A Good Night’s Sleep is All y’need!

I remember when I was a kid, having had a tantrum of some sort, and hearing my mom say: “a good night’s sleep is all you need.” And then I grew up and had my own children, and I remember saying the same thing to them. But I never really thought about the truth of it until now, in my “older age.”

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Oh how very precious life is…. when you get the right amount of sleep! Most mornings I wake up tired and grumpy… because I get ABOUT 5-6 hours, and if less, I am DEPRESSED, (probably because there is no energy for everything I have to do).

But last night I fell asleep at 8-8:30 pm. I awoke at 5:00 am, and I FEEL WONDERFUL! I actually started this “wonderful” yesterday, when I forced myself to take an earlier shower, not at noon, but first thing, then took my doggies to the park, and let them enjoy the beauty of the morning. It was going to be 106 degrees in the day, and I was considering running up to the mountains before it got hot.

Then, suddenly a thought hit me…(I’m sure the Lord in heaven was speaking to me): Why must you always find some reason to ‘run away?? What is so bad about heat? Instead, why don’t you embrace it?

At that instant I agreed, enjoyed the morning further, “visited” the outdoors in mid-day, and I began to feel FREE from my fearful self, which helped me step forward and onward even more!

So last night I told myself, “I don’t care. I don’t need to get on Facebook at 8 or 9:00 pm, until 11-12:00 midnight. I don’t need to read myself to sleep. I don’t need to check my emails. I am going to sleep! And I did. It was between 8:00 and 8:30 pm. I did not wake up at all, because I convinced myself before I fell asleep that I needed to SLEEP. When I awoke this morning I was feeling… well, happier than the usual happy I have experienced lately. I was ready for a productive day. It must be starting already, I haven’t been on here blogging for quite some time!

When your WILL takes hold of your INSTINCT, I think you will find you will, or CAN do just about anything. But FIRST, you have to convince your will to do the right thing for the rest of you. SLEEP when you need it, don’t fool around with your health; when you do, it’s your instinctive EGO that is running the show.

Motivation - even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise

Endless Waiting for Godot

This essay was born after my reading, reviewing, and contemplating of the famous classic play 410gnFMui1L._AC_US160_of the 50s: “Waiting for Godot.”

Lydia Nolan
© March 14, 1998

Meaningless Waiting: On a Universal Approach to Waiting for Godot
Perhaps it’s because everyone, all the others, are convinced in some unformulated, irrational way that one day everything will be made clear. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for humanity. Perhaps there will be a morning of grace for me.”
 ~ Eugene Ionesco
(Extract from “The Hermit”, 1973)

It is right that he [man in general] too should have his little chronicle, his memories, his reason, and be able to recognize the good in the bad, the bad in the worst, and so grow gently old down all the unchanging days, and die one day like any other day, only shorter.
~ Samuel Beckett

What was the purpose of the Absurd Theater? Its presentation was a different form of communication than that of the conventional play of previous centuries. One of the leading absurd writers of his time, Eugene Ionesco puts it plainly in this way: “Cut off from his religious, metaphysical, and transcendental roots, man is lost; all his actions become senseless, absurd, and useless.” (Abrams 1).
Ionesco does not necessarily mean that given all the props we have we are not aware of our emptiness, but on the contrary: when we are aware that everything around us are props, then we experience a cutting off from this present reality, and the reality of our true self—senselessness, absurdity, and uselessness—comes into full focus. That everything we have and do is all together without meaning, if we do not have a hope of something more than what we experience in the routine of life.
The Irish playwright, Samuel Beckett, wrote and portrayed a perspective on the absurdity of life through his dramatic presentation Waiting for Godot. In discussing this work, and suggesting an interpretation through analysis, we filter it from Beckett’s perspective through Ionesco’s definition of absurdity, and having portrayed it in absurd theater, we are inclined to read his intention on a much deeper level than the hoax of humanity, but instead to manifest our secret hopelessness—or disbelief—in the resilience of humankind by its unique ability to be absurdly hopeful beyond any reason for hope.
In this analysis, and the reactions to it—by the audiences, literary critics, and we ourselves—we may consider a conclusion in which we might surmise a conclusion with purpose : The play could be analyzed as merely entertaining and imaginative; portraying essentially nothing but sheer absurdity, which would be written off as simply a play on words, actions, and contradiction to a sound mind. Or, the play is ingeniously structured with a universal message—we might not otherwise perceive, if it were not through laughter and absurdity—that the playwright uses this media of performance, rather than a didactic method, to convey the hopelessness of waiting for what seems every lifetime that has ever been in existence: the hope of an explanation for our very existence and purpose of living.
Author Ruby Cohn, in her Casebook on Waiting For Godot, states that: “In his four characters, Beckett summarizes human relationships; in their activities, he sums up human living” (Cohn, 7). Martin Esslin, in his essay about the play’s performance at San Quentin, told of the reporter who received feedback from convicts of the meaning of the play. “Godot is society,” “He’s the outside.” In other words, prisoners are waiting to be set free from prison, simply justified by this explanation. However, “[The prisoners] know what is meant by waiting…and they knew if Godot (or freedom) finally came, he would only be a disappointment” (Cohn, 84). But Beckett’s Godot is much more than this. A monumental mound of literature in the form of commentaries, biographies, and critical works, have been produced by critics around the globe about Beckett’s complex, yet paradoxically simple rendition of life in the world of Godot.
On the other hand, communication of universal ideologies is not necessarily intentional on Beckett’s part, as his idea of portraying absurdity of life itself, is ingeniously left generic enough for personal interpretation to be accomplished by others, such as the San Quentin prisoners.
Hence, we find that directors have used artistic license to interpret their own local or political ordre du jour while postponing, and even neglecting, the presumably deeper meaning of the play.
Nonetheless, because of its essentially generic template—created deliberately vague by its characters and sparse scenery—the universal theme of the play comes through in spite of directorial license. We might even surmise that Beckett could have made a mockery of the idea that people make something to mean whatever they wish it to mean, as long as it is vague and sparse enough, which in itself is ingenious.
One such interpretation might be that of the subtle frailty and redundancy of humanity and its absurd propensity to hope in spite of a changeless world, though this is still too defined. Another might be simply that humanity is expectant of something—no one knows what for sure—and keeping ourselves busy in routine activities is therapeutic. Until that something or “Someone” has arrived to bring meaning to our existence, we must keep on living. An interesting occurrence is the one noted by critic Shoshana Weitz after interviewing hundreds of play-goers of Waiting For Godot, put on by the Haifa Arab Troupe of Palestine. It was politically biased in reference to the Israeli-Arab conflict. She states, “It is evident that this [Haifa Arab troupe] production was perceived [by interviewees] primarily within an existential/universal perspective, secondarily within a class-oriented context and only last as related directly to the Israeli-Arab conflict”(Scolnicov, 197).
The opinion of its meaning can only be derived by each one’s own understanding. By looking at the second and last act of the play, and particularly the interaction between Estragon and Vladimir, we see the height of these characteristics of humanity in Gogo and Didi. This part of the play is where we also receive the message of hope in humanity, in spite of the characters’ haunting phrase, “Nothing ever changes.” So then, what can we make of these two characters?
Some define the characters of Estragon and Vladimir merely as two tramps (Zegel, 12); some suggest that the two characters form one composite character (Johnston, 34); still others refer to them as clowns (Busi, 5). At any rate, these two characters dominate the stage. The interaction between these two is constant, yet seemingly of no real conversational depth. In fact, they seem only to speak, and interact for the sake of passing time while waiting for someone named Godot. Through numerous outlandish contradictions—movements when speaking of rest; non-movements when speaking of activity like hanging, beating, and so forth—nothing seemingly goes on. Throughout this context of interaction, they are met with two other dubious characters who we might consider standing for any of a number of universal or philosophical archetypes or ideologies. Pozzo-the wealthy and powerful owner of Lucky the human slave—might easily be representative of the devil, the rich, governmental authorities, religious organizations, anyone or anything with the tyrannical machinery to victimize or oppress a weaker group, or the general populace. Lucky can easily be seen as the victim, except that at one point, he seems to be accepting of this role, and even “kicks” or incapacitates another to keep himself from being saved. Thus, Lucky could stand for those gifted or talented, but irresponsible kinds of frail, cowardly figures in society, that allow for the rich, or powerful, or tyrannical forces to lord over them. We could say, in relation to the devil, that Lucky could stand for fallen humanity that chooses to be under the devil’s command. Lucky could be anyone who prefers victimization over the dynamic responsibility of initiating power over one’s own life. As put by another critic, the general consensus of the play is that nothing happens, but the waiting is the happening itself: “This is not all. In the course of the play, nothing happens. Such dramatic progress as there is, is not toward a climax, but toward a perpetual postponement” (Hobson, English Review, 1955). This seems true in totality of the play’s content, yet what of the subtlety of those universal truths that emerge from a deeper study? Could there be a general formula to fit any circumstance, or are there only subconscious shadows of our own desires that define what is seen? We search then, for clues that Beckett may have embedded into the general matrix of the play, to prick the subjective and/or collective conscious of his audiences.
There are no scene separations, but in Act 2, at the opening there is a segment in which we will look to find some of these qualities of “human relationships within the characters, and human living within the activities,” as Cohn previously suggested (Ibid). The stage is set essentially the same as in the first Act. It is bare except for a few neutral items. A tree is propped at the center of the stage with perhaps a slight, rocky mound beside it, where Estragon sat in the first Act, struggling with his activity of removing his boots. A country road leads ad infinitum behind the tree, and nothing more. Note, one difference from Act I is that the tree now has a few leaves—indicative of the passing of time—but nothing of particular enlightenment is added to the stage setting. The boots of whom Estragon complained in the previous act, now stand alone in front of the tree, also waiting for something or someone. Vladimir is the first to return to the same place. He looks about him with agitation, as though he is not sure how to begin his wait; the same wait he must always begin, the wait for…“Godot,” who neither he nor the audience knows. Now, the audience too waits for Godot. One interesting subtlety is that Estragon was first to show in Act 1. He was trying to remove his boots, when Didi came in at that act. At the close of the first act, Gogo succeeded in removing his boots, those of which the two men had a nice argument over, and Gogo walked off stage barefooted. Here now, the boots stand as they were left. Didi, in an acutely agitated state, looms about in a furious frenzy looking outward with his hand shading his brow, anxiously, expectant. He seems to need some form of distraction, and suddenly notices the boots. Picking it up, he attempts to examine the one boot; smells it, and recoils with a pungent scowl. Carefully then, he sets it back in its proper place. Once again, he leaves; returns; looks outward, and the whole routine is done all over again. At this point, he does not merely stop walking, but halts abruptly as though he had thought of a sufficient distracting activity to help him in his wait; he begins to sing. All this stage activity of one man creates a sense of acute expectancy in the audience, and wonderment for the way one may culminate activity in order to tolerate one’s own anxiety in waiting. Even his manner in which he sings helps in distracting himself, for he is in search of the right pitch, the definition of his words, the nostalgic power they have in inciting his brooding and contemplation; singing, then brooding again. At this point he begins the whole lunatic activity of pacing, when thankfully he is distracted by Gogo entering somberly, with his head down, and at a slow pace.
The directions here seem so long, yet, we must remember what the title indicates; we are waiting; waiting for Godot. These are the humorous, neurotic things we all do sometimes, while we wait for life to end perhaps, or for things to “change,” and these distractions while waiting are naturally accentuated here for purposes of its exposition.
“You again!” (Estragon halts without raising his head, as though he was caught in the secret act of his appearance.) “Come here till I embrace you.” Interestingly, Vladimir says that same line at the beginning of the first act when he sees Estragon fussing about with his boots. It indicates to me that Didi is the “instigator” of activity, while Gogo is the “responder,” but this is not always the way. Gogo usually instigates with subtlety, or perhaps we could say, he is good at pretending he does not care. Didi, on the other hand, is one for “making a point.” He is always rousing his audience for response, seeking his own validity in the response of others. One might equate Didi’s character with the politician, the philosopher, or a union leader, rousing his comrades; even a parental figure—all in the position of “instigator.”
By contrast, Gogo could be looked at as the voting mass, the societal subculture; the “follower.” He could be a metaphor for women, homosexuals, religious groups or children—namely, those who have no power but look to those who are powerful to help them be heard. So then, it all begins again as in the first act. Both are present to distract one another, and to help each other wait; wait for Godot, as we all wait for who knows who or what.
“Don’t touch me!” Estragon, head still bowed as though in a state of shame and self-loathing. Much like a rape victim, he appears to have been “beaten” as he puts it. Didi looks pained, but frozen, in respect for Gogo’s need for space to brood; Gogo brooding, as a remedy for healing. Didi tries to accentuate this remedy, once again looking for some way to allay the situation.
“Do you want me to go away?” There is a silent pause: “Gogo!” Vladimir appears to be genuinely attentive as though his contributive resolve would fix everything for Gogo.
The very attenuation of this scene with little dialogue, much monologue, and more stage directions than anything else, indicates that Beckett meant for us to see its importance. This small excerpt is a fragment, but wholly exhibitive of the interaction between these two paradoxical characters in full juxtaposition. As they continue to wait for Godot, their interaction is much of the same. Hints of ideologies are found perhaps, like the concept of purposelessness, but activity in the inevitable continuum of the cycle between hope and hopelessness. This all seems quite morose and fatalistic, and that may seem to some, to be the way we are meant to live. The one note within this entire charade—absurd waiting, arguing, audacious interaction with the grand Pozzo and his masochistic slave, Lucky—is the sneaking suspicion that we are all a little of all of the characters.
We are all some of Gogo and Didi, and even Pozzo and Lucky, at various times. If we look at it this way, we can look at this play merely as absurd, and we can laugh at ourselves for it. But if we choose to look deeper, we will have to reckon with the fact that we all at some time in our lives have a tendency to have a kind of inner expectation; a daunting hope against hope and hopelessness. This is evident in one of the first lines Beckett chooses to have Didi say, when he says: “Hope deferred maketh the something sick, who said that?” This is an indirect reference to the Ecclesiastical book written or spoken by Solomon in the Bible. This was a proverb posed philosophically about life in general: “Hope deferred maketh the [heart] sick.” It is curious that Beckett makes many references and symbolic allusions to Christ, and Biblical principles. There is also a battery of commentaries to this defense.
It seems, however, that the encompassing theme of Godot seems to be that of form more than meaning. Perhaps that is why Beckett chose to use the theater of the Absurd for his play. He chose to decide that the idea of waiting for someone or God, or a savior of some kind of something was absurd because it makes one irresponsible for one’s own life choices. Perhaps Beckett merely wanted to convey the natural events of humanity like waiting, hoping, staying active while hoping; losing hope, regaining hope, and so forth—just the basic propensities in human behavior.
It is plausible that Beckett’s play helps to make us see how we “move through life,” and gives us all something to assess about our place, our life, and then to better our existence and rule our destiny by accepting ourselves, and our contributions. As Didi states in one speech when he and Gogo have the power transferred to them from Pozzo, by Pozzo’s need for their help: “Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! (Pause vehemently.) Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed…”(Godot, 51).
Maybe it was simply humorous to Beckett, in a sentimental way, how all of humanity looks like these characters at some point. We all have been as Gogo is, in his fatalistic acceptance of being ruled over. Or we have all experienced control like Didi, in his diligent attempt to resolve everything in his life. Sometimes we run roughshod over other weaker sorts by our inability to empathize or by our own weakness of being shallow and self-inflated, like Pozzo, or we give in fully with no more conscience, like Lucky.
We can only project our own definition to this play, for Beckett himself was reluctant to translate his meaning to us (Busi, 3). There is however, some contrasting allusions formulated to various meanings given, that it does have connotation toward religion and God, but not in the existential, or fatalistic connotation we are often used to hearing. Frederick Busi postulates this careful thought, when he concludes “In the same year that Godot was first staged, Beckett published Watt and expressed a pragmatic compromise in the conflict between form and content. ‘For the only way one can speak of nothing is to speak of it as though it were something, just as the only way one can speak of God is to speak of him as though he were a man, which to be sure he was, in a sense, for a time, and as the only way one can speak of man, even our anthropologists have realized that is to speak of him as though he were a termite.’” (Ibid.). This could indicate that Beckett might have been more concerned with a good piece of art rather than solving the question of universal tenets and existence, yet may have unconsciously insinuated personal views about the existence of a higher source than humanity.
In conclusion, we are reminded of ourselves in Beckett’s play; in our endless search for more in life, while musing on our plight, waiting for some alienated being or figure to unite humanity in some form so as to bring a kind of universal relief from strife,sorrow, and weariness. We can only be thankful for the contribution of genius, the expansion of our cultural and humanistic view through that single human voice. Playwright, Samuel Beckett, and his ingenious depictions in Waiting for Godot, show us about ourselves and how we may look even at the incidental or insignificant things in our lives.
Works Cited

Abrams, M.H. Glossary of Literary Terms. Ed. Ted Buchholz.

Florida: Harcourt Brace College Publishers,
1993. 1,2.

Beckett, Samuel Waiting For Godot. New York: Grove Press,

Inc., 1954.

Busi, Frederick The Transformations of Godot. Kentucky:

Scholarly Publisher for the Commonwealth, 1980.

Cohn, Ruby Casebook on Waiting For Godot. Ed. Ruby Cohn.

New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1967., 7., 84.

God. The Bible. Heaven. B.C., A.D., timeless.

Hobson, Harold “An English Review: Tomorrow”. Casebook

on Waiting For Godot. Ed. Ruby Cohn. New York:

Grove Press, Inc., 1967., 27.

Johnston, Denis “Waiting With Beckett”. Casebook on Waiting

For Godot. Ed. Ruby Cohn. New York: Grove Press,

Inc., 1967., 34.

Weitz, Shoshana “Mr Godot will not come today”. The Play Out

Of Context. Ed. Hanna Scolnicov & Peter Holland.

New Yor: Cambridge University Press., 1989.,
194.

Zegel, Sylvain “The First Review: At The Theatre De

Babylone: Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett”

Casebook on Waiting For Godot. Ed. Ruby Cohn.

New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1989.

Pondering inside of Silence.

Marriage is the hardest thing anyone will ever do in their lifetime… most people don’t ever really master it…

Oh sure, people STAY together for a hundred years, but that isn’t mastering… many times that’s just accepting…

Perhaps the alternative is simply too frightening to carry out…it would mean we’d have to think again; make choices of our own, and accept consequences for our own behaviors… you know: the OTHER person isn’t there anymore, so we can’t blame them…

So we just… do nothing, squelch those dreams we had once upon a time, and go through the routine of life without any remarkable events, choices, or drama… Kind of like waking every morning, looking forward to going to sleep at night…

I have waited for so many years, for what? I’m not sure… It just seems accentuated sometimes, this sense that I am missing a very urgent place I’m supposed to be at, or a train that is waiting for me, or someone wants me to visit, but I don’t know who.

If occurred to me that it is the same exact feeling I feel about God. I have this relationship with an invisible being, who I am told love me and longs for me to be in this being’s realm—longs for all of us to be there.
It is not unlike the way most people feel about God. We keep living, breathing, doing, waiting for that death, then, the expected life that comes eternal afterward. We keep cleaning and going about our business, wondering when the big day will show itself, when we get to meet our God, and ask all the questions that were unanswered, see everyone that left, and finally, we will get to really rest—they say, it will be rest like we’ve never understood, but longed for.

So we keep going, even if we sometimes feel very weary and tired of the grind, of the routine, of the unremarkable vapor of our lives…

Oh, but there is that routine, and there are those in it that look to you or they or whomever, and expect that routine, because it gives a sense of comfort, security, ease from the storms of life, and a grand but tumultuous plight of purpose. What purpose? I’ve already covered that, in short: I don’t know. But there have been a billion and one that have gone before us, and probably just as many that will be coming after us… so we keep it up. We glory in the grind, because we know even if we don’t know here, that there is something beyond “here” that we are working toward…

Maybe it isn’t all that bad; maybe we’ve have mastered marriage after all…

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One of those things

Just one of those days, I guess, when I finally see what is really happening with such clarity it scares me to bits!!

People have no scruples, moral code, ethics, courtesy, and some of these things that seem to elude them, that makes life a bit easier to get through.

I was thinking this morning how difficult it is NOT to get depressed sometimes, about MANY people (I won’t say MOST, although I think it) have no sense of right from wrong, or they have a diluted sense of comraderie and call it “friendly business.” (It’s more like friendly fire.) They say, “well, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, so I’m only keeping my own hide protected.” Isn’t that the way of things? Many give a resounding YES! But many disagree.

Morning folks, here is another of my rants because I have been getting TONS (and I mean tons…metaphorically, of course) of anonymous challengers to my website security, trying to BREAK-IN to my website here.

Seems I am getting many subscribers, then I get many break-ins, failing to break the code, but trying multiple times per day. What does that tell us about people these days? Is it important to invade someone else’s space for their own selfish intentions? Is it fair to rape and pillage someone else’s private website, just to creep into their sense of peace and tranquility, so they can build on someone else’s foundation? Are they just curious about what they can steal or distort? Are they just mischeivous? Are they terrorists trying to infiltrate our internet for the sole purpose of bringing this country down, so we can be third world miserable like them?

I have been receiving notices from my website people that there are so many failed login attempts the site itself is being punished and NO sign-ins are allowed for 24 hours, and 24 hours, and … Do you get it?

I would like to see comments and sincere interest in what I talk about.

I would like to see others join in on my rants, in the forum of pubic access.

I would like to see all people’s habits of minds enhanced, to engage in preferably the best in men and women.

And yet, all I get is spam, asking if they could run this show, or if I could buy their product, and … my readers, fans, or subscribers?

NO COMMENT!

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NO FEEDBACK….

Does anyone know what “FEEDBACK” means anymore…??

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Seeing every day multiple times,  “FAILED LOG-IN, 24 hour lock down,”

–over and over again, well, frankly it has me this close to closing shop forever, because now I’m asking myself:

Why am I doing this?

Does it mean much to anyone?

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I’d be better off hittin’ the comedy clubs and berating the audience:

(comedians are loved for that…)

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Okay. Let’s look at this logically…

Since there are no comments, but there are a LOT of attempted break-ins,

Must I assume it does not matter to any friggin-one that I am blogging, chatting, yakking, ranting, whatever? … …

HELLO?  images-3images-2images-4

images-5 HELLO??

So why am I here?

Yes’m, you are right! NO REASON.

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I’m sure there are better things to do with my life….hmmmm

images Is there anybody there yet?

It is time to go finish my academic work, where others are DYING to listen to my reports,

students are ANXIOUS to hear my lectures,

and other teachers are ENAMORED with my every word… (who am I kidding…)

lLqeLiD2 Have a nice day…

Oh!! By the way, thank you public access, for all the pictures of Jon Lovitz, whom I love, and whom I wish to be in audience being berated by him as well. I love comedy… especially tragicomedy, like this site.

Too many lost lives, suicides, and clueless gamers…

I am in graduate level coursework currently, attending a California State University. I am a candidate for a Master of Science degree in Reading and Literacy. I will become a specialist, an expert at knowing what it takes for someone to read, but not only read, rather: to become fully literate.ladyofshalott

By the time kids leave high school they are supposed to be fully literate. Most do not feel that way, but know something is missing. Maybe they can read, maybe they cannot. Maybe they can barely read, enough to finish up a botched understanding of an assignment–just as long as the instructor instructs them through it completely, or a friend helps with the assignment. But there is still something missing. So they go to community college, because they aren’t sure what to do next.

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So they take a community college assessment test, and find out they are not as graduate as they thought, but still “gradual.” Being literate does not mean simply that you can read, and not even simply that you understand your reading because there are different levels of understanding as well as knowing (epistemology).41x7o+EX8VL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_

This is where I come in. Most “teachers” want to teach reading to beginners, because they are challenged by the idea of a Tabula Rasa, or a yet unused brain muscle, and they believe they will make it come to life. There is some truth to that,  however–something happens along the road through K-12. It’s called overload. Students get so much thrown at them, that by the time they are able to sort it out, their brain has seized.

I want to help those kids in college that are trying to find a way through the maze of their own mind, and see some value to all the turning leaves of knowledge winding blissfully around their head, but unable to be caught by them.

Eventually I will get my degree perhaps, to add to my Masters degree in Education, my Bachelor Degree in English, and my life degree in the making of a human being after having been taught not to recognize myself in any context… or at least that is what I was taught; not by word, and not by deed so much as by complete and utter neglect. Yes, that is what is often learned in school from Kinder, to graduation: you are naught; it is the “stuff,” the minutia of teaching methods, approaches, strategies, and so on and so forth, that was the goal, and the teachers were so busy fulfilling those standards, they forgot that school was all about making kids WANT to and learn HOW to learn; not fill their head with empty rhetoric. I don’t want to blame the school system singly, for more than anyone it has to do with the child’s first nurture: parents. Parents don’t tell the truth to themselves, when they know they need to do more for their children but get caught up in the minutia of financial competition with neighbors, friends and family, while kids strut around not knowing what the heck is going on…

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And so they do whatever they can to stick around for a while … well, some of them…

I hadn’t planned on becoming a reading expert. All I wanted in life was to teach English Literature, to facilitate the themes, the lessons of life given in a beautiful turn of phrases, words of magic, the metaphors of love, the pains of loss and how life works for many authors as well as their characters, to enrich young people, so they could go out in the world and see with new eyes–some spirituality along with intellect. But that is not what the school system does, any longer. They do not teach a young person how to value themselves because they do not value them; they do not teach young people to respect oneself, because they do not respect them.

You cannot put young people–or any people for that matter– in rooms like cattle, with one cattle prodder and expect them to feel good about the multitude of grain they are being overfilled with.images

So I decided to get on the other side of the aesthetic and become a damage-control-helper. Yes, damage-control, because the damage is already done by the time they graduate from high school. Most teachers really don’t want to deal with those students, unless of course they are the cream of the crop, economically untouched by adversity.

So I decided someone needs to get to those young people: going to work, going to war, going to parenthood, going to jail, going to hospitals, going to all sorts of places, still wondering: “what was that all about?”

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If one is neglected enough, one will not be able to respond coherently in any situation, and will even be considered outrageous, moronic, nerdy, expendable, wasted, many of the names one can think of when thinking of someone who stands in the corner with eyes darting to and fro, attempting to be invisible, or risk becoming the all-encompassing clown via innate cluelessness.

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When that someone grows up to be what the “normal” world calls “an adult,” they usually find some niche in which to hide. Be it music, reading, drinking/drugs, eating, promiscuity, perversions, seclusive, anything that will keep the distance between the one and the oneself, as well as distance from everyone else. Sometimes that person can even become a professional student of not only academia, but of life, yet never understanding like the “What’s it all about, Alfie?” movie of the 60s. That was probably the first real time in our country’s life where we began to question everything not just for the many but for ourselves, so the schools got busy and bombarded kids’ brains, so as they keep from knowing themselves to well. Well, I hope  you know by now, some of this blog is just my rantings and ravings, but it’s true to some extent, so I wanted to get that piece of paper the system insists one must have in order to enter the gates of hell–anywhere in the country; hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, etc.

So I am well equipped: I have my real estate broker’s license, and my minister’s license, and soon will have two master’s degrees instead of one, and probably next the Ph.D., but who’s paying attention? I just want to be useful to some who have been having a difficult time growing up… take it from me… I was one, too.Why-People-Commit-Suicide   It does not have to end that way, we can work on skills in reading, writing, life….. especially…. life….

A Review of Joy Harjo’s Native Perspective in “She Had Some Horses”

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Lydia Nolan

November 18, 1998

She Had Some Horses

By Joy Harjo

New York: Thunder’s Press, 1983

 

Other Books Written by Joy Harjo:

  • Reinventing the Enemy’s Language:

      Contemporary Native Women’s Writing of North America

  • In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan Poetry)

  • Secrets from the Center of the World (Sun Tracks, V17)

  • The Woman Who Fell from the Sky: Poems

  • The Last Song

  • What Moon Drove Me to Do This

My knowledge about the author, Joy Harjo, is not vast. What I do know is that she is about my age, she was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1951, and she attended high school at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She received her BA from the University of New Mexico and her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers Workshop. She is a professor of Native American Literature and Creative Writing, and teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Arizona State University. She is on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Third World Writers, and is on the Policy Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a prolific poet, and she is very talented. What Harjo and I have in common is love for language and communication, and love for people, especially people who are oppressed.

Harjo is currently (1998) working on a screenplay, and also on a new poetry collection. She writes as one who is deeply wounded about the history of her people, and their current plight as well, and she has something to say about it, and probably always will.

Joy Harjo’s book She Had Some Horses, is not really a story in the traditional sense, nor can it be neatly categorized as a metaphor of some abstract altruism. It is a poetry book, but it tells a story, it tells many stories that fit into a theme of sorrow that the Native American people have carried in their own bodies and souls. Thus, the stories she told to me carved images into my heart as deeply as the blood that throbs within it. The poems are thematic, and there are numerous themes, not particularly in any linear fashion, but randomly. She speaks through the poems as though she were having a cup of coffee with the reader. She remembers certain visions of her past with people she knew, loved, and lost, and then, tells the reader of the insight she gained from it all. She does not say this in exact words, but one knows that she has come to understand many things about life, by these experiences she has woven into poetic structure.

One of her themes is that of death, and it is prevalent in her work, perhaps because it is prevalent in her people, and she has firsthand knowledge of that fact. Thus, she speaks of sorrow. There is for some, sorrow that comes with life. For others, they may “think” they accomplish release from death. But, death defined as a way to deal with, or not deal with, the burden of being who one is, and to whom, and for whom one is responsible, is another kind of death. In addition, under overwhelming circumstances, making it hard to cope with such responsibility, it is hard to judge whether one is right or wrong within the context of one’s own personal situation. Two poems were especially poignant as to this theme.

In “The Woman Hanging From the Thirteenth Floor Window” Harjo speaks of a woman who, I believe, is about to commit suicide. She makes images that are contrastive, much like the choice the woman has between life and death, to which she is pointing our understanding. She creates a realistic image for us, of “a swirl of birds over the woman’s head. Then she gives us the two images of choice, saying,  “They could be a halo, or a storm of glass waiting to crush her.” Therefore, she implies that the outcome could be good or bad.

It can be good, in that it “could be a halo,” or bad, in that it is “glass waiting to crush her.” Throughout the poem, she makes these contrastive images, along with her own insight, “She thinks she will be free.” She goes through the poem, talking about the woman’s life, her many children, her youth, her current living situation in “the Indian side of town.” She makes a point to let us know that the woman is in the middle of deciding one way or another. Even if it were not literal suicide, though it may very well be, it is a definite metaphor for suicide. She must choose to live in the white world hungry and poor, barely living and caring for her children, or just giving herself over to not caring anymore, thus, no longer living. She would give up the responsibilities, or she dies to end them. However, Harjo’s haunting words leave us thinking, “She thinks she will be free.” She may be talking about not so much her personal freedom, but a mistake of defining freedom in giving up.

In “Drowning Horses” the author takes us into her long distance conversation with a friend who seems to have given up literally. “She says she is going to kill herself. I am a thousand miles away. Listening.” The intensity of the silence of the author seemed to scream in accentuation, as she “listens” to the other person talking. Even the reader hears the woman’s voice. She begins to speak the “Indian” way, symbolizing phone wire sounds as “an ocean”, and talking of the weapons that are used, like “a restaurant that wouldn’t serve her, / the thinnest laughter, another drink.” Near the end of her poem she begins to identify with the woman on the telephone as she calls herself “another mirror, another running horse.” One can see the image of a beautiful wild animal desperately trying to run from those who would round it up, and domesticate it to what is properly their own. The end is chilling as she finishes the call, not by hanging up, but “I tell her, “Yes. Yes. / We ride out for breath over the distance. / Night air approaches, the galloping other-life. / No sound. No sound. The chilling silence in my head after reading the words created a deep sea of sorrow in me, for the woman I would never know. However, Joy Harjo knew, if only in a poem. More than likely, she knew many like her.

Another theme was that of love, or the desire to have love. It may be defined in some poems, as someone sleeping there tonight, or “ice horses, horses/ who entered through your head, / and then your heart, / your beaten heart.” Still, there are those poems that are apprised of both of these themes, interwoven, like pain and joy, as it comes in life. Love and death seem to be powerfully portrayed more than anything else. Joy Harjo is telling us something very deep. She is telling us of a pain many cannot understand. I do. It is not easy to live “beaten.” One thinks of a wolf that has lost a battle to a stronger, greater wolf. The loser must leave the pack and scrounge around for any kind of living it can find, but never with the pack, because it is the loser, and it is the outsider. It no longer has say for its mate or pups; they stay with the pack…they want to eat. This is the sense one gets in reading this book of poems. Yet, she writes beautifully. Structurally, they are of no special rhythm we might be accustomed to in the poetry of English Renaissance, or even early American poetry. There is rhythm nonetheless. The meter is unique, as a conversation is unique, with stops and movement just as one would be speaking. Therefore, she writes poetry, but it communicates to the reader much like that of an oral representation.

I had a difficult time with the woman who told the writer she was going to kill herself. My inclination would be to tell her no. The author tells her “yes. Yes.” That was the most difficult thing for me to accept. I decided from this poem that the author has a different view of death and afterlife than I have, thus, I cannot tell her she is wrong; but it would be wrong for me. Thus, our love may be defined in different ways, or at least, we may see different boundaries in loving and being loved, and we may have different perspectives of what is living. As in my own life, I have experienced some tragic things. I do not believe, as much as anyone may want to convince me, that the Native American Indian has suffered more than anyone else has in the world, including me. Pain is relative. One loses a child grotesquely, and begins a major organization in spite of the loss, to help others. Another loses a child, becomes an alcoholic, and gives up on life, or happiness, but dies in bitterness. I do believe that pain, sorrow is subjective, and all of us describe our experiences as to how we saw, or felt them, though they may be identical situations. Perhaps our experiences are not identical, but our pain and suffering may be, according to each one’s own subjective view. My pain has been great, to another one of my family members, they may say I’m exaggerating my sorrows, but its my level of sensitivity, and I must live with my own personality. Sometimes, it is hard to make people understand, but my love for others is greater than my need to give up, so I stick around. One never knows whose life may need one’s touch, without even sometimes knowing it. My view of the afterlife is somewhat different than the author’s, I think, but interestingly, she makes some statements that make me believe that the way of a “running horse” is not the right way. Thus, Harjo has reached heights in her own life, some Indians may think, that are unbelievable, and even perhaps impossible. However, she has done it, just as I am doing it. Just as many other people have gone on to live and achieve, even in their pain and sorrows, even in their handicaps. They go on even as a maimed or wounded horse, beautiful, but less graceful than when it was wild, free-spirited, and youthful. I plan to read all of her books. I like her poems, I am eager to understand her, and the feelings she carries for her people, as I carry for mine.

I would like to know what horses stand for to Harjo’s mind, and some of her symbols. In western culture, we have literary symbols, archetypes, and so forth. I would like to understand the Native American Indian’s symbols. I wanted to know what kind of qualities or characteristics an animal or the earth has, that Indians might claim as their own. How do they choose their name, for example, “Two Crows,” as one who is a scavenger, but doubly so, or “Sitting Bull,” as one who is stubborn but strong, and so forth. I know this to be true of Bible characters, for example “Paul”, from “Saul”, because “Paul” means “Little spirit,” or one who needs God’s spirit to guide him because he has a small spirit without God.

I do not know why so much as I just know that I love Native Americans. They are beautiful, creative, and rugged (my identity exactly!) I have been known to love many people, and much too much, though I do not believe you can ever love too much. Perhaps, if I would be an Indian woman, my name would be “Two Doves.”

Check out some of her newer books:

“Crazy Brave” (2012),  and  “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings” (2015).

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It’s Valentine’s Month!

Wow. We are really swimming downstream through this year, 2016, already!

It’s February, just 31 days ago, it was January, New Year 2016, and now we are heading through our next month of winter, just before spring in April, coming soon!

I wish I could remember how to use a recorder as I used to do before blog spaces came into being. I could record my thoughts on an issue, then go home and write about it in my journal (we used to call that “diary,” even!) But now! I have to learn how to use a phone that is smarter than I am, and that is not a good feeling.

I used to be called “creative,” now anyone can be creative, given the right app., tool, or computer program. That is not a good thing for those of us who are naturally born creative, but usually not very mechanical, or technical, if you want to split hairs.

Nonetheless, this is the world we live in, and I live in it, too.

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Therefore, let me presume I am up to date and I am saavy about all this techno-stuff, and let me present a challenge to you.

I have over 1500 readers here. I am “pinging” you the old fashion way: can you all send me a comment?

I need to find out if there is something other than what I’m doing to make all this hocus pocus work, because evidently, it’s NOT working as I have heard from ONE PERSON so far

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Yes, a very provocative, saavy salesman, or

wh06s4 Okay, I’m dreaming…

But getting back to the focus of my note here, let’s see if anyone is listening or if those readers are all made up (by the company who makes this site).

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I will give a free copy of my first book to the FIRST person that lets me know YOU HEAR ME AND ARE RESPONDING TO MY CALL.

For comment, give you name and email address and I will present to you publicly, my first book, as soon as it arrives in published fashion, this year.

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This, you might wonder, is NOT my Valentine’s Message, that is still to come. This is just a “SHOUT OUT” to make sure there really are people in the world of Author! Author!  I’ll be back!2014-02-09 23.33.58

7 Emotional Phases in the Cycle of Years You Need to Recognize

 

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GOOD & HAPPY NEW YEARS DAY of 2016! It takes a few days to unwind from the climactic bridge between the old year to the new year and now I’m all unwound and ready to work this year of 2016. As any writer knows: every year is a new start to get one into gear and find ways to improve upon one’s skills, passion, and integrity in one’s work. Whatever your profession and as long as you can be cognizant of the phases of each year, you can learn to manipulate progress like a magnet corporate CEO of your own life.

In general, living your own life is not a bungle of experiences all your own, to be ignored and write off as meaningless, but a series of signals and signifiers, patterns and symbols that can be recognized by each of us according to our mental, intellectual or situational capacity. This reference I take from the famous scientist, Ferdinand de Saussure, who generalized and Charles Sanders Peirce who exclaimed signs and meanings like this: “The process, called semiosis, is ….what defines sign, object, and interpretant in general (MS 404 of 1894, Essential Peirce v. 2, pp. 4–10).” Understanding these concepts in a general sense can improve our personal existence and progress intellectually, which in turn improves our overall day to day living.

Every year we go through phases! Much like nature goes through seasons, we also go through seasons. While of course “the timing and characteristics of the seasons depends upon the location on Earth” (http://www.livescience.com/25202-seasons.html), there is still a general structure in signs of life, and with humans, who are different culturally, socially, spiritually, and intellectually, we can vary the outcomes, but much of the same principal can be analyzed generally.

Hence, we are much like the seasons in our own humanity. We go through a cycle of phases of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual changes. We assess all things in the year prior, and decide whether or not we accomplished those aspirations of the year prior to the prior, sometimes admitting that we had very little success. When that happens, we might analyze what we could have done to achieve better results, and plan how we can change the rules of the game to achieve better results this time around.

I am fascinated by the cyclical seasons within one year, through which we all tend to take ourselves through on an emotional roller coaster without ever a clue that it is actually happening. There are genuine emotions experienced from year to year to which we do not give value in itself, especially because we take for granted those emotions that return each year throughout our lives.

For, with or without success regarding our resolutions, we work through successfully these emotions that take us to another year of life. So hats off to all living beings, because being successful throughout our lives in the cycle of life itself is its own feat; we all can pat ourselves on the back that we’ve come this far.

No one ever said living was easy. But people have discovered routes of progression with greater ease through understanding processes. Therefore, we must first realize this cycle in order to manipulate it. I began to wonder if there could be some value in the emotional journey itself; then, I began to wonder if we could use it to our advantage.

I have come to the conclusion that we can, and if we do, we will experience a more productive, more satisfying journey through life, traveling through a backdrop of general emotions that could easily be used to propel us toward things we want to accomplish. Thus, I came up with 7 Emotional Moments within a year that we experience over and over again.  If we understand this it can be used to help us manipulate our journey into a more satisfying and successful life overall. But first, it would help us to become cognizant of our emotional roller coaster while going through a year’s cycle.

1) Loss:  After the new year–any year–we experience a sense of loss. Whether you can admit this or not, the fact remains, there is a certain blah that follows the hype of the new year, which could be compared to the feelings you feel after a wonderful vacation, or something that brought you such elation that there was nowhere else to go but down. That feeling is the sense of loss. It is not unlike any other loss, as when we lose a friend, a pet, a job. We lose a year, and we mourn it. We just don’t recognize it as a loss. This is why when the new year begins there is a kind of emptiness that stirs about us for a time. Our goal to come, is to shorten that time we spend mourning, but this subject is for another article.

2) Acceptance: Shortly thereafter, between the first to the third week, we begin to sense the realization that we are truly starting over. We shake off the mourning and realize that we made promises to ourselves and others last year and now it is a new year and another chance to begin again, so we accept that the year prior is gone, and we come out slowly perhaps, but nonetheless, we come out of mourning. It is time that we start to realize that the prior year has gone and there is not a change we can make to it, but accept that we did our best then.

But that was then, and this is now. NOW, we either make a plan to complete those half-baked resolutions or we work on new strategies that supersede those issues, due to life changes. A sense of picking up where we left off, or lifting the pen and creating again a new plan, is slowly coming into fruition, and our acceptance of it. Any way you look at it, your sense of loss is changing into something else.

3) Evaluation: Now we begin to turn our vision from the past year and speculate the year ahead of us because in evaluating the past year we can begin to look toward the future, defining what went wrong, and determining what can be changed to create a better outcome. That cannot happen though until we evaluate that past year, and that can only happen when loss and mourning is out of the way, we accept the new start, and now we can evaluate the game plan. Once you are finished accepting  all the struggles, the failures, and acknowledging the successes, the progress, and so forth, hope starts to revive and now you are fully assessing your overall goals, objectives, and game plan. Now you are evaluating your life’s purpose.

4) Awakening: Suddenly, we’ve come out of our stupor of loss and recuperative phase of acceptance, evaluated the game plan and looking onward toward our options, opportunities, and pathways to new starts, we find ourselves exploding with possibilities. At this juncture we begin to accelerate into our journey because we are fully awake and at full throttle. Now we’re ready to ride, and we begin to put our game plan into motion. Now, we are entering the flying stage of our year.

5) Realignment: While we are gauging our speed and height like a pilot, we begin to zero-in on our new choices, our views of things, mapping where we define and redefine our past history into a phase of transfer, transcendence and adjustment to set ourselves toward a new path into the new map of invention we’ve created during evaluation and awakening periods. For a short time, we are sailing. But here is a caveat at this point: sometimes it is right about this time we forget we’re flying. We put ourselves on autopilot and coast without consequences, until we sense a position for landing.

6) Anticipation: while we are realigned and working toward new goals and moving forward we begin to descend, something or someone is following us in the friendly skies. Depending upon what ground you’ve covered you may not feel it a positive following, or we are coming close to an end of coasting and need to check our gauges. It is not something definable at this point, we just know we are inspired to work harder, move faster, get the job done with a bit more precision to ensure we are on the right path and at the right timeframe.

7) Climax: Finally, we see the target: the end of the year. We begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, only we see two lights in the tunnel: the light behind us that is creating the anticipation, and now, anxiety. Although we also see the light at the end of the tunnel before us, we are gauging by comparison, the light we have left, which makes us not give that much attention to the light before us, (and which is where awakening comes in later in the next year).

The light behind us is a reminder that we are leaving a whole cycle, and that we are coming to another cycle, creating a feeling of racing against time to resolve those goals we’ve promised ourselves we would finish. The end of year social events which threatens our industrious spirit and encourages complacency begins to raise our emotions that a loss is coming, for which we cannot afford to allow, for we are quickly being catapulted into the next new year.

It is imperative to us that we can show we have progressed from the year prior, which is why we experience the anticipation and anxiety at this point. Now, we come to the close of what was once the new year (2016), and now we will begin again the new year (2017), so we cannot help but feel the loss creeping up.

It doesn’t have to be a sad ending or anxious beginning; really. It is what we know as the cycle of life.

The circle of life, the never-ending progress of existence may also be embraced in the journey . We, like seasons, go on. Like flowers, some of us die after we’ve spent the beauty and creativity of ourselves throughout our seasons, and now the mantle is handed over to the young. There is a beauty in the process, sometimes just as much, if not more, than the actual event of completion.

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Next month, I’ll talk about this cycle of life from the vantage point of a Writer. How should we as Writers view the cycle of life, and the seasons of our own personal space and time?

TO love is to Live,

MEEE

Lydia Nolan, M. Ed.

Author/Editor,

International Books Cafe

 

 

 

 

 

Why Journal?

I have been working on a 350 paged novel for a few years now. it isn’t that I can not finish it or can not figure out how to end it; I already did that: I know how I want it to end, and I know what I want the characters to learn from it all, but there is this reservation, nonetheless.

The real problem I was having for a very long time first of all, was that I could not figure out which POV (point of view ) to use. I started with 3rd person-omniscient  (she went there; he said this, she said that, but he was thinking that, and she had already decided this, etc.), and everything seemed to be going along nicely. Then, without warning one morning I woke up edited the entire novel into a 1st person-narrator whose narration was assuming the narrator really did not know what the characters were thinking but she could decide by thir behavior what was called for. Then I changed all the names. Then, I changed the genre, from all-out literary to thriller, to romance, and back again. But here is the real doozy: I could not decide if this character was ficional or a compartmental non-fictional character of my subconscious, in which case it would seem I may be going through the back door with a memoir instead of a fictional novel. Why am I giving you a history of the pangs of creating this novel and it’s true identity? Because I am making a point here, just listen.

I was just at the point of changing the storyline from present to past tense (which I had already changed before from past to present tense) when I realized there was a major problem. The thing was, I could not figure out what the major problem was!

Whenever I get into a rut of placidity (another way of saying writer’s block), pejorative mental breakdown, or pandemic madness, I look (subconsciously, you understand) for articles, videos, movies, anything that will help pull me out from my subconscious to my conscious mind, so that I can give myself the old self-analysis treatment, to figure out just what the devil is plaguing me!

Oftentimes, I never pull it out, thereby, setting aside the story for another day (or another five years!) This behavior at some point in my life, became unbearable and I decided to look deeper and wider until I could actually put a finger on my issue, solve it, and get it our of my hair!

–and it IS an issue, believe me…

But before I tell you, let me tell you how I found my answer, because although it may help some of you, others of you may simply say “I knew that already,” so I do not want to have you more knowledgable people have to trapze around with us morons, while we discover ourselves further; in other words you may opt out sooner than those of us less inclined toward self-actualization.

What I did was listen carefully in two ways, and when I say “listen,” I am not necessarily talking about the sound of words, but I am talking more about the sound in my own head of what I am observing whether through reading, or through watching a non-fictional video, or crying through a fictional movie. I happened to be reading a different writer’s blog, and I perused longer on one thought: the theme. The coach’s advice was for a writer to journal through the working upon of a story, to keep the writer from distancing him or herelf, and to keep the writer engaged with the story, lest the story become estranged to the writer and the writer abandon it (I have done this many, many times).

I used the method of inquiry with myself I had learned for teaching middle to adult school students, and asked myself to analyze the terms, the meaning, and the purpose for which this coach displayed his arguments, in order to understand precisely what the author (wrier) was trying to convey to his audience (me.)

I have heard, of course, and a million and one times, about journaling for a host of matters, but I for some reason had not really thought about journaling about the story I’m writing about, to clarify in my mind about the plot, the storyline’s complications, the characters, and so forth. It was like an epiphany.

So I decided to simply do exactly as the writer said and began journaling about my story. Lo and behold! It works! I will be discussing the actual journal write in my other blog, the socalnovelist. blogspot, but haven’t gotten there yet: I have so many thoughts to write down in different places…as well as journaling, too! Try it, you’ll be on top of your game!!

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Shooting stars

I want you to pause a moment, and think about “shooting stars…”

I have been going about my daily life, interacting with others, trying to achieve goals, anticipating events and crises, while new challenges, surprises, and distress and trauma, all intense, abound.

Meanwhile, I am going through a billion thoughts, and I stop in my head and say to myself: I must write this down, it is a topic to be reconciled with. I know it will help a lot of people dealing with this kind of thing. Or, I think: this would be a great story, one that people can actually understand and enjoy, or learn from. Writers are very much like shooting stars.

Based on government sponsored research, shooting stars are different than all the other stars: A shooting star is really a small piece of rock or dust that hits Earth’s atmosphere from space. It moves so fast that it heats up and glows as it moves through the atmosphere.  http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/ask/255-What-is-a-shooting-star- 

So while all the other entities in the sky stay static and look intact and lovely, a shooting star never stays static, but moves quickly through the earth, experiencing movement and a host of other experiences along the way, before it hits the earth and (defined for all intents and purposes) dies. To add to this, if the Writer has material they feel is a life-changer, and are unable to communicate this, it can be debilitating indeed.

Unfortunately, I never write these thoughts down, because we Writers–much like the shooting stars–have little time to stop and ponder: life is so fast-paced, and for us, so fleeting.

When I actually do sit down to write,  I am frustrated and I feel like an absolute failure because I cannot remember an iota of thoughts and ideas I had experienced as relevant, and  which seemed significant to me while it was happening. I knew there was great significance because I remember the feeling I had when I thought about these various thoughts, but I cannot for the life of me remember the actual thought!

This creates a sense of “forgetting something,” or moving forward in a hurry, with something “left behind.” It creates anxiety, anxiety uses energy, and energy expelled minimizes what strength with which one began, and ensures an early death–if not physically, then emotionally or psychologically.

It is not a good feeling. I know everyone knows about what I am writing, because everyone has left their home forgetting something at some point in time.

For a writer though, having billions of thoughts and passionate moments of longing and desire to communicate some enlightenment or an epiphany, it can be very debilitating.

Have you ever blown up a baloon, only to have it accidentally leave your hand, then flying about letting the air out, and then your having to do it over again? Then, after each time the air having expelled from it, you can get pretty tired, and very frustrated.

Or, perhaps you have been in a situation where you have to be somewhere at a specific time, you are a few minutes late at the bus-stop, and after running there to make it you miss it anyway, and just watching it drive away frustrates you terribly.  That is what it feels like to be  a person who writes and has a strong sense of communication, and you miss the moment of a serious emotional thought, or an epiphany. And all simply because you did not write the reminder down immediately.

But how can a writer do this without having some kind of physical breakdown? It is difficult, but hopefully it can be done.

Writers are a strange breed. They stare alot (probably because they are thinking about the situation in which they are found to be a part.) Writers sometimes seem stymied in movement, (probably because they are trying to determine the best route toward defining the observation.) Writers are acutely sensitive (probably because their mind is so meticulous that the brain erupts the motions every time some grand idea comes along.)

Have pity on Writers, and if you can, find a place in your heart to help them a bit,  because if they are that intense, chances are, they are a falling star, and even if they tried, they cannot help what they are: it’s in the stars, which is to say: they are born to be who they are and what they do, dream, think, and act upon.

While the other stars stay intact in the sky, they fall early on, because their energy wanes earlier than the rest of us, and for their intensity, they usually do not live long. Here are few examples:

Stephen Crane (1871-1900) Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis in a Black Forest sanatorium in Germany at the age of 28.

Edgar Allan Poe ( 1809-1849)Some say he died from alcoholism… . Most say he was found unconscious in the street and admitted to … Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He died soon after, on 7 October 1849, and was buried unceremoniously in an unmarked grave in the Old Westminster Burying Ground of Baltimore.

Emily Dickenson (1830-1886): Dickinson increasingly withdrew from public life. Her garden, her family (especially her brother’s family at The Evergreens) and close friends, and health concerns occupied her.

Raymond Carver (1938-1988)

David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

John Kennedy Toole (1937-1969)

Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964)

Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

John Steinbeck (1902-1925)

Sure, there are exceptions, but read Writers’ bios in your favorite Writers/Authors websites, or Literary Networks, and you will see–in general, most Writers have a personality that is, well…suffice to say, they resemble shooting stars: intense and self-destructive in some way or another, or just plain blazing-through-life, haphazardly, or so intense that they cannot muster, or -stand-their-own-consiousness people.

We all shine like stars at some point in our lives, and most of us kindle quite nicely, except for when some of us playact like shooting stars (drink & drive, drugs, etc) and end our lives prematurely. But true Writers, mostimes, do exhibit such qualifications and propensities toward dying prematurely, only it is usually because their intensity makes them yield too sharply, and travel much too much, too far and too quickly, to last very long.

Yet, we must be kind to Writers, (myself included) and try and understand  why they seem insanely bent on destruction: for without these intense, communicative, indepth, and sometimes insane and creative people, we would not have had so many books with voices throughout the centuries that have made us think more deeply, more emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and helped make us who we are, and ultimately… actually elevate the consciousness of the human race–seriously, folks….