Monthly Archives: May 2012

Haiku–The Crow


The Crow

by Fay Moore (c) 2012

The crow stands atop

the light pole–untouchable–

surveying his world.

I love crows. I enjoy watching them in the field behind my house. I feed them and provide a water source. Some people think I’m nuts to attract them. I can’t tell you why, but I am enamored of crows. Sometimes we caw to each other, though my vocailization more often sends them flying. On rare occasions, the conversation continues. Often a crow will perch in one of the trees in the paddock and watch me tend the horses, braying an occasional comment at me. He wants to be sure the work is done to his standard. He’s my treetop supervisor.

Recently I was seated in a car, waiting on my companion to return from an errand, when I spotted a crow atop a light pole. He walked in circles on the pole’s flat top, looking out in all directions. He seemed content on his perch. My guess is that, in the entire packed parking  lot, I alone sat looking up at the crow looking down on us. That incident resulted in the haiku above.

 

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Casting Aside Fear


WordPress blogger Veehcirra quotes Steve Jobs in her post “The Top 10 Regrets in Life by Those About To Die.” Although Jobs references death in the quote, I see his remark as sharing a tactic he developed for himself to shed fear, to choose what is important. See what you think:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

–Steve Jobs

FEAR OF FAILURE


Reading the comments over the past few days, I realize that many writers share a common malady: fear of failure.

Lee Warren, D.D. writes ” The most powerful forces known to man are not nuclear weapons, nor nature’s awesome wonders, such as the might of an earthquake, the power of the sun, or mastery of a hurricane, but the thoughts and ideas of the mind. ”

If the thoughts of the mind are fear driven, the power of the thoughts can be negative. For example, professional sports teams pay psychological specialists to work with athletes who are choking in the game because of fear.

Performance anxiety is common across a multitude of professions. Singers and stage actors often describe “butterflies” before a performance. However, when the fear grows, it becomes stage fright. It can stop the presentation in its tracks.

Writers fear reader rejection or critical censure. Self-doubt stymies creative process. A manuscript collects dust because the author is afraid to finish it. Fear incapacitates.

Buckminster Fuller wrote, “Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence of trial and error experience. Humans learn through mistakes.”

It is possible to move past fear. It helps to put fear in perspective. Try saying these positive statements out loud to yourself:

  • I know that everyone feels fear of failing from time to time. I can learn to control my fear.
  • Failing at something doesn’t make me a failure. I learn from my mistakes. Learning from mistakes is the sign of a successful person.
  • I am courageous for expressing myself.
  • I am entitled to my opinion.
  • If what I tried the first time didn’t work, I can fix it. Or I can try something different.

“There is no failure. Only feedback.” –Robert Allen

Feedback is non-threatening. It helps us key in on how well we are communicating. It is the gauge of how we are doing in our growth process as writers.

When my daughter was a teenager, she talked about her career dreams. As is typical of a child’s mind, she believed she would start out at the CEO level of performance.  I explained that life is a learning curve. We have to start somewhere and then work our way up through skill development, practice and perseverance. We have to pay our dues.

As authors, we have to start somewhere. We write. We let others read it. We listen to the feedback from critical readers. We take the information provided to hone our skills. We dare and extend ourselves to practice, practice, practice. We write something. We let others read it. And the circle goes round and round. Eventually, we get more positive feedback than we did before. We keep pushing forward, paying our dues.

That’s the way it gets done. One written page at a time.

 

 

NEWS ALERT-Should You Rethink Eating Seafood from the Pacific?


Sorry to go off topic, but when I saw this today, I felt an obligation to share it. I don’t like seafood, but others I love do. This story has not been verified. I am sharing it here to provide information. It’s up to you to see if it is true through your own research.

On the financial news web page ZeroHedge.com, I found an article about radiation discovered in 15 separate bluefin tuna LAST SUMMER by government test agencies. Only now is the news breaking. The ZeroHedge.com story quotes several mainstream media sources. The full article can be read here:

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-05-29/%E2%80%9Cabsolutely-every-one%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%93-15-out-15-%E2%80%93-bluefin-tuna-tested-california-waters-co

Read what news sources are saying after interviewing those involved in testing the fish.

CNN reports today:

Low levels of radioactive cesium from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned up in fish caught off California in 2011, researchers reported Monday.

The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources

The Wall Street Journal quotes the studies’ authors:

“The tuna packaged it up and brought it across the world’s largest ocean,” said marine ecologist Daniel Madigan at Stanford University, who led the study team. “We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.”

***

“We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium-134 and cesium-137,” said marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York state, who was part of the study group.

As Reuters points out:

Unlike some other compounds, radioactive cesium does not quickly sink to the sea bottom but remains dispersed in the water column, from the surface to the ocean floor.

Fish can swim right through it, ingesting it through their gills, by taking in seawater or by eating organisms that have already taken it in ….

As CNN notes:

Neither [of the scientists who tested the fish] thought they were likely to find cesium at all, they said. And since the fish tested were born about a year before the disaster, “This year’s fish are going to be really interesting,” Madigan said.

“There were fish born around the time of the accident, and those are the ones showing up in California right now,” he said. “Those have been, for the most part, swimming around in those contaminated waters their whole lives.”

As KGTV San Diego explains:

The real test of how radioactivity affects tuna populations comes this summer when researchers planned to repeat the study with a larger number of samples.  Bluefin tuna that journeyed last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. The upcoming travelers have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period. How this will affect concentrations of contamination remains to be seen.

One of the studies’ authors told the BBC:

The fish that will be arriving around now, and in the coming months, to California waters may be carrying considerably more radioactivity and if so they may possibly be a public health hazard.
READING THIS PUTS A WHOLE NEW SPIN ON MY RECENT WORKS: Haiku “Something Dark This Way Comes” and my 55 word flash fiction piece “The Good Ship Diaspora.”

as i knew you always would be


I pressed this from Coco J. Ginger. I love the raw power of the pain she expresses. We’ve all stood  in these shoes somewhere in time. As you read this, are you feeling it, too:

I didn’t believe in past lives, but if I did I would believe that you lived one, and in that life you were everything I knew you could be. You acted as tangible men did, and you were good, so so good, superior to all others in every way. As I knew you always would be. And I loved you. You, being everything I deserved, worthy of my every affection. Free to embrace the height of my passion. But as I said before, I don’t believe in past lives, and I don’t believe in you.

via as i knew you always would be.

Building Friable Soil in Your Garden


Okay. So I am lazy today. I am going to cheat and use something I wrote elsewhere here.

I visited one of my reader’s blogs (he has several) about his raised bed garden. He described how he built it up and what is growing there. He is enjoying eating fresh produce.

As a gardener, I have opinions about creating good garden soil. I decided to express mine to him via a comment on his post. Then I thought I would share it here, in case another gardener out there is like me and looking for new ways to improve the garden dirt. So here goes:

Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours. Not sure how long you will be gardening where you are, but if you do the following through the winter, you’ll be amazed at the tilth improvement by spring — that is if you have the organisms (like worms) in your clay soil to break garbage into compost.

Anyway, here goes. Take all your PLANT matter kitchen scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds and dump it into 6-8″ deep holes in your raised beds. Cover the garbage back up with dirt. Mother nature turns it into a rich compost. If you do it for multiple years, your soil turns black and needs no tilling because the soil is friable. I have red clay. You’d never know it to look at the soil in my raised beds.

I also compost horse manure, used chicken coop bedding and spoiled hay in a pile for a couple of years. Once well broken down, I use that to start new raised beds, followed by the winter in-the-ground composting. I grow luscious vegetables with no added fertilizer.

As I re-read what I wrote above, I realize that my writing improves through a similar technique. I keep adding tidbits here and there, letting the matter percolate in my being. Over time, each bit of advice or new skill learned builds my skill set.

How about you? How do you improve either your garden or your writing?

Humor for the Morose


Thanks to Robotic Rhetoric for his humorous essay regarding the end of the world. If the world does come to an end in 2012, I hope I can find the humor in the situation. It makes meltdown bearable if one can laugh in the face of oblivion.

Many are paying a lot of attention to unusual happenings around the globe. YouTube is full of videos on the subject.

Robotic Rhetoric addressed the ending of the Mayan Calendar and the prediction of the end of the world. I smiled my way through his editorial and replied as follows:

IMHO, the guy running the Mayan calculations got a massive migraine, the carver of the calendar stones got carpal tunnel and tennis elbow, and the rest of the committee took a cruise to the Galapagos. Then their Captain ran the ship aground. Hence, the end of the Mayan calendar.