Tag Archives: inspirational

Thinking

What does an elephant think about,

As he stands inside a zoo?

What passes through his mind

As he’s looking back at you?

What does a pigeon think about,

As he soars above the crowds?

Perhaps it just a simple thing,

As he plays amongst the clouds.

A single ant is scurrying,

His job it must be done.

The others they depend on him,

The many and the one.

A crow is thinking, I can tell.

He cocks his head at me.

Is he looking at my lunch?

Does he think it’s free?

Two yellow fish are playing,

Deep beneath the sea.

I wonder what they’re thinking of,

Could it be of me?

A turtle swims beneath the waves,

A carefree life at best.

But then one day he wonders,

What about the rest?

Behind, beside and over there,

Are those we do not know.

But they have thoughts and feelings,

Just like that silly crow.

What does a person think about,

When he looks upon another?

Race and colour notwithstanding,

Could he be my brother?

This crazy world that we call ours,

We’re only tenants here.

If we make nice and play together,

There is no one to fear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration

  (for my friends who need a little snow)

I am often asked where I get my ideas for my quips, poems and posts. In all honesty I often get them from you. I read what others write and they inspire me. I am stimulated by people, by circumstances, by life itself. I actually got the idea for one of my favourite posts from the spine of a book in a doctor’s office. I don’t remember what it said or what it was about but the three or four words tripped my curiosity. And then I wrote about the “alligator”.  It was a child referring to the elevator we had just ridden up.  I overheard a conversation about two people who had literally just passed by me on the street and it sounded like they were discussing a murder! They weren’t. But it gave me an idea for another post.

We are constantly bombarded by information. Radios, televisions, our phones, the media. All around us is a cacophony of voices that we almost don’t hear.  Constant input. But within all that noise there are gems of humour, of inspiration. Our brains are like sponges soaking up moisture that we can’t hear or feel or see. It just seeps in.  I find it difficult to turn off and some days I really want to.

At any one time I have at least three or four writing exercises going on in my brain. Stories are percolating. I’ve got one story started about the retirement plan of an old man.  He wants to commit a crime to keep himself in a nice cushy prison for his retirement.  It sounds like fun but I haven’t written it yet. Or there’s one about a multi generational ghost story told from the perspective of a five-year-old. I’m intrigued!  I have two paragraphs written.  And then there’s a story about a woman who receives a phone call and it’s a wrong number but she can’t get the caller to understand that. There’s definitely a story there… What about if she calls… Oh… This could show up next week. Stay tuned!

Do you see? Inspiration is everywhere. We just have to open our hearts and minds to hear it. Sometimes it shouts and sometimes it’s a gentle whisper on the wind. If we would just pay a little closer attention . . .

The Gentle Moments

 

The time we have upon this earth,

So fleeting is its nature.

But still we hurry through our lives,

And miss the gentle moments.

They say that we must stop and listen,

To the beating of our hearts.

But heed I say the sound you hear,

Is deeper than a beat.

A gentle moment exists in truth,

It waits for us to notice.

Do not ignore and just pass by,

A precious instant’s near.

So bow your head and listen close,

To more than just your heart.

The sound you hear and wonder at,

Is the depth of inner peace.

Blessings to the world as we celebrate

Canada Day!

The Domino Effect   

I wrote this back in January 2014.  I hope you don’t mind. I just couldn’t come up with a new post this week.  I hope I will be forgiven . . .

I want to say something profound and memorable.  I wanted my first full post of 2014 to be something people spoke about to each other for days and weeks.  And then I realized I had it all wrong.  It’s not about the words I use.  It’s not about how I feel about what I write.  It’s about reaching out from the isolation of my home to the world. We are not alone.  We never have been.

I’m a big believer in the importance of chance.  You meet a stranger on the street and you smile in an abstract, bored sort of way.  The person you smile at doesn’t realize you are bored and his spirits are lifted just a tiny bit and when he gets home to his wife, he’s kinder.  His wife spends a little longer getting dressed that night because she’s starting to believe she’s beautiful because her husband was kind.  She speaks gently to her child that night and he goes to sleep feeling loved.  The next day he goes to school and does exceptionally well on a test because he feels good about himself.  His teacher is thrilled that her problem student has done well and she feels better about herself thinking she’s the reason.  She goes home that night . . . All of this happened because one woman smiled at a stranger.  It’s a domino effect.

We live on this little blue world made of dirt and water and people.  There are a lot of us.  There are wars and hunger, violence and apathy.  Every day we deal with our own perceived inadequacies, our own diseases.  But there’s one thing we must never forget: somewhere, someone is in much worse shape than we are.  Somewhere, someone is watching their life blood seep through a gaping wound, alone and frightened.  Somewhere, someone is watching as a loved one slowly succumbs to a painful and deadly disease.  A woman is raped and beaten, killed.  A man is shot dead by a stranger for his empty wallet.  A woman feels the hands of a lover on her throat tightening. Children are shot by children, men and women are tortured, planes crash, people are dying of hunger, disease and greed.

You have a choice.  I have a choice.  We can give in, be victims and wallow in our own self-pity.  Or we can take what quality of life we have, embrace it, relish it, enhance it if we can, and live.  Reach out to the stranger next to you and smile.  We are all in this together

 

Teach Your Children Well

It is a line within a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that popped into my head the other day.  The title is ‘Teach Your Children’ and it was out in the seventies. It was good advice then and it’s good advice now.  Actually, if we don’t do it right, we are dooming ourselves, our species.

We screwed up. Racism, poverty, intolerance.  These are fixable issues.  They truly are.  So why are people still dying?    It is happening because of greed, apathy and intolerance.  Learned attributes.    So, what do we do?  We teach our children to love, how to show compassion. We teach them the truth:  we are ALL important.  Each and every one of us.  That is a truth too many try to hide with their hatred.

Many years ago, two different groups of children were introduced to each other. They spent a week or so, in each other’s company.  They only learned the other’s names, no backgrounds.  Eventually it was discovered that one group was from Northern Ireland, the other from England.  They didn’t know that they were supposed to hate each other.  They truly did become friends. I couldn’t find the experiment on-line so maybe I dreamed it but I do not believe so. I read it many, many years ago and it stuck with me.  Hate is taught to our children.  And we teach it.

Okay, okay not all of us are so narrow minded that we instil our biases in our young but it happens far too much. If we can change that, we can make an enormous leap towards global acceptance.   It is probably pretty close to impossible to change the attitude of many of the adults. That may simply be because they have lived so long with their hatred, some don’t know to survive without it.  That doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Old dogs can be taught new tricks.

With everything that has been going on in the last few weeks it is no surprise we have reached a boiling point.  The pandemic has lit the match on an already volatile society.  We are cooped up and tensions are high.  But the problems are not new ones, just old ones we refused to face.

If we want a future, a viable future, we must change. It must start with the children.  Teach your children well.

 

 

Teach Your Children

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

 

Amplexus

I have always found that the best way to get someone’s attention is to make them curious. “What IS that noise?” “What do you mean by that?”  “She did what with whom?”

Your curiosity is peaked isn’t it? The name of this post is actually the Latin word for hug. It is such a little word but it has huge implications. It implies love, affection, concern. It forces a connection between individuals or even groups. It is physical. And right now, we are living in a world that is telling us to be less physical. And the one thing I’m hearing over and over again is that people miss getting hugged.  That’s hugged not mugged! Although, some hugging can feel like a mugging. But I digress.

There is a movie I really enjoy called ‘Love, Actually’. There’s a scene, I think it’s at the beginning of the movie as well as at the end, where you see large groups of people walking up to individuals, to love ones and hugging them. I miss a hug. I miss shaking hands. I miss getting a kiss on the cheek. And I will continue to miss all of this if it means that I am protecting the people I love.

We’ve entered into a new reality where we are learning to show our affection, our caring, without physical touch. It may not be quite as satisfying but we can make it count. We have to. I love my family but I have not been in their physical presence for some time. And I’m okay with that. I love them enough to stay away. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I’m absolutely miserable about it! But I’m a tough old sod and I would rather do the right thing for the right reason.

Let’s be serious. Most of us are not aching all that much. I have food, shelter, entertainment. I am not suffering. My mental faculties are being amused and challenged. Quite honestly, I’m simply inconvenienced. And it seems to me that the people that are mostly inconvenienced are the ones that are complaining the loudest. What about the people on the front lines that are quite literally putting their lives in danger to protect us, care for us? What about the people with loved ones in the hospital that they can’t get to? There are horror stories all over the world but I’m not one of them.

So, I’m going to let my hair grow a little longer. I’m not going to go to the dentist or the mall or the cinema. I’m going to keep away from friends and family. And I’m going to stop complaining about it. I am inconvenienced, nothing more.

 

Dear Diary;

It is been 68 days.  Sixty. Eight. Days. I am a prisoner. There’s been no ransom demand, he hasn’t tried to assault me, still, I’m a prisoner in this hovel, this shack. I am going to die here. I’m going to die alone. I don’t think my friends and family know where I am. I haven’t been to work and yet no one has tried to find me. I have been forgotten.

I’m hiding this diary from him because I think when I’m dead, perhaps someone will find this Journal. My last testament. Proof I was here. He feeds me. I have water. I’m even allowed to shower and sleep in a real bed. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t know what matters anymore.

I’ve begun to question my sanity. Was the life I led before, a dream? Are my memories wrong? I remember large groups of people laughing. I remember crowded sidewalks and arguments with strangers. I remember the smell of cars and cheap perfume. I miss those smells. How did I get here?

I can hear him, my jailer. He’s moving around. Is he the reason I’m being kept here against my will? Have I done something to wrong him? Dear Diary I don’t know what’s real anymore. When I’m able to look out the windows, all I see are trees. There are no people, there are no cars, no buildings. Where am I? He’s coming! Oh, dear God! He’s coming!

“Hey hon? I’m just about to hop in for a quick swim. How about after that I toss a few steaks on the barbecue? The cottage is a great place to sit out the pandemic!”

 

 

Looking For a Hug

 

I looked for a hug,

From a silly old bug.

But his arms were too short,

For that kind of sport.

 

So I asked then a deer,

Who did magically appear.

When he shook his big head,

I looked around me instead.

 

There were trees all around,

Whose branches were sound.

But not gentle their touch,

That I wanted so much.

 

So my journey moved on,

Til I next saw a swan.

Her wings were so wide,

But to me she did chide.

 

Look to your own,

She said with a groan.

You will find what you need,

My words you must heed.

 

So I nodded goodbye,

As she flew to the sky.

Now my heartstrings do tug,

As I ask you for a hug.

 

 

 

Ok, maybe not yet,

But soon, I will bet!

17 Seconds

With all the changes that are happening all over the world, I remembered this post.  It seemed appropriate and the memory made me smile.  Originally posted in August 2019.

17 Seconds

 

That’s it, 17 seconds.  Count them, go ahead: 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000, 4-1000, 5-1000 ………Done? All of them? Well, now guess what, phfst, snap, whoosh.  Those 17 seconds no longer exist except perhaps in your memory and even that will fade.

Now a length of time measured in seconds doesn’t seem all that noteworthy, at least not to those who have a potential life span well into 90 years.   Mayflies only live for 24 hours so 17 seconds would be important.  And it should be to you and me as well.  Minds can be changed in 17 seconds, wars can be initiated in 17 seconds, a lingering kiss can . . . Well you get the picture.  A lot can happen in 17 seconds.

It takes much less time for a life to pass on, for love to bloom (ok maybe in some cases it’s only lust but it is ‘a blooming!).  We spend so much time organizing, planning and cajoling and yet sometimes it is the unexpected hiccups that are the most memorable.

I once had several guns pointed directly at me.  It seemed to last for a lifetime as visions of my oh so young life flashed brightly across my mind’s eye.  It probably only lasted for a few seconds but OH MY WORD!!!

It was a dark and stormy night . . . Ok, ok, yes, it was dark and cold.  I was on my way to a night class in Anthropology.  Mid-eighties, winter. I was minding my own business, head down, when out of the corner of my eye I see dozens of huge men with drawn guns racing towards me, directly towards me.  Someone screamed “FREEZE” and I froze, solid.  I don’t think I dared to breathe.

Now I am told that memory is a fragile thing, often tempered by television, movies, news articles, even suggestions from other people. Well, that may be true but I am here to tell you my truth.  I wasn’t afraid.  Honestly.  I don’t think I had the time to consciously form a thought.  I was frozen, remember.  The officers (only 3 or 4) raced past me and into the building I was adjacent to.  Fortunately, one of them came back to release me from my frozen state.  I continued on to my class and only later discovered what had happened.  It seemed some unsavoury characters were hiding in plain sight on my University Campus. Pretty smart when you think about it.  The police were smarter.

Many years later I joined a Police Department.  Did that encounter unconsciously point me in that direction?  17 seconds can change your life.

And one thing can be counted on to be absolutely true:  Those 17 seconds will never come again.  So, use them wisely.