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beauty compassion courage creative writing emotion experience grief hunger inspiration life loneliness man masculinity nature poetry stoicism strength Uncategorized wisdom writing

Ghosts of Celluloid

He sits at the back of the theatre

Recalls how it was all new

Once

No colour, no computer generated effects

Not even sound.

He looks at people hunched over their phones.

People move so much faster

He doesn’t get why people

Wear their hair the way that

They do

Why the news is always bad

He knows that the day he wakes up

Without pain

Will be when he’s dead.

Stopping to make conversation

But there’s no time for that

People too busy

He looks out

Wishes not that he could go back

He treasures every precious mistake

Nor does he seek to disappear

No, what he asks for,

As the music swells

Is that things slow down

To the point

That we could all stop

See one another

And start to talk

She moves from the screen

From a time before

The world broke her spirit

Her lips press against his cheek

Not caring that his hands shook

Too much to shave

His chest grows tight

And he follows her

Leaving everything behind

Missing every frustrated second

As he lets the world go on

Without him.

 

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character compassion creative writing fiction flash fiction loneliness love men short fiction Uncategorized work

A Good Deed

Donna pulled into the parking lot just as the song finished on the radio.  Getting the kids to daycare fed, clothed, lunches packed and on time seldom left her time enough to see to herself.  When Sam had been around,  it wasn’t much different, but he did, on occasion,  help dress them or at least feed Rebecca, the youngest.   He would demand excessive praise for doing something that she managed without acknowledgement. The little grievances, like vines against concrete that sucked the moisture from their marriage.  Then, the hurricane of Amy Dennis had come and blown it away.

Still, three kids hadn’t left her with time to mourn, she was too pragmatic for that.

She liked the noodles here.  In the microwave at work,  two minutes and then mouthfuls grabbed between calls.   If she had time to absorb the metaphor,  she would have agreed.

She kicked something with her left foot,  solid and soft at the same time.  Looking down at her feet,  she saw a fat leather wallet. She picked it up.

Sam had a nylon black billfold with a chain through it. She’d had to persuade him to put photos of the kids and,in hindsight,  his reluctance to have any of her should have been a red flag. She opened it up.  A thick stack of bills greeted her and there were multiple credit cards.  A black Amex. Diners Club. She was torn between curiosity,  temptation and the steely,  kind voice of her father reminding her that stealing is wrong. She counted the cash, six hundred in fifty dollar bills. Crisp and new, like they’d been drawn out from the bank.

She found the business card, six in total.

C.

A cell and land line number

She dialled the cell.

‘Who’s this? ‘

The voice was soft,  playful and it made the corners of her mouth twitch upwards in a smile.

‘Hi, I found your wallet in the lot at the Circle K. The one just off Foster Street. ‘

‘No you didn’t.’

She sighed, her temples beginning to throb with the tension.  Oh, all she needed was another asshole today.

‘Yes I did, because how else would I dialling this number?’

‘Maybe I get a lot of women call me that I don’t remember? You have a nice voice, what’s your name?’

She rolled her eyes and closed the wallet.

‘There’s six hundred dollars cash in here.’

A pause. He whistled under his breath.

‘Still? You ain’t one of those religious types are ya?’

She shook  her head and began to impatiently stride to the entrance.

‘Mister, I’m going to leave this at the cashier for you. I wouldn’t take your money if you said I could. It’s not how I’m raised. Now I’d love to jaw with you all day, but I’m late for work and you cannot even muster a goddamn thank you.’

He clicked off. She was tempted to throw it to the ground but she’d given her word. It still mattered to her, after everything. She would read to her children at night, sometimes falling asleep on the bed with them but she told them stories about heroes who did the right thing. She didn’t think of herself as one, just trying to get through the day but she tried, in her own small way.

She didn’t leave her number with the cashier. She ended up being fifteen minutes late, which was a record for her, and the noodles tasted pretty good. Life put it’s dukes up, sounded the bell for round two and she forgot all about the wallet and the owner.

The envelope was in the mailbox when she got home. Crisp and white, and inside the entire stack of bills. A single piece of paper folded in two and she looked around, waiting for the prank to be revealed to her. No one jumped out at her, and she read the note.

Money is something that you can always make but kindness is in short supply. I shouldn’t have questioned you like that. I deal in futures, Donna, and it’s a harsh business at times. Here is a possible one for you.

He will wear a wedding ring but he’s widowed. He pees sitting down and his favourite book is Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. He saw you at your son’s ball game but because he was coaching the opposing team that season. His name is Jason.  The money, spend it how you like, but don’t waste the opportunity. He eats at Applebees on Wednesdays around eight. Take the kids, say hi. See what happens.

She looked at the clock on the wall.

There was still time.

 

Categories
compassion dominance emotion masculinity men poetry women

Glorious Aggression

We endure
Because strength
Is not an absolute
The little wars
That we fight alone
Can wound as wholly
As any mud churned
Battlefield

Staggering around
Looking for what was
Lost in the aftermath
Or dying in a desert
Of your imagination
As glass eyed buildings
Remain immobile
At the sight of your
Tearful pleas

I have the strength
To lift my sword
Without apology
If the world has had
Cause to break me
It has only made
Me stronger

I see the flashes
Of pain
In the bitter smiles
Of passersby
And it has made
Me kinder

My sentiments
Are offered without
expectations
Of return
My kindness
Is not weakness
And I am not
Always gentle

Look the storm
Of the world’s madness
In its eyes
See the soul that
Writhes at its heart
And extend a warm
Hand

It may be the most
Glorious aggression
You will ever wield

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I am so tired of waiting,
Aren’t you,
For the world to become
Good and beautiful and kind?
I am tired
Langston Hughes

All lives matter. Remember that when it gets dark in your heart,  we’re all here for one another if we can get past our pain. 

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My Meditation

I do a variation on this meditation every day. It’s difficult but at the same time, the rewards have been massive. It all starts from within ourselves.
May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I realize the beauty of my own true nature.
May I be healed.
May I be a source of healing for this world. 
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 
May you be at peace.
May your heart remain open.
May you realize the beauty of your own true nature.
May you be healed.
May you be a source of healing for this world.
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Cast Bread On The Water

Alan Watts talks about how we use positive and negative things to define us, either by our love or our opposition to them. If you hate something, it speaks about you as a person, it can serve as a guide to allow people to see who and what you are.  I do have things that I dislike but I tend to just not talk about them publicly. I’m aware that they are projections of things within me, so I accept them and don’t attach myself to them. 

Because when you cast out bread on the waters, you get back cake. 

Who doesn’t like cake? 

We attach ourselves to the things that we become. I believe in being positive and accepting of the beauty and horror of the world, hate doesn’t sit well with me anymore, it’s a crude rush akin to amphetamine but it doesn’t last at all. I feel very deeply that we should share the things that we love with other people and not disparage the things that other people love. Sure, there’s a place for critical analysis and insight, debate is invigorating and can lead to great insight. I believe happy people are seldom cruel and although I can be that way, it’s something that I don’t let past my boundary, I acknowledge it, learn something from it, observe it and let it move on. I use the good and the bad in my writing, as I do in my life. It is better to drink of deep grief than shallow pleasure, because if you cannot separate yourself from the pain of the world then at least you can learn from it. 

Be kind to one another, share the things that make your soul sing with joy. You might be midwife to someone’s great passion, don’t expect thanks for it, but share with the world the best things in it and then your world can become it.  It is not a weakness to show kindness, it is a strength because it’s easier to be angry and cruel than it is to be kind. 

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To Fight Empire.

I was going to post on A Voice For Men, asking them to stop, pointing out that calling women names and using examples of radical feminists who call for the extinction of men is merely projection of their own feminine instincts onto an external other when I realised that it was pointless and a waste of my time. 

Because I am for things rather than against them. I practice compassion, I believe and enjoy my masculinity without needing to belittle or demean anyone, male or female. If someone is sitting and screaming in the corner, male or female, then you don’t have to listen to them at all. To quote, Philip K Dick, ‘to fight the empire is to be infected by it’s derangements.’. Certainly if i am witness to second class behaviour personally or in my sphere of influence, then I will speak out against it. I don’t want to attach myself to the immature tantrums of the Mens Rights Activists. There are gender imbalances, but they are being used by a tiny percentage of each group and amplified into arguments that have little to no basis in reality. I’ve seen both groups gaslight and troll and then accuse the other side of using the same tactic without irony. 

I don’t enjoy mobs, angry or otherwise. There’s little to no love or compassion in the ideals and rhetoric of such extreme groups. I’m embarrassed by Mens Rights Activists and have little to no common ground with them. To me, equality is a tide that raises all boats and sure you can massage statistics into any point that suits your argument but I want a world where women can walk down a street anywhere in the world without feeling threatened, where children don’t scream in the night, where men don’t kill themselves rather than articulate their pain. I want a world where a man can stay at home and a woman can command a business empire or an army, because we all have different energies and polarities. 

Just be kind and compassionate to one another, seek to understand then be understood. Calling people names and punching them is the same to the thalamus so why do either? 

 

 

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If Someday You’re Someone’s Favourite Writer

If Someday You’re Someone’s Favourite Writer

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“For me, I am d…

“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

There’s a compassion in making art of any kind. It does lessen the suffering of others, because if they enjoy it, if they feel something, then you’ve made them feel better. The exploration of story, the research I do to add veracity to my characters makes me more knowledgeable and compassionate about people. I’m less judgmental than I used to be and that means I can write with more courage and reach for a greater understanding of my characters and the trials that I put them through. 

What are your philosophies?