09 May 2013 3 Comments
Just a reminder that Woman Wielding Words is moving to Lisa A. Kramer: Woman Wielding Words. Come on over, sign-up, join the fun. And, please remember, if you have me in your blog roll, I’d appreciate if you could updated it.
Thank you all! I hope to see your there.
07 May 2013 Leave a Comment
First I’d like to welcome those of you who have joined me over the past few days. I always find it thrilling and surprising when someone joins my blog even if I haven’t posted lately.
I’m truly honored.
However, this blog is now moving to a new location. While I will keep the blog up as an archive and a place to pilfer my own words, my main blog is now called Lisa A. Kramer: Woman Wielding Words. I hope you will all join me over there, and sign up again for my writing journey.
This blog has meant a lot to me, so I have just one last thing to say to all of you wonderful people who have made this special place even richer and more enjoyable.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
05 May 2013 13 Comments
Hello all my wonderful readers!
First I would like to thank you for following me, reading, and commenting. Don’t worry, this isn’t me saying goodbye . . . I have just finally taken the scary leap into having my own domain name.
So Woman Wielding Words is moving to a new location. Over the next few (many) days I will be transferring posts over, as well as working on developing a new look. My new blog is called: Lisa A. Kramer: Woman Wielding Words and is found at http://www.lisaakramer.com/. Please join me over there.
26 Apr 2013 22 Comments
“Live today fully and you create a lifetime of meaningful memories.” (Sophia Bedford-Pierce THE KEY TO LIFE)
The quote floats at the top of my morning page journal–a message from the universe to combat the sadness which wells inside of me the moment I drag myself out of sleep.
It’s a message I yearn to understand and to fully embrace, but something deep inside myself questions whether or not I’m even capable of truly enjoying life. What is a full life? This inner voice asks. What is a meaningful life? This inner voice demands.
I have no answers.
I yearn to lose myself into the oblivion of writing about someone else’s life, but the characters are silent. I yearn to find my connection to that creative energy where the characters live . . . where inspiration lives . . . but it seems out of reach.
I yearn to lose myself into the oblivion of exercise without thought, where the mind can then open to other possibilities. For me that place has always been a swimming pool, but I don’t know where to go. So I try to tap dance, but my feet don’t move correctly and I am reminded that I’m clumsy and awkward.
I take myself to my place of retreat. The botanical gardens that appear here so often. My intent is to walk and walk and walk until I’ve reached that rhythm of not thought where possibility has room to grow. Not possible today, as everywhere there are people cutting branches and trimming trees. A walk through the gardens becomes an adventure in an obstacle course, with the danger of falling limbs and the sound of saws disturbing the silence.
I did, however, finally figure out one thing that was wrong with my camera, and managed to get some beautiful shots. Flowers and beauty, but no answers, no peace.
I treat myself to lunch there, and try to find my way through words. I end up grading papers and that is all. I head back out and notice all of the older men wandering through the gardens, taking pictures, enjoying the beauty. They remind me of all the things my Dad didn’t get to do in retirement, before Alzheimer’s overtook him. They remind me that he is no longer here with me, and can’t walk through the gardens with me. He never did.
I return home. The radio filled with stories that I no longer want to listen to, about the bombers and wars and death and hatred and congress and I can’t take anymore. Just yesterday I learned that the boy who died in the bombing was closely connected to a high school friend. It’s all too close, too much.
I find no peace.
I return to find messages of kindness from friends. One tells me to “Go out in the sun, and force yourself to write two pages about happiness.” The clouds have rolled in. The sun is gone. I search for the words about happiness . . .
but all I find are these.
What do you do when you can’t find peace, or words, or that magic place of calm? What do you do when sadness rules?
24 Apr 2013 14 Comments
This week has been a challenge. I’m not just talking about writer’s block (which is there) but a darker struggle inside myself, as I question whether or not anything I do has value in this world. I’ve been dealing with:
- students who seem to think attendance during the last weeks of school is optional
- students who think that my assignments and the deadlines associated are optional
- administrators who think that my opinions do not have weight or are not worthy of consideration
- young students whose lives are so difficult outside of school that its hard to see if anything I am doing is reaching them
- at least one class where the women in the class refuse to speak up and participate, they defer to the male voices a large percentage of the time. It drives me insane as someone who truly values mentoring young women.
- a complete lack of faith in myself as director, writer, artist, teacher
That message made me think about what we learn when we least expect it, and who teaches us those important lessons. Sure, hopefully we have teachers throughout our educations that actually teach us something, but I am beginning to think that perhaps true learning comes to us in a different way. This isn’t to say that we have nothing to learn in a classroom environment . . . there’s plenty to learn through those formal methods, but sometimes we learn in unexpected ways, and sometimes we teach without knowing we are teaching.
In my own life, lessons have come from so many unexpected places and people:
- the fellow teacher from Australia who didn’t graduate from high school, used less than legal means to get hired to teach English in Japan (you were supposed to have a college degree) and showed me that a love of life and a passion for following your heart is in some ways more important than what you learn from books. Too bad I didn’t fully absorb that lesson until very recently, despite the fact that she taught me it about 20 years ago.
- the lessons I learned about prejudice, hate, and racism while working with a group of Roma children in Slovakia.
- the lessons I’ve learned from the leaders of that Slovakia trip, about caring, sharing, traveling and living life with the understanding that there is more to the world than our small section of it.
- There’s my current student who faces all kinds of challenges including incessant and debilitating migraines, being struck by lightning, and numerous friends dying from suicide or car accidents and things. She’s taken all this sadness, all these challenges, and given herself a goal to help others by becoming a school counselor and learning as much as she can about psychology. She is an inspiration.
- The lesson I learned this morning from a woman I don’t know. Mia McKenzie’s blog post starts with the words “Hey White Liberals!” and challenges me to reflect on ingrained aspects of racism and injustice that we all need to think about, and somehow change.
This list could go on forever, and my blog is peppered with posts about people of all ages, races, cultures, levels of education who have taught me lessons. The point is that we never know when we will learn something that changes our lives. Nor we will ever truly know when we have taught something that has made a difference.
With that perspective, perhaps my life isn’t as empty as it feels at the moment, because there’s always something new to learn and the possibility that someone actually learns from you.
22 Apr 2013 13 Comments
No, my deep thoughts will be nothing like Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy. There’s an entire website dedicated to his deep (dark, disturbing, and sometimes downright hilarious) thoughts which originated on Saturday Night Live.
Do you remember those?
No, my deep thoughts are the thoughts of a brain that has been working overtime during the past week, but can’t seem to work its way out of the mire of thinking.
To put it simply, I think too much. I cannot move forward into some other kinds of writing or into planning if I can’t empty my brain off all the thoughts competing for attention. If I had a pensieve like Dumbledore in Harry Potter I would be pulling strand out of strand of thoughts out of my head just to give my mind a rest. But I don’t have one, so I must resort to a more mundane way of doing things (or is that a more muggley way of doing things?). I don’t have a magic wand . . . I just have the magic of words.
I want to use that magic except that I’m afraid, because the truth is that some of my thoughts could piss people off. Does that mean I shouldn’t write them? Or is it finally time to get all of this off my chest?
What exactly am I afraid of?
I guess my fear is not being liked. I still struggle with wanting to belong somewhere, and here on the blog I’ve found a group of friends even if they are only virtual ones. I’m also aware that anyone who has dreams of writing and selling a book, needs to build a fan base. But what if my deep thoughts are too radical? Too opinionated? Or simply too difficult to follow?
Yup, my thoughts are that deep.
Then I look at one of my writing idols, Andra Watkins aka The Accidental Cootchie Mama, who does not run away from the dark words and thoughts that sometimes haunt her. She lets her characters have a voice through her words, even when those characters and thoughts come from a scary place. Her fiction never fails to chill, thrill, and make you think a little about the meaning of life. Perhaps I need to allow my deep thoughts to come out in the form of fiction, or at least I need to give voice to them somehow.
Even if they make me afraid.
Does anyone want to hear the deep thoughts of Lisa Kramer or should my voice remain silent?
19 Apr 2013 14 Comments
I woke up this morning determined to start my pursuit of happiness. I took a hot bubble bath and felt one moment of PURE BLISS. I got up to write in my MORNING PAGES and everything fell apart . . .
Is it possible that happiness can only truly exist in brief moments?
I wasn’t looking at technology. I didn’t have my phone near me. I was writing with a modern version of a fountain pen. And yet, the news just creeped into my system as if all the negativity is just bouncing through the atmosphere, leaping from person to person in an all-consuming wave of negative energy.
A text from a friend who was worried about us.
MIT policeman shot.
Suspect dead in Watertown, MA.
The city shut down and people told to stay home.
Deb and Norman ignoring the orders to stay at home and going to work.
It’s all too close to home.
It’s all too real. And yet . . . it also feels surreal.
If we, as humans, continue to send all of this negativity out into the world, in such intense waves that we know the news before it is even spoken, then we are doomed.
Change has to start somewhere, and it is not going to happen through governments or laws or politicians.
Change, true change to a world that values happiness and peace over money and hatred, will only come if each and every individual strives toward putting that out in the world. We can’t let the moments of pure happiness be fleeting. The moments of pain should be the fleeting ones. The moments of hate.
We’ve got it all backwards.
We have to start somewhere. But first I must cry for a world that has lost its way. Perhaps hope can be found from the tears.
18 Apr 2013 9 Comments
I can’t take more of this chaos, this insanity, this week , this year . . .
I refuse to accept that human beings have nothing more to offer each other than clinging to stupidity in the name of the perception of freedom, and allowing a minority ignore the will of the majority who just want to feel safe from the brutality of those who see violence as the answer to everything.
I refuse to believe that we cannot find our way past fear and the perception of difference to live in a world full of peace, kindness, and love.
I can’t continue to gather the pain and anger that fills this world, and feel so helpless. I can’t watch as media agencies care more about being first than about reporting news properly.
I can’t take any more.
It’s time to make change . . . inside myself, in society, in this world.
I don’t like walking around feeling angry, sad, frustrated, tired, and hopeless. But, I realize, that I’m the only one who can change that for myself, and maybe making the internal changes will somehow create chain reaction that will grow into others.
Today is the day that I am going to close my eyes and ears to all the negativity in the world, and focus on happiness.
This doesn’t mean I will stop caring, but that I simply cannot take anymore in. The only way I’m ever going to make a difference. The only way we are ever going to make change, is for each and every individual to say “Enough! This insanity has gone on for too long! We want a better life for everyone!” And then they have to start . . . with themselves.
“Your personal contentment is more than a feel-good story. New research shows it can have a profound effect on your health. . . It’s not too late to pursue your own happiness today.” (Ronald Siegel “Why You Need to Pursue Happiness”
Today I choose to pursue happiness and love, because if I don’t I think I’m going to lose myself into a darkness m which I’ll never escape.
Today I choose pursue happiness because I cannot accept that humans cannot rise above the darkness, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Today I choose to pursue happiness and hope.
Does anyone want to join me? If we do, maybe we can change the world, one step at a time.
UPDATE (a few moments later): I’m going to learn from the wisdom of the incredible “word hermit” Andra Watkins . . . visit her post to find out more.