Tag Archives: fun

Day 3, Three Quote Challenge

The third day of the three quote challenge is almost over! My conclusion is that time is going by too quickly. Thanks again to my awesome friend, Ali Isaac, for inviting me to participate, it’s been super fun!

My last quote comes from a person who I could probably quote all day, both because her words move me beyond being able to find any words of my own for a while, and because she inevitably challenges me beyond any point I could remotely map onto the edge of my comfort zone. Pema Chodron gets at the heart of being human, in all its gnarly and profoundly beautiful intricacies, in a way that, without fail, causes me to grow immediately.

So, I had a hard time figuring out which of her quotes to post, but settled on this one because it makes me think of Caoilte every time I read it.

Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to
inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.

Pema Chödrön,
The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times.

To carry on, if she chooses to do so of course, I nominate my lovely blogger friend Helen Jones.

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Away on Adventure

Hi Everybody,

I thought I’d just let you all know about the reasons for all the silence on the blog. First and unfortunately, I got sick last week. But now, I am well, and am off to Ireland! In fact, I am getting on a plane to Dublin tomorrow morning, bright and early.

I’m absolutely thrilled and excited about the trip, and can’t wait to blog about my adventures and what it will be like to finally arrive at and visit the home of my ancestors. This has been a dream of mine for years, and it is finally reality!

Sadly for you all, however, I will be far away from easy internet access and so will be blog silent. Keep strong though, and I will be back the day after solstice with exciting updates and new wondrous things to share.

In all seriousness, I will miss blogging and most importantly, staying connected with all my wonderful friends here and reading your awesome posts.

Have a wonderful two weeks!

Free Style Writing Challenge

I’ve been tagged by Jane to participate in a free style writing challenge. Being a crazy overachiever, I tried to freestyle write for more than ten minutes and so consequently found myself desperately wishing for the time to be up, and struggling because it was not up yet. I should know better. 🙂

These are the rules

1. Open an MS Word Document
2. Set a stop watch or your mobile phone timer to 5 or 10 minutes, whichever challenge you think you can beat
3. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!
4. Fill the word doc with as much words as you want. Once you start writing do not stop.
5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (its only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)
6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals. However, if you do, it would be best
7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers)
**Just adding, in case anyone is like me and genuinely fails to understand rules when there are any: I thought the idea was to try to write beyond five or respectively ten minutes as in beating your own set time, but now that I am thinking about it, I think you’re supposed to write within the limits of five or ten minutes and stop when you feel like throwing something. For me, that would have occured around minute 8, if truth be told. I was not actually trying to see if I could freestyle write for fifteen minutes. Oh well, I am much better at improvising than following set directions. As usual.

My topic was: You’ve inherited a small fortune. You can move to any part of the world you like. Where would you go?

And my answer which makes me sound like a third grader (maybe from all my analytic dissertation writing?) rather boringly follows.

If I inherited a small fortune I would definitely move to Ireland to live. The landscape is incredibly beautiful, I can speak Irish with people in Galway for instance which would be awesome as I learned for fun, started learning for fun in Grad school, because I really didn’t want to be doing what I was supposed to be doing in grad school anyway and I also very much would like to teach my children Irish. It’s important to me that they grow up knowing much about where they came from, at least half their family. So what better than to let them grow up in Ireland? I could have time to visit all the sites from the Iron age I’ve been longing to visit, spend lots of time exploring bogs and forests and climbing mountains and maybe even have enough land to get an Irish wolf hound (they need quite a lot of space to run around,) and I would feel like I had come home, I am sure. I’d be so excited to move there. In fact I always had a dream to spend three months there, and sometimes even pictured myself living there on my own which is definitely why this is just a dream which will not have any basis in reality. But with asmall fortune I could find a lovely house in the country in which to live with Allegro and a friend or two and be able to pay someone to drive me around and take me places, as I’m not sure about the public transit situation in most counties and I’d want to be able to be as independent as possible. I’d make sure to make friends, and go everywhere I have always wanted to go. I would also hang out with my ancient family over there all the time and it would be awesome to learn about what the land looked like in their time and what it meant to them to live off the land and have a natural relationship with it that we don’t have in this time. Having a sense of place as they did and reverence for life, and developing that sense within the very landscape they shared would I think be a phenomenal experience. I’d really enjoy the opportunity. And finally I think I’d have tons of fun, and write this book called Braillic, which my mom and I thought about writing last year, about raising a child who is visually impaired who is also a druid which we would somehow link to our Irish ancestry and various locations we’d venture into. Perhaps I’d modify that idea a bit if I had enough money to live in Ireland in the first place, rather than attempt authoring a book with some obviously minimal excuse for doing “research” in the country.
472 words in 14 minutes and 15.7 seconds.

Seriously, I should have made up something as well such as living on the moon or in a deep sea vent with giant squid and heat resistant microorganisms. The truth is I’d rather not live in either location, unless also postulating I would not be human.

I’m not so randomly picking on:

And I’m asking them to write about…Don’t scroll down to find out until you’re ready to go

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If you could have the experience of living as a nonhuman animal for one day, what would you be? What would you do? Why?

Surprising Archaeological Finding

Yesterday, while in the bog,
I dredged up a bottle of spiked eggnog.
I exclaimed “How strange!” and “Oh my word!
Its remains are perfectly preserved!”

I briefly worried it could be a rig,
It’s not expected on a dig.
But upon inspection, though there was no mold,
Carbon dating confirmed: eighteen hundred years old!

By the gods! I didn’t know what to do,
I found myself questioning all that I knew.
For of course, I have seen my fair share of old beer,
But how could spiked eggnog have ended up here?

It could not have been traded, or won in a war,
Its design is quite modern, of that I am sure,
Bottled in glass with a logo, no less:
This puts our data in a real mess…

Unless…

Before my colleagues notice what I’ve exhumed,
I ensure that the artifact is safely consumed.
I’m certain it’s a finding that wouldn’t be missed,
And I’ll be the only person who’s pissed!

Happy April 1!

I Resisted, I Got Inspired, I Tweeted

This is a post about how I started tweeting, some poems I have tweeted, and a fun venture you can join me in tweeting about.

I’m not enamored with social media. Don’t get me wrong, I like media—music, poetry, art, storytelling, informative news– and I like being social, so I see nothing inherently problematic about combining the two. But I’m hesitant to jump onto popular social media band wagons for two simple reasons.

First, most social media websites take an inordinately long time to navigate when the person trying to get around them is totally blind. I once tried planting plants in three friends’ farm patches on facebook, and after an hour and a half of technical negotiation, none of which involved down websites or malfunctioning programs, I succeeded. Which leads to the second reason I’m suspicious of engaging in too much social media: even if the sites were accessible, I believe I would get just as obsessed with posting on them as I already am and waste lots of precious time which I could spend on my career or, perhaps more importantly, on socializing with friends over email or in person which won’t result in PDC (i.e. Public Display of Communication.)

I’ve used facebook since my sophomore year in college when it first came out and was a way for students at top American universities to connect with one another and the friend requests you would accept were from people you were already close friends with. You know, back in the day…

Mostly I now use facebook to participate in closed private groups because anything I want to post on there is usually something I ought not associate with my real name: I’m still in the broom closet. Actually I am technically at the moment in my living room, the closet is metaphorical.

But, it’s surprising how often, as a pagan, I have to be exceedingly careful, especially as I have as many friends in the physical world as on the other side, and that’s not considered normal. If only facebook let you have more than one identity! (I’m sure men and women fleeing abusive relationships and double-agent spies would appreciate this as much as closeted pagans and other targeted minorities, facebook! Come on with it then…)

In any case, although twitter does allow, fortunately, sensibly, responsibly, for as many identities as you like, I struggled for a long time with actually getting onto twitter. I kept feeling like I am this old fashioned thirty-something person who likes face to face communication, and more importantly, I’m a person. Whoever heard of a person tweeting? The concept sounded so absurd to me. I mean, if I walked into a room and five or six people were literally standing around tweeting, I’d get concerned, and quickly. Especially if their vocal bird calls were too convincing. Then I would probably sincerely ask them if they were channeling bird spirits—and I don’t mean the kind of spirits birds might consume to get intoxicated.

I decided therefore that I never wanted it to be said of me that I had tweeted. I imagined a list of modern honors and deeds one might recount upon a person’s death: “She was a wonderful person, no one has ever spoken ill of her, she was a loyal friend, she was never rude in the use of her cell phone, and she has tweeted.”

This imagined scenario made me shutter and adamantly think, not of me, please! I felt like tweeting might once and for all situate me in the modern age, an age I often don’t understand and even less often agree with. Not that past ages were any better. But I live now, so I can point out what’s wrong about the present and usually get away with it, and with sympathy.

That all changed when Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty posted an invitation to tweet love poems based on Irish mythology to coincide with the coming out of their jointly written book, Grá Mo Chroí, , which I encourage everyone to read! It’s a wonderful book. And, what is more, once I read the previously mentioned invitation, my antitweet resolve began breaking down. To my astonishment, I found myself creating a twitter account. Then, to much less astonishment and great fun, I discarded my, albeit never officially stated, vow to refrain from having tweeted, and have tweeted (twittered?) more times than I can count now.

I’m not sure what the protocol is about posting tweeted things on a blog, but here are a few of my tweeted poems. I’ll create another post with poems by/about my ancient family more directly, as they deserve a space of their own.

***

Together sound
Songbird and foghorn
Take care, come listen
Sirens seaward cry
A soaring and a warning
As day sings itself awake

***

To walk the path
Steeped in mystery
With false starts strewn
Step lightly
One word, yes
Begins your hero’s journey

***

The six encircle me in love
At the center
I, shaped as a star
Enfolded within
Their single light
Resonate with joy

***

Fierce passion Consumed their young souls
Now centuries flown
In the otherworld
They are love
A gentle light
Between them grown

***

Landscape aches
For ancient reverence
Carve a place
A new old way
Weave the pattern
Of what happens
Into being
Come home you say

***

Fretful my night
Until your light fills
This space, glowing
Dissolving my fear
Your silent strength
Guides your lost child home

***

Finally, I love playing around with words and decided to create a hashtag called #absurdwordnerd under which to write ridiculous new definitions of words. Creatively changing the word by adding or subtracting a letter and then redefining it is also totally silly and acceptable. For example:
Indentured servant: a servant with false teeth. #absurdwordnerd

I am doing this just because why not, and because I think the world needs more humor. So come participate whenever inspiration hits you (just ask it to hit nicely.)

Ode to Torque

Oh pivotal inertia’s twin,
Whether the masses find equilibrium or not,
You keep us levered at arm’s length.

Found when the wheel rotates with vertical spin,
Discovered as the current recoils from the coil,
The product of your motion leaves its sine everywhere,
Example given: the closing of a door.

I am accelerated to be an integral part of your work.
You are the alpha and omega,
Your cause gains momentum farther out.

Our lives rotate around the fulcrum point of your profound significance,
Oh force behind the workings of many electrical objects,
We calculate your greatness by the right hand rule, oh torque.

Allegro’s Version of “My Favorite Things”

Allegro, Violet, and me

So, I discovered that after being sick all week I tend to get creative in a weird way. How is this possible, you might ask, aren’t I creatively weird already? No comment on that. But the following occurred yesterday after starting to feel better, and I thank for her posts on her dog Ani for the inspiration.

Allegro’s version of “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music

Chasing my tail, skidding after my hedgehog,
Eating my kibble and going on long walks,
Getting fuzzed up and then tugging on rings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Running from mom when she’s trying to catch me,
Time on the couch every time that she lets me
Splashing in water and biting my leash,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Playing at keep away and watching mom find me,
Gnawing on bones to show off to her family,
Winning the island game, to race off with glee
These are a few of my favorite things.

Nibbling the grass that grows by the back gate,
Shredding old tissues while the humans are out late,
Running faster than mom, oh the joy that it brings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When I’m left alone, and no one’s home,
When I can’t play ’cause mom’s feeling bad,
I sigh and I dream of my favorite things,
And then I fall asleep on my fuzzy mat.

Descriptions (from Allegro’s point of view):
Fuzzed up: Being rubbed, scratched, and pet all over to the song, “fuzz fuzz fuzz, fuzzing him up.” I go wild and crazy with joy and spin in circles and grunt. It’s great!

Running from mom: I don’t think this is the usual human/dog pass time.
She insists on chasing me. Loves it. Makes loud noises that are weirder
than the ones I make. But I love the game and I’ll run at her just to
get her to start a chase. She says it’s not a fair chase because there are too many blocks of concrete to smash into. Well you just don’t run at those! I always win. Yeah!

Ring: That cool round rubbery thing to tug on. It’s great fun, but could the humans stop trying to balance it on my nose? It’s called dignity, people!

Keep away: Making sure my toy is just out of reach so mom can’t throw it without dashing in circles and trying to intercept me. She looks so silly doing this. Actually she looks a bit like I do…haha!

Mom having to find me: What can I say, I know she’s blind. That’s why I’m here, right? So shhhh don’t tell Guide Dogs: sometimes I run across the courtyard and then stand perfectly still so mom doesn’t know where I am. It’s a great trick, except I can’t understand why she inevitably says “I see you!” and runs right at me. It’s like she can see anyway. Was that in the job discription?

Island game: a totally rigged game in which I run eagerly behind the island counter in the kitchen carrying a toy and mom runs from one side of the counter to the other in order to block me from leaving the kitchen. I try to escape but there aren’t any concrete planters in the apartment so mom is too fast! It’s hard to win and when her spirit friend played with her I was stuck in the kitchen for over five minutes. I started to freak out and they let me win that one I suspect. But sometimes I’ll win fair and square, usually by distracting mom or running through her legs. Okay, okay I admit to going in there on purpose just to start the game. I love it!

Running faster than mom: She can’t really run. She also loves it when I chase her. So I do. Something about equality when it comes to chasing and getting chased. Whatever. It’s not much of a contest but I humor her. She has a great time, so I do, too.

***

Now this is when I make a plea as a person who can’t see attempting to post a picture of my lovely labradorable to forgive me if “disaster” does not actually even begin to cover the description of the damage. Thanks!

The Haunted House: Some Haloween Fun

Bats are rustling in the eves
Spiders a crawling out from places unseen
Tattered old webs hang from windows and doors
Slugs and newts ooze along the floors
No one has lived here since… we can’t be sure
Why don’t you come in, see if there’s anything more?
Why don’t you come in, see if there’s anything more?

The upstairs mirror shatters each night before dawn,
A faucet starts dripping, one light keeps turning on
The floor’s been a creaking and the pipes, they moan,
Why don’t you go knock, see if there’s anyone home?
Why don’t you go knock, see if there’s anyone home?

A window starts to shudder, or is it you just being scared?
I watch as you climb those rotten rickety stairs,
As you stand breathing hard, another breath starts to rasp
Just a few more feet, and you’ll be in my grasp.
Just a few more feet, and you’ll be in my grasp.

A single eye glued to the peep hole in the door
Eying every move, until I sense you are sure,
I heard your scream as you turned and ran:
The knocker you gripped, a clammy ice cold hand.
The knocker you gripped, my clammy ice cold hand.

I stare you down as you make your descent,
Your foot falls through a crack and you sprawl on the cement,
Surely you’d die from my stairs’ decay?
You could have died like me if I had had my way.
You could have died like me, oh if you hadn’t got away, …

You’d be a bat a rustling in the eves,
A spider crawling out from places unseen
A slug or newt oozing ’round the floor…
They were people like you, ’till they were people no more.
They were people like you, before they knocked on my door.

I’ve put up a recording of the song on my soundtrack page. It’s about 3/4 of the way down the page, go have a listen… if you dare!

The Stories We Tell _ Inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “The Places You’ll Go”

The stories we tell,
The things that we see,
That we think explain
How things came to be,

When we know quite well
They’re not what they seem.
But this point can wait,
We say, sensibly.

For what would we do
Without stories to tell
Of the sun and the moon
How the sky knows them well?

Or how me and you
Run and dance, hope and cry,
Did our hopes and fears
Put the sun in the sky?

Or do we know worlds
Upon worlds of great truth?
Can we see beyond words?
Exactly what can we do?

What claims that we’re claiming
Can claim to have proof?
Yes, how can we prove
The nature of truth?

You’re off on your way
To learn laws and the like
F equals m*a,
Don’t go faster than light.

The principles work,
Though the stories, they change;
The quarks are the quirks,
Quarks are quirky and strange.

And it doesn’t stop there–
No, the stories go farther,
Here chromosomes pair,
There cells become daughters.

They divide and divide—
Are you satisfied yet?
Your brain cells divide
So you won’t forget–

The stories we tell,
The things that we see,
That we think explain
How things came to be.

But, between you and me,
They’re just stories, that’s all
Just our way of saying
This world’s beautiful,

And acknowledging worlds
That our words can’t contain.
When our stories start shifting,
The world will remain.

And some other teller
Of stories will tell
A story of us,
And tell it quite well.

And their story just might
Be better than ours
At explaining the seasons,
Motions, and mountains,

Living, and dying,
This great world and lying
Outside it the universe,
Galaxies, stars,

And why we must tell
These stories with care
To the people we cherish,
Whose planet we share.

Ode With a Twist _ April Fools!

Ode(ious) To the jackhammer

 

You noise polluting, chaos creating, scum of all human invention
I hurl all manner of insult in your general direction:

You dimwitted droning drill
You senseless skewer

You gravel grinder
You asphalt hole digger

You headache hasslre
You incessant, irritating, irascible instrument

May you be abducted into the pit of infamy
May you rot in a warehouse

May you whine neglected
Abandoned and lonely in a junkyard

May your operators always get promoted until you are merely a thing of the past
May your glory days of sidewalk sundering not last

May you be superseded by a superior machine
Whose efficient demeanor spews less smog and sound into the world

Whose placid quiescence shames you into permanent obsolescence
And resounds doom for all reproduction of your kind
May your specs never come again to a homo sapiens’ mind

May your obnoxious noxious cacophony now cease
And leave these poor unsuspecting denizens of apartment complex and business office in blissful peace.

May you dwell where no citizen sets foot
And may your motor go kaput.

Oh noisome noisy nuisance,
Oh abominable apparatus tunneling tirelessly through terrain
Oh contemptuous invader of contemplative space

May you be driven very, very far away
And be remembered as the odious mistake among technologies today