2014/05/25

Memorial Day 2014

Da Goddess @ 23:24

Gardens of Stone - Fort Rosecrans

Gardens of Stone sit in stillness
The lives of those buried here are mostly forgotten
They whisper to us, but rarely do we listen
And yet they speak volumes

In Gardens of Stone there reside
Those who served, at home and on the front
The wind scatters leaves and secrets
Speaking volumes of those who can no longer speak for themselves

In Gardens of Stone names are carefully etched
For family and friends to visit for a while
After many years, the visits taper off
Speaking volumes of our commitment to those who have died

In Gardens of Stone some of us wander
Searching for clues
Honoring the dead
Praying for their souls

In Gardens of Stone on this weekend
Everywhere you turn
You will see flags and flowers
Speaking volumes that we still care

In Gardens of Stone we pray
For those who continue the tradition
The sacred honor of protecting our way of life
We pray their service speaks volumes that war may
Someday be unnecessary

Until that time, we walk in Gardens of Stone
We gather to remember for those who cannot
For those who will not
Because the next to lie here will someday be just
Another name etched carefully in granite

In Gardens of Stone we are never alone
In Gardens of Stone we must continue
To pray and remember and learn
So that someday there may be smaller Gardens of Stone

__________________________________

For every name upon a stone that might ring familiar, there thousands more which we may not recognize nor find in any book. Their names, if we look long enough, become familiar to us, become part of our extended family. For they are the ones who secured our freedoms and allowed us the rights we enjoy today. The protesters on the street can do so because of these men and women. Those who cry out for freedom from religion (we’re guaranteed freedom of religion — to worship [or not] as we so choose) can do so because of these men and women. Those who demand this and demand that are able to do so because of these men and women. We can stand up and publicly deride our leaders because of these men and women. We are free to speak in English or any other language we chose because of those who lie in the Gardens of Stone.

Most will never have monuments. Most will never have books written about them. We can, however, take the time to remember, even if in general terms.

___________________________________

Memorial Day is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, the gatherings of friends and family, the drinks passed around the campfire. We’re free to do so, yes, but it is due to the sacrifices made by people whose names we’ll likely never know.

Please take a moment this weekend to give thanks to those who have served, to those who continue to serve, and honor them with a moment of silence. That’s the least we can do for them.

Gardens of Stone - Fort Rosecrans

2014/05/16

Terpsichorean

Da Goddess @ 23:45

I threw that word out to King Arthur earlier this evening as we were gazing up at the clouds in the sky. There was one in particular that was wispy and evoked movement, like that of dance. In other words, it was terpsichorean in nature.

Why does this word — or any word, for that matter — stick in one’s brain? I’m not sure. All I know is that it was there and it was deployed. It was our word of the day.

I do so enjoy pulling out a word from my databank and applying it aptly to whatever the moment calls for. I do so enjoy sitting on the front porch, watching the clouds — alone or with KA. I love when nature gifts us with the glory God has infused in it. To me, that’s about as close as you can get to heaven while still alive on this earth. That and using the talents God gave us to identify those moments and the scenes around us.

As a bit of a non-footnote:

terpsichorean terp·si·cho·re·an

/ˌtərpsikəˈrēən,-ˈkôrēən/
___________________________

adjective
formal / humorous

adjective: terpsichorean

1. of or relating to dancing.

noun
formal / humorous

noun: terpsichorean; plural noun: terpsichoreans
1. a dancer.

Again, there you have it: your word for the day. Er, rather, your word for the weekend.

2013/12/19

We Try.

Da Goddess @ 10:31

I found this quote over on Marmalade Bleue and fell in love with it.

From the book Quitter by Jon Acuff. (If you’re not reading his blog, start. It’s one of the nicest gifts you can give yourself.)

“We know how to talk ourselves out of or into things better than anyone on the planet. Think about a time when you made a horrible mistake and someone said, ‘What were you thinking?’

Usually you weren’t doing it because you thought it would be a horrible mistake. You thought it would be great. And you talked yourself into it. Because no one can convince us like we can convince us.”

We humans are so very complicated, aren’t we? And we are also quite simple. The thing that struck me most was the part about talking ourselves out of things. We fear failure. We want to avoid looking or feeling foolish if something doesn’t turn out the way we planned. But without taking any risks, our lives are nothing. Nothing. We cannot love, we cannot grow, and we cannot teach if we never TRY. We try because otherwise we’re just getting by. And that’s not LIVING. That’s existing. LIVING comes from the flavor we add to our lives by trying new things.

As babies, we look around and begin to focus on things further and further away. Then we begin reacting to the world around us and smile or cry in response. We start to reach for things that catch our eye. A baby doesn’t just lie around month after month. A baby learns to roll over, to sit up, to crawl, and to walk and talk. Babies would do this even if we didn’t cheer them on. As they learn to walk, they fall a lot. But they don’t stop trying. They get up and try again.

And so do we.

So, if something doesn’t work the first time, don’t give up. Try it again. Maybe it’s just a matter of building the proper muscles (physically, mentally, creatively) to get it right. Every step we take, literally or figuratively, is an exercise that helps build those muscles. Exercise…from taking a chance.

Sure, it takes less effort to stand in your own way, but then you don’t get to brag about all that exercise you’re getting if you’re out there giving it a go.

Kind of makes you feel a little better when you think about it that way, doesn’t it?

The Dyson vacuum cleaner was the result of 5,127 prototypes over 15 years.

I’m no longer calling my mistakes “mistakes”, they’re now just prototypes for what I will eventually accomplish.

2013/12/08

Oh, Muse!

Da Goddess @ 16:03

Why is it that I can write an entire short story in my head while I’m in the shower, but the minute I sit down at the computer, I got NOTHING?!

My muse is a cruel, cruel wench.

2012/11/28

Proofreaders Are An Asset

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Professional company sends me an email asking me to purchase their products. Email is rife with errors.

Said email starts off nicely enough:

At *Company X*, we think creativity has an endless shelf life. If you agree, enter to win an Amazon® Kindle Fire™ or Amazon® Kindle™ and $250 USD worth of *Company X* books of the winner’s choice (Total value: $450)!
How’s that for a happy holiday season!

We won’t even quibble about the need for a question mark at the end of the last sentence. Basically, the company wants you to be so excited about winning a Kindle or Kindle Fire that you’ll get caught up in their amazing products and make a purchase or two for the photographer/creative in your life. Nothing wrong with that. Except…except when each book you then list has a “sneak peak” available.

Obviously, I’m completely bent by: sneak PEAK.

It’s a damn sneak PEEK, people!

A peak is something you see. A peek is something you do or “take”. Either way, “peek” is a verb. “Peak” is a noun.

Are we clear on this? Would you like to hire me to proof your copy? (I’m also available for tattoo consultation before the inking begins. Another essential skill/gift.)

P.S. Any errors in this post are the direct result of my unmitigated ire at lack of command of the English language by those in charge of marketing. Shouldn’t “proficient in the English language” be a required job skill for anyone in the business of writing copy?
Yes, these are jobs I should have.

2012/11/17

Autobiography Title

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Mine will be “Dirty Nogoodnik”

Heard a local reporter say it on air the other night. It wasn’t the first time I’d ever heard the phrase, but it was certainly the first time I’d heard a reporter say it during a newscast. I laughed. And then I had to ask my dad if I’d heard correctly.

Sigh.

An alternate title will be “The Car Killer” as I’ve now had car problems twice since I’ve been back. With my dad’s car. First time was the front left axle breaking. Not my fault. It just happened while I was in the car. On the freeway. In the rain. Stuck in the middle of the freakin’ freeway in the rain in a car that can’t move isn’t my favorite place to be. Then last night, LD and I got in the car to run to the store for my dad and it wouldn’t start. Battery was dead. DEAD. Not even a whistle*. The nice guy who fixed my dad’s broken axle, which was caused by a bad motor mount (long story) stopped by the house and got us up and running. We ran to my sister’s house, grabbed laundry, and other stuff, left the car running the whole time. Then off to the grocery store, left motor running again. Got home, thinking the car had likely recharged the battery enough and turned the car off. Tried to restart it again. Not even a whistle*.

* begins at 1:41 and goes until 4:02

My alternate alternate title will be “I Don’t Suffer Bastards and So Are You!”

2012/10/27

Honesty, Is Such a Lonely Word

Da Goddess @ 03:00

Uncle Shelby said it best:

“Tell my I’m clever,
Tell me I’m kind,
Tell me I’m talented,
Tell me I’m cute,
Tell me I’m sensitive,
Graceful and Wise
Tell me I’m perfect–
But tell me the TRUTH.”

Yep. That’s what I need to hear. Right about…NOW!

2012/10/26

Free Halloween Download — Full James Thurber Book!!

Da Goddess @ 02:20

You can download James Thurber’s My Life and Hard Times free of charge. It’s a great read Halloween night if you’re the one stuck at home handing out candy.

It’s the greatest treat you’ll get all night! And you can share it with others.

2012/10/25

How Much Love?

Da Goddess @ 04:00

“How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.

How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.

How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ‘em.

How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ‘em.”

Shel Silverstein

2012/10/23

Taking Time to Listen

Da Goddess @ 04:00

…Listening matters.

The Little Boy and the Old Man by Shel Silverstein
Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man

Shel Silverstein at his absolute best.

2012/10/22

Thurber on Wine

Da Goddess @ 04:00

It’s a naïve domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused by its presumption.

James Thurber ~ Cartoon caption in New Yorker (March 27, 1937).

2012/10/21

Who’s That Knockin’ On My Door?

Da Goddess @ 01:39

The Meehoo with an Exactlywatt by Shel Silverstein

Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Me!
Me who?

That’s right!
What’s right?
Meehoo!
That’s what I want to know!
What’s what you want to know?

Me, WHO?
Yes, exactly!
Exactly what?
Yes, I have an Exactlywatt on a chain!
Exactly what on a chain?

Yes!
Yes what?
No, Exactlywatt!

That’s what I want to know!
I told you – Exactlywatt!
Exactly WHAT?
Yes!
Yes what?

Yes, it’s with me!
What’s with you?
Exactlywatt – that’s what’s with me.
Me who?
Yes!

GO AWAY!

Knock knock…

2012/10/19

Standing

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Again, Shel Silverstein to the rescue!

Standing on my elbow
With my finger in my ear,
Biting on a dandelion
And humming kind of queer
While I watched a yellow caterpillar
Creeping up my wrist,
I leaned on a tree
And I said to me,
“Why am I doing this?”

2012/10/18

I <3 Thurber

Da Goddess @ 03:45

Politics never really changes.

From now on, I think it is safe to predict, neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party will ever nominate for President a candidate without good looks, stage presence, theatrical delivery, and a sense of timing.

James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. James Thurber Collecting Himself (1989). From an unpublished manuscript, dated March 20, 1961, said of the Kennedy-Nixon TV debates

2012/10/17

Nobody Loves Me

Da Goddess @ 01:22

Revisiting Shel Silverstein

“Nobody loves me, nobody cares,
Nobody picks me peaches and pears.
Nobody offers me candy and Cokes,
Nobody listens and laughs at my jokes.
Nobody helps when I get into a fight,
Nobody does all my homework at night.
Nobody misses me,
Nobody cries,
Nobody thinks I’m a wonderful guy.
So, if you ask me who’s my best friend, in a whiz,
I’ll stand up and tell you NOBODY is!
But yesterday night I got quite a scare
I woke up and Nobody just WASN’T there!
I called out and reached for Nobody’s hand,
In the darkness where Nobody usually stands,
Then I poked through the house, in each cranny and nook,
But I found SOMEBODY each place that I looked.
I seached till I’m tired, and now with the dawn,
There’s no doubt about it-
NOBODY’S GONE!!”

~~~~

I’ll be posting more of my favorite pieces over time. I’m using these as reminders of what a beautiful world it is in which we live.

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