Waiting

isbell

nashvillepublicradio.org

I’ve done my share of doctor office waiting room waiting the past few months. The following are some of my observations.

Last month as I was sitting, waiting my turn, a patient’s name was called: Isbell. I looked up at him and he could have passed for Jason’s brother. And this is Alabama, after all. I wanted to ask, but I didn’t. He probably gets asked a lot. So, I go back to reading and hearing a show (trying not to listen) on the TV above my head. I had picked a bad spot to sit. The show was talking about natural feminine hygiene care. Even though I’m feminine and care about hygiene, it was annoying for it to be blaring over my head. My name was finally called and I was allowed to go and freeze in a little examining room. At least I didn’t have to wear a paper gown.

Today I went for my third doctor visit this week (orthopedic, chiropractor, and now ENT). I’ve had some issues with my left ear for about four months and finally realized I had some hearing loss. I suspected, and was correct, that my ear was plugged up. With wax. Yes, gross old wax. The doc unplugged my ear and BOOM! I could hear my footsteps going down the hall. I still have the tinnitus, but at least I won’t have to say “What?” quite so often.

I really liked the ENT’s office. For one thing I wasn’t waiting for two hours. I was in, de-waxed, and out in less than 30 minutes. But, if I’d had to wait, there was a wall hanging with wonderful suggestions. I didn’t even have enough waiting time to write everything down. But here’s what I got:

“We are aware you may be waiting”

 

*RELAX * READ * THINK *BE GRATEFUL * THINK * WRITE*

* REFLECT*

* CREATE * PRAY * BE JOYFUL*

 

“All good abides those who wait wisely”

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PAD 2019 – #3 – Thanks to Rudyard Kipling and Teachers Everywhere

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by Compello

Day 11 was a dedication poem.  I based this on Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”.

 

Thanks to Rudyard Kipling and Teachers Everywhere

(this is for those who choose the high road)

 

If you can keep your head when all

– the government who has no clue

– parents who put blame on you

– media who love to prey

– colleges who lead astray

— test companies who line their pockets

about you are losing theirs

– the solution is common core

– and what’s more

answer this heard to read, complicated word problem and you know math

 

If you can trust yourself when they tell you

you should be in another field

(don’t yield)

If you can wait for supplies that never come

and feed the hungry with snacks brought from home

or be hated by that one kid

for something you know you never did

yet be wise, but not a know-it-all

 

If you can dream but know

dreams don’t all come true

If you can think for yourself

not just on cue

If you can meet with fire and intruder drills

and keep the children all around you calm

 

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

twisted by students in their parents’ ears

or watch the pencils you gave your money for, broken

but continue to build up skills with broken tools

If you can make a heap of all your earnings

plus a little extra on the side

 

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

to hold on when there’s not much to hold on to

If you can talk to crowds

or walk with principals and not lose the common touch

If all kids count with you

no matter size or hue

 

If you can fill an unforgiving hour

with sixty minutes worth of all you have

and repeat

your’s is the job and everything that’s in it

then – which is more – you’ll be a teacher, my friend!

 

 

 

January Wisdom

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“The most valuable thing in life never changes by time or place – it is to be honest and cheerful, to find happiness in what you have and to have courage in hardships.”   – Laura Ingalls Wilder, when she  was solicited for advice to Japanese women.

I think this is good advice, but not necessarily the most valuable thing in life.  I find it easy to be honest, not so easy to always be cheerful. I can’t brag on my honesty, though, as it isn’t perfect.  And cheerfulness? Well, God loves a cheerful giver and I’m making progress in that area. I can find happiness in what I have, but there is a sadness in what is missing. What is missing for me isn’t things, though. I usually have courage in hardships, but not always patience. Whatever honesty, cheerfulness, happiness or courage I do have is because God has granted it to me.

“Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, Everyone deals falsely. – Jeremiah 6:15

Even better than Wilder’s advice is this:

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smell the Roses and Settle the Stout

guinness1

photo-spokesman.com

 

Everyone’s heard the cliche about taking time to smell the roses. After reading this glimpse of a pub in Ireland, I think “take time for the stout to settle” is better.

“He poured half my pint of Guinness, then let it stand for three minutes, in the time-honored way. This lets the stout settle. It also allows the barman to ask you who you are, where you’re from, and why you’re here. The other customers listen and nod. Then, he fills the pint, smooths off the head with a table knife with a parchment-coloured handle, and waits for you to take the first sip. And then the conversation continues.” – from McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy

 

Google It

eb

 

“The young writer will be drawn at every turn toward eccentricities in language. He will hear the beat of new vocabularies, the exciting rhythms of special segments of his society, each speaking a language of its own. All of us come under the spell of these unsettling drums; the problem, for the beginner, is to listen to them, learn the words, feel the excitement, and not be carried away.” – – An E.B. White Reader

 

Have you heard the beat of new vocabularies? Nouns turned into verbs are used all over. We google subjects and we tweet, though we aren’t birds. We text and snapchat each other, but our communication is often abbreviated to words without vowels; we have a new shorthand to meet the needs of a fly by friendship.

I am familiar with several special segments of society that have a language specific to its members. One of these is the field of education, a world full of acronyms and oft used terms. Overuse certainly kills the charm of some words. I can think of some that need to be retired, or at least put on the back burner. Some of these would be: partner (as in ‘partner with’, not ‘Howdy, Partner!’), relationships, ownership, mission statement, intentional, and unpack. Contemporary religion also has its share of overused expressions, such as authentic, relevant, passionate.

The best point White made is to “not be carried away.” Words are wonderful and repetition has its place. But like a parent who threatens “if I have to tell you one more time”, frequently repeated words lose their appeal and begin to fall on deaf ears.

Fill Your Paper

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth

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photo by photouten

 

This is good advice to someone who has something to say and has a knack for saying it well. I’m not talking about stuff like, “Good morning! Today I am doing to have decaf instead of regular coffee…. blah blah blah”. That’s okay for a morning conversation with your cat, but it’s not the breathings of your heart.

I’m thinking poetry, or personal reflections of a somewhat serious nature. If you are willing to share some of your soul with others, I can guarantee you there is an audience out there longing for your words. No, not everyone will want to read your thoughts, but someone will. Someone may need to hear what you have to say to help them get through a hard time. Your words may be just the right ones at just the right time that could make a difference to someone.

Even if no one does read your words, just the filling of the paper can do wonders for YOU. And, who knows? That practice of getting your words down may be just what you need to encourage yourself. It may lead one day to sharing with the world.

Rebecca Curtis, author of Twenty Grand and Other Tales of Love and Money, says a writer should be “willing to write drivel in a notebook every day, with the idea that not everything you write should be for the purpose of publication.”

Writing in a notebook everyday is good advice. I keep a notebook in my purse and use it for all kinds of writing, from story idea lists to sermon notes in church to what I need to get at the grocery store.

One thing Curtis said that I thought was really good advice is that not everything you write is suitable for publication.  Really, I don’t want to hear about your problems with pooping or how much sugar someone puts in their tea, UNLESS it is woven into a tale worth telling.

Zap, Zooey & ZaniLa

Zap

I am going to ZAP this A-Z thing tht I started back in September. I am going to finish it off NOW! I have tried to write ZESTFULLY, but sometimes I felt like I just need to rest and let a ZEPHYR blow over me.

While thinking of Z, I thought of the time I saw Led ZEPPELIN in Atlanta. It was a fun weekend and great concert, but the circumstances were rather odd. It was one of two dates I had with a boy in college. I met his family that weekend and enjoyed their company, but things just didn’t click with the two of us. He was going to school to be a doctor, but I don’t know whatever happened to him. However, that memory could be the start of a good story.

As a writer, I am learning that there are stories all around me. In my memory, in the grocery store, at the park – wherever there are people, there are stories. So, look around and keep your ears alert. You may just see or hear a ZINGER for YOUR next story!

Words of Wisdom from Zooey

J.D. Salinger wrote a book called Franny and Zooey in 1961. It revolves around the two siblings in the title.

This piece of advice comes from a fictional character, but take it also as coming from Salinger. In a conversation with his sister, Zooey says,

“An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s”.

I think this is excellent advice for writers.

I am always comparing myself as a writer to others, and sometimes it can really drag me down. Instead, I should have some goals for myself, some standards I need to achieve, and to go after these.

Do you have goals for yourself as a writer?

moon

Fruit Cove, FL

 

ZaniLa

My last poetry focus is the ZaniLa Rhyme.

This form was created by Laura Lamarca. The rhyme scheme for each stanza is a. b. (c1. c2.) b. and it has a syllable count of 9. 7. 9. 9. Line 3 is a Repeating Line, which contains an internal rhyme and is repeated in each alternate stanza as in the first stanza.

Here is my first attempt:

Nightime Lullaby

A sunshine smile with eyes meadow green
Happy the day I met you
In daydreams and floating on moonbeams
I’ll not let go, I won’t forget you

I loved to hear your sweet morning song
Buoyant and free your laughter
Floating on moonbeams and in daydreams
Your voice will go on ever after

Your tender spirit, my heart’s delight
Too early to say goodbye
In daydreams and floating on moonbeams
Return in the nighttime lullaby