Awesome Stories 228

This week Awesome Stories brings you innovative libraries, heartbreak for love, joyful jumping and ordinary magic.

Library Innovation Almere, Netherland library, Awesome Stories

Netherlands is home to one of the world’s busiest and most innovative libraries. In planning their Nieuwe Bibliotheek, the city of Almere put aside most traditional plans and decided to make their library more like a bookstore. The whole process was oriented around what the patrons wanted rather than what was traditional. They organized the materials by topics, added a thriving cafe with entertainment, and a sharing resource called Seats2meet. In S2M locations, patrons are empowered to share their talents with one another in exchange for free, co-working space. We are fortunate to have the award winning Fayetteville Pulic Library, but I wouldn’t mind visiting Almere’s new library.

Love and Heartbreak

The hope for a purely spiritual, unconditional love is more often a coded desire for immunity and safety, an attempt to forgo the trials of vulnerability, powerlessness and the exquisite pain to which we apprentice ourselves in relationship, marriage, raising children and work we love.

David Whyte has some interesting reflections on love, relationships and heartbreak. It’s tempting to see his view as pessimistic in saying that there is no escaping heartbreak. In fact, he suggests that heartbreak is necessary for growth and learning to let go of our limited views and understandings on love. True love requires us to learn about forgiveness, mercy, pain, letting go and much more. A few years ago, I would have argued for unconditional love and acceptance. Now, I tend to agree with David. What do you think?

Jump for Joy! Mural

I’ve written before about Eyoälha Baker and her wonderful photography project called Jump for Joy! Eyoälha’s mission is to spread joy by photographing people while jumping. Her latest project is a public mural in Vancouver. They are still looking for pledges, so if her work inspires you, please consider helping her fundraise for the mural. She’s offering some fun rewards!   🙂

Ordinary Magic

it was the most casual of moments, not mystical as the word is usually meant, for there was no vision, or anything extraordinary at all, but only a sudden awareness of the citizenry of all things within one world. ~ Mary Oliver

This article has good reminders on finding ways to bring happiness into our daily lives. When we fully embrace the moment, we come alive with vibrancy, presence, and if we are lucky, a little magic! This article talks about some of the ways to open the doors to magic in the ordinary. It draws heavily on the books and writing of Mary Oliver, who describes that delicious sense of connection with the whole when we lose our self into the moment. I’m grateful for these moments of grace, connection and peace that come in nature or when I am completely present with the moment. All of a sudden, life goes from ordinary to extraordinary, not from our doing, but from our being or awareness. I also love Mary Oliver’s poetry, which rings with vibrancy and appreciation for the subtleties in life.


May your heart be full of magic, love and joy! 


26 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 228

  1. Great stories this week, Brad. Having worked in a library for 11 years, I enjoyed reading the article about the one in the Netherlands. So cool. Now THAT’S a library! I really resonated with the quote you shared by Mary Oliver, and I love idea for the Jump for Joy mural. 🙂

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  2. You make me want to go check out the local library here. I have been by and it is HUGE, a bit intimidating for me actually because it looks more like a shopping mall (which I do not care for). However I am am excited to check it out, a jump for joy sort of excitement, eh?

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      • Yes, I will be delighted to share… Actually I have recently been published in an anthology they put together every year for National Poetry Month. It’s strange because I lived here years ago, moved away, was gone for 36 years and have returned. Even though I have been here 3 years, I have only just become aware of this annual event. So now i would imagine visiting and seeing what they are all about is in order, I mean considering I am in a book in their shelves, eh?

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  3. I’m with you Brad. It’s not that I think heartbreak is necessary, but more that whatever happens is supposed to be felt, explored, and through that we learn and grow. I’m so tired of “fighting” things that are of a lower energy…better to “go with the flow” and find the lesson 🙂 Happy Sunday, Brad!! ♡

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  4. Enjoyed all of this. I would love to visit that spectacular library! As for “true love” requiring learning about forgiveness, mercy, pain, letting go, etc. — In my experience, love — like life — is an ongoing journey of self-discovery. The times I’ve been forced outside my comfort zone and placed in difficult (aka: heartbreaking) situations have inspired me to look deeply into my soul and realize what I will/will not stand for while ironing out my rough spots. Any suffering endured has just made me more cognizant and appreciative of the next positive experience. Thanks Brad!

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  5. Maybe you can swing by the library on your next European jaunt! What a beautiful view on your challenges in love and life. I tend to dig in, resisting change, but life keeps working to smooth out those rough spots. 🙂 Thanks for adding so many bright spots to my journey Shauna. ❤


  6. Absolutely agree with David ~ heartbreak brings to the forefront the emotions that make life so wonderful. We live during the highs and learn during the lows. I like David’s take of learning more about ourselves in the process which is worth the price of gold. Great story Brad.

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  7. Hi Brad, as I read your post it got me thinking about something I came across recently about heartbreak and how it can be seen as ‘breaking you open’ and in that vulnerability and rawness is the opportunity for more love to enter. I like that idea. Blessings, Lisa

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