Tag Archives: Opinion

Thirty days to live

Life

Life

This week one of my friends shared a dream.

In the dream, which she described as half-way between waking and sleeping, feeling so utterly “realistic”, a voice told her:  “You have thirty days to live.  Get your affairs in order.”

She woke up, heart pounding.

She’s feeling pretty darn nervous.

OK, it might just be a dream.

But what if it’s not?

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The myth of 1,000 blog followers

Rome wasn't built in a day

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Yes, dear readers, it’s been an auspicious day.  This very blog–Lake Superior Spirit–hath reached the lofty goal of 1,000 followers!  Why, this  happened just after lunch.  I’ve been watching with one lazy eye as the numbers soared during recent weeks.

You’d think this would be a cause to celebrate, to dance merrily, to shout to the treetops, to delight in 1,000 avid readers coming to your blog in eager anticipation of your treasured words and photos.

But, no, my friends, this is not a cause celebre.  It’s hardly even worth more than a raised eyebrow.  In fact, don’t you dare even offer congratulations!  I beg of thee!  You want to know why?

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Blogging to illuminate, to reconcile

Illumination

Illumination

Lately I have been enjoying writing blogs that seem to reconcile stuck, limited, or judging viewpoints within.

Something arises.  Some judgment, some feeling, some sorrow, something that’s not yet integrated.

Perhaps it has to do with a friendship.  A sense of longing.  Something deep inside which wants to be accepted, yet there’s still a pushing away, a not-allowing. Perhaps it’s an anger, a sorrow, a not-understanding.

I sit and type, letting the deepest self share its thoughts.

Then–instead of turning too quickly in the next moment–or too compulsively looking toward your comments or visits–it seems that the words in the blog are felt on a deeper level.  I feel the truth in the words, to understand, to allow.

It often feels like a big ah-ha of understanding.  It feels like it translates into true realization, into something real which can inform the next action.

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The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Red and white

Red and white

I used to think truth was something simple.

Something one felt.  Something essential.  Something easily revealed.

After years of meditation–and the practice of blogging–it becomes more and more apparent that, yes, Truth is very simple.  But it’s extremely complicated to convey it to oneself or another person.

Most of the time we humans tell half-truths to each other.  We pick and choose what to tell.  We announce we think or believe something, conveniently leaving out the actual experience in our lives where we did the opposite.

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A non-apologetic manifesto about being weird.

Weird?  Not weird?

Weird? Not weird?

First, let’s get the definition straight.  If a person is weird, what the heck does that mean?

A Google search revealed these synonyms:  strange – odd – peculiar – quaint – uncanny – bizarre.

Now that we *almost* know the definition of weird, let’s explore this phenomenon further.

May I suggest that those who are not labeled weird by society do the following thing very well:  they fit in.  They eat the same as their peers, dress in the same clothes, act in appropriate ways, speak without being *too* strange or offensive, are friendly, polite and well-behaved, or at least act acceptably bitchy, raunchy and amusing.  They act “normal”.

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Post-election thoughts (Those five people are not your enemies.)

Reflections

1.  It’s over.

2.  When will the next election hoopla begin?

3.  Will our country be saved?

4.  Will our country be ruined?

5.  Will our country continue to plod along with some brilliant moves interspersed with awful decisions?

6.  Will all wars ever end?

7.  Why can’t we people get along?

8.  Let’s be grateful for what we have.

9.  Let’s vow not to attack the opposite viewpoint.

10.  Let’s vow to get more sleep on election night.

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Cilantro~~the NEW green.

Cilantro in the sky

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a declaration.

Time to write a blog about an oft-maligned creature.

Time to write a blog heralding the delights of–are you ready?–yes, you must be ready–CILANTRO!

Cilantro in a strainer

Let’s get honest.  Let’s not be shy.  How many of you LOVE cilantro?  How many of you HATE cilantro?  How many of you are wishy-washy about this inconspicuous bit of greenery?  How many of you don’t know?  Don’t care?

OK, now that you’ve raised your hands with your appropriate response, I am going to wax poetically about this green.  So either trot on over to another blog, or stay for dinner.  It’s cilantro time!

Stems, throwaways

The first time I tasted cilantro–down in Florida, at an Iguana Mia’s restaurant near Fort Myers Beach–I detested it.  AYYYYY!!!!  Who put the soap in the burritos?  Who put the awful taste in the taco?  Who dreamed up this green awful creation?  (God surely didn’t make it.  No one would make anything that tasted this horrible.)

So what made me taste it again?  Who knows?  Perhaps I didn’t want cilantro to get the best of these taste buds.  Perhaps it was all-out war.  (I’ll learn to like you, darn it!)  Who knows?  But I tried it again.

Still soapy.  But almost an intriguing soapy.

Artistic cilantro

A friend shared a statistic about that time.  She said–They say you either have a cilantro gene or you don’t.  If you don’t have the cilantro gene, cilantro will taste like soap and you will hate it.  If you have the cilantro gene, you will love it.

Of course, I rarely believe either personality tests or studies which definitively point toward heredity.

I ate cilantro again.  Ick!  Still soap-like.

Cilantro--kissed by the sun.

Again.  About the fourth time, cilantro began to taste–ohmygoodness–isn’t this kind of, almost, sort of, good?  Again.  Mmmm, I’m beginning to like this stuff.  Again.  Ohmygosh, you could die for this stuff.  Again.  Did God ever invent anything so magnificent, so wonderful, so delectable?

Growing cilantro babies. Grow, babies, grow!

So now we’re in love with cilantro.  (And I don’t mean luke-warm in love.  I mean passionately in love!  We eat cilantro almost every single day.  On vegetables.  On fish.  On grains.  On anything that goes down the gullet. Except maybe cereal.  Or fruit.  These are mutually exclusive.  So far.)

We grow cilantro in our garden.  We’ve taken to labeling it in a sotto voice:  “The NEW green.”  Barry will say, “Is there cilantro in that?” and I’ll say–at least five times a week–”Yes, cilantro,” and I bat my eyes at him, “The NEW green.”

OK, OK, you’re wanting to weigh in with your opinion, aren’t you?  You are ready to tell us it A) tastes like soap or B) is the most wonderful creation on the planet.  If you tell me you sort-of like it, I might not believe you.  Cilantro is an either-or vegetable. 

(OK, OK, I might believe you if you’re wishy-washy.  But that only means you need to eat it more frequently until you, too, are mincing it on everything you eat–except for cereal and fruit–and proclaiming it “the NEW green.  Eat more.  And “lettuce” know if you change your mind.)

Take Three. “What Lake Superior Spirit is about.”

It's time

It’s time.  I went and changed it.  Finally.

For about six months I’ve been thinking, “Gosh, Kathy, isn’t it time you changed your description about this blog?”

Laziness answered, “No, I don’t have time.”

But the necessity kept arising.  I have written “About Lake Superior Spirit” two times. This is the place where strangers or first-time readers stop to gauge the feel of a blog.  They want to know:  What’s this blog about anyway?

The first explanation I wrote was rather brief and succinct and just fine.  The second time I felt a huge need to justify something-or-other and wrote on and on and on and on and on about what I thought this blog was about.

Enough already!  Kathy, just go and write something simple.

Why in the world do all the visitors need to hear what your inner psyche thinks?  Just write some FACTS.  You can do it.  C’mon.  Just write something simple.

So I just wrote something simple.  (You don’t believe it, do you?  You don’t believe I can write something simple, do you?)  But it happened.

Go here.  Now.  And read what Lake Superior Spirit is really about.Or do you think Lake Superior Spirit is about something else?  If so, I’ll probably be changing it soon. 

Our opinions change all the time, don’t they?  So happy to be sharing this ever-changing life with you!

Laughing old sailor knot-hole (you agree, don't you?)

You can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself.

Chair. Window.

Thank you for that quote, Ricky Nelson.

“You can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself.”

I suppose some of you don’t like that headline, right?  Some of you think it’s too “pop culture”, don’t you?   Some of you think it’s not creative enough, right?  Some of you think it’s too flashy.  Some of you think it’s the best darn headline you’ve ever heard in your nine months of blogging and you give it four STARS!  Others of you couldn’t care less.

Sigh.

That’s what we’re talking about today, dear readers.  How–no matter what you say–no matter what you do–you are bound to get an infinite number of opinions about how (a) wonderful, (b) terrible or (c) so-so you did.  Or other people won’t say anything at all and leave you imagining.

I shall provide examples just in case you doubters don’t believe that previous statement.

Artwork. Chair.

Take blogging.  It’s pretty simple, right?  You write a blog and share it with the world.  The world looks at your blog and offers an opinion.  (Or they don’t offer an opinion, which I would argue is the same as offering an opinion.)

You might think that everyone would agree on your blog.  Especially if it’s a neutral blog.  But NO!  We, as a human species, do not really agree on Things.  We all have Opinions which are usually the opposite of the opinion we just heard.
 
I am going to share Blogging Opinions (about my blogs) which I have heard or intuited during the past three years.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!  And–furthermore–do not be dismayed when someone expresses an opinion about your blog which You Do Not Like.  Just wait five minutes.  Someone will come along with the opposite opinion.

Window, artwork, chair.

Person #1:  I love your blog!

Good friend/family member #2:  Sorry, don’t read your blog.

Person #3:  I read your blog, but don’t read it any more.  Sorry.

Blog Reader:  I love your photographs!  They are great!

Next Reader:  If you keep taking pictures, you’ll improve.

Next Reader:  You should write a book with your stories and photos!

Next Reader:  Here’s what you need to remember:  Focus, focus, focus!

Next Reader:  I really like your stories best.

Next Reader:  Your photos are amazing!  All of your talent is in photography. 

Next Day:  Keep trying.  Maybe you need a new camera?

Bottles. Window.

Commenter:  I love your stories!

Friend:  Sorry, I don’t read any of your blogs.  You know how stories bore me.

Commenter:  Don’t worry, Kathy, I like your photos AND stories.

Next Day:  Friend Unsubscribes.  Basically says:  Why would anyone read a blog about PERSONAL STORIES?  Boring.

Next Hour:  Your stories are amazing!  They help me see myself more clearly.  Thank you.

Next Day:  Another Friend:  “It is basically ‘unspiritual’ to write in the first person.  What self are you referring to?”

And then:  I liked your spiritual blogs better than these recent ones.

“No, no, your nature blogs were best.  Please write about nature.  Please.”

I like the pictures of the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior.  (After having posted personal stories for a week.  Sigh.)

“Why do you respond to every comment?  That is just stupid!”

“THANK you for responding to all the comments–it makes it feel so personal.  Like we’re all together.”

“Comments?  Oh no, I don’t read any comments.”

Chairs. Snow.

“Why don’t you post smaller pictures?”

Next day:  “I LOVE the big photo format!  Keep it up!”

“Why don’t you just post every few days when you’re truly inspired?”

“Please post every day!  I LOVE reading every day!  You make my day!”

“Can’t you just post quality blogs?  I mean, instead of posting so many.”

“I like thoughtful blogs best.”

“I like your funny blogs!  That’s why I read!”

“Why can’t you write more spiritual blogs?”

“I love how I learn so much spiritually from your blogs…”

Last night: (I swear this happened):  “That is a TERRIBLE fish picture!  Don’t you remember how to focus?”

Within an hour:  I love the fish photo and That is the happiest fish I’ve ever seen!! He/She loved getting its picture taken and seems to be smiling and dancing for that lady it sees so often.

Sigh.  It goes ’round and ’round.  A different opinion every hour.

When we reach our middle years–our wise years, shall we say?–shouldn’t we have figured out that we can’t please everyone?  We must blog from our heart.  From our spirit.  From the writing muse which grabs hold and tells us which direction to pursue next.

My new year’s resolution (Would anyone like to join me?) is to continue to be True to Myself.  Not to gauge what should or shouldn’t be written or said or blogged by the Outside Opinion. 

Yes, I will listen to the Outside Opinion.  Yes, I will see if the outside advice fits.  If it’s valuable.  But if it’s not–What You See is What You Get. 

(And if you think that is trite, that’s OK.  The next person will think it is the wisest thing they’ve ever heard.  I can guarantee it.)

Help! My brain switch won’t turn on!

Does anyone else have a brain response switch that flips on and off?  A switch that allows and doesn’t allow you to respond to your emails and comments?

Or does everyone else in the Universe read their email or blog comments and nicely respond within five minutes?  Or within the hour?

My friend, Susie Q, brought this to the forefront this morning.  (Thanks, Susie !)

She had written me a nice email yesterday.  Or the day before.  She asked questions and requested photos.  Then she wrote another nice email this morning discussing something else. When Kathy had not responded in an appropriate time manner she finally asked, “Hey, are you getting my emails?”

Yes, Susie Q.  I am getting your emails.  Except there’s this brain problem.  The switch that says “Respond to your 23 emails and messages and blog comments” is not turned on.

You can’t jump-start these brain switches.  Usually.  Either the switch is on or off.  You have to wait until something magically turns the lever back on.  I never know what that might be. 

It’s a kind of communication switch.  Here’s what happens:  A creative outpouring bursts through the circuits and turns on the switch.  Out comes the blog, the comment, the connector.  The circuits sizzle.  The circuits dance.  Communication hath occurred!

Then…often in my case…the switch turns off. 

(Unless the communication is pressing and needs response immediately.  That flips the switch automatically.)

The brain says, “Wasn’t that lovely communication?  Didn’t we enjoy that?” and then it enters Passive Mode.  It cannot speak unless directly addressed.  That’s not even true.  It cannot speak even as comments, emails or hellos appear.  It remains mute.

It’s interested.  You can’t say it’s not interested.  It is very interested.  It is often fascinated and engaged.   The brain reads and processes and the heart says, “Oh this is so cool!” or “Oh this is so sad” or “Really?  Really this happened?” but nothing translates to turn on the brain switch and respond in written form.

Usually within 24 hours something happens and the circuits open.  What makes them open?  Who can tell?  Suddenly I find myself responding to 23 emails and comments in a flurry of connection. 

You have to respond asap.  Because you know the circuit will shut off soon and you’ll be left mute and silent until the next circuit opens. 

I keep telling myself, “Why even read your emails until you’re ready to respond?  Why not wait until the response circuit is open and then check your email?” 

But something inside must love this mute place of receptivity where no response is possible.  It loves being able to simply receive for a while instead of responding.  It loves holding everyone in a place of love before it responds in words.

So if I don’t get back to you within 24 hours…please be patient.  It’s really not me.  It’s the brain response circuit.  It’s still not open to allow for much communication.

What about you?  Does your brain response circuitry turn on and off?  Or are your responses steady and in-the-moment?  (OK, sometimes my brain responses are in the moment.  Really they are!  It’s just that quite often everything goes into silent receptive mode.)

Susie Q, that response is coming soon.  I promise you it is.  Well, I can’t promise.  But the brain connectors eventually DO turn back on!

P.S.  The worst-case scenario is when the switch turns on and writes a second blog before you’ve even responded to the comments from the first blog.  Then the switch turns off again just as you’re preparing to answer. That is the worst.   (Sorry, yesterday’s commenters…I promise to get to you, too, as soon as the switch turns on again.  Sigh…)