But Now I Believe

Author: siggy

The two worse words in the English language are “I can’t”.

Nothing more than those two words can destroy a relationship.

Nothing more than those two words can destroy one’s potential.

And there is nothing worse than not trying.

“I can’t.”  I can’t tell you how many times I flung those words at my wife.  She flung them back at me.  My two children, 4 and 5, are learning the same.  I am now trying to undo the damage.  For six years my wife has refused to listen to those two words.  When I uttered them in her presence she would scream at me, “No!  No!  Anything is possible.  Please don’t teach our two children to say those words and believe just because something is difficult that is enough reason not to try.”  For six years she has been hammering at me.  For years those around me had exclaimed, “There is absolutely nothing you can’t do.”  I would just shrug my shoulders and continue my negative ways.  I will turn 45 soon.  For the first time in my life I believe I am capable.  My wife has finally won.  “I can’t” has been eliminated from my vocabulary and replaced with the attitude, “I can.”  Every successful man has a woman behind him.  I know that perfectly.  And I have fought my wife every step of the way.  But now I believe.

More Than Anything Else

Author: siggy

I guess more than anything else from my written piece I want to know:  did my love come through?  I would rather my piece be poorly written but have my love come through.  If my writing is grammatically correct but says nothing it has failed.  Ideally it would be both.  I also want to know:  did you feel what I felt?  Did you have an inkling?  Were you there?  Did you want to be there?  Did my humanity come through?  Those are questions I am always interested in.  If the answer is “yes”, it is relatively simple to go back and clean up the language.  All that is simple when the “guts” of the piece are there.  If they are not, no fiddling with it will matter.  I am not always aware of the response.  The answers to those questions determine the success of my written piece.

The Gigantic Pink Flower

Author: siggy

Two days ago my “monster” cactus bloomed outside.  It has tentacles that are four or five feet hanging over the side of the pot.  We bought it with several two buds on it and with two flowers.  We knew it liked the spot we put it in outside for the two buds did not dry up.  When it flowered, again, the entire width of the unfurled pink petals was five inches.  Inside, one single white flower protruded–God’s handiwork!  I never saw such a gigantic pink flower on a cactus.

You just have to look at the Dollar Store to realize how far inflation has gone.  The Five And Ten Cent Store was a new idea decades ago.  I really do not know how old that chain was but now the Dollar Store has replaced that chain.  Everything a dollar can buy.  It actually cost more than a cent for the Mint to produce a cent.  Eliminate the sales tax and the cent goes.  The Dollar Store chains tells me how much prices have gone up.  Now it is a dollar not five or ten cents that products often cost.

I must be getting old:  Ray Manzarek (from The Doors) died today.  He was seventy-four.  He lived a lot longer than his mate Jim Morrison.  Far too many musicians died early.  Too much fame too early.  Ray, at least, made it to a ripe old age.  Each year someone else dies who I followed in the sixties and seventies.  Of old age.  I feel old, today, although I won’t stay there.  From dust we come and to dust we shall return.  Death and taxes.  We all face that one day.

It was only this week I switched to wearing only tee shirts and shorts.  It finally got too humid and hot.  I do not like being too warm.  Every year this happens.  Now for a few months that is what I will usually wear except for the cool days.

Different writing is handled different ways: my journal entries I do not edit–I just get it down redundancies and all. Blogs I edit right away and on the computer. Letters I do not edit. I read them before sending them and make sure there are no errors–usually of omission. Short autobiographical stories, which I do not write too many I first get down and run a hard copy after each set of editing. Poems are usually generated from my journal. I edit right away from my raw material and run a hard copy and then edit, again, and run another hard copy, sometimes, sitting on it and edit it again from the hard copy and print and repeat the process until I am happy with it. I failed to note my wife edits my material. My blogs, poems, and other written material I read out loud to her for a general reaction and modify my material according to her reaction. She has good instincts. Also it is amazing what I hear when I read the material out loud especially regarding poems. I am keenly aware of my material read out loud. It has to sound right. That is some of my techniques and process I go through. My web site I created with my wife’s help to aid other writers.

A pair of catbirds were hanging around.  Usually that means they might have a nest nearby.  I looked and found a nest in a large bush.  I never did see one in it.  This is not the first time we have had a catbird nesting nearby.  Another time a half grown catbird found its way into our garage and I was thrilled when my son captured it and let it go in the bush they were nesting in.  Last year we had a Carolina wren nesting only feet from our door step.  It kept hopping on top of our fence nearby and then I found out what a lovely voice it has.  I did find the nest.  You never know what bird will have a nest nearby.

It was a warm and rainy day.  Fifty-three degrees and it felt good.  Two nights ago we actually had frost.  In the morning it was thirty-three degrees.  Today I got rid of the newspaper covering our large cactus.  I did not want to take any chances of the frost killing it.  The ten day forecast called for warm temperatures. Seventies and low eighties.  I don’t think we will get any more nights calling for frost.  Not for another few months, anyway.

They were calling for frost overnight.  It was the coldest day in ten days this spring–top was the fifties.  I wrapped up our “monster” cactus in paper.  It took me fifteen minutes and also parked our Gerbera daisy temporarily in the garage.  I was not taking any chances with both plants.  It was abnormally cold today and I wanted spring to come back.

It is easier to spend less than to make more.  Your money goes further.  There is no end of desiring more and more.  Less not more.  Being satisfied with what you have is the trick.  There is a reason thou shall not covet is one of the ten commandments.  There is no end to coveting.  You want more and more the more you have.  It is just easier to be satisfied with the portion the Lord has given you.  And there is less and more from the beginning of the ages.  And the commercials you see on TV feed on that desire:  you have to have this.  You have to have that.  A bigger car.  A bigger house.  A bigger TV.  The list is endless.  Then you will be happy.  It is all lies.  There is an end to this:  just be happy with what you got.  And thank the Lord for all his provisions.  Give us our daily bread.  That should be your prayer: give us today what I need.  Our essentials.  That is it.

Editing when I write a poem (or blog) (or anything), is different for different types of writing.  For blogs I edit as I go along.  For journals entries that turn into poems I try initially to get the particular experience down.  At that point I do not edit and if I decide to turn the entry into a poem I then start editing when I get to the computer.  Letters I write I never edit.  I do read my letter once.  Sometimes I find omissions and add a word or two here or there but that is it.  I but I really do not edit my letters.

I do write autobiographical short stories but this is rare.  I could only remember three I wrote.  There I write initially without editing and then when I get to the computer with it I get it all down, print the initial draft and then edit each subsequent draft which is done from the hard copy.  This is my general process.  I do use my wife as an editor.  For a general reaction, which I always consider as I edit further.  I am very lucky to have her.