Aug
17

Look into your heart — Don’t read the comments

Howling mad © Ellen Wade Beals

Hey there. I haven’t posted in a while. Chalk it up to personal issues and being down in the dumps about the state our our nation. What’s there to say that hasn’t already been said?

I talked with a wise friend the other day and she told me not to be depressed by what happened in Charlottesville but instead to think of it as a turning point. This is the time that it is clear to see what our current president stands for, and that even those who supported him are looking into their hearts and deciding if this man truly represents them and America. So I ask us all to look into our hearts.

Last Tuesday I went to Millennium Park for a free concert put on by Broadway in Chicago. It was restorative, at least that was how one passenger in my car felt. But then she read a unrelated local news story on her phone and read the comments that followed where snark prevailed. So I ask you not to read the comments; that’s  where the trolls live.

940x150-banner1-e1483855431966One bright spot for me was that two of my works (a short story and a poem) have found a second life on Digging Through The Fat; you can check out my work and that of a number of writers in the Community section.

Peace, love, and solace

 

Ceiling at the Monroe Building © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Ceiling at the Monroe Building © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Contrast © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Contrast © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

All the angles © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

All the angles © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Humans and Bean © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Humans and Bean © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Aug
04

Which kind of person are you?

Summer storm © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017Hey there. Hope all is well with you. Not too much doing in my little world.

I got a couple rejections this week and also the news that my story “Amanuensis” was a finalist in the Portable Story  “moment of truth” series. Congrats go to Matthew B. Kelley whose story “Daddy’s Record” will be recorded and posted on the site. The next call is for writing on “fear.”  Maybe you have something to submit?

“There are two kinds of people in this world” is a phrase you hear often. I don’t know if that statement is true; I tend to see lots of exceptions and gray areas.  I have touched on this theme slightly in one of my poems “Taxonomy,” which I shared in a post last year. (You can read it here.)

But regardless of whether there are two kinds of people, I found this poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox to remain timely even today (except maybe for use of the word “ween,” which is not in current vocabulary). Sometimes I think my next project should be a collection of public domain poems that still are relevant.

Hope this post makes you think; maybe you’ve a poem you want to write about the two (or more) kinds of people in the world.

Peace, love, and solace

 

Which are You?

THERE are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood,
The good are half bad, and the bad are half good.
Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man’s wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.
Not the humble and proud, for in life’s little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.
Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.
Wherever you go, you will find the earth’s masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.
And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean.
In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

 

 

 

Jul
27

Hot links and hot licks

IMG_5866Hey there. Yesterday was Mick Jagger’s birthday. I celebrated it at The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism. We took the water taxi from Union Station to Navy Pier. I share some of pics below.

Now for the hot links.

There’s “Twenty-Two Poem Hacks” by Carmen Giménez Smith at the Poetry Foundation blog. I am going to print it out and keep it for reference.

Maybe you will relate to “Ten Types of Writers Who Can Go Fuck Themselves” by Gabino Iglesias at Clash.

I don’t know if I could say writing has saved my life, but I could say it has enhanced my well-being greatly. See what you think of  “The Puzzling Way That Writing Heals the Body” by Claudia Hammond at BBC Future.

One thing that struck me at the exhibit was how the band committed themselves to being The Rolling Stones—no half measures. It made me think I should take more risks in my life; wondering whether I am too content.

Another thing that occurred to me was that the band has aged but that has not seemed to diminish their star power. This is not always the case when women age. What made me feel better today was reading: “Journalists Accidentally Confuse a 63-Year-Old Teacher With a Fashion Icon and It Ends up Changing Her Life.”

How about you? What are you reading? What are you feeling?

Peace, love, and solace

Cloud view © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Cloud view © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Oh, dear (Chicago River) © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Oh, dear (Chicago River) © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

It’s RUMP, It’s RUMP; he’s in my head © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

It’s RUMP, It’s RUMP; he’s in my head © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Introducing © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Introducing © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Lips and tongue © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Lips and tongue © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Lips and tongue, 3 © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017IMG_5854Lips and tongue, 1 © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

 

 

Jul
21

Old song, old poem: new solace

Knotty © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017Hey all. Can July speed by any faster? Here’s what I got for you.

Check out Kathleen Kirk’s review of Dave Bonta’s book of poems called Ice Mountain on Escape Into Life. I bet you’ll want to read more of Dave Bonta’s work and the archive of Escape into Life. As you know, Kathleen Kirk is a SISMW contributor. Way back in October 2012 Dave Bonta’s poem “Ode to Scythes” was published here.Ice-Mountain-book-cover

Creativity is curative. Read Mark Brown’s “Arts can help recovery from illness and keep people will, report says” in the July 19 issue of The Guardian.

The Poetry Foundation has a new website. I’ve heard complaints and compliments. See what you think.

imagesWhen I need a little pep in my step, I like to turn up the music and dance (that is, if I have the house to myself). Today’s song was Deee-Lite’s Groove is in the Heart.” So turn it up. (Chair-dancing is perfectly acceptable.)

Finally I leave you with a poem that may help you change your perspective. It’s “Loss and Gain” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Peace, love, and solace

 

Loss and Gain

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware.
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Hosta © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

Hosta © Ellen Wade Beals, 2017

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