Bedrock of Me, Photo by sis + BradenEye edit featuring her father

Strength in character seizes our sympathy. Satisfaction alights when decency distinguishes the pathways we’re provided in life. Pride has connotations both insidious and flattering. One might be seen as arrogant and the other courageous. I’m shuffling away the scoundrels and referring to those champions who enthusiastically evade evil to prod our admiration fidelity. Scarcely anyone is insulated, especially in a globe gone viral. Yet, there is an unmistakable personality of piety I keep close at hand whenever I meet them. These are the masters of rarified risk. Souls who are calibrated to protect. Influential spectacles often burdened with their own censorship, they impose wisdom in the face of intolerance and self-respect grows from their insides out. You might think to trick or prick their pride, but you will never steal their blessing.

My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland

Proud leaders are a safe passage through this big bad world. We are better for the grace they embellish. Indulging in the delicacies of everything male is the charming force of Father’s Day appeal. My dad is my leading man. He set the standards by which I’ve aimed to sort an appropriate fit to match my brains, brawn, wits, subtlety, fierce temptations, lusts, talents, and contributions. Men are this impassioned orbit around me. I’ve spent years dissolving myself in the activities of manhood. My private relationships with masculinity have been historically feverish. Everything at my core has desired a union with a caring intellectual who admires travel and cares for humanity. It never occurred to me this might be a tall order that takes my lifetime to fill. Refreshingly compared to my youth, while continuing the esteem for my father, I find it astonishingly easy to appreciate men.

A good man will want you to shine. He wants you to be your amazing self. A good man loves to show off his happy, intelligent, amazing, powerful woman. ~Anastasia Netri

As a young girl, I fell in love with libraries. Like nature, they are spaces I call my church. They offer an endless bounty of learning for my insatiable curiosity and caused a lifelong love affair with words in addition to pictures to blossom. I devoured novels, tons of poetry, encyclopedias, or research papers in our house. Then one day I learned my father had written books and that some libraries had them. My pride! I imagine it’s like learning that Jesus really loves you or God is your true father for those with regular religious leanings. I was so impressed and honored to ‘know’ one of the library book authors intimately. The mere fact that he had published words that anyone could read drove me to excel in myself, along with my outlook of what life could offer me. I distinctly recall a feature point amid college as he got this great grin that brimmed to his sweetest laughter when I realized he’d dedicated a serious foreign affairs release about Communist era studies (I think it was) to me and my sister.

One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man’s laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man. ~Fyodor Dostoevsky

A few years prior to this present reflection, during frugal book consumption mode, I made a pact with myself to begin collecting library cards wherever able. The intention was to keep my annual book-buying costs down, similarly lessen the impact on my storage unit where they’re housed in my ongoing nomadic lifestyle, be eco-conscious in our digital era, all the while enjoying the ease of content on the go with my travels markedly since the advent of audio books. Now, every time I’m in a city with library access I inquire for a free membership. On my latest networking jaunt to New York, a stuck instant turned serendipity. Hoping for an important meeting paid off when the confirmation stated she’d be available at her office right across the park from my current coffee shop perch. Confirming the locale via GPS, the map shows me the city’s main public library, which had been cloaked by trees via the sidewalk I’d rocked up to park myself earlier. With about two hours to kill, I launched myself from my chill space to breeze across Bryant Park and obtain my luck holding my initial New York Public Library card.

Every day you have a new chapter to write about your journey of life. As you write that chapter, do it so well such that when others read it; you would still be proud of yourself. ~Gugu Mona

Success so soon (if but three months only before mandatory reactivating required in person), as a roaring lion shiny red bit of plastic between my fingers only twenty minutes later was brilliant. Then a spark happened like my childhood days ~ to go look to see if they have your dad’s books! Of the six titles with his name they held, only one was on site. My scavenger hunt to find the cavernous architecturally photogenic research reading hall began. Hardly ironic to this topic of pride, low and behold I passed the epic ‘Love and ResistanceLGBTQ exhibition along the maze of my walk. I glided past iconic images, proud of my views about the virtues of men, as much as the value of sexual orientation rights. I eventually landed in front of a friendly fellow asking to have my blood’s book pulled, only to be instructed it was allowed for viewing not checkout solely. Perfect for a non-resident. I purely wished for social media snaps I would then text my dad pridefully, complete of self-worth course through all of my arteries. A day with my dad in one of his ‘homes*’ filled me with endless joy (*what I like to refer to as the many libraries carrying his manuscripts all around the very world he’s taught me to adore near and far). To be so pleased with oneself because of someone you know is an extra special case of alive.

If you want to proud of yourself, then do things in which you can take pride. ~Karen Horney

Right on with the righteous pillars of prideful elegance who guide our way on.

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