netpositive: (frenchy)
A conversation at dinner last night
reminded me to write things down
when I'm thinking of them.
Or of you.

This will go through revisions,
hopefully many.
But for now it's a starting point.


    I see you.

    In every flower that blooms --
    tree that leaves --
    bee that buzzes --
    wasp that stings.

    I see you in the ice on frozen driveways,
    and the water flowing in Winters Run,
    and the steam rising from cow manure
    dropped in a cold Jarrettsville dawn.

    In pine trees, and weeping willows, and crabapples.

    I hear you in the chatter of chickens and
    the chewing of cows, in political discourse
    and private confessions, and in everyone's
    laughter.

    I hear you in groups, in tete-a-tetes, and
    in silence.

    You are there every time I darn a sock, or
    change my oil, or go to work, or do my taxes,
    or come home, or listen to music, or read a book.
    Right there -- and generally adding your opinion!
    (We don't always agree, but it always has value.)

    I touch you in flannel and in velvet,
    in rusted steel and the fur of animals,
    in fuzzy sweaters and cotton/polyester,
    in the rocks of the field
    and the bones of my hands.

    I taste you in overcooked roast beef
    and fresh asparagus, in white rice
    and red spices -- cinnamon, paprika,
    and catsup.

    I smell you in fresh-cut wood
    and in turpentine, in new-mown grass
    and in bales of straw, in summer's air
    and autumn's fall.

    (Oh, can't forget lemon-scented Pledge.
    Otherwise, I hate lemon -- just about
    as much as you seem to love it.)

    And best of all, in all my senses,
    I can perceive you in others'
    hearts and minds.

    Whatever you eventually reincarnate as, be it
    Buddha or beetle, I know one thing for sure.

    Your spirit, is gonna cause some mischief.


To poets everywhere, even ones I don't like.
And for the one I love above all others.
netpositive: (Default)
... I guess I'll have to show more skin
in the next one. The public's demandin' it.
Y'know, when they ask for meat
you can't give 'em vegetables.

-Ruby Carter, _It Ain't No Sin_
    If you did something for me?
    Thank you. I appreciate it.

    If I did something for you?
    You're welcome. My pleasure.

    And if we didn't do anything?
    It's okay. Try again tomorrow.

    I feel my connection to the divine.
    I'm grateful for the light and heat.
    But a rainstorm would be lovely too.
Kiss me & don't forget
What you see is what you get

Oysterband, "Blood Wedding"
netpositive: (bloodylane)
It takes a great deal of history to produce
a little literature.

-Henry James
    Seanan McGuire has an interesting essay on
    Know Your Territory: that one needs to be
    somewhat familiar with the genre one is writing in.

    Sadly, this applies hard to me: I am creatively stranded
    in unfamiliar territory. I read a wide variety of stuff --
    not just "speculative fiction" -- BUT I am not familiar
    at all with the subgenre of alternative history. My soul
    is firmly rooted in heroic fantasy, dammit! Nonetheless,
    somehow I got this idea that wouldn't go away....

    I agree with her in principle and I am trying to do this,
    but it has some problems. The most irritating thing about
    working on this alternate history idea has been not doing
    the historical research (or even doing the writing itself,
    though it's early yet) -- it's been doing just this kind
    of "market research" on other books "in the genre".

    It's been like adding 50% again on top of all the other
    work one is doing to unearth and ground one's writing
    PLUS having to suffer through stuff that isn't good, or
    isn't right, or simply isn't "what I want to do with it".

    [Or rarely, it's so good one despairs, at least for a few
    minutes. Then one grits and grinds and gnashes one's
    competitive teeth together and gets on with it again.]

    Specifically in my situation, where does one draw the line?
    What is "alternative history"? _Guns of the South_, sure,
    but how about _Gone With The Wind_? Gingrich-Forstchen's
    _Gettysburg_ series looks to be popular, but it's almost a
    polar opposite of the kind of fiction I want to write. If
    that's what people really want, maybe I'm doomed. [Or is it
    just a matter of getting a vaguely-related celebrity name
    on the book cover? *rolls eyes* If it was a choice of "by
    Sarah Palin and..." or not being published, WWTDCD? :P ]

    So I agree with her -- and yet.... :) Maybe I need help.

    I turn to you, dear reader, for you are reading this and
    I blithely assume you may read other things as well.

    Have you ever read anything that you consider either:

    (a) a *good* work about the Civil War era? Emphasis here
    is on fictional works, but if you have a favorite auto/bio
    or nonfiction item, go ahead and rave about it. I may read
    those too -- someday. Major bonus points for anything that
    conveyed the flavor of the time without being ponderous, and
    the characters didn't seem too anachronistic (or saintly!).

    (b) a well-done alternative history piece? Doesn't have to be
    U.S. Civil War, but it would help if its backing history is not
    *too* obscure. 14th century Ojibwa culture may be Fascinating
    enough for Mr. Spock, but I lack time to immerse myself in it.

    I am aware of David Weber and Eric Flint, and Patrick O'Brien.
    Go ahead and explain what appeals to you in them! Bonus points
    if you can convince me to read them.

    Thanks in advance just for reading this. Also if you respond.
If you want writing time in your day, you have to
take it—no one will give it to you. Often, you can
only take it from your own alternate activities;
writers' lives tend to get rather stripped-down
for that reason.

-Lois McMaster Bujold

Courage (6)

Aug. 1st, 2008 10:10 am
netpositive: (firehand)
So, I attended a ceremony last night.

It was the first event of its kind where
I honestly felt or perceived some sort of
"difference" during the experience.

During the meditation, we were encouraged to
encounter a golden man in a field of grain,
and there to receive a message and a gift.

And then my brain instantly said,
"But it's not a man. It's a deer."

I'm still deciphering the full message but
it involves paths and validation. There's
a lot of difference between the following:

"You are on the right path now."
"You are on the right path."
"You are on the path."
and
"You are the path."

My gift, though, was clear and three-fold.

When the deer fell over, shot through
with a silver arrow for the renewal, first
there was a hide, laid out flat, minus head.

The hide then disappeared, to reveal a
still-beating heart, garish red and blue in
its animation, invisibly connected in mid-air.

Before I could pick it up, the heart also
disappeared, and there beneath it rested a
fragment of antler, which was mine to keep.

The antler?
Grows, branches, falls off, and regenerates.
Changes composition during annual cycle.
Differs even between base and tip.
Is used as part of fighting by males, but
caribou and reindeer females also have them.
Represents the essence of deer in our minds.


Thank you for all my gifts, seen and unseen.
netpositive: (Default)
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that?
We must have perseverance and above all confidence
in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted
for something and that this thing must be attained.

-Marie Curie
    Heard recently? rain.
    Seen recently? rainbows.
    Smelled recently? cinnamon plum tea.
    Tasted recently? spiced chai latte.
    Done recently? danced ecstatically.
    Felt recently? myself.

    To do yet:
    Go outside for lunch.
    Live the rest of the week.
    Reflect. Channel. Transmute. Try.
    Time to write. Fiction.
    Look forward.

    Thank you, Tamar Amidon.

... have a good time, but not at someone else's expense.
tamidon

Just about a year ago.
netpositive: (Default)
Lessons learned:
    My biggest problem with partner dances? Is
    that one needs a partner to dance with... and I
    failed absolutely every bravery check last night.

    Calling someone *at home* to check on possible
    fraudulent activity on a credit card? Could be
    a problem if (1) the person is on the road/at the
    store at the time of the charge(s) being made and
    (2) the power at the house is off for two days...

    A look of almost total chaos? Can mean that progress
    is being made, but if you're the one creating the chaos,
    all it looks like from inside is a bigger and bigger mess.

    However, new and improved? Sometimes, just isn't.

    I shouldn't be this tired, but? I've kinda had it.
    Mark today off as done. Bring tomorrow on... but
    only after I've had some more sleep, please.

    Wherever that is, that is.

    Thank you, Thomas Dolby.
one of our submarines is missing tonight
seems she ran aground on maneuvers...
one of our submarines--

-TDMR
netpositive: (firehand)
No work is insignificant. All labor that
uplifts humanity has dignity and importance
and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Exercise is seldom as bad as I think it's going to be.
    Except for abdominal exercises. Those are. But I am doing them.

    Only be greedy if it doesn't cost you too much.

    If you have no other mantra available to you,
    try to count to ten in another language.
    And then another. Whatever it takes.

    ...and this morning: geese were flying southward.

    Thank you, Liz Orenstein.

Life is not the way it's supposed to be.
It's the way it is. The way you cope with it
is what makes the difference.

-Virginia Satir
netpositive: (frenchy)
The tragedy in life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.

– Benjamin Mays
    One can do things without having a goal, but
    then there's no good way to measure progress.

    The last couple of years have been both personally and
    professionally difficult, but useful. I learned that
    things happen, and you deal with them, and move on.

    And sadly there *were* a lot of positive things
    that I never wrote about, mostly because it takes me
    such a long time to write anything -- and then often
    by the time I figured things out, the urgency to write
    had passed.

    I am always very happy about good things that happen to
    other people. My friend noire has a new book coming out,
    as does ctan. Whuffle and halleyscomet are about to have
    their first child. Other people are graduating, marrying,
    getting new jobs, studying abroad, moving on, moving out.

    Where am I right now?

    I'll try to talk more about good things as I go along.
    But I know I'm not perfect. And I don't want to crow,
    or make other people envious. I work hard -- but I also
    know I'm very lucky. And I'm grateful for those of you
    who have supported me in good times and in tough ones.

Remember not only to say the right thing
in the right place, but far more difficult still,
to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

-Ben Franklin
netpositive: (firehand)
Dearly beloved,
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life...

-Prince
    Know what you can stand.
    Work on what you have trouble standing.
    Avoid what you can't stand.
    If you can.

    Write it out. Write it down.

If u don't like the world you're living in
Take a look around u
At least u got friends--

    Some things to be grateful for today:
  • Sunshine
  • Blue sky
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Radishes
  • Tea
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Sleeping kitties
  • Petting sleeping kitties
  • Helping someone out virtually
  • Clouds
  • Rain
  • A bright yellow rain slicker
  • Backpack with everything in it
  • A body that (mostly) works
  • Quiet local coffee shop (w/electricity, w/out Internet)
  • Iced chai
  • Some work to do
  • An iPod with bright orange skin
  • Some work getting done
  • Sleeping kitties waking up
  • Waking kitties being petted
  • Things to look forward to

Are we gonna let de-elevator
Bring us down?
Oh, no, let's go--!

    Thank you, Chris Benoit.

    No, not so much for the past few days,
    though I have learned much about you,
    myself, and others during them. ::(
    But thank you for those many years that
    you *were* a good person to other people.

    What happened this past weekend should not
    take those good times away from anyone else.
    It just will make us all the sadder that they,
    and you, are gone for good, and so horribly.

    I don't know what happened to you, Wild Pegasus.
    Maybe no one ever really will know "the truth".
    But I can guess, I can imagine, and I even suspect
    I would understand at least some of it. Not condone;
    but there but for the grace of something, could go I.

We're all excited
But we don't know why
Maybe it's cuz
We're all gonna die

And when we do (When we do)
What's it all 4 (What's it all 4)
U better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

Tell me, are we gonna let de-elevator bring us down?
Oh, no, let's go--!
netpositive: (firehand)
Every now and then we manage to take a tiny,
unconscious, clumsy step ever closer to the edge,
stumbling toward ecstasy without really knowing
or understanding that we're doing so.

Mark Morford
    And then again, some of us are trying to do it
    deliberately, through willful spiritual practice...

    Daily reminder: It's okay to be assertive. Really.

    Breathe more. Breathe louder. Breathe all the way.

    Try opening the skylights.

    Thank you, Brian May.
Si non dominaris, inquit, filiola,
iniuriam te accipere existimas?

-the Emperor Tiberius, to Agrippina
netpositive: (iconnerific)
By being receptive, we can avail ourselves
of the spiritual wealth available to us.

By being open, we can receive things
beyond what we ourselves might imagine.
—Deng Ming-Dao in Everyday Tao

To Practice This Thought:
Don't stifle new possibilities because of
your fear, doubt, or closed-mindedness.

from Soul Booster
    The first shoe has dropped.
    The other shoe is dropping --
    or is it just in freefall?

    Yes, I have a little change coming.

    Thank you, Eli Manning.
Even if He bars all the roads and passage-ways,
He will show you a hidden path unknown to all others.

-Rumi
netpositive: (Default)
These days I'm happy to say
I'm amazed that I'm still around
And the weight of the world is off my back
When we fell, we got up
And crawled out the cracks
Excuse me if I take some comfort in that
Happy today, happy to play
With the weight of the world off of my back

-Elton John, "Weight of the World"
    Note to self:

    1. Write it down.

    2. Send it to other people in writing.

    3. Ask them to acknowledge they've seen it.

    4. Get it in writing that they've agreed to it.

    5. Be prepared for this to not always work.

    Count your blessings. Count your problems too.
    Make the former outweigh the latter.
    For example: wake up.

    Get regular exercise, eat healthy food, get enough sleep.
    Failing that -- get sick. ;)

    Sooner or later, the future will be here.
    You'll find me there.

    Thank you, Kate Donohue.
Keep walking,
though there's no place to get to.

-Rumi
netpositive: (firehand)
... grant us, in our direst need, the smallest gifts:
the nail of the horseshoe, the pin of the axle,
the feather at the pivot point,
the pebble at the mountain's peak,
the kiss in despair, the one right word.
In darkness, understanding."

-Lois McMaster Bujold, _Paladin of Souls_
    I am grateful for the smallest gifts.

    Grateful for my health, my strength, my balance,
    my talents, my interests, and my core values.

    Grateful for patience and thoughtfulness.

    Grateful for the little black and white cat with
    the kink at the end of her tail, who crouches on
    my leg with her claws lovingly sunken into my knee.

    Grateful for a new year to live more life in.

    Grateful for those many people who have shared, or
    will share, their own sound and vision with me.

    Grateful for salt and gold, for drumbeats and tea,
    for books and music, for nighttime and sunshine.

    Grateful for the gift of laughter. And of touch.
    For the memory of fulfillment, and even of longing.

    Ah, she's moved now. Or is it I who is moving?

Oh soul, you worry too much
-Rumi
netpositive: (Default)
It's hard to look up when the rain is falling.
-Mrumma proverbGod turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites, so that you
will have two wings to fly with, not one.

-Rumi
netpositive: (firehand)
Out to the west there's a trail that leads somewhere
And a call of the wild that takes some people there...

-Joe Jackson
    There is never time to do it right -- but
    there is never time to do it over, either.

    Don't blindly assume -- ask others what they want first.

    2 steps forward, 1 step back -- is still 1 step forward.

    "That which doesn't kill you, wakes you up."
    -Wu Jackson
image behind cut )
    "It's hard to shepherd if you don't have any sheep."
    -Sara Mason

    Live each day as if it is your first and last --
    but please don't let that stop you from thinking ahead.

    If you walk without rhythm, you'll never learn.

    Thank you, Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, and Cher.
Sometimes I think we should be sending out an SOS...
But mostly I just think of all the things I can't wait to see --

-Joe Jackson

When taking part in an interactive broadcast,
viewers need signals to let them know they have been
successful in their task. The feeling of being
involved in the program and the interest in the
outcome of the story can be reinforced by praise.
You need to know you have been successful, so
you can be confident in continuing to enjoy
the rest of the program.

PRAISE, from Design Patterns for i-Media
netpositive: (firehand)
No, that don't make me a hawk... but
if you watch the helicopters bring in the
wounded boys, then you go into the wards
and sing for 'em and try to do your best to
cheer 'em up so that they can get back home,
it might make you a dove with claws.

-Johnny Cash

Man is eyes, the rest is only flesh:
But the true eyes are those that see the friend.
Merge the whole of yourself in your eyes,
Go towards the vision,
go towards the vision,
go towards the vision.

-Rumi
    Keep all your insurance up to date.

    Write it down, write it out, write it up,
    or do without. Picture this, or imagine that.
    I may dream of many things, but few come true.
    My achievements may be few, but you see me try.

    Image behind cut )

    I have been very lucky in my life.
    I give thanks for my many blessings.

    Thank you, Johnny Cash.

You say grace before meals. All right.
But I say grace before the concert and the opera,
and grace before the play and pantomime,
and grace before I open a book,
and grace before sketching, painting, and swimming,
fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing,
and grace before I dip the pen in ink.

-G.K. Chesterton
netpositive: (firehand)
Constants aren't, variables won't.

The best laid plans of mice and men
mean nothing to cats.

Any problem can be solved given enough
time, or willingness to break things.

Don’t sign anything you haven’t
thought about or don’t understand.

If you stub your toe taking steps,
just pick your feet up and move on.

Thank you, Winston Churchill.
netpositive: (firehand)
If you are irritated by every rub,
how shall your mirror be polished?

-Rumi
    If it looks like a duck,
    water runs off its feathers.
    If it sounds like water,
    rivers flow downhill, over rocks.
    If it feels like a rock,
    jewels and glass both reflect light.
    If it acts like a reflection,
    polish it and see what lies within.
    Sometimes you can only see your own image
    by looking into the still waters of another.
    The flaws in your own glass are too close.
    Ruffled feathers may need to be smoothed down
    before one goes swimming -- or flying.

    A week in the life - a view of the soul.
    A lot of meetings going on. Some are productive,
    some clearly still rehearsals for breakthroughs.
    Digging through steamed crabs for the sweet meat,
    and the guts.
    Learning to draw, to doodle, with both hands.
    A sampler of Spanish cheeses, glasses of sangria.
    Walking home hot-blooded in the pouring rain.

    I appreciate my rewards, no matter how small.
    I appreciate the goodwill of my good friends.
    The gift of time is far greater than it looks.

    Pictures behind cut )

When you list the things you want
out of life for yourself and for humanity,
you can’t help but focus your attention on
spiritual matters. It’s a reminder of your core
values -- what you really believe is important.

Rabbi Max Weiman

A goal is a dream with a deadline. But do
dream first. Then worry about the details.
netpositive: (Default)
Do you ever question your life?
Do you ever wonder why?

    My most important job is
    to be a bright and shining star
    in this galaxy of life.

    I have a lot to be grateful for, this summer.
    I am healthy, happy, and radiant.
    I am growing and becoming.
    I have so much.
Do you ever see in your dreams
all the castles in the sky?

-Ian van Dahl
netpositive: (sato)
I connect with the Universe on many levels.
    I am grateful to you who are my friends.
    You tender me your advice, support, concern, sharing.
    You teach me new things and help me rediscover old ones.
    You give me your laughter, but you understand my tears.
    You are sound in the darkness, and a hand in isolation.
    I may not always reach out or listen closely,
    but I know who's out there.

With friends you grow wings.
Alone
you are a single feather in disgrace.
With them you master the wind
but alone,
you're blown in all directions.

-Rumi

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