The Writer’s Lament

Hey you writers out there, are you like me? Do you long for days of uninterrupted silence? Do you fantasize about having hours upon hours of free time devoted to your only real love: Writing?

I may be the only one who’s so obsessed…and I am obsessed. I can think of nothing better than to tap tap tap my life away if only I had the time and the silence.  Oh blessed silence…can I be the only one who craves this silence?

I don’t have to tell anyone how noisy our modern world is already and the distractions…there are so many distractions. I get started with my tapping and before you know it, life rears its inevitable head and drags me back to reality for in which there is limited room for anything remotely resembling tapping.

Here I am in a rare moment, I have all afternoon and I’m set to write about one of my favorite subjects; Being Different in -The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge and then a million things happen and there is no time.

I am a mom and I have all the responsibilities just like everyone else. I probably don’t have to tell you this; we are all busy with our lives.  Most of us don’t have much free time and there is always some minor crisis to keep me more than occupied.

I admit that at times I can be hard to live with.  I tend to be lost in thought about something or another and there tends to be a lot of something or another’s swimming around in my half-crazed brain.  l admit I get pent-up and rather testy when I can’t get the opportunity to write…and like a junkie who needs a fix, once I get what I crave, I’m happy again. I do admit it’s an affordable addiction and who knows, perhaps all this craziness will pay off in the end?

I’m sure most writers and artists in general are a little on the obsessive side.  I mean I could name names but why bother. We all know this is true…and really when I get to think about it….even you; if you are any kind of writer at all, I bet you are a bit crazy too just like the rest of us…and that you know that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I guess I should be grateful. If I had it my way, I’d probably tap tap tap my way to oblivion…..I would be going a mile a minute..faster and faster and then suddenly I would just explode: KA-BOOM!

I could see the scene now…my spent carcass slumped over a burned-out laptop, dirty coffee cups and piles and piles of printed word surrounding me….What a mess…

Perhaps that will do…

MUCH HAPPINESS,

Strawberryindigo.

NOTE:

I have been off “adventuring”and have been limited on time, that is why I haven’t been posting much. I am not AWOL.  This is only temporary and I will be up and running at full speed in a couple of weeks.

I look forward to catching up with our visits after all this is over. I will be back full of wonderous tales about my “exotic” adventures.

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Mind the Gap–The One Hundred Percent

I remember the beginning of The Occupy Movement; first came the stories, little blurbs on the news. People started talking and it grew and grew and what started in a park in New York City spread like wildfire and many cities, one of them my town of Portland, Oregon joined in the protests.  It was new and exciting and no one could seem to know what to make of it.

I was stoked! I am a firm believer of Power to the People and all that. The whole movement had this air of fresh hopefulness. Looking back now I think I saw what I wanted to see; a grassroots effort leading to something big and changing the world. I admit that I am a sucker for that sort of thing.

However, I was not as exuberant about the methods of the movement which struck me as unsustainable. The entire concept of occupying didn’t sit well with me. I was cautious. I was afraid the fledgling movement would just make some noise, spiral out of control and then die on impact.

I wrote about the movement back then. I pleaded with the protestors in a series of posts, to be careful. I knew they needed a leader and I was hoping one would emerge…

To my dismay a leader did not step forward and the movement, like a chicken with its head cut off, ran around and around in circles making a huge mess and then just up and died. There seemed to be no clear goals or agenda, just occupying.

I visited the Portland camp a few times.  I remember the people there. The hopeful and the not so hopeful. The extremes of humanity.

I remember the friendly man in the tie dye who welcomed us to the occupation, I remember the art tent, and the free condom jar. I remember the makeshift kitchen and the line of hungry and grateful people.

I remember the teenage girl in white shorts and flip flops, hungry, dirty and cold eating a glazed twist like it was heaven. I wonder what happened to her? I wonder what happened to many of them. I remember their faces. I remember the despondent man in the wheelchair and the little old lady who screamed at us, and the boy with the fancy rat…

I remember the kind people who showed up with a giant urn of coffee and the woman and the little girl who were passing out homemade cookies with the tiny M & M’s.

I also remember the number of obviously homeless and mentally ill staying in the encampment. Many of them seemed to be there just to “make the scene”.  Most were not concerned with equality or social justice. Many just came for a hot meal, and who could blame them? Some came for a party.  It seemed many had nowhere else to go and were just taking advantage of the situation…

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Did the movement accomplish anything beyond becoming a parody of itself? A messy and expensive one at that. The same conditions are present, nothing has changed, our problems have only deepened.

In my opinion one of the core reasons the movement did not meet its objectives is because it had no objectives except to occupy; to take, to seize public and private property in the name of protest and damn everyone else.

We need more togetherness in this world.

The movement alienated the very people whose support it needed; your average citizen. The responsible adult who has bills to pay, perhaps a family to take care of, a job to go to (if they are lucky.) Who has the time or inclination to sit all day in a park and “protest”?  I think frankly the whole thing scared and upset a lot of our citizens. To succeed a movement needs to be inclusive, it needs to bring people together, it needs to solve problems not create more.

Occupy Portland, October 21, 2011

The thoughtful voices calling out for fairness and equality, for rationality, were drowned out by the storm of senselessness the movement became. It became a circus and the media gave us all a front row seat.

The few who truly cared were striving for social change.  I think they may have been in a bit over their heads and for all their lofty ideals and ideas, the practicalities of life got in the way as they have a tendency to do.

Perhaps in all reality, all it was just a bunch of angry and frustrated people, not knowing what to do about being angry and frustrated.

It is easy to sit back and judge. To say it was all for not and that it was a complete and total disaster…but I don’t think it was all loss…

What can we learn from this?

If anything, The Occupy Movement showed us the ugly side of our society. It shed the light on just how many angry and desperate people there are and what they can and will do. It showcased the need for equality and justice and what happens when our safety net of social services gets pulled out from underneath us.

I think recent world events have helped put it all in perspective for me.  What we Americans deem important at the time can look puny in retrospect compared to what people in other countries have to endure. I think many of us, myself included, take our freedoms for granted.

Everyone wants, but no one is willing to work for it…it’s pass the buck, follow the crowd, don’t dare think for yourself and leave the mess for someone else to clean up.

They say revolutions can get messy, I will agree to that but revolutions bring change, The Occupy Movement in this country was no revolution–just a mess.

Life isn’t easy and our problems as a society cannot be solved easily. Our biggest strength as a nation, is our diversity. We live in a land of a million ideas and a million ways. This perspective makes us special and unique and this makes us strong. Whatever and however we solve our problems, and we will solve our problems, requires not just work but it requires…

We the people, by the people, for the people..

.  The Occupy Movement showed us something about ourselves, it showed that We The People are a force to be reckoned with. There is power in strong emotions including anger, but that energy needs direction. True change requires work from all of us.

All 100% of us.

…and this reminds me of a quote. The author is unknown, consider it your typical everyday citizen. It came from a piece of graffiti on The Berlin Wall, it was found and recorded after the fall of that famous wall.

“Many small people, who in many small places, can alter the face of the world.”

The dream is not over, only postponed.

Strawberryindigo.

Based on :Image:Peace Sign.svg, drawn with thi...

Much has happened since The Occupy Movement began….

‘Occupy’ costs U.S. cities at least $13M – USATODAY.com

Occupier’s Occupy woman’s home (citizenjournalistdotorg.wordpress.com)

Cameron Whitten from Occupy Portland to mayoral candidate to hunger strike (photo essay) (photos.oregonlive.com)

Occupy Portland Website (www.portlandoccupier.org)

We The People (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Occupy What Next? (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Occupy Standoff (https://strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Occupy Moves On (https://strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Occupy Portland, October 21, 2011

 What others are saying…

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This was written in response to The Weekly Writing Challenge put on by The Daily Post.

To participate in the challenge, tag your posts with “DPchallenge” or leave a link to your post in the comments. We will keep an eye on the tag and highlight the week’s best posts on Freshly Pressed each Friday.

This week’s theme: Mind The Gap: “As we revisit the events of Occupy Wall Street one year later, or cover the new happenings, some WordPress.com bloggers have begun speaking about what the Occupy Movement does or does not signify for them. For this week’s Mind the Gap, let us know: What does the Occupy Movement mean to you?”

Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation: Seuss to Shakespeare

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong  end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”
Dr. Seuss

I think my love affair with books and the written word started from the moment I held my first book in my chubby little hands.  They say you never quite get over your first love and my first happened to be the words and through them the imagination of the one and the only, Dr Seuss.

Theodor Seuss Geisel or Dr. Seuss as he was known, authored 46 children’s books and it was he that influenced me more than any one other writer.

Of course he didn’t write “The Great American novel”.  Most people wouldn’t use Dr. Seuss and great in the same sentence, but to me he was great.

The good doctor inspired me through his fantastic imagination and entertaining wordplay to become a lifetime reader and writer.  It was Seuss who said it was O.K. to be different and that it’s fun to embrace our own unique selves. It was he that allowed me to give childlike whimsy importance in my life.

It took me many years to realise this. As children grow to adolescents they tend to put away childish things. I was in a hurry to grow up and so The Doctor and his wonderful world of books sat on the shelf gathering dust until I had my own children and through their eyes I rediscovered his books all over again.  It has been only recently that I’ve noticed how infused with Seuss I really am.

It is a strange thing to admit but I am what I am and I really don’t mind if my sentences go on and on with lyrical rhyme and a rat-ta-tat patter…or how at times I will make up a word on the spot just for tricks. I have been known to repeat a word over and over because I like the effect. I enjoy thumbing my nose at convention. I think convention can be the killer of creativity and I try to steer clear.

I enjoy the sound of words, they way some roll off the tongue can be a thing of beauty. Other words have a certain look to the letters; a dotting of an “i” and the crossing of a “t” in just the right place can be visually appealing.  Words are like spices to me; an almost infinite selection of different flavors and tastes. Some words can be quite melodic and burst onto the page in an explosion of color.

  In the lines of my writing I see Dr. Seuss and a smidgen Poe; I’d like to think perhaps a tiny bit of Shakespeare with a twist of Lennon. There are many contributors and I have benefitted from them all. Books have given me the inspirational words of people such as Gandhi, The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh.  Science fiction’s  Arthur C. Clarke, Piers Anthony and Philip K. Dick let me dream.  Jared Diamond, Brian Greene and Micheal Pollan have made me think.

I think I owe some sort of thanks to Seuss and others who have molded and shaped me as a writer and a person as well.  We are what we read and we read what we are. 

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is more you-er than you!”
Dr. Seuss

What book(s) or author(s) have inspired you?  How have they influenced and shaped you as a writer? I would love to hear about it, let’s chat…

Strawberryindigo.

 

Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation (dailypost.wordpress.com)

How cool is this!

Weekly Writing Challenge: A few of my favorite THINGS

“We see things not as they are.

We see things as we are.”

The Talmud

Old and Unwanted Things

Here I am at the local dump amongst old unwanted things. The place reeks of decay.  It is quite the surreal scene and there is much action going on. People dumping this thing and that. Workers busily compacting it all; pushing it aside for the next dumpload. I am here with my sister. We have reached that stage in life when you end up going through and cleaning out your parent’s stuff.  It is a strange and bittersweet task that most of us will experience in our lives at one time or another.

We have a truckload of old junky things from the garage, nothing too sentimental or important; those things will come later, for now it is this.  My sister is a wonder of a worker and she immediately gets busy throwing things onto our assigned section of a giant junk pile.

The Joy of Destroy

This is only my second time here but I have begun to enjoy it. Yes, it is loud and stinky and full of garbage that the birds fight over. It’s not those parts I enjoy. It’s the throwing out of things. It is a terrific stress reliever and its a lot of fun. I love to take an item; a thing…whatever it is; an old wooden chair, a mangled wicker basket, an ugly old lamp, whatever. I throw it in rather haphazardly with thump and a crash and sometimes a dull deep satisfying thud into a pile full of other people’s junk. I am not a violent person but I do admit this act of throwing things out is exhilarating and liberating too.  At times it can be fun to break things…the sound, the feeling, the energy emitting from the very act. Molecules crashing into each other. My whole body shakes as I release piles and piles of pent-up stress and anxiety.

It is a rather freeing experience. All our lives we are taught to value and treasure things. It’s a bad thing to break them. Things are valuable.  At one time someone paid good money for all this stuff; these very things that litter this gigantic open air warehouse which sits on the industrial end of the city. Now these things are unwanted junk and it feels good to destroy them.

I start to feel good. The sun is out. It is a nice day and I start to forget why I’m here.

Reflection

This is a freeing experience but it is also a reflective one; all the while that I’m releasing all this pent-up aggression I am also watching myself throw out pieces of my past: the old white chair that sat in my parents room. I used to like to sit there, sing songs and talk to my Mom about all kinds of things when I was small about 5 and 6. It reminds me of those times…there goes my Dad’s old metal desk with a massive ka-boom!  I remember the drawers being filled with pens and rubber bands. I remember him sitting there writing, stapling things. I recall the smell that his adding machine would give off when he used it. It seems like almost yesterday…there goes that ugly green lamp. It used to sit in the living room of the old house. I always hated that lamp, now I think I might miss it. It’s strange. All of a sudden I feel like taking it all back; the desk, the chair, the lamp.  “I can save these things. I can fix them.”  My thoughts race. I never put much stock in these things before but now, now as I watch these pieces of my past, these things and they are just things…as I watch myself throw them out one by one…I realise these are moments I’m tossing out, moments with loved ones that I’ll never get back.  Now quite unexpectedly these things; these old pieces of junk have gained significance to me.

I admit I was tempted to keep some of that old junk but I didn’t. I couldn’t but I did keep something; I noticed it when we first got here. I had almost stepped on it.  It is an odd thing to see at a place like this.  A photo of a smiling and happy family. I don’t know who they are but it strikes me as lonely thing…this orphaned photo. Someone’s memories laid out there. Left behind. For some reason it made me feel better to snap a photo of it. To me, it’s like in some small way these people, whoever they are won’t be completely forgotten.

My Favorite Things

Since that day I have taken inventory of all the things I treasure most in the world ( my favorite things) and I’ve discovered that not one of them hold any real monetary value. These things I hold so dear, are representations of moments but it goes beyond that; to me, it’s as if a tiny drop of essence of the owner is left behind in the object. I can almost feel it. At least it makes me feel good to think I can.

One of my most recent treasured objects is a Buddha statue. It was my Dad’s. It sits on my nightstand. Whenever I look at it with it’s happy smiling expression, I think of him and I smile back.That feeling is priceless and could never be replaced by a million things.

Strawberryindigo.

Related articles:

Weekly Writing Challenge: A few of my favorite things (dailypost.wordpress.com)

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things thepunktheory.wordpress.com)

Few of My Favorite Things (beebeesworld.wordpress.com)

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things (sks-whatevs.com)

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things (scrapydo.wordpress.com)

Weekly writing challenge: The Sound of Blogging

I saw the headline: The Sound of Blogging. As if there was such a thing…but there is and it’s music to my ears  This is my first stab at the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge and I want to make a decent showing. This idea made me stop and ponder a bit. I enjoy stopping and pondering. I think it is essential for a writer and me, in my long-winded way, am a writer, as most of us bloggers are.

I have mentioned a few times in the past the sound I make as I write; a rhythmic tap-tap-tap. It is how I describe what I do; it is in fact a sort of 4 finger quick-step, hunt and peck that has evolved into the tap-tap-tap. It starts slow then picks up speed and before you know it, I am going on at full clip. Not to say that my technique doesn’t need improvement. I will be the first to admit to that, but all in all it is a comforting sound.

When my family hears this tinkling of the computer keys they know that I am happy, they’ll get no trouble out of me. As long as the hot coffee flows I am content to be tap-tap-tapping the night away; writing my heart out.

I let the words flow like a melody that sings a song about hope and inspiration, compassion, kindness and how the power of love; the love of our planet and for our fellow humans can transform the world.   It is the song of life played out by a hack with a laptop and a dream that I hear in my tap tap tapping…and to me it’s the loveliest sound in the universe.

Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.

While you’re at it check out those sounds…

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(Excellent music I like to tap to)

MASTERS OF STRING THEORY

An instrumental  journey through time on a string played by some the greats.

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Click here for some excellent tapping courtesy of The Nicolas Brothers

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The Typewriter Song

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Mr. Bojangles tapping with Shirley Temple

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