Archive for the ‘writing and blogging’ category

Not Just Words

September 7, 2022

wordsThis morning I was writing in my journal about the beauty in the world on one hand and the pain and ugliness on the other.   Yeah, my journal sometimes wrestles with heavy issues.   Anyway, I wrote I don’t know how to ______ the good and the bad in order to believe, as I prefer to, that the world is basically good, leaving a space for the Perfect Word that danced tantalizingly on the tip of my tongue but refused to make an appearance.   I love words and I am used to finding the right word because I have, if I say so myself, a considerable vocabulary.  Some, on the other hand, say I’m pedantic.  Pedantic is, by the way, a self-fulfilling adjective because using it in a sentence qualifies you as being just that.   Unfortunately, as I push toward the end of my seventh decade, coming up with the Perfect Word more frequently brings me to a halt.    For some reason, I always think I know the first letter of the word … this morning I thought the word I sought stated with C.   If I can’t come up with it, I can usually come up with half a dozen other words that are similar in meaning, or I can phrase the word’s meaning in a sentence.  One by one, I Google each of these … and eventually, the Perfect Word shows up.  This morning’s missing word was (not starting with a C, by the way) Reconcile.  I don’t know how to Reconcile the good and the bad in order to believe, as I prefer to, that the world is basically good.  Perfect.

Let me offer some additional Perfect Words, while I can still remember them.   Melancholy … a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause … a word that just aches with longing.   You don’t even have to know the word to know that it’s about sadness.   Another one is Poignant … arousing deep emotion, especially pity or sorrow.   It could be a sad memory, a touching memory, a bitter memory.   But only a Poignant memory captures the pain of something beautiful lost.  I like Mellifluous … the perfect sweet-sounding word for something pleasant to hear.   Obsequious is a Perfect Word for one of my least favorite human traits … showing servile obediencecrystals and excessive eagerness to please.  I love the term Synchronicity, coined by Psychologist Carl Jung to describe the meaningful (or even miraculous) coincidences that occur in your life.   I even believe in it on my good days.  I’ll close with Crystalline, a word so perfect that you can almost see the sparkle between the letters.

How about you?  Do you have Perfect Words you love to use?

Pulling the String

September 1, 2022

gloomI woke this morning in a mood.   I suppose I don’t have to specify what kind of mood it was … in a mood has acquired its own connotation of BAD.   On days like this, it is sometimes a labor to drag my old ass to our office to do what I call my Morning Practice.  A few spiritual readings, journaling, a prayer or two, and a gratitude list.   I close with poem from Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems and an impressionist painting of the day in A Year in Impressionism.  I am not a poetry guy … I’d say 35% the time I don’t really get the days poem but maybe 10% of the time, one will really move me.  Today was such a day.  The poem was Woolworth’s by Mark Irwin.  It is astring wondrously simple reminiscence about wandering into a Woolworth’s Five and Ten (that was cents, people) on a cold winter’s day.  You can read it here, if you are interested.   On those days when I find a poem, I usually spend some time Pulling the String on the web for information about the poet and to see what anyone else thinks about the poem.  Google Mark Irwin.  Google Mark Irwin’s Woolworth’s.  Google Woolworth’s. (more…)

Yellow Stickies

August 3, 2017

I have a whole folder of stories I wrote in my I’m Going to Be an Author days.   My brother gave me the idea of publishing a few of my favorites here on Older Eyes.  This light-hearted romance is perhaps my favorite.

stickiesThe first one flutters like a wounded yellow butterfly from the medicine cabinet door and lands face down at the edge of the sink.   I eye it unenthusiastically as I scrape the lather from my cheek, debating whether or not to nudge it into the bowl, letting the steaming water and the dollops of shaving cream wash away whatever ink is hidden on the other side.   Ten-to-one, it says paint the hallway before Thanksgiving, or maybe clean the garage.   Why the hell can’t she just ask instead of leaving these God-damned notes everywhere?   I’ve heard her answer often enough to play it back in my head without asking.

“If I just ask, you’ll forget, and I’ll have to ask again.   Then, you’ll say I’m nagging!”

Shit, I think as I dry my jowls with the pink floral towel taken from an ornate brass ring next to me.   If she finds the towel crumpled next to the sink, she’ll say, How many times do I have to ask you not to use the decorator towels?    I try to fold it into a neat rectangle over the ring the way she does, with the embroidered primrose perfectly centered, but I know I’m caught.   With a sigh, I pick up the yellow Post-It and stick it back on the corner of the mirror, but without my glasses, the words are a blur.   Her meticulous block printing comes into focus when I step back… I am just where I’m meant to be in my life !!!!   The four emphatic exclamation points float like red balloons beneath the words.   “Oh, oh,” I say to myself, “she’s wandering the self-help section of Barnes and Noble again.” (more…)

Merry Christmas 2015

December 25, 2015


christmas lights

Have a Very Merry Christmas

Friday Ramble

July 10, 2015

muffinsI woke up this morning, determined to get my annual blood work and urine screening done.  The good Dr. Garces ordered it over a week ago, but I wanted to be good for a week so my numbers wouldn’t be too bad.  I know, I know.  After a zillion years as a student, I still want to pass every test.  In this case, being good consisted of a week of the South Beach Diet, Phase 1.  Translation: Almost zero carbs.  Don’t worry too much, Dr. Garces always orders an A1c test which measures average blood glucose over roughly the last six weeks, so if I’ve been bad, he’ll know.  The lab was relatively quiet this morning … I was in and out in 15 minutes instead of the usual 45. I stopped at McDonald’s to pick up some breakfast to take to the park, choosing two Egg McMuffins and a large coffee.  I know what you are thinking … blood work over, back to his evil ways. Wrong!  I ate only the egg, Canadian bacon and cheese, which, of course, left me with two perfectly good English muffins.  Rather than throw them in the trash, I tossed them out my car window onto the grass next to my favorite parking place where somebody .. probably a goose, duck or squirrel … might find them.  Waste not, you know?


June 25, 2014

GinninKittyJust short of two weeks ago, I posted Taking a Break and I haven’t posted a word since (well, unless you count Facebook, but seriously, who counts Facebook where 20 words is a long post).  That is the longest time I’ve gone without posting since 2009.   I was determined to remain on blogging vacation not until I felt I should post but until I wanted to post.  Should.  My Inner Rebel has always hated shoulds yet my Outer Sensibilities have always believed in doing what I should do.  Don’t you hate it when your insides don’t match your outsides?   So, how do I know I’m ready to begin again? This morning as I sat in our yard meditating, my mind kept drifting from the sweet meditation music and my mantra to the post I was writing in my head. (more…)

Taking a Break

June 12, 2014

sleeping catI started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog early in 2009.  Since then I have posted 1552 posts, mostly five or six hundred words in length, although lately there have been more photo posts.  That’s no coincidence … I seem to be, as my mother used to say, running out of steam as a blogger.   Frequently these days, I go to bed without having drafted a post for the next day, sometimes because I don’t have an idea but other times because I just don’t feel like posting.  I am sometimes capable of turning an avocation, which is (in my opinion) meant fulfilling and fun to a vocation (fulfilling and work).   Sticking that Postaday badge in the corner of my Home Page seems to have been a mistake.  I take it a bit too seriously.  Don’t get me wrong … I am an advocate of posting regularly, not just when I feel like it.   Some of my favorite posts have turned up when I sat down with nothing to say and there is nothing quite as fulfilling having that happen.

Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog has more followers than ever and it gets enough traffic that if you Google Older Eyes, it will appear at the top of the page.  But views hover stubbornly in the 50-80 range and comments are rare.  I’ve said many times that I write for myself but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it’s disappointing to post something I really like and get no Likes or comments.  I know I have readers who are lurkers because occasionally in one of my meetings someone will mention something I said in a post and I do get a few comments on Facebook.  Lately I’ve noticed that my favorite bloggers on my short Blogs I Read list are posting sporadically or not at all.  One old blogging friend, Marjulo, last posted on her blog, Listen to the Sun Rise, that she had been diagnosed inoperable cancer.  I checked her blog regularly for any news but now it’s gone so it’s likely she’s no longer with us.  Sometimes, I feel like the last one at what used to be a party.  Yes, that’s ridiculous … there are millions of us out there.  In my current state of mind I just don’t have what it takes to hunt down a new blogging community.

So.  I’m taking down the Postaday Badge and I’m taking a break.  I may spend some time working on my legacy blog, A Dad’s Legacy.  Nobody reads that either but I’m hoping someday my kids … or my grandkids … will.  There’s a good chance I’ll be back but I don’t know when or how often.  After five years of this, there’s a good chance I’ll see something and think, That would make a good blog post … and eventually, I’ll have to write it.  Maybe I’ll change some things around here or move around here to somewhere else.  Who knows.  Thanks to those of you who’ve taken time to read and especially to those who’ve Liked or commented.  See you later, probably soon.

Just My Type

May 29, 2014

ten reasons longhand is better from an earlier post

For almost twenty years, I have … on and off … started my day with a form of freeform journaling dubbed Morning Pages by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.  In the early years, it was almost always on … for the last few, frequently off.   I have found it a useful way to slow down the maelstrom in my head and see what’s really going on in there, perhaps even consider what I’d like to have going on in there.  My day goes better when I take the time, yet now, when I have more time at my disposal, I find myself skipping Morning Pages.  There was a time that I took skipping MPs, as I call them, a sign that I was avoiding something and perhaps that’s true.  But I also have a frustrating aspect to my personality that I am sometimes inclined to neglect exactly those behaviors that benefit me the most.   I’ve noted here before that no single activity calms me more than meditation and yet it remains at most an occasional component of my life.   I’ve noticed that I’ve skipped Morning Pages more since I became a regular blogger.  I wonder if perhaps posting hasn’t replaced Morning Pages as my morning write.  I’ll say this … producing a post I like stops the maelstrom in my head and is creatively more fulfilling than Morning Pages but it is nowhere as useful in revealing the thoughts within that maelstrom, partly because some of those thoughts don’t belong in the public domain.   I suppose it’s a possibility that after twenty years, there are no new thoughts within the maelstrom which makes the hour or so it takes to do MPs just plain boring.  Nah. (more…)

Uh … I Forgot

May 8, 2014

postaday 2014It is six pm here in Southern California.  In spite of the Post-A-Day 2014 badge in the sidebar of my home page, there has been no post today on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.   No, the problem is not writer’s block … or poster’s block either.  I haven’t been working all day on a really interesting post requiring lots of research and I haven’t been engineering the crap out of the new project my company’s working on.   Yes, I started the day with a doctor’s appointment (the wrist I hurt in a fall seems to be healing), picked up and installed some new equipment needed because Time-Warner is switching to all digital cable, and solved a problem with my wife’s cell phone.  But I didn’t skip posting because I was busy.  Nope, I just plain forgot. (more…)

344 More Times

January 22, 2014

postaday 2014I got out of bed on Tuesday planning to take Wednesday off from posting.   It’s not that I have a million things to do … work, at the moment is non-existent.  But I’d posted what seemed to me to be very good posts three days in a row and to be totally honest (which I try to be here whenever I feel like it), I was sulking a little bit about the paucity of comments (Muri says, Sometimes You’re pedantic.  Maybe so.  But isn’t saying someone is pedantic pedantic?).  Today, I was going to do a little housekeeping on Older Eyes – Buds Blog (add a page for Starting a WordPress Blog and a new Song/Quote of the Day) then have a date-day with Muri (in spite of the fact that she thinks I’m pedantic).   Somewhere along the line, however, I discovered the WordPress 2014 Postaweek and Postaday badges on The Daily Post.   Nice.  Bright orange.  Imagining how nice one would look in my sidebar, I added an Image Widget and tried it out.  If you arrived here directly instead of via my Front Page, you can see it here.  If you click on it, it links to The Daily Post, where you can get daily topics for posting. (more…)