Category Archives: Daily Musings

Beauty – Adaptive or Arbitrary

A number of days past, I made a post titled Wildflowers where I pondered the evolutionary adaptations of plants.  How their beauty, shape, and the perfume of their flowers attract certain pollinators to ensure the propagation of their species.

Naturally, I simply enjoy their beauty, regardless of how it came to be. 😊

Then yesterday, I stumbled upon an article discussing the theories of “adaptive adornment” versus “arbitrary beauty.”*  And I must admit, those terms are much more scientific and deliberately descriptive than my own ponderings.

It seems that Darwin had a second theory apart from natural selection – sexual selection.

Continue reading Beauty – Adaptive or Arbitrary

To Feel is Life

I know there are times where the words just don’t seem to flow, but is that really “writer’s block?”  I mean maybe I just don’t feel like writing something today.  Maybe I have other things to do.  Or maybe I’m a bit burnt.

A crispy-critter.

Sometimes writing something, a story from the past or a poem about a relationship, is just like a sucker punch to the gut.  It knocks the wind right out of me, and I really need some recovery time.  Some mindless activity to let a new scab form over that old wound.

Some wounds take a while to heal.  Some never seem to heal.  Such is life.

In fact, some wounds I don’t want to heal.  Never.

Now that might sound weird, but stop and think about it for a minute.  Or two.  Or three, maybe.  However long you need.  It may only be a blink of an eye for some of you.

There was a point I hit when I was a nurse where I had seen so much trauma that I really feared that I would no longer be able to cry.  Seriously.  Is there a limit on tears?  Are we only given the capacity to have so many?  Only allowed to cry one river of tears?  If so, my tears were all used up.

But I experienced another tragedy shortly after that fear hit me that left me crying for a full day.  And while the events of that tragedy were awful, I’m glad I experienced it.  And I hold onto it.  And I cry every time I think about it.  And it happened over 25 years ago.

I’m just glad that I didn’t lose the human connection.  My ability to empathize.  My ability to feel emotion.  To feel pain.

I think it’s essential to life itself.

If you lose this ability, you’re no longer human.  You would no longer even be animal.  You would be a machine.  Processing mechanical inputs and spitting out mechanical outputs.

To feel is to heal.  To feel is to love.  To feel is to live.

To feel for another’s suffering demonstrates that interconnection we have with everything in all life.  To actually feel the same feelings that another entity is experiencing, well, that’s a true connection of spirit.

It’s illuminating.  It’s invaluable.  It’s enlightenment in a raw form.

LOGOz

Photo: A portion of a dandelion’s head – its seeds covered in the morning dew.  Imagine each drop of water to be a separate story.  A story of life.  All such stories are intertwined 🙂

One of Those Days

It’s one of those days where the words should just be flowing, but they aren’t.  The idea list looks boring too.  And a fresh blanket of snow makes outdoor activities less probable.

A day of confusion.

Computer files aren’t compatible or won’t open.  It’s as if the desktop is having the same brain fog as I am.

Continue reading One of Those Days

Flame-out

It seems like the subject of divorce has hit that state of synchronicity.  I am seeing all sorts of articles popping up on the subject, and I had just written one myself.  Well, a writing friend of mine recently had an article published about not wanting to have her divorce characterized in some “Stupid, Jerkface Language.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Continue reading Flame-out

Nesting

“Reality” is a word I find troubling.  For one, it implies that we have a basic and comprehensive understanding of some situation or event or location or person.  But generally speaking, we don’t.

We have limited perceptions.  They are limited by our senses and by our interpretation of events based upon our past experience.

That word “reality” also seems to carry with it the concepts of being finite and permanent.  When in “reality” nothing could be finite or permanent.  Everything, and everyone, is in a state of constant flux.  Change.  Ever morphing into the next transition.

Continue reading Nesting

Brain Games

Well the old brain is clicking along today. Somewhat dazed, but the ramblings in my head don’t go away – except maybe when I meditate.

It’s funny we go through life trying to find meaning, to discover an identity for ourselves, and yet try as we might, we, as beings, are kind of hard to define.  And if we can’t even define ourselves, then how can we elucidate a purpose for this existence.

As I was listening to a song this morning the lyrics kind of hit home when I heard, “I don’t even need a name anymore, when no one calls it out, it kind of vanishes away.”

Continue reading Brain Games

Liebster Award # 3

I must extend my many thanks to Carly for nominating me for another Liebster Award.  You should really check out her blog, Message in Stanza, for some great musings, poetry, and photography.

I must also apologize for being slow because she nominated me a month ago, but here goes:

The Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blogger that gave you the nomination and display the award.
  2. Answer 11 questions that blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random thoughts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination.
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

Humm, first off, I have to say I’ve never been one who likes to stay faithful to all the rules, so I guess I’ll play with these a little bit.  Next, I assume (I know, assuming is not the best thing to do) that items 2 and 3 are separate items.  Thus, the answers to the questions are different from the 11 random thoughts, and I just gave you one random thought, I don’t like to follow the rules all the time. 🙂

The Rest of My Random Thoughts:

I am thinking quite randomly today because I’m having a neurotoxic reaction to environmental pollutants and scattered thoughts is about all I can muster up about now.

Some days, no matter how organized you think you are going to be, everything will just deteriorate, or may actually improve, as seemingly chance occurrences unfold and take you in completely different directions than you had planned.  Fun stuff.

I plan to do some standing meditation today.

I will be meeting with a friend later, something I had not planned.

I began the day working on a book, but now I’m bouncing about randomly digitizing words.

We have had a real Midwest winter this year.  Last Tuesday it was a negative 7 degrees, Sunday it was 70 degrees and today we have freezing rain.

I’m still having trouble with this new keyboard not wanting to type the letters on the left-hand side.  So, I’m having to do a lot more editing and adding back in all those missing Ws, Rs, Es and Ts.

I’ve finally got the house warmed back up having rebuilt the fire in the woodstove. I love the woodstove 🙂

I’m thinking about the new gear I need to pick up for a planned trip this summer.

I’m looking forward to Spring when all the flowers will be back in bloom.

The Questions:

  • What are you most passionate about?

See number 3

  • What is one thing you would like people to know about you that is not so obvious?

Nothing, if it’s not obvious, then I probably don’t want people to know.

  • What are three of your favorite pastimes?

Traveling, Hiking, Writing, Photography – there, I gave you 4, although I usually combine them all into one activity Travwhikgraphy 🙂  I like making up words.

  • Who is your favorite author?

Always a toss-up.  I just love good writing.  But two of my favorite satirical writers are Kurt Vonnegut and Christopher Moore.

  • What is your favorite reading genre?

As I said before, I just love good writing.  Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, you name it.

  • Why is it your favorite?

Hummm – good – writing.  Well composed, sucks you in, can’t get enough type of writing.

  • What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Write.  Just start putting something on paper.  It doesn’t matter what.  Once you have something down, you have something to edit. That’s where the real fun is, I think.  Great writers don’t always write great stuff.  They write a lot, and a tiny bit of their stuff is great.  So write.

  • What two items on your bucket list might you do next year?

Going to Yosemite and taking a train trip through the Canadian Rockies.

  • What is something you have always wanted to say to a loved one who has passed?

To my Dad – “You’re the wisest guy I know, thanks for being my Dad.”

  • Who do you admire that is historically famous and why?

This could be any number of people, but today, randomly, I pick Thoreau.  Not only was he a writer, but he lived out in Nature, at least for a while.  And these are two of my favorite pastimes.

  • When was the first time you really got scolded by your parents?

Probably when I was around 5.  Once my Dad scolded us, we didn’t need any further discipline.  We knew to be good, and if we needed reminding, he gave us the “look.”  Yes, that look that bore right through you and said straighten up or else.

My Nominations:

Again, not being one who likes to follow the rules, I’ll not list out blogs here.  Instead, I nominate every blogger that I’ve had a discussion with here on WordPress.  You all know who you are, so if you want to participate and pick up this challenge (and you don’t have to) here are my questions.

My Questions:

These are the same ones I picked for my first Liebster Award, but they are good ones 😊

  • What is the title of the book you are going to write?
  • What is your favorite pet?
  • What is your favorite dessert?
  • If you’re doing the cooking, what’s for dinner?
  • What is your favorite poem?
  • Who is your favorite author?
  • If you could have a “do-over” in your life, what would you change?
  • What is your favorite travel destination and why?
  • Who is your favorite movie character?
  • If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for?
  • If you could commit a crime, and knew you would get away with it, what would it be?

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

***

Day Dreaming

I woke up to a chilly negative seven degrees this morning.  That cold, biting air dug into my consciousness and said, “Hey, snap out of it.”  But what was “it?”

“It” has been the brain fog I’ve been in now for over a week.

“It” has thoroughly slapped me around, kicked in my rib cage, pummeled my face, knocked me down, and thrown me off balance.

“It” has challenged my days and made it difficult to write.

Yeah, I know, excuses, excuses.  But fighting pollution has taken on a whole new meaning for me this past couple of years.  Those unseen flyspecks, minute assassins, bouncing around my home.  Laying in wait.  Invading my brain.  Committing molecular murder.

With malice aforethought, “it” extinguishes my memory.

Evil.

Industrial chemicals.  A toxic world.

How to fight back?  Drift into a day dream . . .

A deep, clear, midnight blue lake, stretching out on the horizon, lapping against the shores of lodge pole pines, mountains shadow down in the distance.  Mirror reflections.  A shimmering pool.  A sailboat to slide across this glass surface.  Sanguine, tranquil, serene.

A distant memory.  Unleashing endorphins.  Light dancing in my camera’s lens. Euphoric.

I crank up the music – Freddy Jones Band – In a Day Dream

Tuesday morning,
Never looked so good.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

The sun is shining,
To wake me up.
No one around,
Just me and the sky.

I’m already in,
In a daydream.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

The sky is calling,
Calling out my name.
Telling me just to stay,
Stay and don’t go away.

I’m already in,
In a daydream.
I’m already in,
In a daydream.

In a daydream…
In a daydream…
In a daydream…
Already in a daydream…

And so I begin anew, rising from the flames, oscillating between past travels, and future adventures.  The words come . . .

***

Photo: Day dreaming of the Grand Tetons.

Deconstructing

Wow!  So, I took an entire week off blogging.  I think that’s the longest time I’ve gone without making a post of some type.   It was sort of a culmination of things.

For one, my last story breathed life back into many memories from the past and that was a bit emotional for me.  I also had a few discussions with friends this past week that I found to be emotionally draining, and I received a very insulting letter from one of my former employers.

It was time to recharge a little, hibernate, and deconstruct.

Yes, deconstruct.

Instead of posting or actively participating in social media, I removed old posts, cleaned things up a bit, and did so in sync with doing some literal house cleaning.

Destroying can be as invigorating as creating – if it’s channeled correctly.  Even anger, which I believe is the most destructive emotion, can be channeled into something positive.

The week wasn’t all deconstruction, I also constructed an igloo since we had so much snow here.  And that was great fun.

But now it’s time to figure out the direction I’m going to go when I leave this temporary hibernation.  Leave the snow cave behind.

Only time will tell . . .

***

Clearing the Cobwebs

Well, I’m coming up to my one-year anniversary here on WordPress, and the blog has certainly helped me do what I set out to do with it.  It’s given me a creative outlet and provided incentive for me to write on a more regular basis.

That, in turn, has had many beneficial effects.  I do love to write, but I have to say, it is so easy to let time slip away with a million other things that it’s good to have something to help with my focus.  More importantly, I find writing to be very therapeutic for me.

The more I write, the better I feel.  And I have a lot of stories I want to get down on paper.  Some are a little hard to believe, but they’re true, and that makes them more fun.

I passed the 200-post mark a little while back and I realize as time goes on that my earliest posts probably aren’t being viewed by people anymore and I’ve decided to start taking them down.  They may get recycled at a later date in some form, but it’s time to clear the cobwebs off the blog, and out of my mind too.

New Year, fresh start.

I will keep up some of my personal favs, and some of those posts that everyone really liked.  And it may be time to start compiling some materials for a book.

Guess we’ll see what happens 🙂

***

Photo: An Orb-Weaver Spider, sometimes called a Yellow Garden Spider or a Golden Orb.  Orb spiders weave distinctive spiral webs.  I like to think that we, as writers, weave the stories we tell.  They go in all sort of directions, take many shapes, and have interconnections that will hopefully “capture our prey” – the attention and imagination of our readers.

spidy + spfx2

Coming Up: A little later today I’ll put up part one of my story that lost the writing contest I had entered it in.  (See my prior post “Loser.”)  I think it’s a good story from back in my road-living days of my early twenties.  It’s true too.  Hope you like it.

Loser

I found out yesterday that I did not win in a writing contest I had entered.  So, I guess that makes me a loser – LOL!

There were 2700 entries though, and the entry fee was $25.  The journal raked in $67,500 and only paid out a $5000 prize.  Clearly, they were the winners.

But I’ll look at this as being their loss.  I thought I had submitted a great story and since I no long have to worry about publication rights, I’ll be posting that story here on my blog 🙂

And it’s a true story too.

When I relayed the history of what happened to one of the parties involved he appropriately said, “Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.”

This story kind of flows sequentially with the multi-chapter story I’ve been writing called, very unoriginally, “A Story.”  And I might break this one up into two chapters since it’s about 2600 words.

First, I must complete Chapter 5.  My apologies for not getting it together sooner, but soon, I promise.

Yes, what will happen to Mike and me in our drug-crazed frenzy? 🙂

Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with many happy surprises.  I have to get out for a bit today.  Helios is back and nature is calling . . .

***

Photo: The beautiful sunrise is marred by the damn telephone poles and wires – making it a loser of a pic 🙂  Just kidding.  It is a beautiful sunrise to a beautiful day, fitting with my post’s theme.  While my story and this photo didn’t win any contests, they are still winners as far as I’m concerned.  Here is a pic of that same time just prior to the sun breaking though.

sunrise 11-30-17 +

Turn About is Fair Play

As we begin a new circle around the sun, I think it’s a common thing for us to reflect back.  We not only give ourselves a list of goals for the new year, but we give ourselves a scorecard for the past year.  Where did we succeed and where did we fail?  What dreams were realized and which ones were dashed upon the rocks of despair.

Sorry, that’s a bit overly dramatic 🙂

Continue reading Turn About is Fair Play

Give Yourself Permission

As I rose from my slumbers a couple of days ago, I began my usual prodding of myself. “What are you going to do today?”  “What will you accomplish?”

I think we’ve all been conditioned to get in this frame of mindlessness.  We have to do something “constructive” in order to feel like we have any self-worth.

But who is this “judge” sitting in the back of our minds and where do all of these self-created pressures come from?  Why do we have to “accomplish” something and what makes that something “constructive” or “meaningful?”

I decided to give myself permission to take the day off.

Not in the sense of doing nothing, although arguably, there is value in that too sometimes.  But I gave myself permission to get off my own back.  To kill that self-judging voice in the back of my head.

What happened?

Well, I spent a good part of the day reading, relaxing, enjoying the freedom I gave myself not to attach my entire worth as a person on completing some task.  And it felt like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

So, I carried this state of mind over into a second day.  I read, meditated, had coffee with my daughter, took a long hot bath, built a nice fire in the woodstove.  And I cranked up the music and danced around the living room 🙂

It was absolutely liberating.

You see, by giving myself permission to quit judging myself, I actually accomplished much more in terms of gaining some peace of mind.  Of freeing my spirit.  Of capturing some happiness.  Of living in the moment.

Happy Holidays to everyone and give yourself permission to be joyous and free!

Crank up the music and dance!

***

Photo:  Somewhere in Oregon.  Open and free.  Rolling grasses.  Azure blue lakes.  Snow-capped mountain peaks.  Weightless beauty.  Liberation.