I recently finished reading, “Backwards: Returning to Our Source for Answers,” by Nanci Danison. It’s a fascinating read as the author describes what people have come to recognize as a near-death experience, but she refers to her adventure into the unknown as a “beyond-death experience.” Or that she experienced “temporary death,” which implies a longer time out of the corporal self and an ultimate return – with vivid memories of what happened.
Gray Days Revisited
I think I’m going to start a new tradition on Word Press.
It’s obviously the beginning of November and this is the time of year when those of us who live in areas with decreasing sunshine are afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder. “SAD” – what a cute acronym.
SAD has become more of an issue for me after my days spent in Arizona where there seemed to be an unlimited supply of Sunshine – even during the monsoon season.
Well, I wrote a piece about these “Gray Days” a while back, and I re-posted it last year, and so now the tradition has solidified. This time, I’ll just put the link below (and above) as opposed to re-posting the blog. If you have the desire to read further, click away.
If not, well you’re missing out 🙂
It crossed my mind, when I re-read my post today, that I was in a highly creative state of mind when I originally wrote it, as well as the posts surrounding that time in general. You see, I was in love then, and the creative juices always flow more when I’m in love.
I might have been in love with a person, a place, or even a passing idea – a newly formed and beautiful image in my mind. A dream.
But love, regardless of its source, is all powerful. And while it’s difficult, we writers do try to express such feelings with words.
I read a great post from my blogging friend Cristian Mahai today that began with a beautiful quote from Faulkner. Check it out for a little inspiration about the writer’s duty and about beauty. I think this fulfills my duty for the day. And read on, if you wish, about how even the grayest of days can be colorful and inspiring!
Here’s the link, again, to – Gray Days.
Photo: Even the most gray, rainy, and cold days can be very beautiful – like this image I captured in the Rocky Mountains.
I took part of the day yesterday to be a music day. I don’t always take time out to listen to music, but I believe it’s one of the most magical creations that flows through people.
And it always takes me away to a place where I’m happy.
It’s similar to writing, in a way, because there are a limited number of musical notes, but an unlimited number of combinations of those notes to produce, well, to produce something magnificent.
Only so many words, but we writers craft them in so many ways.
And from my various pics you know that I’m rather fond of sunsets and sunrises too. And sometimes, you just happen to be at the right place at the right time to catch a glorious one.
So here’s a combination of a sunset with a song. Hope you enjoy it. And while it’s playing, I’ll go back to that creative corner in my mind and ponder the next writing . . .
Photo: Somewhere in the Southwest that I’m missing today 🙂
I’ve been having fun kicking out the blog posts the past few days and digging into other blogs searching for those words that make my brain light up with joy. And one of the themes that keeps swirling around that I’ve noticed on some of the other blogs has to do with whether you’re a success.
How on Earth are you going to gauge that one?
Success in whose terms? Or in what way? Or is it all a numbers game?
My blogging friend, LA, recently wrote a couple of posts about one of the traditions surrounding the marriage contract. And yes, while the piece of paper a couple signs says “marriage license” it’s actually a contract with a lot of implied terms and conditions.
The tradition LA had focused on was that of the men asking parental permission to marry their daughter. This question provoked some good discussion on the possible drawbacks of maintaining such a tradition in modern times.
At the same time this discussion was transpiring, I came across an article suggesting that married couples needed an additional contract, a “relationship contract,” especially if they were a dual-career couple.
If you’ve read many of the posts on my blog, you know that I talk about hiking in Nature a lot. This is part of my spiritual practice, to get out in the Natural World. But a friend asked a reasonable question not long ago, so I decided to think about it and write something on it. They asked:
“What’s the difference between hiking and walking?”
It turns out that is a bit more profound than it seems, because we, as humans, like to define and differentiate things. To the extreme. 😊
I don’t know about you, but when I venture out to run my errands and conduct my routine business I run into a lot of other people. Unhappy people. You can see it in their faces.
The tension, the anger, the urgency.
That urgency can be about any number of things. It could be them wondering how they are going to pay the bills, or keep their old car running, or thinking about how unhappy they are in their current relationships. After all, most of the unhappy people I see are in pairs. They are griping at each other, seething with hostility, loathing their very existence, or perhaps their partner’s existence.
It strikes me as odd. Why aren’t there more happy people around?
And then you see someone who is absolutely radiant. Nothing but happiness, smiles, contentment, joy. Peace. Full of life.
What’s going on? What’s the difference?
They’re in love.
Back around the turn of the century, there was a famous Orloy Trotter Horse in Germany who was acclaimed for being able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual feats. The horse’s name was Clever Hans.
After a formal investigation into his skills, a psychologist claimed the horse was smart, but only in the sense that it paid attention to the reactions and body language of his trainer. The trainer, it was said, had no idea the horse was eyeing him for the cues on how to respond to the ongoing tests.
Well, this story is not about Clever Hans.
Warning: I have a bit of a sarcastic, sardonic, and cynical sense of humor. I think a lot of people do, but some don’t, and they may not get my attempts to poke fun at things. That’s ok, but I just wanted to warn the reader that’s where we’re headed today, down sarcastic, cynical lane. 😊
Disclaimer: And while I’m poking fun at a business conference below, understand that I’m not really trying to belittle the people who made their presentations. They were all very nice people and some were incredibly smart folks. That doesn’t mean we can’t have a sense of humor about the topics being presented and the terminology they used.
Ok, so yesterday I was having a little fun with some new words and phrases coming out of the business sector. And I ended that post by mentioning something else I did once at a work conference. Something I thought was rather amusing, and you can do this too the next time you’re at one of those oh-so-boring meetings.
Some days, it’s just difficult for me to resist. Poking fun at language and usage.
Especially with the business community.
Whenever I worked for big organizations, it seemed that some managers were always trying to justify their existence by constantly rebranding the old with a new term, or maybe even coming up with a new label and experiment to further dehumanize the workforce. After all, it’s easier to mistreat staff and dispose of them that way.
One of my most despised manager’s famous quotes was: “Attrition is our friend.”
I mean, how do you justify having 400 managers for a 400-bed hospital? And yes, I worked at such a place as an RN. I used to joke, although it wasn’t that funny, that each patient could have their own personal billing executive, but they had to share their nurse with six other patients. And when a patient died, I quipped, “I guess we can fire his manager now.”
I’m sure many of you have engaged in a Fall or Spring cleaning. That thorough cleansing of all that accumulated junk you’ve collected but never seem to have a use for. Or that you’re storing knowing, or at least thinking, that you’ll use that Stuff someday for something.
Well it’s time for a big purge at my residence.
But the purge I’m talking about is not just about physical Stuff, it’s about the mind.
Or maybe I should say, old school style with modern outfitters . . .
As the gorge narrowed the wind picked up, and the air temperature noticeably dropped. The calming frequency of the soft rush of the water shifted timbre. Now cascading, surging ever faster downward, as the amplitude of the waves, both in size and pitch, increased to a deafening roar.
We hung on tight with both hands as the V-shaped bow and rigid hull sliced into the first wave, but the second was much larger. And the small vessel skirted straight up its crest, reminiscent of a mighty ocean sailing ship in a surging Atlantic storm, but in miniature.
At the oarsman’s skillful command, the boat shifted sideways as it rolled down into the trough in time for the next wave to crest high above our heads. Crashing down, completely drenching us, the flare of the hull offering no protection. Filling the open compartments to the frame’s brim.
Our laughter could be heard above the roar of the rapids as we bailed.
On its continuous circle back to the sea . . .