Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘time’

Trap Time in a Tale


Welcome back to the A-Z series
devoted to ideas for
Adding Meaning
and
Finding Greater Purpose
in Life

Today’s Letter is “T”

Trap Time in a Tale

 

woman reading a book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Trap Time in a Tale

It’s not a tall tale! It’s not a fish tale or a fairy tale.
It’s YOUR tale!

In These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, today’s devotional said,

“Sometimes in order to thrive,
we need stories more than we need food!”

I thought about calling this blog post “Thrive by Telling Tales,” because I think it’s true: some days we DO need stories more than food!

Some days I thrive on writing (and coffee), do you relate? Writing gives my life meaning and purpose.

I CAN Trap Time in a Tale.

You can, too. You probably do – every time you sit down to write!

Do your tales help add meaning and purpose to your life?

people coffee meeting team

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

I decided against,”Thrive by Telling Tales,”
when I thought of the Jim Croce song,
Time in a Bottle.” Do you know it?

“If I could save time in a bottle,
The first thing that I’d like to do,
Is to save every day
’til eternity passes away
To spend them with you.”

We may not be able to save time in a bottle, but we can Trap Time in a Tale!

The devotional I referred to in These Days is titled, Remembering Your Story. The author, Jan McGilliard wrote, “Stories can greatly expand our understanding of God, others, and ourselves… No matter your age or stage in life, remembering your own story is sacred work.”

Memoir or Autobiographical Tales

Each of us has a story to tell. It is sacred work! When we write our own stories, sometimes they are called autobiographies. They are focused on us, as the writer, the tale teller. Sometimes they are called Memoirs. What’s the difference?

LifeRich Publishing on the web says,

“The fine line between memoir and autobiography is a fuzzy one, especially in this modern literary era where writers are constantly blurring the boundaries between genres to create a new, exciting one. Like an autobiography, a memoir is a narrative that reveals experiences within the author’s lifetime. But there are obvious and practical differences between the two genres.

In essence, an autobiography is a chronological telling of one’s experience, which should include phases such as childhood and adolescence, adulthood, etc., while a memoir provides a much more specific timeline and a much more intimate relationship between the writer’s own memories, feelings, and emotions.”

Among other distinctions, LifeRich Publishing pointed out
Memoirs are:

  • less formal
  • more concerned with emotional truth toward a particular section of one’s life and how it makes one feel now
  • less obsessed with actual events

while Autobiography is essentially:

  • written by the main character (or at least drafted with a collaborative writer)
  • made up of detailed chronology, events, places, movements, reactions, and any other relevant information that inhabited the life of the subject
  • focused on facts – fact, above all, is its foundation

Memoir Writing

Gore Vidal gave his own distiction when he wrote his memoir, Palimpsest.

He said, “…a memoir is how one remembers one’s own life, while an autobiography is a history, requiring research, dates, facts, double-checking.”

I have written a memoir. It’s titled, “All My Marbles.” It is definitely less formal. It is concerned with emotional truth from my emotional perspective. It reflects how I feel now about my life’s people, events, and places – as well as how I feel about myself. It does capture Time in a Tale.

I don’t know if I will publish it in my lifetime or not. I finished it about three years ago. There are chapters about my grandparents and Bob’s. About my parents and his. About our marriage and children. And (to focus on its essential purpose) there is a chapter about and for each of my seven grandchildren. I want them to understand their Grammy better – – – know where I came from – – – and see how I responded/felt about each of them when they were born and as they grew into and through their teen years. They are now 23 to 28 years of age. Two have children of their own. One is about to have a second child, and one is about to get married.

Time in a bottle? No, time rushes on. But I trapped a period of it in my tale! It sings to me.

beach bottle cold daylight

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

“All My Marbles” sits here in my computer.
I have it saved to the cloud
in case my computer crashes.

All My Marbles

Because I love my JanBeek readers, and I respect your opinions and enjoy reading your posts, I want to share the foreword, the introduction to “All My Marbles” with you. Tell me what you think.

I’ll be 80 this July. My prayer is that for another decade (at least) I can keep all my marbles in place, and working. But, if not… I have Trapped Time in this Tale.

Here is the Introduction to “All My Marbles”

I want you to know that I am a rather strong-willed, sometimes too outspoken, retired career woman who intends to live to be ninety-plus with all my marbles in place. Right up to the last, I want to smell good and wear dangling earrings that match my outfit for the day. I hope my children will get the message that there’s no need to get twitter-pated about getting older. As long as you keep your eyes on the NOW, your sense of humor tuned, and allow your style to be uniquely YOU, it’s likely that (unlike my cantankerous mother), you will wear your shirt right-side-out and still “give a shit” at 89!

My mother was a real spitfire! I knew she was not long for this world when she headed out one afternoon to a doctor’s appointment with her blouse inside out. When I brought it to her attention, she barked, “Oh, who gives a shit?” See, that’s where that quote originated, and sure enough, it was one of her last appointments before she departed our company.

Mom wasn’t always so contrary. Back in the early sixties, I got my first job in the states as a result of my hometown superintendent’s interview with my mom. I was in Germany teaching first graders on an army base. He liked what Mom said about me, so he agreed to hire me sight unseen. Before school started, I returned to California and popped in to visit the superintendent.

“Why do you want to work?” he asked. “Why don’t you just stay home and take care of your husband and start your family?”

Even though it was not illegal in 1962 to make that rash assumption and ask such questions, I realized his inquiry was sexist and inappropriate.

“Why should I choose when I am able to do both?” I answered his question with a question of my own.

More than five decades later, I still am averse to making either/or choices. My two children assure me they never felt neglected even though they had a working mother. I loved them, scolded them, laughed with them, played with them, read to them, and spanked them when they needed it. Spare the rod and spoil the child. I believe that! I did the SuperMom/MasterWife stuff while volunteering at Sunday School, teaching primary children, getting my master’s degree, earning an administrative credential, being a principal at a year-round school, and supervising student teachers at the college level.  Why do only one thing when you can do six? I was part of the generation of women who knocked loudly at the glass ceiling.

Now, in my senior years, I know it’s important to keep my mind active. “No day is complete,” my mother-in-law always said, “unless you have learned something new.”

On this bumpy road of life, I am learning something new every day. Certainly it is not a smooth ride on a gravy train. You need to keep a sharp eye on the muck ahead, remember to glimpse lovingly at those around you, and listen for that still small Voice to guide you. Life is a constant learning adventure.  All your marbles must be shined and put in place to survive and thrive. The bottom line is love. If it’s not unconditional, all hell breaks loose.

Let me introduce you to my family members and share some of my favorite life lessons with you.

 

So, my blogging friends, what do you think?
Does the introduction invite you to the memoir
in a way that would cause others to be interested?
Or should I just self-publish ten copies
(one for each of my children,
one for myself,
and one for each grandchild)

… and call it a day?

See you tomorrow.

Few Words Wednesday


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I had all kinds of plans to give my time to a few people today.
I guess God had other ideas.

I was headed out, but my car is stuck in a snowdrift in our driveway. Doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but it won’t go forward or backward… just spins in place.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ae63.jpg

TazE seems puzzled, huh?

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Compared to others, this is a small problem.

How did your day go?

Slow Down the Pace


body of water across forest

Photo by Manuela Adler on Pexels.com

Slow down the pace of
This busy and frenetic life
Float on the waters of grace
With time that is free from all strife
.
Practice the art of just ceasing
Give honor and value to time
Ponder the minutes and hours
Value moments to write and to rhyme
.
Writing is not akin to working
It’s not a task, not for me
I rest in sweet Otim Sanctum:
Holy Leisure and divine creativity
.
You can turn up the secular pace of
Negotium: those non-leisure hours
But let sacred rhythm enchant you
And drench you in replenishing showers

beautiful bloom blooming blur

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

What Makes You Happy?


What Makes You Happy?

beach blue sky cheerful clouds

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

I was headed yesterday to visit a friend who lives about an hour away. Stuck in traffic, waiting for a very long, very slow train to pass, I was getting more and more grumbly. I was late for lunch! I decided drumming my fingers on the steering wheel and complaining was doing no good. I should change my mindset – think about what makes me happy instead.

So, I started this mental activity of alphabetically coming up with a list of things that make me happy. I texted a few to my friend (along with an apology and explanation for why I was late) and finished the list just about the time the looooong train finally finished crossing the intersection:

 

What Makes Me Happy?

  • Antelope and Accolades
  • Birthdays and Beaches
  • Christmas and Comfort
  • Dogwoods and Dawn
  • Easter and Enthusiasm
  • Friends and Family
  • Grandkids and Gratitude
  • Hospitality and Hugs
  • Integrity and Inspirations
  • JellyBellies and Justice
  • Kids and Kisses
  • Learning and Laughter
  • Music and Mountains
  • Neighbors and Nourishment
  • Opportunities and Oysters (on the half shell)
  • Puppies and Possibilities
  • Quiet and Quirkiness
  • Relaxation and Roses
  • Scripture and Springtime
  • Thankfulness and Trust
  • Understanding and Unconditional Love
  • Visitors and Vacations
  • Writing and WordPress
  • Xander and Xylophones
  • Yodeling and Yellow
  • Zoos and Zebras

 

So, try it! Next time you’re stuck in traffic, instead of grumbling and strumming, think about what makes you happy. You’ll pass the time with a smile instead of a frown, and the train will fly by!

bridge clouds cloudy dark clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sleepless


alarm alarm clock analogue antique

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Time has no meaning

When the hour says sleep

But the mind won’t rest

It’s no use counting sheep

 

The sheep just leap

In endless white streams

Over fences and clouds

And steal my dreams

 

I toss and I turn

And finally give in

Time has no meaning

Much to my chagrine

 

So whatever the hour

Be it twelve o’clock or two

Come visit my blog

I’ll be sleepless with you

 

 

From the Pastor’s Study


My former pastor, Brent Mitchell, is a wordsmith. He writes as well as he speaks – and he speaks with eloquence and conviction, love and compassion. You can hear those qualities in his written words. Below is a post of his message to his congregation that was in this month’s church newsletter. I want you, my blog readers (most of whom also are writers) to have the opportunity to read it. I asked him for permission to post it. He agreed. Here it is:

VOLUME 42 NO. 8 2013,  THE BEACON
Third Presbyterian Church, Springfiled, Illinois

From the Pastor’s Study
It seems to me that all writers have a voice. With rare exceptions I have never heard them speak. Many of the authors I read have died before I could get to them, but I know what they sound like. And I would bet you do, too. Of course we don’t hear their vocal timber and tonal qualities, but they each have a voice and the voice we hear as we turn page after silent page is as distinct and unique to each author as are their fingerprints. We hear it in the words they choose to open their books, the way they stack up phrases, the rhythm of their sentences, their stylistic preferences for using words as assault weapons or bandages, as a healing balm or more like razor wire—intent on drawing blood. And my guess is that we know whether we like their voice within the first few paragraphs.

Some authors sound instantly pompous to me. They write as though they don’t care if anybody understands them, because they love the sound of their own voice, and if writing affords them the opportunity to impress themselves, that’s all that really mattered. Some are to saccharine, some are just smart alecks who don’t impress me any more than they did in seventh grade, some are just vulgar as though they have never gotten over the thrill of being naughty or saying bad words. Some are moralizing prigs who were born to correct someone somewhere, and some are just boring because they never learned to distinguish the incidental from the pertinent and write as though there is not a difference. They want to say something in the worst possible way, and they do.

I think the type of authors I most enjoy are the ones I would like to sit down with over a long quiet dinner in a free ranging conversation till the candles burn low. Their voices are tinged with self-effacing humor, a compassion born of suffering, elegant enough to be precise, but wanting more to communicate than to impress. Sobered by their own imperfectionsthey keep their egos in check. They  admire honesty, common people and courage in all its forms. And without exception, they understand grace. They might not use that word in any paragraph, but most of what they write is a confession of their need for it, and a sustained act of advocacy in the slender hope we will receive it for ourselves and extend it to others, and thus find our humanity.

One of the authors whose voice I like is Herman Wouk. Jim Marshall put me on to him years ago. In 1952 Wouk was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his fictional World War II novel, “The Caine Mutiny.” I had seen  and loved the movie (starring a superb Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, and Robert Francis) but the book, as you might guess was even better—as per typical, much more nuanced and textured with material that told an even fuller tale. Toward the start of the book the newly commissioned Ensign Willie Keith (the chief protagonist through whom the story is told) receives a letter—a final letter—from his father who (unbeknownst to Willie) was dying of cancer. The letter is a father’s last-ditch attempt to rescue his son from a life of pampered shallowness. He writes, “Remember this, if you can— there is nothing, nothing more precious than time. You probably feel you have a measureless supply of it, but you haven’t. Wasted hours destroy your life just as surely at the beginning as at the end—only in the end it becomes more obvious. Use your time while you have it, Willie, in making something of yourself…Think of me and what I might have been, Willie, at the times in your life when you come to crossroads. For my sake, for the sake of the father who took the wrong turns, take the right ones, and carry my blessing and my justification with you.”

It is a mark of Wouk’s gift that we can read as the failed father and the shallow son. Perhaps we are both/and. The older we get we rue the wrong turns, the wasted hours. The part of us that senses the
adolescent that still walks inside us, can still catch embarrassed glimpses of our own shallowness and wonder what it will take to sober our senses and save our souls. Listen for the voice before it’s too late. It may be His.

~ Pastor Brent

Birthdays Bubble By


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     Have you read Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life? I’m reflecting on Warren’s description of our SHAPE (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences) as I write in my journal each morning. It’s a journal designed to recount the five purposes Warren has written about – and apply them in our daily walks. When I spend quality time reflecting, words bubble out like the birthdays that zip on by – faster and faster as time goes by!

Birthdays Bubble By!

When I think of the abilities
My God has given me – 
The music, joy, enthusiasm – 
And birthdays that bubble by with glee,
I want to share them all.

When I think of the personality
My God has gifted me – 
The confidence and gregariousness
That come bubbling out so easily,
I want to care for all.

When I think of the experiences
My God has granted me – 
The love, the depth of sweet success
That radiate so freely,
I want to bare my all.

When I think of the future
My God has promised me –
The peace, the quiet wisdom
That grow so constantly,
I want to heed God’s call!

     Do birthdays bubble by for you? Does acknowledging your gifts of S.H.A.P.E. make you want to heed God’s call? What is Your God calling you to do with your Spiritual Gifts, your Heart full of love and gratitude, your Abilities and Personality, and your Experiences? Share, Care, Bare your soul to the Giver of your gifts, and Heed God’s call today! You are made wondrously unique – and what you have to give is unique. Birthdays bubble by – – – time’s awastin’ – – – Let’s blow outta here!!

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