Life, music, Writing

Musically.

It’s been a long week.

As usual, I don’t quite know how to write about anything.

I finished a book the other day. Every book I finish is a success because it’s been a hobby that has quickly been a bore. One day I’ll find excitement in it again. In the meantime, I’m content being reading occasionally and not obsessively.

I bought a mandolin. It’s an instrument that I’ve admired for many years and often dreamed of playing. I never thought I’d be brave enough to try. Now I’ve got a nice instrument (one that I looked into and a friend asked her musician friends about, so that’s nice.) I learned about how to hold it, how to hold the pick, how to strum it properly, and today I learned a few chords. My hand isn’t quite strong enough yet to hold down the strings as I’m playing and my fingers haven’t developed callouses yet, so they’ve been hurting today. But I learned three basic chords and I just need to practice them.

Chris Thile has been my main hero of the mandolin. He’s the one that made me aware of what a mandolin even was, caused me to want to play with intensity. I will always admire his musical talent. Today, I wanted to find some other people who played mandolin, particularly women. I’m surprised by how few successful mandolinists are women. I’m sad to discover so few women want to play. I’m not trying to break barriers or become famous or anything but why? It’s such a beautiful, whimsical instrument. More women should give it a go.

I’ve been listening to Button Poetry a lot recently. It’s a company (is this the right word?) that publishes poets and hosts spoken word poetry of these poets. I don’t always listen to them to the end, but if someone’s message catches me, I find myself staying to the end. I’m not used to slam poetry/spoken poetry, but I feel drawn to the soft spoken, quiet beings that draw your attention and have a soothing voice about them. Not that there’s anything wrong with other speakers, that’s just what I’m drawn too. I need to listen more often.

I checked out “Helium” by Rudy Francisco and read a few of his poems. They’re very beautiful and minimalistic. I like it a lot. Free form poetry is the best, in my opinion. If I have to write anything else, then I’m struggling.

I look foreword to sleeping in tomorrow. I look foreword to reading a little bit, playing music a little bit, maybe even writing a little bit. Becoming well rounded is hard sometimes,

But I’m working on it.

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Life, Writing

The Tuesday We Never Forget.

Found in Google Images

It’s the seventeenth anniversary of the World Trade Centers falling due to an act of terrorism.

It’s actually hard to believe that it’s been seventeen years since that Tuesday morning when the world changed so drastically. In spite of the years that have past, it’s still in the forefront of the American mind, and indeed, the world’s. It’s still talked about as if it was yesterday because to be truthful, we are still dealing with repercussions and events that have and are happening due to what happened.

I could talk about where I was that day, but really, that’s what people expect of others to do when the anniversary comes up, so I won’t do that; even though I think about it every year as if it’s a snapshot burned into my skull.

Instead I want to talk about my feelings and emotions.

Even though I was a teenager at the time of it’s occurrence, I don’t think I felt the full emotional impact of 9/11. Instead, I felt an obsession. I watched the news obsessively every night. I watched shows of heroism, people being saved, animals being taken in, simple every day acts of coming together to grieve and overcome. When Alan Jackson and Toby Keith made their patriotic songs, I felt a surge of pride for being an American. These terrorists could bring down a building, but they couldn’t bring down my patriotism. When it was announced that we’d go to war, I shook my fist and prayed that they’d take down the men who planned these acts.

But it hasn’t been until the last couple years or so that I felt a more emotional impact of what happened. I can feel the horror, the terror, the sadness, and the reality of death that occurred at ground zero. Over 3,000 people died. 3,000 people. For every person that died, can you imagine the number of friends and family members that each person’s death impacted? The children, the wives, the husbands, the sons, daughters, fathers? Even if you say ten people per death, that’s what 30,000 people who felt that person’s loss? It’s unimaginable.

Maybe it’s because I’m older, I can understand the loss and the pain that this day truly meant for me and for others. For the United States and the world. Or maybe it’s because I read so many stories and heard the last words of people knowing they’re about to die.

I can understand now.

I was aware seventeen years ago, but I wasn’t truly aware. Not yet. That would come later.

I don’t think we could truly recover from that Tuesday morning, but we can make steps to making a better future. May we never forget.

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Writing

No Coffee.

I don’t like coffee.

There. I said it.

I don’t like coffee.

I don’t like the taste. No amount of milk and sugar is going to make it taste good to me. On top of that, I don’t like how it makes me feel. I don’t like not being able to relax and sleep.

For some reason, it bothers people when I say I don’t like coffee. “Oh, you just haven’t met the right kind of coffee,” they say. “You haven’t had any coffee done right.”

No.

No, that’s not how it is at all. I don’t care if the Coffee Guru himself handed me a cup made directly with God’s touch to it. I don’t like it.

Coffee tastes like death to me. If there was 50 Shades of Death, coffee would be its liquid form. If I was captured, the best form of torture would be to force me to drink coffee. They would have me broken within the hour.

Someone once told me that caffeine was like a drug, and I have to agree with them. Caffeine alters your body and feeds your mind into thinking it needs it constantly. If you don’t drink it, you get headaches and exhaustion, probably even some anxiety. I don’t want to deal with that, no thank you. I’m glad I have a natural aversion to it, because those side effects are torture. Just go to bed early, eat healthy, and exercise. You don’t know coffee to push you through the day.

Some people would have a more eloquent way of talking about it. They’d probably have a whole ten page paper about it. But I don’t.

It’s disgusting. It’s almost like a gateway drug to more serious felonies.

That is all.

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Life, Writing

The Greatest Music in the World.

This is where it begins:

In the toes as they start to tap. A tingle rushes up through the body until your head starts nodding and your body starts swaying and your hands are clapping. The music is catching. You watch as even the musicians close their eyes and dancing around the stage, instruments pressed against them as if the music could could come out more in with a passionate fervor.

I turn to her and say, “You want to go up there and dance?”

“No!” She exclaimed.

“Oh, come on,” I said, “it’d be fun.”

“No!” She protested.

The women next to us turned and said “You want to go? It’ll be fun.”

She laughed and finally agreed. We went off to the side and she got into her dancing routine. I pretended to know what I was doing, twirling and clapping. The energy pent up finally released. I glanced at the stage and saw him there, smiling at us having fun, his hands plucking out the notes with ease. We were dancing to his music and he was glad. His music made us feel.

A few young ones went to the front. They danced however they wanted, as if no one could ever see them move in such a way. I locked eyes with him, a young man with twinkling eyes and curly hair. He smiled and I returned it before twisting back towards my friend. He wants to dance with me, I thought.

He danced around me all nice, brushing up against me, watching me in my little bubble. Some of us never have the courage to dance, even with the greatest music in the world.

Via Discover post: The Greatest ___ in the World

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Writing

Forgotten.

Sometimes I forget why I followed someone. A blog, a person on Twitter, Pinterest.

They’ll show up in my feed one day and I’ll think, “Who is this? Why do I care? What made me interested in the first place?” Sometimes it takes a while to remember, especially if they don’t post or share very often. Or I’ll go through my blog list and think, “I don’t remember this person, why did I follow them to begin with?” And sometimes I’ll unfollow.

I suppose this is a given that people change over the years. You follow someone intensely, then they get busy and you forget and then all of a sudden, you remember them. Or they just never come back again. And eventually you’ll just take them out of the list altogether. What we were once passionate about suddenly shifts into another direction.

It’s not anybody’s fault. We just change. We stop writing. We stop reading. We completely change domains. We’re as fickle as the road that winds through the forest. It shows us its darkness, then brings us light and chirping birds. It meanders before taking a sharp turn back and loops around.

You never know the surprises around the corner.

Via Daily Prompt: Forest

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Writing

The Sound

I love the sound of water trickling down the river. It surges around the narrow bend, violently pushing against the boulders in its way. Then it widens into a deep pool, careless of the destination its heading towards. It is sluggish, tired of its sudden sprint.

The wind dances through the leaves, moving the branches back and forth. The sun shifts down in shafts, warming the ground in patches. The birds chirp in the distance, reminding me of their presence, as if they were afraid I would forget where they were. Chipmunks and squirrels scramble out from the underbrush, startling me from my reverie.

My shoes thump against the muddy ground, and the squirrels chatter at me in disapproval before disappearing again. I slow my steps down, and walk as quietly as I can. It’s a game that I’ve played since I was a teenager; the one where I am the Indian of my forefathers, stalking the woods in my moccasins, letting nature think I’m one of them. I will never be that quiet and I’ll never learn the ways of a tribe that I suspect I’m a part of but never know exactly. The fears and hate of history make a sound in its present history.

I emerge from the forest, the chatter of people as they make their way down flood my ears. The roar of cars pulling in and out of parking spaces jars me back into the present. My brief encounter of being alone has dissipated for another day.

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Writing

Words I Hate.

There are two words that absolutely irritate me:

    Chat
    Pass away (and it’s variants of passes/passing away/passed away, etc)

For some reasons, the word “chat” never seems like a real word to me. Whenever I hear it I want to tear my ear drums out and never hear it again. I feel like it’s a word that people use to show they’re more educated or are superior to other low life, every day people. You’re not special just because you’re prettying up a word. If you want to talk to me use the word “talk,” for crying out loud. You’re still giving me information. I’m still hearing it. Don’t “chat” at me about it, or I’m going to tell you how I really feel. (Or just look at you passively aggressively.)

As for “passing away,” I never understood why people prettied up death. Everybody dies, why are you making it sound like the person’s merely falling asleep? The person has died, therefore you need to tell other people that this particular person has “died” or is “dead.” He’s dead. Leave him dead. That’s all there is to it.

There’s a saying in the writing world that basically states that if you keep using extraordinary words, then you won’t have any words left when you see or hear something truly extraordinary. Say things simply without dressing it up too much. And that’s how I want to try and keep it.

Let’s talk about it. What are your thoughts?

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