Non-Fiction

“I Believe”

Deutsch: Franz Nölken: Schreibendes Mädchen, 1916
Franz Nölken: Schreibendes Mädchen, 1916

I believe in love and commitment.

I believe in the sanctity of late night ritual by candlelight.

I believe in the basic goodness of every person.

I believe in meditation and acting in such a way that I do not cause suffering to a sentient being.

I believe that when someone entrusts me with her or his heart, I become a better person every day.

I believe in giving and receiving, although the latter is excruciating for me!

I believe it is never too late to learn and explore old curiosities.

I believe in friendship, ensconced in the sharing of umbrellas and shorts, puppies, and yurts.

I believe in honesty or, at least, striving for that above all else, despite the need to protect the tender hearts of people.

I believe in the spirit of adventure but one must temper it with realism.

I believe at this point in my life, I have at least two handfuls of wisdom from which I can sift for complete sentences.

I believe in dancing because we are gorgeous when swaying to a searing guitar and pining saxophone.

I believe in process, taking time—whether that is to sleep, eat, cry, hold hands, be alone, read, make love, or taste the resounding quiet in a forest, just before spotting a blue jay.

I believe that peoples’ body language offers a more accurate assessment of their feelings than just words alone.

I believe I have a chance at a good job starting this July. It could make Chile a potential go!

I believe in #YesAllWomen, a Twitter hashtag in use the world over. Whether you are two or one hundred and five, all females should be safe in their person, homes, going for a walk, at schools, and in groups.

I believe in #YesAllWomen because in India recently, a group of men (including Police officers) raped and murdered two young teen girls and hung them from a tree. This must stop! The problem is not just India but everywhere on this globe.

I believe we need more good men to speak up and violent men to stop raping.

I believe in making things right.

I believe I always have trouble with closeness with women friends, given Mom’s six-decade long rejection and hatred of me, with she being my first relationship with another living soul and female.

I believe that, despite ideology (including positive psychology), not everyone can just change their thinking and nullify their eligibility to having bad things happen to them. It helps a lot but does not cure society’s ills.

I believe in assisting and empowering the people who need it. That is one reason I love free online courses from universities worldwide. I do not have the money to finish school yet but can expand my knowledge, expertise, flexibility, teaching capabilities, and confidence.

I believe that by broadening my knowledge, I can give back on a much bigger stage.

I believe in workouts that bring on a good sweat, followed by a swim, and half-hour in the steam room, where I can see nothing. It is then, while I rub my eyes, that I imagine myself perched on the precipice of branding a whole new life.

I believe I do not know how to deal with people at all and yet a part of me knows this is untrue.

I believe in continuing my life struggles with the same stubbornness that has held me thus far.

I believe in Words with Friends, Texas Hold’em poker (with play money), and word mongering, the last of which is online writing practice with a growing group of friends on Twitter.

I believe in meeting people’s eyes, standing solid in my truth.

I believe being self-disciplined is equally important to letting it all fall away at the proper time.

I believe in hugging a moment fiercely, squeezing the ‘be Dickens’ out of it.

I believe comparing ourselves to others—especially those society deems ‘better’ or more ‘respectable’– is soul damaging.

I believe in snowshoes, walking sticks, roughing it, and sharing dorms in youth hostels on windy autumn nights.

I believe society’s view that having resources or not is rooted solely in merit and hard work (never luck), laziness and a weak mind (never circumstances), does not reflect everybody’s truth. This may be valid for many but I think it is not a science, by any means. This matters to me because I am an exception, as are thousands of people I encounter in life.

I believe that as much as I need to discuss class, people will greet me with equal push or pull depending on where the pendulum swings at any given moment.

I believe and know that the topics I must write about are not to force my views on someone else. I work on myself only and can, and will, be wrong. All I want to do is learn and understand. That takes dialogue, not monologue.

I believe one side effect of needing therapy to live and being lonely is that I sometimes talk to people as if I am in an interview. I do not wait for questions and do not notice they never come. I tell some people a lot and only realize later, in tears, that I had not really made friends. I look at those people and can almost see them using their fingers to form an ‘L’ for loser over their heads. At these times, I feel I am just a pathetic example of what not to do and be in life.

I believe in struggling through this and all fear, ridicule, physical pain, defeat, negative thinking, disillusionment, and depression. Group think. Bureaucracy. Old tapes that are deafening. People who reiterate with exclamation marks all those old messages.

I believe and know it is great for me to encounter good men. I know they are there and value their presence in my life.

I believe in fair play, appreciating people at every turn, and meeting generosity and trust with heaps of the same.

I believe in second and third chances but also believe in stopping before it gets ridiculous and people get hurt.

I believe in optimism and hope; I will enter any skirmish to find it.

I believe in fun, yacking all night, and laughing myself silly.

 

Terry Gibson, 2014.

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Poetry

The Invitation – Written By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

HS-Oriah-709-BW-BorderIt doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Orion Mountain Dreamer
http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com

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Non-Fiction

A Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness

A Statue of Buddha
A Statue of Buddha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“If I have harmed anyone in any way
either knowingly or unknowingly
through my own confusions
I ask their forgiveness.
If anyone has harmed me in any way
either knowingly or unknowingly
through their own confusions
I forgive them.
And if there is a situation
I am not yet ready to forgive
I forgive myself for that.
For all the ways that I harm myself,
negate, doubt, belittle myself,
judge or be unkind to myself
through my own confusions
I forgive myself.”

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Fiction

OhDoYa, How ’bout It?

Bull shark (Bahamas)
Bull shark (Bahamas) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

OhDoYa, a green bull shark, en route from Cairns to Forres, crossed my kayaking path to Scotland yesterday. We chatted once we got past all that sly dawg “How-’bout-it?” nonsense. He bragged of how he almost fished his way into yacht ownership last week. That is, until its ravenous Cap’n gulped OhDo’s sauteed-garlic-King-Crab-and-rib-eye bait, ripped free of the trap line, and sped away.

Ah! The stuff I learn and characters I meet while travelling in my wilderness! It’s worth every strained back and neck muscle, slivered butt cheek, paddling blister, tear-stained other cheeks, and cold, wet hand–the latter of which came from slapping my new friend across the snout for his audacity.

“Ta,” he said, as the water gulped his sorry ass.

Gawd, how I love those Aussies! And feeling free as a kite in the turf of my wilderness.

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Non-Fiction, Poetry

In Beauty May I Walk

Beauty in Contrast
Beauty in Contrast (Photo credit: deep shot)

In beauty may I walk;
All day long may I walk;
Through the returning seasons may I walk.

Beautifully will I possess again
Beautifully birds
Beautifully butterflies…

On the trail marked with pollen may I walk;
With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk;
With dew around my feet may I walk.

With beauty before me may I walk
With beauty behind me may I walk
With beauty above me may I walk
With beauty all around me,
may I walk.

In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively;
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, living again…
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.

Navajo Prayer

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Quotes

Unique Expression

Martha Graham, dancer and choreographer Deutsc...
Martha Graham, dancer and choreographer Deutsch: Martha Graham 1948 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and (will) be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

Martha Graham, to Agnes DeMille
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Non-Fiction, Poetry

“Come As You Are” by Carol Orsborn

Purpose.com Pumpkinfest
Purpose.com Pumpkinfest (Photo credit: leesean)

You have only one sacred duty:

to make your spirit available

to others.

You do this by sharing what you

already are in this and every

moment.

If you are loving, you share your

loving.

If you are suffering, you share

your suffering.

If you are healing, you share

your healing.

 

Why waste precious energy arguing

with God about what it is that is

yours to share right now, worrying

how your broken bit could possibly

be of use.

 

Trust that however unlikely it may seem,

without your piece, the universe would

be incomplete.

 

Carol Orsborn, Nothing Left Unsaid, 2001.

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Non-Fiction

Watercolours and Titus Groan

English: A palette of watercolours and a brush...
English: A palette of watercolours and a brush. Deutsch: Wasserfarben und Pinsel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, a friend presented me with a pack of 140 lb. Fluid, Cold Press Watercolour Paper. This also included a delicate brush with a purple granite-like handle, which reads ‘Oscoda Prado Synthetic Barcelona.’ She topped this gift off with an invitation to use her watercolours.

It is funny about the arts and I.  My gene pool boasts of artists, writers, musicians, singers, and even electronics experts.  Strange. Well, not really.

We all had good brains, a facility for language, and a love of reading. I am one of them. Of course, you know that, especially if you have followed me in any capacity before.

Watercolours? Oils? It could be! Wait. The materials in my hand say it will be. Life never gave me a chance at this before but now it has.

I do not know about you but being a writer and social media squatter makes my brain saturate itself a few times a day. It is then that playing with colours and exploring my curiosity about what I will do, is a huge draw.  No words required. Actually, no thinking—at least, not in the way I usually do.  I will wander in my grey matter or mud bath, so to speak. This one is not as renowned as those I enjoyed in Rotorua, New Zealand, but it is beguiling just the same.  Oh, yes!

I am a curious cat, which found me yesterday shuffling through my many books. At that moment, I found a quote from my copy of  Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake, one of my favourite authors.  This description is of painting, which is also relevant to me because I watch a painter at work every single day. My friend.  These words capture so effectively the view from four feet across this studio space (excluding the non inclusive male pronouns), I just had to quote them.

“The love of the painter standing alone and staring, staring at the great coloured surface he is making. Standing with him in the room the rearing canvas stares back with tentative shapes halted in their growth, moving in a new rhythm from floor to ceiling. The twisted tubes, the fresh paint squeezed and smeared across the dry upon his palette. The dust beneath the easel. The paint has edged along the brushes’ handles. The white light in a northern sky is silent. The window gapes as he inhales his world. His world: a rented room, and turpentine. He moves towards his half-born. He is in love.”

In a slightly different way, I am in love too.  With my new paper with the texture which delights my fingertips.  The sleek brush I now count among my ‘Terry gear.’ Do not forget the borrowed Lukas watercolours that make my dancing eyes spill frenetic rainbows on the page.  At least, I hope so.

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