I’m Your Man

 

I’m Your Man

There is a truth in fiction that can never be found in most non-fiction save those factual by measure or geography. As I write that sentence I wonder how many exceptions may exist, but generally. In my mind anything biographical or autobio is suspect.

Why? Perception. To perceive something, even that experienced by self, is flavored by condition, circumstance, past, belief, and personal understanding.

Fiction has always been my preference but the wisdom of age encourages me to widen my knowledge base. Seek new things, learn new things, do new things. My friend Joss Burnel who is one Crowing Crone Woman of Wisdom leads by example in stepping out of one’s comfort zone.* I can’t link for some reason so Joss can be found at crowingcrone.com.* I am not sure there is much bravery or adventure in broadening one’s reading preference as she now travels the world having really stepped out, but it is a start.

My own perception of age is changing from a youthful belief that old age is a time to take it easy, a well-earned rest, to one that continuing to change and learn and work is vital. To stop learning, to stop changing is to stop living and all of a sudden having reached the sixth decade and soon to see it in the rear view mirror of life, the ability to learn seems crucial. Now when I check out of the library every few days I include at least one non-fiction in my haul. Included are several bios and autobios as well as books on religion, politics, sciences, well, almost anything that catches my attention. Almost all autobiographies are difficult reads, presented in very two dimensional slices with gaping holes big enough to qualify for the Swiss cheese designation. I have read biographies that seemed to have way too much of the author’s persona imbedded too deep to recognize resulting in a ‘barely there’ subject leaving me feeling too much has been glossed over. How much do we really want to share about our lives anyway? How much should we share?

I have made several starts at a family history, something I think my children might value. Part way through it occurred to me to question exactly how much information should I be passing on? We are all entitled to privacy I think and I believe our paths are very private. We all make mistakes and that is how we grow and learn. Do we need to hang out all the dirty laundry?

Celebrities and the over exposure of their lives make for great entertainment, at least as far as the public is concerned. God knows every magazine and entertainment show knows this and they reap mega bucks in the revelations. Mind you some so called stars beg for the exposure and then whine when lines are crossed.

The thing is, people tend to believe what they read. Good fiction makes you feel the possibility. Do you think that is true? I mean look at those who so wanted to believe Dan Brown’s story The Da Vinci Code that they now believe. Of course that is why I love fiction – I, you, any of us, can make it real thanks to the wonder of imagination. The greatest skill, the greatest gift in any work of fiction is to make it real.

Is there any truth at all in biographical non-fiction? Probably about as much as there is real milk in some so called dairy products? Does it matter? Perhaps not. One recent book of biography was a welcome refreshing exception to my perceptive bias. And a bias it must surely be since I have not read every bio ever printed so can only judge on very limited experience.

I’M YOUR MAN: The Life of Leonard Cohen

Sylvie Simmons was a new author to me and of course the initial draw to the book was the subject, Leonard Cohen, someone to whom I would declare complete and total admiration. Why? I guess because he did it his way with no apology. Did he do it right with no regret? Of course not. Are there any of us who have no regret? I’d sure like to hear about it if he/she is out there. Without dissecting the content I would just say it is a good read that felt more honest than most.

Courage Is

Originally posted on The Chatter Blog:

I know these people.

And every day takes some courage from some people.  Maybe moments.  Maybe hours.  Maybe forever.

I wouldn’t for a minute underestimate the courage it takes to get through life.

These people, I admire.

Courage is the young father and husband who is terrified he can’t provide for his little family.   Who gets up and goes to work each day.  And fears the powers above him that could take away the small security of having this job.  This job that is not all he can do.  But all he can get right now.  He knows he can do more.  And plans on it.

There’s courage in the dark of night for the aging widow who never spent a night alone in eighty years of life.  And now she sits every night without the comfort and security of the familiar face.  The familiar face that shared joys…

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Why do you read Fiction?

What do you think about when you pick up a story?  I hesitate to say ‘pick up a book’ because stories are accessed in many ways today.  The most obvious answer is entertainment, a peek at, and an opportunity to enter someone else’s world for a while. To become a part of another experience and by the time the last page is perused a sigh perhaps of satisfaction, or frustration, or contemplation.

Most of us have favorite authors we depend on, knowing what we will get, not necessarily in the events contained within, but a guarantee of familiarity.  What I like to think of as the Comfort Food of literature.  Some of you follow the top sellers keeping abreast of what’s in, providing opportunity for new experiences and thoughts.  I make it a point during my weekly library trips to include new authors, at least to me, and when a book is recommended by a friend, I read it.  I am not much for romantic themed or erotic stories and therefore have never read Fifty Shades of anything, the series that brought shades of education and blushes to the cheeks of females who otherwise may never have admitted publicly taking delight in sexual adventures.  When pressed by many acquaintances to at least give a read, my response has consistently been that I do erotica, I don’t read it. Ha Ha.  Whether that is true or not is not for discussion, but it was a glib enough response to satisfy and take the encouragers off on another path.

My Comfort Food Fiction list is fairly extensive and is the source for rereads as well as waiting in anticipation for the next volumes to appear.  Included are Koontz, Crichton, King, Cussler, Meyers, Rowling, Buck, and Dickens.  Of course those that have passed on can only stand as rereads and that is fine.

Comfort is hard to come by with a few authors and yet I embrace them heart and soul.  Reality in fiction can be sad, even depressing but the struggle, or rather surviving the struggle is a story worthy of notice.  I wonder in this western culture of pursuing happiness, if we have done ourselves a disservice and weakened our ability to survive by believing that happiness is indeed the gold ring of achievement and not survival itself.

Reynolds Price wrote a book published in 1998 called Roxana Slade which was referred to me by a friend.  It almost seems that this man merely channeled the voice of Roxana who at ninety odd years relates her life tale and takes you, the reader on a journey of struggle, loss, and survival.  His (the author) is so skilled that you quickly embrace Roxana and fold her being into your existence.  Whenever I put the book down for a bit, the characters and situations stayed with me, and I found myself thinking about them throughout the day until I could again curl up and turn another page.  Now that is amazing writing.

I have another favorite author that I simply cannot allot to my Comfort Food Fiction list, and that is Patricia Cornwell.  Her Scarpetta Series and characters are as familiar to me as my own family, but I seldom feel a sense of comfort.  The most recent read is ‘dust’.

Cornwell is a must for me even though I know there will be questions, anxiety, and frustration from time to time.  All of her characters are flawed and not in the cute little way popular fictional hero characters are flawed but overcome, but in a haunting kind of way that strikes me at times as too real.

As a Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta always has a mystery to solve but the story is more about the struggles and survival of our characters, the things they battle internally to still carry and on and succeed.  People get unjustly fired, are not well liked, have struggles with what they wish life was like and is not.  Justice does not always prevail.  Solving the mystery, catching the bad guy is often anticlimactic to the process, the living, the surviving.

Frankly, for me, experiencing the discomfort of some of these stories, the reality and the survival helps me keep my own reality in perspective.  There are sad, bad, unjust, horrible things in life. But there is much more to be valued.

Have you found the same thing?  What do you get out of Fiction?  Why do you read Fiction?

In a Train with Funeral Party – February 1924

Bridgesburning Chris King:

Gretchen is one of my must reads. She wrote a regular newspaper column back around the twenties. This one in particular is applicable today in a lesson or two. Her interest ‘was intensely human’ and I can’t help but think a little more ‘human interest’ would be a good thing.

Originally posted on Gretchen:

I walked almost the whole length of a long train before I came to a third-class compartment that was not marked “Smoking.” There was a woman already seated in it, and she remarked as I sat down, “Although it isn’t a ‘smoking,’ this smells vilely of tobacco smoke, and look at the floor!” I then related to her an incident of my journey up that morning.

At one station there entered a little company of passengers, obviously of what are termed working-class. There were two men of middle-age, a youth and a girl in their mid teens, and a small boy of five or six. They were all dressed in black, from which I inferred that they were on their way to a funeral.

The men wore black bowler hats stuck on the back of their heads, leaving visible a well-oiled fringe of hair adorning their foreheads. The youth’s cloth…

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Puzzles and Patterns

Bridgesburning Chris King:

These very thoughts have been tumbling about for me this week taunting me into a need for expression but leaving me without. Now Miss C? She just said it all,

Originally posted on thekitchensgarden:

As we slowly slide up and down the temperature scale, wandering through another wintery season of inclement weather reminiscent of the 70’s when I lived here last.  I am struck by how much easier life is when you allow the inevitable flux of patterns and puzzles and allow Time herself a voice in your daily analog. Giving the passing of time a value in your calculations. not-many-018

I am a terrible one for answering other peoples questions before they ask them, finishing their sentences before they have their thoughts in order, rushing to and fro at a furious pace often without my mind even Turned On.  I want everything done right now and just so. Head down to combat the wind thinking only where is it coming from, who is in a draft. Which doors should I shut. Is that ice underfoot? Not: what has come with this wind? What followed…

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Now To Throw A Little Texas Low Into the Mix – A Personal Message

Edmund Fitzgerald

November 10, 1975 the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, a thirteen thousand ton Great Lakes Carrier sank in Lake Superior due to a Texas Low.  The Edmund Fitzgerald – the same ship made famous by Gordon Lightfoot in song.  Launched in 1958 she was the largest carrier on The Great Lakes until 1971 and was labeled “The Pride of the American Flag.”

The Great Lakes have a long history of laying claim to those who choose to sail her mighty waters – but  that is a different story.

Southern Ontario, not to mention many other parts of the country and province have weathered our share of storms this year.  Last year it seemed we heard a lot about Alberta Clippers clipping in with a goodly dose of snow and storms.

This year it is all about, yes the Alberta Clipper, but also THE POLAR VORTEX which has given us a new appreciation of old man winter who decided to take his polar weather south as though he was a Snowbird, and his presence has been felt as far the deep southern states.

Now our American friends simply cannot be left out of the party so sweeping up from the Texas Panhandle and the Gulf of Mexico comes a Low weather front that will hit us tonight – The Texas Low.

The same TL of Edmund Fitzgerald fame.

As many of you know I lived in Texas for a couple of years where much of my heart continues to reside.  So all I can say is, welcome Texas Low.  Please come in and enjoy the party.  Only the very best are allowed here and the guest list is limited to the Alberta Clipper, Polar Vortex, and of course Texas Low.

Let’s mix it all up; twirl, dance, swirl, blow, gust away.  This is winter and you have just a month to let loose and party hearty because after all this comes spring, and like a child who has exhausted all their energy romping about a little out of control, I expect you to depart with Grace and Style when the time comes.

A Recipe for …uh..confusion?

Sometimes you can gather up the best ingredients for the finest creation but something goes wrong and all the basics just won’t gel if the mixing goes wrong.

I get easily bored watching award shows; judgements on red carpet attire don’t interest me in the least, actors who deliver memorable lines and fill roles that we identify are actually the people themselves stumble and bumble along no better than we, and it all gets tedious.

I started watching the 71st Golden Globes mostly out of boredom last night, and ended up seeing it right to the end.  It wasn’t tedious or boring and the natural expected level of phoniness was overtaken by what can only be described as confusing.  It lacked professionalism. In the planning I think.

The co-hosts, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, sustained their excellent standard of entertainment.   These ladies are the best I have ever seen; professional, entertaining, and sort of homey and heart-warming.

Now just who organized this shindig and who let them get away with it?

Right from the start there was a placement problem.  The logistics of getting winners from their seats to the podium seems to have been beyond ability.  The plan seemed to be to make sure there was no direct line from the nominees to the stage, by clustering as many tables as possible.  There was a walkway to the side leading to the stage and by the time our winners made the journey navigating in a squeezing hopping fashion through the tables and down the way, presenters were chatting amongst themselves, the band was running out of music, and no could remember who was receiving what for what and was it time for an entertaining commercial yet?

The of course the prompter from hell resulted in some not having any speech, some having other people’s speech, and general whining about what to do.  Once couple were quickly slipped the presentation words on yellow paper to complete their presentation.  Stars were sent out to the stage then called back.  Order was disorder big time.

Jennifer Lawrence won first Globe and gave a terrible speech that set a tone for everyone else.  She ended with ‘don’t do this again’ and I sincerely hope no one does.

Jacqueline Bisset won next and was even worse.  “I wasn’t expecting this” rang out more than once on this night.  Tough.  If you are nominated, at least have the decency to prepare something.

It was too bad it all reflected on our hosts but I have to say, it all pretty much sucked.

In the words of Jlaw, please please please do not do this again.

Who and Why

Who I Am and Why I am Here – Daily Post

It’s about time I was up for a challenge, having not been for what seems a very long time.  Have you ever found that when you are unwell that everything around you also seems impaired in some way?

Not only physical, mental, and emotional health but everything included in your reality?  Electronics seem to be a problem, the computer fights my every attempt to post, and nothing,-  absolutely nothing – feels right.  It doesn’t matter which area started to decline first, one thing leads to another.

In the course of my annoyingly sad descent from creativity I have become somewhat dislocated and am not sure even to handle the questions put forward by our WordPress team.

Perhaps it is enough to say that by struggling to post this year I will find the answers to the questions posed because right now I honestly could not adequately respond.

This is not a moany groany whine session, it is more like a sigh.  My life has been fun and fun filled, but somewhere along the way my-rose-colored-glasses protection disappeared and I do not like it, not one bit.

I continue to read my blog buddies posts every day and marvel at their creativity, well anyone’s creativity because I cannot remember what it felt like.  Whoa!

But try I will.  Heaven knows I have enough raw materials to work with thanks to human kind

Burning Bridges the Canadian Way eh?

The honor of the Media has disappeared in Canada. If in truth it ever existed.

There are plenty of ways to burn your bridges and this I know from personal experience, but it would seem that Canada is putting on a pretty good show of its own on the world stage.

You know our reputation; quiet, unassuming, excruciatingly polite, and mild mannered. We walk quietly and carry no sticks at all, mostly seen as peace keepers, until Afghanistan of course. We are never the main character but excel in supporting roles. I think this stereotypical view has been changing for some time and given the scandals of the world I figure we are still pretty mild.

We have a mayor in Toronto that made Jay Leno headlines. He has been attacked by the press for many months for alleged criminal activity and associations which went from reporting the news to ‘rabid’ attacks by the media. In my mind the guy is probably guilty but until it is so proven Canadian media has come off looking like crazed zombies out for blood, for his carcass and soul. Want to know why he appears so maligned and denigrated? Ego – One big enough to encompass the Grand Canyon, or possibly the western hemisphere. The media apparently cannot withhold its bile when faced with ego. The attacks shown on TV and in the press may actually start garnering some sympathy for Rob Ford. The guy, acting like a spoiled brat had the nerve to give digital direction to his accusers more than once, and in more than one way. Whether he just isn’t bright enough – limited by ego or intelligence – to understand the position he is in, or holds the rest of the world in such low regard doesn’t matter. The press has become the bad guy and shame on them.

We apparently have three evil senators in Ottawa who the media are out to hang prior to due course of justice. Now you have to understand that our senators are appointed and this has been viewed by many to be a reward for service to a particular Prime Minister. Nice job for life with admirable income and tax benefits. It seems Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, and Mike Duffy have made illegal claims for expenses. This has gone from newsworthy to blood sport in a few weeks. And why? You guessed it. Ego. Wallin in particular has been disliked because she treats everyone around her as less than human. She apparently has attained self-imposed Royal status and made some mighty big enemies in doing so. The facts seem to be in and in my opinion are guilty but the conduct of the media make them look like salivating dogs of hell taking bite after bite.

Senators as a whole probably in my view see themselves above all others and certainly these are not the only three, but they are going down in a most undignified way.

We have a Prime Minister I personally have never cared for. He is also about ego but has the smarts to manipulate and control. He is coming off rather badly because he has been caught in more than one lie. Now how surprising is that? A politician that lies. Coverups. Meanwhile there are bigger more costly political sins from which this whole country will suffer.

That fact never changes. The mighty pen, the media message, brings shame to this country and its people. We have never been able to trust the slant of reporting entirely and there is no such thing as blatant truth telling, but the Canadian media has been busy burning some bridges called Ethical Reporting and they should be ashamed. The problem is, they carry the message and there is little you and I can do to affect the honesty of the message. They not only deal in mob mentality, they feed it.

EGO has become the greatest crime of all which should make humble appearing criminals feel good.

Oh my why can’t we just have a good old sex scandal in government?

A Few Random Thought on Humaness

Scale model of the Earth and the Moon, with a ...

Scale model of the Earth and the Moon, with a beam of light traveling between them at the speed of light. It takes approximately 1.26 seconds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The limiting Humaness of our species persists; a thought that occurs, leading to other considerations.

Human beings by virtue of self-definition set boundaries that previously did not exist, guided by ego and belief that proclamation makes something true?  Just a thought.

Scientists working endlessly of ‘laws of nature, of the universe, actually limit development by declaring physical truths to be, well, truths.

What if – travel through space and time has nothing to do with mass, propulsion or energy?

Did ET’s build ancient complicated structures around the world such as in Malta, Egypt, England, Central America or India?  Not likely, at least in the sense we consider.  Perhaps all of us are ‘T’s’.  Just terrestrials and none in the organism that is the cosmos is really ‘extra’.

What if we all had knowledge now lost, where space, time, and matter flowed as a single organism, and it is only our very human egos that persist in making us believe we are more than part of the universe?  Man, (generically speaking here), has in the past declared we are the center, first of a flat earth, then of the solar system, then the universe.  And always there seems to be a sense of surprise to find out that oops there is more.

What if there are multiverses? Do they have doppelgangers reflecting our existence as some scientists postulate?  No.  Again our egos insist we are so important that another universe cannot exist unless it mirrors us.  Human Ego, Humaness.  Have we not learned from the ‘earth is the center of the universe’ mind set?

Does this very idea make us less than we think we are?  No.  In fact it makes us even more important in a cosmic sense.

Here’s a thought;

Stop believing in what you see before you and stop believing you can only apply manmade, man conceived laws of nature.

Suppose for instance that The Speed of Light is not absolute.  But until you let go of that idea you cannot see ‘the other’.

Suppose physical travel through time and space without machinery is possible.  Clinging to our current beliefs we will never know.

Suppose building and design of massive weights and structure without ‘modern’ equipment is easily done?

Suppose communication by defined language is not necessary.

 

Suppose the teachings of Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, just to name a few were in fact the true message and our humanness absorbed them and turned them into ‘my God is better than your God’ and ‘if you do not belief as I then you are condemned to eternal hell’.  Maybe the messages were never meant to be humanized, or limited, or politicized leading to that most evil sin, judgment of others.

Suppose the human body can self-heal but we lost that knowledge by egotistic limitation.

The answers to these rambling sorts of questions lie not in what is out there to be learned or discovered. They lie in the very center of our own being which is not a small singular entity, but the connection to the vastness of everything.

What if the only thing we had to do was to quiet our hearts and minds, tune out this noisy world of ours, and listen?

Just a thought.

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