On Reading

 

If you have never liked reading, you are missing a lot because movies would have to be as long as Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind movie (4 hours) in order to get as many of the author’s book details as possible into a movie.

To become a reader, start slowly.    Have a dictionary or your smart phone near by to look up words you don’t understand.    Or, make a list of those words to look up later.

If you can’t read at all, there are voluntary organizations available.   Some libraries have reading programs to help you learn to read and there are other free programs listed on the Internet.

I improved my reading ability by reading Gothic novels in my teens written by British authors such as Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Daphne du Maurier, etc.

I’ve also read American authors like Shirley Jackson, James Baldwin, Stephen King, Ann Rice, Edgar Allen Poe, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, Tananarive Due, Isaac Asimov, Maya Angelou, etc.

However, there are two authors that are hard for me to read:  Toni Morrison and Richard Wright.  I don’t know why they seem to be so difficult.   One day, I plan on conquering their books as well.

I only use audio books if I can’t find a printed copy of a book I want to read.    I like the feel of a book in my hand and I don’t want to have to keep scrolling up, down, or across on the page electronically.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

 

 

 

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On Fantasy 

“Since I had plenty of leisure time, I usually rose early in the morning, and then with an empty mind concentrated on the beauty of the fields, trees, rivers, mountains, and clouds, and I found that I could predict the weather right 7 or 8 times out of 10.   Then I realized that in quietness the universe can be observed, the inner moods felt and obtained.”  (What author Yeh Meng-te wrote about quietness in 1156, https://kihm2.wordpress.com).

For me, fantasy is escape by using one’s imagination.   Your imagination can take you to faraway places like the many countries explored on public television.   If fantasy is controlled safely and not obsessive, it can be better than drugs.

Probably in the pioneer days, people imagined many ways they could escape the drudgery of doing anything which had no future of success.   It might have taken a year just to receive a letter.   Farmers, some of the hardest-working people on earth, have kept the world fed for centuries despite droughts, tornados, floods, etc.   In an AARP article, I discovered that doctors suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) worrying about us among other things.  I never imagined that.

We have a lot of things from which we want to escape these days.  We receive “news” instantly as it happens—minute-by-minute.    Whether we see or hear it broadcast in some type of medium like our smart phones or the people you meet are discussing it daily—Bam! It’s in your face or ears.  We are bombarded constantly with “noise”.

“Reality tv” is not reality, but it can take you away from your situation.   You can see peoples’ situations that are a lot worse or better than yours on television shows like “Jerry Springer”, “Maury”, “The Kardashians”, “Survivor”, etc.  I would call these guilty pleasures because unless you are writing a thesis on them, I wouldn’t watch them more than once.   However, the audiences seem to enjoy them so maybe that’s their escape from reality.

Music is another way to escape.    I like to listen to Bruno Mars or the “Flower Duet” (a famous duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano from Le’o Delibes’ opera Lakme’, first performed in Paris in 1883—Wikipedia).  Fantasy can relieve tiredness from working especially if you can’t get what you want in promotion or advancement.   Even the government recently is trying to take away a citizen’s earned benefits like Social Security, Medicare, tax benefits, etc.– the things that past U.S. presidents and legislators secured for us.

Wikipedia lists about 20 themes (subgenres) of fantasy if you want to get deep into the types of fantasy.  I don’t intend to get that deep.   Erotic romance, fiction, science fiction, and autobiographies are fantasy enough for me.

I’m sure you can imagine a few things you would rather be doing.   Figure out a way to have quiet and/or leisure time every day.   I find that in quiet, I have a chance to think for myself, create, and listen to the sensible no matter the political party.

Sources:

https://kihm2.wordpress.com

“The Doctor Diaries:  What Physicians Wish Patients Knew”, Healthy You, AARP the magazine, June/July 2018, pp. 22-23.

Wikipedia

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

 

 

The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin