: the inside surface at the top of a room
: an upper limit
: the greatest height at which an aircraft can fly

Source: www.merriam-webster.com


Ceiling (n.): mid-14th century, celynge, “act of paneling a room,” noun formed from Middle English verb ceilput a cover,” later “cover (walls) with wainscoting, panels, etc.” (early 15th century); probably from Middle French celerto conceal,” also “cover with paneling” (12th century), from Latin celare (related to cell).  Probably influenced by Latin caelumheaven, sky” (related to celestial).

The meaning “top surface of a room” is attested by 1530s. Figurative sense “upper limit” is from 1934. Colloquial figurative phrase hit the ceilinglose one’s temper, get explosively angry” attested by 1908; earlier it meant “to fail” (by 1900, originally U.S. college slang).  Glass ceiling in the figurative sense of “invisible barrier that prevents women from advancing” in management, etc., is attested from 1988.

Source: www.etymonline.com


“Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling?

M.C. Escher (1898-1972, one of the world’s most famous graphic artists; famous for his so-called impossible constructions, such as “Ascending and Descending,” “Relativity,” “Transformation Prints,” “Metamorphosis I,” “Metamorphosis II,” and Metamorphosis III.”)

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“Laughter is the valve on the pressure cooker of life. Either you laugh and suffer, or you got your beans or brains on the ceiling.”

Wavy Gravy (b. Hugh Romney in 1936, American entertainer and activist for peace, a member of an entertainment/activist commune known as the Hog Farm, which runs a performing arts program for children for 10 weeks every summer)

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“As far as a glass ceiling, I feel that all you can do is give it you’re absolute best with whatever gifts the universe has given you. And if you make in some way that other people can recognize that’s fine. But even if you don’t quote-unquote make it, you’re fine if you’ve given it your whole heart and soul.”

Alice Walker (b. 1944, internationally celebrated writer, poet, novelist, poet, and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry; best known for her critically acclaimed novel, “The Color Purple,” for which she won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983.)

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“I want to inspire people not to work under a bamboo ceiling. Whatever you are – yellow, black, white, brown – you don’t have to allow your skin to define who you are or how you operate your business. There’s not one face to anything.”

Eddie Huang (b. 1982, American restaurateur, chef, food personality, writer, and attorney, who owns BaoHaus, a Baozi restaurant in the East Village of Manhattan)

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“If you ask the question of Americans, should we pay our bills? One hundred percent would say yes. There’s a significant misunderstanding on the debt ceiling. People think it’s authorizing new spending. The debt ceiling doesn’t authorize new spending; it allows us to pay obligations already incurred.”

Peter Welch (b. 1947, American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has served as the U.S. Representative for Vermont’s at-large congressional district)

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“Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling?

— M.C. Escher

It’s all a figment of our mind’s construct, isn’t it? What we think or imagine can limit us or expand our capacities?

There’s always way, another path out or into an opportunity.  But, it takes an awakening of our consciousness and peace of mind to discern these in-roads.

When we are upset, frustrated, and angry we can’t see any of the possibilities or the miracles.

When I was sophomore in high school I took an advanced chemistry class.  At the age of sixteen I was a little unhappy with all the changes I was experiencing.  I didn’t feel at home in my body or my circumstances.

But, after a while I started working, making money for myself, and paying for private art classes, which I really enjoyed.  Slowly, I was waking up from my slumber, but not so fast.

One day, while in the chemistry class, with a full head of curly hair I haphazardly leaned over the Bunsen burner catching my hair on fire.  It blew up in a matter of seconds and I didn’t help by panicking, screaming and circling about.

My teacher moved quickly, though, instructing a student near me to put my hair out in his hands.  It worked, and fortunately the fire didn’t reach my scalp.

It was so tough to go through that, especially as teenager. Fortunately, my parents took me straightaway to a hair stylist, a man who was compassionate and loving enough to keep most of my hair long on the sides and very short on the top.

I remembered spiraling down with the trauma of the incident, but didn’t realize the gravity of what could have occurred until weeks later.  The sadness and the shame kept me bottled up until the jokes around school of me being a “human torch” got around.  I could the whispers of fellow students behind me.  But, I couldn’t let on that I thought the joke was funny, because for a brief moment it was true.  My grandfather long ago had taught me the art of laughing at our tragedies.

It’s amazing how resilient we are as human beings and what floors and ceilings we are able to plunge through and transcend, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Pierce through all the make-believe boxes, sojourners, and rise!

Written With Love, Tonya


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