Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CNN Report of U.S. Poverty Level Rising

This is CNN's report on the current U. S. economic stats. Extreme wealthy enjoy more wealth while the middle-class and poor are pushed further into poverty.

This article states the hard truth

This article states the hard truth about the current downward spiral and ultimate downfall of the United States. There are some grammatical and sentence structure errors, but the overall information is quite exact in content. If you have the courage to read it, click on the link below.


Friday, September 2, 2011

I love this piece on booksellers

This was published in Shelf-awareness Pro today. I think it's a wonderful piece. I must admit that I, too, have often fantasized about how lovely it would be to be a bookseller. Enjoy!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Working through all the muck - breathing

I've been seriously wondering - questioning even - about how the internet affects our lives. Really. My vote is not in yet, but I'm giving it a good hard look.

For those of us who are giving life, in general, a good hard look, re-evaluating priorities and shifting our focus from what other people think is important to what truly matters to us, this is the natural thing to do. What really matters in life? For me, it's all about self-discovery, self-realization. Mostly, that involves some kind of true connection with others as well as with my own deeper being. Not about adding to my hits on any given website.

I've been fortunate to know, firsthand, several people who have been what our society refers to as "successful." That means having acquired money, acknowledgement/respect from their "peers," and the appearance of having a life of ease. But I wouldn't trade lives with any of them. Not one. I don't know one "successful" person who has what I desire. Inner freedom.

What do I mean by that? For me, true freedom is what I will call a spiritual reality, not a material one. It has nothing to do with your income, your appearances, or what other people think of you. In fact, it involves being completely detached from desiring or even noticing any of those things.

For example, I write stories and poems, songs and musical pieces, because of some deep inner desire to express a creative energy through those particular art forms. It isn't really about whether I get kudos or not. It's about the act of the channeling of that creative energy. Sharing the creation is important because it lets people into that proverbial sphere the art form expresses. But it's not the all-important reason for expressing the art form.

So much of material success involves dumb luck. A whole lot of hard, devoted work, yes. But also just plain dumb luck. Or maybe it's karma. Or some combination thereof. But, no matter what it is, much of material "success" seems to depend on circumstance as much as hard work. So, about that "dumb luck" aspect: If we can't control how our creative work is to be received by others, why worry over it? If we find that dumb luck (or karma, or whatever) is in our favor, fine. If it's not, also fine.

We have to be who we are. We can't be anyone else. (Everyone else is taken, right?) So, we keep on working in and with the creative processes that we do; writing, performing, whatever our creative expression is. Like breathing. The only real success to it is getting that oxygen into our systems. Circulating the blood. Experiencing what it is to be alive in this creative expression we call life.

So, back to "working through all the muck." The "muck," from my perspective, is the Great Lie that permeates every aspect of our culture that the work, in itself, is valueless. It only has value if/when the work makes money, impresses a lot of people (or "the right" people), and makes us look important, helps us to believe that we are important. Because, without "success," we're not important, right?

But I believe that Lie is the muck that keeps folks from pursuing creative expression. As a culture, we are focused on the wrong values. It's not what comes from the work, it's the work itself. The creative experience is what is most valuable.

So, I, like many other artists I know (and don't know), just keep putting one foot in front of the other, expressing the creative as best as we can, and offer our bit up. Sludging through the muck, one step at a time. Breathing.