The snow falling as it is

A trip to take on a day by myself.

KURT★BRINDLEY

The snow falling as it is
As a dream within a dream within a dream is
Leads me to where my home is
Not to where my house is
But to where my heart is
To where the the forest of my chaste chastened childhood is
To where the sage old oak of that forest is
To where the thickened and knotted and crooked branch of that sage old oak is
To where that branch I used to climb to to
think to
hope to
hide to
hate to
cry to
live to
die to
wonder and why and why and why to
as the snow falls
as a dream within a dream within a dream is



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How does this help?

Like most of us I have seen the response to the grand jury ruling in the Michael Brown shooting and I have wondered how the activities of violence, vandalism and damage has helped the case of the African American community in Ferguson.

Humans reacting by such destructive behavior baffles me. My initial reaction is it is a form of bullying. If the public feels that this will be the response by one group to what is perceived as oppression of their rights then let them have control and don’t get in their way.

This is what a bully does. A bully is confrontational and puts themselves above others, especially those that appear weaker. Most people recoil from violence and retreat from a threat of pain or harm. The control of others with threats of intimidation is what is happening in Ferguson.

It is the same process in terrorism. I know that is a controversial statement but let’s be realistic in the basic connection in violent bullying.

If I want control over others, power over their thoughts and lifestyle I make it painful for them and instill fear in their hearts. I find justification by pushing what I see as my right to enforce my will.

The person who is the victim of this manipulation avoids this threat by cowering and giving in to the will of the bully.

The saddest part of this escalating violent reaction world wide is the influence on the children who are now seeing this response as the way to get what they want. The enormity of the negative impact this response has is to undermine the philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. His profound preaching of “the content of your character” in peaceful protest and productive dialogue brought all humans to the equality table. There is no place for any dialogue in a setting of intimidation and retaliation.

No human deserves to have their rights set aside. Yet, how does this help?

-N

A man’s perspective

I was talking to my husband last night about the story I am currently working on and as I told him about some big changes I am making he started to ask some questions about my characters. As we talked he shared his ideas about their development and the ancillary characters. His perspective was enlightening and really made me think of the way I was drawing them.

His ideas were refreshing and the male perspective drew out thoughts and new directions for the storyline. I was given so many ways to pull the best of the their personalities into focus and make the story flow. The power of defining the characters instincts based on their true natures is a basic part of a character driven story. Showing the reader who they are inside and playing it out in their actions gives depth to their lives and brings the reader into an understanding of motivations.

When I described a scene I thought would be a motivation for my lead male he said a man like my lead wouldn’t respond that way. As he explained what would be a better response it was more realistic for the storyline and transferred the beginning for my characters iinto one that reconciles who they are and why they react the way they do to the circumstances they are thrust into.

I am lucky that I am married to a reader. It is interesting because though we read very different books there is always the format for books that cross genre’s and give additional perspective that can be applied to any work. It is always good to get that other point of view.

-N

When did she grow up?

My husband and I were about to walk into World Market and just as the doors opened I looked at the smiling cashier who greeted us and a moment of recognition flashed across my face. At the same moment it flashed across hers. “Hi,” we both said excitedly.

It was Zoe and she was grown up. When did that happen? We both did the how are you, it’s been a while thing and say hi to your folks and then she started ringing up her next customer.

That was weird.

I had the same experience the night before when my friends came over with their kids. These little humans were still very young in my mind but here they were so grown up, with lives and friends and it was strange to me.

When did that happen?

I asked my husband once when did he first feel “grownup?” He kind of mumbled and I don’t really remember what he said. For me it was that moment when I realized I could take a road trip and I didn’t need anyone to tell me how to get there. When I was young and our family would travel it amazed me that they knew just where they were going. How did they know which road to take and which turn to make? How did they figure out where to go in the airport to find the gates and get on the right plane?

I can do that now.

Is it the decision making process for humans that make them a grownup? Getting up on time and being appropriately dressed for work? Is it paying bills and taking out the garbage? Is it the process of figuring out whether another person is a good person or bad? Is it knowing how to get across town or across the country and arriving where I intended to be?

I have always felt young at heart and I still am surprised sometimes at my chronological age. I remember being twenty and thinking people my age now were really old and had no life left. Once you are past that are you a grownup? Commitment to work, relationships and life are part of it. When does it happen?

I would like to hear when you felt you were a grownup.

-N

What is it about music?

What is your music preference?

I was recently reading a novel a friend is writing and part of the dialogue in the story the two leads were asking each other about their favorite song. It made me think, what is it about music and humans?

“Music is the soundtrack of our lives.”

I’ve heard that said or something along the same line and it made me think of my soundtrack. Wow! The variety of genres, styles and artists is extensive. Glenn Miller, Ray Price, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Keith Urban, Herbie Hancock, Corey Osborn, Sam & Dave and ZZ Top. You get it.

The composition of music must have some sort of organic, human perceptivity link to our DNA. Humans respond on a deep level to something in music that can invoke memories and re-live old attachments and old times. Some great and some not so great too.

I’ve seen expressions on faces as a song weaves through their minds. Emotions are real inside the reaction to the melody, rhythm and words. There are laughs when a song pulls a person through a fun time with high school friends. Eyes closing and a whispered sigh express the feeling a special love song can weave in a heart.

Joy, love, loss and heartache. Music is there.

The profound imprint of music is deep in people. It almost choreographs the way we live. I have playlists customized for my daily living. A party with friends, a quiet time reading, riding in the car and exercise. Music for one activity doesn’t work for another. I can’t power walk to Mozart, but it is great for cleaning the house. I have a rocking contemporary Christian playlist that is fun and motivating for doing a 5k. My classic rock music is perfect for a drive to Phoenix and my blues, rock and soul playlist is the best for a party.

Christmas music is one of my favorites. I can listen to it year round. It transports me and was a foundation when we transferred around the world while my father was in the military. I used to work with people who couldn’t handle much of it and I never understood that feeling but it might have to do memories or they might just get bored with it.

Whatever the light and dark of the musical experience it spells the story of the human personality.

-N