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More than a few times I have been told that I need to “Live in the Now”. Meaning I need to stop thinking and “just live” whatever that means. Usually this is followed up with a comparison of life to a train and how “now” is the leading edge of the train… or something. Honestly I never quite grasp what they mean.
Here’s the thing: “Now” isn’t a real thing. By the time one is even aware of “now” it’s already over. It has no shape, no form, no solidity. It is at best instantaneous. And as any good H.G. Wells reader can tell, a thing that is instantaneous, that has no duration in time cannot be said to really exist. Therefore “now” does not exist. It is unreal. It is impossible to live in “now”.
There is also something worrying about the comparison of life to a train. Trains are set on a single path, from begging to end, immutable and unchangeable. True there are some rail lines that have switches, but those aren’t very common. The comparison gives the image of life as set thing and the person as merely a passive observer in it, with no control or power over their path. To me this is not only depressing, but downright horrifying. That life should be a single, uncontrollable drive from birth to death over which we have no power or will.
But personal experience tells me that life is not like a train. Perhaps it is more like driving a car. There is a fixed beginning (birth) and a fixed end (death), but between the two there are many, many intersections. And so, like the driver of a car, we must be alert. Awareness must be given to what is coming and what has been otherwise we risk running into an obstacle unaware. That is not to say one cannot admire the scenery, but diverting too much attention can be harmful.
Ultimately life is about balancing between awareness of the present, understanding of the past and expectation of the future. No one is better than the other two and all three are required for a full life.
A distant rumble in the descending night.
Something comes from out of sight.
A flash, a flare, a cracking roar.
A splash, a rush, a drenching pour.
The storm has come.
redmagus77 said: what’s up?
It’s long, complicated and really too involved to really explain on Tumblr.
Suffice to say, the car that I lost is looking to be a huge mess of a family problem and my mother is looking fixed to make it even worse by being just basically her usually do-exactly-the-wrong-thing self.
I love my mother, I really do, but she is completely useless for delicate matters of social tact.
Dorothy and Alice
“It was all sort of odd, you know,” Alice says pensively, balancing the teacup on her saucer. Picnics are all well and good until you’re forced to walk all the way back to school with a rapidly cooling wet patch on the front of your skirt.
“That is, I believe,” Dorothy says, “rather a prerequisite for journeys to other worlds. Of course, I could be wrong.”
Alice sighs heavily. “Must you always be so literal? I didn’t mean the going there, or the being there, or even Wonderland itself. It was only that I felt so queer once I got back.”
Dorothy hums thoughtfully, reaching over to scratch at the top of Toto’s head. (Technically, of course, pets aren’t allowed at school, but they’d hardly let something as little as a rule stop them.) “Like everything was somehow…less, here?” she says. “That’s how I felt, sort of.”
“No,” Alice says, a little surprised. She brushes a stray bit of hair out of her eyes, tucking it back behind her headband and thinking hard. “Not at all, actually. It was like I was somehow more.”
Dorothy reaches over to steal a sip of tea, lifting the cup out of Alice’s hands and setting it down again after making a face. “That’s gone cold, you know,” she says. “You really ought to drink it faster.”
Alice rolls her eyes. “If I did, I wouldn’t have any left for you to take.”
“That’s true,” Dorothy says easily. “Anyway, isn’t it all sort of the same thing?” When Alice frowns at her, she adds, “The world being less or you being more, I mean. I think you sort of end up in the same place either way.”
“Maybe,” Alice says, taking her own sip of—stone cold, it’s true—tea. “But I think there’s something to be said for perspective, don’t you?”
“Probably,” Dorothy admits. “Though I will say, if one more teacher sits me down to have a gentle talk about glasses being half full or empty, I shall scream.”
“And I would support you in that,” Alice says loyally. “I should scream with you, if you wanted me to.”
Dorothy laughs. “Only if you feel a truly desperate urge,” she says. “And I hope you know I would do the same for you.” She sighs. “Still, it’s not my fault if they think I have a bad attitude. I can’t help it if I’m always wondering whether the teachers actually know anything about the things they’re telling us.”
“Well, it’s not as if you can tell them that you’ve been to a country where the man in charge is lying about his qualifications,” Alice says, and giggles. “Only think of the looks on their faces.”
Dorothy laughs too, but she sobers up quickly when they hear a bell ringing in the distance. “Ugh,” she says with feeling. “We’ve History next, and that always makes me feel as if someone’s stuffed wool between my ears.”
“Perhaps they have,” Alice says, finishing off her tea and packing it away. “Come along, Chester,” she coos, picking up her cat while Dorothy grabs the basket.
“I don’t see why you didn’t just call him Cheshire,” Dorothy says as they start off back to the school.
Alice shrugs. “I think it would have made me feel sad, knowing that he wasn’t,” she says, and Dorothy nods in understanding.
“By the way,” she says, “I’ve been meaning to ask. Have you met the new girl?”
Alice frowns. “You mean what’s-her-name? Susan something?”
“Pevensie,” Dorothy says eagerly, nodding. “I think we ought to ask her to lunch with us.”
“Really?” Alice says, surprised. “I wouldn’t have thought it of her.”
“I can’t be sure, of course,” Dorothy says. “But I got a sort of funny feeling off of her. She’s certainly worth a look, at any rate.”
“Well, then,” Alice says, delightedly. “Look we shall.”
I like this. I like this so much. There should be a series with Dorothy and Alice.
And dare I guess who Susan is? There’s only one slightly funny Susan I can think of. Or maybe not? Either way, this is a marvelous piece of character work!
The best part of creativity is looking at what is and imagining what may be, dreaming of the infinite possibilities of the future.
Then to take those dreams and bring them to the brink of reality on the page and in the words - that is ecstasy.
Every time I see it, I feel a little depressed. ”Nice Guy” used in an ironic form. Not that I disagree with the label or those to whom it is applied, but before I found the Internet and became aware of the social issues of the greater world, I would have un-ironically labeled myself a “nice guy”.
To turn around and find people sneering at the phrase always hits me a little in the deepest part of my heart. I suppose it makes sense as being “nice” can be seen as a very facetious act. Being a mere mask over true intentions. But I still feel a pang of remorse for the way the phrase has been turned into an irony.
It also seems to speak of an air of suspicion and distrust that makes me sad. I know why it exists and I feel a seething anger at the people who have created this distrust between the sexes.
The whole situation is awful and makes those people in the world who genuinely do care, male and female alike, that much more distrusting and afraid of each other.
So I’m sitting down for bed. I set the alarm on my cellphone and pick up my Galaxy Tab to queue up a video to listen to while I sleep (I like having something to listen to while I go to sleep). Tap tap tap on the screen in practiced sequence, when suddenly the weight of what I am doing hits me.
I stare at the piece of technology in my hands like it’s a whole new thing. When did I get used to having the PADD from Star Trek? When did something that, fifteen years ago I would have scoffed at become everyday?
When did those silly little PDAs like the PALM series become something I couldn’t imagine not having?
How adaptable we are, how quickly we adjust to a new normal.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my US followers!
And to everyone else… Happy Thanksgiving as well! Because there’s no reason not to celebrate a holiday of thankfulness. Sure it may have origins in US history, but that was over two hundred years ago. I honestly think very little about the first settlers and their first Thanksgiving on this day. More I just enjoy my wonderful family and an excellent meal, reflecting on the things about life I am grateful for.
And leftovers. Can’t forget leftovers.
Alas, I am too tired (I helped cook this year) to come up with anything particularly poetic and meaningful to say, but, really, how much more meaning do you need?
Be happy, one and all, reflect upon your lives and find the good and cherish it. Whatever comes after life, we only have one shot at this one and it’s best to appreciate it while it’s there.
Freedom is natural. It exists on it’s own, an immortal drive and need that comes from the very nature of our beings. Domination, on the other hand, must be imposed. Domination requires someone to pursue it, to make it happen.
Ultimately those who wish to dominate cannot outlast the drive to be free. This is why freedom will always win in the end. Dictators will die, but the drive for freedom never will.
But, just as night must follow day, and shadow is cast by the light, there will always be those who wish to dominate. But I pity them, the petty dictators. For all their works they are doomed to death. For all their bloody minded hatred and destruction, they crumble even as they would claim victory, as age withers their body and minds and they cast away from themselves the very people who would preserve them.
It may be that we will not see the day, nor our children, or our children’s children, but to that we have the power in our own hands. To pull together, to build our strength and bring close those who seek liberty. We have unity. We have brave hearts and like minds. Our hands stretch around the world and our cries are echoed a thousand fold. We cannot be held back forever.
I am endlessly frustrated with people who confuse the use of technology with the inherent value of technology.
Just because there are stupid people out there who do stupid things with their tech doesn’t mean the tech is making them stupid. Technology is a tool and as such it is only as smart or stupid as the use to which it is put. You can hardly blame a hammer for someone smashing their thumb. So you cannot blame technology for people who use it in unhealthy ways.
And I can speak from personal experience that technology can be beneficial. But for the computer, I might still be scrawling barely legible lettering on college rule paper in a futile attempt to express my feelings. I type far better than I write and I find the physical process of writing painful and difficult due to my dyslexia and wide palms. But typing seems to circumvent that dysfunction. It makes it easier for me to express myself in words, and thanks to the internet I can find an audience and find more thought and knowledge than I could ever have imagined.
I can only imagine that those who deem technological devices to be harmful have never suffered a disability such as dyslexia or ADD or ADHD. Or they come from a family that could provide them whatever they needed so that they never had to seek outside the world directly around them for something they required.
It is telling, too that they often have no validation for their unease. Just vague assertions that it “can’t be good for you” or it “isn’t natural”. Such statements belie a fear of things they don’t understand, though they would almost certainly deny it. For my own part, I do not fear the unknown. For me, the unknown is just something I haven’t Googled yet ;D