Love Affair With Pretty Words

Love Affair With Pretty Words

I’ve been trying to get a handle on why the written word is affecting me so deeply. Pretty words leap off the page and stick to me. I call these pretty words poetry, but I’m not sure that’s a good definition for what poetry is. Whatever I learned about poetry in school got lost in iambic pentameter and the formula for Haiku, not to mention, simile, symbolism, and alliteration. It’s as if I were shown the tools of the trade without understanding the purpose of what they are used to create. Poetry got placed on a shelf and labeled “Not For Me” some time ago. Yet is it possible, I survived this harsh world without poetry? Was it there, like a guardian angel with me all along laughing at my ignorance when I can’t see the thing that saves me on a regular basis....

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A Time For Nothing: How Doing Nothing May Be the Best Form of Resistance

A Time For Nothing: How Doing Nothing May Be the Best Form of Resistance

There is a thief who robs me of my happiness every time I see him. Yet every morning, I open my door via television or social media and let him in. Which one of us is the bigger fool? This individual is one of the most powerful people in the world. Why should I give him any of my power? I can march, I can donate, I can call, I can write. But at some point, all the resistance in the world doesn’t change the fact that the party I align myself with has very little power right now. This leaves me feeling powerless in the face of what I see as a series of injustices. I won’t list them all. The exercise will only compound my worries, but I won’t forget about them either. Do I give in to despair, ignore the news, or stay permanently agitated? None of these are viable...

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Turn Friday the 13th into Your Lucky Day

Turn Friday the 13th into Your Lucky Day

Just when I was getting into the swing of the new year, a quick check of the calendar shows a Friday the 13th already. Then the following Friday . . . well we won’t even talk about that. Here are some resurrected thoughts about the supposed unlucky day and tips to make it a lucky one. No one has any clear explanation as to why Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky. There are plenty of theories which stem from bad stuff happening in ancient history, but even that is speculation. Fear of the date seems to be more of a Western phenomenon, which inexplicably grew during the 19th century. The fear is real however. The condition even has a name; friggatriskaidekaphobia, which is fun to say and makes you sound smart at cocktail parties. Friday the 13th turned...

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Here’s To A Non-Grinchy, Non-Scroogy, Christmas

Here’s To A Non-Grinchy, Non-Scroogy, Christmas

My son, just home from college, asked if I was excited for Christmas. It was a reasonable question as I was in the middle of addressing Christmas cards. I thought for a minute, wanting to be honest without sounding Grinchy. The truth is my favorite day of the year is December 26; my personal “Hallelujah, it’s over” day. I reply, “I’m working on it.” He raised one eyebrow – a genetic gift passed down from previous generations. Neither his father nor I have the ability to move our eyebrows independently. I take a deep breath and respond to his one eyebrow question. “I’m really trying to be excited. I want to love Christmas, but it’s a struggle.” This makes me sound like I’ve suffered some personal tragedy; the holidays being difficult because of grief. That’s not...

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Losing My Religion – How Maya Angelou Saved Me From Post Election Grief

Losing My Religion – How Maya Angelou Saved Me From Post Election Grief

As someone who has a rather tenuous grasp on faith, I find it is tested on a regular basis. It’s as if God gets a kick out of watching my histrionics. I’m at least learning from the pattern though. As soon as I feel like I’ve got it all figured out, something horrible happens to completely rock my world. When it does, my immediate reaction is to shout, “Screw this and screw God! All this magic belief crap is bullshit and I should accept reality. You live, you die, and you become worm food.” My temper tantrum doesn’t alleviate my pain and I’m left to stew in my thoughts. My misery does not lift right away, but eventually, I get tired of wallowing. I begin to consider my options of either changing my circumstances or changing my attitude – often a combination of...

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The Day After – How to Deal After the Election

The Day After – How to Deal After the Election

The rhetoric and negative energy that fills our airwaves during election season is toxic and we’ve been swimming in a sea of it. If someone intentionally set out to make a person sick at heart, the plan would include a daily dose of the type of language we hear from campaign ads and stump speeches. Still, I believe it’s important to participate in the political process. I eagerly absorb all the information I can. But I know that, like a steady diet of nothing but carbs, it’s not healthy. I’m going to feel depleted when it’s all over. I feel passionate about the historic nature of this election, but nervous about the unusually high levels of hatred and vitriol. We’re going to need a big, community hug after it’s all over. Now that my vote...

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What Would Captain Kirk Do About Aleppo?

What Would Captain Kirk Do About Aleppo?

I sat down to write, but felt torn by two completely different topics: the horrible humanitarian crisis in Syria, or the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek. I realize, the conflict I experience between these two disparate topics makes me sound incredibly shallow. I’ve been disturbed by the images coming out of Aleppo. The heart-wrenching photos of children, injured and orphaned amid the rubble that was once their home, sicken me. But I feel helpless to do anything about it. My knowledge of the drama playing out in Syria is, I suspect like most Americans, sketchy at best. My ignorance, combined with my inability to render aid, causes me to tuck my concerns about these tiny war refugees, however haunting, into the further recesses of my mind. Besides, it’s better to...

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