Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why Crave Peace?

We all crave peace, don't we?
Many if not most seek solitude to create their works whether it is stories or visual art. But for me to craft a great story I need to be drenched in the chaos of life. 
My good friend, one who understands the need for me to write, he's a photo and paint artist, tries continually to hook me up with the perfect peaceful place to write. 

I have failed to make him understand my need to be surrounded by cacophonous life. For instance, I enjoy the atmosphere at Starbucks more than my easy chair in the quiet of my home. Although, Starbucks is not my first choice if I want good coffee, Duh! But it does fill the need I have for a variety of noise, nuisances and availability. The Starbucks Store I most often haunt, sitting hunched in the corner tapping my keys, has the extra bonus of being next door to a residential motel — meaning it comes with a great assortment of hookers, pimps and thieves. Add in a dash of homeless folks that occasionally bathe in the restroom and you have quite an interesting stew.
I am here writing this blog. McKinley Park Sacramento with my son asleep in my lap.
Starbucks ubiquitous presence makes any of their nine million locations an easy decision. 
Yet, I must give a shout-out to the best coffee in the world and the coolest environment, Old Soul Coffee Co. Sacramento, CA. 
Read Coffee magazine and you'll find that Sacramento has the best coffee in the nation. 
Back to why I'm writing this piece. If I was cloistered away in a severe little cell high in some rugged mountains or stranded on a desert island with my laptop and a very long extension cord, I'd get very little done. And, what I would manage to pen would be very aesthetic, self-focused and likely psychotic. 
As I write this, I'm on a park bench with my little boy asleep in my lap, and rather than stick my thumb in my navel and  take in the scene, I'm writing to you. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Boredom- How In The World Does It Exist

Back when… (Oh, this is going to make me feel old) two of our grandkids were not yet teenagers. They were swimming at our house. The boy who will soon to be going into the Air Force wanted to play video games inside, but I denied him that pleasure. He exclaimed, “But I’ll be bored!”

People who know me have learned by experience to never tell me they are BORED.
I cannot bring myself to believe that there is any reason for any human to be bored except one – they want to. I’m okay with that. But don’t complain about a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s like the activist atheist that complains about people believing in something that, to them, doesn’t exist. Why is it a problem?

If you are at any time bored with this life and can’t find anything to do, pick up a book, libraries are still free. Books can take you to fantastic foreign lands or teach you a craft and hobby. Even if you are all thumbs, you can get the vicarious thrill of doing-it-yourself just by reading a book about doing it. Stephen King, the master of good storytelling said: Books are a uniquely portable magic.

WARNING-Dogmatic opinions ahead.
A video game or a TV show will not take away your boredom; they will only increase your futility and boredom with life by filling up the empty white space for the time being. Like the empty calories of cotton candy, they taste really good but never satisfy or fill you up.

If you don’t want to read, write. Get out a pen or your laptop. Grip the pen lightly in hand over a tablet of paper and see what comes out. Along with reading, it’s also a strange magic. Poise your fingers over a keyboard while staring at the blank white rectangle in your word-processing software and voilĂ  magic again. It’s no matter that others like it or not. Public approval is only a bonus to the joy I receive as I pen down my thoughts.

“What was that you said? ‘I can’t write!’”
I beg to differ, but you write every day if only in your head.

Start with the wishes you wished would come true –
A new job, adventure, lover or friend.
Create them on paper, explore their new worlds.
Bring them to life with ink, paper and pen
Or hide them away in miniscule bytes
Unseen data forever so full of life.

You write lists, emails and Facebook posts. You are quite clever aren’t you? Oh, let’s not forget the omnipresent text message, which only scraggly haired hermits with mystically yellow and curled fingernails forgo.

The answer I told my grandson to his statement/complaint about boredom:
“What’s wrong with that?” That ten-year-old face screwed up in a ball, started to speak, and then realized he’d been handed a hot potato of sorts.
From there on out he had a blast in the pool tormenting his younger sister and vice-versa.

Boredom perhaps is something to do in itself. Rich people are bored, poor people are bored, yet each have a mind and are endowed with the ability to create. Albert Einstein pointed out that every new idea or ingenious creation started with only one person who was born with the similar attributes as you and I.

Hopefully, I took away any excuse you had to be bored. I think I will go post a link to this blog on my grandson’s Facebook Page.

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