Click on the Stanyan logo to subscribe to the McKuen Mailing List

Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

Love is an act of giving; giving is an act of love.


Good morning. Now that the 4th season of the year has started
here are a couple of meditations.


In winter we return home again to whatever. Cold comfort. Warmth of friends. Strangeness. Death. We hibernate like bears. Seek private places to stay private in. Ward off colds. Christmas for the children. Loneliness for others.

There is a purity to winter. A calmness. The young are left alone because their elders dwell on loss and limits. This time excuses for reassessing involve the new year. Maybe the purity of winter has more to do with snow than stuff of stronger substance.

-Adapted from ďA Book of Days", 1981


I never thought that I had wasted love even when I gave it freely to those I might not, could not, would not go on loving. I learned by loving and I was taught by experts. Groomed by the selfish and the selfless too. Love seldom tied me up in knots. The closer Iíve been held, the more Iíve learned freedom. I am only bound when Iím alone, chained when no oneís here to love me back.

-Adapted from ďA Book of Days", 1981


When Christmas comes around this year, Iíd like to give you something that you least expect: your fatherís wisdom. If, indeed, heís yet acquired enough to share. Your fatherís charity, if he can truly say he has done nothing all these years to harm his fellow man. Your fatherís understanding, if he understands your needs well enough to listen to whole paragraphs of your young troubles without judging you mid-sentence. Your fatherís absolution, though he has yet to be absolved for the recklessness heís passed down to you both knowingly and unknowingly. Your fatherís future, if he can see untroubled days ahead. Your fatherís needs, that you might meet the ones he never filled himself.

I hope, though, that your father, your old man, is not so selfish as to burden you with his unanswered prayers. You will need all the God that you can get to answer some of those requests you are making now and many you have not thought up yet, but will.

-Adapted from "An Outstretched Hand," 1980

See you tomorrow with a Christmas story. Sleep warm.

notable birthdays Dame Peggy Ashcroft o Barbara Billingsley o Hector Elizondo o Ralph Fiennes o Steve Garvey o Maurice Gibb o Robin Gibb o Lady Bird Johnson o Andre Kostelanetz o Giacomo Puccini o J. Arthur Rank o Gene Rayburn o Edwin Arlington Robinson o Diane Sawyer o Deems Taylor
Rod's random thoughts It is not the iceberg we remember - the snowflakes only.

Greatness in the individual leads to greater universal ends.

God never holds back.


Bless the children first,
for they need help
just to get them safely
down the block.
With all the mazes
that we make for them
(like teaching them to hate
before they learn to spell)
It is a wonder that they ever find
the door that opens out to adolescence.

Bless the animals
that sniff the kitchen floor
and those that prowl the hills
Animals, like angels, need protection,
because we use them only
as a substitute for love -
the kind that other people promise us
while they steal our evenings
and before they sneak away.

-from "An Outstretched Hand," 1980

© 1979, 1980. 1981, 1998, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
Want to comment on today's Flight Plan?
Send e-mail to Rod McKuen or post a message at the Rod McKuen Message Center
home page   today's flight plan   flight plan archives   search this site   site map