Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

brain1A lot of chatter out there recently about Led Zeppelin being sued for stealing the intro to Stairway to heaven from a 1960s band called Spirit. Lots of “experts” weighing in on just how stolen the piece may or may not have been, delving into the nitty gritty of note by note comparison of the melody, chord progressions, minor this and minor that and so on. With a somewhat consensus that it is certainly similar, who knows what the legal system will do with it. Only Jimmy Page knows what was going through his mind when he wrote it.

What we do know is that art is always re-inventing itself. We stand on the shoulders of giants. That’s how we see father than before. Sometimes we stand on things that are not really that tall. It’s the same thing. Just that no one really notices me standing on a sheet of paper when someone else is standing on a house. We are all standing on something.

We are all influenced consciously or subconsciously by the environment and stimuli we expose ourselves to. Our minds eat up the input it and process it and are changed because of it. I suppose that’s why some say that creativity comes from without, it’s the remaking of the all our ingested stimuli.

So creativity just happens then? Well, I suppose at a basic level this process is always occurring. Though I suspect we think of it as creativity when we intentionally ingest new stimuli to see what our mind will do with it and then try to capture that in an outward expression in some way. Sounds rather counter-intuitive that creativity in the end is very intentional. Sounds so romantic when you put that way. Well, don’t let that deter you. Go forth and create.

Now blatantly stealing is something totally different. Don’t go there.

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Mirror Me Not

mirror1I looked into the mirror and saw you.
You are not me.
I have not become my friend.
I have not become my enemy.
I have certainly not become you,
Whoever you are.

This is not Dorian Gray’s mirror.
I am certainly not younger than I seem.
You are certainly not older than I seem.
But your stare is penetrating and cold.
Will I look that way when I get old?

This is not the mirror, mirror on the wall.
I am not the fairest in the land.
And don’t care who is at all.
Have you come to warn me of an impending fall?

Yet you seem familiar.
Are you an amalgamation of mes?
Who I was, who I am, who I will be?
You seem familiar but you are not me.

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Musings on Boiling Broth

broth1The broth inches toward a boil.
Tendrils of liquid fat swirl around,
Sharks in a whirlpooling frenzy.
Circling, Diving, Reappearing.

A watched pot never boils.
But I don’t care if it roils.
I’m watching the motion.
Watching the self-organization.
Its never-ending reinvention.

But through its toil it will boil.
The hypnotizing churn will give way.
Mounded, rounded bubbling will
Begin its own interpretation.

The tendrils of liquid fat have dissolved.
They have become one with the roil.
I turn the burner off.
I choose to go back to the churn.

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Spiders Amongst Us

spider1aUnseasonably warm fall days make for a wonderful precursor to the coming winter. You feel as if you are out of time or space with the sun low on the horizon and the temperatures high on the thermometer. And with the warm temperatures come a longer growing season. The peppers in my garden are still thriving after a rough summer.

Unfortunately, plants aren’t the only things that thrive during warmer weather. So do cold-blooded creatures, especially cold blooded creatures like spiders. In fact I hear there is a spider lobbying group working hard to discredit the climate changers who want to slow down the global warming. Issues with the ozone layers are nothing compared to the spider invasion that could occur. I hear Al Gore and Michael Moore are teaming up to do a documentary on the political influencing of the spider cartel. I sense a web of deceits will be spun in this one.

I’ve already seen signs of the spider apocalypse. Just this morning a crafty spider was hiding in my coffee cup. Good thing I was somewhat awake because I don’t usually check for those things. Choking down a breakfast spider would’ve been a rough start to the morning.

Not convinced. Yesterday I was painting the trim on the back door. Spiders were coming out of the woodwork like I was having a sale on dead flies. I tried to ignore them but I’m sure more than one died the painful suffocation by enamel paint death.

Not convinced. The other day I was getting in my car and the passenger side seat was enveloped in a huge spider web with Charlotte herself sitting in the middle waiting for me. Thank goodness I didn’t have a passenger. They would have been a goner for sure.

I don’t usually kill spiders. They do such a good job eating much worse critters. But at some point I am going to have to put up the “No Vacancy for Spiders” sign unless they agree to ink a contract that specifies they take out the noisy crickets first. Those meddlesome crickets are cold-blooded as well so this won’t be an easy task for the spiders.

Aren’t dinosaurs cold-blooded creatures?

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Without Doubt

question1aI lack doubt. It might seem strange to just blurt this out but I don‘t inherently doubt. Once I started to think about that this lack of doubt it began to pop up everywhere.

I tend to believe in the things I am hearing or seeing. Now I’m not talking about blind acceptance. My rational mind is adept at telling me if things don’t add up. It has to make sense.

Lack of doubt isn’t trust either. While I can suspend doubt, trust must be earned. Trust comes from experience. Trust comes from knowing you well enough to believe that you will act in accordance with who you are. I trust that in a given situation you will act in a certain way. It’s not a moral judgment. Your action in the situation might be favorable to me or it may not and thus I can make a choice. That’s where doubt comes into play. If I have confidence in my evaluation of trust then I don’t have doubt.

Maybe that’s where the phrase “benefit of the doubt” comes into play. I am choosing not to doubt even though my confidence in my trust tells me I should. Or I just don’t have enough information to process. Either way I suspect it is a gamble. I tend to gamble too much.

The place where I think this lack of doubt comes most into play for me is in the area of self-doubt. I don’t have much self-doubt. As long as my thoughts or plans or actions make sense I don’t doubt them. I extend that same lack of doubt to myself that I do to others. That just makes sense to me.

Now not surprisingly this lack of self-doubt has positives and negatives.

The positives. I can just make decisions and move on them. Not a lot of over analysis or fear of failure. Because who’s going to fail? Not me. Of course, failures do occur for whatever reason. You just make adjustments and move on. I can work with that. It’s better to get it right than be right.

The negatives. People view this lack of self-doubt as arrogance or being cocky. I assure you it is not. But if I’m dealing with people who have strong self-doubt, this can be an understandable perception. I apologize to those who feel this way.

Though I must admit that my Achilles heel is when people doubt me just to doubt (or at least that’s the way I see it). I get when people question assumptions or facts or logic. But just this expression of vague doubt that the plan will work, gets under my skin. I know I shouldn’t let it. I should better understand this expression of doubt. I should strive to calmly dispel the doubt. Because I want there to be trust and trust won’t build if I bristle at the doubt. I need to work on this.

But I think my failure goes back to my lack of doubt. I don’t doubt myself, I don’t inherently doubt you and I guess I expect you to not inherently doubt me. Which I think ultimately points to the cause of this lack of doubt: naiveté. And who wants to be naïve? Not many people. Yet deep down I retain the naiveté of a child which fuels my lack of doubt which shapes who I am. And it’s naiveté that leads me to believe others will have the same lack of doubt. I’ve created a mess. No doubt about that.

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Through the Looking Glass: Embracing Dispersion


From Once More Unto the Change, I think this will appeal to you all.

Originally posted on Once More Unto the Change:

dispersion1Life is so scattered and overwhelming. So much going on inside the mind and outside in the real world. We spend so much time trying to get our hands around it all, trying to collect it and manage it.

We think we are jugglers who must continue to juggle more and more things. We think must hone our juggling skills to take on every new problem that comes along, become virtuoso jugglers to cope with the world.

We invent new technologies to help us juggle more and more. We become tour de forces of juggling. We become multitasking, juggling maniacs. We get really good at it. The complexity of it all.

Except isn’t that really bad? I know dealing with complexity seems so much more impressive to others than dealing with the simplified. Yet we expend so much energy juggling we hardly have any left for the task and objects…

View original 365 more words

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The Devil is in the Ice Cream

lamp2Despite the chill in the air
Silky, smooth rivulets of cream
Slide between my fingers that
Clutch the sugar cone.
My palm feels the ticklish, sticky
Drip, drip onto my shirt, my shoes
The unappreciative cold sidewalk.
My eyes moisten at the loss.

In heaven, my ice cream cone
Won’t meltingly flee before my
Helpless tongue can consume its
Soul-nourishing frozen manna.

And hell? The only fear of hell
That keeps me good and true:
In hell, there will be no enjoying
Ice cream.

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