John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC


“Being an artist means forever healing your own wounds and at the same time endlessly exposing them.”Annette Messager 

To me, poetry is somebody standing up

“To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment”                                                                                                         Galway Kinnell

Destitutus ventis remos adhibe

Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe...or in other words "If the wind will not serve, take to the oars" 

A writer is

A writer is a world trapped in a person.

Irish fair skin can be traced to India and the Middle East

From Irish Central. Com

Have you ever wondered where the Irish get their light skin color from? Well, it appears we may now have the answer.

A major new US study at Penn State University has found that Europeans' light skin stems from a gene mutation from a single person who lived 10,000 years ago.

Scientists made the discovery after identifying a key gene that contributes to lighter skin color in Europeans, and the Irish fall into this category.

The Mail Online reports that, in earlier research, Keith Cheng from Penn State College of Medicine reported that one amino acid difference in the gene SLC24A5 is a key contributor to the skin color difference between Europeans and West Africans. This is undoubtedly where the Irish get their light skin from.

"The mutation in SLC24A5 changes just one building block in the protein, and contributes about a third of the visually striking differences in skin tone between peoples of African and European ancestry," he said.

Cheng and his team studied segments of genetic code that have a mutation and are located closely on the same chromosome and are often inherited together.

The mutation, called A111T, is found in virtually everyone of European ancestry.

A111T is also found in populations in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, but not in high numbers in Africans.

All individuals from the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa and South India who carry the A111T mutation share traces of the ancestral genetic code. According to the researchers, this indicates that all existing instances of this mutation originate from the same person.

The pattern of people with this lighter skin color mutation suggests that the A111T mutation occurred somewhere between the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

‘This means that Middle Easterners and South Indians, which includes most inhabitants of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, share significant ancestry,’ Professor Cheng said.

Professor Cheng now plans to look at more genetic samples to better understand what role genes play in East Asian skin color. Perhaps he will take a look into where Irish redheads come from after this.

Do you know the works of Leo Buscaglia? A great teacher, a great writer.

The note

The writers life





The greatest discovery

 “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings, by changing their inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” William James 1915

 William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the "Father of American psychology".
 Along with Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, he is considered to be one of the major figures associated with the philosophical school known as pragmatism, and is also cited as one of the founders of functional psychology. He also developed the philosophical perspective known as radical empiricism. James' work has influenced intellectuals such as Émile Durkheim, W. E. B. Du Bois, Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty.
Born into a wealthy family, James was the son of the Swedenborgian theologian Henry James Sr and the brother of both the prominent novelist Henry James, and the diarist Alice James. James wrote widely on many topics, including epistemology, education, metaphysics, psychology, religion, and mysticism. Among his most influential books are The Principles of Psychology, which was a groundbreaking text in the field of psychology, Essays in Radical Empiricism, an important text in philosophy, and The Varieties of Religious Experience, which investigated different forms of religious experience, which also included the then theories on Mind cure.


An Australian study that followed 1,500 people for 10 years found that having good friends helps people live longer. Those with a large support network outlived those with the fewest friends by a significant 22 percent. Another major study, this one from UCLA, found that when women reached out to friends during an emotional crisis, they coped better. One explanation (among many) is that the friendships triggered oxytocin—the feel-good bonding hormone—in the body, reducing women’s cortisol levels and combating stress.

Here's a productive idea

Campaign To Create Giant Smile Over U.S.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new campaign is setting up billboards encouraging Philadelphians to be happy.
The messages  are part of Smile Across America (#SmileAcrossAmerica), a national campaign from community nonprofit The Joy Team that’s in honor of International Day of Happiness on March 20th.
According to The Joy Team, Philly is just one of 19 cities  taking part in the campaign, which creates a giant smile face across the country when you connect the dots from billboard to billboard. That smile will span from Vancouver, WA to White Planes, NY with the eyes in Billings, MT; Casper, WY; Minneapolis, MN; and Des Moines, IA.

The Joy Team says the Philadelphia  billboard will be located on Ridge Avenue about 30 feet north of Walnut Lane and will read, “Life loves you. Just the way you are.” It’s expected to be up sometime during the week of March 16th.

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically

  “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” Anais Nin 

I don't know if I agree fully with that, I would say keep looking maybe you'll see him in the next person.

“If you don’t find God in the next person you meet, it’s a waste of time looking for him further.” Gandhi

How great would that be?

 “Imagine a culture in which everything is geared toward helping all individuals become the best human beings they can be; in which individuals are driven to devoting their lives to becoming enlightened by the natural flood of compassion for others that arises from their wisdom.” Robert Thurman

What a fantastic thought this is....................

 “I promise you that the same stuff galaxies are made of, you are. The same energy that swings planets around stars makes electrons dance in your heart. It is in you, outside you, you are it. It is beautiful. Trust in this. And you your life will be grand.” Kamal Ravikant

I want to make it clear here that I think intelligent arts criticism

 “I want to make it clear here that I think intelligent arts criticism is important and valuable. I want critics, writers, and readers to stake out their aesthetic ground and defend it. But your arguments should make us think deeper and harder about books. Criticism should complicate, not simplify. If you think the above is true, but not worth fretting over, here is why I disagree: lazy stereotypes about reader preferences absolutely contribute to problems in the publishing industry. I know writers of color who’ve been rejected because their writing ‘isn’t black enough for black readers,’ or is ‘too black for white readers.’ It leads publishers to reject manuscripts because ‘readers won’t read translated fiction’ or ‘don’t want more [insert ethnicity] immigrant fiction this year.’ (Then, of course, those same publishers scramble after that same fiction as soon as one book sells well.) It’s part of the reason that women writers are pressured into flowery uplifting covers even if their fiction is dark and gritty. And, more generally, it’s part of why tons of great books that push boundaries and do new, exciting things get passed over, and literature, and readers, suffer for it.”     Lincoln Michel

Get hopeful

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” Romans 8:24


        Imagine a life so happy and fulfilling that your very soul dances inside your body 

The blame game

I seldom blame anyone for anything because long ago I came to the conclusion that everyone on earth is in the process of growing, of becoming something else and no matter what they are or what they were or what they would become, no one is perfect and that the best we can do with our lives is to live accordingly  

We grow

We grow. That’s the aim, that’s goal. In that, as we grow we eventually find out who we are, what we are made of, what will make us happy. We also come to realize that some of the people we’ve known for years have grown either not at all or in a completely different direction from where we are headed. Then it’s time to move on without them, you’ll always have the memories but now the time has come to move on.    

Faith is everything.

Faith is everything. One person with a belief, one person with faith in that belief, is equal to a force of 99 who have only a passing interest in what they believe.

The answer to living a good life

 The answer to living a good life, a peaceful life,  is to learn how to balance holding on and letting go.

Here is my game plan

Here is my game plan; when my last day on earth comes around I want to be able to say that I chose my life to be what it is. I didn’t settle for a life handed to me.


One day I found myself wondering what had ever happen to an old friend. I recalled that I was the one who broke off our contact. It took some time to recall why but I finally remembered the reason; he had absolutely no care, concern or interest in my life or well being. Sometimes you have to give up on people - not because you don’t care, but because they don’t care.

Aim high

 “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”  

                                                                                                                                C. S. Lewis

I almost forgot...Happy St. Patrick's Day

“I’m a drinker with writing problems.” - Brendan Behan

De réir a chéile a thógtar na caisleáin: It takes time to build castles.          Irish Proverb

“May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.” Irish Proverb

“When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious. E. O’Brien”

Do overs

             One of the many gifts given to humanity is our ability to remake ourselves.


Conformity is a double edged sword because if you conform everyone will like you except yourself.

Givers and takers

The world is made up of those who give and those who take. If you are one of those who gives you had better learn to set limits on how much you are willing to give because the takers will never set limits on how much they are willing to take.    

Pay attention

Pay attention to your gut reaction but recognize that’s not the entire story  

6 habits of the most likable people

 Richard Feloni

Talent is only a prerequisite for the upper echelon of any industry.
Those who have the best interpersonal and communication skills will always have an edge over their colleagues who don't.
Dale Carnegie recognized this about a century ago and began teaching public speaking and personal success courses that became immensely popular. He and a team of researchers developed a curriculum based on lessons they derived from the lives of people like Thomas Edison and Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, along with psychology texts.
His most famous work, "How to Win Friends & Influence People," which was published in 1936, is a collection of his core teachings and has sold over 15 million copies. It uplifted readers during the depths of the Great Depression, but its insights into human nature are as relevant today as they were then.
According to Carnegie, here are six habits of people who are so likable that others go out of their way to help them.

1. They are genuinely interested in others.
Carnegie writes that the way Theodore Roosevelt treated even the lowest-level White House employee helped explain his popularity with the American public. He cites the writings of journalist and Army officer Archie Butt, who observed Roosevelt when he came to visit his presidential successor, William Howard Taft. Taft was unavailable, but Roosevelt made sure to speak to every servant and ask them how they were doing.
"It was the only happy day we had in nearly two years," the White House head usher Ike Hoover told Butt.

2. They smile.
Steel magnate Charles Schwab, who quickly rose from day laborer to an incredibly high paid executive under the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, claimed his smile was worth a million bucks.
"And he was probably understating the truth," Carnegie writes. "For Schwab's personality, his charm, his ability to make people like him, were almost wholly responsible for his extraordinary success; and one of the most delightful factors in his personality was his captivating smile."

3. They remember the people they meet.
Carnegie had a chance to interview Jim Farley, chairman of the Democratic National Convention and postmaster general — as well as FDR's first presidential campaign manager — about how he became successful.
Farley said that his ability to navigate politics was due to a habit he developed as a traveling salesman. He asked each prospective client their name and about their family, so that he had enough to link to a face the next time he encountered them. "Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language," Carnegie writes.

4. They encourage people to talk about themselves.
Most people loosen up in even tense situations if they start talking about what they know. Namely, themselves.
Carnegie writes that he once met an accomplished botanist at a dinner party and, being an amateur gardener himself, asked the man a stream of questions about his line of work. Hours of conversation later, it was time to leave. As the botanist left, he told Carnegie that he had been a "most interesting conversationalist."
Carnegie barely said anything the entire time, but he listened with genuine interest. "That kind of listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone," he writes.

5. They are aware of others' interests.
Another reason Teddy Roosevelt left such a favorable impression on those he met, Carnegie writes, is that he seemed to know an encyclopedia's worth of information.
This impression was deliberate. According to Carnegie, whenever Roosevelt hosted someone at his house, he would stay up late the night before, "reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested."

6. They make others feel important — in a genuine way.
Carnegie says that the philosopher William James expressed the "one all-important law of human conduct": "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."
Show your appreciation of others, but don't spread praise so thin that it's meaningless.

I never wish to be easily defined

“I never wish to be easily defined. I’d rather float over other people’s minds as something strictly fluid and non-perceivable; more like a transparent, paradoxically iridescent creature rather than an actual person.” Franz Kafka

Unexpressed emotions

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and they will come forth, later, in uglier ways.” Sigmund Freud 


“She is not a writer at all, really; she is merely a gifted eccentric.” Michael Cunningham, The Hours 


Writers have a reputation for being introspective, sensitive and passionate. Although the most prolific writers have a melancholic streak, we often forget that a writer is an observer of the human experience. Usually, writing is not born from happiness; it is nurtured by experience, struggle, survival, and inspiration. I don’t know what makes a writer, but it probably isn’t happiness." -William Saroyan

Gandhi break

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.” 

             “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.” 

                                   “Love is the subtlest force in the universe” 


“Most experiences are unsayable; they come to fullness in a realm that words do not inhabit.”
                  Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


Ilk: Definition: sort, kind

 The Old English pronoun ilca is the predecessor of the modern noun ilk, but by way of a pronoun ilk that does not exist in most dialects of modern English. That ilk is synonymous with same, and persists in Scots where it's used in the phrase "of that ilk," meaning "of the same place, territorial designation, or name." It is used chiefly in reference to the names of land-owning families and their eponymous estates, as in "the Guthries of that ilk," which means "the Guthries of Guthrie." Centuries ago a misunderstanding arose concerning the Scots phrase: it was interpreted as meaning "of that kind or sort," a usage that found its way into modern English. Ilk has been established in English with its current meaning and part of speech since the late 18th century.


   \HUCK-ster\ hawker, peddler

Hawkers, peddlers, and hucksters of those three words—hawker, peddler, and huckster—the one that has been around the longest in English is huckster. It has been with us for over 800 years, and it derives from the Middle Dutch word hokester, which in turn comes from the verb hoeken, meaning "to peddle." Peddler (or pedlar) was first attested in the 14th century, and the pertinent sense of hawker has only been appearing in English texts since the early 1500s.