juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

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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IDIOCY

IDIOCY

I am puzzled by the passage of time. If yesterday begat today, I then live in the  yesterday of tomorrow. If today becomes tomorrow, begat from tomorrow’s yesterday, then tomorrow’s yesterday is today.  Did you get that?

Does the earth revolve right to left or left to right? Is the fact it revolves what keeps it from falling out of the universe? How is it possible for a machine to turn over a sheet of paper for two-sided copying or are there little green gremlins inside of copy machines that turn the paper over? No matter how you explain it, my confusion persists.

“Why is it” questions attack me like hungry mosquitoes. I will never understand why there are Braille buttons on bank drive-up teller machines or why round pizza is delivered in a square box or why someone gest paid for designing toilet paper. It’s easy enough to explain why I sometimes still count on my fingers but I’m at a loss to understand square roots or the theory of relativity.

Is there some good reason why a three year old, with one twist of his wrist, can open a bottle of Jack Daniels in thirty seconds flat and I have to use scissors and tweezers to get an aspirin out of a bottle? What idiot decided to put teeny-tiny pull-off tabs on the back of hearing aid batteries no arthritic person can remove?

A few other questions I can’t answer. Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?  Why can’t a woman apply mascara with her mouth closed? How can there be self-help groups?  Isn’t it just plain stupid for doctors call what they do ‘practice?’  When the sky is thick with clouds how does the rain get through? Why does it take twelve letters to spell abbreviation? And how – please tell me how – we’ve reached a point where see you is cu and thank you is ty and I love you is ilu and on and on – or should I say o&o, ono?

Is it any wonder I’m confused?

I believe in the goodness of mankind. That explains why I don’t understand those who are racists,  mean-spirited, road hogs, jealous, and those who measure their worth in dollars or toys. It doesn’t explain idiocy.

I’ve no hope of solving these conundrums. Why should I care?

EVOLUTION

Evolution

Confusion

Illusion

Delusion

Resolution

Solution

No solution

More confusion


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Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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NUMBER ONE?

NUMBER ONE?

I don’t profess to be an expert in any area. I’m  unfamiliar with all the facts. I don’t read analyses of how other countries operate their governments.  Nonetheless, I am not blind and I am aware of a few things that that make me question the way theU.S.operates in some areas.

At the time the Shoguns of Japan were overthrown,Japansent delegates world-wide to study other countries systems  of  government, education, welfare, commerce and the like.Japan’s goal was to emulate the best that could be found in each sphere.  The country was open to learning from others.  It puzzles me why the U.S.  doesn’t do likewise.

How can you introduce kids to the beauty of opera when it costs a week’s paycheck to take them to a performance: when a family of five must fork out fifty dollars for admission to a botanical garden – plus  ten bucks for parking.   Such exposure to music and the arts  is nearly gratis in some European countries.

With smiles on their faces, Danes pay far weightier taxes than we. Never does a Dane receive a bill from the doctor.

A Japanese school in the U.S.puts a new student on the same page, in the same textbook, he had in Japan. That is far different from theU.S.where the standards in each state differ. If we ran the military the way we run our educational system soldiers would carry fifty different rifles. What kind of sense does that make? And that is but one of many reasons why kids from other countries outscore our kids in nearly every academic area.

Israel teaches new immigrants Hebrew in a short time enabling them to become self-sufficient. Why can’t the U.S emulate that system for the foreign speaking among us?

We could learn from those role models if we had more courage, a desire to change and improve: if we didn’t pat ourselves on the back and claim to be number one. The pity is our failure to recognize we’re not number one and DO something about it.

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Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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STRANGE

STRANGE

            I didn’t come from Mars or some unknown alien planet. I had a reasonably decent education. I don’t claim to be an expert in any field – astronomy, biology, history, anything.  My I..Q. is a little above average.  I’d like to be able to explain more than the ‘facts of life’ to my kids but I can’t answer them when they ask me why a spider spins a web or why there are four teats on a cow or why it stings when a bee bites you.

There can be no question but that the world is a mysterious place. Mankind  has attempted to uncover its secrets since time began. Sometimes he succeeds – more often he fails – but his efforts to do so enrich his life.  The creator –  whoever he/she/it was – has me stymied over strange things, not all of them stemming from nature. 

STRANGE THINGS

Somebody has to pave the roads,

collect the garbage and water the lawn.

They are paid for their labor.

Why does somebody get paid for designing toilet paper.

Strange.

Some people enjoy the taste of clams and oysters.

Those who eat grasshoppers and rattlesnake steak

are beyond my comprehension.

Strange.

Coupon collectors save three cents on one loaf of bread,

spend $3.00 for gas getting to the store.

People rise at5 a.m.to be first in line at a Macy’s sale.

Strange.

Tell me why there are Braille buttons on ATM machines.

What idiot thinks a blind individual is driving a car?

Strange

Those who think shooting a duck or a deer is a sport,

men who live to run from the bulls or buck broncos.

Values outside my realm of experience I find

Strange

Seahorses that swim on their tails,

aardvarks with long funny noses,

chameleons changing color,

beavers who build dams,

Strange.

Protection and self defense are understandable:

thus porcupine quills and poisonous snakes.

How to explain poisonous tiger lilies, daffodils,

jasmine and mistletoe and peonies.

Strange.

Perhaps thinking Strange leads to asking how or why –

an excellent reason to think

Strange.  

What do you find strange?

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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AVERAGE

AVERAGE

I’m no different than most parents who want their children to excel, to be the best, to rise to the top of the ladder. Some, in seeking to achieve that end, enroll their kids in prestigious private schools the day the child is born.  Others encourage their children to participate in so many activities the poor kid can’t decide what he enjoys the most or wants to pursue.  Our public schools, with their emphasis on performance, are complicit in this endeavor.  There’s nothing wrong with encouraging a child to do well academically but a “C” student ought not be made to feel like a failure if “C” is the best he can do.

 

I know a father who dragged his kid into the shower with him every morning and forced the child to recite the multiplication tables. Not exactly a father-son bonding experience is it?  Guess what kind of a relationship that child has with his father today. The closest my father – an average guy – ever came to doing such a thing was to occasionally rap me on the head and say, “You’ve got a brain. Use it.”

 

Perhaps one of the components of a parenting class ought to be “We’re Not All Geniuses.”

 

JUST AVERAGE

Wasn’t valedictorian of my class

No blue ribbons for me

Once won a Betty Crocker Award

Deserve a few points in a mommy contest

 

Won’t score 150 on an I.Q. test

Will never own a patent

I play a decent game of Bridge

Scrabble is my forte

 

Didn’t write a best seller

Didn’t rise to fame

Can edit poor prose

Turn it into a winner

 

Can’t play like Mozart

Sing like a lark

Paint portraits or sunflowers

Can put you to shame in the kitchen

 

Not going to have a fortune

Live in a penthouse

Buy a Ferrari

But not yet quite broke

 

Missed having a heart stopping romance

Don’t have hordes of friends

My family’s enough for me

 

Got short changed in the beauty department

No long curly hair, no sexy legs

No dimples, a Barbie-doll figure

Cute’s not so bad

 

Was dealt average cards

Not a royal flush

Never hit the jackpot

On a one-armed bandit

But I win at gin rummy.

 

Was minimally programmed

Missing a few genes in the brain department

Have come to appreciate

And accept who I am.

Just average is okay.

 

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Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

 

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