It rhymes

Welcome to Quarantine 15: a spot of joy in your inbox on work, life, and navigating the start of 2021. In case we haven’t met, I’m Nikki Gusz, a co-founder of Lloyd, a career GPS for young professionals. You can follow me on Twitter @nkgusz or subscribe to this email newsletter here.

Today, around here you’ll find:

(1) A little reflection on the week

(2) Selection 1

(3) Selection 2

(4) A treat from me

(1) A little reflection on the week

For those who follow certain faiths, it’s traditionally a time of gathering, celebration, and reflection (if you’re celebrating something, I wish you well). One phrase that has caused me to reflect of late is, “History may not repeat itself. But it rhymes.” Allegedly it’s attributed to Mark Twain (because, what isn’t!). Poetry has gained a renewed interest during the pandemic. This week, I’ve included two selections that make me step back and think—particularly true at this time of year, and as we begin to think about the “new new normal” (i.e., more people being vaccinated). So, a little different speed for us this week, but I hope you enjoy it. I’ve also included audio versions (or musical modifications in one case) as the experience of reading vs. hearing can provide new perspective.

(2) Selection 1

“Choose Something Like a Star” by Robert Frost. Hear Frost read it here.

O Star (the fairest one in sight),

We grant your loftiness the right

To some obscurity of cloud —

It will not do to say of night,

Since dark is what brings out your light.

Some mystery becomes the proud.

But to be wholly taciturn

In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn

By heart and when alone repeat.

Say something!  And it says “I burn.”

But say with what degree of heat.

Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.

Use language we can comprehend.

Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,

But does tell something in the end.

And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,

Not even stooping from its sphere,

It asks a little of us here.

It asks of us a certain height.

So when at times the mob is swayed

To carry praise or blame too far,

We may choose something like a star

To stay our minds on and be staid.

(3) Selection 2

“Ecclesiastes 3:1-8” by Anonymous. Hear The Byrds sing a modified version.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

(4) A treat from me

More of a favorite family treat tip: if you’re hiding something as part of your celebrations (candy eggs, afikoman, etc.) try to remember where you put them. We’re notorious for hiding a little too well, and then finding the hidden items months (honestly, years) later. Chocolate melted to the sconce light doesn’t quite have the same sweetness, not that I know firsthand . . .