Tag Archives: reading

Your Jam

Passion is the energy that keeps us going, that keeps us filled with excitement and anticipation. 

“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.” Jon Bon Jovi

Each new year brings new questions to be embraced, and loved. 

I’m excited about finding answers to those questions. 

Now that my son is a teenager about to start college in August, busy with his life, the newfound me time is here.  

I’m still a long way from retirement, and nothing but me time, but there are so many things I discovered or rediscovered in the past couple of years. I have more time to write, more time to read, to remodel and redecorate.

I rediscovered photography. 

My husband and I are going to take a road trip – just the two of us for the first time in forever.

I have more time for fitness. 

That brings me to Zumba. 

I’ve started taking Zumba classes a couple of months ago, because at this point in my life I need my exercise routine to be fun not a chore.  If exercise is work, I won’t stick with it for long. 

And that’s what I found. Fun. An instructor and a group of people ready to have one hour of dancing fun. (sorry about photo quality. It’s apparently not easy to take pics of moving people)

So, what is your jam (as my son calls it) – your passion, or skill applied to passion.

What did you discover or rediscover you like to do more of?

Welcome to Our Collective Resignation

I haven’t been blogging for some time. Life gets in the way with all the nagging things that scream for attention. It’s also difficult finding the mental space to blog these days. Everything is happening on social media. Quick comments, posts, photos. It’s all there. I catch up with life events there, witness arguments of all kinds.

Free entertainment.

Blogging is more of a solitary undertaking, even though there is interaction, but different.

I did miss it, though. The pouring of thoughts, feelings, and experiences – writing, reading, all of it. Blogging is a unique medium. In some ways, better than social media. Less drama. And hey, do we need less drama or what?

Nothing will change.

You know what that means? Someone else is hearing this exact comment out there, and it sounds like an encouragement.

Driving out and about today, I heard someone on the radio talk about the recent shooting at an elementary school in Texas. One particular comment left an impression – the guest saying we have become resigned to such tragic events. Worse, we keep saying that nothing will change.

So not only are we resigned to what’s happening, but we keep saying nothing will change, hence encouraging more such events. Because if something so awful happens, and we collectively shrug our shoulders and sink to a tacit acceptance, it’s like green lighting such horrors.

We can do nothing.

The human mind is uniquely qualified to recall the past, plan for the future, reason abstractly and navigate complex situations; but here, we can ca do nothing.

I sit here and wonder how parents who take this view of doing nothing really feel. They send their kids to school as well. Do they worry? They must. School shootings are happening in a wide range of districts affecting people from all walks of life. There is no reason to believe it would not affect their neighborhood.

It affected my area in 2019 at a high school 4 miles away from the school my kid was in that day. Our school went on automatic lockdown and we all held our breaths. Next day, a politician came on TV and said something to the effect this is a small price to pay.

I have to imagine the same politician would say the same thing is something like this happened at his kids’ school. Or would that be different?

I don’t know. I’m just throwing questions our there in the universal void of our collective resignation.

Because it appears the human mind has found one problem that is absolutely unable to solve. No matter which way we turn it, twist it, look at it.

The brilliant collective human mind has come up against a wall it cannot scale, penetrate, bulldoze. Blow to smithereens. Our brains have reached maximum capacity.

It was mean to happen eventually, right?

———-

phot credit: pixabay

Stories from Memory

Memories are stories we revisit, fragments of the self, quick glances into a past life. They’re some of the greatest short stories.

From time to time, I write Medium articles. If you’re not familiar with Medium, it’s an open platform for readers and writers. Some of the biggest names across the geopolitical, literary, you name it world are on there.

A recent curated article was titled, and I paraphrase: I Hate Short Stories. The funny tag attached suggested a humorous story, and since I had consumed my reading for the month, I couldn’t read the piece. But it got me to thinking how much I love to read and write short stories.

And why.

Since I wrote the article for Medium, they have the copyrights. But I’ll offer the memories that inspired it (quotes), and the link for the article below.

As Neil Gaiman said: Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.

I LOVE SHORT STORIESTINY WINDOWS INTO OTHER WORLDS

A rich imagination sets the scene for Neil Gaiman’s quote above.

As a child, I lived in Bucharest, Romania. There were residential buildings scattered throughout the city called blocks, similar in color and design. They were called sister buildings, having been build around the same time, 1980s, and due to their similarity and proximity. We lived on the fourth floor of one such apartment building sandwiched between several others.

In the evenings, I’d spend time watching the world outside my window — a universe within a universe — and there was a lot to see. People rushing along, kids playing, commuters getting off busses and trudging home.

Then there were the wide open windows — people airing out the heat of the day. Welcoming the breeze. They didn’t seem to care the open windows invited onlookers inside their homes. They lived as if no one was watching.

Day after day, I could see families going through their routines. In the building across, a young family — mother, father, and young child — would start their dinner routine with remarkable punctuality. The father would always bring dishes to the table, so I pegged him as the cook. He gesticulated a lot in between moving dishes. A hand talker. The mother threw her head back quite often, laughing. Easily amused. Or her husband had a knack for humor. The young child would pop in and out — the top of his head barely visible. It would take forever to set up the table, but once they sat down, they attacked the food, consuming it in record time. A fun, no-nonsense family, living an organized life, at least around dinnertime.

In the lateral building, there was a young woman, in breezy summer dresses, always in pale colors, reading. Every now and then, she’d set her palm on the page and stare out the window. I imagined she had read something powerful and needed a few seconds. Or maybe she was watching someone also though open windows. She was two floors below and couldn’t see me. Same as the young family across.

Years later, I realized that someone from the floors above was probably watching me stand there, head swiveling between windows, pegging me as a nosy little brat.

The wide open windows were journeys I made into other people’s lives, not far from where I stood, yet a world away. They were short stories, complete, profound, filled with rich characters and enough detail to briefly let me into their lives. They were encapsulating narratives contained to those moments in time.

A novel is different, although many short stories are later expanded to novels. In a novel, the reader is invited to step across the threshold of a home and inside, rather than catching stolen glimpses through open windows. The entryway might look enticing, so the reader keeps going. Moving from room to room, the reader may be enchanted or disappointed, but she’s gone in and has more rooms to see. She must decide whether to continue or go home.

Short stories are about one feeling, one mood, from start to finish. More is implied, less involved. The reader rides one emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end. If the story is well written, it’s a worthy ride.

Source, Via Medium

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photos credit Unsplash: Jan Jakub, Dawid Zawila

I’m in Love with Words

I am in love with words.  Blunt statements go far, so why not start the day with one?

I love how simple words strung together can express thoughts and feelings; how those same words can take on a different meaning depending on what part of the world we live in, or what we’ve gone through in the past.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Language is too.

Turning words to the left or to the right, looking at them upside down and using them like they’ve never been used before — I think that’s love, and art.

Words are always expressed with intention and expectation. They invite audiences in, sometimes seductively enticing us on a journey or fighting us into submission to hear what cannot be ignored.

Does one have to be good with words to love them? I don’t think so. I listen to music all the time. Except for one basic guitar chord, I can’t play instruments. Can’t write songs.

Words. They’re all about rhythm and intonation and meaning.

Especially meaning. Yes, words can cut deep. They can fill us with hope and love. Lift us or plunge us into despair. Some folks argue it’s all about attitude — and sure, there’s truth there — but I think manipulation of words can make all the difference.

So, yes, I love dissecting, stringing together, poring over words (I know, I should get out more). Most of all, I love words in visual story format that works better than movies.

I love discovering new words. Recently, I discovered soporose (sleepy, in an unusual deep sleep). At the same time, I love simple words strung together just so.

Like:

Keys / open / deep-seated /                                        memories-long dead

Tell me about words you love or hate. New discoveries, or lovely, old memories.