What’s NOT Political?

So, I’m reading this cool article about the ever-widening chasm that separates the right from the wrong.  Of course you, like me, are on the right side, right?  Well… this begs the question- what’s not political?

“We think the Prius-driving vegan feminist must, ipso facto, vote Democratic, and she probably does. Yet I suspect the hyper-moralized mind-set of this person, or her gun-loving, SUV-driving Republican opposite, derives less from the depth of their political convictions than from the fragility of their self-constructed identities. They both police the boundaries of their respective identities with such moralizing ferocity because those identities lack depth and traditional supports—and  because they are so much the product of individual will.”

Wow.  Was I just called a moron?  Nope.  I was called out because I tend to come at each battle with an entrenched ideal that’s based solely on past experience.  In these days of immediate dialog it won’t take me long to round up a fair sized posse of like-minded folks to engage the enemy.  But really… really?  Are “they” the enemy?  Does it always have to start as a fight?

To me, politics is ultimately about getting what you need and/or want.  I would find it appalling to witness a starving man’s hand cut off because he was caught stealing food for his family.  In today’s world we can recognize the fact that such a crime is a symptom of a much larger problem… right?

I have no answers (as usual); I’m not well versed in the sciences politico – but I will say this: by simple observation, it can be expected that homo sapiens will continue to be a squishy, fragile biological for the foreseeable future.  To that end, it might be best if we learn again that wonderful concept of compromise, to perpetuate the great experiment of knowledge gained that comes from walking in our enemy’s shoes for a spell.  ~TH~


I don’t remember her face or why I was there
I just remember feeling angry
Something made me hate her, I had to suffocate her
My common sense spoke of no consequence

But I want to live
I want to live in your world

I am evil, I am brutal -So you say you must be rid of me

It frightens you to look at me

‘Cause when you do what you see
Is a reflection of yourself and your society
But I want to live, I want to live
In your world
For the man who steals a piece of bread for his children
Shall we cut off his hands?
Yeah… That’ll show him
For the man who speaks his mind to the sentry
Shall we cut out his tongue?
Yeah… That’ll teach him
I want to live, I want to live
In your world
This isn’t justice – This is revenge
It doesn’t work – It doesn’t end
What of the man – convicted innocent?


Future Paper To Contemplate Now

Here we have a remarkable concept by Katie Paterson of Oslo, Norway.  She has planted trees that will be used exclusively for writing within the next 100 years.  Yes, paper will be made from the trees, and authors will be invited to add their creativity to pages made singularly for that creativity.  The authors are being selected now (and beyond now), then their words will be printed and presented upon the pages made from the trees that are currently saplings.

seedling_norway_saplingIf you are a writer you simply must watch this video concerning TIME, HUMAN CREATIVITY and IMAGINATION.  Shoot for the stars… or in this case, the forest.  Margaret Atwood has already been selected.  She says of the project “What a pleasure for a writer to write something, and not have to be around for the reviews.”.  (See additional links below)

Will you be next?

This is from the Long Now Blog – I highly recommend it for getting out of your egotistical way of envisioning your world; to begin to understand your role within the universe as the speck that you are, a speck with an amazing mind.  Your comments here welcome.   ~TH~



The Place To Piss And Moan About… Fonts And Colors

The polite “me”; the one who was taught to say something nice, or don’t say anything at all; the one that learned early on never to ask a woman’s age?  *sigh*  …   I guess that guy has to go – kicked to the curb like the aging bum I am.

Now that I have several blogs, follow blogs, and hell, even know what a blog is requires me to get down into the dirt.  I’ve been given permission by the online community to create a place to piss and moan about things that I want to moan about and be pissed about – and that place is my blog!  You’re reading it right now, BTW…

You youngsters sure have it made, consarn it!  Back in MY day, we had to read courier, black ink on white paper – every day, every medium!  Sans Serif??  What kind o’ muckity muck is that?

Nowadays I pick up a magazine, and I can’t even read the print.  Hell-o!  Isn’t the PRINT the part that’s important?  The content?  “Hey!  I’ve got a great design idea”, I can hear the graphics department say in unison-  “Let’s shrink this unreadable font to 8pt, change the text color to light blue, and drop it onto a blue background!  Wow, just look at that, doesn’t that just POP?”   Grrrrrr…

This happens with some seriously interesting articles, not just the ones focused on how to match my nail color with my eyebrow shade.  WTF??  I find myself abandoning some seriously interesting content simply because I grow weary of shaking my head like Robert DeNiro in Awakenings, attempting to get just the right combination of light, chin position and page angle to suss out one more word, the word that moves me ever closer to the point where the black-on-white text kicks in.  WTF??  Oh well, maybe this article really isn’t that interesting after all… abandon ship.

It’s embarrassing.  I end up reading Highlights at the dentist waiting room.  And don’t even think about telling me to start reading the large print Reader’s Digest, that’ll just get you a whack from my cane.  You hooligans, bring back my legible content!  ~TH~

The Write Tools To Stay Motivated

The Write Tools

The Write Tools

Here you see the tools I use to keep moving on my writing.  The binder packet is kept in my mobile book bag – it has stickies, hilighters, pens, markers, binder clips, earbuds, reading glasses, and a digital audio recorder.  You should build one of these for yourself if you’re a writier.

The book shown here (The Art Of War For Writers) is one of several that I keep around me.  I can highly recommend this particular book as a self-check, self-help, motivational coach to keep you from getting buried in the mud mentally.  When I’m feeling sluggish about my work, or when I’m having trouble developing a character, setting or dialogue, I will often reach for a book on writing and just flip it open.  Kismet can be a marvelous thing and if you’re like me, you’ll often find the answer to a conundrum hidden within the subtext of a head-clearing bike ride, the random flip of a book page or several moments strung together with your eyes closed, sprawled out on the floor.

This business of writing is not for sissies.  If I were flying commercial airplanes for a living I would be well acquainted with mechanical maintenance, preflight checklists and takeoff procedures.  Once I put my plane in the air I have no choice but to land it somehow.  My passengers are depending on me, so they are certainly on my mind – I am aware of them.  At the same time though, the passengers are a secondary concern most of the time because my safety is on the line as well; I’m equally interested in a successful, event-free landing.

When writing, your readers are your passengers.  When you get that storyline going it is imperative that you check to make sure the story is sound, that it will hold up under scrutiny.  Then you need to go through your checklists to be sure the sub-plots and characters within the story are plausible, relatable, and that everything will work together seamlessly before heading down the runway.  Once you’re “in the air”, you’re committed.  This is not the time you want to lose your head, give up and release the yoke.  Before takeoff make sure you have the strategies in place to help you over those rough spots.  You know they’re going to happen, right?  Anticipate the problems and know where to go so you can quickly resume your momentum.  Keep working at it, and bring that big bird in safely!

Wait, what…?   Are those cheers I’m hearing from the cabin?


Time To Stop Worrying Over Time

Trapped in the day.  That’s how I tend to see most people now.  Breakfast.  Work.  Play.  Sleep.

So much of the detail in living is dealing with your own relationship with time and how you define it.  When I taught classroom music in the public school system I would float the concept of time to my students.  Rhythm in music is a timing concept that remains within the control of the musician (or the conductor).  I would attempt to make them aware of the fact that the clock is a measuring device, a short term calendar if you will.  Most of them really struggled with the concept.

Now that I’ve “retired” from “work”, my own perspectives about time have shifted again.  Yes, I do still attempt to conform to the natural paces that this cute little global construct provide.  I’m all about the light and the dark.  The difference now is, if I wake up in the middle of the night and feel like writing for an hour, I do.  My own moments have become more controllable, less attached to future results.  When asked what I’ve been doing lately, I tend to tell people that I’m “Jumping from one lilly pad to the next”.  Often I get a confused look in return, just like the look I used to get from my students when I told them that the clock on the wall has absolutely nothing to do with time; that time, in fact, doesn’t exist.

Then the bell would ring, and they would be released from the clutches of the crazy music teacher.  ~TH~


Bare, Naked Feet! I’m Agog!

footprintYes, that sensual, earthy feeling.  I’m always surprised more folks aren’t drawn to the barefoot way of life.  I learned this way of walking at an early age.  When the family would vacation at Virginia Beach we all went barefoot- it was perfectly natural.   When it came time to load up the car and re-shod ourselves though, I found it very difficult.  Socks and shoes became anathema. When I wore shoes, I was aware of them, always.  When my feet were free, I was free.  I loved the changing weather under my feet; dewey grass, squishy mud, deep pile carpet, cool linoleum.  The cool/warm/cool undulation as I walked in the surf.

I have vivid recollections of sole-ful sensations.  Standing on the grated ductwork of my grandmother’s house, feeling the steel fins press into my feet.  The cooling sand on the entry dune, returning to the beach I had run on all day, now giving up it’s heat as the sun fell to slumber. The warm embrace of my fuzzy winter slippers as I finally relent, allowing something to cover my paws, muting my tactile soles but thawing the numbness from above.

I recognize my kindred spirits.  I see them wearing flip-flops in forty degree weather (like me).  I watch as they yank off their footwear at the first sign of safety (like me).  I know you’re out there.  I’m with you.  I’m typing sans footwear.  It just feels natural to me.  Why buck the system?  Especially when the system is nature.  ~TH~