Thursday, March 28, 2013

Now that I’ve decided it’s spring, I guess I have to stick with it. Even though snow and cold have come back to my little world, I can’t believe that the time of buds and flowers has not arrived. I feel somewhat like the robins I saw yesterday hopping through the dusting of snow that had fallen during the night hunting for—what? Anything they could find, probably.

Anyway, now that I have decided that spring is with me, what follows? Of course—spring cleaning. Tuesday I started on the kitchen, took everything out of cabinets, cleaned the cabinets and their contents and stowed the contents away again. I got that done and a bit more but I still have a lot to do.  I’ll do a little more today and a little more the next day and so on.

One room I hate to think of cleaning is the office. I have absolutely no idea where to store all the things I have in there.  It’s amazing how things accumulate. A number of years ago I got rid of just about everything I possessed. I felt good about that. It was as if a great load had been taken off me. I realized then that the things we own sooner or later turn into things that own us. Since then I have been very careful to not acquire things. Not careful enough. Things I don’t possess become necessary to my life and the first thing I know, stuff collects. And then it becomes necessary to clean it. And store it in space I don’t have.

Oh, well. One day at a time; one room at a time. Sooner or later it will all get done.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Saturday seemed like spring. It was still cold but the sun was shining and there was the feeling that the seasons had changed and the winter was finally over. I wonder if that’s the way birds come to the conclusion that it’s time to band together, take wing and head north. Just a feeling—this is the day, they think. Now today, just two days after that spring-like day, there is snow on the ground and winter has returned. But not totally. Once I get the feeling that spring is really here, it stays with me. I know that no matter what a particular day is like, soon the sun will shine, the weather will improve and flowers and green leaves will appear to brighten the world.

The creatures of nature might be much the same. Once they get the feeling that spring is here, they are not shaken in their trust. They know it will happen. There are some years when it appears they were wrong or at least premature in that feeling, years when robins huddle on branches in snow storms as winter makes its last stand. Even though they appear to be cold and miserable and victims of a cruel prank of nature, perhaps within they are still sure of their decision, still confident of the warmth to come.

Are we that removed from the other creatures of the earth? So often our inner feelings set the tone of our being. At one time we can be miserable in the midst of inclement weather, at other times the same sort of conditions are a cause for elation or wonder. In that sense, we create our own world—or at least our own reaction to the world around us. But isn’t that the most important part of life—the reason for enjoyment, pleasure, happiness or, on the other hand, feelings of being miserable, depressed or just plain sad? I wonder if nature’s creatures are not better equipped than we are to make use of such an ability. If so, are they not better suited to a happy life than we are? Perhaps we are not as superior to such creatures as we like to think we are.

Encouragement/Guidance—see Al-anon
Mellow Mike
Writing groups
Other people’s decisions. Corollary—trying to ascertain another’s state of mind. Assume.
Light bulbs
First drafts
The Box

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day has passed with the same unfortunate results as often occurred in past years. It seems that the weather around the good saint’s day becomes unpredictable. Snow, ice or another sort of storm is not uncommon and many times in my experience plans for celebrations have been modified or cancelled. That happened last night. A number of us had planned our celebration  for the day after St. Patrick’s Day but the covering of slush that occurred during the daytime and the low temperatures in the evening changed our plans. Many who had intended coming backed out. Those of us who did come had a good time, but it was not what it should have been.

That caused me to think back over the many St. Patrick’s Days of past years and I remembered a poem I had written a long time ago. It’s not a great poem by any means, but it has stuck with me all this time so I’m going to post it today. It will serve to extend last night’s celebration a little.

It was near St. Patrick’s Day about fifty years ago that I saw an article in a magazine about Ireland. It was titled "The Gentle Green" and featured a photo of green fields leading down to a small Irish town. I liked the phrase “The Gentle Green” so I wrote this poem to honor the coming Saint’s day of that year. I never did anything with the poem so I suppose this is its debut. Anyway, here it is.

The Gentle Green

Walk softly, walk softly
upon the gentle green
that wanders down to Shannon’s shores
through Tulla and Cusheen.

Walk softly through the Kerry glens
and through each Connacht glade
for there beneath the Irish soil
Irish hearts are laid.

Walk softly through the fields of Mourne
where wee folk take their ease
for there the songs of Erin rise
to travel o’er the seas.

And Brennan stalks the moor again
O’Falloan makes his plea
and warriors tell of battles done
and battles yet to be.

And Irishmen in far-off lands
hear tales of toil and woes.
They hear a patriot’s warning
to all of Ireland’s foes.

They hear of war and famine
and a blue-bedecked caubeen
and life and love and laughter
in a land they’ve never seen.

And Irish hearts are lifted
and lofted far abroad
to rest among the mountains
on ancient Irish sod.

As on the hills of Cavan
the purple heather thrives
the gentle green of Ireland
lives in Irish lives.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It’s snowing again. A couple days of nice weather and we’re back to the winter weather advisories. Disappointing. But it is good to see the days remaining light longer—promise of things to come. Today is a bit unique, periods of rain interspersed with periods of falling snow.

I’m sorry to say I did my annual spring thing this year—again. I totally forgot to turn my clock ahead when the time to do so came around. I was saved by being an hour late for my day’s activities by an email that came to remind me of the national “spring forward” custom. Unfortunately, the reminder came a bit late to be totally effective and I was twenty minutes late for my fist event of the day. That happens every year. I suppose I’ve never really grasped the need to change time, if that is, indeed, what we think we’re doing. I believe we think we are controlling time but I think it's more that the sun is controlling us.

In reading this over, I am reminded of a characteristic of mine and that is how much I am controlled by the sun. I wake up with the dawning of the sun and tend to get sleepy when it disappears for the day. I get up earlier in the summer than I do in the winter and I’m more alert and active on sunny days than cloudy ones. The influence the sun has on me was made very evident on one occasion years ago. I was at a party one night and had stayed quite late. It was about 2:00 AM when I left and I was scheduled to be in a town sme 130 miles away later that day. I decided to skip trying to get some sleep for I knew I would have a terrible time getting up and on the road later. Instead, I began my journey immediately over country roads with which I was familiar.

All went well for a while and then I began to get sleepy—really sleepy. I felt it was foolhardy to continue on that way, so I pulled over in a small country town, leaned the car seat back, settled down and went to sleep. When I awoke it was still dark and I was still tired, but when I pulled out of the town faint rays of dawn shone in the east. In a short time, the sun lit my world. I immediately woke up. It was fantastic, as if the returning light of day reached inside me and activated a corresponding luminescence within me, lighting every corner of me being and bringing energy and awareness with it.

Ever since that experience, I have been aware of the influence of the sun upon me. And so I like long summer days of light and warmth and I rejoice in spring and feel rather sad and melancholy in the fall. Spring overflows with new life, not only that which emerges from the warming earth but that which is created magically within me. It’s especially evident today, with sunshine alternating with snow showers. I feel that somehow the suns is in a contest for supremacy and is, bit by bit, winning the battle. It fills me with a sense of wonder, waiting and watching for the new adventure and discovery that I feel will come my way. I feel that way now, and spring has not yet begun.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Another week of no posting on the blog. This is getting to be too common. It’s not that I haven’t attempted to get something written. It’s simply that there is always other writing that is more important for one reason or another. The blog, though I like to post pieces there, seems to come last and therefore not get done.

Now I have some time, an hour or so to write and nothing of more importance than the blog so I shall write a small post. But about what shall I write? I have no particular subject in mind as I sit down at the computer. There are many times that I have heard people talk of having writer’s block—not being able to think of anything to write. That is possible, but I think it’s no excuse for not writing. If one has “writer’s block,” then why not write about having writer’s block? One can write about how writer’s block feels, what might have brought it on, what is the root cause of it, what one has found to bring the affliction to a conclusion—the possibilities are endless. The consequence of this may be a very interesting little piece and the writer might learn something in the process.

So, since I have no particular topic that is of greater importance, I shall write a little about writer’s block and/or related matters. The first thing that comes to mind is the subject of the muse. Muse is defined in my little dictionary as: a poet’s inspiration; a goddess presiding over one of the arts. When a writer cannot think of a subject about which to write, he or she can claim to be deserted by his or her muse.

There might be more to this than meets the eye. The writer’s problem is that he has no ideas. But from where do ideas come? Are they generated totally by and in the mind? There are writers that claim their ideas and their writing come to them from outside themselves. I have read of the same thing said of people in other fields. Where do they come from? Good question. It would take a lot of work to try to answer it, if it could be answered at all. The easiest thing to do is dismiss the question, consider it impossible and be done with the matter. That saves a lot of trouble and protects the subject of intellectual property. Without that concept considered to be a reality our economy could be in danger. And we wouldn’t want that.