I had a dream last night of a sheet of paper with a poem on it. The paper also included notes from several people, all typewritten as if from some kind of an online workshop. (Odd because I've never been a member of an online workshop.) The paper was perfectly still in my dream-space, like it was waiting for me to read it. The poem consisted of about twenty short lines. But I only got part way through it before it disappeared. Which was frustrating because I was intrigued by it. Then, half an hour later, the same sheet of paper with the same poem appeared again. But this time I was given even less time. Anyway, I don't think it would be possible to memorize a poem like that and get it out through the blood-brain barrier of the subconscious. So what was the point of it? Was my subconscious just showing me that it's been writing poems too? And why would it bother? Is it competing with me? And who were the people who attached notes to it? Maybe there's a little artificial community of poets in there. A funny idea, but it would make
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Sherry Leigh Williams sounds important
Like · Reply · 29 December 2016 at 18:48
Sharon Berg You are being invited by your subconscious to capture the poem on paper. In other words, stop rationalizing that you could not get it past the blood-brain barriers, just sit and write. You may not end up with the same poem this time, but who is to say that you won't eventually capture it?
Like · Reply · 2 · 29 December 2016 at 18:54
Stan Burfield You're write! Will do. We'll see what happens.
Like · Reply · 29 December 2016 at 19:11
Aldous Richards Do you capture poem or give it life?Rhetocrial question.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 30 December 2016 at 03:31
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Stan Burfield I've done this before. Writing the words that come to mind, then the next and then the next. A few of my best poems have come that way, but usually it's a combination of obvious things and nonsense. Which is what happened this time. But partly it's a matter of priming the pump properly before doing it. Which I'll try in future. Now that I know there is something there waiting to get out.
Like · Reply · 29 December 2016 at 20:41
Stan Burfield Here's another possibility: My subconscious is simply excited by the fact that it has learned how to type, just like I do, but with no fingers! So It's showing me the new trick.
Like · Reply · 29 December 2016 at 22:40 · Edited
Cambridge N Calvin Keenan I think your sub cocious is trying to remind you about that online poetry group you were going to start up for us littler poets that know not what we do lol lol xox💜❤💜
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 30 December 2016 at 02:52
Lynn Tait Might have to do with you leaving the London Open Mic. Maybe you are giving you self permission to do so in your dreams.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 30 December 2016 at 08:25
Martin Hayter Either that or "Life is like a poem..."
Unlike · Reply · 2 · 30 December 2016 at 11:38
Since losing my fear of people a year or two ago, I have a compulsion to talk. I guess it’s a result of 65 years of hiding inside myself. I don’t feel any need to do that anymore, and so I sure don’t want to. I feel like I’m finally joining society.
And yet I’m not. My new blabbing attitude, for instance, should fit right into social media. But it doesn’t. Facebook, for example, seems to be divided into two opposing camps, neither of which I can relate to. There are the angry insulters and there are those who will only smile. (Yes, I know I’m overly generalizing). The angry ones seem to want to hurt as many people as they can, and the others don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m with the others. I don’t want to hurt anyone either. And yet I can’t stop talking and it’s become obvious that when I do, no matter what I say, if the readership is potentially large enough I will hurt someone in some way.
So, I see why sensitive people don’t say anything, even when they don’t have the fear I’ve had all my life: They’ve spent all that time learning what not to say. Which is anything, if the crowd they’re talking to is big enough. Well, I’m a fairly quick learner. I’ve been learning that attitude myself lately. The trouble is, it’s destroying all my newfound freedom.
Now I see that the larger the crowd is that I talk with, the less freedom I have. In any large group, there will be people who will take offence at something. A small group would be ideal, say four or five sitting around a table in a café somewhere, but for that I would have to find friends who are just like me in their ideas, or who are all happy to talk endlessly about only one thing, which would bore me. So then it would seem that the most freedom would come in a conversation with only one person. That might be a person who is just like me in beliefs, but more likely someone who is willing to accept me for the somewhat strange person I am, and I them, in the intense give and take that is a true two-way street.
Which brings me to my conclusion from this year of experimenting. Since I do not want to stifle myself again, after having done it all my life, and since virtually any relatively free opening-up is likely to annoy someone, the only real alternative is to try to thicken my skin as quickly as possible, to deeply realize that it doesn’t matter how people see me. Well, that sounds easier than it is, especially for a formerly shy person. Because the basis of my shyness, as with anyone’s, is a lack of confidence. And it’s impossible to gain confidence overnight. Especially when I make social blunders far more often than I ever did before (from too much talk but not enough social experience to do it properly). Those blunders reinforce the lack of confidence, instead of helping rid me of it.
It’s a process. And I’m working through it.
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I've thought about it quite a bit and I've decided that what I REALLY want is to do a lot less thinking about thinking about whatever. No, wait. On second thought, that's not good enough. I want to do NO thinking about thinking at all, and more thinking about whatever. Okay, third thought: That's not good enough either. What I really want, Santa, is more whatever.
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Linda Eva Williams Stan, how does one post a thought ("what's on your mind?" box has everything come up in such huge letters that it looks like I'm angry or way too excited). I don't want to say something that is magnified beyond proportion.
Like · Reply · 1 · 15 December at 23:43
Stan Burfield I know. I hate that too. I guess it only does it to really short posts.
Like · Reply · 15 December at 23:48 · Edited
Stan Burfield You could just add a lot of periods.
Like · Reply · 15 December at 23:49
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MaryLee Bragg It sounds as if you would settle for wine.
Unlike · Reply · 3 · 16 December at 08:23
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض It's like poetry... It's not 'about' anything, it just is.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 16 December at 11:08
Linda finished her balcony Christmas display just before the snow came a couple days ago. She likes it out on the balcony so she can lay on the couch and look out at it all lit up in the evening. And the snow finishes it off just right.
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Brandi Michielsen Wonderful idea, displaying a winter wonderland on the balcony. Plus it saves the cleanup in the living area if pine needles / fir tree branches are involved in the decorations.
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This morning it went like this: Linda was putting on her pot of tea, which she needs to wake up with. She suddenly frowned and said, "Oh dear, I hope I've got enough tea bags left." She looked in the container she keeps them in and said, "Oh, there's only two left." She looked through other containers and found one more. "Well, three will have to do."
I said, "Do you need that many for one pot of tea?"
"Yeah, I do for decaf tea. Decaf tea bags are always really weak."
So that got me going about the two methods of making decaf and that maybe one takes more flavour out than the other but then again most decaf is of coffee and not tea and we've only seen one company in the grocery store with decaf tea haven't we so maybe you don't have any choice.
While I was talking, Linda had suddenly crouched down on her knees and was fishing around on the floor under the buffet. She pulled out three little stacks of white muffin liners. I started laughing and when she looked at me curiously I said, "How did you know those were under there?"
"When I was sitting in the chair over there yesterday I saw them."
That was so perfect. I said through my chuckling, which I couldn't stop doing now, "You're such a visual person that when I start talking any little visual thing is way more overwhelming than what I'm saying."
She was smiling too, "Yeah, that's just words." And then we were both laughing, her in my arms and me kissing the top of her head. We're such a funny couple.
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إبراهيم أشعياء عوض Awww Linda and Stan, very nice, wish my neigbours to be likeyou! Wish everyone to be in 💘 instead of war!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 13 December at 13:42
Alan Leangvan Try herbal teas. They don't contain caffeine.
Like · Reply · 13 December at 15:06
Stan Burfield Yeah, I've suggested that. But for her, in the morning, it's got to be regular tea. Or she can't wake up properly. Don't ask me why. :)
Like · Reply · 1 · 13 December at 15:09
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Cambridge N Calvin Keenan I love you two and your adventures ❤👍
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 13 December at 16:08
Stan Burfield Yeah. With somebody you really like, even the tiniest things are adventures. You know it.
Like · Reply · 1 · 13 December at 16:12
Cambridge N Calvin Keenan Stan Burfield you betcha 💜
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 13 December at 16:25
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Karen Lowes Such a romantic pair! Sigh.
Like · Reply · 13 December at 18:35
Stan Burfield Ha ha. Thank God, because it has to make up for my previous relationships, which were Hell on Wheels.
Like · Reply · 2 · 13 December at 18:57
Stan Burfield Same with Linda's.
Like · Reply · 1 · 13 December at 18:58
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Peggy Roffey Nothing beats Roibos tea; ever try it? Not DE-caffeinated; no caffeine to start with and gives a full, robust cup of tea great with milk.
Like · Reply · 13 December at 23:53
Stan Burfield Yes, Linda used to really like that. Drank it for quite a while. Maybe she's forgotten it. I'll ask.
Like · Reply · 13 December at 23:58
Stan Burfield "Yeah, it was just a little too spicy for me, especially for first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. But you know I could put it in with regular decaf Orange Pekoe. Maybe I'll try that." Thanks, Peggy.
Like · Reply · 13 December at 23:58
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Gord McCaw How does decaf tea help anyone wake up?
Like · Reply · 14 December at 11:18
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Stan Burfield Waking up is all in the MIND, never mind that the mind is all in the brain.
Like · Reply · 14 December at 14:04
Gord McCaw Spoken like a true Varavickian secretary, something the cognoscenti such as Al Broudy will recognise right away...
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:11
Stan Burfield A King's Man for sure.
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:15
Gord McCaw Has Linda ever been known to have a fast tea???
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:16
Stan Burfield The Queen is the exact opposite of the King. Her teas are so slow that she never finishes one.
Like · Reply · 1 · 14 December at 22:25
Stan Burfield Actually my memory of The King was that he only said it would be a fast coffee to get us to come and sit with him, then he would put his finger in the handle and sip as slowly as possible.
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:28
Gord McCaw Don't forget the gesturing with the spoon...
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:40
Stan Burfield with drops flying
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:40
Gord McCaw "So then I sez, 'Look, Mrs. Mewbirn, Polly's been running around the Empress telling everybody that Bucky is one of the smartest guys in The Pass.' "...
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:43
Stan Burfield with more coffee flying around and on the word Bucky the cup he's gesturing with at a sharp angle spills coffee but he doesn't notice it.
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:45 · Edited
Gord McCaw This would be at either the 'omestead or the Hurdy Gurdy...
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:47
Stan Burfield yes, depending on....what?
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:50
Gord McCaw Which one offered the most free refills...
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:51
Stan Burfield ha ha yeah
Like · Reply · 14 December at 22:52
Gord McCaw He liked the Homestead because it was a 24-hour joint back in the 70's. I just checked and it sounds like it was still around until recently, on 17 Ave. SW @ 14 St... http://www.profilecanada.com/companydetail.cfm...
Homestead Restaurant & Pizza - 1410 17 Ave Sw, Calgary, AB |…
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Tester at work.
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Jenny Getsinger Nice benches. Did Linda make the cushion covers too?
Like · Reply · 11 December at 23:21
Stan Burfield Yes, and the buffet.
Like · Reply · 1 · 13 December at 13:16 · Edited
Jenny Getsinger Lovely!
Like · Reply · 11 December at 23:24
Stan Burfield She's always puttering on things.
Like · Reply · 2 · 11 December at 23:25
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Jf Pickersgill My wife has never said the following to me but she did think it was hilarious when a comedian said it on T.V. "My wife walked into the room while I was watching a football game and showed me some food she had in her hand while saying, 'Here. Taste this. I think it might be off.'"
Like · Reply · 13 December at 10:04
Stan Burfield Ha ha. It sounds awfully familiar somehow. But I can vouch for these scones. They were definitely on. :)
After each open-mic event, my sleeping is always shot to hell. It takes me days to get back to normal. It’s not from the anxiety of hosting, as it used to be, as that doesn’t bother me at all anymore. Rather, it’s a host of other little things: Did I say the right thing to this person, the wrong thing to that one, should I have spoken to another. I never know what to feel responsible for and what not to, as I’ve never done anything like this before, in my entire life. So, when the event is over and I go home, these little thoughts begin to add up and pile on top of each other and eventually the anxiety of them overwhelms me. I try to repress it and distract myself from it, but then it affects my sleep.
Last night I decided to try something different. Just before going to bed I dragged out an old, dust-covered binder that’s full of my old, old poems. I opened it at random, turned the pages slowly and carefully to keep sheets from falling out onto the floor, reading some, a stanza here and there, and remembered writing them. I was surprised how dark and hopeless I seemed in most of them, but also how beautiful, perfect even, the poems were to me back then, I guess because they were descriptions of my reality, externalizations of it, me pulling myself out of my cavern into the light. I was showing myself to myself, and, as negative as the views were, the beauty of them was that they were ME, not just the normal otherness of life. That process was exhilarating back then. But reading them now, I’m astounded how much I’ve changed.
Anyway, I found several pencilled attempts at one poem, all unsatisfactory and finally abandoned, which I thought my now somewhat-more-developed poetic abilities might be able to do something with. I puttered with it for a while till my mind began losing its elasticity and I went to bed. And in the morning, I woke from a very good sleep. I was surprised by that, and excited and happy. During that whole night, I had only awoken once, instead of every two hours as usual.
So what happened? Maybe the work on the poem was just a good distraction from my world of regrets. It might have stopped the circular thinking. Just as meditation might do. Friends have told me I should meditate before going to bed, and I’ve been working myself in that direction. And I do meditate when I’m actually in bed, to get myself to drop off to sleep. Maybe that’s all that this work on the poem amounted to. Or maybe the energy of creation itself moved my mind into a different realm. Having experienced many bouts of this in my life, I think there may be something to it. So, maybe this, or that, or both.
In any case, working on an old poem from back when I was virtually a different person was very interesting. In those days, I always assumed that when I got older I would be shrunken, somehow less in every way. The possibility was so dreadful I couldn’t think about it, especially because, when I was young and had my chance, I wasn’t developing at all. Yet now I seem so much lighter, both inside and out, than I was then. I remember Bob Dylan saying it to us, but I was never able to understand what he meant then, “Ah, but I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.”
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Cambridge N Calvin Keenan Well stated , I feel like the darkness steaming out of the heat of the shell ... seeking relief for that soothing cool mist of morning ❤
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 December at 23:29
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض Nah, you're fine. I probably ought to have wandered up there and given you salaam, i appreciate that you can be reached in the public (semi-public) domain, when something really important comes up. We don't control outcomes, only the input. You just concentrate on being the best you can be. Give it your best, and the rest surely works out.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 December at 10:57 · Edited
Stan Burfield replied · 1 Reply
Barbara Green Hey, fellow insomniac! Two thibngs I've heard recently, one of which I've tried and one which I intend to -- we can try it together and compare results, if you like. The first is breathing in a 4-7-8 patterns, only four or five times in a row to start, apparently never more than 8 times. The count doesn't have to be full seconds -- depends on your lung power and calmness. The second thing for insomniacs is to journal before bed so those circular thoughts may form a line and find an exit from your brain via your arms, fingers and keyboard -- or pen, if you're into that. I'm going to try that -- my tendency when stressed is to read or binge-watch something on Netflix, which of course means that when you go to bed and nothing is streaming into your brain, all those ignored anxieties come clamouring up for attention.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 December at 14:20
Stan Burfield Let's see if I understand you correctly (and please tell me some reasoning behind this as well): You breathe really deeply, holding the first breath in for a count of 4, then holding the next two to counts of 7 and 8, then 4, then 7 and 8, etc, for 4 or 5 repetitions, and do this when trying to fall asleep? Is this to get to sleep? Or to help you stay asleep? And why would it work? Is there any evidence it does work? Interesting.... The other idea, to journal, about the day's events, and I guess your idea would be to write about what's made me anxious and to try to solve those things while writing? That's definitely something I'll try. I don't have trouble getting to sleep so much as staying asleep, The journaling may help with that, as it may reduce repressed anxieties, the kind of things that might keep large parts of my mind stirred up all night (since the repressed mind, the subconscious mind, and the dream mind are pretty much all the same thing).
Like · Reply · 12 December at 14:48
Barbara Green No, the breathing pattern goes like this: first, breathe out all the air you can. Then breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, hold for 7, breath out (in a swooshing sound) through your mouth for a count of 8, then repeat. It seems to put you in an altered, lightened state of mind, and interrupts the resonance cycle of the anxious thoughts.
Like · Reply · 12 December at 14:52
Stan Burfield oh, worth a try. By resonance cycle, you mean what I mean when I say vicious cycle? Are you saying there is an actual cycle like a wheel turning that turns at a certain speed per revolution?
Like · Reply · 12 December at 14:56
Stan Burfield I'm asking because of my obsession to understand everything.
Like · Reply · 12 December at 14:59 · Edited
Stan Burfield Also, which technique have you tried so far?
Like · Reply · 12 December at 15:07
Barbara Green Stan Burfield No worries. I'm borrowing the term from memory science ... the process of consolidating short-term into long-term memory sometimes involves repeating them in a resonance cycle -- like repeating a poem aloud over and over to memorize it. When we allow thoughts to run in circles over and over in our brain, we're basically doing the same thing -- laying down an establish neural path for them to keep running in.
Like · Reply · 12 December at 15:08
Barbara Green Stan Burfield The breathing one. I don't always do it to fall asleep -- it's good in tense situations, too, much as any deep breathing is. It gets you to inhabit your body for a couple of minutes and gives you a break from those thoughts, plus re-oxygenates you if you're the type, like me, who stops breathing and freezes when tense so as to become invisible, I guess.
Like · Reply · 12 December at 15:10
Stan Burfield I see, so where does the 4-7-8 idea come from?
Like · Reply · 12 December at 15:10
Barbara Green Stan Burfield I *think* it's yogic ... here's a video about it: https://youtu.be/gz4G31LGyog
Asleep in 60 seconds: 4-7-8 breathing technique…
Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 12 December at 15:13
Stan Burfield Great. I'll watch the video. I have the same problem you do of stopping breathing. Linda's always looking at me typing and saying, "Breathe!" It seems like something I should try, not just for sleeping. (And speaking of sleeping, I have a mild case of sleep apnea, which means that when I sleep on my back I will quite often stop breathing. So I don't let myself sleep on my back. Which is one of my theories for why I keep waking up all night, so I can consciously roll over onto my other side.)
Like · Reply · 12 December at 15:17
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إبراهيم أشعياء عوض Lol in a word meditation?!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 December at 14:22 · Edited
Barbara Green And I like the poem. I really like the "leathered over" image although it is bumping up a bit against the smooth and ridged shell of the conch . I like the "rousounding" description a lot, too, the the reaching for the flux, especially "that throws the colour". Could you contrast the flux -- which is aliveness and change, unpredictability, the contrast to the safe-but-dead world encased in a calcium shell, a bit more pointedly?
Like · Reply · 12 December at 14:23
Stan Burfield Good point. I'll have to think about it. I'm going to take it to our next workshop, and I'll bring your ideas. Thanks, Barb.
I'm reading "The Cat's Table" by Michael Ondaatje, and near the end there's an image I really like and just have to quote here. It has to do with looking back, down the staircase of time, knowing now how it's all going to turn out.
"Who was it, for example, who first described to us the Palace of Ship Owners in Genoa? Or is it possibly a memory of my own from later, when as an adult I entered that building and climbed the stone stairs to each new level? Because there is something about the image that I have held on to for all these years, as if it explains how we approach the future, or look back at the past. A person begins on the ground floor of the palace, looking at a few naive maps of local harbours, the neighbouring coasts; and then, as one climbs higher, from floor to floor, more and more recent maps chart the half-discovered islands, a possible continent. A pianist somewhere on the main level is playing Brahms. You hear it as you ascend, and you even look down into the central well where the music comes from. So there is Brahms, and paintings of vessels lurching newborn out of the docks in some prelude of a merchant's dream where anything could occur--an eventual wealth or a disastrous storm. There are no portraits of humans in the paintings that cover the walls of the first few levels. But then, arriving at the fourth level of the Palace of Ship Owners in Genoa, you find a gathering of Madonnas.
"...The thing with Madonnas is, they have that look on their faces--because they know He is going to die when young....Somewhere in the Madonna's given wisdom, she can see the finished map, the end of His life. No matter that the local girl the artist is using cannot attempt that knowledgeable look. Perhaps even the artist cannot portray it. So it is only we, the spectators, who can read that face as someone who knows the future. For what will become of her son is provided by history. The recognition of that woe comes from the viewer."
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The course of history is determined not by the conflicts but by the inventions.
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إبراهيم أشعياء عوض interesting. what sort of inventions and why/do you mean inventions like insulin, the light-bulb, or philosophical inventions like Plato's synthesis of Heraclitus and Parmenides?
Like · Reply · 9 December at 17:54 · Edited
Stan Burfield computers, farming, fire, the wheel, printing press, you know. Philosophy is fun. Wars are a way some people die. But cell phones change the course fo history.
Like · Reply · 9 December at 20:25
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض yes, and somethings I thought were invented actually evolved.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 December at 20:34
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض What was the title of the Ondaantje book you quoted?
Like · Reply · 9 December at 20:35
Stan Burfield The Cat's Table
Like · Reply · 9 December at 21:05
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض Give me an example.
Like · Reply · 9 December at 21:06
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض relish.
Like · Reply · 9 December at 21:19
Stan Burfield Ha ha. Well, I guess you could say that all inventions evolved from things that came before them, as did relish. For instance, the rifle evolved from the muscat. The cooking fire probably evolved from the lightning fire.
Like · Reply · 9 December at 21:21
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض Ah-ha-ha, that's quite funny. cooking still evolves to suit human needs.
Like · Reply · 9 December at 21:23
Stan Burfield Sure like all inventions. Maybe some inventions come from pure curiosity or an excited mind, but they wouldn't go anywhere but the guy's basement.
Like · Reply · 9 December at 21:25
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Stan Burfield My quote from the Ondaatje book in my previous post was about looking back on how things developed after they've happened. Well, nowdays it's pretty obvious, looking back on the long-term impact of previous wars and of inventions, that it was the inventions that changed the world. In no time, a good invention is everywhere, in every country, no matter who runs the country, or which people hate which people.
Like · Reply · 2 · 9 December at 22:03 · Edited
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض it's also kind of tragic that always, the well-to-do, the bourgeoisie, the middle class access and control the technology, and therefore, knowingly or unknowingly determine which voices are heard - so it's rarely for the people, by the people. Michael Ondaatje is a rare and powerful voice of the people. Have you read 'Coming Through Slaughter?
Like · Reply · 10 December at 08:10 · Edited
Stan Burfield I agree. No, this is his first book I've read. I saw The English Patient as a movie, and then got through part of the book but didn't finish it, which is too bad, I can see now.
Like · Reply · 10 December at 13:29
إبراهيم أشعياء عوض In The Skin of a Lion is a brilliant novel about building the Harris Filtration Plant in Toronto/highly recommended and just a good read.
Like · Reply · 10 December at 14:28 · Edited
Stan Burfield Ha ha. I always thought it was some exotic adventure in an Eastern country!
Like · Reply · 10 December at 14:55
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Linda Eva Williams Both, I think. Conflict may arise when said inventions are appropriated by those in power, which may generate conflict.
Like · Reply · 9 December at 22:42
Stan Burfield Actually many inventions were invented FOR conflict, and propagated rapidly because of it. But it was always the invention that lasted. Wars alway die out and disappear, along with the killed people. The invention keeps going, and evolves into better and more inventions. The wars always turn out to be just politics, and a lot of emotion.
Like · Reply · 9 December at 22:47
Linda Eva Williams Well, most major medical inventions were born out of war: orthopedic surgery, major trauma wounds, plastic surgery, burn treatment, psychological treatment... list goes on.
Like · Reply · 1 · 9 December at 22:51
Stan Burfield Good point. And they are used in all wars afterwards, and during peacetime.
Like · Reply · 1 · 9 December at 22:53
A life-long lack of confidence is very disabling. Outwardly it displays itself as shyness, at least in people like me. Lately, I've worked on my shyness and it no longer seems to have a grip on me, but oddly the underlying lack of confidence never leaves. The problem is that my new openness continually throws me into situations that can reduce my confidence even further. Negative reinforcement. Which shyness had prevented.
A while ago, my lack of confidence was greatly exacerbated by a simple misunderstanding that made me feel a fool in a situation where everyone was trying their best to be perfect to make it all work. Afterwards, I talked to my sister about my feelings, and she pulled out a quote from her religion which affected me greatly: "I give men weakness that they may be humble." Not being religious and never having read the Bible, I had to think pretty hard about this. Of course, the speaker is Jesus, and the intent of the humbleness in the quote is that people who are humble can be humble to God. But my sister meant me to see how it would apply to me, an agnostic, and I did. A person who has weaknesses and acknowledges those weaknesses automatically becomes an equal to other people, not only to those with weaknesses of their own, but to everyone.
In my case, the idea helped me move away from the precipice of depression by helping me accept the reality of myself as an ordinary flawed human being, and so to accept it even in the eyes of others who were striving to be perfect. Suddenly, there I was, a citizen again, happy just to take part.
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Each Christmas, after watching the new James Bond,
I would walk to the mall feeling tall and ornery,
and Santa would see me stroll in and would know
that my only dreams were those heavy eyebrows,
that slick black hair, and the voice of Sean Connery.
But I grew, and Bond became just a dumb show;
His stunts against the entire Star Trek galaxy? Not likely.
So when white-haired Jean-Luc took his chair, I grieved
and finally let Connery go, and ever since then,
my friend, it’s been
let it snow, make it so, let it snow.
Watch the video.
Starting to write poetry again. Here's one I started writing in a post below. I fixed it up this morning to take to my little 3-man workshop this afternoon. When I come back from that with critiquing done on it, and more changes made, I'll show you the final product. ...
To open the morning
I am not Japanese.
Making my breakfast has become
my Tea Ceremony.
The ritual is performed as follows:
Wake up, stretch, breathe deeply,
walk into the kitchen, and solemnly
one full cup of Alpen "No Sugar Added"
Muesli into a sparkling ceramic bowl,
evenly sprinkling onto those flat
and resting flakes precisely three
quarter-teaspoons of Stevia,
the sweetener, and then from
the bag in the freezer scoop
one cup of frozen wild blueberries,
and pour into it right to the top a shot
of hot tap water then count to three,
and dribble the cold out
between your fingers,
refilling right then with another this time
counting to six, then dribble out the cool
again, placing the blueberries on the flakes,
with cold skim milk enough to cover,
stirring it all together with a shining spoon.
At another time
we will work on eating.
From Facebook: likes...5...Patricia Black, Martin Hayter and 3 others
Stan Burfield The trouble with this poem is it's one of the most vacuous things I've ever written. It's exactly the opposite of the last poem I posted here, a couple days ago. This one goes on and on saying nothing. That one was only four tiny lines, took only a minute to write, but contains all of me and more. Two very different kinds of poetry.
Like · Reply · 4 December at 15:14 · Edited
Stan Burfield Here it is:
I entered my room
from a dream
"wisdom is the sky".
From Facebook: likes...18...Raven Melissa Black, Dave Jarrell and 16 others
Linda Eva Williams What a beautiful booth! Did all go well?
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 December at 23:26
Stan Burfield Well, she sold enough to pay her expenses, but didn't make any profit to pay for her year's work. So she's got a lot left to take to a local craft show next Christmas. Fingers crossed.
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 December at 23:43 · Edited
Linda Eva Williams Best of luck to you, Linda.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 2 December at 23:44
Stan Burfield I'll tell her. (Takes one to know one!)
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 December at 23:45
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Meredith Moeckel Such beautiful things & I really wish that I would've been there! Please send my best to Linda. ;)
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 10:26
Tina Pickard Lovely
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 12:24
Yvonne Maggs Lovely
Like · Reply · 3 December at 17:31
Karen Lowes So inviting -looking!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 19:25
Carl Lapp, who is a long-retired MD and has heard me mumble about my sleeping problems too many times, said, “Why can’t you sleep? What do you do that keeps you awake?”
I thought about it and said, “Well, I start thinking.”
He said, “Why does the thinking keep you awake?”
“I guess it makes me anxious. Yes. I start thinking about things that cause me anxiety, and then I’m wide awake.”
“So how do you get to sleep in the first place?”
“I stop myself from thinking.”
“Like in meditation?”
“Yeah, I keep myself from thinking as long as I can and suddenly I’m asleep. But sometimes, like they say always happens in meditation, I start thinking again and then have to stop myself over again. But usually I can do it.”
“So then thinking causes anxiety?”
“Now that you mention it, it seems to quite often. And yet I get many of my most fulfilling moments from thinking. Trying to understand things.”
Carl left me hanging there, which is something he gets a big kick out of doing. He likes to ask a lot of questions but never give any answers.
Well, later, as it sank in, which he knew it would, I thought to myself: “I guess it’s finally time to start meditating.” But just as I thought that, I thought, “No, it’s not the meditating I need to do but the stopping thinking.” And then suddenly I imagined myself moving calmly through my normal day, doing chores, taking care of responsibilities, socializing, listening to Mozart, all without thinking. Just gliding through everything. Wow. Such a beautiful vision!
Okay, I think I’m going to try it. Who knows, maybe it’s easier done than thought about. Or done without thinking about it.
Or just done. Is that the way to think about it?
Carl? Are you there?
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I was beginning to sink into the dark waters of depression. I know that place from once before. But this time, before I was irretrievably lost, I managed to get home where my loving wife smiled deeply at me warts and all, and then felt more of the same warmth emanating from my sister on the phone. When I hung up an hour later I found myself just breaking surface and gulping air and right then my good friend Carl called and dragged me out on shore. On which I'm strutting around now like a cockadoodldoo.
Linda and I are putting on an old copy of Amadeus to celebrate.
From Facebook: likes...18...John Ambury, Karen Lowes and 16 others
Stan Burfield https://youtu.be/xYHJRhRym1U
Amadeus - Salieri describes Mozart's music
Stan Burfield Mozart Serenade No 10 In B Flat Major K 361 III Adagio
Stan Burfield The entire piece: https://youtu.be/5q2-VHiUDZs
Amadeus (Movie/Soundtrack) - Mozart: Serenade #10 In B Flat,…
Meredith Moeckel I'm sure grateful that your depression lifted sweetheart! Poor Warren is trying to grab some sleep or I'd gladly blast out some Mozart! I'll check back later when it's convenient! Please DON'T GET DEPRESSED! €♡€ :)
Like · Reply · 2 · 2 December at 07:03
Stan Burfield Hi Meredith, Thanks for your support. I'm working on it. My prescription is to soak up lots of love from my family and from friends like you, and to listen to lots of Mozart. Seems to be working so far.
Like · Reply · 2 · 2 December at 09:49
Meredith Moeckel I'm sure glad hear this sweetheart! And if ever you might need a bit extra, please call me anytime of the day or night and I'm here for you! ♡Meredith
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 December at 06:33
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Karen Lowes Way to go...life is good!
Unlike · Reply · 2 · 3 December at 19:32
Erin Kelly http://www.wendellworld.com/photos/LifeWOMozart.jpeg
Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 3 December at 23:52
Stan Burfield Ha ha. Good one!
Like · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 23:55
Stan Burfield Just overlay a Mozart serenade on that picture and it looks totally different.
Like · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 23:56
Organizer of London Open Mic Poetry. former support worker for people with autism and developmental disabilities. former farm boy, former adventurer, former florist.