Decorating the mind…

A dear friend of mine shared a tweet that got me thinking. I’m sharing the tweet as I’ve tracked down the original author and followed him and his friend he mentions. It’s, to me at least, a very powerful way to look at two of the arts.

For myself, as I have trouble drawing stick figures, and my musical talents were left behind in high school band, I thought, how does this apply to me?

The answer became clear quickly. Writing is how we decorate the mind. Writers take a complex idea, and distill it down into words that, when ingested, fill a room within your mind, even if only for a little while.

Some of these keep these rooms throughout our life and they form a part of who we are. Perhaps they help us deal with a difficult or painful situation. Maybe they form a basis for how we react to something in our lives, or how we perceive justice or what we consider our moral right.

Writers entertain us, inform us, and, if we let them, teach us something. These lessons may be about our world, or just their world. But either way, they can leave this room within us, decorated with their words. With the emotions and images they co hire within us. These rooms are just as powerful as a master’s painting, or a composer’s magnum opus.

So if you’re a writer like me, don’t give up on your creations. Someone out there is waiting for you to decorate a room in their mind, whether they know it now or not.

Book Review – Pink Tootsie by T.M. Raskin

pinktootsie
Pink Tootsie
T.M. Raskin
4 stars

My Gentle Readers, this is not a book for the faint of heart, or the easily offended, or the prudish. This memoir details, in a very specific format, nearly 20 years of abuse and drug use by the author. It is not spoiling the ending to say that she is winning her fight against addiction these days.

This book is sad. She fights and fights, constantly losing everything to her addiction. The beginning three fourths of the book detail the minutia of abuses, drugs, jobs found and lost, as well as innocence stolen. Throughout the book we see glimpses of a person who really wants to be better. Her self destructive habits, born from the abuses she suffered in her early years, rear their ugly heads time and again, snuffing her willpower.  The writing itself reads at times like a person rambling about their life, with a quick jump to the past to recall an event left out earlier in the time line.

While I recognize the importance the author places on zeroing in on every abuse and use of drugs, this section of the book dragged on nearly to the point of losing me. It was very hard to plow through to the moment she entered rehab. By comparison, this section of her life moves at a much faster pace, her growth and recovery happening very quickly when lined up against the years prior. I am in awe of the author’s strength and personal fortitude she has found in order to overcome her past, and this section could have been even more inspirational if given more depth of detail.

If you enjoy a story of triumph against all odds, grab this one today.

Pink Tootsie on Amazon

 

Stress (Commentary and Poetic verse)

Stress. Funny how that word conjures up images of anxiety ridden individuals breaking down. Some lash out violently, raging against the ethereal force, or actual forces bringing out the stressful condition. Others lose all will and lie broken upon their beds. Others thrive on it, drink it in like nectar from some unmerciful god. Regardless of how you feel about Stress, it is certainly a topic often discussed the world over.

My day job as a logistical wizard at a fuel hauling company (aka Dispatcher for those that don’t get my joke), can alternate from stressful to almost boring to the point of tears. When equipment breaks down, drivers come up with attitudes about the smallest of things, or customers with unreasonable demands because they simply do not understand how to order fuel for a station they probably shouldn’t own in the first place; things can get tense. The blood starts to course faster in your veins as adrenaline pumps into the stream. Nerves start firing faster in your brain, snap decisions come to you as you solve the problems of the day.

Once the momentary crisis is over however, there is a noticeable drop in energy levels as everything slows down. This let down can lead to feelings of relief, or feelings of self doubt. “Did I make the right call? That seemed to go very smoothly, maybe I should double check my math.” This can lead to a spiraling back up. Those are the moments when you have to take a breath and trust in your knowledge and skills. Sometimes the jolt of adrenaline brought on by stress will last for hours, leading to a state of extreme mental tiredness at the end of the day. Those are the days I want to just go home, kiss my wife, hug my son, and crack open something with alcohol to drink before going to sleep.

Stress
A simple five letter word
Silly as three are the same
Chaos bringer to our world
Losing to it brings such shame

It can make you stronger
It can make you weak
Stress enough to make you weep
Or grit your teeth and push longer

Keep your chin above the rising tide
Let it roll from your shoulders son
You can beat i if you don’t hide
You will look back and say “I won!”

Change will come… (comments and poem)

Raisin Box Motivational Speech, “Change will come; it’s a lifetime guarantee.”

So, I shared previously another saying from my little box of raisins. I thought this was another good piece of advice to expound upon. Change, that thing with causes us such stress and worry in our lives that there is an entire industry devoted to treating the symptoms of change. Be it something small like taking a wrong turn, or major and life changing like the loss of a job or a treasured loved one; Change is the only constant in any of our lives. We are constantly evolving as we travel this lovely little road of Life. I have struggled with the idea of change at several points in my life, but looking back, it wasn’t so much the changes that made me who I am today, but the way I reacted to those changes that defined me.

Change
Change
Rushing at you like a runaway train
Change
Our constant companion on our journey
Change
Run or hide, it finds you all the same
Change
Will you grow through it?
Change
Or will you collapse under the weight
Change
Making you who you are today
Change
How you react defines you