Missing you

By way of a tentative re-entry into the blogosphere, I share this poem I wrote a couple or several years ago. Wrong season, slightly off-kilter sentiment for a “hey, I’m back” greeting, but why would I let that stop me? Sometimes you just have to say something, right? Consider this a versical throat-clearing prior to the full-on bloggification to follow.

Missing you

Summer slides by,
Blue skies and buttery days.
I remember when the sun wasn’t
An enemy,
When we lay under a canopy of oak leaves,
Faces freckled with light,
And ignored the future.

The spinny wheel of affirmation

One of my work colleagues has a little pretty little box, and in that box she keeps a bunch of one-word affirmation cards. Every once in a while she’ll make a tour of the office and get each of us to reach in and pick a card.

My current card is “Gratitude” and I keep it propped up at the foot of my monitor to remind me that even when things go wonky there is so much in life for which I can be grateful. It’s a reminder I need quite frequently these days, as it happens, just as its predecessor “Creativity” was a reminder I needed at that time. I find it fascinating that whenever my colleague stops by with her box of cards, I always manage to pick the card I need at that particular juncture of my life.

The other day I stumbled across a blog whose author was talking about choosing a one word affirmation for the year. He’d chosen the word was “Focus.”  I could use some of that, for sure, but honestly, I don’t see myself sticking with just one word for the entire year, however fine that solitary word might be and however much my wayward mind might benefit from the discipline of that one word. I guess I’m just fickle that way.

How about, I said to myself, a word a week? I could do that. Sure I could. I have at least that much discipline. What I don’t have, however, is a pretty little box of affirmation cards, so instead, I Googled myself over to Wheel Decide (thank you again, dear Google, for providing) and built myself a handy dandy Weekly Word Wheel. Now I can avail myself of a one-word affirmation to guide me through the wackiness of each and every week. Or, if I’m feeling super bold and the week is promising to be super horrendous, I can spin the wheel twice and have two words to guide me.

Go ahead. Give the wheel a spin and see what it spits out for you. It’s given me “Imagination.” Yep. I can work with that.

X is for balance. No, really.

This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”

X is a nice, reassuring letter, isn’t? Discerning–you can’t make any old word with X, no, indeed. Both feet planted firmly on the ground, both arms raised to greet you with joy and celebration. None of the other letters are ever quite so happy to see me coming. I’m not saying they don’t have their own delightful qualities; I’m just saying that X is pretty special.

Another thing about X is how well-balanced it is. I, T and Y have a pleasing symmetry too, but you don’t get that satisfying feeling of solidity from them as they perch on their pedestals. A strong wind, you feel, might tip them right over. This is even more of an issue with wobbly old V.

There’s always A, but I don’t know. That pointy head smacks ever so slightly of aggression, which is also true of M, I’m afraid, and W with it’s points reversed. You’ll be saying, hey, what about H? Now there’s balance for you. And solidity. True, very true. But there’s something a bit too solid about H’s balance. It’s stolid, isn’t it? A bit too…I don’t know. Uninventive, perhaps. Unwelcoming, even. You get the feeling that H could take or leave you, doesn’t really care whether you show up at the alphabetory gathering or not.

No, X is the clear frontrunner when it comes to balance. And if you’re looking for balance, acceptance, and unfettered joie de vivre, X is your letter.

The only problem with X is that there just isn’t enough of it to go around. We only have to look to the headlines to know that our world, our countries, our cities are clearly out of alignment. War, genocide, rape, torture, police brutality, gang murders, people living in the direst of poverty while others send iPads to their wedding guests in lieu of invitations, teens bullying teens to death, both sides in every “armed conflict” slaughtering civilians like they’re so many bubbles in a Pop-It game, atrocity upon atrocity, hate upon hate.

So, yes. More X, please. Anytime now would be good. Both feet on the ground, arms up and open in celebration, acceptance and awareness. More of that.

I leave you with just one interwebby wonderment today: this short animated film, Balance, by twin brothers Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein.

Listy linky goodness — the interwebs provide!

This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”

Are you a listophile? Do you have trouble making decisions without first jotting down a list of pros and cons for each possibility? Do you make lists to decide what gifts to buy your friends and family? About the books you want to read and the movies you want to watch? About how to organize your day, your vacation, the next twenty years of your life? Do you make lists about the things you need to make lists about?

List addiction, people. It’s a thing. And this, I’m afraid, is an enabling post, full of fodder to feed your listy obsession. That’s just the kind of friend I am.

I tend to be a pen and paper list-maker, especially when I’m doing a solitary brainstorm, but I do have an online tool that I kind of love. Wunderlist is an amazing little app that allows me to create and add to lists from any of my devices and to share my lists with others. It’s available for Apple products, Android, Windows, and even Kindle. And it’s free, which is kind of my favourite price point.

That’s pretty much all I need for my list-making exploits, but Mashable has a list of 40 Great Resources for Making Lists. That’s right. 40. Just in case the first thirty-nine don’t quite do the trick.

Listomania isn’t just about the lists we make ourselves, though, is it? No, of course not. It’s about the appreciation of listifying in general. The problem our dear pal the internet is that it is a fertile breeding ground for lists of every description. The 20 best, the 15 most important, the 14 stupidest, the 10 ugliest, the 64 smelliest–our interwebs are awash in lists, lists, and a bazillion more lists.

How’s a person to sort through all that chaff to find the wheat? (Or, if you’re gluten free, the husk from the quinoa?) Well, let me help. I’m sure there are many other awesomely awesome list repositories out there, but this post is already running long, so I will just share two.

1. The Encyclopedia Britannica has a whole section devoted to lists.

If that’s not enough of the listy fantastic for you, you’re going to want to click on over to Listverse and check out their drool-worthy list collection. They describe their site as “a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge…You will always leave Listverse smarter than when you arrived. Guaranteed.”

Well, I don’t know if I leave smarter after a visit, but I certainly leave with a great whack more happy-making trivia jostling for space in my brain. Their lists ranges across multiple disciplines, capturing the fascinating, the silly, the whimsical, the smart-making (guaranteed!), and the grossifying. Here’s a tiny sample for your perusing pleasure:

And that’s it, my friends. Go forth and list it up! Feel free to adorn the comments with listy goodness. Or just grab a Sharpie and listify the nearest wall.