Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Contemplation


MANW2017, Week 3

Wednesday, Week 3:

I fell down this week. I let the dark waters get in and drag me into a patch of Sargasso that did not want to let me go. It held me fast for quite some time until I realized that it was all in my mind.

It always has been.

The framework in how I was seeing my attempts was skewed. I was falling into the trap of comparison again. Where I am on my path is not the same place as you. It is not the same place as anyone else.

It is mine, alone.

Somewhere in the darkness, I came upon a brief realization that it does not matter how many fans I have. It does not matter if I gain or lose followers. It does not matter the count. Only the quality.

So, here I am after 18 days with only 10 days of work towards the movement. The point? I have 10 days of work out of 18. While technically failing in the terms of grades, I would still hold that 55% is better than 0%.

My path is mine alone. Others may join me for a time, but it is only because their path aligns with mine temporarily. It is up to me to keep pushing my bar and my envelope. No one is going to do this for me. I am deserved of nothing. I am owed no recognition of my efforts. That is not my goal in this movement.

These may not be your realizations or rallying cries. These are, however, mine.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Circa 1970's


Where I present proof-positive that I was once young and held a typical 1970's haircut. As far as I am told, this is the only photo in existence with all five of us together.

The original image was probably taken with a 35mm camera or a Polaroid. I'm honestly not sure which. It has been cut with scissors around the outline of my siblings heads and sofa. Apparently the wall pattern was ugly. I'm not sure as I don't remember sitting for the photo.

As I only have a digital copy of it, I've done my best to make it as close to what I think it should look like.

MANW2017, Week 2

Wednesday, Week 2:

This week, more of a groove seemed to be appearing. I pushed some words on a story that may or may not work out. I believe I’m going to need to sit down and take the time to plot it out. Right now, it’s a difficult push and feels a bit like I’m trying to breathing in jelly.

On Monday, I gathered up some poetry I had written last October. The plan is to push this out with not only the poetry but content based on that poetry. It’s an idea I’ve had for quite some time now. This particular project seems to be coming together a little bit better.

So far, so good.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Year of the Black Water Dragon






In the summer of the Year of the Black Water Dragon, I visited the Middle Kingdom.

I saw the vistas, smelled the air, ate the food, and became one with myself. I learned about ancient monuments and holy sages. I heard about Qin Shǐ Huángdì and the Silk Road. I learned how to walk into tombs with reverence and the magic of jade.

More than all of that, I learned what it was to be a guest in another country. It taught me humility and showed me my own hubris. I saw humble people willing to help a stranger. I saw miraculous technologies and wicked charlatans.

I lived in a back alley hutong in Beijing. I had a glorious hotel in Xi'an. I saw the Bund and the structures in Shànghǎi. I rode the bullet train and climbed the Great Wall at Bādálǐng. I ate street food and saw the night markets.

For a time, I was just one of the many billions of people in the Middle Kingdom. I was encompassed in history and art, in language and culture, in a maelstrom of confusion that led to a blissful existence. I had no worries, other than conversion rates, and learned to truly appreciate what it meant to live in the present.

The trip gave me many story seeds that are still percolating today. It moves me to seek out legends and how the philosophies and teachings could be brought into today's world. It fuels much of what I do.

It has made my gōng fu strong and has made my art stronger.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Making Time

Yesterday was hellacious.

There was a half day of work that was stacked and packed because two coworkers were out. My wife had oral surgery. We had dinner at a Vietnamese place with family.

All in all, I did not make the time to push words or make a picture.

I still want to participate in the challenge. I still want to bring what I can to the world. I know that I have worthy things to offer. The tough part is the dedication to the time it takes to reinforce the habit.

I’m not going to rake myself over the coals here. There are going to be times where I am not going to be physically, mentally, or emotionally available for the words. I may not have time to bring elements together for a picture. I may have just enough time to do what is needed to do before I collapse into slumber.

I did take some time to decompress though. I ran through some bits on HearthStone. I got my January card back with a timid little hunter. It took me a few hours to figure out that I was not going to succeed with the typical warrior who’s primary function seems to be in the talent of building up armor and smashing things. It wasn’t going to be with the mage either.

My card pool is a bit small to compete with many folks. I took a couple of years off from the game and I’ve got to grind pretty hard to get what I do as I’m not really willing to spend money on the game. There are other things that I’d rather invest in.

My son has been into the game for quite some time and is a minor celebrity along with his partners. Together, they host the 1600 Dust podcast.

They just released their 100th episode in regards to the game.

They push to make consistent art every month.