Category Archives: World, near and far

All about places I visit or just happen by.

Curiosity

Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning ~ W A Ward

As children we’re naturally curious – it’s how we grow and learn – but by a certain age that sense of wonder starts to disappear.

Why?  Life. Society. Socioeconomic dynamics.

Answers are more valued than inquisitive thought, so curiosity is trained out of us. Being right is more important than being smart.

Regaining our sense of wonder is important, isn’t it? But if regaining curiosity is even possible, how do we go about relearning such a quality?

Well, wouldn’t you know it, I found a list (what’s a blog post without a list?) In case you’re … umm … curious. 

Habits of curious people:

1. They ask lots of questions.

Curious people ask how, what, when, where and why. This creates openness.

2. They listen without judgment.

The genuinely curious have no hidden agenda. They seek to understand the perspectives of others, and are willing to sit in ambiguity, open and curious without being invested in the outcome.

3. They seek surprise.

We feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they’re not.

Curious people try new foods, talk to a stranger, or ask a question they’ve never asked before.

4. They make time for curiosity.

They think of scenarios that are three years in the future, question major assumptions, and wonder if they’re doing things they no longer should be doing.

5. They aren’t afraid to say, I don’t know.

Big one. It’s more important for them to learn than to look smart.

6. They don’t let past hurts affect their future.

The problem is that we stop being curious about new experiences and are instead focused on understanding what we’ve already been through.

This is especially true if we’ve been hurt in the past. Curious people, however, are more apt to take risks.

 ~  As for me, a recent conversation with friends on gender neutrality sparked my curiosity so that I buried myself in inquiry — I hope to share findings in next post.

What about you? What are/have you been most curious about?

images: pixabay

 

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Endings

Saying goodbye to stories is hard. But writing endings that are impactful is harder.

It’s often the ending that resonates with readers. Endings can make the preceding sixty or hundred thousand words look great (or awful) in retrospect.

We don’t want to leave the reader unnecessarily disheartened. I’ve once thrown a book across the room for having kept me riveted only to end with a kidnapped character die a horrible death that had little to do with the core of the story. Call me crazy, but it felt as though the writer was resolving personal issues and found killing the character therapeutic.

No, thank you. For such reasons, we have shrinks. Courts of law.

We also don’t want rainbows and butterflies and unicorns. Don’t want a feel-good ending for fear of disappointing. No tricks. The ending has to be congruous with the story. Organic. No last-minute solutions popping out of nowhere. 

After having written several endings, I find this attempt no easier than my first. And that is where I find myself at this time, dear reader, with my work in progress — a mystery novel. Near the ending.

I lay awake at night, trying to make the final reveals in various scenes make sense. Trying to tie together loose ends, lay the groundwork for the resolution — a piece that comes after, when everything that’s come before seems retroactively wonderful.

One night I had a brilliant idea on how to do all this, which turned out to suck in the morning after I had two cups of coffee and thought about it some more. Sure I knew where the story had to go from the beginning. Some hundred pages later, things have changed. But the goal remains. I’ve made a promise I have to deliver on.

So, what are my choices at this time?

1. Tear the whole thing up?  Um, no.

2. Simplify. Maybe a little, but not enamored with the idea.

3. Dive deeper into the characters’ heads. Works, but not as a stand alone.

4. Re-read everything. Sure. I’ve probably done it fifty times.

5. Shut up and do the work. Write, write, write. Re-write. Then write some more. And it will all come together. Eventually.

~~ Tell me about endings you’re read, written, loved, hated.

— pixabay

Is it Karma?

The butterfly effect or Newton’s law (every action has an equal and opposite reaction) is probably the closest scientific explanation for Karma.

Every day, the universe is righting wrongs.

Is is Karma?

First story in my news feed today involved Matt Lauer and got me thinking, once again, about Karma. Reading industry comments that painted Lauer in unfavorable terms, I felt sorry for those around him, when, maybe, I should have felt an ounce of sympathy for the man himself. He hadn’t been proven guilty yet, right?

Having dealt with hostile situations created by men in positions of power … well, I allowed my past to color my opinion. To see this as the Western interpretation of Karma, some cosmic justice system at work: do good and (hopefully) find good. Or the opposite. 

Universal harmony and balance.

Harmony is the supreme potential of balance. Your disharmonious actions flow out into the Universe and back upon you, until your own harmony and balance are restored. — Universal Law of Harmony and Balance

What about ambition and balance?

Seems somewhere along the way, ambition and arrogance did away with harmony and balance. We’ve all heard of cutthroat business situations. Of utter ruthlessness.

No one gains wealth and position without stepping on dead bodies.

Fortunes are made when there is blood in the streets.

Is that ambition? Drive? A centuries-old human condition at odds with our age of advancements?

The opposite side of the coin 

How about this: are we too quick to judge?

I was after reading the Lauer story and commentary. Made up my mind before reading the final word. Felt angry at power abusers. Sorry for the victims. Again. 

Such automatic feelings, however, create another problem. Pushed too far, the pendulum will swing  back and forth until it stops … somewhere.

The middle ground — such coveted territory — let’s hope the pendulum stops and stays there.

—-

Images: pixabay

Passion

I don’t know where I’m going, but I promise it won’t be boring. —David Bowie

On this Throwback Thursday, I’ve got passion on my mind, because, well, passion is everything for the creative mind. We spend hours writing down thoughts, strumming chords, playing with colors — name it — in the name of passion.

Looking through archives, I came across the picture above. David Bowie, performing in sailor suit, 1978. Talk about a creative soul. Talk about passion. Talk about love for the arts.

In the school choir, Bowie was told his voice didn’t standout but his teachers did notice he had an artistic soul. At 15, he formed his first band. Success didn’t follow for a long time.

Never deterred, Bowie enrolled in dance classes and continued pursuing his passion for theater and music, which would eventually lead to his immense success.

In an interview, Bowie said success afforded him the privilege of focusing on his many passions: music, dance, painting, photography. Outside of that, fame only helped in getting a better table at a restaurant.

Art, he wrote, was seriously the only thing I’d ever wanted to own. It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way that I feel in the mornings. The same work can change me in different ways, depending on what I’m going through.

Reading about Bowie is reading about passion. About heart. About an insatiable curiosity that must be satisfied through the next layer of discovery, and the next, in ways we arrange words, colors, the pattern of chords. 

Passion. It’s unending. Tormenting. Reassuring. Scary and spectacular.

Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn. — John Wesley

Image: groovyhistory.com