Sunday, January 31, 2016

I Refuse to Break

Bullets are flying
I'm slowly dying
The things that I want so much
Are the things I can never touch

But I will never break
I've taken what I thought
I could not take
Every time you do me wrong
I just end up getting strong

I refuse to break
I simply refuse to break
Though my heart
Was made of glass
I'm pullin' pieces
From the trash
and I am melting them down
To a substance that astounds
I will amaze myself with what I take
Shoot at me, honey
I don't break

Keep on firing
My will is untiring
My blood is gushing out
Wounds made by your mouth

But I can't ever break
Because I promised that
I would plant my stake
I know you're in the wrong
But I'll be strong

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Catching Full Arch Rainbows

I was three years old when I saw my first, full-arch rainbow. One
of my parents (can't remember which), pulled me close to the van window where I could get a better view. I remember there were raindrops on the glass, and the sky was dark in some places and light in others. It took me a couple moments to figure out what all the hoopla was about, but when I did I thought it was beautiful.

Since then, I have witnessed only a few full-arch rainbows. They don't happen very often, and if you're not careful, you miss them. Today, I happened upon one as I was leaving work. The beautiful thing was, not only did I have time to enjoy the splendid sight of the full-arch bending across the sky, but I actually had my camera on me, and was able to capture the moment. I celebrated two things today, one was the spontaneous beauty of nature itself, and the other was my preparedness and therefore ability to capture an otherwise fleeting moment of existence.

To me, that is good artistry. Not only having an eye trained to see beauty, but to have the skill and discipline to capture it as well.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Productive Thinking

by Francesco Mugnai
Dear World,

Today, I've been thinking.

I've been thinking about thinking, and what I think about. As an author, and someone who spends an excessive amount of time up in her head, thoughts are extremely important to me. Coming out of a season of relentless panic attacks and intrusive thoughts, I am enjoying a clearer mind and feel that I'm regaining control of the theater of my mind's eye. My mental repose has left me wondering, "How much time have I wasted on non-productive thought?"

Honestly, I'd have to say a huge portion of my life has gone down the drain. Through my teen years, much of my thought life had to do with fantasies, either in book form, or my own. By fantasy, I mean an escape to another reality, often grandiose or magical in nature. I have always liked fantasy, but lately, I've found myself questioning its validity all together.

People who defend fantasy say that we can learn lessons from unrealistic situations and apply them practically to our everyday lives. However, if the volume of my time is spent yearning for other places, I am not learning how to live in my own world. After all, I live here, I interact with others here, I have problems here, I live, fight, love and die right here. Of course, there is a time for the fantastical and those stories that are larger than life which can help me gain perspective and insight. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that we need more stories we can relate to that don't just leave us fantasizing about what can never be (slaying dragons and what not), but instead striving for what can and what ought to be.

My personal experience with fantasy adventures mostly left me pining, longing for something I couldn't have, expecting things that would never be, and comparing others to standards that were impossible to attain. I'm sure I learned some valuable things along the way, but a vast portion of it was simply an emotional escape. I think everybody tries to escape. Its a way to cope. Some drown out the world in alcohol and drugs, others fill up or empty themselves of food. Lots of people use music to block out the noises they don't want to hear, or turn on the TV or bury themselves in a book to avoid looking at the real world around them. Others slap the bandaid of religion on the dying and feel superior for doing so.

But what if we, instead, looked at the real world and saw the pain, listened to the world and heard the crying, and then used our brains and our emotions to do something about those problems... Wouldn't things slowly but surely become better?

I don't think I'm trying to knock fantasy as a genre or as a thought form completely. I would simply ask you and I start thinking about how we think. What fills up our brains? How much time do you dedicate to solving problems instead of wallowing in or running away from them.

Don't misunderstand me, I love a good story, and I love movie night as much (maybe more) than the next guy. I just think that maybe our escapism would work out better if we could, in those moments of suspended reality, learn how to solve problems and bring those solutions home.

Photo by by Francesco Mugnai

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