Tag Archives: attitude

I Got Nothin’

And I like it! You see, I’m a firm believer that nothing is where something begins. Apologies to Einstein for he disagrees with me and he was considered a preeminent mind. I’m just a middle-aged woman with a middle-aged brain and ageless mind. I’m also an unrepented optimist. I believe we can get something from nothing. Actually, I believe that’s the only place you can get a proper start: when you have a clean slate. Ask an artist what they see when they look at a blank canvas. They see possibilities. If something were already there, they would be restricted or they would have to obliterated. You see they start from nothing and then they create. Isn’t that what we do?

I had the idea for this post a few weeks ago but it was still percolating. And then I saw a friend’s post with exactly the same title and I was crushed. I guess we think alike. But in actual fact only the titles are the same. Dan Antion over at nofacilites.com has a brilliant blog. I get lots of ideas from him. (Shush don’t tell him!) But his post with the same title is significantly different than mine. So, I decided to share.  Here are my musings about nothin’ . . .

When I wake up first thing in the morning my first thought is… Of nothing. It’s nice to have no responsibilities, no pressing needs, no requirements that must be dealt with forth with. If only for a few moments my mind can wander anywhere and everywhere with no restrictions. That’s kind of a nice feeling. But of course, it doesn’t last. I have emails to answer, I have a cup of tea that is calling my name and I have engagements that I have committed to. I have responsibilities. And that’s fine. That is my life. And it is a life that I choose. But for short periods of time, it’s so nice to be surrounded by… Nothin’.

I’m wondering if there is a part of me that is channelling that innocent child in my mother’s womb that floated in an oblivion of nothing. I have no memory. But I wonder if my body does. Do our bodies remember? That is a whole Nother question… for another day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books versus Life

I love to read. I love to immerse myself in another world, another reality and experience it. I can live the life penned by another for as long as I am in that world. But I have a life. I have a life outside the pages of a book. I cannot stop my life from moving inexorably forward but I can put a book down and walk away. Can’t do that in real life!

When an author sits down to pen a novel, short story, a poem, they usually have an idea of where they ultimately wish to be. I would say they are in charge. Life is not always like that. We can have a plan, desires, a roadmap for our lives but there are too many variables. We might plan to be a dancer and our education is all towards that end and yet we are unable to dance. So, our path is now changed. We have to change with it. We need to devise a new plan. Is that so wrong? I’ve always found the unknown to be challenging and exciting. Perhaps terrifying is the right word but that also makes it enticing. And we wouldn’t be who we are without challenges. We have grown as a species from babes in the wood to leaders of our universe, sort of.

Our greatest inventions have grown out of a need. We were cold so we learned to harness fire. We were afraid of the dark so we learned to bring light. We like challenges.  We thrive on challenges. Which is a good thing, because there are a whole lotta challenges in our world. Sometimes those encounters can become too much and so we escape into the pages of a book. Or a movie, a video game, etc., etc. etc. The point is, we can take a short break and become someone else. But we cannot stay there. We. Can. Not.  There are books I have read multiple times because I enjoy the world that is created there. I like to visit. And I hope to think that some of the benefits I felt within those pages I am able to carry with me in to my reality. There’s something to think about. Someone else creates and we embody. Hmmmm . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cracked Brigade

“As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that perfection is a frame of mind and my frame is cracked.”

I wrote that as one of my daily quips last week, and I was quite surprised at the response. People coming forward and saying that they too were cracked. And I mean cracked in the best of ways.

An actor I greatly admire recently came forward and stated that he didn’t feel he was worthy. He didn’t think he was good looking enough or smart enough or talented enough and that he was just lucky. I beg to differ. And hundreds of thousands of people around the world agree with me. He has insecurities just like us and I think he’s brave to come forward and admit that. What we see is a chameleon, a true actor, but what he feels behind closed doors is human. I think that is often difficult for men to admit to and perhaps women as well. I have spoken to people who have actually talked to him and they’re always surprised when they find that he is as nice as he appears to be.

As one of my readers stated that: “we are all cracked”. We all have flaws that we think are negatives and yet they are not. They are part of who we are, plain and simple.

There’s a lovely old story that I remember about a farmer who used to pick up water from the well and bring it up to the house. Each day he took two clay jugs, filled them to the brim and walked a meandering path back to the house. One day one of the pots apologized to the farmer for not doing his job. (OK, OK, this is a story, it’s not real life.  It’s meant to illustrate a point.) The pot said that because he had a crack he never arrived back at the house as a full jug. Too much of the water had leaked out, and he believe he was a failure because of it. The farmer smiled and said: “Take a look at the path we take. I knew you had a crack and so I planted seeds along the path. I always make sure that you were leaking on that side. Look at the flowers that have blossomed. You have been watering those seeds and now look . . . The world is a prettier place, because of what you contributed through your crack.”

Those cracks are chinks in our armor that allow us to share the essence of who we are. That is a pretty special gift and one that I cherish.

 

Halloween?  No!

Halloween is for sissies,

For kiddies and such.

Not for the minded,

Intelligent touch.

I’ll not be swindled,

And fooled with a scare.

No candy from me,

Not even a dare.

Now I hear knocking,

At my front door.

Ignore this I shall,

I will do no more!!

Children on candy,

Is too much a rush!

It messes their teeth,

Their minds become mush!

More banging is heard,

Just leave me alone!

I’ll not be a part,

Of this weirding new zone!

There are shapes at the windows,

Dear God they want in!

The devil is coming,

He senses my sin!

Moaning I hear!

They whisper my name.

Fear them I won’t,

Please make this a game!

A man was found dead,

Halloween night.

They say that he suffered,

A terrible fright.

Remember this story,

Next year they’ll be back.

Have candy all ready,

Or they’ll help you to pack . .

 

Identity

What is it that makes me, well, me? What is it that makes you, you? We all have a built-in identity based on how we look, how we speak, how we act. I am a Canadian. I was born in Canada X number of years ago. You really didn’t think I was gonna tell you my age? Silly you! But as such, I am perceived by others to have certain… traits. It is expected that I will be polite. Always saying “I am sorry” and “eh” are common phrases that are attributed to a Canadians.  They are attributed because they are often said. (Most of us try to get away from the “eh” because it is, well, irritating.) Assuming we are polite is not a bad quality to have.

Canada is the second largest country geographically and yet our population puts us at the 40th. Big country, few people. I think that goes a long way into determining our character. We have a great sense of humour and love to laugh at ourselves. We have more lakes than in the rest of the world combined and we make a great friend. We are loyal and tenacious. But we’re not perfect. We will be the first to admit that. I like being Canadian. I like the fact that the rest of the world likes me because I am Canadian. But I am sure there are those out there who do not. And I’m OK with that.

But there is so much more to one’s character then where you were born. We develop as we evolve as people. I was lucky to have had an idyllic childhood, a carefree youth and, so far, a useful adulthood. I have had adventures and friendships, sorrows and ecstasies. All of these have helped form my character. And it is still forming. With luck, it will be until the day I die. And I have no plans for that anytime soon! I’m just sayin . . .

Perhaps the most important component to one’s character is time. Time allows us to grow, to experience to become the person we are meant to be. It is sad when some are not given the time to become more. With time we can learn, we can touch, taste, hear, see, hypothesize. What we do with those experiences that we have gained over time is what will define our character.

And the final piece to the jigsaw puzzle that is us is, us. We choose. We can choose to let the good and the bad define us or we can make that choice ourselves. That perhaps is the strongest aspect of our identity.

Give Me Strength

 

Lord give me strength,

Don’t leave me alone!

I’m waiting for signs,

I’m right by the phone!

 

I think I am good,

I do as I’m told.

That bit with the baker,

Just means I’m not old.

 

I know what you think,

I should not have said.

But seriously Lord,

I just wanted bread!

 

Not one of the 10,

Have I seriously broken.

But in moments of stress,

Number three have I spoken.

 

One is intact and 5 is a given,

I try number 4 each Sunday I do!

But sleep is the devil,

If only you knew.

 

My Lord is my Saviour,

He waits by my side.

When shopping for shoes,

I swear He does hide!

 

Each morning and night,

I kneel down in prayer.

I say all the words,

You taught me to share.

 

But now is the time,

Dear Lord that I ask.

Forgiveness in truth,

For a despicable task.

 

My last nerve did he break,

And I killed without thought.

That mosquito is dead,

Your words I forgot.

 

Stop laughing Dear Lord,

There’s a mess on my floor!

Your mask it is slipping

And I think that you swore!

 

 

Mac and Cheese

When I was a child, my favourite meal was macaroni and cheese. It came in an orange box with elbow macaroni and a package of powdered cheese. I would eat that daily given the opportunity. A little ketchup on top, yep, I was good. Jump forward several decades and my tastes have changed somewhat. Mac & Cheese is still one of my favourite meals but I no longer use powdered cheese because I have discovered real cheese!

I remember being told as a youth that I needed to give up my childhood dreams. I needed to accept that life was not all rainbows and unicorns.  I thought that was ridiculous. There are some things that do belong in my past, in my childhood but others are still with me. Like that Mac & Cheese. I use different cheeses and different pasta but the essence is still one of comfort. Since those heady youthful days, I have discovered spices and herbs and sausage. Yes, my Mac & Cheese is significantly different than it was in those long-ago days. But it still represents, me.

I am glad I’m not the same person I was all those years ago but I’m also proud of the fact that I have retained some of that… childhood curiosity? I think that is something we should all try and keep. Life does its damnedest to mould us into appropriate adults. And that is how it should be. But we should never forget who we were and what we stood for. For that way lies madness. And there is enough madness in the world today that we do not need to contribute any more to it. Maybe that is why things are so crazy: people have forgotten what they cherished as children.

We are not born to remain in one state. We are born to grow, to evolve. Most of us do a very good job of it. But some…!  Life is delicious. It is messy and uncomfortable but it is also fulfilling and rewarding. We need to embrace the best parts of it and ameliorate the rest. Just like my Mac & Cheese.

And of course, rainbows still caress the world and unicorns are just a whimsy away.

Patience

My mother used to tell me that she always knew I would be in a hurry for the rest of my life. She laughingly said that if the doctor had not been standing where he was when I was born, I would’ve been splattered against the far wall. I was in a hurry to be born. She said her labour lasted minutes. That explains so much about my personality.  Patience is a virtue with which I’m only slightly familiar.  But I’m working on it.

We live in a fast pace world where everything appears to be done in second gear, at least.  News is instantaneous and we barely have a moment to process before we’re onto the next big thing. Highways are filled with people rushing to get to work, rushing to get to their shopping, in a hurry to get to the baseball game. Always in a hurry. What do we need patience for? Well, it seems to me like we’re always being told to hurry up and get in line just to wait. And to wait.

When I was a child, I was impatient with everything. I wanted to be older, taller, wiser. And I didn’t like waiting for it to happen naturally. Well since nature will not be coerced, I got there eventually. Now that I am significantly farther down the natural life line, I look back with amusement. And I have a different understanding of patience.

The physical world will always move at its own pace. People require things to be done on their timelines and the world will wait for no one. But inside, in the recesses of your mind, is where real patience is important. That is where we truly have control, where we can be the directors of our own conscience.

I think the people I admire the most are the ones who are able to live in both worlds. The fast-paced physical world and the more calming cerebral one. These are the people who can process and understand the breakneck speed in which we live and are capable of responding appropriately. We need leaders who are capable of this while still holding onto compassion and integrity. Heady stuff. But isn’t that what life is all about? We should face the unknown with anticipation and with confidence. I’m always curious to see what the next page has to say.

Of course, I also have no problem sitting back and relaxing with a good book and letting the world move on without me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weed Killer

The seeds have been planted,

They are starting to grow.

What will develop,

What will they bestow

 

Will the seeds become flowers,

That mean love and respect?

Or will they be weeds,

Their job to deflect?

 

Bigotry and avarice,

Can choke out a life.

If allowed to ferment,

There’ll be nothing but strife.

 

Hatred and ignorance,

Will kill kindness and joy.

We must be vigilant,

Our weapons deploy.

 

We have the tools,

To protect what is good.

All that it takes,

Is to defend as we should.

 

Knowledge protects,

And keeps us secure.

All that remains,

Is for us to endure.

 

 

This was inspired by a post by Frank at beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com.  Check him out, you won’t be disappointed.

Context

“I’m going to kill him!” “I will end her!” “I’m going to beat you to a pulp!”

Have you ever said these words? Or perhaps something similar but equally violent or aggressive? Truth of the matter is we all say things that we would never put into effect. Ask anyone who has ever offered to eat their hat if they would really do it. Just because somebody in a fit of anger spouts the words:  “I’m going to kill you!” does not mean they are going to actually end your life. And yet.

Context. It’s all about context. People often speak without truly thinking about what they are going to say. That could be 98% of the time. It is so easy to get provoked about something and then use words that perhaps were inappropriate at the time. I once overheard a conversation on the street, I wasn’t intentional listening but they were quite loud and they were talking about murder. Now I am by nature a curious soul so I followed. I wanted to hear more. I also wondered if I should put my cell phone on record, you know, evidence. Ha ha ha! Within a few steps I realized that they were talking about killing a plant. Or rather someone who was taking care of her plants killed them by overwatering them. It’s all about context. She was talking about flora and I’m thinking about dead bodies. Tells you where my mind goes.

I love it when I hear people say they are so hungry they could eat a whole cow! Do they know how big a cow is?  It’s just another example of how people don’t really mean what they say. In context, they’re just very, very hungry. OK. So much of our humour comes from comments made out of context or misspoken words and phrases. We are funny when we’re riled.  And good comedians know it.

Now, speaking without thinking isn’t always a bad thing. It’s amazing how much honesty is reflected in those impromptu moments. Definitely not a bad thing but not always a good thing either. Honesty is to be respected and used judiciously. When you hear a word that someone else speaks, your mind may conjure up a different context than what was meant. I once had a conversation with an acquaintance about canoeing. The topic immediately puts me in Algonquin Park in northern Ontario with beautiful clear skies, brilliant stars and peace. He thinks about regattas with hordes of people and food and booze. Two totally different situation. We did eventually come to a consensus and we laughed about it. Context. It isn’t always easy to know what it is.