Monthly Archives: July 2011

Impractical

Are there some who walk among us who were meant for other worlds? Ones who just can’t understand why they have to follow the rules, make polite conversation, sit calmly by while injustices are committed- those who insist on not seeing the cup as half empty or half full, but instead question the need for a cup at all.

These beings have landed here by mistake. They have no place in the regular flow of hustle and bustle, of make a buck and be practical. They dream and question, explore and debate, generating not even so much as an ounce of practicality.

We pity them. They don’t have what it takes to get the girl, the right job, an esteemed position in society. Pour souls, lost amidst the skyscrapers and speedways.

Yet, what if it’s not they who are lost, but we? What if they have been given to us as gifts, glimpses of worlds we’ve forgotten, places in our own hearts long neglected. If only we would make room for them, give them a soapbox to stand on, and gather round, letting our logic and pragmatism melt into the pavement as our feet float gently off it.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Welcome

Predictable: November 1 the Christmas decorations come out. Feburary 15 Easter bunnies hit the shelves. March 1 green dye stands at attention with St. Paddy’s Day just around the corner. July 31 school supplies flood the aisles. September 1 ghosts and goblins come out of hiding, back again for the season.

Winter, spring, summer, fall. Again, and again, and again.

It’s Sebastian’s turn to start experiencing these cycles. Today, you see, is his birthday- his real birthday, not the annual commemoration of the event.

Welcome to the world, little boy.

Here’s my advice to you: as you travel down life’s road and get into the rhythm of the cycles, do your best to shake them up a little. Give the circle a few edges, cut it loose, turn it into a trapezoid. You’ll shape more fun into your life and introduce those around you to possibilities they’d never considered.

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The Classics

We’ve been watching the classics lately- I mean, the real classics, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, The Razor’s Edge. The more we watch, the more I feel the immensity of the gulf between the classics and modern-day films.

It starts with the length of time the camera stays on a single shot. A whole scene can be played out without the camera cutting to a different angle even once. The characters, dialogue, dramatic tension keep you riveted to the screen. These days, the constant readjustments your eyes have to make to the spastically changing camera angles are enough to throw anyone into an epileptic seizure- even if you don’t have epilepsy. But that’s what holds our attention, the movement, the explosions, the adrenalin. Without these elements, there would be no distractions to protect us from the lack of substance in what we’re watching.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my fluff. The latest superhero flicks are a great way to forget the world and take a ride into adventure. It’s just that there is a serious lack of movies with meaning, ones you can discuss for hours, ones that cause you to reflect on your own life, your own character, and perhaps even make a real life change.

When I look back at my time here on earth, I want to see moments where I did something meaningful, something that really mattered. I wished that more movie makers would want the same.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Spotless

A concealed black spot taints her otherwise charming personality. It’s the scar left from a few short years spent outside of the regular flow of society. How could something like that not leave its mark?

She does well, though, smiling, engaging in conversation, moving forward in her life. As long as no one probes too deeply, her new life remains intact. It’s the eye contact that lasts too long, or the question that reaches too far into the past that cause her to check the time, make an excuse, and find the nearest exit. Nausea, the heightened sensitivity to light and noise, and the crash of her heartbeat follow.

This is what fugitives must feel like, she thinks. And she knows that she indeed is one- a fugitive from her own mind.

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Striving

Is it better to simply be or to continually strive? Does choosing to enjoy what is, abandoning the reaching for bigger, stronger, faster mean you’re giving up, surrendering? Does always looking for the next moment, the ‘better’ moment, keep you alive and thriving?

Is it better to simply be or to continually strive?

The wise among us say that it’s a mix of both- the key is knowing when to just be and when to keep striving. Each comes with a price tag and a pay off. Our character is revealed by the choice we make.

Then there are those who, no matter which choice they make, always wonder if they have made the best one. And so, I would add to the advice of the wise ones, that the best choice is to make the conscious choice, rather than letting circumstances decide for you. 

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Melancholia

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.

No one wants to be around a downer, a Negative Nelly. People like happy people- it’s like they think it’s contagious.

Poor Alfred, not blessed with a pleasant demeanor nor a penchant for everyday happiness. He was, however, flawlessly consistent. His melancholic undertone held fast through each phase and occasion of his life.

“I’m actually happy being miserable,” he remarked once to his therapist, “If you want to be happy, don’t look to me to do that for you- make your own self happy.”

Like-minded people were not easy for him to find.

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