Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The bearing of burdens

What is this obsession with bringing others down? The world is not always a happy place, but it is where we live. And even if my life is a misery, there is no reason it should spread.

I am not saying we should not grieve. It is a natural thing, and necessary for healing. However, we should not seek to reduce others  to our emotional state.

That does not mean putting on a happy face. When the pain is great, release comes in the shedding of tears. There is no shame in pouring one's heart out through the eyes.

There are people who live to make others miserable. Their very existence is poisonous. Hopefully, this rancor will result in a shorter lifespan.

Only those who bear their own burdens have the strength to help another. If anyone promises you a rose garden, be prepared to feel the thorns. No one's life is easy: we just struggle with different things.

It is hard enough to stand with the fallen scattered about. Do no harm, and help yourself thereby. Live to build up, and the destroyers will be put to shame.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Artful inspiration

They were about twenty-two pages long and the cover art was superb. The interior artwork was still pretty good, but it was the story that kept me coming back each month. I got some of my best inspiration from comic books.

There were changes over the years: more pages were added, the interior artwork was rendered crisply. Comic books grabbed the attention of my young mind and held it. Whenever I finished one, I would be anxious to read another.

At one point, I had a subscription to over thirty titles. I collected several entire series, and was always looking for more. I was so enamored that I would even buy comics introducing all the characters...

I had to get rid of most of them when I moved. Thankfully, I was now old enough to truly appreciate actual books. But I fondly recall those hours spent reading each issue.

The stories were many and varied, but they mainly told of heroes and the villains they faced. There were so many colorful characters, and the storylines were gritty and dramatic. People's lives were being affected, so it was not always easy to know the right thing to do.

I learned how to make compelling characters, and to build engaging plots. Fun is a priority, and the ending cannot be too predictable. After all, the best story is the one that leaves you wanting more.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Infinitely precious

We are just a speck upon a speck in the cosmos. The sun could swallow the earth and it would not feel a thing. In spite of this, our place in the universe is secure.

Our planetary system is one of many in the Milky Way. We can barely even see their stars in the night sky. Still, there is one thing that makes us stand out.

There are stars that dwarf our own. And some systems contain more than one. Yet, something infinitely precious resides here.

Some regions of space contain clusters of stars. Their light is beyond blinding. But we have the one thing without which nothing else matters.

The universe is made up of countless galaxies filled with celestial bodies. It is wondrous to behold, with beauty nigh impossible to fathom. Yet, that is what sets us apart: we can appreciate it.

One person that cares, is worth more than all the stars in the sky. What does it matter if they all went out, if there was no one around to enjoy them? For the night holds no fear, if there are none to greet the day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The value of a day

A day has only the value we give it. So, it is essential that we value some days above others. At these times, we are reminded of what is truly important.

There is very little difference between one twenty-four hour period and the next. Only in the midst of our journey around the sun, do the seasons change. Otherwise, days remain much the same.

We must make time to spend with our loved ones. This will not be given, nor gotten without a fight. And even when we have it, the world will plot to take it away.

Precious things are lost because of indifference. Once something is taken for granted, it tends not to be appreciated. Be wary, there will always be those who will snatch up what you cast away.

The selfish take from those who make. And then wonder why no one will stand up for them. It is better to stand aside and watch them get what they deserve.

A special day should not be spent in the normal way. It should be cherished and enjoyed to the fullest. Wisdom places some days above others, to overcome the monotony that is the every day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holding on

Living is harder than dying. To die, you merely let go; to live, you must keep going. Even when death is sure, the misery is what you must live through before the body finally succumbs.

When I learned I was diabetic, the fear was not in the deadly nature of my condition. Rather, it was the likelihood that my demise would come after much suffering. I was keenly aware, as well, that pieces of me could be lost in the process.

Medical problems stack up like wooden blocks. The higher the tower, the more chances it will come tumbling down. Especially when the table is shaking beneath you...

The medicine helps, but it does not heal. It enables us to go on, in spite of the pain. It treats the symptoms, but not the problem.

There is no use dreading the inevitable. We are still alive, and there is much left to do. Let the storms rage, but we will stand firm.

Life is tough: we must be tougher. Hold on to that which you hold dear. These things are done for those we hold dear, and for ourselves: to cherish each moment, and waste not a one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Playing the game

Role-playing games exercise the imagination. With a toss of the dice, a character is born. Once the details are written down, you are ready to dive into an adventure.

To truly understand someone, you must walk a mile in their shoes. Playing a character is just that: getting into the heart, soul  and mind of another person. And then, moving about in their world.

If done correctly, they will not sound like you. Each character has their own thoughts and feelings and this should come out in your performance. To do it right, they must be people.

The scenarios are varied and the challenges diverse. The setting can be in any place at any time. The goal is survival, and death is always a possibility.

The mood of these games runs the gamut, as well: excitement, terror, mystery, romance. There is battle with swords, shooting with guns, and even the wielding of eldritch power. You can fight monstrous beasts or evil sorcerers; zombies or vampires; ghosts or dimensional beings.

Just as in any story, characters are the life's blood of the game. If evil wins, all is lost; you must fight to overcome and live to fight again. There is a lesson here: our lives are like the game, and it is not over until all of the hit points are gone.    

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Break time

We all need a break. The cares of this life pile on, until you can barely stand. If not an ordeal, it is a nuisance.

Why are these things so important? Problems do not go away, they merely go into hiding. And you can be sure that, once you begin to feel good, they will rear their ugly heads once more.

We struggle with that which is beyond our power. It is like trying to remove the grains of sand from a beach. If you were to succeed, you would have a big pile of nothing.

There are things that we love to do. Not all are aimless pursuits to pass the time. Some reach deep into our being, drawing forth objects of wonder.

We desire to make things better. And this is a worthy use of our time. Human beings can transcend their mortality by making that which lasts.

Enjoyment is the very purpose of our being. A miserable life is not worth living. Beyond the drudgery of our daily existence, is a land fashioned of love and peopled by imagination.