A terminal for all blogs coming in or going out. A view into my life.
Started July 1st 2019 for contests, etc. as other blogs are filling up and have other purposes. |
I'm starting a new blog because
I'll be linking to
I love to be prodded (poetically). I'll be trying on new forms to see whether they fit my portliness at The Ultimate Poetry Challenge and posting them in:
|30DBC: "Do you consider yourself a patient person? How easy or difficult is it for you to wait for something? Does a delayed reward feel more or less satisfying than an immediate reward?"
I waited 17 years for a plant to bloom.
I've waited 20 years for a friend to call.
I've waited a lifetime for many things.
No, I'm not patient, just resigned to being depressed, at times wishing for nothing so that something, anything, will brighten my life.
I've lived off crumbs, physically, financially, but mostly emotionally.
It's hard for me to wait. I'm used to it.
Am I ever satisfied? I'm a creature of Spring and Autumn, of dawn and dusk but mostly twilight.
I've survived in the shadows where others perished.
I'm a child of the half-light.
But I'm not patient.
No, just resigned.
|30DBC: "How many languages do you speak? If you could instantly learn any language and be able to speak it fluently, what language would you pick? How would you use it and where would you go?"
5 ... poorly.
Let me explain.
1. English. I'm American and have difficulty understanding the English at times. Forget the Scots. I can hear the melody of the Irish best. The Norwegians are the easiest to understand and speak it better than I do. Lots of Irish where I grew up; here too. I have a Wisconsin accent although I've never lived there. I partially devoice final voiced consonants like many who grew up among German Americans.
2. French. I was raised with silly French songs and I can still remember snippets of them. I sing those to people who speak French. It makes them laugh; we all know the same songs. I had French in grade school and high school. I never could quite speak it. The grammar drives me nuts. My accent however isn't too awful. I last spoke French in Taiwan.
3. I was bored ... so I took Spanish in Summer school. Aced it throughout high-school. Bombed out in college but I was adored by my Spanish teacher because I wasn't a Spanish major. I went to Costa Rica and went mute. One month stranded in Peru helped. Having a car accident that jumbled my brain may have helped more. Afterwards I took in refugees and ... could think and dream in it. A miracle, imho. Someone in IT would probably say that old damaged software was dumped and a newer version installed. Whatever. I speak it all the time now. I sound Central American.
4. Portuguese. I took it in college on a whim. After a year I could actually speak it with a Brazilian accent, but ... Costa Rica ... and if you don't use it you lose it. I can still understand a lot. Helped in Portugal. I still speak it with a Brazilian accent though. I last used it on the plane (NRT-PDX) with a young Portuguese-Dane from Winnipeg. (Can't make this shit up!)
5. Norwegian. I wanted to speak it sooooo bad. I've been interested in Norway since I was 12. But... it wouldn't stick. The verbs drove me nuts. Now that I understand how they work I could learn it if I focused on studying it. I can speak a little. People tell me I sound Swedish... I've used it in Norway, Albania ... even Taiwan last year!
There isn't a language I don't want to learn. An implant would do me well. Yes, Mandarin would be nice but you should see how people smile when I say thank-you in Taiwanese instead. Even shocked someone by saying thanks in Atayal last trip.
I use language to connect. Everywhere I go in the world ...
|30DBC: What is your first memory of being really excited?
I look at a picture of the blond haired boy. I don't remember him.
My aunt once told me a story about how I threw food when I was in the high-chair. Maybe I was excited?
And supposedly I ran when I was 9 months old.
But memories? No.
My childhood faded long ago. I could look at grade school photos and tell you who-was-who. I was the goofy kid up front. I was small for my age.
But what excited me?
I remember finding an abandoned marigold in bloom. And irises and cosmos. Wild strawberries?
We would go search for them by the abandoned greenhouse and bring a cupful home and my mother would make shortcake.
Like the Ingmar Bergman movie, I'm an old man and my memories are black and white and hazy.
Not easily excited tonight. My flash fiction was found to be acceptable though:
|30DBC: For most of the world, today is “Spring Forward,” when clocks are set an hour ahead. In your entry today, write about time and how you make the most of it. What is worthy of spending your time on? What is not? In your opinion, what do people spend too much time on these days?
We waste too much time, energy and money changing the clocks. And too little time adjusting ourselves.
Now that that's said...
I do not spend time "wisely". At least not according to others. I daydream a lot. A LOT! Like a cat. I understand cats.
I could say that reading and writing is time well spent; but, those dishes need to be done... So: 1. make sure what is important gets done. 2. make sure what's timely gets done. 3. dusting only matters if you're bored, OCD, or a slave.
Most things can slide. Hugging your kids cannot.
I spend too much time overthinking. I worry (The Joy of Worry = I always have plan B).
Others? Watching TV. Seriously, it's a virtual world that entraps the audio and visual senses and makes one an observer of the world instead of an active participant. Okay in small doses but many people binge.
Reading isn't the same. It engages and yes, it can keep one from having a life, but it doesn't control the senses in the same way. Same with always having music on (or the radio... remember radio?).
For me traveling helps because I have to engage in the world whether I want to or not.
I could add the dangers of sitting in front of a screen all day ... but here I sit blogging ... Major problem for many of us.
Gotta go ... got water boiling and dishes to wash ...
|30DBC: What does wisdom mean to you? Give an example.
I responded to Bobturn : "I think wisdom can be present without 20/20 vision or hindsight. But having a clear grasp of the situation (experience helps) seems to be a component. When it's foggy (whether any decision is wise or not), wisdom may only be clear in retrospect."
Wise: Years ago, I went to a meeting. I knew these two guests were "off". Knew enough about the danger. Read between the lines. I left without making a scene, but shared my concerns with my friend Linda who listened, concurred and made a phone call. When it all came out in the wash I was right. Other friends were very upset but with all due respect ... they were naive. They didn't know. I did. Didn't make me 'better', just made me wiser for that moment.
Unwise: I take risks with people in order to connect. I'm needy. This isn't good. It clouds my judgment. Yes, I could give specifics, but shame, fear, and realizing that most people wouldn't understand ... means that I won't. I won't invite your criticism ... and there has been plenty over the years. Was it a lack of knowledge? Sometimes. But mostly it was a mix of denial and hope leading to poor judgment.
We shall see: I'm easily overwhelmed and I tend to over-think (when I'm thinking). At times I feel lost in a fog. I can't see the path in, out, around or through. Life doesn't always wait for the fog to lift. My trip to Spain is a prime example.
What I was dealing with:
1. Two trips planned with only 9 days respite. A 9 week trip planned (March-May). I was tired.
2. A new unexpected threat: the Wuhan coronavius.
3. Experience watching how Taiwan went from a friendly peaceful place to one on edge. While the Americans and Europeans were blissful in their ignorance I had to confront choices. One friend re-arrange flights at a personal loss; I chose to stay. Now ... in retrospect ... we were safer there than here.
4. But ... I needed to make decisions. I'd booked my flight to Spain without travel insurance. I tried to add it. I couldn't. Later the bank suggested that maybe it was a glitch. The glitch may have been activating a new charge card that deactivated my old one. I may never know for sure.
5. So ... No INSURANCE! Information on-line mentioned how an American getting sick in Europe could be charged thousands of dollars with no recourse. For those who don't know ... Medicare does not go abroad; there are no reciprocal health agreements. Spain, specifically, can be expensive and brutal in this regard.
6. I stay in hostels ... not safe in times of viral infections. Countries were quarantining ... at whose cost? Private room with private facilities are no guarantee to be low-risk but I started to check on-line. Not cheap but I could swing it. However, I was already out-of-time.
7. And in the US? I stay in an old hotel where we share toilets and baths. Not safe here either.
8. Will the US quarantine? No idea then, still none.
9. Can I get checked? NO! Only now have test-kits become available.
10. Can I get checked now? Maybe ... the numbers will soar. I suspect that presently there are 500-1000 positive cases overall, most undiagnosed. So there will be a backlog. Get in line.
11. Will it cost? Yep. They say Medicare will cover the test. But the hospital? Doubt it. Will there be a public place to get tested? Doubt it. New York is working on this, but Montana has a pay-as-you-go mentality. Don't have the money? Die. Just DIE.
12. Should I just go ... somewhere ... where there's a cheap private room ... not many in Costa Rica (although I know of one)! I looked; they are not to be found on-line. There are NONE here in Montana.
13. Should I go somewhere where it's safe? The only 'safe' places I know of are Taiwan and Singapore. You paying? I lost $700 by cancelling my non-refundable flights. No recourse.
14. Next flight? Travel insurance. Shorter trip. More flexibility. All this = more expensive.
Was I wise to cancel? Am I unwise to stay here? Would I be better off leaving? Would travel insurance even matter? I'm 'old' and not as healthy as 10 years ago. I suspect that when this is over the mortality rate will be about 1%, but among the elderly more like 5-10% and groups at risk? 20%. I'm guessing I'm at 2-3%. Roll the dice? I'm not a gambler. Only time will tell what is/was/will-be wise.
What would you do if it were your life?
|30DBC: What product would you stockpile if you found out it would never be sold again? (If the product you choose is perishable, imagine, for the purposes of this question, that the product would remain useable/edible forever.)
Seriously? Probably chocolate. Remember the favorite candies of your childhood? When was the last time you saw them? Those.
My mother, age 97, remembers 'cream drops' that her grandfather Mentzell would give her ... so think of Pennsylvania ... 1925 or so.
One can still find them (on the internet) but they aren't common in stores.
For my token gifts I gave out in Taiwan, I included Choward's Violet Candy, a memory of my childhood (first made in 1847). Saw some here in town... they aren't common any more.
Are there candy stores in your town? We have one here inside the Southgate Mall, but I've been to old-fashioned candy stores in Phillipsburg and Helena. One sees them around the world if one looks but in modern America we no longer have stores like Kresge's 5&10 (five and dime) that carried penny-candy.
So ... chocolate.
The coronavirus scare is a different issue as I sit here sneezing (probably due to dust). I have plenty of canned soups and pasta for a short-term hide-in-my-room. Long-term doesn't matter imho. I won't survive a collapse of civilization. Why would I want to? Who would read my poems? With no one to connect to, sticking around would be senseless. On the other hand, if I did survive along with others I'd cope. I always have ... as long as there's chocolate.
|Write about a recent success. Yours or someone else’s - your choice!
Biden and Bernie.
Biden actually won a primary contest! He hadn't had much luck in the past. Now 77 he along with Bernie, age 78, stand above the bones of those who also had dreams, reached out, died of thirst.
Both know what it's like to strive and lose.
But to strive is to be alive.
Politics and political positions aside... imagine yourself at 75 running around the cities and the countryside of an at-times unappreciative audience shouting, "Me, it's Me!
Sounds exhausting. And yet, there they are. Not done yet.
(I'd be collecting the rotten tomatoes they threw at me for supper.)
Whatever else will be written Biden and Bernie will be remembered for not understanding the word "retired". Win or lose, in so many ways they have won.
|Since my trip is upended I sit here wondering what I can do to salvage the month of March once I calm down over my disappointment.
Unfortunately my fears over my present situation (I live in a place of shared toilets and showers) is getting in my way, which is why my blog for the 30 Day Blog Challenge is posted elsewhere: "CORONAVIRUS in a nation that's lost its mind." . Which may or may not be read.
I intend to read as many blogs as possible this month. I would appreciate it if other bloggers would also consider commenting on their fellow writer's blogs to at least show support for their writing efforts.
Please understand that I'm not happy to spend as much time writing about serious topics (like the above) to just receive a response of *crickets*. You are welcome to disagree! But silence is not golden and I fear the silence of a uncaring on-line public or hysterical IRL mob will kill me.
1. Write as much as I can.
2. Edit those vampire stories.
3. Make booklets of poems, stories, prose. Do it instead of just dreaming it!
4. Seriously unclutter and clean.
5. Keep in touch on-line as much as possible and send postcards and messages, make phone calls so folks know I'm okay.
I should plan my next trips... wisely. Although, I may put this off until April.
|If you could be paid for doing anything you wanted full time, what would you do? When you were a child, what did you dream of doing when you grew up? Then, take some time to research “unconventional” jobs (ie. hot air balloonist, deep sea invertebrate researcher, professional table tennis master, etc) and share one that you think you would be good at or would be fun to try.
A very long prompt.
1. If you could be paid for doing anything you wanted full time, what would you do?
Nothing. Had jobs. So, no. I prefer the idle life. I read, write, travel, take photos, share... If someone could pay me for that without it being a burden? Yeah. Maybe travel agent? Maybe professor. Both share knowledge.
2. When you were a child, what did you dream of doing when you grew up?
I started gardening when I was 9. I had a 'town' with cars and houses and clay roads... in the dirt. Maybe I should have been a landscaper or urban planner... maybe. As a child I dreamt a lot. But never about working. I didn't care about money, had none, still don't care.
3. Then, take some time to research “unconventional” jobs (ie. hot air balloonist, deep sea invertebrate researcher, professional table tennis master, etc) and share one that you think you would be good at or would be fun to try.
8) Full-time Netflix viewer: ... NO, too boring.
7) Train Pusher: ... NO, too stressful.
6) Professional Mourner: ... BETTER. I prefer funerals to weddings.
5) Snake Milker: ... NO.
4) Dog food taster: ... NO, I'll leave that to the dogs and those who best understand them.
3) Odour Judge: ... NO, not qualified. My sniffer is snuffed.
2) Marmite Taster: ... NO.
1) Scuba Diving Pizza Delivery Man: NO. I hate water, can't swim and you gotta be kidding...
So that leaves professional mourner. Except I take after my mother who considered my dad's funeral her party. She cried in private. So 21 years ago that's what she was doing. My dad died on February 26th, buried on March 2nd.
"O SON OF THE SUPREME! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?" The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic #32.
So maybe I'd do better being a professional mourner in New Orleans... I don't consider death a bad thing. When I do mourn I mourn for me, myself.
|Write about the practice of making lists. Does list-making stifle creativity, or enhance it? When working on a big project, does making a list help organize your thinking, or cause you to feel more overwhelmed? Are you a habitual list maker, and if so, what do you list?
I'm most creative when I just fling the shit. Any prompt will do. Lists? I've made them but they take effort that later I don't have energy to follow up on. Organised notes? Fine. Outlines? Ouch.
I get easily overwhelmed.
Today I have to decide whether I cancel my trip to Spain. US Medicare is worthless overseas and there is no guarantee that I will be taken care of. I'm screwed if I stay home as well as this building is not set up for isolation. We share toilets and showers.
I've thought of renting a place for a month in Portugal... but...
I make packing lists when I'm not stressed. When I'm stressed I can check them off. Still stressful... but less so.
I make postcard lists as well. I sent 13 postcards to 12 people this last trip but didn't write down to whom I sent #6... I guess it was Renae! Still no word whether some have been received.
I took pictures so I could remember to whom I sent them and what I wrote. I sometimes wax poetic.
I'm most creative when I daydream. I dissociate more when I'm depressed and not in a rush; although, stray thoughts distract me then as well. I'm better off listful or just plain lost in thoughts.
Lists help me organize and get certain things done; but... they are counter-productive for actual creativity.