Tag Archives: communication

Reflections ~ On the Changing of the Year

I recently read an article by Melinda Gates that talked about goals and New Year resolutions. She wrote something that resonated with me. She does not make resolutions or goals for the new year, she has been trying something different. She chooses a word. Last year she chose the word grace. She reminds herself of her chosen word throughout the year in situations great and small, triumphant and trying. It is a touch stone that guides, rather than defines, her goals for the coming year. I love that idea, so I thought I would give it a try.

There are oh so many marvelous words in the world, choosing one can be rather daunting, but it is worth the effort. My word for 2019 is “seasoned.” Season is both a noun, and a verb. As such, it can describe an accomplished goal, or the process. Common synonyms include, experienced, accustomed, toughened, inured, and habituated. Or, it can mean the fullness of time for the seasonal cycles of the earth, or the perfect moment to consume a fruit or vegetable. Season gives balance, flavor, a richness to things when properly applied. Season, and its related forms, can bring to mind a hint of a flavor, a powerful storm, the aging of fine wood, the smiling face of a wise old mentor, or the face of a storied warrior. Seasoning is how we become.

This word will serve me well, I believe. There are some areas of my life and my developed personal philosophy that have come to fullness. There will always be more to learn, but I feel settled in the direction that learning should take me. Let’s say I have found a distant star and know that it exists. Now I wish to know all about that star, what it is made of, when it was born, when it will die, and what depends on its existence. There are always amazing things to learn even if you feel settled in the path from which you explore them.

I’m not sure I can claim maturity in the full sense of the word. Yes, I am more mellow and more understanding than when I was younger. I am better at leaving well enough alone and at walking away when I believe my presence will cause more harm than good. However, I’m also rather uncompromising when it comes to core values. There are actions my heart has no room for and if people try to convince me there is no solution, then I believe we are looking at the problem incorrectly. There is a solution, but to find it we must first be willing to understand all aspects, all points of view. We need to look deeper to better understand while acknowledging that we are not the metric by which the whole world must be measured.

Consequently, in this coming year, I want to remind myself of the investment in time and knowledge required to mature to fullness; and that it can be a rocky road. I want to find the knee-jerk in my mind and mellow it a bit more so that I am able to frame alternatives in the manner needed for the audience. I want to work on the rough edges of my personality and learn to be a bit more tolerant of the perceived foibles of others. I want to season my presence in the world.

There is one other aspect of “seasoned” that resonates with me. Not only does season refer to experience or flavor, it also refers to cycles and timeliness. This, too, is a critical piece of any decision or goal. Is it time? Is it time for here, but not there? Sometimes we are in such a hurry to make sure our thoughts, our goals, our beliefs are known, that we miss the perfect moment for reception. Communication does not occur unless there is a confirmed receipt of the message. I want to be more mindful of the time and place for sharing. I want to hone my skills like those of a surfer that knows the moment to accept the wave. I want to be more aware of when the piece I have to share will do the most good. My door is always open, I want to get better at knowing when to start the tea.

There are many songs that speak to my heart when it comes to finding the better way, or to reminding me that even the smallest of contributions can make a difference. Recently, I have been reminded of this one. Somewhere in the vast ocean there are many small boats sending big waves, and with one match…

boat-clouds-cloudy-611328

Photo by Matheus Guimarães from Pexels

Fight Song – Dave Bassett / Rachel Platten
Fight Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Losing friends and I’m chasing sleep
Everybody’s worried about me
In too deep
Say I’m in too deep (in too deep)
And it’s been two years I miss my home
But there’s a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believe

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

1 Comment

Filed under General Comments, Personal Journeys

An Interview ~ With Etta Jean on Chronicles of Summer

summerFrequently in the Alcove, we take the time to wander off into the world of fiction to see what the process of telling a tale does to enlighten the many facets of learning, thinking, exploring the universe.  Both the one we find within and the one we find without. A fundamental question in the quest relates to creativity.  Who does, what is it, how does it contribute to the history and future of the universe and to us as human beings.  From our most ancient legends and faiths, we hear that we were created in the image of one of more gods. That what sets us apart from all other life on this planet is the ability, the skill, the imagination to create.

One of my new friends from the world of writing and publishing is Etta Jean. Other than being a just plan delightful person to know, I find her artistic eye fascinating.  She will be releasing Chronicle of Summer, the second volume in her series this month.  I wanted to know how the heart and eye of the artist impacted her writing, her characters, and special kind of storytelling.  Here is Etta Jean on Chronicle of Summer, due out on Amazon on February 14, 2014.  (Such symmetry in that date; that should mean something very special)!

Etta Jean:

The ability to create is something that is deeply treasured by me. I’m the person who has to be careful trying new outlets because I’m sure to love it enough to want to keep doing it, and I have too much on my plate already. (There are only so many hours in a day.) That longing to create, I think, is something that often sloughs over into most any character I write. In SUMMER alone, there are three master artisans and there are others who are mentioned to love art as well.

Kelsey. Well, what can I say about Kelsey? She is a Master Weaponsmith who creates weapons so beautiful that they are works of art. She’ll stand over a forge for hours upon hours until she is satisfied, and like her surrogate brothers, she often forgets about time entirely. To me, the creation of weapons—despite their eventual use for bloody acts—is still an art. If you research old-school smithing techniques online, you will see people who have dedicated their entire lives to learning what machines cannot do—and that is an art.

C.J. is a weaver, and unlike his brethren in SUMMER, his power is only of the arts. Where Kelsey can use her fire to forge or fight, C.J. at best can create quakes to disrupt balance. Where he truly shines is when he takes sand into his hands and weaves clothworks of color and light. Blankets that keep a family warm. Tapestries so stunning they hang in a palace. His art is how he shares his heart with others when he simply can’t bear a city comfortably in person.

Roman is the most like me, I think. His art is not his career; he is a farmer who runs a windmill. Instead, he uses his art as an escape from the mundane. He etches glass with lightning to bring the tiniest details to brilliant life. He wakes in the morning and goes to his mill and then he returns to craft. It is his sanctuary.

That isn’t to say their artistic side has their downfalls. Poor C.J. is left without defenses short of throwing cloth at people, and Roman’s temperamental nature means he isn’t a happy Air Chronicle when one of his works gets smashed. Kelsey gets herself into the stickiest mess of all when her skills have her working for the Militia right as everything is going to hell. Their ability to create makes them, I think, more real, and it has a way to reach out universally so that a human on Earth can look at these Chronicles on another world and think ‘I get you. I know how you feel.’

Art is the great communicator in the end.

Bio:

Etta Jean was born in Sacramento, California and destined from birth to be a bard. She told tall tales while devouring the creative worlds of others until she finally had to create her own. She has seen both good and evil in her life, and her stories, like life, have no half measures. Her happy endings never come without cost, though, for she truly believes we can’t appreciate the good and the joy without the bad and the pain along the way. Her current haunt is a comfy house in her beloved hometown where she wrangles three feline fur-kids while constantly overbooking her calendar. If she’s not chained to her desk, she’s stomping through the scenery in search of equally fantastical photographs.

Info:

CHRONICLE OF SUMMER will be available from Amazon on February 14, 2014. Etta’s Summer Fest blog tour continues through February, and there are prizes to be won by commenting on the stops along the way.

CHRONICLE OF DESTINY, the original Chronicle tale, can be purchased from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Chronicle-Destiny-Book/dp/1940938104/

Stop by and check out her fascinating website. www.ettajeanfantasy.com

 

8 Comments

Filed under Humanties for the Unbound Mind, My Bookshelf ~ Fiction