No wealth. No poverty. No crime.
No race. No religion. No fear.
No losers. No winners (except Charlie Sheen, because make no mistake, even a 1000 years from now, both he and Keith Richards could very well still be alive, and possibly, our leaders).
No celebrities. No Kardashians (Utopia, for sure).
No hate. No envy (which makes me envy them a little).
Equality. Real equality, not just talked about.
Everyone eats the same food (we’d still have all the different foods we like, right? Oh, I guess that wouldn’t make any sense.).
Precise language. No lying.
No memories of the past. No echoes of the war, terror, sickness, hunger, dramas, or grudges to assault the senses.
I can’t imagine never having seen animals or colours or heard music. Never felt snow on your tongue, or rain on your cheeks. Never soothed, sang, swam, tried something just for the fun of it…Never felt, expressed, or received love. Never dreamed.
I finally decided to watch The Giver, so I stopped watching Jane the Virgin (don’t judge me, the titillating title hides plenty of laughs and a myriad of excellent messages about life, love, growing up, letting go, choices, and dealing with things when the choices are taken away from us).
This Lois Lowry book always struck a chord with me. When we’re given the freedom to make choices, do we make the wrong ones? No choices, therefore, no drama, no conflict, no pain. Life would be contented, safe, comfortable, but it would lack surprise, passion, dreams, and joy.
I approached the film adaptation cautiously, so many books have been confused, corrupted, or cauterized in the Hollywood machine. This was Hollywoodized, but in a good way.
For all my prejudging, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, and a talented group of young actors (yes, including Taylor Swift) relentlessly brought this complicated book to life in an accessible and entertaining fashion.
Instead of wishing for a Utopian future or bracing for a Dystopian one, we should be working on making a better today.
Doesn’t age have any advantages? I still don’t sleep well. Stars glistening, moon beaming, I think of bills, appointments, problems… I make lists, read, try to write (curse your inevitable betrayal writer’s block), and tried to simultaneously organize and turn off my thoughts.
It gives too much time for reflection. I ponder if my life would be easier if I had a hero. He can’t be just any hero; the term so loosely used nowadays. He’s gotta be strong…he’s gotta be sure… and he’s gotta be larger than life….my exhausted brain sighed, you’re just tossing and turning, with that Bonnie Tyler song in your head. I think of heroes as I slip into the arms of the sandman.
As a teen, I was a soap opera junkie. I couldn’t get enough of the endless tangled story lines, because like sands through the hourglass, so was that phase of my life.
I was breathless as Bo, a streetwise Hercules roared in on his motorcycle and saved Hope from a fate worst than death (really?). Her excessively cumbersome 80s wedding dress bunched up, arms around her hero, they rode off on his fiery steel steed, impossibly large 80s hair rarely moving in the wind.
Strangely, I didn’t find them nearly as amusing once I had some soap trials and tribulations myself.
We love superheroes because we are them. We may not have the capes or gadgets or tights (ok, some have tights), but who hasn’t felt like they’re from another planet? Been of two minds? Felt like we could do more? Wanted to save people? To help? To do good? Felt guilty because we could have done more? Tried to prove ourselves? Wanted things back the way they were before something horrible happened?
Chances for joy and loss.
Chances for creation and destruction.
Sometimes, scars are born, on the surface and others deep inside. Too often seen as disfigurements, as imperfection when they’re actually signs of resilience. So much is written in the scars. Never the same, but no longer bleeding, no longer open. Healed.
We can heal. We may never be exactly the same as we were.
We may never get back to our ‘old self’.
Things may never get back to ‘normal’.
There’s no time limit for healing, it takes as long as it takes.
It doesn’t matter how many times we get knocked down and there’s no time limit on getting back up.
Hopefully, not destroying everything around us in the healing process.
So we rise again and again, getting and giving help along the way.
I can’t fight this feeling, deep inside of me, I’m hooked on a feeling…blogging, you don’t know what you do to me.
I don’t know how many blogging advice posts I’ve read in the past couple of years – some were helpful, others decidedly unhelpful, others gibberish. So here’s my best blogging advice that will change the way you blog forever!
1. Have a blog.
2. Write 300 words to whatever-your-readers-think-isn’t-too-long posts. Think of each post as a summer hat, you want it to cover your face and neck, but you don’t want to be the one with that Royal Wedding hat.
3. Put pictures in the posts. Take, make, find, paint, draw…and credit them, if possible.
4. Publish the post – this part is way more important than it seems.
5. Read. Not just books, but other people’s posts. If you don’t have time to read, how do you have time to write?
6. Before writing or posting, don’t think about if people will: Like, share, agree, disagree, reblog, unfollow, hate you, troll, make voodoo dolls of you, or award you. Don’t think about becoming rich and famous. Just write. Write because if you don’t the words will burst out of you like an alien bursting out of your chest. I can’t guarantee they’ll show up at your blogdoor with flowers and candy if you write, but it’s worth a try.
7. Think of the internet as a massive, loud house party. Sometimes it takes time, effort, and a few trips to the ‘refreshment area’ to find people and have them find you.
8. Engage, be generous, share the works of others, but don’t always expect reciprocation in kind. Think of it like a big chain link fence – the links don’t all connect, but altogether they make something strong.
9. Don’t worry about who’s reading or not reading your blog and what they might think, although, you might want to worry if you worry about that too much.
10. Share your work. Be a shameless self-promoting bloghussy – like me! Be as overexposed as Miley Cyrus, wait, even as I type that, it sounds like bad advice. A little mystery goes a long way. The important thing is to be out there, getting experience and learning.
11. Most of all, enjoy the process. Never in the field of human communication has so much been written by so many to so few. It’s a massive virtual haystack (yes, you’re the needle in this analogy), so just sit back, type on, and enjoy the ride.
12. Ignore all the aforementioned advice…Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy. Get whatever you need from the moment.
What about you, dear readers, what would be your best blogging advice?
In the dusty sanctuaries of erudition (cooler word than knowledge, which is sooo five centuries ago)… black and white, truth and lies live comfortably, side by side, lined up…we, elbow to elbow, heads bent, allow worlds to cascade around us. ‘Take us home,’ they whisper seductively, promising to reveal all their secrets.
Within the walls of a bookstore or library it’s clear what’s fiction and what’s non-fiction.
In the real world, not so much.
Some of you, dear readers might be aware it’s Autism Awareness Month. You may have Autism; know those who live with it; love those who live with it who you can’t live without; or know those you don’t even know are on the Autism Spectrum. Still with me? Good. Reading Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy (Simon Pulse) – we’ll get to the title in a minute – had me thinking of Autism’s infinite variety, as well as the still surprising amount of intolerance in the world.
12 things I thought about while reading this novel:
2. The title is too long…oops, I’m one to talk.
3. The main character, a teen named Darren seems to be on the Autism Spectrum.
4. Part way through the book, I realized I had read other works by this author and felt a ‘doh’ moment. It passed.
5. The writing was accessible, appealing, and made me want to read more, yet around page 400 I found it was dragging and even I was growing tired of lists (is that even possible?).
6. Made me remember high school…Actually, I might be thinking of Glee, I don’t remember my high school having that much singing (luckily, this book doesn’t either).
7. Parents should care about themselves by caring for their children.
8. I wanted to buy Darren some ice cream and tell him, ‘O-o-h child things are gonna get easier. O-o-h child things’ll get brighter.’ I have this Five Stairsteps song in my head, I blame Guardians of the Galaxy.
10. Different can be bad or good, so much depends on intention and perception.
11. It might be comforting to tell someone things will get easier, brighter, or better, but it’s not always true. One of the best things to say is, ‘things are ok right now’. If that’s not true either, then, yes, by all means, say things are going to get easier, brighter, or better.12. I love books. I love free books in a different way. Refer to #10 and in this case, different is good.
Our bodies might be temples, but mine is starting to look like it needs an archaeological dig.
I’m going to agree with Indiana Jones, “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.”
Sigh, it might also be the years.
Maybe it’s just that women need more upkeep…or we’re told we do.
Women spend an inordinate amount of time trying to remove hair from their bodies…and if we can’t remove it, then we need to curl it, cut it, dye it, straighten it, lengthen it, wax it, shave it, shape it, and give names to the shapes.
Women spend hours they’ll never get back trying to pick out just the right shade, tone, tint, texture that’s going to: smooth, cover, cleanse, conceal, reverse, resist, beautify, bronze, define, alter, prime, primp, plump – for the dry, normal, oily, sensitive, acne-prone, combination; all of which will then be removed.
Women will do everything short of selling their souls (and that might be up for consideration) to keep themselves looking young, including being injected, operated on, rituals, who knows?
Women worry about every bit of food that passes their lips, weigh ourselves obsessively, worry about body fat, calories, diets. They will fast, cleanse, purge and look too often into the abyss (aka the full-length mirror).
Obviously these are generalizations, but why are there such differences between the sexes? Is it our brains? Bodies? Society? History? It should be about acceptance. Men and women aren’t that much different, except women usually get paid less and their products and services cost more.
We’re all human (well, most of us, there are exceptions), we should accept each other and work together.
In Raiders of the Lost Ark they should have said, we have top people working on it. Why? Because we may just be passing through history, but it doesn’t mean we have to keep reliving it.
What motivates us?
I’m sure the answer is different for everyone.
Praise. Power. People. Passion. Puzzles.
Possessions. Prestige. Punishment.
Pleasure. Position. Politics. Possibilities.
I know what my motivation is to eat Benedict Cumberbatch, that is, the life-size chocolate statute of Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously, there’s now a 40kg Belgian chocolate replica of most everyone’s favourite Aspergian detective, because he was chosen as #1 dishiest UK actor in a survey. David Tennant was the runner-up. Oh I don’t know, that would be a tough call. Can I have both? Er, in chocolate?
Today is Autism Awareness Day worldwide, and those on the Autism Spectrum have often been called, differently motivated. Too many people don’t (or choose not to) understand this. Their theory seems to be if you aren’t motivated by something they can understand then you must be: stupid, lazy, defective, foolish, or a loser. Intolerance shows itself in varied ugly forms.
We’re still in the beginning stages of a long journey to try to get people to understand Autism. It’s a neurological difference. Things changed, doesn’t mean it’s terrible or catastrophic.
Some things we used to believe:
Some thought the Earth was flat (those are called pancakes).
If an elevator is falling, jump up (you’ll just hit the ceiling).
Putting sugar in a gas tank ruins the car (still not a good idea).
Spontaneous generation from inanimate objects (er, no, just no).
The human body is made up of four humors – black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood (some days I wonder).
A duck’s quack doesn’t echo (it does, it does, it does).
Dropping a penny off a high building could kill someone (how about a quarter?).
Quicksand sucks you under (only in the movies).
Earth revolves around the Sun (you’re not our only friend, Sun).
we’re the center of the Universe (actually, a lot of people still believe that they’re the center of the Universe).