Tag Archives: positive changes

To Be There and Back

A short time ago I read a post by a friend about Homeostasis. Now don’t cringe it is a real thing. It happens all around us all the time, we just tend to ignore it. Frank over at Beach Walk Reflections (beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com) has a wonderful blog that you should check out. Homeostasis is about finding balance.

For the most part we take the idea of balance for granted. We walk, we drive, we run. But when we feel the least bit dizzy or off-balance, we realize how bad it can all become. Think of that on a global scale. Our world is off-balance, misaligned. We have drought in areas and yet a few hours away they’re drowning in flood waters. In some countries record number of people are dying from hunger and other countries there is so much food they are throwing it out. How is that balanced?

As this world evolved there were checks and balances. Predators and prey. At one time it was a finely tuned system. Overtime some species were naturally removed and new ones developed.  And, then we popped up. Talk about throwing a wrench into the works.  In our hubris we decided to give evolution a hand. It was the wrong hand. And what a mess we created. There is a story that I believe happened in Australia about a community that disliked the sound of a particular bird so much they set about eradicating it. With the decline of the bird there was a surplus of a particularly nasty snake. You see the birds’ favourite food was, you guessed it, the nasty snake. The bird was allowed to make a come-back and the snake population declined. Hubris.

The human species is like a small child who wants to run before they can walk. They don’t think what the ramifications will be to putting their hand on a hot stove because, well, they want to. And they don’t seem to learn from the pain. We don’t seem to learn. I am speaking generally and as a species when the truth is, there are those who are fighting to regain the balance. I just hope we haven’t left it too long.

As individuals you may think there’s very little we can do to affect the global imbalances but individuals are part of a community and communities are part of the whole which does affect everything.  So, when I hear someone saying that ‘there’s nothing they can do they’re just one person’ I disagree. Your small part is a part of the bigger picture and a bigger picture can move mountains. It all starts with one person, one belief, one action. Which becomes two, which becomes four, which becomes thousands. That’s how we get our work done…

 

 

 

 

 

Pulchritude

How can a word that means beauty, come out sounding like spit? No, really, it does. Or how about the sound a cat makes just before he lands a hairball on your brand-new living room rug? It is not a pretty word. It has a beautiful meaning but the word itself is unattractive.  And yet the word ugly actually looks kind of cute. All those curly bits. Confused yet? Read on…

I love words for their meaning but they also have other attributes. They can visually form patterns that are pleasing to the eye or perhaps discordant. I know most people don’t look at words that way but I do. I do not like the word yellow and yet I love the colour, some shades.  Why you wonder? I have no idea. I know what I like the look of, exactly the same way I know what I like the taste of. I don’t like beets. It’s as simple as that. Using beets to dye something can be incredible. They have the most extraordinary colour but I don’t like the taste of them.

There are several forms of poetry that are restrictive. Allowing only a certain number of syllables per line which actually forms an image. A shape that is pleasing to the eye. Was it intentional? Possibly, I don’t know.  What I do know is that some poetry forms are not as pleasing to look at. Again, is it intentional? Probably not. How many people do you know that are so twisted that they look at the image of the word on a page as well as its meaning? I don’t imagine there are too many of us.

When I write poetry or prose, I am always aware of how it looks on the page. Are there too many paragraphs? Are there too few?  I find different fonts are more comfortable, more pleasing to the eye. I think aesthetics is a big part of our understanding simply because if we find something pleasant to look at, we are more likely to invest more time reading the words. If I’m reading a book that is uncomfortable, I will put it aside. If the words are that compelling, I might go back but I might not.

Another thing I am constantly aware of is cadence. Perhaps more so in poetry because it does have a singsong quality to it, in my opinion. But it is also there in prose.  Long sentences tend to promote comfort unless they are too long in which case they are irritating. Short sentences are like short burst of energy. The words, the meanings are sharp and cutting. Using words that are over long and verbose is like having two types of gravy for the same meal:  unnecessary. If used properly words have such incredible power. They have the capacity to love, to hate, to cajole and to succour. Please use them responsibly.

 

A Fashion Statement

What are you wearing,

When you start your day?

Does a smile go on first?

Is compassion your way?

 

A must is some kindness,

And tolerance is too.

A scarf of acceptance,

With an honesty tattoo.

 

Not just of fiber.

Are the clothes we put on,

Sometimes the best,

Are emotionally drawn.

 

We choose what we wear,

What we take to the world,

Our choices define us,

Our secrets unfurled.

 

So, begin every day,

With intentions to give,

And what you will receive,

Is the best way to live.

And

Such a little word. Three letters, one syllable. It is often overlooked, much maligned and often disregarded. But it has a mighty job. People often replace it with a comma and while that is fine, it doesn’t tell the whole story. A comma will relate words together but ‘and’ binds them. Husband and wife. Peanut butter and jam. Melodies and lyrics. War and peace. I could continue. There are things that belong together, the word ‘and’ ensures that they do.

As is so often true it is the little things that make the difference. ‘And’ is a word that doesn’t just bring things together it connects them. Rogers and Hammerstein were great individual artists but put them together and they made magic. Their music is timeless. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were brilliant performers but when they danced together, they were the quintessential couple.  Think of foods that are better because they have been combined. Peanut butter is great on a cracker but add jam and put it between two pieces of bread . . . you have a childhood favourite. And, I might add, a few adults…

As a species we need to associate with another in order to procreate, to evolve. We also need connections to enhance our quality of life. If we keep breathing, we can stay alive but in order to have an actual life we need relationships. That is why we have cities and towns, communities for protection and for sustainability. We are social creatures.  Very few are true isolationists. Some do prefer to live alone but there will always be a connection somewhere even if it is tenuous. In the animal world it is the same thing. Some do live a singular life but there is a need, a compulsion to come together to reproduce.

When we have healthy competition, we will strive for betterment. When we have mutual support, we can reach for the stars. It is only when we are together that we can achieve greatness. And if we are simply the audience to that greatness, we are still part of the whole picture. Even the lowliest of seeds has the potential to become a great oak with the right support.

The world needs to understand that we are better collectively. When the coronavirus first hit, the world came together to fight the devastation. We work stronger, more efficiently when we are a team, when we are us.

Do you know what else ‘and’ has done? It has brought together you and I. I think that’s pretty special.

D.N.A

My hair is from Scotland,

And the twinkle in my eye.

My pasty white skin,

Maybe the Island of Skye?

 

My attitude’s my own,

Or my mother’s, I think.

But dad had tenacity,

And the courage not to blink.

 

My grandmother is here,

Add my grandfather too.

Back generations I’m told,

And yet some of its new.

 

I believe in myself,

The person I am.

We’re all here together,

In sort of a jam.

 

Six generations removed,

They say it began.

And all through the ages,

I’m just one of the clan.

 

I give thanks to an uncle,

For freckles on my nose.

And then there’s that cousin,

Who gave me his toes.

 

The DNA chapter,

Is still being written.

But scientists now,

Are so very smitten.

 

Your looks and your manners,

Began in your past.

If good you will keep them,

If not they won’t last.

 

So look to the future,

Your descendants to come.

Think of the habits,

You can give them for fun!

Percolating

When I was a child, my parents made coffee with a percolator. Water would bubble up and mix with coffee grounds.  In time the combination was ready to drink. I often think of my mind as a percolator. I see words, images or feel things and whatever that small minutia is, it percolates through the miasma that is my mind and low and behold a thought takes form. If I’m lucky that form will become an idea and continue to grow and to develop into something tangible. Sometimes it dies on the vine but the essence of what it was remains to call to me with something else further down the line. Welcome to my world.

With everything that is happening on this planet I think there’s a great deal of percolating going on. Things seem to bubble like a volcano and eventually they erupt. There’s such violence in the world and it always seems to happen in a split second and then I can’t help wondering if the reason, the source of the issue has been percolating below the surface until it explodes. And then we have violence and anger and pain.

Why can’t love, kindness and compassion be what is bubbling beneath the surface?  I know they are there. I know they exist. We see examples of it every single day and yet nobody wants to talk about it. It should be blaring from the headlines “GOOD PEOPLE CARE!”  We have so many mental health issues where people are suffering. Would they suffer any less if they knew how much people cared? I’ve never made any bones about the fact that I am quite naïve. I want to believe in the good, I do believe in the good. But some days it is really difficult.

More and more I am seeing that on social media people are recognizing what needs to be done and stepping up to the plate. People are sharing the goodness that happens around them. I know that it helps me. It tells me not to despair of the human condition. But there are days…

But today is not one of them. It is pouring rain outside; it is cold and gray. But there is sunshine in my world because of the blogs that give me such comfort. I would name them but I follow quite a few.  They make me laugh and they make me cry in all the best ways.  I guess today I just wanted to say thank you to all the wonderful people I read. I am so pleased I have met you. Be well, be safe, be happy. And I’ll see you tomorrow…

 

Image from Amazon.ca

The Wood Pile

 

Two lovers share a stolen glance,

The world would not approve.

Kindred spirits they must be,

The world could not disprove.

 

So, they sneak a furtive touch,

Where others cannot see.

Knowing it would never last,

When others will not plea.

 

Why oh why can love not be?

It does not harm another.

When our gentle lovers meet,

They only charm each other.

 

On the woodpile our lover’s chance,

To share a tender kiss.

They regret that they must leave,

And lose that tender bliss.

 

Time has passed and lovers gone,

The world has not stopped turning.

To find true love is never wrong,

The world has not stopped yearning.

 

 

 

The Dynamic Duo has once again provided me with a picture I could not resist. Thank you to Maggie and Dan over at 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?

The Problem With Efficiency

Have we become too efficient? Too good at getting things done easier? Are we so bent on making things trouble-free that we have we forgotten how things were originally developed? We need a little trouble. We need to be continually striving forward to create and to improve but do we stop when we think we’ve done enough? If there is one person in need, one person who feels slighted then we have not done enough.

I was in the kitchen mixing together a few things and I wondered if there was an easier way to do what I was doing. And then I was horrified! The time that I spend mixing ingredients together is time I can think about things I want to do, ponder a poem or a post. I’m usually so caught up in other things I’m doing that I don’t take the time to stop. To stop and to think. We lead such busy lives, constantly on the go that I wonder if we take enough time to simply be.

We harnessed the power of fire because we were cold. We learned how to fly because we wanted to go places. We learned how to cook because we were hungry. That hunger fuels us to create, to invent and to evolve. Without it we would stagnate. When I was forced to give up working because of my disability, I was concerned that I wouldn’t make it a year. I could not conceive of a life where I was not productive, contributing in some way to the greater good. I had mistakenly thought it was only through work that I could contribute. I was wrong.

Work is one of the larger sections of our lives. We do it for so long. It feeds us, it clothes us and allows us to have a life. But it is not our lives. Some jobs do become all encompassing. That’s usually when the job is actually a vocation. Doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers (and many others) do not stop being doctors, firefighters etc. simply because they’re not at work. They will always be these people. And we are thankful that they are. We don’t want them to stop being efficient but we also need them to continually search for better ways to do their job. We should all be on that search.

There is always room for improvement. It’s been said often enough. It’s been said, because it’s true. And we should never forget that while we may not be hungry or cold there are those that are. We need to work towards a world where no one is hungry or cold or disenfranchised or forgotten. That is the world I want to live in, I want to strive for.

Just because I am not at an official job, I can still contribute with my words. I can still, hopefully, inspire and if living my life well encourages other people to look inside themselves then I am doing a good job. A simple smile to someone on the street might be all it takes for them to smile at another and then the other person smiles at another one and so begins the domino effect. Let’s hope that smile never dims, never stops

 

 

I have mentioned over the years that I am a redhead. Or rather I was a redhead, I have turned mostly blonde. It’s what a certain shade of red will do. Eventually I will go white. But I thought I would put it all into context with a photograph. This is me… more than a few years ago!

The Present

The little boy woke that morning,

Santa had been and gone.

The rest of the house was starting to stir,

It wouldn’t be too long.

 

A steaming mug of lovely cocoa,

Warmed his chilly hands.

Anticipation tickled up his smile,

As he thought of other lands.

 

He thought of all the children,

Scattered around the earth.

Then thought of all his presents,

He wondered at their worth.

 

And in that moment, he understood,

What everyone should know.

Could he share this precious gift?

In words he could bestow?

 

Beneath the tree was a single gift,

A box with tattered wrapping.

And inside a single word,

That had the whole world clapping.

 

Do you choose to speak a word?

A single word to heal.

If we could say it all together,

And with honest zeal.

 

The present that we all do need,

The one that we must share,

Is one of love and peace and kindness,

To show we truly care.