Losing Control

From my book Tao of Thoreau. Order it from the sidebar!

This is good advice for me at the beginning of the school year. Staying calm and remembering that all of these stresses are indeed transient is difficult right now. I am trying to remember that obstacles are also opportunities and frustrations are lessons. I can let them bog me down or believe these challenges will make me grow.

It’s not black and white

As I stated in my last post, gray is the color of evil in my stories, not black.  

This started as a recognition of the power of words, and the impact they have on our thinking. The white is good and black is evil dichotomy is very old, and probably predates white vs. Black racism. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t support this evil way of thinking.  

This was incredibly well dramatized in a scene from the movie Malcolm X. While Malcolm was in prison, a fellow inmate had him look up the words “black” and “white”. While white has almost completely positive associations, black is defined with words about distress, crime and evil. Again, these things possibly developed out of inoffensive feelings like fear of the dark, or of the unknown, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t supported stereotypes and prejudice. Here’s the link if you want to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51USLgPWhgc 

I really like the band The Killers, but there are lines in their new song “Boy” that bother me. I hope the lyrics “White arrows will break/ The black night” are not intended to be racial, but I can certainly understand someone interpreting them in that way. 

Besides the potential problems with these opposing colors, I think it is also lazy writing. We’ve used these symbols for thousands of years – maybe it’s time to come up with a new way to capture evil. I am going to keep using gray.  

Afraid of the Dim

I’ve always thoughts dimness was more frightening than darkness. 

I’ve had dreams throughout my life where the only light is a dim, dusty gray. I was always frightened in these dreams. Objects were just on the edge of visible, and took on a strange character, as if the gray light changed their natures into something foul, perhaps evil. 

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Milestones

Tao of Thoreau sales

It’s wonderful to have the word ‘royalties’ to finally be part of my life. I first saw self-publishing to be a kind of defeat, a huge compromise to my dream of being accepted by a publisher.

Instead, it has become incredibly affirming. Not because money, which is nice. Because people are actually reading my words. The reality of self-publishing is infinitely better than the dream of being published.

Notes on infinity

I don’t know if this is going to be a poem or article. Maybe both. I’m trying to grasp the infinite abundance of our world, our universe.

Count the pine needles
    I thought of that line as I walked through the woods, looking at the yellow blanket of pine needles on the trail and under the trees. Imagine trying to count them. It made me think about the line where measurements blur into the infinite.

Look to infinity 
Relentless abundance 
You are standing in it
Walking on it
Throbbing with it

Infinity is the disappearing importance of measurement 
Of rulers
Of defining numerals

Measure me out 
a teaspoon of thyme.
But make me the same teaspoon twice
With the exact number of grains each time.

I feel like I’m capturing something that I have been after a long time. These are elusive thoughts, though, and it takes time to refine them.