The archetypal Indie?

Image by Zu

Image by Zu

I don’t have a feather to fly with…
Impecunious as a church mouse;
And to keep a roof over the keyboard,
I’ve sold half the stuff in the house.

The cupboards hold coffee and biscuits,
The fridge just an elderly egg,
But that’s quite enough for survival,
I don’t have to go out and beg.

See, I chose this career as a writer
And with painting a bit, as you do,
While still earning a crust at the day job,
I just about see the month through.

The house doesn’t really need heating,
I really don’t see it these days,
I just sit at the desk in the corner
While the words dance about in a haze.

On the other hand life’s never boring!
As I roam through a new world each day,
When I wander through imagination
On a quest to find something to say.

And there’s never the slightest dull moment,
No daydreaming, no time to yearn…
‘Cause this Indie self-publishing model
Means always a new skill to learn.

I’ve learned how to edit and format,
I’ve gingerly learned how to prune,
And make cover pictures and promos
And dance to the Amazon tune…

As the night falls I’m burning the candles
When I should be tucked up in my bed,
I am still tapping words on the keyboard
And writing ‘one more page’ instead.

Is it worth it? You ask, so I’ll tell you…
Over there on the shelf… take a look,
Sitting in pride of place in the corner
With my name on the spine of each book…

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The puzzle of being

Image via pinterest

“I can usually work people out,” he mused. “What their underlying motives and reasons are, what is really behind how they are. Can’t do it with myself though. Doesn’t matter how much I look… I never know if I am operating from a need to do, or to justify, or to hide something from myself…” He continued exploring the various permutations of reasoning and instinct that lie behind all our choices and actions. I had to agree, it is far easier to feel we can get to the bottom of someone else’s behaviour than it is to be certain of the reasons behind our own.

We had been talking about the nature of reality to begin with; how we each create our own vision of the world and its denizens which, once fixed, is almost impossible to change. As far as people are concerned, we make judgements or assessments of their character that are true for us, even if they are actually wildly inaccurate. Once we have made up our minds about someone it is rare that we change them very much.

It is easy to say we should not judge… and it is true. We cannot really judge others, especially for their decisions because we never know all the circumstances. It is hard to condemn a particular choice if you don’t know what their options were in the first place. But we judge regardless, and we dress it up in other terms … and it is part of the path to understanding.

But why, he wondered, was it so much easier to understand the minds of others than to really understand ourselves? Two things came up. Firstly, of course, we seldom understand more than a fragment of another person. Unless we know them very, very well, we form our opinions and base our understanding only on the facet of personality which that person shows to us. Our understanding may be true… or completely erroneous… for as the old saying goes, ‘we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.’ However accurate our perception it is rarely more than fragmentary. We are not understanding a whole being, just the face that is turned towards us; the part of a person that impinges on our lives.

The second thought came directly from that one; the idea of a jigsaw puzzle. A child’s puzzle will have perhaps twelve pieces… very easy to piece them together to get the picture, even without reference to a guiding image. We are unlikely to get it wrong when working with so few pieces. Which equates nicely to how we form our understanding of others when we know only a fraction of all there is to know of them.

Tip a five thousand piece puzzle on the floor and it is a lot harder to work out where to begin, let alone to get the full picture to emerge… and if the picture that lies hidden consists largely of nice blue sky, then the task becomes even more onerous. We, of course, have all the pieces of ourselves to work with. Every scrap of memory, every thought and emotion, every interaction… and half of them probably look the same at first glance, as our lives are so full of habit and repetition. Add to that idea the realisation that there are many parts of ourselves we do not wish to see and it is as if we are trying to solve half the puzzle blindfolded.

When you look at it like that, it makes you realise what a monumental undertaking it is to accept the instruction that was carved above the portals of the temples of old…”Know Thyself.”

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Hot House Flowers… Stuart France

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Can a ‘bad’ man turn ‘good’?

Or the sinner become a saint?

The annals of religious science are littered with such ‘miracles’.

Yet the capacity to fast and feast…

Seek solitude or egregore…

To abstain and fully participate…

Continue reading at Stuart France

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Home #midnighthaiku

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Pathways beckoning

The heart indulges folly

All roads lead us home

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – An Art Museum For Book Lovers by Jennie Fitzkee

Reblogged from Smorgasbord:

Today Jennie Fitzkee shares a visit to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art… a treasure trove of images from some of the classic children’s books of the last fifty years.

An Art Museum For Book Lovers by Jennie Fitzkee

People think of an art museum as… art, single standing pieces on their own right. Imagine masterful, award winning art combined with the best literature, in one museum. Exciting? You bet! A hidden gem in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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What is your favorite childhood book? Madeline? Perhaps it is Make Way For Ducklings. There are so many. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is dedicated to the art of children’s book illustrators. I thought this was interesting, then I visited the museum. Oh, my!

The exhibit way back then featured Ezra Jack Keats, author of The Snowy Day. I am a preschool teacher and have read this wonderful book to my class hundreds of times. Yet, I never expected to come face-to-face with his art. I did. To my great surprise it was made from cut-out linoleum. I couldn’t walk away or let that go. I was witnessing the real art of his award winning book.

Much like seeing the ocean for the first time, I was stunned.

Continue reading at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord

 

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Whispering

standing stone in the mist

magnetic poem

Intuition in stone

Seeds ancient earth

With murmured secrets.

Spirit walks a sacred world

Breathing tendrils of song

For me to follow.

Through the lonely night,

I walk the path of harmony

Wandering between summer clouds

To wild moonlight,

Listening always

For you.

Posted in mystery, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

… a thousand words?

Johannes Gumpp, painting his self-portrait

I was reading an article that tells how much a picture can attract our attention. The inclusion of a single image can increase the likelihood of someone stopping to read an article, sharing it or, indeed, making it go viral. It isn’t difficult to understand why… an image needs no words to convey a message. It has no language barrier…. And, in this day when we all read onscreen, skimming most of the content, according to all the research, rather than carefully reading each word, images appeal to our need for speed. Interesting enough on its own, but as usual, it got me thinking. In itself the words called up images in my own mind that sparked of a whole other train of thought.

In one of those random moments, I realised that if I were but an image of myself, I would hate to live in a photo frame, no more than a two-dimensional representation, bounded by straight edges and right angles of rigidity. I’d rather be a movie. Even that lacks the extraordinary depth of life. Yet it is through images that we learn about our world… visual representations registered by our own eyes, non-visual ‘images’ formed by our other senses, or even those scenes painted by imagination on the screen of the mind..

I take a lot of pictures… I am not alone in that. The digital age has made photography accessible to all. We take them for many reasons… perhaps to capture a magical memory, document a trip, or to share the wonder we feel in this beautiful world. Sometimes we film videos… sweeping panoramas, or the antics of a small dog, maybe… yet neither photograph nor film can ever truly catch the essence of a moment. They lack the depth, the dimensions brought to an instant by emotion. They do not catch the scent of a rose or the subliminal buzzing of life in a meadow. They cannot capture the taste of salt spray on your lips or the wind in your hair… or the warmth of a baby’s fingers clutching yours.

Professionals, and those gifted amateurs who have a real feel for photography, can capture something that conveys the idea of those feelings, often so sublimely that they evoke a deep response. A smile for the cute kitten whose fur looks so soft… a yearning for a much-loved place… the tenderness known only by the heart. They evoke, beautifully, poignantly, but they can only be an impression of experience.

Some of those images though can change the world. Few who recall the BBC images from Biafra in the 60s will ever forget them. They brought home to us, quite literally as we sat down to dinner with the TV in the corner, the plight of children starved to little more than skin and bone. It changed the way we thought. It changed the way we chose to believe in the world.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

 

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