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‘Dew’ by Kay Ryan

Image source: Library of Congress

As neatly as peas in their green canoe,
as discreetly as beads strung in a row,
sit drops of dew along a blade of grass.

But unattached and subject to their weight,
they slip if they accumulate.

Down the green tongue out of the morning sun
into the general damp,
they’re gone.

– Kay Ryan (1945)

This is my second time sharing a NYC subway poem and by the looks of it, won’t be my last. Just like the first, ‘A Name’ by Ada Limón, this poem captivated me. It’s easy to get lost in the subway system’s congestion & chaos but this quick read does something rejuvenating to the soul. You can find more subway poetry (past & present) by clicking here for MTA’s Arts & Design poetry page.

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In Tough Times

When the pawn hits the conflict he thinks like a king
What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
And he’ll win the whole thing ‘fore he enters the ring
There’s nobody to batter when your mind is your might
So when you go solo you hold your own hand
And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
If you know where to stand then you know where to land
And if you fall it won’t matter ‘cuz you’ll know that you’re right

– Fiona Apple (1999)

What looks like a poem at first sight, actually isn’t. This is the title of Fiona Apple’s second album that most people just know as “When the Pawn…” I was and am a really big fan of her songwriting & music… and have even named every Apple iPhone I’ve owned Fiona. I find that all of her music is highly relatable in one way or another, if not many ways all at once. Her word choice is absolutely phenomenal and lucid.

Apart from that is this unique album title. Over the years I have considered it a poem, a mantra, an escape, but never just merely a title. I have found myself saying it out loud, under my breath, during great anxiety, or even writing it over & over when I felt the urge to write for whatever reason. It has broken me out of spells of thinking I am incapable, it has given me confidence when I felt my lowest, and it has motivated me to work against the odds I thought were against me.

All in all. I’m sharing this because everyone deserves to have this kind of outlet. A saying that they know by heart that can ease their brain, take it away from challenge, and rejuvenate your tolerance.

Find one, use this, share what with us what works at alyssablooms@gmail.com for a feature on StayBlooming.com.

Namaskar.

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5-Minute City Clean-up Challenge

Last summer, I featured the 5-Minute Beach Clean-up Challenge to push the environmental agenda while we had free time on the beach. Respectively, there’s now an Instagram to get the same volunteer effort into our cities. An effort that is StayBlooming.com worthy and I want to challenge you guys to get in on it. The 5-Minute City Clean-up Instagram is a project with the very same goal of being green: to encourage social media users to volunteer 5 minutes of their time to clean up their city. Users then post the image and tag @5minutecitycleanup on Instagram for a chance at being featured on their page.

The incentive to be featured is a great way to get people interested. Five minutes goes by quickly too, so it’s easy to devote that time to cleaning up. But the goal is what this challenge (as a whole) can accomplish for the environment.

Share your images with us at alyssablooms@gmail.com if you decide to get involved and we’ll give them a definite feature.

Here are some images that they have inspired from around the world:

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🌞 Schools 🌞 . Where everything was born. Places where we gather together to learn for the better. A second home, if not the first one for so many. Schools were key, are key and mostly within the future should be as key as possible 🙏 . 🌎 Dallas • Texas • The United States • 2017 🔵 @oakclifflove ⚫️#00058 🔴#everymomentcounts 🔴#5minutecitycleanup ⚪️#ipickeditup ⚪️#bettertogether ⚪️#zerowaste ⚪️#solutionsnotpollution . #Repost @oakclifflove (@get_repost) ・・・ ♻️4️⃣♻️ #oakclifflove #keepoakcliffbeautiful #keepoakcliffclean #keepdallasclean #keepdallasbeautiful #5minutecitycleanup #take3forthesea #grabbits #justgrabbits #litterless #litterati #5pieces_a_day #1peaceaday #pickup1million

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By talking with Linda Pierce, she said "oh my son is in Chile so as you". She invited me to his new coffee shop @capsulasantiago inauguration on Saturday and sent tons of love (hey Niles!) 🙌The account from Baltimore says "broad" and I couldn"t help but notice the rhyme with abroad 🌎 . Being abroad means to raise awareness about what belongs to you, what belongs to me and what belongs to us. In order to respect the locals, you merge youself with them. You are respectful and approach the place with kindness. 🎉 . Then you travel somewhere else and you go on and on, keep going. Then you realize you belong to everywhere. And everyplace deserves maximum respect, both socially and absolutely environmentaly 🌍 . Let's get greener guys but greener greener! 🌏 . Baltimore • Maryland • United States • 2017 🔵@baltimore_broad ⚫️#00036 🔴#everymomentcounts 🔴#5minutecitycleanup ⚪️#ipickeditup ⚪️#bettertogether ⚪️#zerowaste ⚪️#SolutionsNotPollution . #Repost @baltimore_broad (@get_repost) ・・・ #5minutecitycleanup #trash #trashwalk #nightlyendeavor #keepyourneighborhoodclean #itsyourbaltimoredonttrashit Been cleaning this neighborhood for many years. Decided to join this instagram share.

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Plastkill. . Kills. Easy as that. It kills. . 🌎 The Netherlands• 2018 🔵 @zwerfinator ⚫️#00104 🔴#everymomentcounts 🔴#5minutecitycleanup ⚪️#ipickeditup ⚪️#zerowaste ⚪️#solutionsnotpollution . . . #Repost @zwerfinator with @get_repost ・・・ Tie wraps. Or tie rips. Whatever. Keep finding them everywhere. And there are better alternatives. . . . . #zwerfie #litterati #plasticsoup #justoneperday #grabbits #pickitup #aquickpick #LeaveItCleanerThanYouFoundIt #LeaveNoTrace #1pieceofrubbish #sidewalksweep #binit #pickabag #exposingtrash #plasticpollutes #alitterwalk #packyourtrash #TrashFreeEarth #BeTheChange #MakeItFun #PowerOfFun #trashhunting #yeswetrash

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The 5-Minute Beach Clean-up Challenge

5 minute beach clean up

Hey there bloomers! Yesterday I started the conversation about oceanic pollution and how it affects the entire world. You can click here to view the World Environment Day post. But to recap here — this week I’m spending time on bringing awareness to this environmental problem that affects our entire ocean. Today I’m continuing that convo by introducing an Instagrammer who’s taking a stand against oceanic pollution, plastic use, and making it social.

Her name is Carolina and she’s from Costa Rica. She founded the Instagram @5minutebeachcleanup as a challenge to everyone all over the world. Would you sacrifice 5 minutes of your beach time to tossing trash? I think any person who naturally cares about the world wouldn’t mind at all.

As inspiring as this is, it doesn’t stop there. Carolina invites her followers to tag their own clean-up photos and may very well repost yours if you participate. You can easily tell that she’s passionate about this when viewing her pictures & captions. I had the opportunity to reach out to her and thank her for the work she’s put into such a great effort.

Although 5 minutes does not sound like a long enough time for the perfect clean-up… every little bit counts. When more people are involved, the same 5 minutes can become hours, days, and even weeks added up. Imagine how much cleaning up can be achieved in that time if we shared the responsibility locally. I think environmental change truly comes from the human conscious understanding how each of us is apart of a much larger whole. But first, think with compassion and sacrifice some 5 minutes.

This is the perfect chance to take a stand against people like Donald Trump who don’t take evidence of climate change and environmental protection serious. It’s also a great opportunity to teach kids, family members, friends, colleagues, etc. about the importance of oceans, beaches, marine life, and how it relates to us.

Below are some more snapshots of this amazing cause. Please follow @5minutebeachcleanup on Instagram and take part in the challenge at your local beach!

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From Mexico 🇲🇽 #Repost @guadafk GRACIAS ♥ Consciousness ♥ Education ♥ Responsability ♥ 👏🏼👇🏼 ・・・ Every day, on the beach, there are tons of plastic brought from the ocean. What if we all really take 5 minutes each day we go to clean it? – why do we expect anyone else to clean the plastic we consume every day from out beaches? – every act of kindness goes a long way. Dear Tulum voyagers; let's carry a portable ashtray, let's pick a bit of plastic every day, every little counts. Imagine if we all do it as our holiday routine? – imagine if we teach that to our kids?- But most importantly, let's be conscious of the plastic we use every day. There are ways. Let's not get too comfortable around trash. #tulum #tulumbeach #betterworld #5minutebeachcleanup #fiveminutebeachcleanup #loveyourplanet🌎

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Your Searches, Planting Trees

I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend in one way or another. I’m spending it by relaxing with the mixed weather we’re having here in NYC. Anywho, I wanted to share this search engine called Ecosia that I’ve been using for over a year now. It uses the ad dollars companies put up to show on search engines to plant trees. So essentially when you’re doing research, using Ecosia, each ad plants a tree. All you would have to do is either install it as an extension on your current web browser (I use Google Chrome) or go to Ecosia.org like you’d go to Google.com.

With environmental concerns and awareness becoming more & more substantial, I always think of how I might be able to help. And also, how can other people get involved even if it’s remotely. If you can’t find time to participate in things like volunteering or activism as much as you’d like so this adds value to something you’re already doing in your everyday life. When you’re on your individual computer’s Ecosia page, it will even tell you how many trees you help plant in the top right corner. Unfortunate to say though, it resets for every different browser and computer used so there won’t be a total tally unless you’re probably keeping your own record.

Furthermore, I have found Ecosia‘s search engine to be lacking on the information side. You always have to be careful when you’re looking up facts in the first place but I was not fully satisfied with the results it yielded. Google has always been, by far, the best search engine tool in the last almost two decades of existing. But when researching something that I know is an easy search and rather direct, Ecosia is the way. It’s for such a great cause!

 Follow Ecosia
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Or visit their Tumblr page!