Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Find Your Passion

Nearly halfway through my fifth decade on this world, I met a little red-haired girl. Well, “girl” is a bit of a misnomer, since she had also spent almost four and a half decades on this planet. When I began writing newspaper columns, she became Red — well, actually, her dad had been Red, and she was known as Little Red when she was a little red-haired girl. But for all practical intents and purposes, she is Red now. And more than a decade later, she is still my best friend and dearest companion, a relationship I suspect will continue until my last breath.

Red is a joy to behold in a garden. She will spend hours digging in the soil, trimming wild growth into some semblance of order, planting seeds and nursing them into bloom. Sometimes I will step into our yard, where wildflowers and roses and morning glories and cedar trees compete for the eye’s attention, and am overcome with the beauty of the fruits of Red’s labors. I can only imagine what she feels when she steps back to see what her dirt-smudged hands have wrought.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Staying in the moment

Inspiration can strike in the most exciting ways when you keep your eyes and ears open to the moment at hand.

All you have to do is stay conscious and be aware of the moment. Every moment. Tend to this moment; it’s all we have.

Easier said than done. Every day is full of traps to rob you of your consciousness, lull you with a dull routine, and pretty much turn your brain off. Ever arrive at work taking the same route as any other day, and suddenly realize you didn’t remember the trip? What a day for a daydream!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If not the government's job, whose?

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God."

Thoughts from King Solomon, son of David, king of ancient Israel ... Proverbs 14: 30-31 (NIV)

What springs to mind as I read those words is that for many years I have argued that charity is not the work of government. Public-sector schemes to redistribute wealth are based on envy - punishing achievement based on an envious and false belief that great wealth is inevitably ill-gotten. But

Monday, December 13, 2010

Look to your zest

Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You
by Ray Bradbury remains perhaps my favorite book about the subject of creativity. Here is the master's view on finding the passion needed to write memorably and, in doing so, creating unforgettable characters ...
"Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer's make-up,