Off the Back of NaBloPoMo

Or as we Tiny Peppers like to call it, Nano Poblano.

Or, as I’ve been calling it lately (today), NaNo Problemo.

So, Day 30. Here I am, I took you on. I won. The only day-fail coming off the back of an ice skating accident and taking my friend to Emergency. Friday the 13th and all. But I caught you up.

IN YOUR FACE, November. IN. YOUR. FACE.

*ahem*

So, where am I at? What will this mean? Has it changed my life?

Meh. Huh? Maybe.

Time will tell. Today, I feel I will blog more often, which honestly, is a stupid thing to say because blogging more often than I did before NoBloPoMo won’t exactly be a stretch. But, irrespective of whether I do or don’t – I know I can. I’ve blogged every day for a month. WOOT! Two years ago I didn’t think I’d ever do that, the very thought would have made me vomit.

Not literally. Obviously.

I’ve been forced to rein in my self editor (who’s normally brutal). And I’ve been posting with mistakes. I been posting without twenty-million re-reads. Without relying on my husband’s proof-reading.

Congratulations to those who took on NaBloPoMo and/or Nano Poblano and won. And congratulation to those who gave NaBloPoMo and/or Nano Poblano a go. There are no losers. You’re all amazing.

And I wish to thank you. All those people who’ve found me here during my thirty day blogging frenzy with special thanks to those who’ve taken the time to leave a comment. I have found new friends here.

And thank you, Ra. You have no idea how much awesome you make.

Safety in Numbers

A list-post. One of my own invention.

“Things I have in unexpected quantities”

It’s not that I intend to collect things, but sometimes I find myself gravitating towards similar objects. They’re accidental collections. They are things I have many of and it’s, shall we say, unusual.

We’re not talking dinner sets here. Or napkins. Or chairs. Or bowls. Or cushions. Or socks. We are talking normal things at crazy, random levels.

Like these:

  • A bowl of billiard balls. Several sets of them, all together. I do not own a billiard table.
  • Dice. Many, many dice.
  • I lost count at 50+ dog ornaments. Keeping in mind, some of these are in miniature.
  • I also have similar levels of cat ornaments (some of these in miniature).
  • Ornaments (often animals, sometimes figures, sometimes vases).
  • Things in miniature (often animals, sometimes figures).
  • Pictures. My walls are covered in pictures. And I have places where many lean against walls where they hope to be placed. I am hopeful of this myself. I also have a staggering number of frames I intend to restore,  an equal number that require pictures and some that need glass.
  • String lights. I have four sets now. I seem to buy a set a year from a market as people clear their Christmas clutter and I make it.
  • Candle holders, like those you may associate with ol’ nimble Jack. I find their form aesthetic and who knows why. I don’t use them, but if there’s a blackout, I’m sorted.
  • 4 Bibles, 4 prayer books, 2 hymn books, 2 sets of rosary beads. It’s not that I’m especially religious, but I love objects with meaning. Those that are touched and loved and used.
  • Book ends. I love books, so perhaps this isn’t that strange.
  • Doll’s heads. I’ve never been into dolls, but seem to want to ‘help’ those missing pieces of themselves.
  • Salt and pepper shakers. Often kitsch in style. My aunt helped me to appreciate these quirky objects.
  • Old stationary objects like typewriters, inkwells, rubber stamps and propelling pencils. [Now, who thought for a moment, I was talking about things that don’t move?]
  • Things that are green. Seriously. My liking of objects can be entirely dependent upon this. I often have a conversation with my mum that goes along the lines of  ‘Oooh, I like that.”  and Mum’s all unsurprised, ‘Well, it’s green, isn’t it’.
  • I hoard sewing stuff and stationary and fabric. Because you just never know when it will come in handy. Some of it may be useful when I’m aged 93.
  • Glass domes.
  • Hour glasses.

Better stop. I keep thinking of things to add. I’ll probably think of another five more as I drop to sleep tonight.

Anything you have in crazy quantities?


nanopoblano2015darkDay 29 of Nano Poblano!

[That’s Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo]

One day left!

 

Truth of Lies

I’m feeling pensive.

As Nano Poblano draws to a close, I find myself looking back.  I used to write blogs and not post them. With Nano Poblano (or NaBloPoMo), I found myself ignoring my normal blog-filters and I wondered if there was one post which should have stayed in drafts. Sticks and Stones.

Over the last month, it was my most ‘silent’ post. Being the self-deprecating, panicking sort, I wondered if it was okay. I am alone in these thoughts? Did I offend people? Was I wrong to mention how I managed bullying at school? I don’t know.

This made me think about truth and lies and how sometimes they’re black and white and other times they’re grey.

In my post, the technique I used to survive bullying at school I related to an Aesop’s Fable. I went with the flow, I acted like I didn’t care, I played situations down. I acted like they didn’t happen.

I handle adult life in a similar way. I play the game. So long as I maintain my moral compass, I tend to be what people want me to be. It’s only when things I vehemently believe in are challenged and when that affects me, do I stand my ground. Everything else, I let go.

I play the game. A friend of mine says it’s not an honest game. I’m lying. By ignoring things that upset me, I’m pretending to be something I’m not.

She right, you know. It is dishonest in its own way.

But I’m me when it matters.

If you know me well, I’m me when I’m with you.

That’s the truth.


nanopoblano2015darkDay 28 of Nano Poblano!

[That’s Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo]

Two days left!!!!

 

Stay Tuned

It’s a short post this evening, it’s getting late and my day was full. I’ve just got back from a family dinner and now I’m full on the inside. Full and sleepy.

What to blog?

And that question led to thoughts on technology, and how it would be nice if I could treat this blog like early colour television for an evening.

PM5544_with_non-PAL_signals

Regularly scheduled programming will be back tomorrow.

Memory

It’s Day 25 of Nano Poblano (Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo) and I’ve drawn a blank. Fortunately Ra kindly left a prompt page for such occasions. Although they are list-prompts, I aimed to find one that inspired a non-list post.

“Things I have memorised”

I did drama at school and frequently joined school productions. I always felt safer playing someone else.

My school at one time, participated in a local drama competition. It was a big thing, and boy, did we rehearse. We rehearsed so much that one day, when one of the cast members was off sick, our drama teacher asked if anyone else could say the lines. We all raised our hands. We all knew the entire script. We recited it in unison, our teacher’s mouth dropped open before she said, ‘alright then!’

I wonder sometimes, if I’d still remember. If someone read me a line, I would remember the next?

I still remember some poetry. I gave up drama for more ‘sensible’ career choices but decided to memorise a few poems. The most impressive, was this one:

From Ulysses
Alfred Lord Tennyson
…Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

This is an excerpt, but I learnt the whole poem off by heart. Poetry played a huge part in my life at the time I decided to commit this to memory. The film, Dead Poets’ Society aided this – the main character reciting these very lines.

*Sigh*

O Captain! My Captain.

Also from my poetry days, and possibly from my badly rhymed poetry days, I became very adept with rhyme. If I had to rhyme ‘board’ for a poem, I could run through the alphabet (including nonsensical words) until I found something that might work. Aord, board, cord, dord, eord, ford, gord, hoard, iord, jord, kord, lord…

I studied piano as a child. It could not be said I was good, but I was diligent. Being as slow at reading sheet music as I was with the written word, I survived by memorising it. I called it hand-memory. Through dogged repetition, I remembered where my hands had to be to play the relevant notes. Of course, any mistakes would break the memory, I’d lose my place in the music and I’d panic beyond recovery. I still remember many of them, but I don’t practise much these day and my hands forget.

I’d describe the study of language here in Australia as lazy. My school experience isn’t perhaps the best example, but without commitment, the best you’ll come away with is the ability to count to ten in French, Japanese and German with ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ and ‘my name is …’ thrown into the equation. I still remember most of this.

What have you memorised?


nanopoblano2015darkDay 25 of Nano Poblano! That is, Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo.

We’re posting everyday in the month of November!

When I say ‘we’ I mean these awesome folk.

Sticks and Stones

I was always good at Playing the Game.

That’s what my mother called it. The art of moving among people, saying what needed to be said without being angry or offensive. I internalised emotions. I diffused situations with humour. I remained silent if necessary.

I recognised this at an early age.  I noticed some classmates lacked it. My own brother lacked it. Although he was older than me, there were times I came to his defence. Ever the diplomat, me.

One of my favourite of Aesop ‘s fables was The Oak and the Reeds. It’s not as well known as some of them, but it resonated with me. The tale of the old tree than grew with the reeds beside the river. The tree was proud of its strength and size but a great gust of wind tore up the oak from the ground.

The tree wept.

“I don’t understand it. How can something as frail and slender as a reed escape the anger of the wind, while a strong tree has been torn up by its roots?”

The reeds explain the moral of the story.

“Sometimes in  order to survive, it is better to give way.”

And this is how I played the game. I stuck to my opinions when they truly mattered and let everything else go. I decided who I respected and who I didn’t – and as to the latter – if I didn’t respect you, why would I about care what you said or thought?

I was so lucky to believe this. To believe this so strongly I left school without enemies and a small group of friends who stood with me.

Though, we are never unbroken.

My insecurities lie in my capabilities. My ability to write, for one. I suffer from anxiety and have developed a habit of surpressing how I feel. Sometimes, I surpress too much.

As an adult looking back, those who ‘broke’ me were adults and/or people I respected.

But.

But the beauty of being an adult is when looking back you realise we are all victims of our lives. We all (mostly) do not intend to sabotage the lives of others but do what we think is best at the time. Then to compound this there are personalities and how two people can take the same experience and interpret it a very different way.

Of course, bullies do intend to sabotage lives, they’ll probably never realise how much. They’ll probably never realise how broken they are themselves.

I was bullied at school but I was always lucky to be a reed.


So, I’ve just come from Ra, and she wrote this. It’s a whole heap of awesome, but this clip triggered these memories.


nanopoblano2015darkDay 24 of Nano Poblano! That is, Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo.

We’re posting everyday in the month of November!

When I say ‘we’ I mean these awesome folk.

 

Songs Without Music

I started writing poetry before I wrote it down. They were songs without music that I’d made up and they were relevant to me. I didn’t know it was poetry until school gave it a name.

My writing began with poetry – but you woudn’t know it here.

In hindsight, I see now that poetry was the coping mechanism of my youth. It helped me process heartache and conflicts within myself and sometimes within the world. As I began to feel more conrol over my life, poetry writing dwindled.

Lapse

I don’t write poetry much

Anymore.

A lapse in concentration

Or something

More permanent.

Ideas struggle to be polished.

Come like the rain and never go.

And I fear –

Go the like the rain and never come.

I was nineteen. Beside this poem in my scrap book, I wrote ‘Is this even a poem? I don’t even know what it means.’ I wrote two poems after it and nothing since. Well, nothing finished.

Eventually I realised, I was perhaps mourning the loss of something I no longer needed. However, some of my favourite poems I wrote in those last few years. Like this one.

Nothingness

Nothing is

     The empty inside a jar,

The answer

     To a rhetorical question,

The sound

     Of silence in a vacant room,

The light

     At the entrance of a tunnel.

Nothing is

     The hue opposing white,

The expression

     On a blank face,

The difference

     Between two things identical,

The impression

     That nothing is.


nanopoblano2015darkDay 23 of Nano Poblano! That is, Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo.

We’re posting everyday in the month of November!

When I say ‘we’ I mean these awesome folk.