This is a blog dedicated to the healthy practice of grammatically correct writing (yes, you may correct me), the observation and analysis of human behavior (including my own), and the praise and criticism of higher ideals (including, but not limited to, ethics, social norms, and bodily functions).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Worst Enemy or Best Friend?

Ah... the bitter-sweetness of silence. No roommate, no roommate's hyper dog, and no boyfriend. Ok, so I'm not really thrilled about that last one, but I can handle my own alone time. In fact, being okay with one's own self is the topic I wish to expand upon tonight.

This post has been inspired by a thought running through my head the last few days:

"I am my own worst enemy."

Hmm... we'll see about that.

Of late, I've been reading, reflecting and relenting about "personal responsibility". For those of you who have not studied psychology, this is the mentality that allows an individual to take action in a situation where others could, also, take action, but the individual does not rely on the expectation that anyone else will address the situation. This mentality is exemplified in emergency situations - a man in a mall collapses. Maybe it's a heart attack, maybe it's anaphylactic shock, maybe it's just dehydration, but there's no time to loose guessing. But you're just a passerby, there's no need to stop because the woman he's with surely called 911. But she's on the floor with him, crying and shaking him to wake up. Maybe the shop owner who rushed out to see the commotion called for the mall paramedics. Meanwhile, the man on the floor has begun to foam at the mouth and is twitching. More people gasp and gather around, but who's helping him? Surely one of the interested people getting closer is rushing to his aid.

If everyone of these people does not assume their individual "personal responsibility"- that is to say, act proactively and not as a result of a lack of someone else's actions - then this man will most likely die. And when he does, there will be plenty of guilty consciences, even more fingers pointed at one another, and a reinforcement to the general populace that our fellow man should not be trusted. And we thought it was cool to be irresponsible.

Perhaps this is a more entertaining example:

But this is more of an external example, and a dramatic situation. What about the baby steps? The little ways we can take "personal responsibility" for our actions on a daily basis? This is where we must recognize that our attitudes are also within our ability to take action and be proactive. After all, our attitudes are formulated from how we interpret our surroundings, situations, but also ourselves and our inner responses. Come, take a look...

I was reading this article in Psychology Today about how the ability to control our emotional responses is a skill to be developed, not a gift that you either have or don't. But if the only times we try to exercise such control is during these high drama, extreme situations, then we haven't developed the skill through regular practice enough to tackle it! Could you imagine - exercising our brains for greater emotional depth and satisfaction, and not just intellectual?

But let's back up to what stumps most of us... the premise: WE have the ability to control our emotional responses. So, not your parents? Nope. Not your significant other? Uh uh. Not your boss, traffic, or politics? Not at all.

But my dad is calling every hour, on the hour, and if he calls one more time, I'm gonna kill him! Are you, really? Or could you ask him to stop calling and let him know you'll call him when you get home that night? Or maybe you could just turn off the phone until you can call him back?

This reminds me of the move He's Just Not That Into You (2009) when Justin Long's character (Alex) explains to Ginnifer Goodwin's character (Gigi) that sometimes we allow ourselves to react this way for the drama. We thrive on the drama, and might not know what to do with ourselves if we didn't have something to panic about. I think part of becoming an adult is coming to terms with the notion that there will ALWAYS be something you CAN panic about, but it's a waste of precious time.

The point is we still have the ability to absorb that potentially negative energy, and, through our active involvement with it, turn it into a positive experience. It used to be thought that when you meditate that you should inhale all of the positivity surrounding you and then exhale all the negativity stored up inside you. It's a nice thought, and understandably the intention behind it is to "let go". However, it leaves anyone and everyone around you to deal with the negativity you've put out there, and leaves you feeling dependent on the positivity being provided by the outside environment (which you cannot control). It has only been in recent years that I've learned it should actually be the opposite - breathe in the negativity, embrace it, love it, and let it flow out of you, now changed into a beautiful part of you. Now, you're putting light and love into the world, and YOU have the power to brighten any Little Black Rain Cloud. It's an empowering thought, isn't it?

Just consider...

I know, we've seen the magnets, the mugs, the journals, but it doesn't make the quote any less true.

So, this whole rigamarole brings us back to "I am my own worst enemy". And the moment I though it, I felt this weight, a dead weight, just sitting on my shoulders, making me headachy.

'I can't live like this, feeling like my own mind is killing me', I thought.

And why should I? Wasn't I the one who could take action, make a choice, and change? Wasn't I the one telling myself that I was an enemy? Well, then, it's time to tell myself something new...

"What if... I am my own best friend." And I felt relieved.

I know it's not as noble or heroic as saving a stranger, foaming at the mouth, but the first life you should try to save is your own.

So, my readers...

What do you tell yourself? And how does it affect you?

In honor of my mother's birthday today, I will avoid today's Word-of-the-Day (gangrel - a lanky, loose-jointed person) in favor of yesterday's more fitting word:

procellous [proh-SEL-uhs] -adjective : Stormy, as the sea

Guide your way through the storm, my friends, and I shall meet you there.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Will YOU Join My Cortege?

Good Morning, boys and girls! Time to put on your thinking caps...
And since I'm done reflecting on the past for now...

#4: What’s something you have that everyone wants?

Chutzpah. For those of you who don't know yittish - brashness, boldness, forwardness... but also overconfidence, presumptuousness, pushiness, rudeness, sassiness, sauciness, shamelessness. 
Ok, I know this sounds more insulting than flattering, but it was the first thing I could think of. I can't imagine _everyone_ wants it, and I know quite a few people that already have it. For example, when Quentin complained about the footage from set, I went to set the next day to confront the responsible parties and ensure that the goal was clear: get usable footage. I had nothing at stake, no grade nor money pending. It just needed to be done. When Qwest was giving us the run around, I demanded a supervisor and got us back on track.
But I remember when I was younger, my "overconfidence" always seemed to have a silver lining of sorts. For example, the first summer after I graduated high school I was working as an intern for Source Theater in downtown D.C. We did a short gig at the National Women's Museum with a series of short plays by women. Before one of our shows, the crew all went out for dinner at McD's across the street (I know, horrible). As we approached the door, there was an older homeless man, meakly occupying the space across from the entrance. There seemed to be no hope in his soft pleading for spare change, and it struck me to the core. To see a man reduced to such an extreme and not have the faith to carry him through broke my heart, and stifled my appetite.
I opened the door, but stopped before I could enter. A three second thought became probably the most generous gesture I've ever offered. I turned around and asked him to have dinner with me. Not buy him dinner, but offer food in exchange for his time. Because I wanted him to know that his time was valuable.
At the time, I believed that such bold actions could change the world, one person at a time, but I think it just made me bitter, as time went on, that no one cared about me that way. I'm slowly coming out of that funk, though, after my surgery and such. But I still find it difficult to tap into that bold power without seeming like I'm an uber-bitch.
By the way, if you'd like to know the rest of that story, let me know, and I'll respond with it.
In the meantime... What YOU got?

Also, I've been feeling the need to share the love, so here's one we can do together.

#41: What are you known for by your friends and family?
So, this one is on you guys. What am I known for? It's only fair if I answer the same for you. So, if you respond to this question, I will tell you what YOU are known for.

But first, here's some love I'd like to share...
But I digress. What's today's word? Oh, yes...
cortege [kawr-teyzh] -noun :
1. a procession, especially a ceremonial one: a funeral cortege.
2. a line or train of attendants; retinue.
Well, that's just morbid. But a fun word to pronounce. Look it up on to hear how it's pronounced. It just makes me want to learn French. I'm now at three language I'd like to learn - Sign Language (for future child rearing), Spanish (for its usefulness), and French ('cause it sounds pretty!).
So, I found an equally French-looking picture (even though it's English - Shh! Don't tell!):
Ok, so the flags give it away. Nevermind.
I think I prefer to appreciate the ceremony of it all rather than be a part of it. Probably why I never went into law enforcement. Or the military.
By the way, I am allowing myself to type in sentence fragments in order to become better accustomed to script form, which allows it, nay, encourages it. Please, be patient.
All right, readers, time for bed.
Until next time... 

An Irish Blessing for You:
"May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Take a Bough!

I've just sit down to a well-deserved lunch break (yes, I know it's 4:37pm, but that's what happens when you sleep in until noon thirty). With my turkey and tomato on gluten-free bread with olive oil mayo and honey mustard (just enough to moisten the bread), pickle, and IBC Root Beer, I got the urge to change the tone from my previous post. Btw, every time I have pickles with soda (not that it's very often at all), I always think of that scene in Bad Boys with Martin Lawrence and Tia Lioni - "Do you know how much salt is in that?" Yes, Tia, I do.

Since the word of the day seems to be a favorite (of mine, too), I shall use yesterday's and today's words.
bough [bou] -noun : a branch of a tree, especially one of the larger or main branches.

I thought this appropriately seasonal. But the range of pictures that came up was so vastly different, that I've decided to give a smorgasbord of examples.

 The artsy version. This one is called "Crimson Bough". I just enjoyed the simplicity of it, and I'm a sucker for pretty color combinations. Actually, I probably gravitated towards it because a friend of mine recently introduced me to this thing called "Canvas & Cocktails". And there's a million of 'em out there - "Sippin' N' Paintin'", "Canvas & Corkscrews", "Paint and Sip", "Sip 'N Paint"... I think you get the idea. Basically, for two hours you get a lesson on how to paint a particular painting (you choose the day and painting), have a drink (wine or cocktail), and then take the painting home! Kinda cool, huh?

 Wow, right? Totally out of left field, but it's called "The Golden Bough". I just thought it was lovely and empowering, especially after having a long and involved conversation at work about how a female therapist (massage or otherwise) should never feel like a victim in a session. But instead of blabbering on about what _I_ think, I'd rather ask - how do you feel about this "bough"?
It, of course, is not to be confused with...
 Is is bad that I've never heard of this? I'm poking around on Amazon to get a better idea of what it is, and all I can glean is a lost classic, and an exploration of magic and religion. Huh... sounds like something I'll have to read! Any of my readers privy to this book? I'd love to know your impressions!
 Just to stick to our nature theme - this one is "porcupine in bough". Really?! Where? Do they normally climb trees? Maybe he got stuck like a cat! HA! No one's gonna catch him, though...
 The "Political Bough"... this one I'm gonna have to look up. History has never been a strong subject for me. Math, English, Science (which, in my opinion, is the art of using English and Math to formulate questions and attempt to answer them), no problem. In fact, I'd have to say my ultimate strength has always been psychology of some form, which is the logical progression of a singular mind. History draws from too many sources for me to trust the information, and I just figure- what's the point? Well... unfortunately, a grade :-P
And last, but not least...
 The Holiday Bough. Yes, I say "holiday". I prefer celebrating the Yule tide, myself. My step-siblings celebrate Hanukkah while the rest of my family celebrates Christmas, but the truth is, my interest lies in the seasons and the phases of the moon. Yes, there is even a history behind  each aspect of our Yule traditions, but you'll notice how we give ourselves the liberty to incorporate such information or not as we choose. But, perhaps when it comes to our convictions, taking a quick peek back at how it became accepted is worth the consideration, variations on the history and all.
Well, that's as deep as I'll go tonight. Word #2!

adytum [ad-i-tuhm] -noun : 1. A sacred place that the public is forbidden to enter; an inner shrine.
2. The most sacred or reserved part of any place of worship.

Ha! So much for not getting any more serious. Before I could even get to the pictures, this link caught my eye, Builders of the Adytum, which "disseminates the Ageless Wisdom of Sacred Tarot". Sacred Tarot? To the common American mind, Tarot is mystic crap. How is it that there is an entire school dedicated to unite people using a "sacred tarot"? Wild...
Ok, moving on...
It's so interesting that a faith would choose other symbolic beings, such as depicted on these cards, to epitomize the tides of a human life. In choosing characters, writers will also sometimes use the personas in tarot, though I don't know many fellow students that know anything about tarot cards.
This was found as part of BOTA's website. I've seen this diagram before, but I never thought to equate it to the "Builders of the Adytum [who] offer its members a correspondence curriculum based on the Sacred Tarot and Holy Qabalah, the object of which is the self-transmutation of the aspirant's personality". Something about this just rubs me the wrong way. Does anyone know more about this?
I guess I just prefer to transform organically - by myself, for myself, with myself.

This one just reminds me of "Farscape" for some odd reason. Ok, that's all the brain power I've got for today.
But before I go, a simple reflection- #23:
In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?
Originally it was: Love, Happiness, money, health, fame
Because after my ordeal, I was thinking that as long as I have money, I could buy my health - HA!
However, I think I prefer: Love, Happiness, Health, Money, Fame

One of the many reasons I will probably never live in L.A.
Cheers, y'all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Moment Through the Copse

 Whew! Finally have a moment to sit and write again. YAY! First, what's my word of the day... hold on...

copse [kops] -noun : a thicket of small trees or bushes; a small wood

I sense a nature theme, Let's see what Google images can cook up for us. Ooo, pretty!
Another location in Great Britain... huh. And this is the caption that came with it:
Horn's Copse: East of Bucklebury Common and South of Carbin's wood
Taken from the road looking north, this wood is situated north of Midgham Green. Most of this square is woodland, there being three named woodland areas, Carbins Wood, Horns Copse and Channel Wood. They are a mixture of coniferous and non coniferous trees. This copse is predominantly non coniferous.
Thank you, most educational site. If I get one more picture from Britain, however, I'm going to start making plans to go over the summer, 'cause Karen can only take so many hints before she gets smacked upside the head, and that shit hurts!
But, for now, I'd like to turn your attention to the more thoughtful and penetrating subject of the "95 Questions". Originally, I had been musing over #27:

"What’s the number one thing you want to achieve in the next five years?"
This would mean, in my understanding, by Jan. 1st, 2017, at which point I will be 36 yrs old. Ugh.

Seeing as I don't know how the next month will pan out, much less the next year, I'm starting to get a little disgruntled thinking that far ahead. Yes, this next month is going to be interesting, and I can thank Mercury in Retrograde for that (or blame myself, but it all came together beautifully during the one time such mishaps get snagged). Bugger. So, our new roommate just moved in, with a young, hyper dog weighing approximately 45 lbs. As it turns out, the pet policy, that no one bothered to check on, only allows for dogs up to 20 lbs. Being on the second floor, you can imagine that it was near impossible for our neighbors to ignore the new romping sounds, especially when the dog is still hyper at 1am.

So, the next day, we get a complaint from the office, I get the paperwork confirming the dog has to go, and the roommate is deciding to stay with the dog and go, too. December will be an interesting month, for sure. But I have a small job offer to help a past film instructor with a project, and will be doing Student Judging for Vail Film Festival again this year, so it hasn't all been downhill this month.

In fact, my final project for Creative Producing was a huge success. I was the only one who took the time to do a Powerpoint presentation, and came up with a really cool, innovative marketing and promotions plan. Then after class, the instructor tells me that he now knows he'll have to enforce that that project be done with a Powerpoint. YAY! But that also means that my mind can't stretch too far
away from the here and now.

Thus, I prefer to reflect upon the recent past by writing about #25 tonight:

"What was the most defining moment in your life during this past year?"

This just isn't easy for me. Early in the year, I decided to take a Voice Acting class. I wish I had attended more classes, but it reaffirmed for me that this is something I really enjoy and am quite good at (or at least could be with practice). Heck, I may already be infamous. When we do table reads of scripts, I tend to like to read for the narrator, and I've been told recently that at a table read they were looking around for me. HA! But that wasn't really a moment.

I was thinking about the defining moment for Quentin and I in our relationship. I had been having a rough time, and he was feeling it, and come March, he had had enough of it. But I was dedicated. Quentin is the kind of guy not to give up, and for him to give up on me just sent it home that this was the time where I needed to show him that I wouldn't give up on him, either. Quentin once won back my affection, and between March and May, I, too, won back his. We celebrated our 2nd Anniversary this past November, which is the longest relationship I've ever been in. It's also the most loving, grounded, and endearing, but I digress...

Ultimately, I feel like this "defining moment" needs to be symbolic, and impactful, and devastating. The morning I was taken to the Emergency Room, for me, sums up exactly what I've been suffering from... probably all my life.

I had been trying to soothe a dry cough the previous night, so I'd wake up, take a cough drop, go back to sleep, and wake up two hours later. By round three, I got up to go to the bathroom, had a sizable bowel movement, and returned to bed. This must have been around 7am. I lay on front and start turning as if to lay on my side when I hear a POP! from my left psoas area (think lower abdomen, right where it meets the pelvis/leg). Now, I don't think anything of it. I just figured 'good stretch'! I pass out, but about thirty minutes later I wake up from excruciating pain.

For those who don't know me well enough, let me explain - when I say "I am in pain", this likely to be a serious situation. The first time I ever had a UTI (urinary tract infection), I didn't go to the doctor until I saw blood. The doctor warned me that on a scale from 1-10 for how bad my UTI had become, it was at an 11. Thus, I tend to take a lot before I cry wolf.

Once the pain set in, I didn't have a thought of cohesive thoughts other than 'must stop pain'. So, I go to the bathroom. Nothing. I try breathing. No improvement. I try cooling down. At which point, I realize my stomach is unstable, and I throw up. By the by, if ever you're curious, returning Ricola is a disturbing dark yellow color.

By this point, I've been awake with this pain for 30 minutes, trying hard not to wake up Quentin. He needed his sleep. It was early. I could handle it. Right?

I curl up on the bed, trying to convince myself that I don't have to wake him up, but my whimpering turns to pleading. I need someone with a clear head. Quentin is groggy, but snaps to it. He wants me to go to the ER, but I'm thinking 'it'll be expensive and they'll want to give my drugs'. So, I look at my Insurance Card, which has "after hours" listed as well. I say we go there instead.

Then I throw up again. We go to the ER. Turns out, it's the same co-pay. Just $75, and I can handle that. And I'm feeling okay about the notion of drugs.

I dress. We take a trash can, just in case I get sick again. I do.

Poor Quentin is a ball of worried mess as he witnesses me suffer through the hardest thing I've ever had to face - the result of years of not paying attention to myself. Because I don't want to bother other people, because I don't want to pay the money (or I'm afraid I can't afford it), but ultimately, I was suffering because I didn't do what I set out to do.

I came to Colorado to slow my life down enough to be able to live consciously. That is to say, balance my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. Do yoga, go on a hike, write, explore... hell, maybe just have a weekend off. It was supposed to be a reprioritization and reprogramming of sorts, but the effort still seemed to throw me back into my old patterns: no time to exercise, no money for doctors, I work hard and deserve what I want (in the most gratuitous yet unsatisfactory way), and I still don't feel free to live as I choose.

I can't say as I've changed, actually. I'm still behind on my doctor's visits. I still don't exercise, though I have started getting more regular massages. I've even been using my cousin's Shakeology supplement every other day to help me keep on the up and up.

But that moment keeps me thinking, every time I do something for someone else that takes time away from what I want to be doing, or any time I convince myself I don't have the time or energy to do something, anything, I get angry. And I think I get angry because my body is tired of paying for my compromises.

Well, this was much longer than I anticipated, but please know that I hope this was just as helpful to you as it was cathartic to me. Don't worry, this lesson won't go completely swept under the rug. I'll be paying off the over $6k in medical bills for the next 2 years. I'm sure those bills will be a HUGE reminder :-P

All right, my readers... I ask you - what's been your definitive moment this past year? Can't wait to hear all about it!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Finding Meaning in a British Weald

Hello, again.
I know. It's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that.
Well, in an effort to employ a regular writing routine, I thought it a good idea to have a safe place to start writing without judgement or format (as opposed to screenwriting, which does require a certain amount of meticulous formatting and succinct execution) so that I can _continue_ writing.
Inspired by recent research about the timing of this past New Moon (on Thanksgiving, as it turns out) and what it means leading up to the next Full Moon (Dec. 10th), I saw my opportunity to become reinvigorated with the same creative, independent, and exuberant energy that once brought me to Colorado, and eventually, to film school.
In an effort to keep my fingers moving, I'll refrain from elaborating, but feel free to comment and ask.
There are two things I wish to expand upon, however.
First, a friend on the ever-popular Facebook posted a link with a list of 95 things to "Help You Find Meaning and Happiness". While I do not think the list itself will do exactly that, I did feel that the questions were a great prompt for thoughts and reflections I could articulate and express, and thus, perhaps, finally manifest.
For those of you who know me personally, you probably already knew that I was going to mention a list... 'cause I like 'em. But, I don't care to go in order, like some sort of assignment. This is my exploration, and I shall do so as I please. Therefore, I'd like to call your attention to item number 69.
"What are three things you can’t get enough of?"
If money or sex was one of your first thoughts, then I'll tell you what I told my boyfriend - you're not taking this seriously. I'm not sure it warrants a "serious" answer, per say, but certainly some serious consideration. Even if it's something good, do you really feel insatiable? Even if it's sinful, do you really want MORE than enough? I'd like to think as humans, we only want enough to sin. But as adults, we must recognize our shortcomings as divine beings. We're not perfect, but we are passionate. Whatever it is we love or attach ourselves to, we do so with conviction. And thus, I give you my convictions:
1) Loving - this could be kissing and hugging, or just cuddling, or having a good conversation; "giving and receiving love"
2) Exploring - this is not to say "learning", because I can still try new things, but not learn anything new, per say; this includes traveling, cultures, cooking, spirituality, and communication
3) I had it last night, and right now I can't remember... wow. Well, this is embarrassing.

Well, I'll get back to that in a bit. But along with the idea of "Exploring", I've decided to attempt audio/visuals to accompany my blogs. Today's visual is inspired by today's word-of-the-day: weald.
weald [weeld] noun - wooded or uncultivated country
I plugged it into a Google search for images, and came up with this:
Lovely, isn't it? It's a picture from some Bed & Breakfast in England. But, I figure, if I have to be poor and can't explore the world yet, then I should give myself a big ol' spin on the wheel of fortune and see what pops up. Who knows, maybe I'll visit this place, all because I decided to look up the word "weald". That, and because it gives me a safe place to dream and "create" a little each day.

So... what are three things YOU can't get enough of?
I feel like I could give some answers for some of you already...
-World of Warcraft
Or maybe just THIS... sincerity and an organic connection that inspires you to think and feel. Perhaps that's the third thing I was missing.
Naw... it was probably paid vacation time... or money. HA! ;-)

By the by...
the third thing was LAUGHING. Just ironic.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Out of My Mind, but Still in My Skin

It's amazing to think back when I was in high school, not getting more than six hours of sleep a night, averaging four hours of sleep most times. Now I'm thirty with a thyroid condition I am stubbornly juggling with nothing but irratic nutrition and sporatic exercise, and I'm lucky to wake up after nine hours of sleep. Karma is kicking my butt.
Similarly, I used to be considered the "Human Garbage Disposal", eating anything and just about everything in front of my face. But I justified it because I was working out so very much in those days; martial arts three days a week, anywhere from one to three hours at a time, marching band during the fall, and P.E. every other day. It makes me tired just thinking about it.
Perhaps there is a season for everything, and I sincerely hope this season of lethargy and hermitish energy is coming to an end, and swiftly. I miss the sunshine, which is ridiculous because Colorado gets more sunshine than the "Sunshine State". I miss walking and talking and enjoying the movement of my body. And as much as I can justify not doing these things because so much rides on my completion of school and finding a job and making choices that will shape the rest of my adult life, I continue to put it off because I have not yet realized, to the core, that improving my health will also shape the rest of my adult life.
Time to wake up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Storyteller's Ears

July 27, 2007 - It was my last day of work in Virginia before I would start my three week road trip to my new home in Colorado. The world was a spinning vortex of rainbows and butterflies, including a few in my stomach for a Jersey Boy who became the lost love of my life. But no technicolor landscapes or sparkling stars in my eyes could tell me otherwise; Colorado was my land of opportunity, and I was ready. But what made me ready, you may ask?
Late night six packs and soul-bearing talks with touch-and-go friends. Third party phone calls which ended with "have a nice life". Study breaks with Starbucks, but all I was learning was how to listen and rationalize through someone else's drama. Never once would I manifest my observations into fiction so they could have a life of their own, and finally vacate my cluttered psyche.
After years of being the ears of a Storyteller, I have finally found my voice.
January 23, 2008 - My footsteps led me away from my Contemplative Psychology Bachelors degree and squarely onto the self-financed first semester at Colorado Film School. This will be the day my voice will call its "Independence Day", though, ironically, I said little to nothing at all.
It is the power of the Storyteller's ears that make possible the talented tales he utters.
I listened to my guides, and they brought me here. I listened to my instincts and my wisdom, and they led me here. I even listened to my muses, my beloveds, and even my shame, and they all could not keep me from here. Because without taking the time to listen, and listen I did, my writing has no soul. And while I cannot say that my soul does not still ache, and sometimes even falter, I attest that I will endeavor to remember to listen before I speak, to observe before I act, and research before I write.

I'd like to ask you, my dear reader - what's your story? The one you've been harboring in your soul, collecting data on, but have not yet had your voice freed to tell the tale.

May all our stories find eager ears.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reigning It In

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."
Mark Twain 
Who knew Mark Twain gave health advice as well? Though, I suppose, when you are a self-confessed philosopher, then no domain of the human mind is beyond analysis.
It's been difficult to decide what to write about today, but it is important I write. Then the flurry of thoughts rush in and vie for my vote. Memories or rants, ponderations or analyses, years of thoughts that have been stored away and waiting for the magic combination of elements to let them coagulate. 

And then I remembered, this is my own creation. While it is my sincere hope that these posts may someday be more than the sum of its parts, currently it is simply my little slice of happy. Just as Hugh MacLeod alluded in his book Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity ( to the artist who creates because their inner child wants to play with crayons, not just to find another modus operandi that could potentially render a profit- I, too, wish to play. 

So, here's today's post; delightfully short, and just in time for bed. But don't forget, my friends, to trust yourselves. I'll endeavor to follow my own advice.

May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live,
Betty D.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
— Mark Twain

Yet, as celebratory as this occasion should be, I am disinclined to set this sail. Hibernation, just short of permutation, seems a more apt way to enjoy this celestial transition. It is, however, likely that I am so withdrawn from the masses due to the current New Moon phase.

Or is it?

My thinking is that it is actually the proverbial wall one hits when faced with small but impactful choices. These life-changing "baby steps" shape who you are, whether you necessarily actively choose them or not. Not choosing is a choice, too.

For quite a while, I've been thinking of writing a book. I've been told many a time that I should write self-help books, but that won't be any time soon (i.e. not until I've learned that my advice can be followed by my biggest critic, me). This does beg the question, however- what book would I write? The truth is, I couldn't tell you.

Sometimes I wish to convey my professional advice as a Massage Therapist, or simply my analysis of a film I've seen. Other times I crave to articulate the winning strategy I believe all drivers should use to better improve the frequency of traffic jams. But mostly, I wish to declutter the overactive, and most certainly over-analytical, inner-workings of my mind.

Thus, I create this blog for all those moments when I felt like I had something to give the world, but never followed through with it; for the thoughts that I've recycled and refined over and over again in my mind, but can only breathe a life of their own in a tangible form; for all the times I've criticized someone else's efforts and then realized I had justified doing so because I was not attempting something significant of my own; for the dreamer in me that wants to explore and discover, and wishes to see this life fulfilled.

And because the other celestial transition that seems to be consuming my life is a little something called "Saturn Returns". Between the slow pace of this year's Metal Rabbit and the revelations that have been surfacing, and will assuredly continue to surface, due to "Saturn Returns", it will be advantageous to keep record.

Here's to evidence!
Betty D.