Banished Adverbs

Burbles

I book floor sunburst ant across keyboard Pleistocene basement pomegranate son Louis noose. feelings place door cave rat magazine. Smiles hair toothboat wind. Drama detergent.

 

(The above composition was written in response to a WordPress writing challenge (Writing 101) asking for a story with no adverbs.)

Oh, Mother Moss

Mother MossOh, Mother Moss

that tender grows,

You catch our eye

and squeeze our toes;

Your verdant, subtle autumn hues

beneath the misty grays and blues

so tentatively, proudly there

braving the sun and drying air:

You fill my heart with swift and subtle glee,

A sign of health in brush and bough and tree.

© Anne Campagnet-Reed 2014

 

 

Things to Do While You’re Alive

 

Detail of a lamp I created for a festival called "Blooming Boxes" at Westmoor High School
Detail of a lamp I created for a festival called “Blooming Boxes” at Westmoor High School ©2014 Anne Campagnet-Reed

“I’m getting old,” I moaned to my 19 year-old daughter, attempting to share my state of self-pity and disillusionment, as part of a larger existential malaise. “Well, you’re not dead yet,” she said, with trenchant insight.

You know, looking at things from the perspective that you’re about to die really gives you clarity about what’s important. And then, when you realize that a lot of people really are close to death, and possibly really depressed about it, you realize that your moping and dejection are really foundationless. You look up at the sky, take in a deep breath, and realize, “Yes! There is so much more I can do!!” There is time to chase my rainbow, to right (at least some of) my wrongs, to move forward into joy and meaning.

I have been looking for my career to be my inspiration and my solace. When I lost my job, it seemed like my life was over. A part of it is. The social interactions I had every day are gone. I am nagged daily by the “need to make money,” that ugly little mosquito that constantly threatens a malarial bite. Its uglier big cousin, the “Need to Define Yourself by Your Job” is lurking even more menacingly, just out of visual range; a true vampire waiting for the nightfall of my self-esteem.

It’s time to turn on the lights, stand up, and tell the Boogey Man to go away. My daughter is right. I’m not dead at all, dammit, and I’m going to continue my quest to be enlightened and to do good. Maybe I’m not sure how, yet, but I have confidence that my path will come apparent.

This thought liberated my mind enough for some global reflection on society for the past 75 years or so:

It’s all about communication. Letterpress newspapers and telegrams have given way to e-magazines, tweets and text messages. Google Glass is showing us that you no longer need a keyboard to look up a person’s data; you just need to literally look up at the person, and a stream of their personal data appears. Other interfaces soon to be invented will allow our thoughts to control devices and communications, making any 3-dimensional media obsolete.

I’ve always been wary of Facebook and its seeming disregard for any shred of privacy we once thought we had as individuals. More insidiously, the web crawlers and cookies that are scattered everywhere we tread (like the breadcrumbs Hansel and Gretel used to find their way home) track our every move, and seemingly even our thought patterns. I don’t have a Facebook account, but I know that every keystroke I make imprints another portion of my identity into the eternal “cloud.”

You know, I need to take a moment to demystify the cloud. Calling is a “cloud” gives it greater cachet and significance than it deserves. The “cloud” is just a collection of remote data servers, basically hard drives, located outside your computer or device. It does not share the heavens with the Almighty, but lives in scattered, sometimes isolated rooms, in buildings here on earth, fed by long, steel and fiber-optic cables buried underground and under the ocean. It is simply a system of remote data storage, and nothing more. Big deal.

Now back to my mistrust of Facebook. Young people don’t seem to share my paranoia.

The hate of the 1940s caused society in many countries to close itself off and compartmentalize, as a means of survival. Hiding from Nazis and other fascists, extreme circumspection, a lack of sharing of any kind of personal information, were frequently the only defenses against annihilation.

If you look at all of humanity as a huge, collective being, maybe World War II can be viewed as a period of disease in our collective body, brought on by self-doubt (the need to blame someone else for economic and other woes), resulting in self-injury (the brutal targeting and massacre of specified groups), and the consequent need to seal off the wound in order to recover (lack of communication and ultimately the Cold War). Sealing off from other people assured survival. Or at least it seemed so to millions of shell-shocked individuals.

Maybe the Millennium is finding out that being closed off to other people is not the answer.

Maybe we’ve learned something from that. Maybe it’s that by reaching out to others as part of ourselves, we are affirming ourselves and assuring our mutual survival. It seems that the most prosperous human beings are socially adept and enjoy working with a range of other individuals; sometimes to achieve a common goal, sometimes just to catch up, empathize, or exchange stories. This is what makes social media—a vehicle for connecting with large groups of individuals—so attractive.

The impulse to continue to fight and “win” (currently exhibited by more than one aggressive group on the planet) is really an inconvenient anomaly, like an illness, or a virus, and the rest of the collective “patient” (humanity) needs to be patient and optimistic while the disease runs its course. Can you imagine if your liver declared war on your stomach? Or if your hands decided that your feet were an inferior race, and rallied the rest of your body to eliminate them? How far along would you be then?

Glad I could put everything into perspective. What do you think?

Newport’s Nye Beach: A Cultural Hub on Oregon’s Coast

Panini Bakery

 

OK, all you Oregon Coast fans: I promised I would follow up my August 9th post, Newport Harbor: Whales, Crabs and Good Seafood with a post about the Newport’s Nye Beach district.

A trendy and culture-forward enclave on the Oregon Coast, Nye Beach retains a human scale while offering the best in food, art, music, and nature. I’ve just published a post about it on HubPages. Please click on this link to read Nye Beach, Oregon: Newport’s Culture Coast. I look forward to hearing your responses on HubPages as well as here on this post.

You can also read my travel post on Oregon’s Coos Bay on HubPages.

Don’t worry, I’m not giving up on WordPress. I love it here and will continue to blog on WriteWireless. You can now also follow me on http://annecreed.hubpages.com

Enjoy, and thanks for your loyal readership and support!

Quantum Physics, Bad Farts, and Job Interviews

A refreshing view of how people affect one another. Guest blogger Muselle Kamal’s interpretation of “quantum physics” is interesting.

From Under the Pages

Chain Link Fence

By Muselle Kamal,
Guest Blogger

Why is it that we always think we look horrible right now, and a few years later we look back and think, “Wow, I looked pretty good”? It’s an inescapable truth. And probably, if someone looked at us right now, they’d think we were pretty nice looking—I mean, looking good, but also that we looked like a nice person.  Quick tip: as you’re browsing through iPhoto, make sure you have removed all pictures of yourself more recent than 3 years old… or if you’re over 40, make that 5 years. That way, you can look back and still think you look pretty good. And then by the time you see how you look NOW, you’ll really be old and ugly, and you’ll think that how you look NOW looked pretty darn good!

So I’ve been having a day like that. I tend to not like…

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