Convening The Troops

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The country is divided – rich vs. poor, black vs. white, men vs. women – freedom wanted, but only oppression is alive and well. The guilty get a pass; the innocent convicted of nothing. There is an unease permeating throughout. All inhabitants challenged like never before in this reign of rich, white men’s egos. The political climate of today’s world has all teetering and scared. The tension so thick, cutting it only adds more strength to the day’s events.

Scene 1 – Random coffee shop in the US

Friend 1 – “Oh, man, this sucks! Waah, Waah. I don’t know how much more I can take of this! Waah, Waah. I’m sooooo tired of feeling dragged down. Waah, Waah. I don’t like it! Waah, Waah. Will it ever end??”

Friend 2 – “Give it time, Friend 1. You do realize things sometimes have to get worse before they get better! Good can and will triumph eventually! It will all be okay. I’m sure of it. You need to resign yourself to things taking their own time.”

Friend 3 – “Oh, Friend 2, you are such a delusional twit! THIS chaos IS the end of our country as we know it. It’s gone to hell in a handbasket. Life IS OVER and will never be better again, EVAH!”

Friend 4 – “I don’t understand?? I loved this country! Fought for it, stood for it, pledged my commitment to it and now it just feels like a betrayal! Friend 3, what did I do wrong? I gave it all I was supposed to and all that I get back is something that doesn’t even remotely resemble the bond we had before.”

Friend 5 – “OMGosh you guys! You don’t realize what is happening right now at all! How can you not see that we are Making America Great Again?? Our current state is the best thing that could have happened to this country! I pledge my allegiance till the day I die. And so should you!”

Friend 6 – “Go ahead. You sit here and lament, thinking that time will heal everything, angrily do nothing, wallow in your misery, or proudly pound your chest. Just know that we are done! I can’t believe I’m friends with people who are so selfish, blind, apathetic, and just plain ignorant. How in the hell did that ever happen? I can’t and won’t remain quiet in the face of our demise! While I go fight for what’s right, remember it’s because you don’t know how! Good-bye!” **Stands up and leaves dramatically

Fade to black

 

Inspired by Reena’s Exploration Challenge – #Week 58 – “Using Keywords”

Hope you all have enjoyed this short fiction/non-fiction story using all the keywords. Can you identify where they are being used? I hope so! 🙂

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Progress – Change Columbus Day To National Indigenous Day

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Change.org

We currently celebrate Columbus Day as a Federal Holiday. We’ve known for a while Christopher Columbus was not the one who discovered America AND he was not a very good person. Columbus participated in the slave trade, brought disease to North America and helped to eradicate a large population where he landed.

Why would we still honor this type of person or celebrate him? Let’s honor the true people who should be celebrated, the Native Americans. They sacrificed so much of their culture and people to become what the USA is today. THAT is the truth and supporting this petition would go a long way to eradicate the white-washing we see all too often about our American history.

Please support this so we can present it to those who could change this current holiday.

Sign here to support the petition.

Thank you!

Determined

 

It’s healing to love myself more.

 

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On Letting Go

To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring;
It means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off;
It’s the realization that I can’t control another.

To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try and change or blame another,
I can only change myself.

To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.

To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective,
It is to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less
and love more.

Author Unknown 

 

 

Intent

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“Why do you write?”

I know I’ve asked this question of myself and others often. My guess is you have as well.

Each person is by definition a writer, whether they are paid to or not. Putting thoughts on paper or the computer via a typewriter, keyboard or in a notebook says you are. But are you a writer?

There are so many different ways and styles of writing, and so are the reasons that set writers down that path of producing their work. It can speak to millions or just a handful. The intention is always to convey information and thoughts but what that can actually represent is varied. Every year, writers produce a gazillion letters of the alphabet. No lie! And they use the appropriate grammar and punctuation to highlight facts, fiction, statistics, imagery, instructions, emotions, stories, poems, education, research and so much more…

But are you a writer?

It took me years to begin dedicating the majority of my time to it. The activities of daily life – family, home, friends, and job – were my priorities before I fully embraced the notion of becoming a writer for pleasure, and ultimately, for a living. Now it’s just a part of my identity.

And it refuses to let go.

Publishing a book last year, and actually selling books suggests I’m a writer too. So yeah, I’ll call myself a writer now.

I do it because I like everything about it. From beginning to end. Anticipating thoughts, letting them swirl around my head, the sound of my fingers hitting the keys rhythmically, constructing the right lines, and pristinely defining the feelings which bubble up. It’s all so rich and satisfying. And when you feel like it’s some of your best-written work, just wow.

In those still moments, I also want to understand more about myself. Even in times when the climate consists of disturbances around me, I tune them out and tune in to the place in my head where liquid thoughts move freely. Pulling one out after the other, I create a string of coherency and then pound them out on the keyboard. It’s about grasping the feelings and defining the deeper meanings. Writing helps me capture the essence of who I am.

This is why I do it. For myself, for me alone.

But it’s not what motivates me to make it public.

I knew I could pull a sentence together and usually had something good to say. But that never felt creative, just that I knew words. Writing on my blogs as well as others and getting the book to market have been the best ways for me to showcase my creativity. Who knew I had imagination too?!? I certainly didn’t for the longest time. It’s work, effort, emotionally-charged but oh so very fulfilling!

Getting it all out in public translates to being understandable and relatable. The bonus is achieving a palpable peace. Every bit of myself and the writing is intended to come with clarity and honesty. The goal is to put a spotlight on my humanity in whatever way my brain dictates it. Then voila’, each piece of writing becomes a short burst about who I am. I let the tale sell the author.

Making connections with individuals in the writing community is another wonderful perk and motivation to give more. I’ve been thrilled to rub elbows with some fellow writers that have the same intentions. They feel like my people. Their drive to write seems to mirror my journey. I run to them. Especially the ones with their elegant and brilliant style. They just pick up a pen and out comes the magic. It’s as if they easily command the dictionary to do their bidding in an incredibly harmonic way. Being open with my writing, I hope they glance my way. They help guide me to even better expression. And they enrich my life with their skills.

So why do you write?

25 Years

Cynthia and Tom looked intently into each other’s eyes; a bit weathered from the years. They were celebrating their special love day with all their friends and family.

All sat transfixed as Tom professed his admiration for Cynthia. He was boasting of unending mutual love and respect, suggesting not one uncompromising moment in those years.

What an Ooh, Aah storybook marriage all those in attendance felt!

The loved ones thunderously applauded. Tom sat down with a happy grin.

Cynthia stood up, raised the gun and smiled as the bullet tore into his braincase.

Wow, what had he gotten so wrong?

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Audience Of One

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Van-Renselar

Pictures and scenery from years gone by flash before my eyes as I’m laying here on my deathbed. I’m simultaneously smiling and crying, wishing to be back in those memories as a more willing participant rather than just as a casual observer.

Who would have ever thought that desire to experience those times again would creep into my psyche? Weren’t those experiences hard the first time? Now laying here I realize, accepting this unfulfilled life is much harder to endure than all the things I had to go through while I was still young or even middle-aged.

Before withering away to my end, I had only watched the days go by without me really participating in them or enjoying sharing good times with others. Now, it’s an even lonelier existence. A hospital bed and my dreams to give me my only real comfort now; closing my eyes make me an audience of one to my past.

I experience a rare joy when nurses or doctors come to call. I can smile a bit with them, forget the sadness I feel. Then they leave and once again I am by myself, alone with my physical pain and my emotional sorrow. The tears flow silently, streaking my face like tiny little rivers through the cracks of my aged appearance.

Looking up, the ceiling offers no hope for some sort of release. I find the only way to escape this dreary loneliness is to sleep and join those characters that brought me what was, in hindsight, the most joy throughout my life. Experiences that I didn’t really know how to appreciate or even understand at the time. Simple pleasures like just being with someone I cared about and truly enjoying the time spent together. Looking at the sunset and its beautiful shades of color as it dipped down below the tree line. Feeling the wind blowing and licking my skin with its light, feathery touch. The little tingles of love and appreciation I should have felt when my children looked at me adoringly. If only I had taken the time to really let all those good things resonate in me deeply. If only I had been an active participant in my life while I had the chance then maybe the sadness now wouldn’t be so profoundly devastating.

I built a lifetime of feeling alone and preoccupied. Connecting to my existence, fully engulfing my experiences could have – oh, they would have – made for a richer take-away than what I chose to be left with at that time. So now I’ll exit this world with only memories, their impact and meaning only now being revealed; a lesson of life learned much too late.

**Originally published on PhiloSusi 4/16/2014. Reposted with minor revisions.

Face On

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Confessions of a young woman

Sometimes I look at myself through the eyes of a stranger. Who I see is not the person I am. Merely a representation of all that other people want me to be. I try to make the world around me believe a different reality, the self-deception is excruciating sometimes, and exhausting. The real me is revolting just under the surface, but to the world around me, all is calm. What keeps this façade in place is the fact that no one cares about me. I know that for a fact. Sometimes I don’t even want to know who I am. It’s bad enough having to live with myself every day. Experiencing the joy of discovery and understanding real joy is a momentary feeling. There are hiccups of excitement coming from my stomach up into my throat when I allow myself to have that sensation of everything’s all right, and I’m all good with me. Sadly, it fades quickly. Who is allowed to entitle themselves to a speck of happiness?  Nah, that’s just something you’re not allowed to experience, I say to myself.

Will it always be like this?

Unoriginal

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My thoughts are unique or are they?

Am I an original or just a borrower from the inspirers of my past?

I fear the quality words will all have been spoken.

I wonder when it’ll all have been said.

Will my voice be muted before I die?

Before I leave my mark…

Elusive Freedom

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It starts with being born. There isn’t a choice in the matter. I certainly played no part in being here. Did you?

Had I been asked, I may have said, “No, thank you.”

We come into the world under the control of whatever mechanism which put us here. Just by instinct and choice, we continue to want to experience life. Then we are bound by the rules of those who raise us. Even when we graduate from the family into adulthood, our subsequent years usher us into the next line of restrictions on our freedom.

“These are paths to be taken!” says our society! It tends to dispense authoritative advice to the youth as they are just emerging into their own legally. School, good job, marriage, children – continue the cycle. It’s as if because members of society did it, that is the automatic direction everyone should take. I hope I wasn’t too bossy with my children.

Should individuals choose a different path, their opinion to be unique still won’t shut down those opposing viewpoints. Assimilate! Don’t stand out! Don’t go against our way of how things have always been done! When did we as a society decide that people being or doing life differently meant it was a problem? Probably since forever.

In the work world, we see employers dictate exactly how to fit into the square box called the company. It’s called compliance, and understandably so, one does need to get paid to continue this experience called life. Food, water, and shelter are a requirement to sustain. But oh how it dulls the individual! I’ve heard it said that’s why it’s called work and not fun.

Raising our children (should we decide to have them) provides us with even more ways we must adhere to other’s expectations, whether they be our own family, friends or public opinion. It seems everyone has a view on that. “Do this, don’t do that!”

Of course, compliance with the law of the land to live civilly in our community, state, country, or the world seems a smart choice. It’s being able to live in harmony with the others who also had no say in being born. Does that define being free though – adherence to the expectations of others?

I don’t think so.

If we are to have the right and the power to be exactly who we want to be without any pushback, it will require a world absent of people who disagree with how individuals wish to act, declare, or display themselves to this world.

This world would be empty. And lonely.

No different than so many people feel right now where we have a society filled with people which do disagree with individuals all the time.

Neither world is a pleasant experience for those who yearn to feel unobstructed.

I don’t think we can ever feel 100% free.

Life is a continual series of compromises to achieve some level of comfort in a life which we did not choose.

Lyrical Yin-Yang

 

I love this song for so many reasons. But that one line in the chorus “Everything that kills me makes me feel alive…”, that knocked something over in me internally and got my attention. It hooked me hard, the rest of the lyrics just kept pulling me in deeper.

When you think of the Chinese philosophy, this video captures the two principles distinctly. Yin – negative, dark, and feminine and Yang – positive, bright, and masculine whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.

Throughout the music video, you can see the contrast playing out. Hope, despair. Doing life your way, being led. Determination, defeat. Good, evil. Fighting the establishment, following it. Every bit of being engaged in either spectrum will lead you to the results you experience in your life. Fact.

That one line though is the point – we all need to get to our darkest depths to escape and break through to the other side where there’s light. Crumbling from defeat is where life begins again. We have to experience it all to have it be a whole life, to feel complete throughout the entirety of it.

Every time I listen to this, I imagine the tastiness of living fully engaged.

It feels good and bad.