I decided to post this “Challenge” (also located on my About/Challenges page) as a single blog entry on my Home page, since I am quite pleased with how it all turned out. The quotations are from among my favorite literary influences (one representative each from poetry, fiction, and non-fiction), and the artwork is my own. Enjoy! 🙂
4yearoldadult has very graciously taken it upon himself to give me a much needed swift kick in the pants, to get myself into the habit of “blogging” more regularly. I know that this medicine will be good for me, so I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his encouragement and enthusiasm, and for his efforts to connect with people through cyber-space, to make the world a little bit better!
Day 3: From Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
When a woman pretends to press her life down into a nice, tidy little package, all she accomplishes is spring-loading all her vital energy down into shadow. ‘Fine. I’m fine,’ such a woman says… Then one day, we hear she has taken up with a piccolo player and has run off to Tippicanoe to be a pool hall queen…
This is about how it happens.
One day, we decide that we are DONE being everything but who we are. Unfortunately, we usually have to learn the hard way that we are really not all that into piccolo players… We owe it to ourselves to remember who we are and what we do want to be doing, and then we have to start doing it, at all costs — because the alternative, which is existential death, is a far, far cry from a substitute for life.
Day 2: Excerpt from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy
Vogon poetry is of course the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem “Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning” four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been “disappointed” by the poem’s reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic My Favorite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilization, leaped straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.
The very worst poetry of all perished along with its creator, Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England, in the destruction of the planet Earth.
I very much share the view with the late, great Douglas Adams that there are some very particular offenses that one can perpetrate on the universal device of communication/language, which without exception, result in the phenomenon known as bad poetry… For instance, I am sure that some of my renderings from my early high school days could have competed handily with the ignominious works of the Azgoths of Kria — and just for the record (in case anyone is taking notes), they have all been dispatched in flame…
Day 1: “On Pain”
From Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break,
that its heart may stand in the sun, so must
you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily
miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous
than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your
And you would watch with serenity through the winters
of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you
heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the
tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been
fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with
His own sacred tears.
Kahlil Gibran has been and continues to be one of my favorite literary influences. If he had been our contemporary, today’s theorists in psychology might have made him the poster child for the “Highly Sensitive” personality type. To me, he is a timeless and ageless genius, whose wise insights into both the seen and the Unseen have enriched my development as a writer, artist, and “Highly Sensitive” human being. I can’t imagine anyone could read his works, particularly The Prophet, and not come away with something life-changing, every time.