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I like, I’ve Lost, I’ve Learned

In response to Writing 101 assignment day two: As this a writing exercise, I decided it would be prudent to change my writing skills on their head, and just to make it really different for myself and everyone, I’ve lost my head completely and added a photo of a Double Delight rose, which I grew myself, for aesthetic purposes (I don’t even know myself today!).

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I like the world around me, and,
the colours bursting through a poem
my mother’s cat reminds me of
a childhood and a home

I’ve lost my way and cannot find,
my way around for long,
please tell me why the anguish builds
and makes me sing my song

I’ve learned and
in my capricious life
this is the way I’m thinking now
that gets me into strife!

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Hanging Gardens

This post is taken from Judy Dykstra-Brown’s Post Hanging Gardens in which she writes:

A nursery in Ajijic hung marigolds from a massive tree at its entrance for Dia de los Muertos.  Stunning!

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The humble Marigold has never looked better in my opinion.

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As an adult amputee it is difficult enough to go through something so traumatic, but to go through that as a kid must be awful as kids can be very cruel to anything different.

This initiative is a wonderful idea helping them deal with the concept of losing a limb by it being made to be something positive. As for me I’ll just have to keep buying t shirts to sacrifice so they can wrap it around the top of the leg… actually I’m due for a new leg in a few weeks so I might get a Star Wars shirt this time hmmm

Boy is inducted into Darth Vader’s Own Legion, the 501st

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This is by one of my very favourite authors, Rudyard Kipling. This poem is about a father giving advice to his son, but it really resonates for everyone. Everyone should be given a copy of this on their 18th Birthday. It’s about growing up, shouldering responsibility, but also assigning yourself value, and cherishing your own character. A fantastic read, and one of my favourite poems of Kipling’s.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

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There Is Nothing New Under The Sun

I’m going to do here what every writer does when they can’t write or finish a piece – I’m going to Share what I’ve been reading. At least I give you nothing but the best people! This is wise old Ecclesiates, and my reason for Sharing is quite simple, even if you’re not a Christian this is sound advice for life. People constantly ask about the meaning of life, about the secrets of existence but all you really have to do is read this and other memorable parts of the Bible and the meaning becomes more clear, even if it’s just a bit. Take a chance and read it then tell me I never do anything for you!

This is about constancy, that no nasty surprises are going to happen in the future. The universe may be constantly active but life will remain the same no matter how advanced we think we’re becoming nothing new will come about. Take a look at ancient civilisations for example, most of them were as advanced as we are today. The Romans, Greeks, Spartans, read the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer (A Masterpiece) and you’ll discover that they all had the same knowledge as us.

 “There Is Nothing New Under The Sun”

 Ecclesiastes  1:4-11

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.

The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.

All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.

All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be among those who come after.

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First featured site is run by Kimberly Zapata, whose original article ‘A Letter To Those Affected By My Depression’ in ‘The Mighty’ newsletter inspired me to finally start an online blog. She also got me thinking about my own depression and how I handle it.

A Letter To Those Affected By My Depression

I hope that in Sharing this it will encourage people experiencing the same kind of symptoms to talk about it with family and friends. Believe me it’s far more common than you think.

Kimberly’s original site is Sunshine and Spoiled Milk

Also check out The Mighty for articles on believing in the power of stories, the strength of communities and the beauty of the human spirit.

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Boy Toys

Source: Boy Toys

This poem was written by Judy Dykstra-Brown, an author who has amazing talent especially for poetry, so I have included this to show you all what you’re missing. Please go and have a look at her books, photos and art by clicking on the link above.

If I were a kid again,
I’d ask for an electric train,
erector sets and building blocks,
a cane to take along on walks
for fending off mean dogs and snakes,
a little oven that really bakes,
decoder rings and magic sets,
ant farms and bug-collecting nets,
a chart for looking up the stars,
paraffin and jelly jars.

The main thing that I’d want, you see,
are more forms of activity:
canvas, paints and wood or clay
to help me pass the time of day.
Instead, adventure came in books–
days spent in armchairs or in nooks
and crannies of our lawn or house,
curled up like a little mouse,
reading of the far-off places,
imaginary deeds and faces.

But I would rather have been doing–
drawing, cutting, building, gluing.
Instead I spent my days in dreams,
filling up my mind with schemes
of what I’d do when I was older–
taller, smarter, braver, bolder.
When we are young, if no one shows us,
takes the trouble to expose us
to the world of creativity,
we may never really see

all the ways that there might be
to set imagination free.
It was plain that an erector set
was not a toy I’d ever get.
With “Hello boys,” written on the front,
the message was both clear and blunt.
Girls did not ask for toys like this.
I had no inkling of what I’d miss.
Creativity was slow to dawn.
For years, I simply played the pawn,

doing what others asked of me,
waiting until I was free
to find a path I’d never seen
caught up in the small town machine.
When I was freed into the world,
a whole new universe unfurled
undivided into  girls or boys.
I finally learned to choose the toys
I really wanted: saws and pliers,
sheets of silver, silver wires,

drill presses and dapping blocks,
glues and solder guns and caulks.
I finally have the toys I want–
not toys to look at or to flaunt,
but toys to make things with and do
–things that help me build anew
each day into whate’er I wish:
a paper lamp, a silver fish.
My story boxes tell the story
of all those years in purgatory

before I learned what else there was
to make my life take off and buzz
with focus and activity–
to fill my days and set me free.
Somehow I just got off the track
before I made my own way back,
but If I did it over again,
I’d ask for that electric train.
Around the track, I’d watch it curl–
a perfect pastime for a girl!!!