Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘creative writing

Mindfulness

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

November 22, 2020 at 10:32 am

November

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

November 17, 2020 at 7:00 am

Scrambled Fiction

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It wasn’t dark, or stormy, or even night, but that didn’t stop the hero from completing his appointed rounds. He was trying to figure out how to test his Halloween costume before the big night. It was the Emperor’s New Clothes, but would it work with a COVID mask? Probably wouldn’t matter. None of the classic costume houses were able to fulfill his request. Nobody would admit they couldn’t see the fabric.

There were no reasons left to seek an alternative. Half the people in the city would be sheltering in place. The rest would be out pretending there is nothing to worry about under the rare second full moon of the month. The only reason any of them would notice the mysterious greedy bastards had locked up the computers in all the hospitals was because it was all over the news. Filtering out the endless barrage of political ads allowed a few other strands of news to trickle through.

Nobody pays attention to that stuff anymore. After years of ridiculous daily distractions from the misdirection machine obfuscating reality, the masses have grown numb. Their stamina has been sapped. In is out and up is down. It’s easier to just make shit up than bothering to figure out what is actually going on.

Humans could take a lesson from chickens. They don’t get distracted by things that don’t matter and they won’t believe anything that isn’t visible to their glaring side-eye stare. There is a certain strength of character reflected in that.

All that character probably helps them to avoid the Halloween candy so readily available during the month of October. Now, mealworms, that would be a different thing. No chicken in its right mind could pass up that treat.

Things are a little twisted when you need to wait for snow to melt in order to finish raking leaves. But twisted is the new normal, so why not? The point isn’t to figure it all out, after all, it is to simply have a point. Otherwise, it’s all pointless.

Watch out for that guy in the Emperor’s costume. Make sure his nose isn’t hanging over the top of his mask.

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Written by johnwhays

October 30, 2020 at 6:00 am

Consumed

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

October 27, 2020 at 6:00 am

RS Interview 4

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Picking up where yesterday’s post left off, the Relative Something interview with *The* John W. Hays continues on the topic of love and more…

RS: Love seems like a worthy topic!

JWH: Love is my religion. It is one common theme woven through all world religious beliefs. Love is universal. When situations require a decision, using love as a compass to guide that decision will make the world a better place. No dogma required. Love doesn’t necessarily provide certainty, it accepts mystery. Love is all we need.

RS: Is this a change for you, the focus on love?

JWH: Well, I suppose there has been a transition over the years. I think the primary significance for me was learning to love myself enough to overcome negative self-talk. A secondary shift came about as I grew weary of the abuses and hypocrisies that were being exposed in organized religions. The way political parties wield religious beliefs like weapons. The fact that religious faiths would go to war against other human beings who worship differently.
Humans defining a deity seems like the ultimate hubris to me. And a horrible construct the powerful use to control others and gain wealth. Especially horrible because it is usually masqueraded under a veil of love. Love deserves better. The best response I see to that is to keep the love and leave the rest behind.
I’ve learned to love myself in a more healthy way and use love beyond the confines of organized religion to navigate my interactions with others in the world.

RS: What is something people wouldn’t know about you from reading what you write?

JWH: Not much. I’m embarrassingly transparent. Basically, they won’t know what I don’t write. For some reason, I haven’t been writing about the fact that it’s been so long since I last played guitar that I can’t remember when the last time was. And I probably haven’t written about it because I don’t really know why I stopped. I wonder if it has anything to do with the way I am aging, mentally, and physically, but the influences are too intangible to explain it with one simple pat reason.
Thinking about it, which is what happens when I try to write on the subject –and not writing about it has meant I could avoid thinking about it– I suspect it is related to the amount of time I have been commuting to the day-job four days a week. Exhaustion saps my creative energy. It also leaves less oomph to want to pedal my bikes up hills and into winds. I did not ride a bike at all this summer. When the pandemic canceled the annual June week of biking and camping, I lost that incentive to do conditioning rides. My attention defaulted to property maintenance on our acres. There is always more that can be done than there are hours and days.
The good news is that I have been incredibly happy to do that. I question myself about the health risks of not making music or riding my bikes, but maybe my version of aging is one of working on our property and then nestling inside our gorgeous home to type out my thoughts on a computer.
I have an inkling that a day in the not-so-distant future when that thing called retirement happens, my recreational pursuits could return with a vengeance. I think that would be absolutely lovely.

RS: Amen to that.

Thank you, JWH for agreeing to be the first interviewee in what Relative Something hopes will become an ongoing occasional feature in the years ahead. *This* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences involves and is influenced by innumerable others. This will provide an opportunity to expand the narrative. Because, why not?

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Written by johnwhays

October 18, 2020 at 8:46 am

RS Interview

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Relative Something just landed a scoop interview with *the* John W. Hays delving into a variety of topics he was willing to discuss with us. Out of respect for his personal privacy, we are leaving out the questions he declined to answer. Here are some selected excerpts where we talked about the pandemic…

RS: How are you holding up under the stresses brought on by the coronavirus pandemic?

JWH: Hanging on by a thread? I say that as a question because, even though I am coping rather well, it feels a bit shaky much of the time. I am acutely aware of a diminished buffer between my sensible self and my flip-my-lid self as I go about my days. A total meltdown looms large on the fringes of every day. It’s just grace that has allowed me to keep from blowing a gasket over the simplest of foibles, like a napkin slipping from my lap or inadvertently catching my toe on a perfectly flat floor surface and suffering that universal “D’oh!” feeling.

RS: Have you heard of anyone in your immediate circle of friends and acquaintances who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the virus began impacting the United States?

JWH: Not at the closest level, despite several reported situations and symptoms that triggered reasons to be tested. None of those have become known positives that caused me concern about a need I should self-quarantine as a precaution. There have been some reports of second-person or third-person cases, and just recently dear friends in another part of the world who have the virus, so it doesn’t feel very far away from me. I still take my temperature every morning and log how I’m feeling on the COVID Near You site. So far, so lucky, is the way I interpret my days of being spared.

John & Mike socially distanced in the great outdoors, autumn forest bathing.

RS: Do you ever think about how the last seven months might have been different if there hadn’t been this global pandemic?

JWH: Maybe in a few fleeting retrospective moments, but really, that’s a luxury that serves no purpose. The harsh realities we are coping with every day leave little space in my head to go there. Equally, it has sapped much of my energy toward looking ahead to plan anything in the future. Despite my attempts to remain as positive as possible, I all too easily fall into a “what’s the point” despondency about making any plans until the virus is under control.
Luckily, I have Cyndie’s precious energies enriching my life with her willingness to make some things happen. With masks on our faces, we have achieved several socially distanced get-togethers with some key people who have helped to keep me from becoming a complete shut-in hermit on days I’m not at the day-job.

RS: Will the pandemic affect how you vote this year?

JWH: We already voted! So, no. For the previous election, Cyndie was going to be out of town, so she requested an absentee ballot. It was so flippin’ convenient that I ordered one for myself. It was a no-brainer for us to go that route again for this election, except, with the very noticeable disruptions in our Postal Service recently –including delaying the delivery of our chicks, which cost the life of one of them– Cyndie chose to drive to the home of our township clerk to hand-deliver our ballots.
I don’t know that they’ll be properly counted, but I’m satisfied that we did our part to get them there. We’ve been reciting a mantra of “Fifty-Blue-States” to envision a landslide so obvious that a certain person finally gets the message he has to accept the results. However, just last night it occurred to me that 50 blue states would be so unbelievable it would serve as a justifiable reason to question the results.
I just hope the popular vote is what determines the outcome and not an electoral college or the Supreme Court.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Supreme Court could put an end to the pandemic? Declare the coronavirus unconstitutional!

RS: Hard to object to that.

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Written by johnwhays

October 15, 2020 at 6:00 am

Swept

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swept from our feet
by too many things
coming at us all at once
over and over again
in a riptide of situations
spasms of inclinations
untethered infestations
of allegoric absolutes

the wind carries colors
novel varieties of spectacular shades
that just happen
after so many days
and we watch with fascination
every year
around the same time
to get that feeling
of being swept
off our feet
again

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Written by johnwhays

October 13, 2020 at 6:00 am

Framing

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

September 21, 2020 at 6:00 am

Until

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

September 12, 2020 at 7:47 am

Because

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

September 2, 2020 at 6:00 am