Hqb3pRing around the rosies,
pocket full of posies,
Ashes, ashes,
we all fall down.

The delightful children’s chorus, one nearly all Americans learn as youth, has an insidious underlying meaning. Yes, yes, we’ve all heard the associations — the song dates back to the London Plague of 1665. (Well, some say it does. Others dispute this claim, tying the song to childish courtship games and pagan history.) I’m not here to argue for either case; rather, I am amused by the fact that something so appealing on the surface can actually mean something so somber. Continue reading

just say no!

valentines-day-2014-roses-hero-HValentine’s Day. For what it’s worth, I’ve never been a fan. As I’ve described in previous posts, it’s an over-commercialized holiday that demeans romance, not exalts it. There’s nothing more romantic than a grocery store teddy bear and a dozen roses with baby’s breath, right? No? How about eating in a crowded over-priced restaurant alongside everyone else in town?

It’s even better when you’re single, of course. Happy Single’s Awareness Day, anyone? Gahhh.

For those who have kids, Valentine’s Day takes on a different meaning. Suddenly Valentine’s Day cards are being made and bought and glitter and glue are everywhere. Valentine’s candy is being passed out. Pictures are being taken. Nothing wrong with that, but . . . Continue reading

thankful for the good and the bad

redtreeWell, folks, here we areThanksgiving Eve. For some of you, Thanksgiving is already here, has already come, is already gone. Then again, some of you may not even celebrate Thanksgiving. I sure didn’t when I lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Tonight, I am thankful for many things, but I wonder, what are they for? Is it only the good things I appreciate? The luxuries? The kindnesses? The love? What about the bad experiences? The ugly ones? The horrid-nesses? The hate?

To be honest, I am thankful for all of the experiences in my life, including the bad ones. I’m thankful for my rock-climbing accident, for my bad grades, for the times I got caught doing wrong, for relationships that hurt me. I’m thankful for the scratches on my car, the times I was late, the jerk who stole my purse, the plans that have gone wrong. Why? Continue reading

on and on you go (take two)

Please don’t hate me! I was not content with my first version of this poem. Something about the third stanza (and a few other things) just didn’t fit. So I revised it, and here it is. Most of you know by now: This poem is dedicated to “wind.”

dress3From here to there and everywhere,
on and on you go.
I hear you there, or is it there?
Your face, you’ll never show.

O’er sea and over mountain,
continent and plain,
from Asia to the Balkan:
the world is your domain.

At times I’ve seen you angry,
you howl and wreak havoc.
It’s then I shiver meekly,
and stand in awe, dumbstruck.

But when you’re sweet, you’re lovely;
you caress my soul.
Your whispers soft and balmy,
you can take me whole.

And though I cannot touch you,
on wings you fly me high,
to places where I knew you,
under another sky.

Which version do you prefer?

Image: Pinterest

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So, I don’t know about you, but today felt pretty much like every other day to me. It started out the same. The sun rose, the earth spun, noon came, the sun sank, and now, well, it’s really, really dark. Most people went to work like they always do. Everything seemed the same.

And, yet, apparently, it was different.

You see, today was (gasp!) 12.12.12. The last time we’ll see a repeating date in our lifetimes . . .


12_12_12_12_12_12And this is significant because . . . ?

That’s what I thought.

It always amuses me how much emphasis people place on dates. No, I’m not talking about anniversary dates or birth dates. (Of course you’d better remember those, guys!) I’m talking about calendar dates. Dates like 11.11.11 or 12.12.12, or even entire years. (You know you only have 19 days left to live, right? After all, the world will end this year . . . Does anyone really believe that?) Sometimes I get the feeling that mankind just likes to psyche itself out. Scare itself a little. Maybe in the humdrum of normal life we need a little something to wake ourselves up. “It’s 12.12.12, guys! No waaayyyy!!!”

But, my question is, don’t we have something better to get excited about? 12.12.12 is a man-made date just like any other. As a matter of fact, I’ll bet that, when you wake up tomorrow, on 12.13.12, things will feel an awful lot like they did today. And yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that.

And . . .

Wouldn’t it be better if we were focused internally—on improving ourselves and improving the lives of others—instead of looking for something external to bring excitement and give meaning to our lives? Wouldn’t it be better if we were excited about something that actually mattered?

Just food for thought. Happy 12.12.12, everyone! ;)

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