Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Around again

One year is ending, with all its joy and sorrow. Another will commence, with hope for tomorrow. Time truly is the fire in which we burn.

We base our lives on the planet's revolutions around the sun. A person's age is determined by how many of these they have lived through. Everything we do takes place in the midst of a solar orbit.

Thus, we decide the importance of a year by what we have done during that time. You take the good and the bad, separate them into individual piles, and then see what kind of year you had.

In one stack are miseries aplenty. There will have been losses and failures, disappointments and defeats. We try not to dwell on these things, like ignoring the black dot on the white piece of paper.

The other stack is full of joy. We think about gains and successes, surprises and victories.  Though seemingly few, they surround all else.

A year is merely another voyage around the sun. It is what we do that gives it relevance. We decide if it will be an arduous journey or a pleasant trip.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Giving of ourselves

I have crossed from hill to coast this night. Through deep fog and pounding rain, I have persevered. It was all for the sake of Christmas.

This is a time to spend with our loved ones. We give and receive, blessing as we have been blessed. No other day so captures the imagination of both young and old.

Oh, the aggravations of the season! And yet, there are few joys greater a child’s when they see all the presents beneath the tree. The frustration almost seems worth it…

There are smiling faces and cheery greetings as you walk down the street. Talk leans toward peace and joy, instead of the daily grind. The grumpy still remain, but good will overpowers them.

It is a time for reflection, and for appreciation. We consider others more than at any other time of the year. This is a season of giving, and we give of ourselves.

Were we to forget, it would slowly fade away. The world would once more become a cold and callous place. It is Christmas that reminds us of what is best: may we never lose the smiles behind the paper and bows.

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.