Morning Pages – Forever Searching for Images

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~~A sideways trip…warning you now. Buckle up. Utter and complete nonsense.~~

Going for the words this morning. Candlelight wind blowing – light comes in and back out. Can’t see where the words even go most moments. Nonsense. We write nonsense. Time to step sideways. That’s where the good stuff lies. Always in the middle.
And I digress and digress. You gotta love those rhizomes.
I can get all academic on you – believe it. You won’t know what the hell I’m talking about. Like you do now, right?
Candle went out – wind did its thing. Writing words in the dark. Scared? Me too. Seriously. Can’t see a thing by the starlight. And there’s only one up there peeking through the clouds. Just words on the paper. Keep going. Find the images.
Life these days – visual images everywhere. Oh! I have seen so many fascinating images these last few days. Now I need TIME to ponder them and look deeply inside of them. Waiting for them to tell me their secrets.
Remember what I told you. Everything has a secret. Everyone has a secret(s). And it isn’t always dark. I’ve found, if you’re patient – stop laughing, I am capable of such a thing when it comes to this! – there are secrets that are beautiful beyond measure. Beyond words surely.
And am I digressing again?
Thank God!
Digressions mean side roads and sideways and that’s the ONLY place to be. Heaven. Reality over there. Sideways here.
That ocean. Blue, green, or brown. Who cares at this point? So magnificent and scary and the ESSENCE of sideways. Just sucks me in. I could ponder it forever.
Now comes the rain. And yeah – I’m a little crazy they say. Sitting in the rain at 4 am, writing by candlelight that keeps flickering in and out, writing nonsense.

Did you make it this far? Good for you! Share in my sideways trip.

Looking at pictures of Key West and I can hear the old old ones calling to me. Soon soon. I’m headed there soon. Speak to the spirits. You know they survived the hurricane. Yep.
Alex called these sideways trips Night Flights. He was better at it than I am. Oh! You find some amazing things when you fly.
Keep writing, Cookie. (That was him, not me!)
Cookie, Cuki – sounds the same. Took me TWO days to see that!! Goosebumps. You tell me? What the hell does that mean? I may talk the talk about spirits but I am cynical as hell. The reality of me is grounded on terra firma and scoffs at such things. But in the sideways – well, you gotta wonder at this one! What are the odds?? The name of the damn ghost ship is CUKI.
Something is going on here. But I’m not going to ponder it. Things are such as they are, right, old man? And I am quite happy in my here and now. Very, very happy.
I’m getting so much better at this BE HERE NOW business. Hard work at first but now I am sliding through this life just absorbing all this universe offers me. And my God, so much of it is AWESOME!
Awesome. Some poet I am. Ridiculous word if you think about it.
Off we go again. Back to the images and their secrets.
I’m going to ponder that shell shard with the carvings. I held that in the palm of my hand! Buried for how long?
Oh, the spirits speak. Feel them? Who did the etching? Man, woman? Research time. Why do I need to know that? Images again. There is a poem in that fragment and I intend to find it.
Imagine! That tiny sliver of shell holds how many stories? Hold on captain – so many stories to share!
TRAIN.
I am distracted so easily.
Now I am thinking about trains.
Much to do today. Classes tonight and I need to finish reading and writing my seminar paper proposal. Classes. Most often take me sideways. And I will drive home through the tears. As always. Because I long to call him and talk talk talk about all the amazing ideas that these classes stir up. And he would listen. Used to listen. Do you think he is still listening?
Let it go.
Most people get tired real fast of my ramblings. That’s okay. I don’t hold it against you.

You still here?

Amazing! You’re either an idiot or you like me enough to wade through all of that nonsense.
Almost time for the sunrise – the universe awaits. The clouds blow by and the stars are in the sky calling to me….
Go forth and do something stellar today!
Peace to you today, Karen
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Tobias Wolff on writing

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Writing is “very hard work and it absolutely requires all the conditions that make one a bore: You have to be alone a lot, you have to be rather sedentary, you have to be a creature of routine, you have to fetishize your solitude, and you have to become very, very selfish about your time.”

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“After a while you begin to understand that writing well is not a promised reward for being virtuous. No, every time you do it you’re stepping off into darkness and hoping for some light.”

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Tobias Wolff, The Art of Fiction No. 183, Interviewed by Jack Livings, the Paris Review Issue 171, Fall 2004
https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/5391/tobias-wolff-the-art-of-fiction-no-183-tobias-wolff

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Poetry is Not a Luxury

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“As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny, and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fear which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.”

(Audre Lorde, Poetry is Not a Luxury 1985)

Full PDF essay: poetry-is-not-a-luxury-audre-lorde

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Morning Pages: Rising from the Pit

by Karen Y. Hamilton, October 23, 2017

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And this we must learn.

That no matter how far into the pit you fall, you will rise from the ashes. I’ve been down there so many times that it’s become rather familiar.

Almost comforting. Like “ah…hello old friend…here we are again.”

So I sit in the ashes for a short bit, maybe doodle in the soot and still smoking embers – maybe a smiley face, perhaps a ‘screw you’ – whatever – doesn’t matter.

It’s okay to just rest a little.

Because you know the long climb back up is waiting – it will wait an eternity if you let it – but don’t rest too long.

Breathe, Recenter, Get back up. And climb.

Because the very best things are found at the top of that pit – and they only become visible after the fall. The more times you allow yourself to fall, experience the ashes, fall in love with the adventure, the more incredible and beautiful you will find this life waiting for you at every rising.

Peace all, Karen

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What are the words you do not yet have?

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Audre Lorde (from a speech delivered in Chicago, Illinois, December 28, 1977

The 3 page speech is at this link. Very powerful! https://www.csusm.edu/sjs/documents/silenceintoaction.pdf

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Playing our own little Game of Thrones

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by Karen Y. Hamilton, October 11, 2017
“Larvatus prodeo, I come forward, masked.” René Descartes
I’m not making a lot of friends lately. Might even be losing a few. Ah well, what’re ya gonna do? My research for the last few years (and in my MFA program) is centered around silence and secrets. How those are used in literature, specifically, and as an extension, in the psyche at large. Yeah, there’s been plenty written on the subject by some pretty influential people: Plato, Jesus, Rumi, Marx, Nietzsche, Foucault, Einstein, Spivak, poets by the millions…
But this little bit of journaling this morning is not about philosophy and literature. It is about this game, this game we are all supposed to be participating in. You know, the one where we mind fuck (sorry, Mother!) each other at every turn. Creating silences, obscuring language, reversing truths, creating power struggles with one person always left on the bottom getting trampled upon.
I don’t like it. I don’t like the game. I never have. And I simply am not playing it anymore. It makes me tired. And I already struggle with sleep issues, so thank you very much, um, no.
George Orwell says in Politics and the English Language, “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.” Clear language. Unheard of! Does anyone out there really say what they mean? Ever? I keep trying to, but everyone keeps telling me I am wrong. So much for trying to be sincere – a concept which seems to be lost on society of any age.
On the issue of dating, more specifically, on the issue of men, I’m told over and over again that men are children and must be trained. I’m sorry. I find that offensive, degrading, and just absurd. But off I go – play the game, train the man, gain control and be the one in power. Absolutely exhausting. For every victory, there are a dozen battles lost. Since when did simply getting to know someone become such a battleground?
Ridiculous. For me anyway. The rest of you can have at it – move yourselves around in your own little world of Game of Thrones. This chick is over it. Just gonna say what I mean from now on. If I lose the seat on the Iron Throne, so be it. Don’t want to sit there anyway!
As usual, I digress. That’s okay because I’m saying what I MEAN. In my own roundabout way.
Okay, rant over. For now. You know I’ll be back to bore you. Or maybe make you think for yourself a little (I’m hoping).
I’ll leave you with this:
  • What would your world be like – your relationships, etc. – if you stopped playing the game?

 

  • If you said exactly what you are thinking in your brain without trying to manipulate someone or gain the almighty seat of power?
(And I am not talking about white lies, and those little pretends we do so as to not hurt someone’s feelings, like ‘That dress looks awful on you!)
Have a blessed afternoon!
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Morning Pages: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

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By Karen Y. Hamilton, October 8, 2017

The moon is up there in a mostly cloudless sky and I can’t resist the pull to put pen to paper. Yesterday was interesting. I am still surprised (dare I say saddened) at some of the comments garnered on my post to a local thread expressing my feelings about the latest construction at my favorite place, the Jupiter Inlet. While I try, for the most part, to respect other’s opinions, I will admit that this turn of events got to me, reached right into my peaceful place and pushed that big red alert button.

The thread began as a simple lament on letting go (dear God, here we go again with the ‘let it go’ theme!). Watching concrete poured onto the dirt paths of this peaceful place got to me, tugged at my heart and soul in a way that only those who have followed me this last year would understand. It was just another loss for me, another moving on in a world that already moves too fast.

I agree the change is good for those who are handicapped or elderly. Cement paths are easier and safer for them to navigate. I thank those on that post who pointed that out. This eases my pain somewhat. But I can’t help but wonder how much change can we make to Mother Nature? How many ‘improvements’ must we make to force her to conform to our needs and wants? Do we continue to force her to conform to our needs until there is no nature left at all?

Joni Mitchell resounds in my head. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” There is nothing I can do about it. The powers that be win over we nature loving peace ‘freaks’ every time.

Still. Not angry. Not ‘complaining.’ I am, as I said in my post, “not happy.” Meaning sad. Disappointed. Shall I digress into a linguistics lesson here? Look up the etymologies of ‘complain’ and ‘sad’? It is tempting but I won’t bore you with it. Say thank you!

Here is what I will complain about. People who feel they have the right to tell me how I feel or what I think. No one has that right. Not one person out there is allowed to tell me to feel happy or feel sad, to love or to hate. No one. My choice, not yours.

I am one of those people who needs to explore and disseminate information and it is always helpful to have my fellow man enter into a discussion with me about whatever issue. I do not require you to agree with me. I welcome the chance to have you change my mind. But do not for a moment think I will allow you to TELL me what I feel or think and expect me to fall at your feet (bend the knee) and thank you for your wisdom.

Progress in the form of pavement has come to my peaceful place. I accept that. As with the loss of anything we love, we mourn that loss. We are ‘not happy.’ And at 55, I am beginning to find more and more opportunities to practice ‘letting it go.’ This too I will let go now. Just know that I do not intend to keep quiet so that negative people can attack me. And I do not intend to stop lamenting the loss of my hometown as I knew it.

Blame it on age if you want. The memories of the old Jupiter live on in my mind and I have no intentions of ‘letting it go.’

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Embracing Imperfection: The Challenge of Finding the Perfect Relationship

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by Karen Y Hamilton, September 26, 2017

A relationship is “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.” Google

Entering into this single world at the age of 54 has been an enlightening experience for me. I am finding that familiar words that I thought I had a clear understanding of are rather transient and tend to drift around in meaning depending on who you are talking to. What is the meaning of a relationship? Just what does dating mean? What does girlfriend or boyfriend mean? Aside from the obvious denotative meaning…a friend who is a girl…a friend who is a boy. Sounds rather silly when you are 55 years old, doesn’t it?

Everyone has a different opinion about what defines a ‘relationship.’ We debate the term ‘in a complicated relationship’ on a Facebook thread. Well, seriously, aren’t they all complicated? Hell, isn’t life itself complicated? So just what is the deciding factor in whether you are ‘in’ a relationship or not? And here I have to ask myself if it even matters that it is defined at all.

The Oxford dictionary defines a relationship as “The way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected.” Isn’t that what we all are looking for in the first place? A connection. Notice that ‘connection’ is not elaborated upon. Now we have to define another word. Or maybe not. I suppose we all have our own ideas of what is connection for us; it is a highly subjective word.

Our egos want us to be ‘the only one.’ I, most certainly, just coming out of an extremely ‘complicated relationship’ with my ex-husband, find myself searching for a partner who will gaze moon-eyed at me like he did. Even he would laugh at that one and say, “Reality gets in the way.” Because that is the reality – we can never be the ‘only’ one in another person’s life. Not in the sense that our fragile egos crave anyway.

My friends tell me to keep my heart open and the perfect man will find me. That sounds nice. Unrealistic, but nice. What is perfection? Ah, another sticky term with multiple definitions. Perfection is not what I seek. Because I am far from perfect myself. And that of course depends on that definition again. I want to say that perhaps I am ‘perfect’ for someone out there, but even that is unrealistic to me.

Do I really want a man who thinks I am perfect in every way? Hell no. What is the challenge in that? I would much rather find someone who pushes me to new heights, dares me to move out of my comfort zone, shares in my journey to become more and more. And that is what I seek as well. Someone who does not think they are ‘perfect,’ someone who is ready to embrace all the imperfections and throw caution to the wind in a wild dash to live fully this imperfect life.

So, just what is our rush to lock it down? Be ‘in’ a relationship. My theme this year – not exactly of my choosing, but what the hell, it is working – has been ‘let it go.’ So this I am learning to let go. The need to accept what society urges – this need to be ‘in’ anything.

My therapist told me to write a list that contains all of the qualities I seek in my ‘perfect’ partner. Those of you who have tried online dating will find this familiar. I struggled with that damn list. Because as I wrote it I realized that my ‘perfect’ partner more than likely has a list of his own and odds are that he would not find all of his items in me. At 55 years old, I have plenty of imperfections – physically and emotionally. This concept of the ‘list’ is unrealistic to me, too pat, too ‘perfect,’ if you will.

So, I’m gonna skip this whole dating thing. Just live, ride the wave, breathe, etc. I am rather enjoying just being. When it comes to finding someone to share it all with, I prefer the lightning bolt approach. I’ll know him when I find him (or he finds me). The stars will burn brighter, the air around us will be charged, and reality will pale compared to the ‘connection’ between us. And none of this defining will make a bit of difference. We will just live, complete with all of our imperfections. I look forward to having fun with him, arguing with him, debating the complexities of the universe with him, loving him. And however that looks to the outside world, will be how I define ‘relationship.’

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Video Journaling – Vournaling?

If vlogging is video blogging, is vournaling video journaling? Can you come up with a better term? Please share your thoughts!

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Video Journaling

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Serious question! What do you call a video journal? A vournal? A viary? A V-Journal?

What do you think?

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