an odd collection of tales about learning to do the impossible

Posts tagged ‘change’

Day 8. There’s No Place Like Home

I left Kansas when I was 17 years old, and I remain surprised at the number of Wizard of Oz references I still get when I tell someone where I was born and raised. Today I am off the road, enjoying the town I once called home. To my delight, it remains surprisingly familiar.

I knew before I began my day what my Rule of the Road #8 would be. Get off the road once in awhile, and look around.

I also knew what my song of the day would be. It really was no contest. Yes, I know it has been overplayed, but trust me, if you had listed to as many dumb jokes about Toto and Auntie Em as I have, you’d want this song here too.

Read the full post at Day 8. There’s No Place Like Home

What’s the Point?

It doesn’t alter the fact that I’ve got this burning desire to tell the stories in my head, and soon as I get started telling them, this desire to make the world better kicks in while I’m at it. If I wrote for no other reason, I would write because it is my way of trying to improve things.

See the entire post at What’s the Point?

(Read more about why I write at The Number One Reason I Write Books,  My Eye-opening Second Reason for Writing , I write because it’s cheaper than therapy, Nothing cool about modest ambitions, I love to be loved and Remember My Name.)

Moments and Movements

I think the quote means that ultimately humans are a moral people who understand and wish for goodness. Given time and encouragement, they will grow in that direction much as a plant grows towards the sun…

No single event ended segregation, no one protest stopped the Vietnam war. But over years, the hatred behind racism and the futility of needless conflicts fell out of favor with mainstream American, and differences were made. Perhaps too little. Certainly too slowly. But it was undeniably better than if there had been no progress at all.

Read the entire post at Moments and Movements

A sense of time

I have less of a sense of time. Hours pass unnoticed when I write, minutes last forever as I stare at a blank page. I attribute this to living more inside my head than out of it. But if hours and minutes confound me, years and decades are worse.

Read more at A sense of time.

(For more of my recent thoughts on time, see my post Spending Time.)

A better word than hope?

But hope wasn’t quite the word I meant, any more than peace and joy had been with the first two books. I was trying to talk about refusing to let go of fears and animosity from the past, and refusing to give others a chance based on old experiences. And I was talking about the belief that humans cannot change, that they cannot learn to be, or choose to be, better.

Read more at A better word than hope?

 

(For more thought on words we need, see A better word than loyalty?, A better word than peace?, A better word than joy? and A better word than courage?)

Come on humans, we can do this!

It might have to do with my life long addiction to science fiction. I’m scared of nuclear annihilation and being replaced by cockroaches. Or by human-eating alien plants. Have you ever seen “Little Shop of Horrors?” If you’re prone to paranoia about what is going to replace you, I do not recommend it.

Me, I’m afraid of having the human race replaced by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And have you seen the latest “Planet of the Apes” movie? No matter how bad the script is, you can still worry about being replaced by sentient animals. Then of course, there are always zombies and vampires, and don’t even get me started on artificial intelligence. Am I only one in the world who took the Terminator movies seriously? Or Ex Machina?

Read more at Replacing me with …

(Read more about my trip to Kenya at Smiling my way across Kenya, Still a Sunrise?Like Eating Crab and  Happy Peace Day, Chinese Person in Tent Number 59)

And that’s the way it was, June 10 1947

She turned twenty-one that day, and married her high school sweetheart. He was about to turn twenty-two, and had already returned from the war, smoking cigarettes and telling tales of the motorcycle he had learned to ride. She thought that he seemed pretty full of himself since he got back, but she married him anyway at the small country church in the town in which she was raised. A 9:00 mass was followed by a giant buffet lunch which was followed by an afternoon of drinking and dancing and then a lavish dinner with more dancing and drinking after that.

Read the rest at And that’s the way it was, June 10 1947.

(For more segments about June days from long ago, see That’s the Way It Was June 15, 1984, June 18, 1972, June 28, 1888, and June 30, 1940.)

Those Far Away Places Could Be Next Door

Two things about far away places appeal to me. One is how different they are. The other is how similar they are. I think I like the second fact even better.

Read more at Those Far Away Places Could Be Next Door

Am I sure I’m Sherrie?

“Do you want to know what I’m thinking?”

“Of course I do.”

“Why?”

It was a trick questions, and I knew it, because we were in the middle of an argument. I guessed he was about to make the point that no, I really didn’t want to know because if I did then I wouldn’t be doing blah-de-blah.

But I was trying to diffuse the situation, for once. I’m not known as the diffuser in this relationship, but every once in awhile I have a good day. So I said ….

Read the whole post at Am I sure I’m Sherrie?

(and for more short excerpts from my upcoming novel, also see Worry about those you love and write about what you know, Point of View, The Amazing Things I Get to Do, and Cease worrying when you can and write about what you know.)

Did we just witness the dawn of …. ?

I suspect that you and I have have lived through times that changed the world in large ways, but it takes years to see the effects, especially in an age with cable news shouting about the significance of everything every minute of every day. But someone like my character Ariel would know right away, finding herself overcome with dizziness as the probabilities shifted heavily one way or another.

Read the entire post at Did we just witness the dawn of America’s four party system?

Smarter, kinder and living in 2017

Part of my growing politicization is that I have decided that I do not have to apologize for thinking the following:
1. Education is a wonderful thing. However you make your living, knowledge makes you a better person.
2. Open mindedness is a wonderful thing. What ever your religious beliefs, being hateful to any group does not please anyone’s God. I think every holy book on the planet is pretty clear about this.

This does not make me an elitist or a snowflake. Education makes us smarter. Open-mindedness makes us kinder.

Read the entire post at Smarter, kinder and living in 2017.

Solitaire and Nuclear War

10371641_sI’m thinking about how wars start and how peace is made, how markets crash or don’t, how criminal activity succeeds or is uncovered, and how alliances are forged or broken. How many if-that-little-thing-hadn’t-happened components are there to any major world event? I’m thinking there are a lot of them, most of which we never know.

Read more at Solitaire and Nuclear War.

Have you ever broken a law?

guidelinesNever ran a stop sign? Crossed the street on a red light? Exaggerated the value of your clothing donations on your income return?  Never double parked or jaywalked or even drove a single mile over the speed limit? Ever?

She had their attention then, and we generally went on to have a pretty lively discussion about what it means to be a law-abiding citizen. I liked to talk about Jack Sparrow’s famous quote that his pirate code was really more of a “guideline.” The fact is, we all consider some laws to be guidelines, particularly when we believe that consequences of our breaking them will not hurt anyone. The perception of which laws this applies to changes over time.

Read the entire post at Have you ever broken a law?

Backing Down, Making Nice, and Saying Goodbye

chicks

The Dixie Chicks sweep the 2007 Grammy Awards with their album “Not Ready to Make Nice”

Accept and move on. That doesn’t mean backing down on my principles.  It does not mean making nice with the people who put us into this mess. In fact, hanging on to what I believe and refusing to look the other way regarding hateful behavior is going to help me get out of this funk. I’m determined to find a way to say goodbye to a world that is not going to be, and then to work my hardest to see that four years from now I’m singing a very different kind of song.

Read my entire post about defiant music and my post election struggles on my c3 blog at Backing Down, Making Nice, and Saying Goodbye

Everything is Going to Be Alright

Our needs for certain kinds of music vary with the times. So, let me just ask you straight out — are you seeking out more songs of reassurance these days? I sure am.

Read the entire post on my x0 blog at Everything is Going to Be Alright. You might find yourself feeling better as you relax and enjoy a fun video of Bob Marley’s classic song

Our brand is crisis?

14469652_564576230393957_3537145904902612686_nThere is nothing like coming back from vacation to help you see life through new eyes, particularly if you’ve been lucky enough to spend a chunk of time somewhere that is quite different from the world you inhabit on a daily basis. If you have such good fortune, you will likely be asking questions like these: Why do we move so fast? How come we are always going somewhere? Why do we get so antsy when we lose our almost constant input from numerous electronic sources? Okay, may I should just speak for myself when it comes to the antsy part, but you get the point…

Read the rest of the post, and my review of the movie “Our Brand I Crisis” on my z2 blog at Our brand is crisis?

The time machines all around you

spring2The world, our world, is filled with magic when we are willing to use a broad brush to define enchantment. And why not? We touch upon telepathy and magic charms, natural shape shifters and mysterious potions, if you open your eyes wide enough in the aquarium or the pharmacy to see the correlations.

Read the entire post on my z2 blog at The time machines all around you.

Am I a shape shifter now?

My whole sense of balance changed when he shared the concept of “bottom heavy, top light”. My brain now sees my rooted foot or feet as made of iron, or as being a strong plant with roots that twine deeply into the earth. My reaching arms become gossamer wings, lighter than air as they stretch into the heavens.You might think this is just a mental game, until you watch me change a light bulb. I mean a real light bulb, in my real living room.

Read more at Am I a shape shifter now?

Greener Grass

The tough part is figuring out when it’s time to stop chasing perfection and embrace the life you are living. Do this too easily, and you are settling for less than you should. Never accept anything other than perfection, and you have chained yourself to a life of discontent. This living life well shit is so damn difficult, isn’t it?

Read this entire post at Greener Grass

If you’re going to be an old car ….

Years later, I found out that my dad never really got his pilot’s license … He had a student’s license to fly, and shortly before I was born he flipped a plane while trying to land in a crosswind.  He walked away from the accident and never set foot in a small plane again…

I think of the courage it must have taken for him to watch me learn to fly.

Read the entire post at If you’re going to be an old car ….

Am I a shapeshifter now?

My whole sense of balance changed when he shared the concept of “bottom heavy, top light”. My brain now sees my rooted foot or feet as made of iron, or as being a strong plant with roots that twine deeply into the earth. My reaching arms become gossamer wings, lighter than air as they stretch into the heavens.

You might think this is just a mental game, until you watch me change a light bulb. I mean a real light bulb, in my real living room.

Read the entire post at Am I a shapeshifter now?

Poverty is sexist

March 8 was International Women’s Day. On my x0 blog I wrote about a report by Maria Shriver that noted that in the U.S. (1) Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women,  (2) The average woman is paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, and African American women earn only 64 cents and Hispanic women only 55 cents for every dollar made by a white man and (3) men make more money than women who have the same level of educational achievement, from high school diplomas to advanced graduate degrees.

You can read my original post on the X0 blog called Poverty is sexist.

I praised the group One for encouraging Chancellor Angela Merkel to select women’s economic empowerment as one of the key issues for the 2015 agenda at the G7 summit meeting being held in Germany.

Well, the summit has come and gone, and I was delighted to read recently that Angela Merkel did include women’s economic empowerment as one of those key issues.  The G7 committed to “increasing the number of women and girls in developing countries receiving technical and vocational training through G7 measures by one third by 2030”, noted the need to improve working conditions that allow women and men to balance family life and employment, and agreed to the G7 Principles on Women’s Entrepreneurship including encouraging girls’ participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. More broadly, the G7 stated support for UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, and encouraged companies around the world to incorporate them into their practices.

High level conferences such as this don’t yield immediate policy changes anywhere, much less immediate results. None-the-less by placing a focus on the disproportionate financial burdens placed on women throughout the world, the G-7 summit took a step in the right direction. Good news is good.

 

Am I turning into a wild animal?

“Do you think maybe I’m turning into a wild animal?” I asked him. “Like, I used to be domesticated and it’s wearing off? Sort of like, I don’t know, rose bushes that revert back to what ever it was that they really were before some nursery grafted something else on to them?

”I can tell that I’ve lost him with the roses thing. He’s not much of a gardener and he’s got no idea of what I’m talking about.

“You’re fine,” he laughs.

“How do you know?”

Read the complete post at

Am I turning into a wild animal?.

How full is too full?

So about six months ago, I got fired up about going after something I wanted. It happens once in awhile. The person I share my life with bought into my idea, and that could have been the first problem. You see, what I wanted was complicated and expensive and going to take a real lot of effort. Sort of like the time that I decided what I wanted most in life was to sail around the world. Only that time, my partner had the good sense to suggest a long soak in the tub and big glass of wine instead.

Read the entire post at How full is too full?

 

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