Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Great Honesty of Children

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Last week I went to the hairdresser and got myself a perm.  I was very pleased.  The curls are quite small, but when it settles - and it is - they will be just right.  At the end of the day, I'm the only one who has to like my hair, and I do.  But, that is not all there is to it - this week.  Everyone feels the need to say something about the big style change - the nephews and nieces are no exception.  Here are some matter of fact words from Nephew number 4.  

"M, your hair is really curly.  You look ridiculous."  

Girls with curly hair - http://www.jokideo.com/As if this delightfully uncensored opinion wasn't enough, Mr number 4 felt the need to share.  When we reached the top of the stairs - entering the family home - he announced the following.  

"Hey Dad, M looks ridiculous!"   

My bro-in-law, smiled and shook his head.  My sister laughed, "You gotta love that kid, he tells it as he sees it."  

Ever the teacher, I informed my dear nephew that telling people they look ridiculous is unkind.  I suggested that next time someone gets a new hair style that he thinks is silly, he could smile and keep it to himself.  
This advice probably fell on deaf ears, but we will see.

Gotta Laugh

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Great Silence

I love this pin!

Some people detest silence.  Admittedly, there are times when the silence has been so loud, my ears have trembled with the ringing and the buzzing within them.  This is not a 'great' feeling.  There was a time when I couldn't cope with any silence whatsoever.  Science of buzzing aside, the silence seemed to be a transporter to the past.  Almost as soon as the silence fell, I would find myself suddenly in a different time and place.  I was lost in my memories - unhappy memories.  I would sink deeper into the shaft of my past.  I would see faces, hear the words that had already pierced my ego and - worst of all - I would feel the grief all over again.  The tears would prickle my eyes, the words would echo in my ears and my chest, my stomach sank and my heart ached all over again.  There is no wonder that I feared the silence. 

Now - the world is different.  Silence is my friend.  I crave it;  Not for the purpose of wallowing in the mud of my melancholy memories; but for the simplicity it brings.  Now, the silence reminds me to just be.  In the silence, I breathe, I wait, I think about where I am and what I am doing in the moment.  I close my eyes and embrace the curtain that hides the world from view.  I let the sun shine on my face and the wind brush past me.  The silence reminds me to relax.  In the silence I hear the whispering - "Be still and Know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10) - I know that all is well.  If only for a moment - I know peace.  Then, I usually fall asleep.

So, embrace the silence.  Don't use it to say a prayer or sink into darkness.  When there is a Great Silence - breathe - be still - and yes, be silent. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Great Thoughts about Words

It is sad that so few people use the word "breakfast" as a verb in the past tense.

Example: I breakfasted with my great aunt this morning.

The words 'Google' and Facebook - once nonexistent - are now verbs as well as nouns.  Yet, using breakfast as a verb seems to be a lost art.


We manipulate language to suit our needs, right?  So, if a word no longer serves its purpose - and is therefore no longer used - does it cease to be real? Does it it simply die?

I can imagine a museum of dead words.  Lined up in glass display cases, individually lit, each word is accompanied by a visual representation and a definition.  Surrounding each word there are photographs of the people who used the word and above it (pride of place) there is a photograph of the person who created it.  Of course, many words are so old and have been used for so long that their true creators are not really known to history.   There is a large diagram in the foyer of this word museum that shows how the dead words are related.  A word family tree as big as the wall is mounted and framed with 24 carat gold letters.  Where even the words that have died are reverred and honored.  Children learn about them in school and take field trips to the hallowed halls of the language history museum.  I can see it.

It will never happen of course.  We don't think that way.  When old words die they are replaced with different words - newer words derived from the old- with different meanings.  Each word has a life of their own and works with other words to serve a purpose.  They provide letters and meaning to create new words.  Then they die.  How is that for an interesting metaphor of humanity? Or is it?

Thank you for coming on a ramble with me today.  I hope it made you think.  What words have you stopped using?  What words do you wish were more widely used?  What words do you wish would die?

I love Wednesdays!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Great Distraction

There is far too many things around here to cause one to become distracted.  I have a good understanding of ADHD and the prerequisite of chemical imbalances that exists in the ADHD brain. The many children and adults who have been misdiagnosed, in my opinion, because they simply live a world of distractions.  

It is difficult to concentrate, not because the chemicals in the brain are disproportionate in a way that speeds up brain function and causes thoughts to zigzag and bounce around instead of moving in a direct pathway towards finishing.  It is difficult to concentrate because the world simply presents far too many detours which are, usually, more appealing to our childlike minds.   Radio, Television, Internet and even the old fashioned book all avail themselves to us at any time of the day or night - beckoning to us - tempting us with adventure, friends, humour and above all escape.  Many of these media are useful for work and communication, keeping us up to date with the latest news, catching us up with family and friends, offering information and allowing the construction of products 'easier'.  All the while, they sneak into our lives and tease us with the answers to any and every question you ever wanted to ask (good on you Google), photos of animals with cute captions (thanks a bunch Haz Cheeseburger), updates complete with pictures and videos of every fleeting move or random thought our friends and family feel the need to share (fabulous job there facebook and twitter) then there are the videos of teenagers lip-syncing bad pop music (yay Youtube).  Don't get me started on the ridiculous and addictive online gaming, the millions of dollars spent on ebay and other online shopping sites where spending money is so simple that it is hard to track how much you have spent.  Then, someone thought it would be a great idea to make all these things available to us on a pocket size device! 

Where is this rant coming from? 

This weekend I had, probably for the first time in ages, reasonable and modest plans.  I was going to get out of the house with the BFF, tidy up my room, do some grocery shopping and catch up on a few blog posts (maybe two or three).  Nothing ambitious on that list at all.  But, even my conservative list was thwarted by my laptop pre-crisis.  There were viruses and weird programs playing havoc with almost every function of my computer.  The BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH hadn't popped up yet, but I could see it on the horizon heading towards me with a sinister laugh every time I threw my hands up in frustration at the stupidity of my laptop... it was being rather difficult... like a naughty child. So, instead of sitting by and waiting for the sky to fall, I decided to head it off by cleaning up the drives and running some basic maintenance.  Unfortunately, I am about as good at virtual cleaning as I am at actually cleaning and my virtual mop and bucket was ineffectual.  Therefore a restoration to factory settings was in order and that took a good 3 or 4 hours.  Bear in mind, this was additional time after I had spent at least 4 hours trying to do everything in my power to fix the problem without resorting to a compete system rebuild.  I have spent a lot of time in the past 4 days running scans, reading help articles, defragmenting, updating, backing up, processing, registering, checking and restarting in an attempt to fix the problems.  I am convinced that the end was, indeed, near and this was the best course of action to avoid a catastrophic failure at an eminently inconvenient time (report cards are due in little more than a week).  However, the true source of the mysterious computer illness is still unknown to me... hence it's mystery I suppose.  

Anyway - my point... there really is one... is this.  Just when we think that we have it altogether and we are focusing in the correct direction, something comes along to drag us away.  Sometimes, we are strong and the little tug does nothing to pull us off the path, we stay put.  Even better, we keep travelling on the path that is heading directly towards the goal.  That is when the great distractions become even greater and we do need to be literally, dragged to be pulled off the path.  Unfortunately, I fear that most often it only takes something shiny to distract us.  A small thing that leads us in the direction of the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH, a tiny glimmer of something in the corner of our eye and we are suddenly merging to exit.  Our path becomes foggy and unclear and the distraction is lost among the pandemonium of trinkets and tassels and even squirrels.  

How are we ever to get back on track?  Perhaps the best way is to close one's eyes and be sure to ignore the glitter and the glam.  Let the inevitable distractions do without us for a while... they really won't mind... and remember what is really important.  This is certainly easier said than done.  Sometimes the distractions are necessary learning curves, experiences that must be endured so that the true path can be forged with less fuss.  

This post was a long and winding road!  I wonder if you managed to keep up with me.  I wonder if you feel the same way.  I wonder what .. what .. what that noise is?  I wonder where I put that book.  What groceries did I need to buy?  What will I have for dinner on Tuesday?  Hhhmm, is there any pizza?  Oh look, frozen yogurt!  

Oh, you're still here!  What was I writing about?