Tag Archives: Life

Planting a Seed

This is a blast from my past. It was originally posted in May 2017.

Each spring we anticipate the joy of bringing life into our gardens.  We plan and choose and anxiously wait for the frost to leave the ground We knowingly plant our gardens and wait for the flowers to bloom forth bringing the beauty that we know exists just below the surface.  We are proud of our efforts and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps more on something that is often ephemeral. Hmmmm . . .

Wouldn’t it be nice to plant a seed that we could see bloom every day?   Actually, we can. We also plant other seeds every day but we probably aren’t aware of it.  A smile, a wave, a wink or a nod: simple gestures that can actually have lasting ramifications. We have no idea how many people we touch in a single day, a single hour and yet touch them we do. And that’s where the seeds take root.

Unfortunately, those seeds, those ideas, we plant aren’t always positive. Anger has a nasty way of leaving its mark long after the argument is done. Fear can last for generations, all from a single seed planted by people we don’t even know. Racism, bigotry, prejudice, the list is endless. We have the power within ourselves to make a difference. Within our hands, our hearts and our minds are the seeds that we can spread willingly and positively. We are in control, but do we know it?

Each one of us has a need to be nurtured, protected in order to properly thrive.  It is the height of hubris to think that others don’t have the same need.  There are more than 7 billion people on this earth and we all have something in common: Life.  We need to share it in order to blossom.

It’s a little heady to think that we have this power, this opportunity to improve ourselves and those around us.  When we catch the eye of the stranger do they see kindness and charity in our eyes or do they see fear and disdain. We can control that. We can control the narrative.

In 100 years you and I will probably be forgotten. In 50 years there might be a faint echo of us in those who are children now. In 25 years we should still be a part of the conversation, perhaps in passing. Tomorrow and the next day I want to be a continuing part of that narrative.  I want to plant seeds of compassion and empathy in those around me. In that way I can pay it forward and the see the beauty that sleeps just below the surface. How about you?

The Fog

Like a velvet glove

Soothing the harshness,

A soft and gentle touch

Silently rolling forward.

 

It touches nothing

But caresses everything,

A life of its own

A duty to perform.

 

Like a fervent admirer

It covers its lover,

Pressing home the advantage

Nothing is forgotten.

 

To some it signifies evil

To others anonymity,

People tend to whisper its name

And watch it inherit the world.

 

Sailors fear it passing by

Lovers salute its silence,

The wonder of the city

The passage of the fog.

 

 

 

Once again, my Dynamic Duo have presented me with a photograph that I could not leave alone. This poem was written almost 10 years ago but it popped into my mind immediately when I saw this photograph. Thank you to Dan and Maddie had nofacilities.com

On Fertile Ground

When I first heard the words Ground and Fertile together my mind went to flowers and produce, trees and foodstuffs.  Then I got it. We are the Ground, more specifically our minds. If as children we learn that it is acceptable, even necessary, to question then we will grow up to have open minds. An open mind is a fertile one.  And a fertile mind will allow ideas to germinate.

Progress happens through hard work yes but also through tenacity, perseverance and I believe a certain amount of luck.  Sometimes, plain dumb luck.  Let’s face it we have nearly destroyed ourselves many times. But we didn’t, fortunately. So, we continue to evolve.  We need forward thinkers, people who think outside the box. We need to face our fears, not to progress in spite of them but to use them. Our fears protect us and they inspire us.

We can’t all be movers and shakers. We can’t all be instruments of change. Or can we? Anyone who reads me regularly knows that I am a big believer in the Domino Effect. For those of you who are new to me, please allow me to explain. When you smile at someone on the street for no reason other than it is a beautiful day you may cause that person you meet to smile at another and then that person smiles at another and somewhere along the line someone who is feeling terribly down decides that life is worth living. Does this really happen?  I believe it could.

When I write these posts it is often because of things I have heard or seen that inspires me. It makes me want to ask questions, to understand something. Often it is other blogs I read or comment on that cause my mind to take perhaps another path. I am inspired by life. That sounds terribly simplistic but it really is that simple.

The people that enable our world to move forward or those that create are often inspired by things they may not even remember. Comments that were made when they were children can steer them towards a path they had not thought of before. Part of a casual conversation overheard on the street, or read briefly somewhere may trigger an idea.  We are constantly affected by those around us, by the sights and sounds of life. Sometimes we are aware of it and sometimes we are not but we are constantly being touched. And changed.

I would be very careful of what you say in public or what you write because it may be read by someone who then mentions it at a dinner party and then someone has the idea that . . .  Or perhaps the next great step forward in our evolution may simply have been stimulated by the ravings of a madman. Does it make you wonder?

A Cuppa

What do I see before me,

With its golden amber hue?

Will it cure the world of hate,

Or is it just my brew?

 

Does it make me calmer,

Ease my furrowed brow?

I know I’m looking forward

To tasting this right now.

 

I wrap my hands around the cup,

A gentle heat enfolds me.

It travels all throughout my soul,

The perfect place to be.

 

A soothing liquid skims my tongue,

And slides its journey down.

Pooling, splashing all together,

The jewel within my crown.

 

I breathe a sigh contented,

The way to start this day.

When everything is positive,

And now I get to play!

 

The Absolute Truth?

“It is the absolute truth!”    How many times have we heard this comment? How many times was it correct? The truth is something that seems to be bandied about like a tennis ball.  Whoever hits the hardest or the farthest gets the point. Ask a police officer about the truth. There is an accident and if there is more than one witness there’ll be more than one absolute truth.

Since perhaps only scientists can understand absolutes, the rest of us have to recognise that there simply are no absolutes. The truth we see and tell others is based on our own preconceived ideas and experiences. We can believe something to be the truth but that doesn’t make it so. If you check social media, the truth can be had for a coin, a tiny virtual coin I don’t understand.

There is an old adage: ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’. It’s true. If you say something loud enough and long enough there is a section of society that will believe you. It doesn’t matter that you have no proof to back up what you have just said. Proof, as well, is open to interpretation. If five different people read the same book, you’ll often find five different interpretations of what the book was about. Some will see the internal angst that the characters have to deal with while others see the romance and others will be bored silly. Everything we see, do, hear, feel, experience is interpreted by our inner monologue.

Oh yes, the inner monologue. That annoying little commentator at the back of our brain that suggests having that second piece of pie would not be good for your hips. That conscience that reminds us we really should have taken out the garbage. The remembered voice of an old friend supporting us in our time of need. We all have an inner monologue. We just don’t always listen to it.  Is it telling us the truth? Is it showing us the truth without all of the trappings?

I always try to tell the truth. I joke that it’s easier to remember than a lie but there’s more to it. I’m telling you my truth because I respect you. Although when it comes to the awful truth, the hard truth or the ugly truth it becomes more difficult. Just because something is uncomfortable doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be shared. But then when the truth is just mean, I question the validity of sharing it. Does it do more good than harm? And that is when you need to talk to your conscience, your inner monologue. What is it saying?

Frozen in Time

Just for a moment,

They are frozen in time.

Their spirits have passed,

Their mark left in grime.

 

A quick sudden frost,

And footprints are left.

To mark someone’s passing,

Do not be bereft.

 

They simply walked by,

On a day in their life.

Mud took a snapshot,

A moment of strife.

 

Locked for a second,

And then frozen in place.

Captured in pictures,

For a moment of grace.

 

Time is immutable,

They tell me that’s true.

But I know the facts,

Truly I do.

 

Time is a moment,

A second in space.

It moves ever forward,

At its own leisure pace.

 

But it can be captured,

And kept for all time.

By the eye of a man,

And a woman of rhyme.

 

 

Once again I am inspired by a picture by Dan. He and his dog Maddie provide me with such pleasure on an ongoing basis. You can visit him at:  nofacilities.com.      You will never be disappointed!

The Fragility of Life

Right now, more than at any other time in my life, I understand just how fragile life is. I’ve always known that a life could be snuffed out at any time for a myriad of reasons but this last 18 months has proven even more devastating. Over 5 million people have been lost to a tiny virus we can’t understand or see except through the eyes of our scientists. Yes, life is fragile.

Perhaps even more delicate, more tenuous is the life from within. I’m not talking about the bearing of children, I’m talking about our psyche, our feelings, our identity. People talk about mental health a lot these days and it is a huge issue but so many of us do not talk about it when referring to ourselves. I have not suffered severely during this pandemic. I am safe, I am entertained and I am well. That doesn’t mean I’m not suffering.  But when so much of the world is truly in such dire straits from loss of family, friends, jobs, protection, the list is endless. These people are suffering. I feel unworthy to use the word.

I am sad. I’m becoming apathetic. I am far too comfortable in my hermit mode and I know all it takes is for me to put on a mask and walk outside my door. But I don’t want to. I listen to my books and I watch TV. I’m not contributing anything. The fact that I have set up a schedule for my blog forces me to stick to a routine and that helps. I talk to friends on the phone and video chat. I’m not a complete isolationist. But I’m living too much in my mind and while it’s a very fine mind it is not where I should be. So, I’m writing about it. Think of this as a gentle rant.

I am uncomfortable in crowds so I don’t go out often. I’ve been out for lunch a few time with friends and I have enjoyed myself. I run errands when I need to and I’ll pick up a few treats occasionally. I haven’t been inside a bank since March 2020. I haven’t been to the mall in at least the same amount of time.  I’m not hiding from life, I’m just keeping it within the walls of my apartment. And I’m not the only one. There are others out there also feeling sad and perhaps a little overwhelmed. They don’t say anything because they don’t think they are genuinely suffering.  I disagree. When you get angry for no reason or cry for no reason, you are suffering. You are not alone! None of us are. That’s the first step, completed. Second step: try something new. Learn a new language, try writing your thoughts down, join a chat room or call a friend. They may be feeling exactly the same things you are. I hope the day will come soon when we fear less and hug more. I’ll see you there.

Say What?

I speak English. I can say a smattering of  words in other languages but I am only fluent in one. And I must say I do enjoy this language. I enjoy it’s inefficiency, I enjoy it’s inexactitude. Let’s face it, it’s a bloody difficult language to learn. ‘We park on a driveway and we drive on a parkway’. Does that even make sense? We can use 10 words to say two and we can embellish like a master painter. It’s fun!

I admire people who come to this country with little or no English and they take the time and effort to speak well. I have met people that I did not know were not native born who spoke this language fluently. That impressed me. I think people who grow up here can be lazy. Oh hell, we can all be lazy! We slide into slang and we short form everything. And the double meanings can be hilarious. For example: ‘He wound a bandage around the wound’. And that’s not confusing?

I love to play with words. They are my sandbox. I was taught the rules on how to form a sentence, form a paragraph at a young age. Now, in some cases,  all of that goes out the window with me waving goodbye, jubilantly. Because sometimes the rules need to be broken. I’m not bending, I’m trashing.

While I definitely want to get my meaning across, I am also concerned with rhythm, with cadence. There is almost a musicality to my work. And I am not musically inclined, not by a long shot. But I hear these poems and stories in my head and they tell me where they want to go. Sometimes I go along for the ride and sometimes I fight them tooth and nail. I rarely win.

Now I know this makes me sound like a crazy woman. And maybe I am.(Are any of us actually sane? What is sane? Who decides? Sorry, tiny tangent, back on track.) I don’t know how my mind works but I know it spends a great deal of time moving words around. When I have a focus, an idea, my words tend to eddy around it like an embrace, a hug. I’ve written poems in 15 or 20 minutes simply because everything gelled quickly. Some of my best poems are written in far less time than would be expected. Other words need to percolate for a while. And then others sit for months, years and they won’t gel. And then one day everything falls into place.

Communication is the cornerstone of our species, of all species. Sometimes it is done well and unambiguously, other times it can cause wars. But we need more than just utilitarian communication. We need to sing. We need to reach for the stars with words and paint the planet with our prose. We need to plumb the depths of our psyche with expressions of our feelings, our wants and our desires.  We need to share our words. Together.

Your Story

We all have a story to tell. Some are sad and heart wrenching; some are funny and uplifting. But we all have something. I once said that I wanted to write a book entitled “My Life of Mediocrity”. But my life has been anything but ordinary it has been, at times, extraordinary! Now it may not approach the heights of a test pilot or royalty or a celebrity but it was my life and it was lived well. It is still being lived well. And yes, do I have some stories to tell…

I have travelled in my own country and seen heights that I never thought I would. I camped at the top of the Rocky Mountains and the view was breathtaking. I have eaten fish taken moments earlier from the Atlantic Ocean. The only way it would’ve been fresher is if it had still been moving. It was delicious. I have seen wildlife that were truly wild. I was in their world. I will admit they weren’t always happy about it. But I was faster than they were. I have seen stars where there is no light pollution at all. We were literally miles from civilization and the air was cleaner and the silence was astonishing. There is no such thing as true silence if you can hear. As I sat on the shore of the lake and closed my eyes I could hear an owl, I heard the water lapping against the shore ever so gently. Then there was a loon calling wistfully. I could hear the grass slightly rustling and I did wonder what was moving the grass. Because it wasn’t me! There were no voices, there were no cars, no sounds of modern life and it was inspiring.

I remember my first love. The butterflies that took up permanent residence in my stomach. Oh, the joys of young love and the despair when you realize it’s not forever. But then there is another and you once again believe. Hopefully these are memories that will remain with me forever. Some are PG and some are not. This is what has made my life so extraordinary. The people I have met, the experiences I have lived through, good and bad. And each of us has 100 stories, 1000 stories and they are extraordinary because they are ours. We lived them and they are what made us who we are today.

 

 

 

Employment Opportunities

I thought to be an axe murderer,

But I didn’t have an axe.

It really is a messy job,

And I am far too lax.

 

Bankers work with money,

Billions I am told.

But money’s such a dirty thing,

I think that I will fold.

 

Doctors, lawyers are in need,

But their schooling last so long!

It does not fit my rules of life,

Though some will think I’m wrong.

 

A writer’s life is full of wit,

And angst, to tell the truth.

The boundaries they do not exist!

When creating words forsooth!

 

To sit with paper, pen in hand.

It sounds a wonderful gift.

Perhaps I’ll try my hand at that,

And see where I do drift…