A Writer’s Illusions and Delusions

My heart quivers in anticipation  

As a thousand butterflies do pirouettes in my belly

close up photo of kitty laying on floor
Photo by Dids on Pexels.com

 Inspiration:

I’m awake and breathless with anticipation.

Or is it my allergic asthma because of the old oak tree outside my open window?

My belly quivers as if a million caterpillars crawl around trying on butterfly wings

Or… was it the chicken and curry from last night’s dinner?

When is it an illusion or a delusion?  When does a delusion become an illusion or is it the other way around.  Is it that difference in perception that makes one appear “crazy” or impractical?

 Ah, the questions that keep writers up at night. 

Just Do It! Dream Crazy.

 

Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt

A few months ago I wrote a post about Freedom of Speech which included Roseanne Barr, Samantha Bee and of course a section on Collin Kaepernick.  In light of Nike choosing to work with Kaepernick for their 30th-anniversary campaign, and people burning their sneakers or cutting up their clothes, I felt the need to speak my mind about the way I see it – well because that’s what I do.   You’ve been warned!  (previously mentioned post can be found at the end of  this one)

How much “sacrifice” is enough?

silhouette of people beside usa flag

Let me start by saying that I support our Military and veterans.  I believe our veterans and their families make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  Not just freedom for a handful of power-hungry individuals, for but for all Americans. I will add that it’s a shame that the money generated by owners of professional sports franchises and professional athletes themselves is obscene compared to what “benefits” our active duty military and veterans get.  I believe that one does not “honor” our country, our Republic by honoring a piece of cloth waving on a stick.  We honor our country by honoring its people – all of our people, all the colors, shapes, sizes and abilities. The dreams of our people have made us a great nation. We celebrate strength and persistence in our people. I believe that is the message of the Nike campaign. 

Let me follow that by saying, just to be clear; I do not purchase Nike products.  Not now, or as long as I can remember.  They don’t suit me.  The shoes are too confining, the shirts and pants geared to more athletic types, which I am not.   It’s a personal choice to be comfortable especially when I’m paying my hard earned money for a product.  

Having said that, I have to admit that Nike has excellent marketing and a catchy slogan.  I’ve used it myself when I’ve been obsessing about something I want to take on; for example, a new job, a major move to a new city or merely to get back on the treadmill and be more mindful of my food choices.  Usually, it happens that after weighing all the pros and cons, sleeping on it, consulting each and every one of my friends and family, I get up one morning and after I’ve brushed my teeth, I stare at the mirror and say sternly to myself “JUST DO IT!”   Suddenly I’m all pumped up and feel strong and confident like an Olympic athlete.  Actually, that’s how I started blogging one day. 

I want to share the full commercial that Nike is putting out as part of this controversial campaign.  I find it pretty neat.  It’s bigger than Collin Kaepernick, and it’s bigger than DJT.    https://youtu.be/Fq2CvmgoO7I

Over the past couple of days, the networks and all kinds of social and news media have had lots to say.  One of the first conversations I heard was that people took offense to the slogan that suggests that Kaepernick lost everything, but they contend, that Kaepernick had nothing to lose.  I don’t know much about the game; the sports reports indicate that he was a second-rate quarterback that had one good season and then was underperforming each year after that. That may be true, but I think sitting on a bench and getting an NFL paycheck is better than being without a job or sponsors even if you did walk away with one-third of your original signed contract.  ( ALL these sports guys get paid way too much anyway, but that’s another story.)

I also want to make clear that I am not a football fan, never have been – except maybe in high school because I was crushing on a couple of football players, but the charm wore off quickly as I realized I had more in common with the philosophers and artists.  The sport doesn’t hold my interest long enough to understand why all these guys run and pile on each other over and over again.  People have tried to explain it but – well let me be frank, I’m just not into it. 

I give Kaepernick credit for feeling so strongly about something that he was willing to risk the dream he had worked for since the fourth grade.  Maybe he just decided there was something better to wish for, like equality and justice for all.  2016 was a terrible year for high profile police shootings of unarmed African American men.  I went back to look at the disturbing footage before I wrote this piece but I will not engage in rehashing the past.  I will say that based on my experiences, I can appreciate the fear, the pain and the rage at the loss of life in an undeserving way.   

What is the issue?  

The other opinion I will share is that I believe the situation became toxic once DJT decided to make it an issue.  I watched his “get that SOB off the bench, he’s fired! ” speech in Alabama in 2017 in which he also complained that the game was losing popularity because when the players hit too hard, they get a penalty. When the not so subtle hints didn’t work, he started putting more pressure on the team owners because as he said, “…It will happen…most of them are friends of mine”. 

Before NFL team owners started getting pressure from the Administration to discipline, fire or get “control” of their players, it seemed that each team addressed the issue and the players’ right to “free speech” was respected. It was obvious to most that players were not disrespecting the veterans, the military, the country or the flag.  They still “worked,” paid their taxes, and obeyed the laws of this country.  Some commentators say the uproar over “taking a knee” would have eventually died down.  Of course, that didn’t happen. The team owners felt obligated to play the other game and drew up rules to appease the rhetoric.  Essentially they said, we don’t care, what you do, just do it where the public doesn’t see you

Let’s not forget after all, that there are groups that do not salute the flag, for example, the Jehovah’s Witness or the AnaBaptist like the Amish or Mennonite groups.    

 Jehovah’s Witnesses intend no disrespect for any government or its rulers by a refusal to salute the flag. It is just that they will not, in an act of worship, bow down to or salute an image representing the State. They view it as similar to the stand taken in Bible times by three young Hebrew men who refused to bow down before the statue raised up on the plain of Dura by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel, chapter 3) – From Watchtower Online

and,

“The flag is fine, but we’re the only nation that worships the flag. It’s very heathen. The kingdom we live in, we pledge our allegiance to God, not the flag.” – quote from the PBS film “The Amish.”

All this research today, trying to get to the bottom of this leaves me with questions instead of an answer.  If Collin Kaepernick said was on a jet plane, and God spoke to him and told him to kneel before the flag instead of pledging, would it be OK? If it were Tom Brady, the number one quarterback in America, and who decided to take a knee to protest something that he felt strongly about would it be an issue. Maybe a better comparison would be Tim Tebow as another controversial figure and a mediocre quarterback who brought his personal beliefs on the field each time?  Is it really just a racial issue?  Was it more about saying “there is no problem here.”   Does Nike really aspire to inspire to unite?

Any ideas?

https://rosalind.life/2018/06/03/roseanne-samantha-and-free-speech/

 

If we were having coffee right now

two brown and black ceramic teacups filled on black saucers
Photo by Jana on Pexels.com

If we were having coffee right now, it would indeed be a special event.  You see I consider myself a social drinker.  I don’t drink coffee on a regular basis, only on occasion.  Every morning I drink hot black tea in round bags with boiled water from my teapot.  I let it sit for several minutes so that the caffeine is extracted and then I add a drop or two of milk.  During the day I reach for green tea –hot or cold, sometimes I pop in some raspberries for a different flavor. 

If we were having coffee right now, I would have been tempted by the rich aroma of the Arabica beans filling the air.  I love the smell of coffee brewing, especially the espresso method that seems to squeeze out every bit of flavor from the finely ground beans.  Coffee fills my senses and reminds me of home; of my mother and both grandmothers who sometimes had sweet bread or pastry with coffee or café con leche in the afternoon. 

If we were having coffee right now, we would be sitting in your kitchen as we had many years before.  We would catch up with stories about our children, siblings and rest of the family.  You would have shown me that you’ve started working on your garden after the harsh winter. I would tell you I’m still trying to get my orchid to bloom after all these years.  We would reminisce about the fun times we had as a group of women getting together to laugh and share our personal philosophies of faith, love and the quest for happiness in our lives.  How I’ve missed that camaraderie with like-minded women!  I consider it one of the blessings in my life to have you all when in time of need. 

If we were having coffee right now, we would talk about our busy week.  You would tell me about your travels and the interesting people you’ve met.  I would tell you that I’m writing a blog for fun and sharing of ideas.  It’s a journal sprinkled with creative writing, poetry, and essays.  You’ll tell me you’re working on another book about the program you’ve developed with your longtime colleague at the Institute.  It will undoubtedly be just as successful as the first one.  I still have my autographed copy.

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I’ve started going to town meetings and focus groups in preparation for the coming elections in August and November.  I have found people and politics so different in my new city in the southeastern part of the country.  We would both agree that it is never too early to start examining the candidates, there is too much at stake.  You would get me up to date on the issues in your city, which in large part have not changed much since I was here.  Politics usually leads us to religion.  It’s so refreshing to talk to someone with the same values and level of empathy for our fellow compatriots.   

If we were having coffee right now, I would treasure the moment and file the memory like a snapshot in my mind.  I would save it and document it until we can make it a reality again.   Social media, phone calls, and emails can’t replace the joy of sitting to have coffee with an old friend. 

Day Eleven: A Cup of Coffee   #everydayinspiration

I write because…

I have stories to tell. I write because I want to make a difference in someone’s life. My head is full of ideas. Some are reality-based; they are the stories of people I’ve met who touched my life in some way. Some stories are what-ifs that swim around in my brain. I see something or someone that catches my eye and that sparks my curiosity. I wonder what’s beyond or why does it happen that way. Sometimes I see things and am overwhelmed with emotion, and I need to stop and sort it out.

I believe we all share a human experience and we learn from those who’ve gone before and even those who are coming up after us.  If we choose to learn, age teaches us but does not give us all the answers. Everyone who crosses our path affects our life in some way. They leave something behind – either a gift or a lesson.

I have worked with people in different aspects of my life in various roles, and I have learned a lot about the human experience. If something I write helps one person take another look at a problem in their life, I will have served a purpose.
#everydayinspiration

Another work group to improve my writing.  Please bear with me.