Thursday, September 07, 2017

Power of Story: The Man Who Invented Christmas

What makes a story come alive?

Think about your favorite stories, whether in books or movies. What is it about them that moves you? That intrigues you? That causes you to see the people in them, relate to them, care about them? That affects your heart, your mind, down to the marrow of your bones?

Because without that, there really is no story. There's just a text book.

And truly, how does a writer or director or actor do this? How do we engage the reader, listener, viewer, draw them into the story and make them part of it? Even the most famous writers have had to address this.

Even Charles Dickens.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Wednesday Poetry: The Storm

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on us and a new State of Emergency being declared for our state (SC), my mind for Wednesday Poetry ran to another strong woman - Emily Dickinson. In this poem she captures the eerie feel of an approaching storm yet manages to remind us that - no matter what happens - "yet abide(s) the world."

Be safe, all


There came a wind like a bugle;
It quivered through the grass,
And a green chill upon the heat
So ominous did pass
We barred the windows and the doors
As from an emerald ghost;
The doom's electric moccason
That very instant passed.
On a strange mob of panting trees,
And fences fled away,
And rivers where the houses ran
The living looked that day.
The bell within the steeple wild
The flying tidings whirled.
How much can come
And much can go,
And yet abide the world!

                    - Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday Poetry: Wild Geese

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

                                                      -  Mary Oliver

Friday, August 18, 2017

Change is a Marathon not a Cakewalk

It's been a long time since I've eaten cake. I don't eat flour or sugar anymore, which are pretty much the hallmarks of all things cakey.  Since I gave up starch/sugar, I feel better, lighter, clearer minded. So the idea of eating cake is counter productive for me.

However, there are times when the world stresses me out and I really think eating the hell out of some cake might make me feel better:

Ok, I probably will not join the Sheet Caking Movement. (Kinda hate to use the word "sheet" when countering people known for hiding behind them.....) But I can't help but think Tina tossed out a useful idea when it comes to dealing with rallies by former-sheet-wearing types with white polo shirts and large weapons and small minds:

Don't show up. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday Poetry: Sonnet 55 - Love and Poetry outlast Stuff

It's time to reclaim my blog space. Far too much time has passed, far too many things have flowed under the bridge since I have written last. Time is fleeting, life is short, and I am not getting any younger. So, the time is now....

In resurrecting my blog, I have decided to start by posting poetry every Wednesday. Because... well.... poetry is beautiful. And transcendent. And my daughter is becoming a poet. I will do anything to encourage her in her craft.

I write poetry. I wouldn't say my poetry is beautiful, or even very good. But poetry is sneaky, its form and brevity belying a hidden strength. And an underestimated staying power. As true in our time as in the time Willy wrote this sonnet and every time before and since, when the monuments of wasteful war are overturned, love and verse shall remain.

Gian Paolo Panini, Figures Conversing Among the Ruins, oil on canvas, ca. 1760. 

Sonnet 055: Not Marble, Nor The Gilded Monuments

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
    So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
    You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

- William Shakespeare