Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Moment Of Non-Truth ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Once again, I was awake much earlier than I wanted to be. It fascinates me how in the early morning hours things that should not be a problem become magnified many times more than they are worth.

This is not to say that problems don't need solving, but in the moments between night and dawn ~ what should not be that big a problem looms larger and more oppressive then a couple of hours later when the sun illuminates the day ~ what seemed so large is revealed at its correct size. A size that is something that can be handled, dealt with or simply dismissed as not important.

I found this morning that my breathing changed (not for the better) and my mind became completely over-active with concerns that hadn't even made themselves evident in reality.

Being honest, it was nothing more than unsubstantiated fear. The kind of fear that creeps in on soft feet, and tries to take over the mind...which then translates into reactions of the body...the heart, breathing and even the skin temperature.

I would like to say that it's easy to say: "Begone!" But we know such is not the case. Sometimes, I literally have to get up and deal with each phantom individually~ individually, and firmly.

Perhaps you don't have these night-time holograms ~ if so, be very thankful. To those, such as myself, who do ~ I offer these quotes:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
--Frank Herbert, Dune - (Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear)

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.
-- German Proverb

Fear is a tyrant and a despot, more terrible than the rack, more potent than the snake.
--Edgar Wallace - The Clue of the Twisted Candle (1916)

Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.
--Japanese Proverb

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.
--Katherine Paterson

No matter how hard you work for success if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors and make success impossible.

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I can endure for this minute whatever is happening to me No matter how heavy my heart is or how dark the moment might be... If I can but keep on believing what I know in my heart to be true, That darkness will fade with morning and that this will pass away, too... Then nothing can ever disturb me or fill me with uncertain fear, For as sure as night brings dawning, my morning is bound to appear...

Don’t be afraid of fear
Because fear is afraid of itself
You give into fear when you doubt yourself
Fear makes you a complete opposite of yourself
Draining every bit of confidence your body has left
Fear tricks you of your potential
Wiping away your credentials
A life ruled by fear is life without hope
Of course people are going to have raining days
But with fear, everyday you will have your droughts

Be confident and put your head up high
How can fear overtake you when you’re looking at the
Beautiful clouds high in the sky
--Rico Graham

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sigh! ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Once again, I will be unable to post this evening. I'll be back tomorrow. SIGH!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Some Thoughts On Thoughts ~ Early Evening Thoughts

It was still dark when I awoke. There was nothing but the normal sounds of the area around where I live. What woke me? I realized that my mind hadn't really calmed down from yesterday and was still "working over" things of the day...and was trying to borrow trouble from the day that was about to start.

Of course, things at that time of night/day for me become even more magnified...When I finally did get up ~ I was still tired. And my mind was still "yapping" about what had to get done, what hadn't gotten done and what wasn't GOING to get done. I couldn't even begin to enjoy the light of day with all I had accepted (key word: accepted) as being on my plate. In all honesty, I was discouraged.

This post is not a "poor me" post ~ but is part of the continuing journey that I share here. It colored my entire morning and much of the afternoon. It was difficult not to become irritated at things that were completely out of my control, and to lose control over what WAS in my control.

Often in situations such as this, I like to turn sometimes to what others have to say on a subject ... hopefully, you will find these helpful ~ as I did.

Take These Thoughts With You
On Your Journey To Your Dreams

Don't ever forget that you are unique. Be your best self and not an imitation of someone else.

Find your strength and use them in a positive way. Don't listen to those who ridicule the choices you make.

Travel the road that you have chosen and don't look back with regret. You have to take chances to make your dreams happen.

Remember that there is plenty of time to travel another road - and still another - in your journey through life.

Take the time to find the route that is right for you. You will learn something valuable from every trip you take, so don't be afraid to make mistakes.

Tell yourself that you're okay just the way you are. Make friends who respect your true self.

Take the time to be alone, too, so you can know just how terrific your own company can be.

Remember that being alone doesn't always mean being lonely; it can be a beautiful experience of finding your creativity, your heartfelt feelings, and the calm and quiet peace deep inside you.

Don't ever forget that you are special and you have within you the ability to make your dreams come true.
---Jacqueline Schiff

Today's Dreams Are
Tomorrow's Successes

Don't be afraid of high hopes or plans that seem to be out of reach.
Life is meant to be experienced, and every situation allows for learning and growth.

Motivation is a positive starting point, and action places you on a forward path.
A dream is a blueprint of a goal not yet achieved; the only difference between the two is the effort involved in attaining what you hope to accomplish.

Let your mind and heart urge you on; allow the power of your will to lead you to your destination.

Don't count the steps ahead; just add up the total of steps already covered, and multiply it by faith, confidence, and endurance.

Always remember that for those who persist, today's dreams are transformed into tomorrow's successes.
---Kelly D. Caron

This is my all time favorite quote (I'm sorry I don't know where it's from): Any problem worthy of attack will prove it's worth by hitting back.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Where Is The Song Writer When You Need Him ~ Early Evening Thoughts

It's just now the end of another exhausting day. A lot was accomplished, but a lot is still on my plate. One of the areas that made it so exhausting was trying to make a schedule work ~ that was totally dependent on other people. I had a wonderful couple that wanted to move into the complex...people I've known for a long time. Unfortunately, the apartment they wanted was still occupied by someone who I had gotten an eviction judgement against and have been waiting for the constable to serve the "get 'otta' Dodge" papers to complete the process.

Yesterday, another apartment became available ~ however ~ it needed cleaning, making ready and getting the furniture into it. The couple I know were ready to move today, and with numerous phone calls, it appeared it was going to happen.

Now, I'm totally relying on other people to get it ready and someone bringing the truck with furniture for their apartment and one other - so I don't have to go through this again.

The couple (I'll tell more of their story in another post) arrive at 1:30pm and start moving into the apartment. No sign of furniture. 2:30pm, couple has almost completely moved their things into the apartment. Still no sign of furniture. I have no nails left from biting them.

3:15pm, truck arrives. The Mrs. of the couple is happy because she can go and pick her furniture "off the truck." I resisted ANY comments about buying fruit/vegetables or shrimp the same way.

3:30pm, somewhat burly help arrives to move the furniture and get it somewhat set up.

4:30pm, the move is now complete. In the process I've handled 15 phone calls and 3 people dropping by inquiring about apartments. (The saga of shifting locks around will remain for yet another story...just suffice to say, I'm not a locksmith I've decided.) I still have paperwork to complete and more phone calls to make.

It was at this point, a wonderful poem came to mind. With a little searching I found a copy of it, and I'm giving it as my evening meditation and thought for the day.

ERE sleep comes down to soothe the weary
Which all the day with ceaseless care have
The magic gold which from the seeker flies;
Ere dreams put on the gown and cap of
And make the waking world a world of lies,--
Of lies most palpable, uncouth, forlorn,
That say life's full of aches and tears and sighs,--
Oh, how with more than dreams the soul is
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes,
How all the griefs and heartaches we have
Come up like pois'nous vapors that arise
From some base witch's caldron, when the
To work some potent spell, her magic plies.
The past which held its share of bitter pain,
Whose ghost we prayed that Time might
Comes up, is lived and suffered o'er again,
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes,
What phantoms fill the dimly lighted room;
What ghostly shades in awe-creating guise
Are bodied forth within the teeming gloom.
What echoes faint of sad and soul-sick cries,
And pangs of vague inexplicable pain
That pay the spirit's ceaseless enterprise,
Come thronging through the chambers of the
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes,
Where ranges forth the spirit far and free?
Through what strange realms and unfamiliar
Tends her far course to lands of mystery?
To lands unspeakable--beyond surmise,
Where shapes unknowable to being spring
Till, faint of wing, the Fancy fails and dies
Much wearied with the spirit's journeying,
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes,
How questioneth the soul that other soul,--
The inner sense which neither cheats nor lies,
But self exposes unto self, a scroll
Full writ with all life's acts unwise or wise,
In characters indelible and known;
So, trembling with the shock of sad surprise,
The soul doth view its awful self alone,
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.

When sleep comes down to seal the weary eyes,
The last dear sleep whose soft embrace is balm,
And whom sad sorrow teaches us to prize
For kissing all our passions into calm,
Ah, then, no more we heed the sad world's cries,
Or seek to probe th' eternal mystery,
Or fret our souls at long-withheld replies,
At glooms through which our visions cannot see,
When sleep comes down to seal the weary eyes.
---Paul Laurence Dunbar ~ 1872-1906
-->digital collection here<---

My Apologies ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Work has absolutely consumed my life for the last couple of days. There has been much going on and some of it has taken into the evening. I apologize of the last of posts for several days. It seems that it will settle down after today, and I should be able to get back to regular postings again.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

And Yet Another Flash ~ Early Evening Thoughts

As I've posted before, I enjoy flash fiction.

Other names for it include short-short stories, sudden, postcard,
minute, furious, fast, quick, skinny, and micro fiction. In France such works are called nouvelles. In China this type of writing has several interesting names: little short story, pocket-size story, minute-long story, palm-sized story, and my personal favorite, the smoke-long story (just long enough to read while smoking a cigarette). What's in a name? That which we call flash fiction, by any other name would read as bright.

---Pamelyn Casto

Aside from naming this fiction, there is disagreement about the length of the story. Some believe it should be no longer than 500, 700 or 1000 words and some even stretch the limit to 1500 words.

I'm going to present a couple more flash stories for your enjoyment ~ don't hesitate to bring other stories to my attention. I might use them in another post about the power of the flash fiction short!

The Silver Shadow

I see you. You're right there in front of me. But the closer I look the harder it is to recognize you, my silver shadow.

When I think of me, you're not it. My mouth doesn't frown like that. There aren't dark circles under my eyes. When I think of me I see that picture from 1970. Me watching my friends playing the guitar, smiling, laughing, eyes crinkled against the sun.

How did that girl become you? I don't remember seeing it happen. It must have been slow, the transformation insidious. Maybe during all those years I gave myself over to parties and adventures. I wouldn't have seen them then.

I only recall looking at you once during those years, when a two-week drunk was winding down. My bones ached; even my skin hurt. In the ladies room, leaning on a sink and trying to decide whether or not to become sick, I looked up and there you were. For a brief moment I didn't recognize you at all. That was the moment I thought I'd be better off without either of us.

I didn't notice you during the career years. I was too busy proving myself worthy of promotion above the level everyone wanted to relegate me to. Even in the bathroom, I didn't have time to do more than glance at you on my way out the door.

Now, you're the one that everyone else sees, what they use to judge me. But you're not me. You're just that silver shadow.
---Debbie Orton 2001
And flash is at it's best when there's a real twist to the story ~
One Night Stand

At first Dan Chandler thought there was a thunderstorm crashing overhead, but a moment later he realized the sound came from inside his throbbing head. He pushed himself out of bed and tried to stand up. The spinning universe didn't cooperate, so he sat back down. His surroundings were a blur, so he rubbed his eyes until everything came back into focus.

Where the aitch-eee-double-hockey sticks was he, he wondered. He certainly wasn't home in his clean and comfortable bedroom. The dingy room was small and sparsely furnished. Most of the interior was taken up by the king-sized bed.

It suddenly dawned on Dan just where he was. Memories from his bachelor days came rushing back. He was in a cheap no-tell motel.

This wasn't good, he decided. He wasn't a bachelor anymore. He hadn't been for years.

He had to concentrate. Last night. He was out with the boys on another harmless excursion with his wife's full knowledge and consent. He remembered going to the bar, and he remembered drinking, and . . .

Nothing. The rest of the evening was a total blank. Anything could have happened after that. He took a deep breath and exhaled. Panic wouldn't help. How bad could it be? It just wasn't in his nature to do anything stupid.

That was when he felt movement behind him. Twisting his head around, he finally noticed the lump beneath the sheet.

This wasn't his apartment. Ergo, the shape under the sheet probably wasn't his wife.

It didn't take Einstein to figure out he had done something really stupid.
In horror, he jumped off the bed. That was the worst thing he could have done. The sudden movement woke up the sleeper. She (Please, dear God, let it be she, he found himself praying) shifted around and muttered something Dan couldn't quite make out. Then she seemingly went back to sleep.

Standing at the foot of the bed, Dan noticed for the first time that he was completely naked. Springing into action, he frantically searched the room for his clothes. There weren't many places to look, but his quest turned up nothing.

Now, he realized, was the perfect time to panic.

The smart idea seemed to be to get dressed quickly and then to slink away without ever confronting his terrible mistake. It was a good plan—one with few holes. Unfortunately, now he would have to wake her up to find out if she knew what had happened to his clothes.

He leaned down and shook her. He got no response. He tried again, only this time less politely. Still nothing. All of Dan's anger at himself and at the situation boiled over. He grabbed the sheet and ripped it away.

For the first time, he got a look at his partner. He stared at the long blonde hair, at the ruby red lips. He ran his eyes down every inch of her body, noting the full breasts and the shaved privates and the long, long legs.
His body went cold. This was just not possible.

Suddenly, she opened her blue eyes. She smiled with white even teeth.

"Good morning, lover," she said warmly. She reached out her arms invitingly. Her arms ended in fingers, not unlike his own.

Dan couldn't help himself. He screamed and screamed and screamed . . .


Dan woke up screaming. The first thing he saw was the familiar ceiling. He was in his own bed, covered with sweat. Through the open door he could hear the sound of the shower running.

It had to be his wife. It was all a dream, thank God. He bounced out of bed and rushed to the bathroom.

"Honey, I just had the craziest nightmare," he said. He sat on the toilet and recapped his dream. He didn't leave out the slightest detail.

"It was just awful," he said in conclusion.

"Poor baby," his wife said sympathetically. "Why don't you come in here and let me make you feel all better."

Needing no further invitation, Dan grinned and opened up the shower door. KLiillllop wrapped her cold green tentacles around him and pulled him close.

"Are you certain you weren't the least bit turned on by the Earthgirl?" she teased. "After all. She is your kind."

"I never regretted crashing here," he said solemnly. "You're the only girl in the universe for me."

Coating him with her loving slime, she quickly made all the bad things go away.
---by Charles Richard Laing ©2007