A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one’s life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted. ~ George Santayana
What I see
I look upon the shore of life and witness things that have come and gone, watching the ripples of waves of my past and the things I’ve seen, done and whether I will continue the path I set three years ago.
I know that writing, my family, my friends and music are a part of what I see. I glance backward at things once in a while, like yesterday’s post and see things that have been done to me, I know that they were wrong, I know that Jared was wrong. I know things I’ve done in my life I wish I could take back. We all have these things we see with our eyes looking backward.
It is this looking backward that will stop us in our tracks. We can’t look back at who we were then and say we would have done this or that. It’s over, done. It’s nice to think those things, but in the end it’s in the past and that’s where it should stay. You’re looking backward will keep you looking that way. We don’t walk backward, we walk forward. Keep your eyes front, keep your head up and walk forward with determined steps.
It is only with those determined steps that we can make progress and push through things like our past. It is how I pushed through everything that happened to me at that school.
I’m thirty-five now, I stopped walking backward a few years ago.
What We Hear & Say
With every journey in life there are things we say and things we wish we hadn’t said. We can’t take them back, they are out there. We can only learn from them, just as we learn from the lyrics of music. When I hear a song, really hear it, that is the first time I fall in love with it.
There are many things that may happen along the way to hearing the song. It may be on the radio a few times, my kids may like it. Something like that. I will look up the lyrics. It is in the lyrics, not the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards that the real music lies.
The lyrics are the soul, the instruments are the body that carries the soul. It is the lyricist that carries the song.
Since I started writing at fourteen, I was more into the lyrics than the instruments. I’ve written a few songs. But I can’t write music so they sit in the corner gathering dust.
Speech is one of our most valuable assets. Other animals have speech, but we are a social culture. If we cannot discuss things with others we are nothing.
Finding a balance of right speech and wrong speech is where we get in trouble, there is a difference.
Right speech: Complimenting someone, speaking truthfully, having trust in someone.
Wrong Speech: Lying, using racist or defamatory language.
What I Feel
I have felt things in the past three years that have been dormant for a long time. I don’t know why it took me this long to find them, but I’m glad I did. After finding my voice, what I want to write–every genre–I’ve discovered that feeling is more important than anything else. What I feel in the writing is better most of the time than what my outline says.
If I am writing and the outline says the character does one thing, but as I’m writing it feels better for something else to happen, I will break the outline. I don’t do it often, but when I do the story is better for it.
I’ve noticed the feeling is always better–at least with me–than the outline. Going with your feeling is always better than the outline.
What I Know
There are accidents in every journey, we all fall down at times. There are things that make us get up, as well as things that make us fall. It is getting over the falls and dealing with each as they come along that has helped me.
I know that I have had to give up on people because they gave up on me.
I know there are people that look up to me. They may not make themselves known, but I know they’re there.
I see things for what they are, I don’t judge people as much as I used to. I don’t care what people think of me personally or my writing. I now understand how to take a critique and what the difference is between a good critique and a bad critique.
I trust more people with my thoughts than I used to. I still don’t trust many people with my writing, but I think that is normal.
Life comes at you when you least expect it. It happens in ways that are sometimes for good, and sometimes not. There’s nothing you can do but learn to ride the waves as they come in and wait for the next one. I have a new surfboard and am learning to ride!
I’ve learned a lot about myself since I started writing again. I know this year is a big year for me, and that I have a lot to do. There are many things I want to happen this year, but they won’t happen without doing the the four things I listed. I never see things for what they are not anymore, only for what they are. Things are not done, I still have a lot to do. I’m walking forward, listening, speaking, feeling and knowing.
*Photo and Video Credits: Picture one is my son’s- taken on Fisherman’s Wharf in S.F. last April, The Video is Mumford and Sons Live – Thistle and Weeds, Buddha Statue with Roses – Buddhasai, Know Thyself – reinfected from DeviantART, the last is mine taken with my iPhone using instagram.