juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

BLOG – WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

I sometimes dream of living in the country; far away from any neighbors, a pond in my backyard, maple trees outside my kitchen window and only the caw of a crow to break the silence. Most certainly a goodly number of people relish living away from a city, enjoying starlit nights, perhaps riding a horse,  fresh water from a well and fresh eggs every morning. Our produce departments would be bare and our freezers empty were it not for farmers and ranchers, not to mention vintners. A blessing on their heads.

Then I remember three things that make fighting the urban smog,  the traffic, the noise worthwhile. Without them we’d need no home larger than a village. Without a park a city ought naught call itself a city. They are living things, these parks – oases which begin to slumber in the fall, hibernate in the winter, come to life in spring awaiting gardeners to adorn their footstools; put halos on their heads and give them a rainbow each day. They wait for the children, anxious for their giggles; clap for joy at the daring kids who stand on the swings.

They wait for lovers, content to stroll, sit on a bench, holding hands, not concerned with their surroundings. Parks don’t mind being ignored. They’ve done their job providing an oasis for love. They wait for the grills to light up, watch families at rest and at play. They delight in the aroma of hamburgers grilling, pleased the ice cream is chilling

Some are small with only a bench and a swing, sparse of wildlife and flora. Others harbor hiking trails and small lakes, gardens, nesting birds, rabbits, perhaps deer and playgrounds with every jungle gym known to mankind.

I’d choose city life for their libraries, giving me free access to most anything I care to read or know. Hallowed sanctuaries these; a classroom and an oasis for the  brain. The inscription over the door of the library at Thebes reads: “Medicine for the Soul.” Those Greeks of long ago knew well of what they spoke

The cultural attractions of a city weigh heavily in my choice of where to live.  I wouldn’t be happy having to drive 100 miles to attend an opera, a symphony concert, a ballet or a play.  A local country fair might be an interesting outing but it doesn’t compare to hearing Bach or Beethoven played by a world class orchestra or spending a few hours at an Art Institute.

Parks, libraries and cultural attractions are a world away from the cares of at-home life, offering joy, variety and rest to the weary. So there you have it. A city offers you parks as medicine for the body, libraries as medicine for the brain and concerts as medicine for the soul. What more could you ask for?

 

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Julie Rose                     editit601@gmail.com

 

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KISS

B

KISS

Anais Nin, the French born author, is my idea of a best friend. If she truly believes what she wrote, we are on the same wave length. “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”  What I admire about that statement is not only the truth of it but its brevity.

Too often, I think, we make things complicated when they are really simple. I know somebody who, if I ask him about the weather, will launch into a half hour lecture when he could have said “cold, rainy.” One friend spends an hour preparing to go to the grocery store when she could have jumped in her car and completed the errand in twenty minutes.  Another rearranges her kitchen cabinets at least once a week. Why?

That tendency to make things complicated, to elaborate, is also the nemesis of some writers: those who have never learned how to eliminate unnecessary adjectives and are not conscious of redundancy. These writers were not guilty of complicating things. They knew the value of conciseness.

          “Being undead isn’t being alive.”  (E. E. Cummings)

          “Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” (Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching)

          “It’s not the length of life, but the depth.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

          “Live simply so others may simply live.”  (Mother Teresa)

          “It’s better to burn out than fade away.” (Kurt Cobain)

That tendency to unnecessarily elaborate could be called diarrhea of mouth or pen.  Whenever possible I avoid both.

I now have a problem.  The problem is my admiration for keeping things simple as opposed to my distaste for what goes on in our world today where “easy, simple and quick” are key words.  In the kitchen that equates to never sinking your finger into a bowl of freshly risen dough: to not bothering to cook anything that requires more than three ingredients or takes more than 15 minutes to prepare. When taking a trip by car it equates to never leaving the expressway and exploring a byway.

Yes, the world is complicated and we do not understand much of it.  But, for the most part, a star is a star that brightens the heavens; a smile or a frown are unmistakable messages; a computer opens the door to the world’s knowledge; and getting a haircut does not have to mean employing a stylist who will spend two hours trimming your hair and charge you $50 for what could have been done in ten minutes at a cost of $10.

It’s all seems so simple. It’s not so simple to go overboard and forsake what might have been pleasurable or interesting or a learning experience.

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Julie Rose

editit601@gmail.com

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COLORFUL LANGUAGE

COLORFUL LANGUAGE

 

My mother once painted a breakfast nook orange.  It became a boxing ring for her and my dad. The kitchen wallpaper of a new home was Halloween orange and black.

I tore it off the day I moved in. My daughter wanted her room to be green which reminds me of all things reptilian. I avoided it whenever I could. If you’re the neutral sort browns and grays will suit you. They make me think of  burned out campfires.

It’s blue that charms me, sets my eyes to rest, puts my mind at ease. Blue is a dreamer’s color. Gazing at an azure sky quiets me on a summer day. It’s the color of cornflowers, forget-me-nots and blueberries. The sea, where I long to be, is blue. Blue’s buddy, his favorite fellow, is that happy color we call yellow – sunflowers and roses and chickadees.

Colors speak. Yellow is playful. It tickles like softly falling rain; teases a smile to your face.  Red is a flamingo dancer. She looks at you, points her finger and says  “Come dance with me.” Green is a leprechaun poking an elbow in your back, urging you to keep moving. Blue is the trustworthy sailor who whispers softly and calms, offers peace and serenity.

Red demands company and conflict. Green wants pine trees and breezes – he’s the naturalist. Purple says bow down and lilac asks to be sniffed. Orange tempts, challenges. Silver mounts the podium and sparkles. Blue is happy with gently rolling seas – demands nothing. Black belongs to the chimney sweep and white, which is no color at all, exists only as a palate on which all other colors can shine

Give the ruby to a fighter,

the emerald to the cyclist,

 the diamond to the socialite.

I’ll take the sapphire.

 

What color are you?

Julie Rose

editit601 @gmail.com

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