medicine of the ears

Attitudes are Contagious

Yesterday I was reading my feed, and I came upon two bloggers that were struggling with Trolls.  I’d like to contribute to their momentum, by encouraging them to keep on keeping on, regardless of haters.  670I hope this can help WordPress remain a safe place for them to share their thoughts, and I fully encourage anybody who wants to help me do so.

TK & HFCT, only let the people into your garden that won’t step on the flowers.  I see how much effort you share with the world on your blogs, appreciate the courage that it takes for you to write as you do, and it pissed me off that you’re getting negative feedback.

Ouch!  I just got a message from TK, and it was pretty embarrassing.  I had to look up “IRL” to understand why I was anxious…..and now I’m just disgusted!!  Its only happened to me twice that I know of, but the insidiousness of feeling hunted in real life is ugly, and the perpetrator of it deserves a rock upside the head as far as I’m concerned.  Sorry gal.  That’s toxic.









A Corked Letter


Dear Carpenter,

While looking at this patio roof, I couldn’t help but realize, that you will be fixing the wood we put up, when it rots.  Thank you for catching it in time, and preserving the piece.

Please keep in mind that the previous artist who built this home had a personality like mine, and that our adaptation to his creation, was a reflection of how he built his home(with art).

If you find yourself doubting our skills and tradecraft, realize it was good enough at the time, and that the location of this letter was determined by the worst spot on the project.  I took it down and did my best to not improve it, when I hid this here.

When you begin to cuss us for our angles and complicated frame-work, please keep in mind that the customer loved that it looked like a spider web, and we cussed our way through a day of figuring out how to put the thing up, because she wanted it that way.

Additionally, if you are wondering why the thing wasn’t painted, well, you can thank the customer for that too.  She was smart enough to invest in cedar wood, and doesn’t like to paint.

Since I am neither a framer, or a roofer, and would rather be learning how to work with rock, I’m sorry if the repairs are difficult.


Benjamin 0

P.S.  Is there a large stone as the first step, at the bottom of the staircase?  Did you use it to find this note?  Cool.  Maybe you should try playing with rocks too.  Sorry about the nails, we have an ongoing love affair with fasteners.  When in doubt overbuild it, and nail the shit out of it, right?


Blogging For Tears

There’s medicine in the sadness, it shines from the curl of tears on cheeks, and the crust of too many that build up.

I miss the peal of her laughter into the night, her body out the window of the car, as she screamed into the sky with the pleasure of knowing it would end soon. She’s gone now along with my hope to be with her forever. The x on the calendar came and went, in blood stains on a tub, and an email of thanks to me.

He brought me happiness in his angers. It shined with passionate release, and the things in his path were music. He made it with fury in a mesmerizing pound of rhythm, from his spirit. The altar I made for him is gone now, somebody stripped it down to burn. White lightning in the alley.

I think about him at times. He’s like me, a kid with too much feeling. He can’t shut it off. He’s curious and misses his father who died the same way. He will never be domesticated, he’s got the itch of too much mountain air for that. I hope his survival becomes more joy than pain.

What a man! He made me feel like a mountain of a worker as a kid. I never doubted the danger of our friendship, I relished in the deliciousness of somebody who cared to be good, and had the courage to be wilder. I wasn’t surprised when he left the earth, just wistful. I miss his laughter, his admiration for my spirit, and the feeling it gave me to return it.

My adoration for these people will get me in the end. I caught the fever of the road, the pitch of the boat, and the trail of happiness, in not fitting in long ago. They have pain you can taste, that builds into the burst of their lives.

Their stories are bizarre and comforting, in the extremes I know as truth. I find it in their lack of ability to conform, and the glee they hold onto so fiercely. If I doubt them, I begin to anticipate the whisper of a knife. They look me in the eye with danger, and thank me for the honor and respect that was shown, and then dance into the night.

When they grace me with a tear, I can see it bled from their soul. Their look of surprise turning into recognition, becomes our friendship. After that our union becomes palpable, and I beg them to edit their words for me. I hold onto the moment with them, as it consumes me with purpose, and I’m thankful for the secrets I won’t know.

What shines through the filter of my desire to not be a witness at their trial, are things like, “I don’t know what intimacy is.”, or “My father is in prison, and my husband was chopped into pieces in the alley.” What do you do with that? Hold your judgements for the actions, not the results of past actions. People are not what they did yesterday. They have a moment in time to share, and its gone.

The art I love most comes from people who have the courage to preserve a chance, to witness these tragedies. They aren’t stuck on a vanity streak. They look to the outside of a person, and see the trail of pain painted on their social status, and embrace the inside of that person with a question to themselves. The cost is compassion. The reward is love, and a conscience that can sleep, in a bed of art.

My friends in low places tend to die faster, but they also know how to live. If you ever get the chance to sit on a curb with somebody and hear them out, they might lie or steal from you until you learn how to do it right, but you know what? You’ll get to enjoy tears that aren’t your own, and those tears are some of the best medicine.

People on the street look out for each other. Be one. A person on the street. Humanity is the transcendence of animal nature. That to me is taking the “fight or flight” urge, and turning it into the mercy of patient kindness. If you look out for the people on the street, they remember.

Are you curious about what goes down in your neighborhood? The best neighborhood watch is done by the guy in front of the store asking for change. If he’s there every day, it may be that he’s allowed to be there, because he is actually a priceless member of your community. Give him a cigarette and listen to his story, as the next time you see him, he may just smile.

An update to this post on the following morning:

Some people choose to wear rose colored glasses, but the dust of the world builds up, and their view becomes dim. I admire the way that Dennis uses his blog to reach out and clean the lenses of them with his efforts, as a radio of the street. His latest post inspired the flow of my thoughts for this article, and following up my last post of “Blogging Makes Laughter” with this one is fitting, as the joy in embracing the less fortunate, can be seen in between the lines of his stories.

Blogging Makes Laughter

Releasing my thoughts and feelings in a free flow in the hope of making the world a better place, and finding encouragement as I do, is rewarding me with laughter.  Wouldn’t it be great if we had an economy based on laughter?  What if the goal of making money was to laugh?  The ones who laughed the hardest could be the richest, and you know what I think?  I think they’d probably share the money to promote somebody else laughing.  I pledge to you, that if you donate a dollar to my blog, I will find somebody with a need, and find a way to make them laugh with the dollar.  Heck.  I’d pay them a dollar for the laugh, and take a picture of them laughing for you to see what your investment did.  That seems accountable.  Whatever.  I’m gonna have to pay somebody for a laugh whether you give me money for my writing or not.  I’ll post the picture at some point….because work can be play with a little shift of imagination. 

Thanks TK and Marina for liking my post about character development.  I read back through it after you clicked there, and laughed.   I have to admit I did a little bit of good-natured trolling earlier, so I’m in a pretty good mood, and I did just finish a beer, but whatever.  Goodnight.  🙂   

Oops. I just got caught spreading smiles on Facebook with a like notification here. Thought I’d come back and add in this link for his SEO, because he liked my post, and has a harmonic reason for being here. 🙂

This article is starting to get out of hand, and I like losing control of my laughter, so I’m going to keep putting links for the people who encourage it with their attitudes of pleasure. Thanks for the chuckle Otrazhenie.

It was great to read this post from Brad after writing the last paragraph, because his article supported it in a way that didn’t bring me laughter, but made me want to ask; is blogging a symbiotic relationship? This post, his like, my link, and his article…with my like…. 🙂 After further review, I’m finding that he has a menu item dedicated to humor, so if you want a laugh, I’m sure you’ll find one free here.

Perfect timing Erik. I enjoy reading your smoky love poems and the presentation of your writing is top notch! I wish I had the talents to make the face of my blog as aesthetically pleasing as yours. Thanks for letting me know you were here and liked this post. My reference in the first paragraph to jolly trolling, was your article here, so it won’t hurt my feelings if you never take it out of moderation. It was interesting to read your “about” page while researching for this link placement, I hope your book series brings you happiness and prosperity, now I see why we enjoy each others craft. I found this link in your “just for fun” category, and it gave me a medicinal grin. 🙂

Defining the Character Types In a Story

What is somebody’s disposition, and how does it change?

I was having a conversation last night with a fellow writer, and in walks his roommate. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t know we were working on becoming co-writers of a book. Additionally I failed to communicate properly, which if you read my blog you know that I’m a bit socially retarded, so it wasn’t a surprise.

We were discussing how to judge people properly, and that pride with greed go together depending on personality types. The judgement angle might have been what turned him around, but I didn’t know so I tried my best to help him understand where I was coming from by saying, “I like you, but if I was going to write you into a book, I’d judge you with my best attempt at objectivity.”

Maybe he didn’t like the idea of being the object of my judgement, as I started in on his lifestyle and what I could look at to define him. I probably should have let him debate the idea of becoming a character in a book, before launching into verbally writing it in a brainstorm, and I felt bad that he left in a hurry seeking water.

This moment was a beautiful example of why I love this place to write. People here enjoy the peace of mind found in sharing perceptions that build each other up, and I found that same feeling when I shared with my co-author. He’s a blogger too, which probably helps him receive constructive criticism, and we laughed together about this, which to me solidified our collective effort to define personalities.

My first attempt to formally develop character types for fiction:

From role-playing games when I was a kid, I remember the process of developing a character to play. We’d roll a ten-sided-die twice and choose from a scale of dispositions:

Diabolical(100-81), Aberrant(80-61), Anarchist(60-41), Scrupulous(40-21), and Altruist(20-0)

The scale was an interesting way to approach personality, and I found that the higher or lower you picked, the less flexibility of choice you had to get “playing in character bonuses”. My favorite “experience points” to earn(this is how you gained character strength), were called “deductive reasoning and or insight”. This is why I love to put question marks where they don’t belong?

The funny thing to me about intelligence, is that it fits into this paradigm for me. In my experience the smartest and least intelligent experiences I’ve had, shrink my options towards contentment. The closer I get to accepting I’m not better or worse, the happier I am.

Editing this now for the sake of grace(I am talking about judgement here, so please take a deep breath and recognize that to me it’s synonymous with definition, and I prefer the thesaurus), I’m realizing that maybe this is why my philosophical approach to imagination is getting me into trouble with people’s comfort zones.

Maybe most people want a clearly defined sentence. They want to know, and are not comfortable with a question mark on identity, because it might imply an unreliable narrator? Is this why I’m pursuing the goal of promoting imagination in education?  Is teaching and learning how to think more important to me, than finding the answers?  In my experience learning how to judge myself more gracefully, builds my self-esteem, mental health,  and confidence.

From an oblique spiritual perspective(non-religious/scientific/creative) I would say that the scale fits gradients of selfishness, as the lowest numbers would be most generous. Pride and shame would be higher while humble would be lower. Hate would be high, while love and compassion would be lower. Nihilism would be highest followed by Materialism, Pragmatism, Utilitarianism, and finally Spiritualism?

Since this is all theory, let’s put it to a test. I’m seeking to help another writer and myself, which would imply a combination of selfish and generous within the gospel of Pragmatism and Utilitarianism, as a teacher/student. I’m concerned that sharing these perceptions with pride wouldn’t help my creative juices, so I’m doing my best to remain objective and humble, as identity is part of well-being, and I hope to maintain my spiritual health. How can I remain objective? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. There. I feel better.

Since I’m talking about character class, I’ve worked myself up to socioeconomic status. What does money do for me? It gives me power in materialism, and allows me to get what I want in selfish ways easier. At the same time it allows me to be generous, so its a matter of choice.  What does lack of money do for me? It makes me wish I was a saint. Most of us are somewhere in between having no money, and having too much.

Since books and life in general consistently have heroes vs villains, and most people compare themselves to these polarized opposites when they question identity, I better address it for the sake of character type definition. It comes down to personal perceptions of good vs evil.

The things that I consistently battle with in my goals towards imaginative thought, are the cultural constructs around perceptions of work and play. Is working in your mind as valuable as working with your body? If what you produce is immaterial like this article, is it justifiable as work? If I love doing it and see it as play, can it still be work in your mind?  If I don’t make money at it, will you call me a professional volunteer, a fool, crazy, or eccentric?

Buckminister Fuller helps me feel good about this dilemma with an idea I love to share:
“I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing–a noun. I seem to be a verb.” On that note his quote about work brought me happiness the other day, when I was doubting my goals and identity as a blogger and scholar:

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

Since character development is such an important part of plot, think of this blog as my dream of how I can have a happy ending.  Each article is a moment in my process as a Student/Teacher/Blogger/Artist/Builder/Executive Director, and Friend who loves to write.  With each letter I type, and each thought I share, my understanding of this art grows.  I might get knocked down by a rule, and your encouragement helps me get back up, and attempt to figure out why.

Toys are tools, and work is play.  This is an instrument that does both.  If you are reading for the first time on this blog, welcome to the definition of myself that will never change:  I am in flux and content to ask questions for the sake of TATWIP goals.  If you have questions or answers, feel free to give me some of your thoughts below.  Thanks for reading.