Posts Tagged ‘Resolution’

Dr. King’s Day: The right time is always now

January 17, 2011

I think very often we have an impulse to become involved at a community or even larger level in bettering the world around us, but we think we have too many obligations already. Maybe even with good intentions, we bow out because we are concerned we could not follow through with the commitment, or we get cowed thinking that we will not have enough time to give.


“The time is always right to do what’s right.” (Address at Oberlin College, October 22, 1964.)

However much time or material goods you have to give, that is the right amount. If it lessens as time goes by, that is okay; if you find down the line you have more to give, then that is right, too. It begins by starting. I know this is something I need to think more about. I know this is something I need to work on: stop talking and start doing, stop worrying about the future and act in the present. In fact, I think I feel a resolution coming on…

E’s third resolution of 2010: The right time is always now.

The time to put in to deed all my plans and dreams, and lay aside my worries and anxieties, is always right now. Right now.

Flashback Friday, New Years’ Resolution Reality Check #2 — Daily Batman: It Begins

December 17, 2010

This entry was originally posted on Jan 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm. It contains the fourth of my New Years’ Resolutions for 2010. Over the next several Flashback Fridays, I will be taking them out, dusting them off, and seeing how well I followed through. I do not anticipate it always being pleasant, but the truth can’t be.

A confession: When I was a kid, I kind of always wanted to be the Joker. The whole Catwoman thing mainly started because I knew that a girl Joker wouldn’t fly. I remember vividly that when I explained this to my older cousin, he patiently said, “Well, what about Wonder Woman?” and I threw my hands up in disgust: clearly, he was missing the point entirely. I wanted to be the guy across the street from this kid (below), staring him down from my front porch, smirking and wearing a purple suit. Maybe smoking, too. You know. For maximum badass effect. “In your face, Smarmy McSavesalot — this is what I think of The System!”


I think this career goal still haunts me and is responsible for my general dissatisfied lack of commitment as a working adult. How you going to find me dutifully plugging away in a cubicle when I promised my babyself always to rage against the machine?

So, putting that insight together with Ben Okri’s quote, I guess what this chain of thought is telling me is that I need to learn to keep my eyes open for signs and portents of a destiny that can dovetail with my dreams.

I cannot believe that I was meant to go either rudderless through this world, or chained in a galley, desperately wheeling my arms around for a ship I already hate, which is bound only to sink no matter whether I keep paddling or get consistently whipped for refusing to row. I won’t believe that. I can’t accept that that is the plan for me or for anyone.

E’s fourth resolution for 2010: Look for signs. Keep hope alive. And, really, there is no reason not to wear a trimly-tailored purple suit while I do it.

Reality Check: I did my best on this one, really far better than I did on making a joyful noise. Next year, I will just have to keep on looking for more hope and signs. I ditched the job I disliked and work now for far less financial reward, but with much more passion and satisfaction. What I think I gained back this year, particularly in the face of almost fatal illness, was some of the credulity that must predate a quest for hopeful signs. My dream has been fulfilled, as Mr. Okri suggested, in ways I did not expect. I have grudgingly begun to place more belief in miracles again. And that is encouraging.

Final note: When I originally posted this last January, Wrasseler left me this lovely poem-prose comment that I wanted to be sure to add to this post now.

Signs in Space that is not Space do not appear as the signs we Approach and Contemplate. Signs in Time become mathematical. Then signs take meanings. Our hearts and minds move mountains through History. That’s a long way.

Everybody Else lives in Time. In the Renaissance Garden of Statutes turn past your liberties. Continue on toward your Statute of Limitations. Your Limitations are not the sign. The sign is not beyond your Limitations.

Dreams making history do not lose Time. They let Time lose them. This is the sign. Woman as Joker. How natural. Natural History. Another sideline for the woman who Time lost.


The sign is not beyond my limitations. Thanks again for that, dude!

Flashback Friday, New Years’ Resolution Reality Check #1 — Music Moment: Les Paul and Mary Ford, “Goofus”

December 10, 2010

This entry was originally posted on January 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm. It contains the second of my New Years’ Resolutions for 2010. Over the next several Flashback Fridays, I will be taking them out, dusting them off, and seeing how well I followed through. I do not anticipate it always being pleasant, but the truth can’t be.

Les Paul & Mary Ford – Goofus

This recording of “Goofus” (King-Harold-Kahn, 1930), one of my favorite songs, is just instrumental. It’s performed by legendary husband-wife duo Les Paul and Mary Ford (so, so, so much more on them another day).

The Paul-Ford version topped out at #21 on the Billboard chart on its release in the early Fall of 1950. The ensemble Paul and Ford had gathered is plucky and fun, although I have heard recordings from the ’30’s with saws and washboards which sort of put ukes and slides in the shade, but you work with what you got, and they did a great job re-popularizing a well-loved classic.

It really gets me that there was a time in this country when there was a) a set of songs that everyone knew, and b) a time when you picked up an instrument and sat down together and played, sometimes just as a family, but often as part of a larger community group. What happened? Radio killed the vaudeville star, but, moreover, the vaudeville star took group singalongs and skit shows down with him. No more public singing.

People just don’t do that often enough anymore, I think. I remember reading, quite a few years back, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (I consequently did not see the movie), and, in one of the super-tolerable parts, a character aged in her mid-70’s during the 1990’s was remarking on the emptiness of the sounds one hears walking the streets in the present day. She recalled being a child and teenager in the ’20’s and ’30’s, and how you could not so much as hang the laundry without hearing someone whistling or singing a street over or while walking past the yard.


“One Last Tickle on the Ivorys,” St. Ebba’s Lunatic Asylum, by Christopher O’Donovan on the flickr.

The idea of that touched me very deeply, because it resonated. I have always liked music, and always known a little about the history of radio and the record industry, being a big vinyl guy, and I’m not saying even at all that radio itself massacred town talent shows, I think increasing materialism and isolationism happened to dovetail with that new mass media, and long story short: it should change back. We need more of that old way of doing things, especially now, when so many people have lost hope and there are young people growing up for whom there are no stories about uncles who sang Irish tenor or great-grandmothers that could play the spoons.

It’s always fun to find out what hidden talents your friends and neighbors have (unless those talents are taxidermy and soundproofing basements), and it brings communities closer together. I think I remember hearing that a song is like a prayer times two, or some such thing, and I believe it. Everything is better with music.


“I Wanna Be a Majorette,” by Eleanor Hardwick.

I used to perform in singing groups and church choirs, and even participated in competitive choral groups in High School. The older I’ve gotten, the more I have grown very shy about my singing, but why? Half of what I hear on the radio has been triple-processed and slickly produced, and who cares if someone hears me fall a little flat? The spirit and song in my heart that made me so happy, that urge to open my throat that I couldn’t repress, that hasn’t changed, so why do I let fear and modern ideals of social behavior fence me in?

Holy cow, I think I just found my second resolution of 2010: Make a joyful noise. Join me, y’all!


Reality Check: I did not do as well as I wanted on this one. I started sporadically singing in my friends’ “band practice” Rock Band video game nights, but I did not join my church choir, which was what I really wanted to do. Partly intimidation because the director is an old friend, partly feeling too busy (excuse). I guess where I feel I really failed is I did not keep that song in my heart that I felt when I had written this originally. I need to try to get that feeling back.

Daily Batman: It Begins

January 19, 2010


A confession: When I was a kid, I kind of always wanted to be the Joker. The whole Catwoman thing mainly started because I knew that a girl Joker wouldn’t fly. I remember vividly that when I explained this to my older cousin, he patiently said, “Well, what about Wonder Woman?” and I threw my hands up in disgust: clearly, he was missing the point entirely. I wanted to be the guy across the street from this kid, staring him down from my front porch, smirking and wearing a purple suit. Maybe smoking, too. You know. For maximum badass effect. “In your face, Smarmy McSavesalot — this is what I think of The System!”

I think this career goal still haunts me and is responsible for my general dissatisfied lack of commitment as a working adult. How you going to find me dutifully plugging away in a cubicle when I promised my babyself always to rage against the machine?

So, putting that insight together with Ben Okri’s quote, I guess what this chain of thought is telling me is that I need to learn to keep my eyes open for signs and portents of a destiny that can dovetail with my dreams. I cannot believe that I was meant to go either rudderless through this world, or chained in a galley, desperately wheeling my arms around for a ship I already hate, which is bound only to sink no matter whether I keep paddling or get consistently whipped for refusing to row. I won’t believe that. I can’t accept that that is the plan for me or for anyone.

E’s fourth resolution for 2010: Look for signs. Keep hope alive. And, really, there is no reason not to wear a trimly-tailored purple suit while I do it.

Dr. King’s Day: The right time is always now

January 15, 2010

I think very often we have an impulse to become involved at a community or even larger level in bettering the world around us, but we think we have too many obligations already. Maybe even with good intentions, we bow out because we are concerned we could not follow through with the commitment, or we get cowed thinking that we will not have enough time to give.


“The time is always right to do what’s right.” (Address at Oberlin College, October 22, 1964.)

However much time or material goods you have to give, that is the right amount. If it lessens as time goes by, that is okay; if you find down the line you have more to give, then that is right, too. It begins by starting. I know this is something I need to think more about. I know this is something I need to work on: stop talking and start doing, stop worrying about the future and act in the present. In fact, I think I feel a resolution coming on…

E’s third resolution of 2010: The right time is always now.

The time to put in to deed all my plans and dreams, and lay aside my worries and anxieties, is always right now. Right now.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: by way of introducing E’s First Resolution of 2010

January 11, 2010

There is this old fairy tale I’ve always been kind of obsessed with. Two sisters are at a well when an old woman with her whole life strapped to her back approaches them and asks for a drink. One sister scorns the beggar and tells her to go away. The other apologizes for her sister’s behavior, draws up the bucket, and gives the old woman a drink from her dipper, despite her filthy condition. The beggar reveals herself to be a powerful fairy, who curses the sister who spoke cruelly to her so that, whenever she opens her mouth to speak, toads and adders will tumble out.


Woodcut illustration for the Perrault version

To the sister that was kind to her, the fairy blesses her, turning her dipper to gold, and puts a spell on her so that whenever she speaks, pearls and rubies and precious gems will fall from her lips — because of this, a prince hears about it and marries the nice girl. (A dubious gift and all-around problematic lesson, I have always thought, but I will save that for another day.)


Somewhere good.

The problems aside, this is my first firmly formed Resolution of 2010: Pearls and Rubies.

Less trash-talk and denigration slithering out of my mouth, more pearls and rubies dripping from my lips. That includes not just ceasing gossip, but in changing my entire mindset, so that if I were about to criticize someone, I might instead take that criticism and turn it around, maybe offer some insight into why I think that person who is being discussed (probably not present during that) is behaving the way they are, and a hope that things will improve for them.


Massachusetts, United States.

Leviticus 19:16
“Do not go about spreading slander among your people.”

Ephesians 4:29;31
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers… Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”


Paris, France.

Phillipians 4:8
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

(Miss D, I know you are laughing at my deliberate inclusion of quotes from St. Paul’s letters — but this year, I am determined that I am going to take a stab at resolving some of my Paul problems, too, so make me work on it!)

Matthew 12:36
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”

I am going to try to continue the process of change I began almost a year ago, and strive to constantly improve myself and the world around me. I especially like this resolution because it forces me to stop complaining (i.e. criticizing) and actually take action to resolve my issues with how a thing is going or a person is acting. I think this is really going to make me a better person. Or get me punched in the face. I’ll keep you posted!