A Word from Vonnegut

On the anniversary of one of the truly great authors’ birth–that being Kurt Vonnegut, in 1922–I leave you humble blog-goers a few words of wisdom from the man himself. Here’s hoping you’re having either a Happy Veteran’s Day, or a productive day (though since you’re on the blogosphere at present, let’s just say a fun day reading, shall we?). Cheers!

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”

“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'”

~Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut speaking at Case Western Reserve...

Kurt Vonnegut speaking at Case Western Reserve University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Kindness, they say, is a Virtue

“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
~ Kurt Vonnegut

It’s easy to be mired in–to be content in, even–the woes of comparison. Day after day, the world can seem the most bitter of foes, fate and luck and God and whatever else you wish, all conspiring against you, from the little things to the big. It makes us bitter as these things stack up, because as malleable a creature as we humans are, there are certain things we just never seem to forget…and most of them bad. What’s more, surrounded as we are by our fellow man, it’s all too easy to make the fatal mistake of comparing ourselves to others.

The result? Discontent with what we have, with the qualities that make us who we are. We begin to treat someone else’s success as our failure, our own successes as null and void by comparison. It’s a way to live, I suppose, and some dare say it drives us to better…but how does that lead to happiness?

Be kind. Embrace the world for what it is. Take stock of all that you have–it may not be all that you want, it may not even be half the things that someone else has, but it is yours, as those other things are someone else’s. Admire each on their own virtues. Is it wrong to hope, to wish, to long? No. But we mustn’t let it consume us. Happiness must be found in the moment, and a little kindness–a little acceptance–can go a long way to achieving that.

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”
~Kurt Vonnegut

Give Thanks!

This week’s Quotes are in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday! For all my fellow Americans out there – I hope the week, and these season, treat you well, especially on whatever travels you may be shortly undertaking.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.  ~Theodore Roosevelt

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If only for a little while

Those who ever seek to see
will never bring their thoughts to be.

Those who always claim the highest peak
but never give their lives to seek,
will never live beyond the meek.

Those who always strain to hear
but never lend an open ear,
will disappear, unable to persevere.

Those who swim within a sea of dreams
but never bathe within reality’s streams,
will never feel the sunlight’s beams.

Those who will forever wait
and always fear a change of state,
will always bear eternal weight.

Those who always wear a thorny crown,
but never seek to break the frown,
will drown, in their own renown.

And those who always smile, never life beguile,
will be happy, if only for a little while.

* For The Thursday Poets Rally, Week 29.

Finished at last!

“Man tames not vengeance; vengeance breaks the man.”

It is with these words that the fruit of my labors begin. Thirteen short stories led me to this point. Months of labor led me to this point. Long nights. Early mornings. Rushing to heel with pen and paper in hand, to scribble down a passing thought, a fleeting fancy. Inspiration and dedication have led me to at last announce the completion of my dearest creation to date: my novel.

“The Hollow March” has been my been my obsession. At long last, I have finished it. Laid down the final word, breathed in a sigh of relief and adoration, and leaned back to run my eyes down my work. Over 200,000 words, more than 350 pages strung end to end in our dear friend Microsoft Word (using friend loosely here of course). Backed up, filed away, stored and ready and waiting.

Tonight, and for the next few days, I may take a dramatic bow and vanish into the great beyond. For now, I feel a great need to celebrate, before the next stage begins. Editing is just around the corner, and it is all the longer. But the work is down, the words stretched end to end, and I am content, for the moment, to rest.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend. May our rapidly descending Fall find you as well as it has found me!

A father’s love

Staring out the window

the old man sees the picture:

laughter and smiles, these bodies still they

tackle and break and the ball

it floats between, less a joy than a symbol

of a father’s love–

he young, to full of life and love

for dearest son–

he still the younger, laughing, adoration still

he sees this game, a day, a week

and weeps upon the broken knees,

this weary flesh–oh time, time

has rotted;

there is no game for he, this is

Life, life he shall not have, nor give,

but still he looks to the growing faces

of the life beside,

and to this image can but smile–

in that child’s eyes

a word, a look are all he needs

to know the love, the deed–

he cannot do, but love can show

in other ways–

sometimes he just needs the reminder.

Oh these regrets, such bitter things–

thank God, thank God, that child

still smiles at me.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!