would be painful, and I would get footprints on my ears. So, I guess the more precise way to describe it if I fall down and get hurt? Valid concerns, is, “I did a headstand.” Really! There I was: head sure, but I’ll come clean: the genuine bottom where my feet usually are and feet where my line (or would it be “top line” in this case?) head goes (except when sleeping of course). is that I lacked faith in myself and was sure I I found myself in this most topsy-turvy world would fail. I can be my own worst limitation. because my Yoga teacher says it is beneficial So, as I lowered my face to the floor in modified as it helps with blood pressure and reduces dolphin pose, she said, “Breathe out the fear. stress (well, except for your arms; they were Relax your shoulders. Raise your strong leg…” stressed quite the big amount, let me tell you). I lifted it. I breathed. Since I started Yoga, she has been urging, “Make it tight. Pull to the midline.” guiding, cajoling, and coaxing to get me to try this top-is-bottom bizarre configuration. She assisted by supporting my outstretched leg. I get pleasure from Yoga; and the more I’m “Now, lift your other leg.” doing it, the more I appreciate that it’s not about So, I exhaled, lifted it, pulled to my midline, and turning oneself into a human pretzel. There is before I could say, “I can’t do this,” I did. There extreme satisfaction from enhanced flexibility, I was; head in hands, feet on the wall; vertical increased strength, and better posture. Add to — and flabbergasted at what I could do when I that, that I can now bend down (and get back didn’t tell myself I couldn’t. Like most of life, it up) without a written plan, and that I have took some assistance, a tad of discomfort, and a enhanced my spirituality; and it’s gosh-darn bit of faith. Yet the benefits linger beyond the act. difficult to come up with reasons why I would I feel like — no, I take that back — I AM limit myself. However, when my teacher gets a new person now. I recognize it’s just a that “we’re-going-to-go-upside-down” twinkle Yoga pose; I didn’t change the world or cure in her eye, I freak out. The way I see it is if God cancer; but I am holding my head up higher wanted us to be downside up, he would have now (in more ways than one), and carrying put hats on our feet and shoes on our ears. myself with enhanced confidence. As a OK, the actuality is doing something this different matter of fact, the whole world looks different from my norm is just plain frightening. There, today, more colorful, alive, and brighter. I’ve said it! The fear is further amplified because One could say I began seeing things all my inner talk reminds me of everything that from a whole new point of view. could go askew. Of course, I was scared that I would look stupid — or worse yet, what happens “Before I could say, ‘I can’t do this,’ I did.”
  18. 18. W W hat can a parent do to make a difference with very little money? Maybe they can make a little green wagon. My father was a depression boy watching wealthier children ‘play’ while he worked. He envied their red colored, Radio Flyer wagons and the fun that they had upon them. Dad asked my grandpa for one but was told it was ‘too expensive’. Although grandpa often worked 12 and 14-hour days in the foundry, he began to work in the late fall on a special wood project in the family cellar. He took select pieces of hardwood and hand carved 56 individual wooden spokes. Each was rounded and smoothed just as if it had come off the most expensive wood lathe. He boiled some firing strips and gently bent and molded these wood strips into round wheels. The wheels were drilled out by hand and inlaid over the spokes. To hold the wheels together, he forged metal bands that — when heated — were expanded to fit over the wheels and, once cooled, contracted tightly to hold the wheels firmly in place. A box was finally constructed to form the body of the wagon and, by Spring, after an entire winter’s work, my father had his very first wagon. With final touches of green paint (left over from painting the front porch), it became the most “Maybe our children need to see the love, the care, beautiful green symbol of love. and the attention given to them — instead of to a job.” How much more beautiful was this homemade wagon than its factory produced counterparts? How much more pride in the racing of it? How much more care and dedication to the preservation of it? Today it graces a living room, a gift from my father to someone he cares about. I wonder how many parents today give that much to their children? Not BUYING your child the latest toy or another video game, but making them “a little green wagon”. The wagon is a metaphor for spending the time to DO something with them: showing love, care, concern; building a tree house or a sandbox; constructing a plastic model car together; or solving a 5,000-piece puzzle. Maybe our children need to see the love, the care, and the attention given to them — instead of to a job. The fruits of a job (money) can easily be spent via Master Card or Visa in an attempt to purchase our children’s affections. Maybe what is needed is to take the time to toss a ball around in the backyard with Jimmy rather than dumping him off at the mall, playing field, or school; and letting video games, his teacher or coach take over as surrogate parent. It might appear that the first duty of any parent is primarily to be an outstanding example and role model; a beacon for the child to look up to and admire. Maybe what each of our children needs today, is a little green wagon — some gift of time, talent, commitment and dedication that puts our children on a path of personal growth and maturity. THAT is something every parent can do. Michael A. Podolinsky Handmade Wagon
  19. 19. words “I Can...” Summer, 2009 Volume Two TWO sdrow The Aut hors K M A magazine dedicated to Hope, Inspiration, and Change from a simple phrase imberly Barclay is the Founder and Owner ary Driver is a writer, artist, and teacher of Moment Connections, where she helps who is interested in too many things to people bring more peace into their lives and live in have chosen a traditional career path. She lives in Lake A harmony. She is a Certified Life and Career Coach and Forest, Illinois and is currently working on a collection is currently finishing her Master’s Degree in Spiritual of short stories. She is available at 847.295.2128 or via Psychology. Her mission is to bring as much peace and her website at unconditional love to humanity as she possibly can and S to begin healing the world one person at a time. She fter growing up in northern California, can be reached at 661.298.7998 or via her website, Daniel Marcus moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream of filmmaking. He has acted in — and co-produced — several short features. He hawn McGee is a writer who changes genres loves movies of all kinds, writing, and cooking. He M as often as people change their mind. You’ll cooks a mean mac and cheese. He can be reached at find him writing fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, military, and He was in the first comedy. Generally, he is listed as a writer who appeals issue of Two Words, “We Are.” B to males. Since he appeals to males three quarters of his responses to his writings come from females. His ichael Podolinsky has earned the CSP website is designation from the National Speakers Association and develops passionate leaders and teams randon Marcus was in Two Words’ first issue. in Asia Pacific, equipping them with the skills necessary He is a writer moving to Portland, Oregon. to succeed. He loves his bride and designed a lifestyle A student of Bradbury, Sterling and King, he has that allows him to stay home most of the time with his D submersed himself in literature since a young age, from three children and bride of nine years, yet earn a good sprawling novels to a large variety of graphic novels. income. His Web site,, is S Aside from writing, he is a film maker, critic and pop loaded with great free information (700 pages). culture enthusiast. You can read his take on the worst of pop culture at r . Joseph Langen is a returning writer to Two Words. He is a retired psychologist ue Roupp is the president of Off Campus now writing full time. He has published four books, the Writers Workshop, a 63-year old group with latest being Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections 200 writers located in Winnetka, Illinois. She is host for the Voyage. Others include Commonsense Wisdom of Poetry Today tv show, winner of awards for poetry, for Everyday Life, Young Man of the Cloth, and The writing workshops including Poetry Rocks workshops Pastor’s Inferno. He also writes a regular newspaper nationwide, member of American Academy of Poets, column and maintains a writing blog, Conversations Illinois Poetry Society and the Poetry Foundation, with Calliope, at www.commonsense-wisdom. Midwest writers and Piven Theater Workshop actor. She His website, with sample chapters of can be reached at 847.975.2716 or you can visit her his book, as well as free newsletter can be found at website at Magazine concept, editing, and layout by Scott “Q” Marcus Artwork (except for Joseph Langen’s article) is from,,
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