Sleep Paralysis(?)

What horror is this?

Are you are awake?
   (maybe)
Are you sleeping still?
   (not likely)
Is this hell?
   (Oh my God)

Your mind is sharp
but your body,
it seems to have lost touch
   try to move
   try to see
   try to scream
      (all in vain)

Your chest
pressed tight
   your heart
   beats rapidly
      your eyes
      fixed shut

You focus in your terror
   (Is something in here with you?)
You strain to make sense of it
   (Is something breathing against you?)
You remember the old stories
   (Are the demons truly real?)
There is no doubt
   (You must be dead!)

Suddenly!
With a gasp!
Mind and body reconnect,
   you sit up
   you see nothing
   you laugh
   you are fine
It was only,
after all,
a bit of sleep paralysis!

   (Or was it?)

*************

Written in response to Blogging U. course Writing 101: A Poem a Day assignment, Sleep.

Featured image: The Nightmare by John Henry Fuseli

The Nightmare The early meaning of “nightmare” included the sleeper’s experience of weight on the chest combined with sleep paralysis, dyspnea, or a feeling of dread. The painting incorporates a variety of imagery associated with these ideas, depicting a mare’s head and a demon crouched atop the woman.

 

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The Daughter

The daughter
reflects the mother
She reflects the father too.

The parents,
reflectors themselves,
Their parents pain came through

The ancestors,
all a looking glass, in which
the worlds suffering can be viewed

The daughter
an eternity of pain
is now reflected through

*************

Written in response to Blogging U. course Writing 101: A Poem a Day assignment, Reflection.

Featured image Baby’s Hand by Giles Cook

From Here to 2016

The end of the year is approaching and I thought it best to sit down and think about how I’d like the end of the year to find me. I haven’t done everything I wanted to this year but I’d like to make one final push to the end, and start 2016 off on the right foot.

I’m not a blogger whose stats mean everything, but they do mean something. My first goal here was to reach 100 followers, I did that just over a year ago. My next goal is to reach 500 followers. I haven’t gotten there yet but as of this writing I am very close. It’s kind of nice to have so many people want to read what I have to say. I hope to reach even more people next year. I hope to reach somewhere between 750 and 1000 readers. I absolutely think I can do it.

So from here until 2016 I’ll be working on my editorial calendar and get ahead of my posts here. I’m also going to start cross posting to Medium and Tumblr more. I want to get back into participating in Twitter chats and to comment on and share other bloggers work more. I also want to start writing posts that are more thought provoking and posts that are helpful.

This year I had my writing published for the very first time. Two of my poems were chosen for inclusion in a zine called fēlan. It was a small thing but it was also a big thing. It felt very good to be chosen. It was the first bit of validation I have felt. I want more of that. I want to feel like my work is good enough to warrant printing on real paper and offering for sale. I want know that one way or another my writing is good enough to make a living at.

So from here until 2016 I am compiling a list of publications to submit work to next year. I will have of schedule of their deadlines and I will work hard to write the best I can for them. I hope by this time next year I will have been included in many more publications.

But if I hope to make any sort of living at this I have to learn to write fiction too. So I will be joining a few writing challenges that focus on creative writing. Creative nonfiction and story telling are where I hope to go with this. I had tried this year to write fiction but I am terrible at coming up with ideas. I figure it is a matter of just practicing better though, I used to be bad at coming up with ideas for this blog. I practiced and now I see ideas everywhere.

So from here until 2016 I’m going to practice thinking of ideas. I will start with prompts and photography inspiration, writing based on pictures I see. I’m going to start with short stories, small scenes, and bits of dialog, to get the ideas flowing

The last thing I want to do next year is begin working on my art again. That will be the hardest thing to accomplish because I really have no time for it and I have not idea what I am doing. It took quite a long time to build a writing habit and now I must get myself into an “art habit”. I don’t know how I am going to do it yet but I know I have to start slow. I would like to do a Year of Creative Habits type of thing but I’m not sure how I am going to work that in.

From now until 2016 figuring out some way to become the artist I want to be. I am leaning towards breaking up a challenge of being creative for the year, into 12 smaller art challenges. A month of collages, a month of drawing portraits, a month of watercolors, you get the idea.

Which brings me to my final goal, and the point of making time for art, I’d like to write and illustrate my own graphic novel. I’ve wanted to do this for a very, very long time now but it always seemed like an impossible task. I tried to let it go but I still think about it constantly. I have ideas for characters, I have a general idea of what time period this thing will cover, and I know how I want the reader to feel while reading it, I’m just a little short on plot.

So, from here until 2016 I will be brainstorming and free writing until I have a better idea of where I am going with this thing. I think if I have a clearer vision the whole it won’t feel so impossible. I know it will take some time but I don’t want to waste anymore than I already have. This rest of this year will be about ideas so that next year can be for rough drafting.

I know this all seems like a lot. I know I might not accomplish all of my goals but by starting to think about it all now, by trying to plan ahead, I think I can give myself the best chance. I want to set myself up to do more than I ever have and get farther than I ever thought I could.

And this time next year I will be doing the same for 2017.

If We Were Having Coffee // Good, Bad, and Blogging

Hello friend! Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. I’ve had quite a long week and could use some good conversation. I was a bit stressed this week and while things look like they might work out my anxiety levels are still a bit high. In fact I may just skip the coffee and go for tea this time, my heart doesn’t need the caffeine. Or maybe I need a black Russian, just coffee liqueur and vodka :)

Either way, if we were having coffee, I would tell you that my girlfriend has returned from her work trip and I am feeling much better with her here again. While she was gone I felt very lonely. She’s my best friend and when she is here I tend to talk out loud at her about everything I am doing or thinking. It was very strange not to have anyone to talk to for a few days. My voice had to adjust from lack of use when she got back.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it is a good thing she is back because things seemed to fall apart while she was gone. I’m used to having a team mate while solving life’s problems and it was weird to be on my own. I know most people do things on their own but I’m not used to that.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the biggest issue I encountered while she was away was that the refrigerator decided to crap out while she was gone. I didn’t realize it at first so the food started to go bad before I could save it. I spent a good part of today throwing all our food out. We were able to afford a new fridge but it won’t be here until tomorrow. It’s been tricky planning meals that don’t require refrigerated ingredients.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that code enforcement has also come by, again, to tell us that our yard needs work, again. This time they came with papers saying we have to go to court now. We have been trying to get the yard together but a lack of time and money has brought progress to a halt. We spent the other part of today filling the yard with rock and mulch in the hopes that our fine will be reduced. We’ll find out Tuesday.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that despite all the bad going on, life is still good. My lady brought me back a bunch of corny gifts from her trip to Texas. I love all the corny mugs and t-shirts that are sold in airport and hotel gift shops. Now I have some from Texas too, and a few postcards and magnets. I also got a bunch of sunflowers today as a thank you for all the work that was done in the house and in the yard. My lady is good to me :)

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am excited to be doing a few new things around this here blog. I wrote a quick review of the movie Dear White People last week and I think I did a decent job. I hope to write more reviews like it. I have also been working on finding my way into fiction writing but I can’t seem to write a good beginning, middle, and end. I do come up with snippets sometimes though, a bit of dialog or a scene here and there. I thought maybe I would share them here. I call them “Excerpts from the Book I’ll Never Write”, an idea I admit I stole from Tumblr.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have also been looking for a way to include my readers here but so far I have come up with no way to do it. I don’t care for the “reblog” option and I don’t like guest posts much either. I appreciate their usefulness but I like for my blog to be about me. I hope that doesn’t sound to selfish. I have decided that the interview option is the way to go. More than that I want to interview a lot of you, all at once. I am going to start a little event, the “One Question Interview”. More details will follow.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I appreciate you meeting with me so late. I was busy but I didn’t forget you. I might have been late but I couldn’t let the day go by without making time for our talk and our coffee. I hope you are doing well, I trust you will let me know in the comments. I hope your weekend was nice too, and I wish you the best of luck in the week ahead :)

Growing Up and Kissing Girls

Based on a true story.

***

At the end of my 8th-grade year, a new girl came to our school. By lunchtime, on her first day, we all agreed she was the new “prettiest girl” in school. Over the next few months, she became something of a legend. She was at a level of cool that most of us could never dream of attaining.

I never spoke to her. I knew I wasn’t cool enough to be her friend, but we did travel in the same groups. I liked that, knowing that through friends of friends, we were connected. I did want to talk to her, though, and over those months, I slowly worked up the courage to try. I decided that after school when I saw her walking home, I would strike up a conversation.

I looked for her to cut through the field behind the school. She was there, but she was with a boy, the cutest in the school, and they were kissing. I didn’t understand it then, but I was really hurt by that. No, I was jealous.

But I wasn’t jealous of her, I was jealous of him.

I spent the rest of 8th grade feeling very confused.

***

A lot of us were there, maybe 10 or so. The ratio of girls to boys not quite even but close. There were more of us girls than them, and we sat awkwardly grouped, all on one couch. We were like herd animals, not wanting to be separated, or caught singled out. The wolves were looking to pick one or two of us off.

One boy, the one whose home this was, goes to the back of the house and returns with a few Playboy magazines. This wasn’t the first time I had seen one, but I remember we spent a lot of time on a spread of two girls kissing. They were both nude, but the photos didn’t show them doing anything more than kissing. On the last few pages, a man enters, and things get more interesting.

The boys forgot us and talked only of those two women and their own fantasies of the same scenario.

***

A girl who lives in the same apartment complex as me invites a few of us over while her parents work late. The girl to boy ratio is exact this time, three girls, three boys. We act cool and calm, but mentally we are all weighing the pros and cons of each of the opposite sex. You want to make up your mind who you like better in case any kissing games break out.

A game of spin the bottle is suggested, but I knew this would never work out in my favor. I hated the boys that were there and instead wanted the girl with the red hair and a beautiful name, Alice. I knew that even if the bottle landed on her, they would just make me spin again. The point is for the girls to kiss the boys.

I was frustrated and angry. I didn’t want to kiss the boys, so I made up an excuse and went home. I was once again feeling very confused.

I never did get over that red hair.

***

My friend and I are the last ones in the school’s locker room after gym. She wears a lot of make-up, so she always takes forever to get ready. I am her best friend, so it is my duty to wait however long it takes so she doesn’t have to walk to class alone.

I look at her and pretend I’m not looking at her. She is very pretty. I wish I could be closer to her but getting to wait for her while she does her make-up is the closest I’ll ever get. I remember feeling hopeless.

She sees me watching her put on lip gloss, and she stops, looks away from the mirror…and asks me to kiss her.

I freeze, paranoid that this is all some trick. I imagine that if I agree she will flip out and call me a dyke, or something. She’ll say she knew I was gay all along. She’ll laugh as she tells everyone else in school that I am a gross lesbian.

So, instead of saying yes, like I wanted to, I laugh and say no. She shrugs it off, and we walk to our next class.

I regretted that decision for a long time.

***

I end up dropping out of school, but I have met the girl of my dreams, so nothing else matters. We talk every day, and we go to the movies every weekend. She is beautiful, smart, funny, and I am madly in love.

My work schedule changes to overnight, so I start visiting her at her high school for lunch. We meet outside the cafeteria doors, and we walk to Burger King or Subway. We eat, we talk, and I walk her back.

Once there I offer to walk her to her next class before I leave. I am trying to squeeze as many minutes out of this visit as I can. We walk to the locker room of her school, and she tells me she has gym class.

I say my goodbyes, and I lean in to kiss her. She stops me and reminds me that she has gym class. She cannot kiss me before going into the locker room! She says this as if it were obvious.

She says other girls will definitely have something to say about a lesbian in the locker room. I am hurt, but I do understand.

I never walk her to the locker room again.

***

We have been together for many years now. We are young, and we want to go out but whenever we do the men around us lose their shit.

They stare and make vulgar noises when we kiss. It makes us feel uncomfortable. On the bad nights, the ask if they can kiss us too. I wish I had a dollar for every request for a “three-way kiss.” We could move to a remote island where these creeps couldn’t reach us.

On the really, really bad nights, the guys follow us, or they get too touchy-feely. They say we just haven’t met the right man yet. They don’t think women can have relationships, or even sex, without a male involved.

I remember that Playboy magazine and I think they must have gotten the idea from there. They must all have looked at that same spread. They must all think women only kiss until a man comes along to make it more interesting.

We stop going out so much. We choose to stay home where we can kiss in peace.

***

Things are different now. We aren’t scared, or ashamed, or confused anymore. We no longer feel the pain of loving women who will never love us back. We have each other now.

We have learned that we are entitled to be in love in public without it being about anyone else. We have learned that other people are learning it too. If they don’t, we educate them.

We kiss whenever and wherever we want now, and we don’t entertain anyone else’s thoughts on it.

***

My little sister, 15 years younger than me, texts me to say she had something to tell me. She says she likes a girl at school, and the girl at school likes her back. She tells me that because I am a lesbian she felt it wasn’t important to tell me. I tell her it’s okay and I’m happy for her.

She tells me not to make a big deal out of it.

It had been years since I thought about all those little incidents and my feeling for other girls. When I was her age, when I liked the new girl in school and ended up jealous and confused, things were so different. I barely understood my own feelings at that age, and I couldn’t fathom telling an adult about it, let alone telling the girl I liked that I did!

I don’t make a big deal out of it, but I am proud of my sister’s courage. I am happy that she can kiss the girls, or the boys, she wants right out in the open, without judgment, without fear, and with a lot less confusion.

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering + important reads from others, or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Featured image via Unsplash

When I’m Not Writing…

Write every day, but don’t put your life on hold…

— Vincent Mars, “Writing as a Way of Life“

I have been wondering lately if writing here hasn’t taken up just a bit more time than it should. I haven’t really been doing much else and I don’t think that is healthy, or any good for my writing in the long run. I have to step away more often and do other things so I can come back with a fresh perspective and tons of inspiration. I have to make sure to keep things in balance.

So what do I do when I’m not writing.

Reading

Every writer has to read, that is the number one rule of good writing. Honestly I have never really met anyone who liked to write that didn’t like to read too. I haven’t read nearly as many books as I wanted to so far this year but I have been reading more literary journals and magazines. I’m into flash nonfiction right now so that’s what I read. I love New Philosopher magazine and the Black Warrior Review.

I already feel like I need a change though and I imagine I will be back to fiction (and maybe writing some fiction) very soon

YouTube

Usually I would tell people to stay away from such a time suck but I have learned that YouTube has some very interesting, informative, and educational channels. I watch them while I write and I watch them when I don’t know what to write about, YouTube Always helps. My favorite channels are The School of Life, Vice, Nerdwriter, and TED. I follow a bunch more but these are the ones I check everyday.

Podcasts

I’m new to the whole podcast thing. I thought they were all stupid until I found Joe Rogan’s podcast. A friend recommended it and I finally listened so he’d stop bugging me. I expected to hate it but it was actually very good! I listened to him while doing the dishes, a chore I hate. Then I started listening to other podcasts through Soundcloud and Stitcher, A few of my favorites are The Partially Examined LifeOn Being, and Mortified. I listen to them as often as I can, downtime at work or out walking the dog.

Walking 

I try to walk as much as I can. I don’t think it’s the best excersise but it’s better than nothing. I figure as long as I get up and move at least once an hour or so I am doing better than most. I like that my phone comes with S Health, an app that helps me track how many steps I’ve taken. I also have Google Fit another fitness app that tracks that amount of time I am active. I try to walk for an hour a day. Not all at once, but broken up between a lunch break walk, and walking the dog a few times a day.

I think it’s a good thing to do something where mind can wander. If I’m sitting it usually means I am doing something I have to focus on. If you are up and moving there is no particular thing your mind has to do.

Brains need breaks too.

Movies

I don’t watch a ton of movies but I like getting out and going to a theater and focusing on a film for two hours with no distractions. I think it’s important as a writer to study other mediums of art and expression. You can gain inspiration that you wouldn’t think. I tend to like movies that are witty, that make you think, and are subtle in their humor, preferably with an “indie” feel. I like Wes Anderson, I like Tarantino, and I like the Coen Brothers. I know, how very hipster of me, right?

I also watch a ton of documentaries, I’m currently getting through all three volumes of Human on Youtube.

Art

I want to make art even though between all my other activities I have no time for it. Soon I hope I will though. In the mean time I like to collect art and inspiration in places like Tumblr and Pinterest. I like anything that has emotion to it and good design.

I wish I could have known da Vinci or asked Jacques-Louis David about his painting “The Death of Socrates“. I love the iconic Frida Kahlo and I love the easily recognizable Audrey Kawasaki. I like the comic book artist Jae Lee and the elusive Chiara Bautista, who’s “characters and their ongoing stories are made as gifts for people I love”.

I love all art!

Time with Friends

My friends have similar interest to me. We like to discuss philosophy and movies and art and books. We also have some different interests and ideas about right and wrong and funny or not funny. We get along well and we debate often. Talking with them get the wheels turning and ideas flowing. They are good friends, supportive but not perfect. Sometimes our debates get out of hand but we always let it go. We try to learn from each other.

My activities outside of writing aren’t the most exciting but I do feel they feed the muse and give me a well of information and inspiration to pull from when it is time to get back to work. I think I will spend more time on them going forward because while I should write often, I should also live my life too. I should cultivate my other interests and let them compliment my writing.

In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Writing and not writing

If We Were Having Coffee // It’s Going to be a Lonely Week

Good afternoon friends. It might not look like it but I am very happy to see you for coffee, I’m just tired today. The coffee should help and I’ll do my best not to bore you but I may have to keep the visit short. I am in desperate need of a nap.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the biggest thing going on right now is my girlfriend has to leave for Texas tomorrow for a week-long work thing. Something about training on a special program she uses for work, I don’t know, it sounds boring. She leave tomorrow afternoon and won’t be back until Friday night. I hate when she leaves.

We’ve been together so long and we spend so much time together that being away from her causes me considerable anxiety and sadness. I know I will be ok, and I know it’s only a week, but still, I will miss her very, very much.

If we were having coffee I would ask you if you’ve ever heard me mention my fear of driving? I have been working for a long time to get over it and I have made a lot of progress. This week I have decided that instead of taking the bus or relying on friends I am going to drive myself wherever I need to go while she is gone.

This is a big step and to be honest, even though I feel down on myself about the whole situation, I am proud of how far I have come.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I did take a few days off of work this week though. I plan to use the time to work on an art project. I mentioned yesterday that I had been inspired by the artist Andrew Kass and thought I might spend some time working on a few collages of my own.

I have wanted to for a long time but I was a bit afraid that it was a stupid hobby and not real art. I don’t care though, for some reason I just love the idea of mixing and matching these pre-made pieces into something new. I think I’ll add to them too, some pen or paint or something. I have ideas.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that of course in addition to all that I will be spending more time writing too. I want to get a ahead on my posting schedule and I have a couple of post ideas that need more research and I also want to work on pieces to submit for inclusion in a few zines, and a few essays for a personal project of my own.

I took off two days and I was already off on another so I only have to work two days this week. I hope I can get a lot done.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had better go. I have decided against the nap and instead I plan on heading to the bookstore, I want to pick up Saga, Volume 5 today. I hope you all had a good week, update me in the comments if you can, I’d love to hear from you.

I hope you have a good rest of your weekend too and don’t worry, the coffee is on me :)

An Open Letter to the Climate Change Denialist

Dear Climate Change Denialist,

I’m writing you today because I truly cannot fathom how you could not believe that climate change is real and that humans are the cause. I hope you will not take this the wrong way but I find your thinking to be both harmful to the entire human race, and incredibly stupid.

To disagree with 97% of scientist who are trained and study this phenomenon takes an ego larger than I can imagine. To continue to stay uninformed on a major subject of world, not just U.S., politics must require a lot of energy. How do you manage not to encounter one true fact about this subject is beyond me. Or maybe you do but you tell yourself that it can’t be true.

The mental gymnastics required for either scenario are almost admirable.

Just in case I am wrong and you just honestly don’t know the facts, here are a few things I’m going to need you to seriously consider before you vote in anymore elections:

  1. Average global sea level is expected to rise 7 – 23 inches before the end of this century. This doesn’t seem so bad unless you realize how many people actually live close to a coast, about half of the world’s population If that doesn’t move you consider the fact that sea levels are rising three- to four-times faster along parts of the United States’ East Coast than they are globally. Does that hit home yet?
  2. California is in the midst of a staggering drought. In fact, it’s been at least half a millennium since California has been this dry. Add to that the extreme high temperatures and you have a serious wildfire issue and a strain on agriculture and drinking water supplies. Texas isn’t faring much better with record rain fall in the spring leading to floods and then no rain at all leading to a drought. These conditions are not usual for these areas and seem to be getting worse every year. How long until these people have no water to drink let alone water for farming?
  3. More than a million species face potential extinction as a result of disappearing habitats, changing ecosystems, and acidifying oceans! Yes, evolution is a thing, but it needs time and even with time there is no guarantee that a species will adapt to changing conditions. Oceans are warming, droughts are killing vegetation, ice sheets are melting, animals are having to climb higher into mountains to find food. We are killing them!
  4. 2014 was the world’s hottest year on record. This year the world has experienced record-breaking warmth every month so far. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said that 2015 was 97% likely to be the hottest year so far, eclipsing 2014. I wonder how bad things will be next year, and the next, and the next…?

Knowing all that, how can you continue to support legislation that blocks efforts to clean up our air and reduce our  impact on the rest of the world? How can you support politicians that are paid to keep us ignorant and do what hurts us all in the long run?

I beg you to please, stop and think about more than yourself. Think of the other life on this planet that has no choice but to suffer at the hands of humans. Think about other countries that are unfairly impacted by our unwillingness to make any significant changes. Think about the future generations that will have to deal with, and clean up our mess! Think of what history will have to say about us and what we did. Will they say we were the stupid ones who had the chance to make a difference or did we fuck it all up.

I beg you to do a little research. Stop looking to a political party that cares nothing for the ways this will impact you and your family to tell you what is going on. Look to the scientific community, the majority of whom care very much about facts and the future. Scientists love this planet and hate to lose any bit of it. Look to them to tell you what the facts are. They are trained to study this phenomenon. They know more than your favorite candidate in the election and they are not as easily bought.

And finally, I beg you, please if you cannot help, get out of the way of people who can. If you cannot contribute to the conversation, stop talking. Do not let your ego force you to get in the middle of a movement where you only create controversy and slow down progress. You are not so important that you must always be heard. You are not so smart that your opinion is equal to those who know more than you.

In closing, I hope this letter has made you reevaluate your current thinking. If it hasn’t I encourage you to read it again and then head over to Google for some much needed education on the subject.

I wish you the best of luck, for all our sakes!

Warmest Regards*,

Lisa

In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Reinvent the letter format

*Pun entirely intended

Colorado In The Fall and How I Am Learning to Cope with Help From My Readers

This past Sunday I received quite a few comments on my weekly coffee sharing post regarding my hatred for autumn and how much or how little that had to do with the fact that I live in Colorado. There were a lot of comments but most were in favor of fall and many thought I was looking at this all wrong. Some had even been to Colorado and thought that it wasn’t that bad, or that Colorado was just beautiful and I just wasn’t seeing it.

When it was all said and done I think my mind was changed a little. Maybe I really have been just seeing autumn the wrong way. The way I see it now, fall just looks like everything around me is sad and dying. The leaves changing isn’t beautiful, it’s a daily reminder that pretty soon all the pretty green stuff is going to be gone and it is going to be cold and snowing. That cool breeze that means you can finally start wearing all you favorite sweaters just means that soon there will be no more fun things to do.

All the amusement parks and pools will be closed. All the patios at the bars will be for the hard core smokers only. There will be no more movie event, or festivals or ‘fests. The pretty green parks will be bare and empty of human laughter. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit but mostly all of this is true.

My favorite comment on the subject, and the one that inspired this post, came from Sarah:

Fall has always been my favorite season with winter a close second.
Fall here in Florida is a continuation of summer and I hate summers here,
I love fall in the rest of the country.

Watching the leaves change from green to all the colors of the rainbow. Or if you happen to live in Colorado they change to a bright golden /red color. Simply beautiful.

I love how the air is fresher. I can open my windows and spell the fresh air.
My steps become alive again and I start walking. I am rejuvenated.
The animals gives birth and we watch them walk through the yard here.
Winter is warmer here and you would enjoy that. For me I long for the winters out West. The cold is warmed by the bright sun. It fresh and clear and sunny.

My reply to such a beautiful comment:

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful comment. The way you describe your love of autumn almost makes me change my mind, then I remember that here fall means cold, and wind, and snow. I do happen to live in Colorado and the leaves are turning very yellow right now. Sounds like I should be living somewhere like Florida, where fall is just summer 2.0.

I’ve often told people that I should move further south, and I would, except for the extreme conservatism everywhere. I have thought about southern California as well but the cost of living is high. So I am staying here for the forseeable future, which is okay because I really do love this state, I just hate the winter.

Sarah reblogged my post and I got another comment from one of her readers:

Ahhh it makes sense, your in Colorado, I understand completely….We drove through your beautiful state….I was mesmerized….I fell in love with Manitou Springs, we spent a week there, Cortez National Park, amazing…and we went over Lizard Pass…wow I thought I was in the Alp’s…..love it….glad to have coffee with you anytime..akthy

I will say that we have some of the best scenery that you can get in this country. Routine drives to work and home give you spectacular views of the mountains and amazing displays of color in every sunrise and sunset. The mountains are often purple or orange tinged and this time of year, the fall I hate so much, means the beginning of them getting their pristine white tips back. I do love the way the mountains look with snow on them and I admit that in the summer they seem a little drab.

The air here also does become much clearer and fresher. Most summers the sky gets pretty hazy due to California’s continual forest fires. Sometimes it’s so bad we can’t see the mountains at all. We can smell it coming in and the haze gives everyone the worst allergies. In the fall the fires die down and the sky becomes clearer. We get a better view of the mountains too.

We are also lucky that even though it gets very cold, the sun is usually shining. I read once that Colorado gets an average of 300 sunny days a year. In other parts of the country people go long stretches of time with clouds hovering and rain and snow coming down constantly. We get a good amount of snow, and we do get it in the fall, but it’s not that bad and we do have the sun to cheer us, even of the temperatures stay below freezing for a few months..

Speaking of the snow and the mountains we do have quite the booming winter tourist season. I do not partake, in fact I am one of the few Denver natives here who have never gone, and probably never will go skiing. I do like all the money this brings to the state and I do take pride in this fact. People come from all over the world to ski our slopes!….Maybe I ought to give it a try, everyone else can’t be wrong about this.

Then I remember that I still hate it and it’s basically a useless season anyway.

I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s because Colorado’s fall is so short and uneventful that I feel this way. Here the weather goes from warm to cold quickly, there isn’t much transition. I joke that fall lasts about 2 weeks, same for spring, so the two seasons do feel pretty useless to me.

So yeah there are some good things about fall and maybe I am beginning to see things in a different light, but even so, I think most people like fall because it is a real fall. Here the seasons seem to change rather abruptly. I don’t feel like I have enough time to adjust or emotionally prepare and I spend the rest of winter being mad that there was no warning and I didn’t get to end the summer the way I wanted.

I sound like a brat I know. At least one person, Sonya, kinda-sorta agreed with me:

And I’m sort of with you on autumn. We had lovely warm weather here last week, and I liked that the wind had a bit of a sting to it. But it’s 8:30pm and pitch black outside, and soon the days will be shorter than the nights and I just hate that.

So having said all that, and having read all that my readers had to say, I think I should try a bit harder to enjoy autumn in Colorado. For one, it could be worse, people who live further north would think me a wuss complaining about what they would consider to be very fine weather, and two, there’s actually some good to it too. I just hadn’t really looked for it and instead moped around like a kid who is forced to go back to school.

I don’t want to be that way, and I don’t want to miss out on what might be a beautiful time of the year just because I wish another wouldn’t end. I want to see the good in it instead.

I will still miss the summer though. I feel the loss of it deeply and I feel it every year, and no amount of soft sweaters or pumpkin spice lattes is going to change that. I will enjoy them none the less though, because it is the least the universe could offer for putting me through that cold hell of winter.

Fall is about warmth, and cider, and colors, and pumpkin spice, and.. and…

wccunningham

In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Expand a comment

Featured image via Unsplash

In the Beginning There Was Physics, and It Was Good

“In the beginning, there was physics.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

Before time existed, it did not, and before there was any place at all there was no place. The human mind cannot fathom this and so we must concern ourselves with only what has come after and what has lead to the existence of us, Homo Sapians, the universe made conscious to observe and experience itself.

In the beginning, 13.8 billion years ago, there was only space and time. Out of no where they were sprung. There were one then, just as they are now, and they spread out all around in the Inflationary Epoch. Hotter than you can imagine,over 10 billion degrees, too hot for anything to exist, there was only energy and the one-unified force. Gradually this cooled ever so slightly and allowed the formation of particles and the beginning of gravity, which would come to dominate over everything.

In the beginning, there was no God, there were only neutrons, protons, electrons, anti-electrons (positrons), photons, and neutrinos. There was no heaven, and there was no hell, but there was in fact light. The very first photons were extremely powerful. The early universe must have looked dazzling as the free electrons scattered it the was droplets in a cloud do. Light was everywhere but there was no one there to see.

When those free electrons were absorbed to form neutral atoms, the Universe suddenly became transparent, but those same photons can still be observed today as the Cosmic Background Radiation.

A great battle would take place between the particles and anti particles. There were the protons and antiprotons. There neutrons and antineutrons. There were electrons and positrons. There were neutrinos and antineutrinos. Even though the photons showed up, they are their own antiparticle. They battled and when pairs met to fight they both were annihilated.

The universe keeps cooling. The last of the antiprotons and antineutrons annihilate with protons and neutrons and in the end there were a few more of one than the other. Protons and neutrons win out over the antimatter and the bask in their victory surrounded by a sea of radiation.

The Universe is just a fraction of a second old.

For minutes the remaining particles interact and interfere with one another, some turn from one type to another. The balance is thrown off and there are protons and neutrons everywhere, and they are hot. They with nothing more than to fuse together but the photons will not allow it. Things keep cooling, it’s been four minutes now and finally the fusion is allowed to begin but just a bit too late to make anything more than hydrogen and helium. The universe must exist for many, many million more years and await the first stars formation until we can get carbon.

At that time there was a grand emergence of the first starts, quasars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and they all moved and formed according to the laws of gravity. They were made and unmade in a cycle that we refer to as the “cosmic evolution”. That phrase is often used to include everything that lead to the formation of life on a tiny blue planet, orbiting an unremarkable star.

Another kind of evolution would begin there and eventually there would emerge a group of beings who refer to themselves as “humankind”. They didn’t know it yet but they were the result of billions of years of matter and forces moving and influencing everything bound within the confines of a space-time that had popped into existence a mere 13 billion years before. These “mankind” would evolve and form an insatiable curiosity for what was out there in space and they would wonder where they came from.

They would make up stories, but those wouldn’t last long. The truth was what they wanted and they discovered math and physics, and they invented telescopes, and they looked deep into space and back into time and saw a glimpses of what had come before….

And it was good.

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Hook ’em with a quote