Tuesday, April 25, 2017

the serendipity of yellow umbrellas and paying attention, #sol17 Tuesday

pay attention to what you pay attention to…I was going to write about paying attention on a walk, but a thunderstorm struck. So I returned to this Tuesday's prompt page, re-reading and connecting rain, yellow umbrellas, paying attention, and random acts of kindness (RAK). 

my Tiffany blue umbrella
My own umbrella is Tiffany blue, but the color doesn't matter, not as much as the rest. Kindness emerges from paying attention and vice versa.

Who hasn't seen the bumper stickers, tees, tattoos, memes, lists and articles, a foundation and a national day The complete quote is actually, "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty." I first saw it in Davis, CA, 1993 as a bumper sticker on a VW bus.
Random acts of kindness are a means by which we make a deliberate attempt to brighten another person's day by doing something thoughtful, nice, and caring. Kindness is a way of showing others that they count and that, even in the face of hostility and selfishness, you're making a stand for kindness. 
cover for Anne Hebert's book, illustrated by Mayumi Oda, forward by Desmond TutuOriginally associated with Anne Herbert, who is said to have once written "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty" on a place mat in a restaurant, this concept has become an organized celebration through various events around the world, as well as referring to a general call to action in the name of kindness. And you don't need to wait for someone else to initiate a day or week of celebrations to practice random acts of kindness; you can put them into play any time you like! (How to Practice Random Acts of Kindness, WikiHow)
More about Anne Hebert's version. The yellow umbrella is Amy Krouse Rosenthal's personal symbol, random acts of kindness one of her hallmarks. Umbrellas, RAK, paying attention, two women writers who may never have met. I only met them today. It doesn't matter if the parts are jumbled and don't seem to match. My acts? Random but attentive digital sharing, social justice and community activism, being a guerrilla educationist and poetry bombing for National Poetry Month.

slice of life blogger badge from Two Writing Teachers blogSlicing has moved from daily to weekly with Tuesday slices. Same submission schedule, so I'm still a Late Night Slicer and perennial Pantser, embracing my inner owl and free for all blogging by the seat of my pants. Slice and share any or every Tuesday in your own preferred mode. Read today's Tuesday slices here.


  1. I love your post, exploring where the idea of RAK came from and your own serendipity yesterday. Amy Krouse Rosenthal believed in those moments- and I do, too. Glad the thunderstorm led you to connecting ideas here for us and with us.

    1. And, from what I gather, so did Anne Hebert, who incidentally was an editor and writer at the Whole Earth Catalog and founded its precursor. I don't know if Anne and Amy ever met but bet they would have hit it off.

      Either one might well say (or even have said) that raining someplace doesn't mean it's raining everywhere. Staying in out of the rain can take us someplace else.

      I'm having fun exploring connections and letting serendipity lead -- now to carry that sense of imminent discovery to other writing.