Category Archives: Creative Ramblings

Hear Me…Understand Me

Can you hear me?

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What about now? And more importantly: Do you understand me?

 

What will it take for you to hear me? When will you stop to listen to what I mean, and not just to what I say?

Learning to converse (courtesy of the wondrously beautiful movie, Arrival)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I watched the movie Arrival today, and have to say that I don’t remember the last time a movie spoke to the inner me so profoundly. The story line was so breathtakingly beautiful because of the depth of understanding and cooperation between the language professor, Louise, and the aliens. Both do not think linearly, and are not limited by the structures that society and our leaders impose upon us. Humans have the capacity to overcome these barriers through shared exchanges and a willingness to step outside of our normal experiences. That it does not happen frequently enough is evident from our current state of global affairs.

Words are the music in my soul, so it was inevitable that this movie would speak to me. Words are the air that I need to exist. Others use similar symphonies like music, color, lines, or texture to express themselves to the outside world. Without them, we only see black and white. And yet all of these things are no longer considered pertinent to the human equation of life. Who thought that this would be a good idea to eliminate them from our lives? Who thought that only linear forward thinking would allow us to successfully venture into our collective future? Who? Because those who made this decision shackled our creative future and tossed away the key. We need to find that key again to unlock not only our human potential, but also to ensure our very survival!

I feel as though I’ve been stuck in a frozen dimensionless plane in life for far too long. Any forward motion is accompanied by too many steps backwards. I look around and see people who talk, but do not stop to truly listen to the meaning behind the words. Their schedules require that expediency be the only answer to the process of living. So, everything outside of the accepted equation is not relevant.

But I also see so many people who are looking for a meaningful connection to facilitate the return of a soul to humanity. We connect momentarily during temporary gatherings, but we need something more that is perpetually sustained. How do we do this outside of the normal channels and organizations? Because clearly, the existing institutions and status quo are failing us spectacularly.

If the current groups will not hear us, then we need to find a different way of communicating. We need to use a different language. We need words that exist outside of structure. We need art…and music…and science…and texture…and life. But most of all we need access to all of these tools to recreate the rich fabric of humanity that once existed. We need to free them from the shackles of conformance.

Life does not conform; it adapts to its ever-changing environment. So, I’m reaching out to someone…anyone…to come talk to me. Mutually build a society from the ground up so that the ending of arrival can become a reality for humanity. Please hear me. Tell me where to meet you. I’m willing to take a step forward with you together towards a world that is in our dreams.

 

I’m sending a signal out to the world once again. Who will hear me and start the conversation? Who will offer more than what money can buy? I’m so tired of the superficial. I want depth back in my life. I know that others out there do as well. Do you understand what you’re hearing from my very soul?

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Heart Pounding Mike Yung

When we’re in need of soothing, many of us turn to music. It is the warm blanket upon which our souls snuggle into. It’s been a while since I heard a voice that left my heart pounding in pure joy. THIS is what perfection sounds like to me, and people living in New York can hear him on their way to and fro. You guys are really lucky to hear Mike Yung in person! I found him being shared on Reddit last night and would LOVE to hear him in person. So in the meantime, enjoy this and support him in any way you can. These are the kind of musicians we should be enjoying.

 

I don’t know about you, but his voice brought me to tears at the sheer power and perfection. It really is unfair that many of those who have the most beautiful talents to share never get seen or heard. I really hope that Reddit helps him get the light he so obviously deserves. Mike Yung, everybody. He’s in a subway near you in New York. I wish that I was there!

…and here you can find Mike Yung on Twitter. If his album ever gets out, I’m there in line waiting to buy it! Please make it happen!!!

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Words To Think About…F451…Faber

We’re all looking at books that we read in the past to make sense of the present. One that is being talked about is Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s been so long since I read it that I only remembered the sense of it, and not the details. I just changed that by re-reading it and got so much more out of it this time around, as I looked at it with new eyes.

1st edition cover of Farenheit 451 (courtesy: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s something that got to me, spoken by Mr. Faber, the retired English Professor:

Mr. Montag, you are looking at a coward. I saw the way things were going, a long time back. I said nothing. I’m one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no one would listen to the ‘guilty’, but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself. And when finally they set the structure to burn the books, using the firemen, I grunted a few times and subsided, for there were no others grunting or yelling with me, by then. Now, it’s too late.

Or how about this:

It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the ‘parlor family’ today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisions, but are not. No, no, it’s not books at all that you’re looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

And finally:

The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parades roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all of the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money, or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing that you were headed for the shore.

Those are from the second part of the book, when Montag is starting to awaken from deep sleep. I had forgotten just how profound a book this is, and that even back in 1953, Bradbury was clearly seeing what we could become as we set down the path we’ve been stumbling down. Now, look at where we are, and admit that the destination is most definitely not the splendorous jewel of a future we were promised in all of those movies, novels, and national aspirations. Fear has us returning to our past to see if we can find the answer to wake up from this nightmare.

The question is: What will we do with the knowledge once we find it? How do we change what has been written in stone in our societies, so that we can reach a future that all of us want to be part of?

We’ve all been so worried about the one-named beasts that threaten to smother ourselves: censorship, racism, sexism, inequality, classism, dogmatism, materialism, and on and on and on…that we forget what we accomplish collectively that allows for books like this to appear. Now, it seems like these words to think about, by one man who had knowledge but lacked power, can restore the power of the collective to see a better future than the one we will be facing.

Read a classic book, and see what lesson you can bring to life. Heck, it doesn’t have to be a classic, as long as it speaks to your soul (not your ego). Share it over and over until you’ve breathed life back into it. Stoke one fire that isn’t meant to destroy but to create. It’s what we desperately need now.

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Time For The Arts

People think that the arts can be killed by force, but the arts contain the force that drives us all. Something to remember!!

- thanks to natezomy from Reddit for this awesome share

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Standing Up

It’s going to be a rough time for everyone as the clashes come to light after days of darkness. But then sometimes, something enormous comes along that rights things, if only for a short moment. Just remember that the moment exists for much longer in our minds, hearts, and spirits.

How about something like this:

 

 

 

 

 

The Women's March 2017 (credit: @mwilner)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and how about some history

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When times are the darkest, there will be others who bear torches to see by.

…needed to be said

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Change?

Happy New Year everyone! May it be much brighter for all of us as a whole.

 

Is this the year where the norm of status quo will change, or will it be more of the same?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This quote by the Amazing Grace Hopper is a powerful reminder of how these words have shut down so much opportunity, simply because those who utter them refuse to see past the comfort and ease of status quo. It helps that the lady who uttered them was a computer scientist helping to push the envelope of programming during its infancy, as well as a Rear Admiral in the US Navy.

Well, we are indeed moving further into a time of profound change, or so many people like myself believe. Whether it is for good or bad depends on who the people leading the charge for change are, and what they manage to accomplish. Last year felt painful to many of us, possibly because those in charge kept uttering those words as though they were gospel. Well, many of those people are no longer at the forefront of society, simply because the quote above does ring true for far too many.

Change should always take into account the full history of what it’s impacting, to see if it is really necessary. 2016 was the year that proved to us that much of society and its institutions are not as they need to be to meet a positive future for mankind and the planet Earth.

What do you think? Can we make changes in the foundations of mankind so that a much better outcome for all can happen in 2017? Or will it be a continuation of the pain from 2016. Yes, it’s up to each and every one of us to take a step in a different direction so that we don’t always keep hoping that things will be different though we keep taking the same actions.

Fingers crossed, cuddle a rabbit to touch his feet (and keep it firmly attached so that he or she can continue to hop about happily), find a four-leaf clover that hasn’t mutated from some weird chemical we’re using…whatever it takes to get some luck to pull us up the cliff we are falling over.

btw…this is not a pessimistic thought, but the most positive of hopes. Don’t wait for others to change, but start the process for yourself. I am working at just that myself.

Things have not always been done this way. They’re just things that we’re used to doing without deep thought. Change? It might be just what the future of us as a whole wished for.

…just saying

 

Thanks again Reddit for sharing at the most perfect of times.

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Lesser Evils

It started out as a good day, or so I thought. I hadn’t been watching the news much anymore because it was all too depressing.

And just now in, there has been another attack…switch

The courts have decided that the laws stands as is, forcing millions…switch

The results are in, and as expected, …switch

 

Maybe the radio will have something better?

It’s a song that you haven’t heard in decades! Here’s the national anthem!!!!…switch

Here she is back with her new hit that millions love…switch

The meek shall inherit if they listen to my message…switch

 

SIGH, maybe it will be just like yesterday, and the day before that, and it continues like a relentless tide eating away at my soul. It wasn’t always like this. I remember how much more vibrant things were a long time ago, when things seemed simpler.

Yeah, I know that phrase is cliche, but it still works so sue me.

 

I’M DONE! Something has got to change and it’s going to have to be me. I don’t know how, but I’m walking out that door and heading in a different direction to something new. I’m sick of choosing the lesser evil!

hmmmm, North seems good. I see lights that aren’t from some damn store selling something NEW AND DIFFERENT, which actually means that they offer it in too many colors with no other benefits. Yup, North works. If I start out now, I’ll make it before sundown.

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Wow, I can’t believe I’m already here! It didn’t even feel all that long. I wonder what I….Wait, why is the road moving? I’m not in my car and it’s still moving. Oh god, NO. It can’t be. Not another one! Dammit, it’s just like my old home. All of those pretty lights were just a trick. But how did they know what I was thnking? I just decided this morning that things had to change. AAAggghhh!!!! I will pull every hair out before I go back to life as usual! There is no way that…

What’s wrong with my hair? It feels different? I feel different? What’s going on?!

Thank you for trying our new body upgrade. You are part of a new and elite group who have been invited into the inner sanctum. You have chosen conformance over difference, and you will be honored for your belief in The New. We are different from the norm, and we are the cutting edge of life. We will not let you down…EVER.

Oh, crap!!! That site I went to last night was a trap of The Same. They got to me before I could escape.

So much for choosing the Lesser Evils…

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NIMBY – Anne Hars UpHouse Project

The UpHouse Project (photo and project courtesy of Anne Hars)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old does not mean bad. But you would never know it by the way the world currently works. When new shows its shiny face to us in the guise of bigger and feature-filled homes, gadgets that mesmerize, and items that pamper, we are all supposed to get on board with the new-buying program. But at what cost when the towns of old are losing their offerings of unique personalities in the name of someone else’s profits? How much more of our souls do we have to sell before a master balance sheet shows in all black, and endless cookie-cutter manufacturing can finally stop?

Artist Anne Hars decided to take the conversation into her own hands by using a momento from a much loved story, Up by Pixar, to indicate the older homes that are on a demolition schedule. It seems that homes everywhere serving as sanctuaries for the less fortunate are part of the gentrification agenda that’s killing our history as well as our town’s personalities. Anne wants to push a conversation as to why it’s necessary to remove homes that have been loved for decades, just because they don’t make someone a clear profit. And why is profit the almighty belief when it’s clear that it has a very destructive side? A town and its homes are much more than any number, as shown by numerous inhabitants that help one another in times of need.

We’ve heard stories of towns and cities that used to be affordable for everyone. But that is fast disappearing because the moneyed are taking over these places that were once vibrant and turning them into postcards that status quo can sell to us all in an ad. Because current marketing trends are about making all things pretty for a price that we’re all willing to pay, it’s difficult to be seen above the beauty. So, why not use a symbol of a story that warms our hearts and stirs our souls? What an amazingly beautiful way to be seen when you can’t be heard. It’s a small start, but it can lead to a much bigger and more important conversation if we heed its warning.

Bravo, Anne Hars and the UpHouse Project!! Continue to show us what true beauty looks and feels like. There are too many people who need the help to keep their lives intact. And thanks to the Guardian for pushing an important story to the front! Now NIMBY has a different meaning, and its one full of hope and heart.

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It’ll Take More Than Time

We look up to our superheroes because they have lessons to teach us. Some good and some bad, but all of it necessary. It’s amazing that we would have to look at an image drawn by the comic artist Wayne Boring back in the 1950′s to be reminded that little has changed since then. Probably because we humans need a lot of time to learn the important lessons – more time than we’d like when we want things to change.

Remember Tolerance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We really need to keep this in mind as we descend into the madness that is the world of politics. And this is what it all has in common no matter where you look around the world: INTOLERANCE and the ugliness that goes with it. Whether they are words or actions, the results leave a lasting mark on all that come in contact with it. If you question that observation, then ask anyone who has been the target of intolerance:

  • The family that hurts one of their own because that person acted against the family beliefs.
  • The kids who have been teased and abused because they look or act differently than us.
  • The fear that makes us say and do things that others consider inhumane.
  • The laws that are passed in order to “protect” the majority (read this as status quo) against change and the future.
  • The ignorant labels and caricatures that box all of us in, instead of allowing us the freedom to learn.
  • The actions by those with power who only believe in the rule of law at the cost of everyone’s rights and freedoms.
  • and on and on and on…

It took a conversation with one of my family to understand that time does indeed have a positive effect on how society progresses. When I was a teenager who had recently returned to the US after being away for so many years, I had to figure out ways to fit into a society that didn’t respect the breadth of my background (read this as race if you must). Years of answering the question, “What are you?” from people, questionnaires, check boxes, and officials without understanding why this is so important to them.  And to this day, I still have not come up with any answer that left me in peace.

Yesterday, I found out that someone important to me had a very different experience from my own. It was so much more promising than mine, made possible because others saw the world in a much more open-minded way. As I looked at her, I could see a more positive outlook than mine simply because she did not have to fight against the intolerance that I’d experienced. It also showed in the shock that I saw on her face as she heard me tell my stories. Wow, what a different a decade can make.

So, why are we moving backwards today around the world? Why is bigotry and every ugly “ism” ever created winning a war that continues to drag the soul of humanity down a black hole? Why are our leaders allowed to have time in the presses to spread words of intolerance simply because they want to stay on top in a world that has given them all they desire? And why do we have to listen to any of them simply because they won the luck of the draw, which had nothing to do with pulling themselves up by their bootstraps (as they keep telling us)?

Take a look again at that public message created by a man who saw the world much like those who understand that it is our differences that make us strong as a species. It is a really important viewpoint that affects how we behave towards one another. Go find others who have a similar message in our world today and help them spread it so that we can put a stop to all of the ugliness that is created by continued intolerance by so many around us.

This is why I despise the labels that we continue to press upon others, without getting to know them first. Not one of us is as one-dimensional as our image portrays – which can be easily manipulated to affect other views of us. We are made up of pages and pages of our own history that creates the person we are today, and who we are working to become.  So why would we accept whatever one-dimensional label some person or institution forces on us? It only matters if we choose let it happen.

We don’t have to be the world that our news and history books think we are. The change is in each and every one of our hands. This year being an election year is an important reminder, not because of your vote but because of your motivation to WANT something more positive for us all. Don’t let petty squabbles of individual topics force you to pick a side! Nothing in our world is just black and white, because there are also many shades of gray. All of these topics are issues that have connections to one another when we take the time to view the world with a wider vision. We are not simply living under rules of law, because we now see just how broken the rules have become. Listen to the protests around the world, and you’ll see that more people are no longer accepting life that only takes rules into account. The leaders are not the only ones with wise words. Look around you and see what their words have created to see the obvious.

Our lives will never be only about jobs, money, and power.  Your position in life cannot and should not define you, unless you let it. Those who place such importance on the shallow do not see the depth of the world. And if all you see and hear are what can be versus what is possible, then you’ve given up on dreams. Dreams become real when we choose to accept the challenge that life offers us, while ignoring the naysayers that tell you that what you want is impossible. As much as that phrase “Never give up, never surrender” annoys me, it is absolutely evident each time I’ve picked myself up off the ground and kept going.  So, thank you (I think) Galaxy Quest for advice that my hubby tells me all of the time.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that all of the conversations that we are FINALLY having today are very important to the future of humanity. It’s obvious how important they are because status quo and the system are trying to quiet down the discussions before they can take place, simply because they don’t want anything to change. Rules are not what is important, but questioning the rules is absolutely imperative if we want to learn, grow, and change all that is wrong. THAT is what makes history – everything else is just window dressing. Just remember that it’ll take more time than you expect, but all good things seems to require a lot of time and effort before they come to life. I for one think that the effort is worth it when you imagine the possibilities our future can hold.

…just saying

and thanks to Thurdbase for finding this important and oh so timely reminder!

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Price We Pay

With the start of a new year, usually we are given more time to live with a certain level of optimism. 2016 doesn’t seem to be following the same pattern. I wonder why that is? Could it be that our continued denial of the fact that all is not right with the world is causing reality to want to teach us a harsh lesson? We talk of history as lessons we’ve learned, and yet our actions deny the knowledge. Acceptance of all that is seems to be the answer of the da(ys)ze. We are dazed from the continued thumping we get when we choose anything but the accepted path…the one that society tells us we must follow.

Or we can stray from the garden path – if you’ve been watching “The Magicians” on SyFy (no, I haven’t read the books yet, as I still hold the meaningful world of Harry Potter in high esteem). This series is starting a good talk with me, simply because it’s being told by people who are not part of the “accepted” or status quo (and I love fantasy so I will give any such storyline a chance to experience a little magic in my life). Here is a hero that we can all relate to in all of his broken potential. People who chose not to follow the norm are attempting to live without drowning out themselves. They understand the importance of being different, and that it’s much more than some cliche saying.

Think of all those articles you’ve read that try to help you to accept yourself if you’re not popular or “normal”. What do they all have in common? They try to build a narrative that allows us to fit our true selves within the construct of acceptance. We all crave to be accepted by someone, or we would never try so hard to build our relationships. It’s an integral part of nature, though even nature understands that growth requires change.

And then some book comes along that touts the norm and tries to discourage us from “being different” because that process wastes too much (like the one below – thanks again Reddit). These books are written and published by humans so you might want to take their advice with a barrel of salt, and question everything with a sense of humor (if possible).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I could think was…WOW, really? As I’ve never read this book because my SAT days are in the distant past (when I accepted its importance because I was too young to know better), I’m choosing to see the dark humor of their sarcasm. Once again, here’s the story about the fight for acceptance which is showing its ugly face in politics (which I truly despise). That this fight is at the forefront in politics is showing just how far our current form of morality (the so-called lifeblood of society) has receded from our beliefs. Rules have now taken the place of human intuition, and these rules are not something we should blindly accept as our only fact. When anyone tells you that we are a nation of laws, ask them what importance they place on such rules and why. If it is their guiding light, then you should probably ask further questions and be prepared for a long-winded argument about their beliefs. And if they claim that chaos does not have a place in this world, because order is the most important, then be prepared for a long battle because they think that they are in charge and won’t want to give that up. Remember…greed is a powerful thing.

Rules are the new price that we pay for not fighting the current condition of humankind. We have strayed from the lessons of old, as well as the ways of old. And I’m not talking about our recent forefathers, but those who brought mankind into enlightenment. Who saw that light and dark co-exist because they must in order to get the full story. Who understood that the battle of good and evil was never about choosing a side, but about accepting that we all carry a duality that is necessary for us to grow and learn. Who learned their lessons when simple actions like beliefs became ugly in their consequences and derailed the true progress of our potentials.

If you’re like me and are tired of the prices that we continue to pay by not fighting the established, then we need to laugh at the sarcasm that shows in the above text. Just as we need to help those who see a future that is much different from the present that we are all drowning in. The good guys are no longer as obvious as we once thought they were. Even our stories show that heroes such as Superman and other such warriors are not so clean-cut in their intentions. When intentions get strangled in human greed (and they somehow always do), then other heroes must take the place of the original. That logic shows us that there CAN be a hero in each one of us, and the potential is simply waiting to be discovered by us. Potential is our magic that just might build a wider and more colorful future.

Do we choose to be a hero because it brings us acceptance, or do we choose to become a hero because the world needs us to step up? That’s a question that only you can answer. But having a whole lot of heroes working together is what we all need if we want things to be different. Words are cheap, and there are a lot of words out there to swim through in order to find the right ones. Who we choose to be a temporary beacon of hope is important, if we want other heroes to show their actions for good possibilities. The price we pay can no longer be about chasing a shallow acceptance, when we’re all so different by a deeper design. Differences make possibilities come alive. Acceptance smothers possibilities so that creativity and innovation are controlled by the present. The future, for us and everything on this tiny world, requires that we change from belief to a possibility that can’t be caught by what we consider normal.

Take this from someone who has had to answer the question, WHAT ARE YOU, throughout her life. There are a a lot of you out there who know what I’m talking about. Do we want to change a system that only worries about checkboxes that label us incompletely, or do we finally build a new way that no longer worries so much about acceptance in its current context? No one should fit into a single checkbox!

…just saying

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Stop censorship