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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2003843
by Joy
Rated: 18+ · Book · Experience · #2003843
Second blog -- answers to an ocean of prompts
Kathleen-613's creation for my blog

"Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself."
CHARLIE CHAPLIN


Blog City image small

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

David Whyte


Marci's gift sig


T



his is my supplementary blog in which I will post entries written for prompts.
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... Next
July 14, 2019 at 1:14pm
July 14, 2019 at 1:14pm
#962602
Prompt: What do you think it means to be "judged by the content of one’s character"? If you wish, write a scene, a story, or a poem in which an individual is not judged by the content of his or her character, but by something totally different from it.

------

For this idea, we must first think about what the content of one’s character refers to. My question is can we really determine what one’s character contains even if we have known that person for decades? After all, some serial killers have been known as one of the most respected people of their community. Thus, the knowledge of the contents of one’s character is an iffy concept, to begin with. This makes the promise of judging a person by the criteria of their character is unreliable.

Take a political person for example. Their words may drip with passion and compassion for the citizens, but their actions at other times and their words in their private life may show just the opposite. Mostly, such a person has a penchant for pretending to be who they aren’t, and worse yet, such people can resort to animosity and fake information about their opponents.

In the same vein, the word content means what is held inside. Thus, the real content of one’s character is not the same as one’s reputation. Each person is born with an inclination toward one character. Life experiences evolve, alter, better or worsen that character. Some people aren’t even aware of what their own characters hold.

My point is, since we can’t fully know anyone’s character’s contents, I lean more toward, “Judge not, that ye be not judged!” Of course, forming an opinion on someone's character makes us adapt to circumstances, but I think passing a clear-cut, unchangeable judgment on anyone's character is useless and baseless.



July 12, 2019 at 5:59pm
July 12, 2019 at 5:59pm
#962507
Prompt: write about a physical injury you or someone close to you had and how it made you feel.

----

One of my sons used to be impulsive, reckless, and yet clumsy. Usually, he landed on his feet, but there was this time when he decided to climb a huge oak tree in the backyard with reachable branches much higher from the ground.

I have no inkling why or how the idea hit him. He must have picked up a string--yes, a roll of string, not rope. He must have thrown it over the lowest branch which was about 15-20 feet from the ground. Holding on to the string, he must have tried to climb the darn tree.

He wasn’t a small kid at the time either. He was in his early teens. I didn’t know what he was up to, as a few minutes earlier, he was practicing his baseball pitch. There was a lull in the sound of his pitching, but I didn’t make much of it. We had a two-acre yard, then. I thought he was walking around or something. So, I kept busy in the kitchen. From the open window, I heard a big thud. I stepped out to the yard and spotted him walking toward me. His face had lost its color, and he was holding his left arm with his right hand. There was no blood, but from the looks of the arm, I immediately knew the bone was broken.

My first thought was that he slipped and fell down while walking about. He had slipped and fallen down, all right, but up from the tree because the string had broken. Now, who’d climb that tree with the use of a flimsy string!

I was upset, angry, and mostly in panic mode, and I was feeling like I was about to throw up. Just then, my husband came home, my knight in shining armor, and we took him to the ER. They set the bone there and put his arm in a cast.

For weeks after that, I worried that the arm wouldn’t set right. Luckily, it healed with no scar or disability.

People say, boys will be boys, but can’t they be boys without giving their parents so much crap?

He is fifty years old now, and as I write this, I still feel nervous.
July 11, 2019 at 7:17pm
July 11, 2019 at 7:17pm
#962463
Prompt: What does making a fresh start mean to you?

=====

Fresh start has to do with the stuff we may be upset about or it has to do with dealing with our own regretful actions in a situation.

As I wrote earlier somewhere in this blog, at one point in my life, I decided to let go of regrets whether they had to do with the road not taken or the road taken. Since I am human, I am liable to regret both my actions and my inactions, but what does that serve? Nothing and no one.

Thus, no spilled milk for me. The only thing I can focus on is the lesson learned and the hope for the right mindset in the future.

For that end, I concentrate on becoming immersed in what I do without ruminating on regrets and beating on myself, so I can find a good amount of meaning in my days and a sense of satisfaction with life. This, I think is making a fresh start.

A fresh start may also happen when, to no fault of our own, someone hurts or disappoints us. In such a case, it is a good idea to let go of feelings of being unjustly treated and move on to greener pastures with other people. This, too, I consider a fresh start.
July 10, 2019 at 11:58am
July 10, 2019 at 11:58am
#962408
Prompt: "The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind but the goodness of a person spreads in all directions." Chanakya Write anything you want about this.

---

Short of becoming a saint, a person can spread the goodness inside her by feeling and acting as if he or she is in service of others all the time, just like the fragrance of flowers. A flower doesn’t care who smells its fragrance, it just lets it out for everyone. Like a flower, any one person can spread his or her positive energy, too.

Even if one doesn’t have the means to help, there are a few simple things everyone can do for others, easily, like acknowledging the existence of others by greeting them with a smile, picking up a few pieces of trash if they see them, appreciating any kind of service with a thank-you, giving to the needy, and never badmouthing anyone.

It is also a good idea to accept and respect other people’s ways of talking, believing, and thinking even if they seem to be very different.

If a person can manage to make these things a habit, others may appreciate or even imitate him or her, and who knows, one day, this may spread to an entire community, city, nation, or even the whole world. Just keeping my fingers crossed!


Mixed flowers in a basket


Prompt: Psychological trauma is described as a type of distress in the mind that occurs as a result of a painful event. How would you help someone close to you if they have gone through such a trauma?

If a person has gone through an extremely stressful and disturbing event, which may have left them unable to gain control over their emotions and feelings, that qualifies as psychological trauma. This could be a one-time event or an ongoing one, for example, PTSD or living in a dangerous place or stressful relationship or the ticking clock like a scheduled surgery.

What bad things happen to a person, it may take a while for them to get over it and feel safe from it again. When in the company of a traumatized person, we have to understand that, for such a person, there is no right or wrong way to think, feel, or talk, and we shouldn’t be judging their behaviors if we wish to help them. Distressed people need to feel what they feel when they feel it. They don’t need their feelings minimized or looked down upon.

A few things I can think of that may help a traumatized person by a layperson are:

• to encourage them to get moving, exercising, etc.
• to befriend them and accept them as they are whether they want to talk about their trauma or not.
• to encourage them to ask for support. If they reject professional counseling, then having them talk to a family member, a friend, or a clergy person.
• to have them reconnect with friends, old or new.
• to introduce them to other people, encouraging them to seek new areas of interest
• to encourage them to do volunteer work since helping others challenges the sense of helplessness

July 8, 2019 at 10:53am
July 8, 2019 at 10:53am
#962289
Prompt: What kinds of meanings does the word “stuff” hold for you? Can you think more meanings of it than what’s in the dictionary

=======

Such a versatile word is “stuff”. It is derived from Old High German stoffōn, stopfōn (“to plug, stuff”) and Old English stoppian, changing its colors over the centuries many times over.

As a verb, it means to fill something like a hole, receptacle or some space, like stuffing the turkey. An angry person may just tell you to stuff it, but I am not going into the detailed meanings of that here. Suffice it to say that in informal British use it means the rejection of something like, “Stuff that Gym Class!”

If you eat too much, you might feel stuffed since you have stuffed your face. When someone berates you, they may be knocking the stuffing out of you.

As a noun, it means any kind of matter or activity, real or implied. It also points to belonging. When an author says, “my stuff” he or she is referring to their work. In fact, you put any adjective or noun in front of stuff, and what you say takes a whole new meaning, such as icky stuff, red stuff, muddy stuff, girlie stuff, guy stuff, war stuff, animal stuff, school stuff, vacation stuff, house stuff.

Talking about house stuff, your house may be full of stuff, old stuff, new stuff, retro stuff. It may be so stuffed that you may want to move to a different house to escape from all that stuff.

At that point, if someone asks you what’s on your mind, you may answer with a sigh, “Stuff!” This answer here or in other situations may also point to delicate things that are either too painful or private, which you don’t want to go into. Related to this, people can have hard stuff, rough stuff, hot stuff, cool stuff, etc.

In the same vein, how about zombie stuff, monster stuff, vampire stuff, political stuff, big stuff, bad stuff, machine stuff, hate stuff, love stuff, school stuff, family stuff, electronic stuff, Hollywood stuff, relationship stuff and so on…

Then, if you know what you are talking about, they’ll say you know your stuff, or they might say, “she’s some stuff,” which may have a dubious implication, just like when they might say, “she’s strutting her stuff,” while they might think you are a stuffed shirt.

Of course. on the positive side, you might be the stuff of their dreams or the stuff of legends, especially on Christmas when you are their favorite stocking stuffer. Now, that’s stuff that matters, and it’s a lot of stuff.

stuff ensues unseen
we slip, we slump, we rummage
world turns on its head

July 6, 2019 at 10:31pm
July 6, 2019 at 10:31pm
#962183
Prompt: “As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk63Psr3wzY
Prose, poem, or story: How do the song or the windmills of your own mind affect and inspire you?


-----------


The Windmills of your Mind is the theme song for the movie, The Thomas Crown Affair. In the plot of the movie, there are two high-achieving main characters: the millionaire Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) who concocts a scheme to rob a bank and Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway), an investigator for the bank's insurance company. These two play a chasing game (involving both the crime and the romance), at the end of which no one totally wins.

I have always loved the song, though not the movie so much, because sometimes my mind works in circles, too, but in the personal sense and when I am writing. I think this happens because of my content-related associative mind or thinking=feeling system, which detects a novelty when it hits on a related bunch of memories. Thus, the song.

Even though I have the Sting’s version in the prompt, I like the original one as Michel Legrand sang it.

In its entirety, the words to the song are:

“Round
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending on beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple
Spinning silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind!

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half-forgotten dream
Like the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple
Spinning silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind!

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly?
Was it something that you said?
Lovers walk along a shore
And leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway
Or the fragment of a song
Half-remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair?

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind”


July 5, 2019 at 12:34pm
July 5, 2019 at 12:34pm
#962089
Prompt “The moon in all her immaculate purity hung in the sky, laughing at this world of dust. She congratulated me for my carefully considered maneuvers and invited me to share in her eternal solitude.”
Empress Shan Sa
Prose, poem, or story: How does the moon affect you?


---

Full Moon
(A Haibun)


Once, she had thought, "That silly moon is just a pebble in the sky, secretly believing it’s a precious gem and not realizing that it only reflects the splendor of the sun."

playing peek-a-boo
the full moon foolishly proves
it’s made up of stone

One night, deep in the woods, under the glow of the haunting full moon, he pulled her to him for a kiss, while shadows danced ominously against the trees. Ever since, she has been howling at the moon.

deceiving glitter
a freaky caricature
validates love's pain


July 4, 2019 at 12:02am
July 4, 2019 at 12:02am
#962008
Prompt: "Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead. That is where your future is." Ann Landers What are your thoughts about this?

-----

Good advice, I think, especially for young people with quite a number of years ahead of them, theoretically speaking.

Yet, what do you do about memories, good and bad or in-between, that start popping up in the mind? Fact is, I kind of like them. I am not afraid of any of them, and if anything, they make good writing material. The only problem with looking back or remembering has to do with regretting things, behavior, or decisions and letting the past to hold a person back.

Thus, sometime in my twenties, I decided to regret nothing as even the worst moments have taught me a thing or two. There’s nothing one can do about them, anyhow; therefore, the only thing that can affect anything in life is the present and the future.

In my case, I’ve also let go of the future because the future may portend things that I could worry about, too, if not for myself, then for loved ones around me. So, I think it is best to live in the present moment because the next hour, let alone the next day or month or year, isn’t guaranteed to be a happy one or to exist at all.

July 3, 2019 at 11:10am
July 3, 2019 at 11:10am
#961977
Prompt: Where would you fly right now if you could hop in a plane?

------

I am not too crazy about air flights anymore. They have become a pain. Yet, if they were to revert to what they were, say about 30 years ago, I would go to NYC since my older son lives there, but if I could go to just anywhere without any thought to family or other concerns, I would probably go to Ireland and then to Scotland.

This is because I love what Irish authors of any genre do so well with their prose and language and the way they present their country via their fiction. That is why I would like to go there. Although I know the Shannon airport and its environs, since we stayed there overnight, it wasn’t like I really visited Ireland. Then, even if I am not a real drinker, I’d like to visit a pub or two in Dublin as I am rather partial to Guinness. Not to mention seeing the countryside and the small towns as small towns anywhere have always intrigued me.

While on the islands, I’d also like to see a good part of Scotland and the moors as Emily Brontë's Heathcliff, Diana Gabaldon, Loch Ness, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Tana French, and the like have been poking me for a long time.

I have seen enough about Continental Europe and some parts of the Middle East, so I am not curious about those places. But I’d hop to Ireland and Scotland willingly...if I could.
July 2, 2019 at 12:47pm
July 2, 2019 at 12:47pm
#961927
Prompt: What does independence mean to you?

------

The meaning of independence depends on the angle you are looking at it as it may mean a variety of things.

Personally, it points to the fact of living one’s life without being helped or influenced by others, but isn’t this something too tough? We are all influenced first by our families and backgrounds, then by society, religion, and our degree or width of education, and still by politics and the media. Talking for myself, I was even influenced by my children! *Laugh*

Then, take old age. How much can senior citizens be independent with their ailing bodies and minds and not many ways to pay for help?

Independence also means the ability of a nation or state to exercise self-government, usually over a certain territory. This, too, may be tough to do as we live on this small planet which seems too big to us with its many nations and their ways of being. If we are going to get along with everybody in our wide, wide world, some of our self-government may need a few sacrifices, and this is talking about the richest, safest, and most independent countries.

Consider the smaller or third-world countries. Since they depend on others to survive, no matter how much they govern themselves, can we consider them truly independent, especially when the big guys fight and want them to take sides?

According to statistics, “Two events are said to be independent if one event's occurrence does not influence the probability that the other event will or will not occur.” Whether one can make heads and tails out of this statement or not, the study of Statistics divides people into cells and their probabilities, and lo and behold, statistics are not usually 100% correct.

Thus, I have to say there is no such thing as total independence, but we can all attain a quantity or a quality of independence, be it as a person or as a nation.


July 1, 2019 at 9:34pm
July 1, 2019 at 9:34pm
#961889
Prompt: Much ado is made about stretching the brain and reading and writing outside our comfort zone. Do you think this is helpful? How much fun is it for you to read and write outside your usual genres or your comfort zone?

---

Anything I did that I enjoyed the most in my life I did outside my comfort zone. I can swear to that.

I can’t say that the same goes 100% for my reading and writing, especially reading even though I read just about everything. For example, I never liked the dry and cut police-procedural type of novels, but because I kept hearing about Tana French so much, I gave her a try. Now, I am reading everything she has written, as I pointed out in another entry, and enjoying myself immensely.

What I usually like to read is what they put in the literary genre as booksellers and book-sites online do, stuff that makes me think goes deep into the character without skimping on the plot and other elements, in a simple yet almost poetic prose. Sure enough, such books are heavy in length and not many readers have that kind of patience, but this is just fine with me. In fact, in Amazon and other book reviewing sites, many readers comment "boooring!" or some such thing to the type of books I end up loving.

Still, when it comes to writing, I like to try everything. Just the trying part is fun and who knows I might learn something from that. This is because by experimenting with different styles, I might also improve my craft. With poetry, one learns to put huge meanings into a tiny amount of words, for example. With non-fiction or just writing prose pieces, I might get good at knitting sentences structurally. With stories, I might come up with stuff loaded with vivid imagery, rich storylines, and stunning characters. (I wish!) So, why not try everything?

The same goes for different genres, even the ones I don’t know much about. Although some say, “Write what you know,” there is such a thing called research isn’t there? Even with the most miserable stuff I’ve written, I probably enjoyed the research of it the most.

From which angle I look at it, choosing to write outside of my comfort zone if just for the practice is beneficial. After that, I can write whatever comes and hope sometime, somewhere some true magic will happen.



June 28, 2019 at 1:04pm
June 28, 2019 at 1:04pm
#961687
Prompt: Write about your first love — be it a person, place, or thing.


---

I like the place or thing idea because so many things surfaced from the depths of memory. With people, eh! I can count it on the fingers of one hand, if that!

Still, it is difficult to remember that far back, but I think it was the fish pond in the backyard with red-colored fish gliding in the water. The pond was circular and quite deep, maybe at the height of a tall man. I am guessing this was because the fish retreated to the bottom in cold weather.

I wasn’t allowed to go near it alone, which possibly suggested to me that there’s danger in love and in all hidden things when they are so deep that you can’t see the bottom. My mother would hold me tight from my waist and let me watch the pond with quite a few fish in it. Maybe her holding me back did it, that resistance of mine, which would surface many years later.

Once a cat stealthily neared the pond. It could have been a stray or one of the cats that belonged to my aunt who lived with us, I can’t exactly recall. That cat hooked her front leg and let her claws into the water, almost catching one of the fishes. Someone shooed it away, saving the fish.

What one loves can be in danger, too. Another reason to stay away from it, right? Another reason to avoid the hurt.

The fish weren’t always so lucky. A while later, when I was a bit older, I saw a cat catch one of those fish. After that, a wire mesh was stretched on the pond. I am not too sure that wire mesh was strong enough to save the fish from the cats. Maybe it was just the adults' wishful thinking and their need to do something about it.


June 26, 2019 at 11:21pm
June 26, 2019 at 11:21pm
#961596
Prompt: What was the last book you read?

---

The Likeness by Tana French


Here’s the review I wrote for it. "The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, Book 2)"  

I am on a Tana French kick. This was the fourth book I read written by this Irish writer. It is a murder-mystery, and I neither read nor like anything about murder, but this woman’s handling of her subjects is far beyond what the genre suggests. They are literary to the bone and much longer than the average murder/police procedural type of novels. In fact, some murder/mystery buffs are complaining of the length of her novels.

I am in the process of reading another one, now. If Tana French writes it, I’ll read. *Smile*
June 26, 2019 at 3:09pm
June 26, 2019 at 3:09pm
#961576
Prompt: "Weeds are flowers, too once you get to know them." A. A. Milne What are your thoughts about this?

----

I love this quote because there are so many ways of looking at it.

First, some weeds do have flowers. They may be tiny or unnoticeable but they are flowers, nevertheless.

Then, some weeds are medicinal to the degree that their value is much more than the fancy-looking flowers.

In addition, in the metaphorical sense, the hardships we consider weeds in our lives are there to teach us, to make us become hardened to ills of the world, and to make us become aware of our personal shortcomings.

To wrap it up, “a weed is a flower in an undesirable place” is the idea, but a weed can be in an undesirable place through no wish or its own. An example could be a person like me who dislikes politics but is forced into the Congress, kicking and screaming. Just think about that! What we consider weeds, we need to look at from this point of view, too. *Wink*
June 25, 2019 at 12:34pm
June 25, 2019 at 12:34pm
#961520
Prompt: David Foster Wallace said, "Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable"
Do you agree and what do you think good fiction’s job is?


---


Yes, I agree, but that’s a simplification of what good fiction can do. I believe that a lot more things exist as to what good fiction does.

To begin with, good fiction holds a mirror to all there is inside and outside of us. Sometimes that mirror disturbs or comforts or even encourages to take action. Encouraging is more than comforting, isn’t it? For example, a person reading about a story during the French Revolution may look at the injustices in his own country and may begin to speak up.

Then sometimes, good fiction advises us not to take action, too, as that action could be deadly, by giving examples of what might happen in this quixotic, paradoxical life of ours.

Yet another job of it is teaching us about our world, its history, its geography. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I finished reading a novel, The Weight of Ink, about the Jewish refugees in England who escaped the torture in Iberia. This part of history, even though I was good with history in school, must have escaped me. So I started reading a non-fiction book on the treatment of the Jews in Spain and Portugal during the twelfth to sixteenth centuries, called The Jews of Iberia. That good book of fiction stimulated my curiosity and taught me a thing or two, and I am not even Jewish, although I do believe I might have Jewish ancestors.

Good fiction also entertains. I am now reading another book from an author in Amsterdam who has written about his experiences in an old people’s home and he admits to turning those into fiction; in other words, he’s making up most of the stories. From that point of view, he is really entertaining me, which is much more than providing comfort.

Free clip art



Prompt: Is there a difference between your personal memories and your history as others know it, and what intrigues you most about how other people recall the past?

---

Surely, there are a lot of differences between the actual events and what I remember about them because, as a human being, I can’t be certain I am 100% objective about everything as all human beings have some degree of emotionality and interpretation.

To top it off, we all own imperfect brains that mix everything up such as imagination and reality, the residue of past experienced affecting our way of seeing things, and rejecting or embracing negative stuff, which the behavioral experts tell their subjects to never give oneself a negative command since the brain has the knack of turning “don’t do this!” to “Do this!” As an aside, that may be why smokers and fans of other vices can’t give up by just deciding not to do the deed.

I don’t trust other people’s memories, too. For example, my cousin who has a much better memory than me recalls the naughty deeds we did together through rose-colored glasses whereas I either reject recalling those memories or think of them as stuff to be embarrassed about. I can’t believe she even thanked me for filling her childhood with fun. *Laugh*

June 21, 2019 at 1:26pm
June 21, 2019 at 1:26pm
#961289
Prompt: Happy Midsummer's Eve or Midwinter's Eve
Summer solstice or winter solstice depending on where you live and how you see the day.
Use these words in your entry today: faeries, realm, Lilith, stag, bonfire, marshmallows, and supermarket.


-----

Lilith, what an idiot! She believes she has descended from the realm of faeries,” Connor murmured as he searched into the supermarket bag for marshmallows to put on the grill. “Now, she says she’ll accept me if I install a Stag Fire Pit in my backyard, just because today is the Summer Solstice. Who does she think I am? Am I cutting money?”

“You don’t have to do anything,” came Lilith’s voice from behind him. “I took care of it already. Ready for you to jump in.”

Connor turned around to glimpse Lilith as she flew away over the treetops. “Look over there!” she pointed to the biggest bonfire Connor had ever witnessed.

“Oh, no!”

Connor’s house was crackling in flames.
June 19, 2019 at 11:06pm
June 19, 2019 at 11:06pm
#961197
Prompt: "Poetry is meant to be heard." Mary Oliver
Do you agree with this?


------

I love Mary Oliver. Still, I think poetry has to be felt internally, first. Hearing the sounds does have an effect like music comforting the soul, but to me, it comes second, not first.

The sounds of the words and lines depend on an external sense, the hearing, but feeling has to do with the heart and the mind. The way I look at it, meaning tops everything else in any art but especially in poetry, which, as an arranged piece, has many sides to it such as topic, message, rhythm, and word choices.

Most newbie poets have the impression that poetry means using a poetic language and techniques to express important thoughts or ideas in a more beautiful, complex, or compressed way than prose, and that its beauty, complexity, and other heightened external qualities make it what it is. I may accept their assessment only from the point of view that the full beauty of a language, any language, can only be released through poetry.

It is true that poetry has a lot do with the deft handling of the language, but that may not be enough on its own because language needs the meaning and the feeling of the poet to become poetry.

This is why it is very difficult to comment on, let alone review, any poem. We can only do this from our own impressions and understanding of the work. The poet herself or himself might have had a very different take on that very poem.

I think, on this topic, I am more inclined to go with Emily Dickinson’s words. “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?”

Hence, as far as poets and poetry aficionados go, I say, “To each, his own!”

June 19, 2019 at 7:24pm
June 19, 2019 at 7:24pm
#961185
Prompt: "The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention." Alan Watts
What is your take on this?


====

From birth on, we construct the ego ourselves as some kind of an identity, but if we are smart enough, we turn it into the dynamic part of our personalities. This is because the ego becomes a mixture of all our suspicions and beliefs about ourselves that may usually stay hidden inside our subconscious but always ready to pop up and create strong emotional reactions. It may show up as being fake and artificial or as a personal strength, depending on how we treat it and look at it.

For the same token, the ego is not necessarily negative, although most people think it so. It is, in fact, made up of positive and negative parts, the positive part being self-esteem and the negative arrogance. There is a huge difference between arrogance and self-confidence.

I am not sure which part of the ego Alan Watts is talking about here. Possibly, as most people do, he considers the ego as being only the negative part. The ego is not the real self, but the learned/artificial self mostly with the real self attaching itself to it. Who we are is who we are whether we focus our attention on it or not. The negative part of the ego, on the other hand, requires great attention to itself.

This is why it is so difficult to figure out if a person is confident of his skills and who he is or else, who he is and what he can do has gone to his head.



June 15, 2019 at 6:25pm
June 15, 2019 at 6:25pm
#960848
Prompt: Flash Fiction: Write a short story about a clock.
====

She says she hates my tick-tock. She says if she had her way, she would send me to the dumps as if I am a ticking bomb about to explode. She even asked her best friend to take me off her hands.

That fool! Would her life go on and on, if she didn't have a clock? Where would any life be if it had no pulse? Why doesn't she understand I’m her pulse of time, which she is in?

Maybe I’ll just do this. I’ll keep ticking faster and faster. This will make her time shortened in this life. Yes, I’ve already started making her clock go very fast.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock....

Isn’t revenge sweet!

-------

Also, this: "Chiming For Home
June 14, 2019 at 12:56pm
June 14, 2019 at 12:56pm
#960792
Prompt: Give us a taste of summer – either through a recipe, or a memory or story that expresses summer to you.

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When a Newyorker, “A Taste of Summer” used to mean events at the Central Park. Now that, it has been more than a couple of decades that I’ve become a southerner, “A Taste of Summer” means outdoor grills, dips in the pool, or the ocean, fans and air conditioning. Also, in summer, nutrients in most fresh produce are at their best.

Since it is almost always summer where I live, here’s a lunch or dinner recipe for grilling fans.

Corn on the Cob and Chicken-Mango Skewers

Grill corn cobs that have been brushed with melted butter. Put those on the side to keep them warm until the chicken is done

Toss chicken cubes with salt and pepper. Cut mangos in small pieces. (You can substitute avocados for mangos or you can use them both. Just make sure the avocados are not mushy.)

Soak a few wooden skewers in water. Then thread chicken and mango on them. Brush with oil or melted butter.

Grill them covered, if you have a covered grill, over medium heat or broil them at least three to four inches away from the fire, turning the skewers until the chicken pieces are no longer pink, possibly 10-15 minutes. Serve together with corn-on-the-cob, with lemon and lime wedges, and possibly with a green side salad.



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