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Random Thoughts #30

March 30, 2018

If, during the course of a conversation, you find yourself saying, “To make a long story short . . .”, you’re probably talking too much.

Random Thought #30.1: If, during the course of a conversation, someone says, “To make a long story short . . .” to you, don’t tell them that if they have to say, “To make a long story short . . . “ it probably means they’re talking too much because it appears they don’t like hearing that. Even if you say it with a smile, they don’t like it so much.

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Tale Weaver – #165 – Longing

March 29, 2018

Tale Weaver – #165

Longing

This week I’m asking you to explore the concept of longing. What is it you long for? Health, holiday, freedom, love, understanding, acceptance.”

What do I long for?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a pizza or a Hershey’s with almonds candy bar but I can’t really say I long for either of those.

Are you old enough to remember the Viewmaster toy? It was shaped more or less like a pair of binoculars only smaller and it was all plastic. You’d get these cardboard discs with small photo images and you’d ‘view’ the photo images in the Viewmaster. The photo images looked sort of like film negatives only they were in color and there were a dozen or so images per disc and the discs were anything from a cartoon to a story or book adaptation to a travelogue or a TV show tie-in. You’d slide the disc into the top of the Viewmaster and press it down into place and when the disc was set in place, then between the two eyepieces there was a small hole that lined up with the text on the disc that described the image you were going to look at. So for example you slide the disc into the Viewmaster and you’d read the line that described the image, something maybe like, “Bugs Bunny looks for something to do.” and then you’d put it up to your eyes and look through it and you’d see a picture of Bugs Bunny looking around for something to do in 3D. Then there was a lever on the side of the thing that’d press down and that would advance the disc to the next picture. You’d lower it and read the next description, maybe something like, “Elmer Fudd is hunting for food when he spots Bugs Bunny waking up.” and you’d look inside and see Elmer Fudd pointing his rifle at a yawning Bugs. My description isn’t doing the toy any real justice so I’ll stop by saying that for a 10-year-old kid it was a pretty cool toy and it’s, from what I can remember, the closest thing we had to a virtual reality device 50+ years ago. So, that’s a long story to get to a short story . . .

Why this is important will make sense in about another 100 words.

And it’s also been a long time since I’ve had a bacon cheeseburger but I don’t long for one of those either.

I long for the people I love who are no longer here and when I think of them an image will fly across my consciousness. Now I don’t visualize particularly well so it’s not like I’m “seeing” these people in my mind’s eye like playing back a memory or anything like that because my mind’s eye is, for the most part, blind. It’s more like a flash of awareness or recognition or something; some other form of “memory” that I can’t describe, and it comes and then goes and then it’s replaced by another one and usually it happens fast and it’s sort of like a mental Viewmaster only instead of pressing down the little lever to advance the frame I just blink.

Blink. Dad.
Blink. Grandma and Grandpa.
Blink. Dad.
Blink. Friends.
Blink. Dad.
Blink. Dad.
Blink. Dad.

I long for those people in my life who are no longer physically in my life.

I long for good books and good music and good movies.

I long for good words.

I long for good humor.

I long for a country where politicians and leaders truly care for the people they represent.

I long for a world that treats all living beings humanely.

I long for equity, inclusion, tolerance and social justice for everyone.

I long to know what happened to Tony Soprano.

I long for a pear that doesn’t bruise with even the lightest touch.

I long for the Twins to win the World Series.

And I long for somebody to love.

Wordle #189

March 28, 2018

From Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie comes Wordle #189

– Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem.
– The words can appear in an alternate form.
– Use the words in any order that you like.

1. Malice «                     7. Imperative «
2. Gangly «                    8. Orbit «
3. Find «                         9. Inchoate
4. Misery «                   10. Helminth «
5. Hardhearted «        11. Mask «
6. Lens                          12. Glide «

= = = =

With malice toward some and misery for more you’ll find me wriggling like a helminth, heaving hardhearted words in every direction.

My promises, cheap at half the price, drip like gangly threads of yellow snot from my mask of sincerity; thin strands that glide over my lips and orbit around the bottom of my stubby chin before dropping into your hungry mouth.

It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Honestly.

I’m running for reelection in November and it’s imperative that I return to Washington where I can continue to work for you. Can I count on your vote?

Smile

March 28, 2018

If one were so inclined he could simply read everything Thich Nhat Hanh writes and share it with everyone he encounters throughout the day. If he were to do that, he thinks, it’s possible the world might be a calmer and more peaceful place. But that wouldn’t be practical and he guesses that the people he encounters throughout the day might misinterpret the words, as well as the intent behind the words, and not recognize his true intent. Instead, all one who might be so inclined can do is share passages from books that spoke to him with anyone who might happen along to see them. Like this short passage* from the book Being Peace (which is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble).

I would like to offer one short poem you can recite from time to time, while breathing and smiling:

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment.

“Breathing in, I calm my body.” Reciting this line is like drinking a glass of ice water-you feel the cold, the freshness, permeate your body. When I breathe in and recite this line, I actually feel the breathing calming my body, calming my mind.

“Breathing out, I smile.” You know the effect of a smile. A smile can relax hundreds of muscles in your face, and relax your nervous system. A smile makes you master of yourself. That is why the Buddhas and bodhisattvas are always smiling. When you smile, you realize the wonder of the smile.

“Dwelling in the present moment.” While I sit here, I don’t think of somewhere else, of the future or the past. I sit here, and I know where I am. This is very important. We tend to be alive in the future, not now. We say, “Wait until I finish school and get my Ph.D. degree, and then I will be really alive.” When we have it, and it wasn’t easy to get, we say to ourselves, “I have to wait until I have a job in order to be really alive.” And then after the job, a car. After the car, a house. We are not capable of being alive in the present moment. We tend to postpone being alive to the future, the distant future, we don’t know when. Now is not the moment to be alive. We may never be alive at all in our entire life. Therefore, the technique, if we have to speak of a technique, is to be in the present moment, to be aware that we are here and now, and the only moment to be alive is the present moment.

“I know this is a wonderful moment.” This is the only moment that is real. To be here and now, and enjoy the present moment is our most important task. “Calming, Smiling. Present moment, Wonderful moment.” I hope you will try it.

Eyes closed or eyes open, sitting or walking, I think this is a beautiful mantra: “Calming, Smiling. Present moment, Wonderful moment.”

* The above quoted passage from Being Peace is copyrighted material and I will remove it when requested.

RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Prompt #194: Worship & Goddess

March 27, 2018

The Haiku Prompt Challenge is hosted by Ronovan Hester. I just found his blog and it looks like fun. Every Monday Ronovan provides two words and we do the rest. This week’s challenge can be found HERE and this week’s two prompt words are “Worship” and “Goddess”.

 

Goddess standing tall.
Eyes closed I stand in worship
at nature’s altar.

Life Without Facebook

March 27, 2018

I’ve decided to take a hiatus from Facebook.

I’m not a heavy Facebook user because I’ve never totally trusted the platform, but my misgivings have never been enough to make me step back from the different special interest groups I’ve joined, or leave the friends I’ve made in some of those groups – or the friends I’ve reacquainted with – behind. But then came the Cambridge Analytica scandal and after reading and thinking about the implications behind that data breach, suddenly nothing about Facebook felt right to me anymore. Even something as simple as looking at a picture or watching a video or clicking a “Like” button felt bad.

Not_facebook_dislike_thumbs_down

I’ll miss friends old and new, and I’ll miss talking about writing and photography and movies and TV shows and baseball, as well as learning about new vegan recipes and discovering new ways of eating. I’ll even miss spending hours looking at memes and videos of animals. But if I’m going to spend hours online interacting with others then I need to do it on a platform(s) where I can feel relatively confident that I’m somewhat secure and where I’m being allowed to think for myself – especially with a very important US election just months away. I need places where I believe the host site takes the responsibility to protect my information, and right now Facebook doesn’t give me that reassurance or sense of security. There aren’t a lot of Facebook alternatives out there that I’m aware of so if you have one you want to share, I’m all ears.

(And that’s one of the biggest reasons I like interacting so much because when you’re all ears it’s very uncomfortable going out in public.)

(Dislike button courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Following My Dreams (Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge)

March 26, 2018

The Carrot Ranch Literary Community, hosted by Charli Mills, is HERE.

March 22, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the theme “follow your dreams.” Bonus points for throwing a badge into the tale. Go where the prompt leads.

Following My Dreams

Follow your dreams she tells me.

That Nadine, she always knows what someone else should be doing: I should mow the lawn; the Bishop’s shouldn’t stay up so late; the Porter’s should get a new car; the Schulte’s should put their daughter on a diet; I should get a haircut.

Yes, she has a way, Nadine.

I finally took her advice and filed for divorce. Now I live quietly by myself in a small apartment and right now I’m going to roll over and pull the covers up and take some of her oft-offered advice and follow my dreams.

###

Mention of a badge in the tale would have earned bonus points, and while I didn’t include a badge in my tale I lose out on those precious bonus points, but for semi-bonus points – –
Q) What do you call a BADGEr who has carrots stuck into both of his ears?
A) Anything you want because he won’t hear you.

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