Multiple Reading Personalities: What I Have Learned

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I read a lot. I read for many reasons, and many different types of materials. Sometimes I read things I have to read, but more often I read things I want to read. Yet, if you ask me the question … Continue reading

Rainy Day Blues

Since it is raining today, and I am still suffering from SBD as well as feeling completely uninspired, I thought I would recycle and old post that many have probably never read.  Enjoy!

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011

Warning, it is completely possible that I have lost my mind. And now for your entertainment a ridiculous song that sings the blues. Join me by adding “Ba da da da”, at appropriate points in your head.

Well I woke up this mornin’
with a plan in my head
of going for a walk and gettin’ out of my bed.

I got those fat butt,
got those fat butt blues.

But the rain started falling, and  the sky turned all gray
making me want to snuggle up in bed all day.

I got those rainy,
got those rainy day blues.

But I gave myself a lecture, and got out of bed
turned on the computer and got words in my head.

I got those reading
too many blog reading blues.

I wrote some new words down, and I read some words too
I began to research, hoping ideas would come through.

I got those writing,
what to write about  blues.

Then I got an e-mail, that nearly put me to bed
it said that my content wasn’t  all from my head.

I got those plagiarism
got those plagiarism blues.

But what they don’t get now, what they don’t see
is that I intentionally quoted from a man I’d  like to meet

I got those dumb-ass,
dumb-ass reader  blues.

So now my poem, goes back to the vault
and I write this dribble, it’s nobody’s fault.

I got those silly
silly rainy day blues.

We will continue with regularly scheduled sane posts as soon as my head re-attaches. 

OCCUPY THANKSGIVING: Thinking Thankfully

This weekend was a challenge.

Between teaching classes for students who, I believe, had already started Thanksgiving break in their minds (despite the fact that they still have 2 1/2 days of school this week); avoiding the course about self-publishing which has me completely intimidated and realizing I have a lot of work left to do, even when it comes to format; listening to my daughter scream, cry, and whine for over an hour as she decided to spend most of yesterday (and part of Saturday) in one of her spoiled-brat stages of existence–rare but still painful; trying to plan a fun Thanksgiving for a very complicated family: and the fact that I allowed myself to be sucked into computer games as I avoided the chaos, I feel like a completely useless waste of space.

That’s not a good feeling.

But, no worries folks, this is not going to be a whining post or even a post asking for sympathy.

Instead I am going to listen to these words of wisdom from the fabulous and talented Christine in her guest post called “Something worth celebrating” over at The Idiot Speaketh (the complicated connections of this blogging world leads to many links)

” It probably comes pretty naturally to most of us to strive for excellence of some sort. But this pursuit of greatness shouldn’t prevent us from recognizing, and celebrating, those of us who are being the best we can be.
Many times we focus on what we lack in ability. I’d like to suggest we make the effort to keep our thoughts turned to what we can do.”

In other words, we should be thankful for and learn to appreciate what we already have, even as we strive to achieve our dreams and goals.

So, in honor of this wisdom and the fact that Thanksgiving is this week, I am determined to focus on the positive and think thankfully. Starting . . .  NOW!

A UNIVERSE OF THANKS

Sunshine reflecting sparkles on the wall
of a home filled with warmth, love and dreams.

Warm chai spiciness sits on my tongue
made by a partner, husband, friend,

Words waiting to be written or read
celebrating a lifetime of learning.

A family filled with laughter and fun
supporting each other in all ways.

Blogging buddies and lifetime friends
filling the gaps of loneliness.

Future adventures looming near
a journey to countries and people unknown.

Past adventures that I hold dear
filling my life with life.

I may not know who I am today
nor what I will become tomorrow
but the gifts of the journey along the way
mean a life filled with joy not sorrow.

Update: Tori’s comment below reminded me that she had written a wonderful thankfulness post the other day. So now I am adding the link to hers and will continue to add any posts that I feel will help us feel thankful:

Thankful Blogger Am Thankful by Tori Nelson

Inspiration: A Thanksgiving Memory

Update to the Update: In honor of this excellent idea to Occupy Thanksgiving by the always brilliant Jamie note the new title of this post

Rainy Day Blues

 

Warning, it is completely possible that I have lost my mind. And now for your entertainment a ridiculous song that sings the blues. Join me by adding “Ba da da da”, at appropriate points in your head.

Well I woke up this mornin’
with a plan in my head
of going for a walk and gettin’ out of my bed.

I got those fat butt,
got those fat butt blues.

But the rain started falling, and  the sky turned all gray
making me want to snuggle up in bed all day.

I got those rainy,
got those rainy day blues.

But I gave myself a lecture, and got out of bed
turned on the computer and got words in my head.

I got those reading
too many blog reading blues.

I wrote some new words down, and I read some words too
I began to research, hoping ideas would come through.

I got those writing,
what to write about  blues.

Then I got an e-mail, that nearly put me to bed
it said that my content wasn’t  all from my head.

I got those plagiarism
got those plagiarism blues.

But what they don’t get now, what they don’t see
is that I intentionally quoted from a man I’d  like to meet

I got those dumb-ass,
dumb-ass reader  blues.

So now my poem, goes back to the vault
and I write this dribble, it’s nobody’s fault.

I got those silly
silly rainy day blues.

We will continue with regularly scheduled sane posts as soon as my head re-attaches. 

Announcements, Challenges, and a Little Poetry

Announcement

I am an idiot. Yes, I even surpass the idiocy of The Idiot by not recognizing the power of web addresses. (Side note, I linked you to a non-idiotic post for Mark, because we all need to send some positive energy his way tomorrow).

See for a long time I though my blog address was lame. It was lame. I mean, lkramer14.wordpress.com, what is that? So I finally figured out how to change it, and become more consistent, not realizing, of course, that every post I ever posted would no longer link correctly to my blog. My entire web presence destroyed in one minute as a changed my address to lisawieldswords.wordpress.com

Why has nobody read me this morning, I asked myself this morning? The answer is simple, I no longer exist!! So nobody is even going to read this, unless I make an extra effort to get back into the annals of my followers.

Aaaaauuuuuggggh! total idiocy.

Insert temper tantrum here.

OK, so much for that. Hopefully it won’t take too long for people to find me again.

100 Word Challenge Part Two

Nathan read my 100 word challenge from  yesterday and commented that he thought I would write something completely different, related more to the post about my Dad from a few days ago and Alzheimer’s. Aha! I said, because I am currently in a manic mode of creation and my mind immediately leaps on ideas. So, welcome to my second entry for this weeks 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups

The Battle Against Forgetting

 Memories found in repeated phrases
lest we forget.

My Dad and I both think with our tongues out.

Pink tongue peeking through parted lips
a habit passed from father to daughter
lest we forget.

Watching in wonder as the world fades for him
living in fear of following his footsteps
into a land of lost memories
lest we forget.

Yet a journey through memory, while tinged with sadness
can also be a journey of joy
of silly poems, and sillier smiles,
of a grandfather watching his new baby girl
sometimes a journey down memory lane
is worth its weight in smiles
lest we forget.

Weaving Webs with Words

Conservation of a tapestry in the workshops of...

Image via Wikipedia

The other day Hilary posted “Dream Weaver” using the metaphor of a tapestry to explain the journey of life:

“The journey into the past revealed a depth of memory, a rich tapestry of experience and opportunity for growth.”

This post resonated with me, as I have often used words like tapestry or weaving to explain concepts important to me,  even (I think) in some of the early posts on this blog. As a matter of fact, I quote here from the dusty tome of my dissertation that I have not looked at in years:

I prefer to think of culture as “a tapestry,” a metaphor given to me by carol North of Metro Theater Company. A tapestry contains interlocking lines of color that allow each strand to strengthen the beauty of the whole in order to work together to create the final image. At the same time, however, the creator of the tapestry can make choices for each individual strand that make one color seem to dominate. It is important to understand both the whole and the individual strands. In terms of our society, I think that we must ask what the whole represents: is it the dominant culture (white, male, heterosexual, able-bodied, middle-aged, upper-middle class, Anglo-Saxon, Christian) which has had control for so long, or is it some other entity that cannot survive without each individual strand? Each strand is different, made up of tiny fibers that give that strand its strength and color–just as each person is different, able to affiliate him/herself with multiple cultures based on personal choice, personal beliefs, and financial standing, as well as physical attributes. Yet, while individuals might affiliate themselves with one group, society still has some power in defining who we are and what roles we play in the overall tapestry, just as the creator of the tapestry assigns the roles played by the individual strands.”

[Side note: it was really strange to copy something that I don't even remember writing anymore. I do know that I originally had written a poem about tapestry that I wanted to include, but I don't know what happened to it. I really wrote that?]

I have explored the idea of lives interconnecting through invisible webs in numerous post. Click on the topic “Connections” on my side bar you will find posts celebrating friends, posts about the stories that connect us all, posts about the connections I’ve made in the past that still touch me in the present, posts about webs and tapestries and connecting the dots.

The theme keeps recurring, that our stories and our lives all intersect and connect in numerous ways to create the whole.

Even my fiction seems to reflect the theme of interconnected stories. The Moon Calls women together to share their stories and embrace their strengths. The Storyteller invites people around the fire to teach about tolerance and difference through stories. Her words merge in the air to create Pictures in the Flames. Wise Mother shares the gift of magic with a young apprentice, inviting her into the world of story telling and other magic.

The phrase Simultaneous Stories, keeps appearing in my notes and Morning Pages as well as my blog posts. I recently splurged on a little specialty notebook, in the hopes that perhaps keeping my ideas with me would help me focus and create.

The very first page contains the following list:

"Both shoeless in the sand"; kicked out for coming out; Simultaneous stories happen all the time. An hour in the day . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This interest in telling simultaneous stories isn’t recent. When I first applied to my doctoral program I wrote how I wanted to create a theatre piece that crossed cultural boundaries by being performed with people from a variety of nationalities utilizing multiple languages. I wanted that to be part of my dissertation, but was somehow talked out of it by an advisor who, at the time, believed that dissertations should follow a more traditional research method. Of course, just after I graduated applied research became the more popular mode of dissertation writing in my field, so I guess I was just ahead of my time (or perhaps I opened the doors for other people to walk through). Sigh!

Perhaps my struggle to find the story that I want to write comes from trying to focus on one story. Maybe the project I need to work on is one that brings together many stories, some of my own, some of yours, some of the people I have yet to meet.  In some ways my decision to go to Slovakia reflects my desire to collect stories and be open to the unknown.

I still don’t have a clear picture of what form this collection might be. Perhaps it is a book, with a collection of stories from some of my favorite bloggers intertwined with my own. Perhaps it is a stage play, where the stories of people get told through words, through movement, through puppets, through dance. Or maybe I really do need to learn how to weave, to create a visual tapestry of stories and connections and the words that link us all.

Detail of Woodpecker tapestry designed by Will...

Image via Wikipedia

All I know for sure is that I have been weaving a web of interconnected stories all my life, and now I need to find a way to share.

Leaping into Possibility

Yesterday I was presented with an opportunity.


This is not an employment opportunity, as a matter of fact it is an expensive opportunity.

But it is an important opportunity nonetheless.

op·por·tu·ni·ty http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf [op-er-too-ni-tee, -tyoo-] noun, plural -ties.

1.an appropriate or favorable time or occasion.
2. a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.
3. a good position, chance, or prospect, as for advancement or success. (dictionary.com)

Rambling Thoughts

When I first saw this adventure posted on my Facebook page, my thoughts went like this:
“Wow! I want to do that! I should post it in case any of my friends are interested. Hmm, I’d really like to do that, but I don’t have a job so how can I justify it? But, I’ve given up opportunities before . . . so maybe its time I take a chance. No, I can’t do it.”
Soon after this little internal discussion, I got a personal message from the artistic director asking me to join them on this adventure. See, a few years ago I had been invited by Dramatic Adventure Theatre to participate in their program called ActionEcuador, where they spend time in several areas of Ecuador serving the community, teaching theater and exploring how the arts can help with social change. All things that  I am truly passionate about. They then spend a week creating theater pieces to be performed in New York later in the summer. Nathan and I were all set to do this wonderful program, bringing Sarah with us, when the world came crashing down around us and our futures became unsure. Needless to say, we had to let the opportunity pass.
That wasn’t the first international theater opportunity that I had to turn down because of changing circumstances and financial issues. A few years earlier, just before we moved to Colorado, I had been scheduled to participate in a mid-summer program for 10 days in Russia learning about theater and arts education in schools. That fell through when we had to move that summer.
My most recent lost opportunity involved an application to create theater in Pakistan, but I’m sure you can guess why that one fell through.
This time, however, my war with myself took on new meaning. True, financially it isn’t the best time for me to take this adventure, since I am underemployed and we are living in an expensive state. But, in term of where I am in my life, and my pursuit of reinventing myself and trying to create the career of my dreams, this is the perfect time. In terms of when the trip happens, its the perfect time, as I don’t begin teaching the one class I have until January 17th and my brother is available to help Nathan with parenting duties.
So what was stopping me? Two things.

Guilt and Fear!!!!

The issue of guilt: How could I possibly justify the expense when I am not bringing in very much in terms of income, and it means some of the things we planned as a family will have to be postponed?  But in reality, as soon as I mentioned the possibility to Nathan, his response was:

“I really want you to do this, so let us sit down and figure out the finances and what needs to be done to make it happen.”

And when I talked to Sarah about it her response was “I’ll be sad” until I explained it was only for a couple of weeks when she changed it to “You should go.”
So really, guilt was just an excuse. The more terrifying thing holding me back was, indeed, my perpetual stumbling block
But what exactly am I afraid of? Because when I think clearly, there’s nothing to fear:
  • I love the people who run this program, and although we’ve only spent a short time together in person I feel like we were meant to meet. In fact, I could easily have included both Jesse and Mary K in my post celebrating fabulous friends.
  • I’m not afraid of travel, and I love to see new cultures. Well, I get nervous travelling, especially flying, but ultimately once I’m there all is good.
  • The trip is pretty much planned for me, all I have to figure out is my flight there and back (and any extra visits to other places, which I probably won’t do anyway because of finances.)
So, what exactly am I afraid of?
The answer came out in my Morning Pages this morning, as I tried to work through my thoughts and emotions surrounding this possibility. Although Morning Pages are meant to be private, I shared them with Nathan and I now share a portion with you, so that you understand what’s going on in my head:
“I’m afraid of opportunity, because I’m afraid that I will waste the opportunity. If I don’t try, I can’t fail. But then again, isn’t not trying simply another type of failure? . . . this trip gives me the chance to see theatre in action, which is the type of theatre that I value. It is about the power of the arts to change lives. If I don’t do it, if I can’t make it happen, then I’m still all talk and no action. So going is the right thing to do. Or am I making excuses to do what I want? Am I being selfish? . . . Where should I look for guidance? My instincts are all out of whack, or at least I’ve lost the ability to trust my own instincts anymore. I don’t know how to follow my gut.  ”
Before I completed the morning pages, I read them to Nathan and asked what he thought I should do. Here was my response to his answer:
“Tears just poured down my face as he encouraged me to just go for it. Just do it. Live in the now and not worry about whether or not I achieve anything big or important. So I guess the answer is before me. Sarah even says I should do it.  Looks like I’m heading to Slovakia. I wonder what happens next.”
After that outpouring on the page, I got up and filled out the application. Then, of course, the doubts started creeping in again. But, in a miraculous way, signs from this wonderful blogging community keep cropping up to reinforce that I’m doing the right thing:
  • First I saw this lovely post called “What I Missed Today” on Gifts of the Journey, which shares what can happen if you don’t take the opportunities the world provides.
  • Next, I saw this post by a blogger that I’ve only recently become acquainted with, who is pursuing her graduate degree in theater and is going to be facilitating a workshop using Theater of the Oppressed techniques in Occupy Boston. A simple reminder of the power of theater to help create a better world.
  • And, just a few moments ago, this post celebrating the life of Dorothy Heathcote, reminded me of why I pursued a PhD in theater for youth in the first place. My dream was to create theater that explored cultural difference and promoted cultural understanding; a dream of mine that has been buried if not forgotten.

So friends, it looks like 2011 will end with me stepping onto a plane toward possibility, and 2012 will begin with a creative journey into unknown destinations. Look for me to blog about it.

Don’t Wait . . . Create

I had an epiphany in the middle of the night last week.

It was not a religious epiphany or something that can save the world. I awoke from a dream with a feeling of peace and a moment of clarity.

A clear view of the bend in the river from a bridge in Vermont.

I finally understood what has been holding me down from truly pursuing my dream to reinvent myself and create my ideal career. After several days of deepening depression and frustration, I broke through to an understanding of what is wrong and how to begin fixing it.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody when I say that the thing holding me back the most is

I am not talking about fear of the unknown, because my life has really been a series of unknowns. What I seem to fear is following a non-traditional path.

To put it more simply, while I keep saying I want to create my own career that doesn’t fit the mold, I still am using traditional methods to find work, praying each day that I will discover a job description that matches my dream job. I am still looking for a position that someone else creates and I fill.

But, in my moment of epiphany, a phrase sang out loudly in my head:

Don’t Wait . . . Create! I think this will be my motto for my new company, a company of one that I am giving birth to as I type each word.  I know what I have to do now, and I am beginning to plan. I am still scared, because I am wandering into a completely unknown world, where I have a lot to learn. I don’t really know how to start my own business. But, if there is one thing I do know, I always learn what I need to know to achieve what needs to be done. So I cannot let my fear stop me.

What are the next steps? I’m slowly trying to figure that out, and I even wrote a Hub about it (not a brilliant Hub, but at least I wrote something).

I know that one of the first steps I need to take is to really clarify what services I want to offer. I plan to market myself as a Teaching Artist, Theater Artist, Creative Thinker and Writing Consultant who offers individualized programming to meet the needs of my clients. I’m going to provide examples of things that I can do, such as:

  • Work with students of all ages to create a performance on specific themes
  • Use drama techniques in non-theater classrooms to enhance learning of specific subjects.
  • Work with adults with special needs to encourage creativity and enhance interpersonal relations, as well as build confidence.
  • Work with individual groups to find new ways of approaching problems such as bullying or effective ways of communicating.
  • Use creative techniques to enhance writing and encourage students of different skill levels to find their individual voices.

Whew! Those are off the top of my head. Do they work? Do they sound good? Would you hire me?

Here’s where you, my blogging friends come in. I need help! In so many different ways. I think I’m losing my mind. ;)

Don’t worry, I’m not asking for money, I just want advice and input. So, if you have any suggestions about how to achieve this momentous goal, please speak up, or even e-mail me.

I also have a fun challenge. I want to make myself an LLC but I don’t want it to be Lisa Kramer, LLC. I want a name for this company, and a logo. Right now the name I am playing with is “Eclectic Approaches” but I am open to any suggestions from this fabulous blogging community that has such a way with words.

Epiphanies come when you least expect them. Last week I was struggling through the dark wood, unable to see past my depression and my fears.That evening, I had hit rock bottom, hiding from my family in my bedroom and curling up in a defeated ball of emotions, followed later by a complete outburst of tears, anger, frustration, loneliness and fear. But the explosion opened the way for messages I needed to hear. I cannot describe the dream or the image that spoke with such clarity. I couldn’t even remember it when it happened. All I now is that right now I feel like I am on a good path.

I wonder where the path leads?

Photo by Sarah KramerLee

The Meaning of Freedom

Someone posted this image and quote on Facebook, and my heart sang. Thinking about the word freedom then led to my feeble attempt at poetry below.

"The moment you can visualize being free from the things that hold you back, you have indeed begun to set yourself free."---Unknown: Sculpture by: Zenos Frudakis "Freedom"

Freedom from . . .
Or freedom to . . .
Which is it that I seek?

Freedom with . . .
Or freedom for . . .
The word has such mystique.

I yearn inside to find the way
and place where I feel free.
Yet sometimes I still fear the wind
will pull support from me.

Freedom to sing
Freedom to laugh
Freedom to dance or dream.

Freedom to write
Freedom to play
Freedom to eat ice cream. :)

Freedom to live by my own rules
and follow the goals I make.

Freedom from worries about money and work
it’s my life that is at stake.

Freedom with . . .
Or freedom for . . .
The answer yet unknown.

Freedom from . . .
Or freedom to . . .
Does freedom have a home?

The Highs and Lows of Blogging

I have a disturbing confession to make. It appears that I write better when I am high.

Only kidding. You didn't really think I meant that, did you?

:D

Seriously, I’ve been struggling with a lot of back pain lately, and since I can’t get to the doctor or the chiropractor until our health insurance kicks in, I resorted to taking some of my leftover prescription medicine from the last time my back hurt this much. The combination of a muscle relaxant and a pain-killer leaves me in a fuzzy state of being that can only be described as la-la land.

It was in this state that I decided to write my post from yesterday, exploring the etiquette of blogging. I have had more comments and compliments on that post than on any other post I have ever written.

Of course, the delicious high of feeling like I wrote something worthy led to an immediate case of writer’s block from the complete and utter fear that I would fall flat on my face in my next attempt to write a post.

I avoided writing one all day (well avoided writing on WordPress, I did actually write something for my Hub) spending time answering comments and editing the book I am still hoping to self publish, while ordering things to help me with one job and making a feeble attempt at further job hunting.  (Feeble because I am not sure what my next step should be).

Through all of this my back was a dull ache and I avoided medicating, until about an hour ago when a spasm left me toddling for a supportive cane and some of my helpful pills. Now, back in the land of fuzzy brain, I felt inspired to make an attempt at another post.

Knowing of course that what goes up must come down, and that my moment of brilliance has passed.

Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.