Tuesday, January 28, 2014

for lovers of words

Shane Koyczan is amazing. I gave to his Kickstarter yesterday. It was funded in 12 hours; many other people think he is amazing too. If you love his poetry and would like a copy of his new book, head over to his Kickstarter to place an order. As a lover of poetry, show publishers that we are still here and willing to support what we love.

Shane does poetry/rock/rap with his band 'Short Story Long'.

Here's an amazing taste of his newest creation from a recent Tedx...

    Below is the written poem "Blueprint" from which the Tedx was seemingly inspired. There were just so many awesome quotes. I knew that you, like me, would want to see the entire poem:

    1. Blueprint
      In times of unimaginable grief people will offer you their sympathies.
      And I appreciate the outstretched arm, but I’ve been in a breaking-things-kinda-mood. I’ve been scarfing down on the food for thoughts that I’ve got bowels so backed-up with brilliant ideas that eventually I’m gonna shit books.
      I’m gonna shit books so bad-ass they’ll be banned for trying to define bravery as walking into a biker bar wearing a pink sweat shirt with a picture of a unicorn being tamed by a gnome.
      Going it alone is like leaping out of a window waiting for God to catch you. And in the second before impact gravity becomes a fact so well established it makes you calm.
      I’ve gone from needing a shoulder to lean on to trying to calm the night into thinking it had the day shift. I’ve trained my shadow to shoplift light from the back pocket of levity, bent my forehead to the kiss of brevity hoping I could get through depression with some semblance of speed. 
      But the live camera feed is on a 24 hour delay, so I keep reliving the worst parts of yesterday in slow motion.
      And someone once told me that the finer points of devotion are about the size of a pin-hole. But there’s millions of them, and if you can connect each dot then you’ve got a diagram of what you think you thought you knew. And if you are willing to admit you know nothing, you’ve got a blueprint for a breakthrough.
      I’m just trying to get by. Huffing the glue that is supposed to keep me together in a world that lets global warming get this bad then bitches about the weather. A world where misdemeanour jailbirds of a feather flock to the back alley in an attempt to stage their own private protest rally, because it still seems that capitalism is a convenience store open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and if you’re not coming to buy something they won’t let you in to take a leak. But I want to live in a world where 76 year olds hang out in nightclubs, because they still haven’t hit their peak.
      I want a week spent in silence so the next time we speak others will be ready to hear what we have to say, and the following day will be comprised not so much of moments of silence, but 24 hours of noise.

      Noise for the toys that we as children never wanted to let go, because we live in a world that told us to grow up so we grew, growing up to know we knew noise is not enough, because our fathers are dying.
      We were left trying to make sense out of a world that doesn’t, because everything that was supposed to be wasn’t, because what wasn’t never was what we wished for. We grew up waging war against birthday candles, wishing our hearts would become handles for every time we needed to get a grip.
      I make noise for a man who gave 20 years of his life to a gold mine and two years before retirement was rewarded with a pink slip. Let us serve each chip on the shoulder of the tired and the poor, to the billionaires who are convinced that in owning everything, they still need more. This is for the bars bathroom floor. For the men and women who live there, because it’s easier to care about where your next drink comes from, then it is to go home to no one.
      Make noise for the son or daughter that lives inside you. Maybe someday we’ll understand what our parents went through. Make noise for everything you think you thought you knew as if knowing was enough to tough off the hard times; noise for the mimes that won’t, for the people that don’t, for the children that can’t. Make noise because the Land of Oz is crumbling and the Tin Man needs a heart transplant.
      This is for each senseless rant that will one day make sense. Let us put dents in the armour of those who said they could not be reached. This is for the beached whales beaching themselves because maybe love and loneliness are not just human conditions. Yell for the hopeless missions and hopeless wars fought by hopeful men. Scream for the times ‘that was now and this was then’. There will be times when noise is not enough and you must stand.
      So stand.
      As if you believe standing for the beliefs you believe in are worth standing for. As if every closed door is begging to be opened up, and every beggar’s cup is filled with the spare change needed to change the minds of those who’d have us think love is a missing link that we somewhere along the way misplaced.
      Our lifelines are traced by hands not yet old enough to hold pencils, and there are no stencils for any alphabet that can be arranged to explain or articulate how we feel, because we feel so much more than we could ever voice, because every choice we make takes us further from our fathers.
      And the disposition of long distance never bothers to explain that ‘I miss you’ means before and above all others. Miss you like we miss the grandmothers with Alzheimer’s whose lives resemble the missing punch line to one-liners.
      So wait.
      And when she finally looks at you, as if she was looking for you, stand and make noise just so she knows you were looking too. Tell her “Thank God I found you.” Because know it or not, you were part of her blueprint.
      She had blood like a flint that sparked your father or mother in to flame and you, like they, must burn whether you like it or not, but you were given gifts.
      You’ve got windpipes that house hurricanes, veins that pump floods.
      I’m not the first one to say it “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles today. Tomorrow will be dying.” 
      Every new birthday candle you blow out is only time trying to tell you that every breakthrough you make will only take you closer to the day that your parents must pay the ferry man for a ride to the other side of the river, and you will one day be on your own.

      But you carry with you a blueprint, a hint that your history will always be with you, that you were your parents’ breakthrough. Your blood will be the crazy glue that keeps you together on the eventual day when you must stand alone.

      So stand and make mountains jealous of how much you’ve grown.
             - Shane Koyczan

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

    extend our circle of compassion

    “We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.” 
    ― Albert Schweitzer

    Want to learn how to make origami dolphins?
    You can HERE.

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

    origami dolphin

    Learn how to fold an origami dolphin...

    What you decide to do with it is up to you. I suggest an artful protest to the killings in Taiji, Japan.

    Perhaps take inspiration from Billie Griebler's origami dolphin at the cove Taiji. With love for the Taiji dolphins.

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

    the greatness of a nation...

    The annual slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan must stop.

    There's a list of what you can do to help HERE.

    In addition to contacting the authorities and embassies and those invested and in charge…  I say, do what you can, where you are, with what you have:

    Not a sparrow falls without his maker knowing.

    Bring awareness to your town.

    What will you do?

    What have you done?

    I'd love to know.

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress, may be judged by the way its animals are treated.”     
    -Mahatma Gandhi

    Friday, January 17, 2014

    if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster

    Today I finished reading Love Your Enemies by Sharon Salzberg and Tenzin Robert Thurman. It's a great book that reaffirmed for me that we hold within ourselves the power to create our own happiness. Loving our enemies is about more than finding a way to forgive bullies; it's about wishing love and happiness for everyone… bullies and ourselves.

    As I finished the book today, I highlighted and re-read my favorite parts. "Yep", I thought to myself… "our enemies are a gift; they are our greatest teachers." 

    I thought I had it all figured out. Love, kindness, compassion… "I can do this" I thought.

    I set the book down, feeling content. 

    Then I went on twitter… and saw #HelpCoveDolphins. 

    Today over 250 Bottlenose Dolphins were captured in the Taiji cove in Japan. Many are being slaughtered. Others are drowned in the nets. The 'beautiful' ones are being captured and sold to live in captivity.

    I was suddenly sick with grief. My heart sank and then began to break beyond sadness... within this captured pod is a baby albino dolphin and his mother.

    I watched the horror unfold, live-stream from the Sea Shepherd.  This baby was separated from his mother and hoisted onto the ship. This rare albino dolphin will now spend a lifetime in captivity. The fate of his mother? I don't know.

    Love your enemies… how?

    There is good in everyone… really?

    Then I thought of a quote from HH the Dalai Lama:

    “There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” 

    Love your enemies. 
    There is good in everyone. 
    Never give up hope. 

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

    and that you will always be kind

    “I hope you will have a wonderful year, 
    that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, 
    that you'll make something that didn't exist 
    before you made it, 
    that you will be loved and that you will be liked, 
    and that you will have people to love 
    and to like in return. 
    And, most importantly 
    (because I think there should be more kindness 
    and more wisdom in the world right now), 
    that you will, 
    when you need to be, 
    be wise, 
    and that you will always be kind.”

     Neil Gaiman

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    pleasure in small things

    “I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.” 

    ― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    best that we can

    We are all doing the best that we can 
    from our own level of consciousness.  

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

    Dear 25 year old

    I read Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.

    From the back cover…
    This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

    Stories about things that happened to me
    Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
    Eight billion dollars*
    Stories about dogs
    The secret to eternal happiness*

    *These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

    This is an awesomely hilarious book! 

    Here's Allie reading the first story in the book at Google...

    I adore The Simple Dog and The Helper Dog, and wanting a banana but changing your mind.

    I just love laughing until I cry, and Allie helps me do that…

    Friday, January 3, 2014

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    My New Year’s resolution...


    "My New Year’s resolution is to be more loving. 
    I don’t know how it will work out as I have been quite loving up to now with some disastrous, or at least misunderstood, results. 
    Anyhow, I will try even more love and I will let you know what happens. So far not so good. But then it is only the second day."   -Ursula Nordstrom