Killer Words

Killer PenOf all the weapons

Used for slaying enemies

I will choose the BIC

RL

Continuing the challenge to grow some Haiku creativity skillz
Image an RL original
Posted in Haiku, Life, Micro Poetry, Poetry | 6 Comments

The Color de Mon Amour

Red dancer - glowing

I used to wear red

For those days of look at me

But now, red wears me

RL

Thanks for the amazing image from Red Dancer and thanks, friends for guiding me to further inspiration and the challenges of finding new ways to say something.
Posted in Haiku, Inspiration, Life, love, Micro Poetry, Photos, Poetry, Writing Challenges | 11 Comments

Love you, Miss you… Not Really…

Speaking softly with a false stick really effing hurts.

“Love you, miss you, I care, I’m listening, you matter”.

You matter, until what?

How is it that the very people who labor to use the power of words to sear their literary brilliance into the soul of another, often quite successfully, easily turn around in utter ignorance that their works of off-handed effort can also be taken to heart by anyone?

I love you; I miss you; I care about you; I’m listening; you are so special to me; I’d do anything for you; you matter.

I see these words used regularly, ‘normally’, by many in the world of blogs, story comments, Facebook notes, Twitter love,  in reply to their readers – certainly not all writers, but enough to see the consequences often enough.

I see how these words and phrases are used and it has come to drive me up the literary wall of frustration – and beyond the heart-break indignation sometimes expressed. It’s especially galling where the users are writers by profession or regularity in pastime. They should know about ‘the power of words’ better than anyone. They should be the ones defending the power of language.

Those who explain away those usages as just throw-away lines in the heat of their emotions or from the pinnacle of whatever uncontrolled enthusiasm have somehow managed to become some of the most clueless centers of their earth(ly selves).

Those sort of throw-away lines are not harmless whether they are tossed around in obliviousness or deliberately lobbed. To the uninitiated, they are bombs of hope or heartache. Some might say it’s one’s own choice in how to react, but I wonder…. who gets to decide that they get to be the testers of merit?

Readers are not just recipients of thoughts, they are real people who believe in words, who respect words, and yes, mostly they realize the power of words. They know words matter.

Our words are not just for titillation, or for creating magnetism to draw appreciation, adoration and viewing hits. The power of words is always about touching views, inner sight, hearts, and souls.

The irresponsible use them to assuage their ego-based itches and cuts. This level of self-service is fucking mind boggling (pardon my French, it’s Canadian, eh). (Sorry, France).

I have to ask, where is the honest to God respect for the power of words? Unless being a charlatan is the norm, since when should anyone, that you really don’t know, take for granted that words such as ‘I love you’ or ‘you matter’ or even ‘fuck off’ are a throw-away line of the most minimal meaning possible

Where’s the awareness of why one is doing whatever it is one is doing? It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to sit for a minute to ask, why am I going to do this or why does this matter?

Say what you mean and mean what you say – learned by many and usually the hard way, but oh, so worth the earn.

I know I reflected when I finished this post. My answer was, I do not understand why there is such emptiness coming from people who work so hard to carve out some attention to their views, and damn it all, I really enjoy a good rant now and then too.

RL

Posted in Bloggers, Blogging, Life, Wordpress, Writing | 21 Comments

Beautiful Calm Driver

The Road Home Hubbards, NS

The Road Home
Hubbards, NS

Drives faster sideways

Than the speed of lover’s fights

Angels can’t keep up

RL

Inspiration- Musician, Sia
Posted in Haiku, Life, Micro-Poetry, Photos, Poetry, Writing Challenges | 3 Comments

Mourning Light

Light through fog

Lawn, Newfoundland, 8/05/15

Sad pleas for comfort

Within poems, unanswered

Solace is within

RL

For a friend…. looking for love in not the right places
Posted in Haiku, Micro Poetry, Photos, Poetry, Writing Challenges | 12 Comments

Shut Up and Dance

dreamstimemedium_37953116

Old commands repeat

Swallowing nearly complete

Peace will reign again

RL

Posted in Haiku, Micro Poetry, Poetry, Writing Challenges | 7 Comments

Own Your Past Canada – A Simple Guide How To

There were a lot of opinions flying after the recent release of the TRC summary of the Truth and Reconciliation report, but sadly, it was hard to discern which one was the majority – acknowledgement or denial.

The Past Shows Us the Way

————————–The Past Shows Us the Way————————— aaronpaquette.net

This report was several years in the making and outlines the history and consequences of the genocide effort Canada inflicted upon its Indigenous peoples from 1876 until presently.

The opinions that followed seemed to hold mostly two views – one that included a good deal of understanding, and support for the recommendations for Canada to acknowledge and manage the issues related to the Indigenous communities.

The other was this example, written by a Sudbury, Ont resident. I felt it encapsulated some very common views about Canada’s Indigenous history. He began his piece by asserting that, yes, Canada did bad things:

“However, the inflammatory statements made are just a little over the top. ‘Cultural genocide’ sounds much worst (sic) than what really happened”.

He goes on to assert that the First Nations people chose to live on reserves and the …“ills that come with that”.  Continuing on, he states what many of us hear daily:

…“a lot of negative assertions and accusations thrown at the government of the day, as well as the churches involved”.  After all  …“Let’s give credit to our leaders of a hundred years ago for realizing native people were living in a perpetually unsustainable cycle of poverty and violence, and at least tried to do something about it”.

Then he concluded his thoughts with this statement:

“Many other cultures have been assimilated without being so accused. These cultures have melded into our own, yet retained some identifying remnants that we share, enriching the culture of Canada. We are all better for it”

I’m at a loss to understand why a newspaper would publish such an opinion when the full summary outlining the facts of history and the point(s) of the TRC is readily available to the public, and certainly for this paper’s editors.  Unless, this was a lesson to show how much ignorance must still be countered within the country.

I won’t bother going over every detail of his inaccuracies because frankly, it was entirely inaccurate and again, the facts in point are readily available from simple internet searches, university resources, libraries and even the actual government department that oversees the affairs of the Indigenous.

What I prefer to highlight is this ongoing effort to continue to publicly obscure historical fact, which is really current, as the Indian Act of 1876 is in fact, still in effect.

The idea that assimilation is an effort that must still be completed underscores the need to realize that not all cultures adopt the European model of success adapted to the North American version, and indeed, why should they?

What this continent needs to do is stop attempting to tell other cultures, and in particular the actual original inhabitants of these lands, how they need to be living. What this country needs to do is really quite simple and that is live up to the agreements in the treaties.

The sad history, and the reason genocide came into being was, simply put, for the stealing of the land and resources that were negotiated for in the treaties — still in effect today, much to the chagrin of many an assimilation apologist.  In fact, treaties are still being negotiated even now.

Then there is the other side of the equation, which is written within the very Indian Act created for the genocide efforts.  It states very clearly, promises to the Indigenous for coercing them onto those reserves. Those promises have yet to be half-way lived up to.

If Canada wants to truly end this travesty, living up to the honour it brags about around the world is the start. Too many people think that becoming “equal” means becoming the same. There is a difference between equal rights, the rights for all people, and the Indigenous rights bargained for on their homelands since the beginning.

RL

http://www.thesudburystar.com/2015/06/21/sudbury-letter-report-unfair-to-canada

Posted in Aboriginals, Canada Day, First Nations, Indigenous, Life | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

The Blacker the Pot… Guest Comment by Paul Curran

“Ahhh, Robyn, well said. Bravo”.  Well, when you’re getting an opening like that in reply to one of your posts, you know you’re going to do some reading.  I’m one of a great many bloggers who enjoy getting the insights from one of our favorite readers and occasional guest blogger, Paul Curran.  When I read through his entire reply to my last post “Hello Kettle, Black Pots Steam & Trumpet”, I had to share his unique and enlightening view, and so I decided his was a comment that was really a post of its own.  I hope you enjoy his thoughts that expanded on my post about hypocrisy.

KettleCallingPotBlack (2)Ahhh, Robyn, well said. Bravo. Matthew 18:15-17 “15“ – Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault is between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16.  But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’[a] 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” Basically, after you have tried, walk away and do not keep company with those who will not listen.

You know Robyn that when you are making a stew for nourishment in that pot – the longer it simmers, the blacker the pot gets and yet the tastier the stew. The outside blackness can be a result of making excellent nourishment to feed the soul. Mind you if boiled dry and ignored all can be ruined in a black pot. So, the blackness can mean two very different things – or as another old adage goes to make an omelette one must break some eggs. I agree you are right on about teachers teaching what they need to learn. and in perfection, those who teach for the best reasons do so because they know they need to learn and in fact pursue learning simultaneously.

One blogger that comes to mind is Beth over at http://ididnthavemyglasseson.com. She is continuously learning about life and she teaches for a living. I had a French teacher at work (1/3 of our customers were French so the company sponsored lessons for management who dealt with these customers)who was amazing. I spoke to her one day and it turns out that although she had two degrees in languages and was fluent in six languages (she was a university professor), she was spending her evenings learning German because she said she could not teach properly unless she could see the students perspective and she could only do that if she was learning too.

We were also training in a new computer language for the company main frame – a much more efficient language. This teacher was also excellent and could answer any question from the trenches so i asked how that could be so when he taught full time. His answer was telling – he said that he could only teach while he was doing the job and all the learning that goes with it so he worked 40 hours a week teaching and 40 hour programming.

Interestingly enough, given that mistakes make the pot black, I think those who are the best at what the do have leaned through mistakes – many mistakes, so very black. At one point Babe Ruth was the home run king of baseball – and yet what many do not mention is that he was simultaneously the strike out king. His pot was black from trying and from learning from his mistakes. Thomas Edison once said to a reporter that he did not fail 1,000 times when he was looking for a workable light bulb filament, but rather he found 1,000 ways it didn’t work.

So, as is typical of real life, differential equations and quantum mechanics, there can be more than one correct answer as to why the pot is black and the answers are sometimes diametrically opposed. (Just as the square root of 4 can be either 2 or -2.) She who makes many mistakes in the learning process has a black pot and he who continuously makes mistakes because he doesn’t learn from them also has a black pot. They are both understandable and immediately identifiable. The ones that make me wary are those whose pots are supposedly clean – they know not of what they speak or they are hiding their mistakes. Both of which make me nervous.

-Paul Curran

Posted in Life | 13 Comments

Hello Kettle, Black Pots Steam & Trumpet

black swan pot fireSome pots are so blackened that they think they gleam only in the color of innocence, and are the only innocents that matter. Makes you just wanna smack ’em! Sorry, Karma, but there are those days, you know.

From Wikipedia:  “The idiom The pot calling the kettle black is used in a situation where a person is considered guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another. It dates from the time when cooking was done over an open hearth fireplace; both the kettle and the cooking pot would be suspended above it and collect the same amount of soot. The earliest instances {of using this saying} date from the early 17th century”.

More recently, comedian Stephen Colbert somewhat updated the idea when he coined the marvelous word, truthiness:  “Truthiness is what you want the facts to be, as opposed to what the facts are. What feels like the right answer as opposed to what reality will support”.

I‘ve had my share of encounters with either idea  and  have crossed the path of one or two of the blackest of these pots.  These are the ones who actually seem to be more Black Swan than mostly innocuous semi-hypocritical vessels.

You may have known one or two of these (pardon me), foul fowl as well.  I mean the kind that swim regularly in the pool of the pet words  –  impetuous, petulant, and petty.  They can be Brutus-like power posers or your sweet as pie pals on the surface, but they both practise the behavior of intimidation and bullying to get their own way, or in revenge for not getting their way.

Generally, I’ve learned to simply cross the metaphorical street with this sort.  You can try to have a heart to heart chat with them, but if you do and the result isn’t something you can live with, do yourself a favor and let it go.  It’s unlikely that you’ll gain a win/win with that kind of mindset.

It’s more likely the most you’d be losing is a load of unnecessary aggravation.  I have every reason to know that there really are few things in life that really are important enough to stand your ground for, and an honest heart to heart with yourself will move you in the right direction in deciding that.

Putting the darkest side aside, while we’re being honest, I suspect that we’d all admit that, from time to time, we are the pot too.  I’ve often heard it said that we are irritated most by the things about others that are in us.  If so, I think it’s really about the degrees of it; the more we’ve worked through those bothers of our own, the less we are bothered by them in others.  This idea has also been followed up by another saying – we teach most what we need to learn.

If we aren’t sure what we may most need to learn at the moment, we could pay attention to what we are putting out there the most.  What are we thinking about?  What are our conversations centered on?  What are our social media posts  about?  If we put out a particular message or focus on a semi-regular to regular basis, it says as much to us as it does to those we’re supposedly ‘teaching’.  Probably more so.

Our only life-changing job in life is our own.  If we do that well, we and our loved ones will flourish.  Doing it well means doing it in accordance to the real meaning of the teachings that come our way, not by following our personal ‘truthiness’ interpretations as conveniently needed.

Regardless of how black our pots become, we all start out the colour of shiny innocence.  At some point we have to accept responsibility for washing it as needed ourselves, and in knowing that we don’t have a right to scrub another’s.

RL

Originally Published on 7/19/2013
Posted in Coping, Hypocrisy, Life, Pet Peeves | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Because I Can…

people heart redSometimes, maybe a lot of times, we need to remember, or at least ponder, what this whole experience of life is supposed to be about.  We hear it all the time; it’s about love. It’s about helping one another.  It’s about lifting each other up when we’ve been pushed down by experiences too heavy to carry on our own.

Living this mindset to any great degree didn’t happen overnight for me nor did it come easy. My middle name is Macadamia, (look it up). It took a number of jarring incidents to make me stop and assess where I was heading and how. We call those incidents philosophical bricks.

Philosophical, schmilosophical – the solid OUCH of those bricks served to open my abilities to care beyond my immediate family needs and the occasional charity event. One clunker that demanded attention is a chronic health condition. When I’ve had to deal with acute phases of it or any other life crises, (I’m really good at getting those), I’ve had the honor of being taught time and time again how living up to life is actually demonstrated. As it turned out, it’s really not as hard as I once might have resentfully imagined.

Those who know me would likely say I’m a strong person.  I know I am.  If you haven’t been defeated by life’s bricks and kicks, you likely are, but there have been times when I’d been so far down, I’d have sworn I was at the end and I was good with that. Relieved even.

I wish I could say I pulled myself out of those periods of desolation by the straps of self-determination, but the truth is, the ball to real self-help really couldn’t have started rolling if I hadn’t first been shown the path via the hearts of my near and dear.

They weren’t the surgeons or psychologists or ministers.  They were the friends who came to me to talk, listen, and hold my hand while I cried. They shared their wisdom and their resources to nurse and support the basics of life.

At the worst of times, they managed to break through despair that was blocking my will to fight any more. They showed me how to breathe once again through those debilitating trials. They worked with great and gentle care to help me feel seen and heard.

Those acts of simple and generous kindnesses were teaching me how to be a better human being, even as I felt incapable of even existing. In the most exquisite and genuine ways, I learned how to act when life grabs a tight hold and demands immediate action for survival.

Compassion changes so many levels of pain. It infuses you with honest empathy. It changed me in ways that I hope never gets unchanged. They showed me how to get up and say, yes I can.

Yes, I can get through this day, pain, event. Yes, I can take time to tell someone I’m thinking of them. Yes, I can listen, yes I can cook a (barely edible) casserole for someone who can’t.  Yes, I can give a few dollars, even if it feels like I can’t afford to, yes I can help.  I can do all the things done for me and more. Yes, I can.

My ‘Yes, I Can’ mantra graduated to ‘Because I Can’.  For me ‘Yes, I can’ and ‘because I can’ means I am alive. I may be limited in talent or immediate resources, but I’m not limited in possibilities to demonstrate care.

It’s my sincere desire, maybe even an obligation, to live up to the promise, the truest meaning of life as so ably demonstrated by those loved ones I call heroes. ‘Yes, I can’ is more than a trite statement or a campaign slogan, it’s a way of life.

It’s not about becoming a saint or a world leader to do something that changes the world. You don’t even have to be a ‘good person’; if someone needs a hand, help them.  I’ll bet you’ll end up pretty happy too, and if not, then please be reasonable enough to settle for content. There are plenty of days in a life well-lived when that is more than enough.

RL

Originally Posted on
Posted in Confidence, Gratitude, Inspiration, Life | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments