Of the 367 books I am reading right now, one is standing out. It’s called The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. What’s always interesting to me is the dialogue that goes on in my head when I read one of these types of books. Some people call them “self-help” – I deplore that word. It smacks of being unable or unwilling to work with the world to achieve what you want|need, and thus must turn to some sort of guru for the answer. I also deplore gurus, but that’s another story. I actually like these books very much because it gives me insight into Someone Else’s journey. It’s like I’m collecting a series of events that led to ideas that I could not have, because I didn’t live those events. The ideas I have come to me through different channels and experiences. I love these books because, like any good travel book, they give me insights into the mental surroundings that created them.
Are you comfortable? Are you warm, well-fed, dry, have enough to drink? Warm showers? Bathroom indoors? Excellent. This isn’t judgement. You, like me, are a benefactor of decades and centuries of prosperity, war, genocide, environmental support and ruin, negotiations, smart men and women, and incredibly ignorant men and women. Our life here in the United States is far more fortunate than most of the world. And for all this fortune and well-being, shouldn’t we be an example? A role model, if you will?
For the most part, I have turned off the radio, the TV, the incoming news feeds, etc. With few exceptions, I am limiting the amount of crappy media that is coming into my brain. I open it up for select topics of interest, to keep a finger on the pulse of a schizophrenic U.S.A., such as the Women’s March on Washington. Such as, the amount of visible support or lack there of that this new administration is getting. Continue reading
Sandy white sidewinders
trickle down the frosty asphalt
unconscious, unaware that they
are crushed by mounting progress and steel-belted purpose
I watch them dance giddy and free
ashamed of not knowing if
they are coming or going
not knowing if it is them
Pale caramel and icy
My world has transformed itself
by my grasp, my fortitude
A dim idea of direction
Flashbacks, piercing the center of my body
longing for what I knew,
uncertainty and doubt
My life is speaking a different language to me
and I am straining to understand
Change, Change, the soft, icy embrace of Change
lusted for or not,
She is a lonely, somber lover
I reduced control
to the barest a thin slice of skin
between all and nothing
facing myriad directions,
I built it back up in consciousness and breathed
a long and smoldering 360 degree sigh
Eyes and mind open,
a heart beating again
It’s time to build, time to make within
the sphere of my hands
and mind a new world order,
pin prick in the center of me
A momentary blob of poetry in an otherwise quiet and patient Sunday evening. Forgive the intrusion. I’m blobbing some of H.D. Thoreau here, too, cause I’m feeling it.
If Thoreau could have said “E-Ticket Ride,” he would have.
I was reminded this morning, by one of my dearest friends, that the popular artists of the world die and the world mourns; the neglected and war-impoverished hundreds of thousands die, and the world barely sighs. If we believe the data in Wikipedia (yes, I know…), we can say that somewhere between 315,326,595 and 754,762,571 have died in ALL wars in recorded history. Syria, by contrast with 470,000, is a blip on the map. Hardly a scratch. The difference is, we see all our wars now with faces – on the TV, in the papers, in our Social Media feeds. War is not something far away. Humans may have found ways to kill lesser numbers of people, but they are still killing people regardless. Is this our nature? Continue reading
The Ancient One: Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.
Dr. Stephen Strange: Which is?
The Ancient One: It’s not about you.
The rusty hinge popped as she opened the Mustang’s door. She twisted sideways and struck a booted foot on the lacy, white grass. The satisfying crunch of November frost gave way beneath the well-worn sole. A gush of repressive cold surged in to follow the noise, and her breath streamed in wide, flat plumes through pursed lips. She reached up with gloved hands and pulled down her beanie and scarf, and dragged the rest of her tired body out of the old car. She clapped her hands together to remind herself to keep moving and slamming the car door, she turned back to the long path ahead. Continue reading