Youngblood Blog

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If You Can Dream… Transitions for IWSGers

Sequoia power: Nature's ultimate weapon is calm

Sequoia power: Nature’s ultimate weapon is calm

I mentioned briefly over the last few months that my various internet incidents have happened because I’ve been moving house. In my new location—the PacificNW—it’s called going through a transition. And, true to character, this forgiving climate breeds forgiving people. Transitions are what everybody is going through here. Join the club.

Nevertheless, the Pacific—some say the Redwoods—seem to have beckoning power, an influence on people who, apparently without forethought or reason, up and take off for the West: it’s almost like a mini-Goldrush, except this time, there is an element of the unknown about it. One of the most famous ‘transitioners’, Eckhart Tolle said he knew he had to move to the PacificNW because he was being called, but he felt California was too ‘out there’ for his style, so settled in British Columbia, Canada!

The realm of consciousness is much vaster than thought can grasp. When you no longer believe everything you think, you step out of thought and see clearly that the thinker is not who you are’
Eckhart Tolle

To each his own. All I know about is another amazing learning curve called culture shock… for another time~~~

I never was one to watch the news, so my lack of internet has only heightened my separation from the ‘old country’ on one level, but hastened my adaptation to my new adoptive one. It is said some of our greatest moments of revelation come when life knocks us for six [cricket terminology, similar to ‘out of the ball park’ :)], but it is also true that going through a transition is like an initiation ceremony in preparation for an event you don’t as yet understand…

Rudyard Kipling said it better than I ever could; I often wonder if he felt like a ‘stranger in a strange land’, a British ‘exile’ in the India of the Raj. In those days, psychosis was something everyone was more polite about: people had ‘the vapors’ or were having an ‘off day’. Sahib Rudyard wrote frivolous children’s fantasy and serious soul-searching poetry to deal with his bipolarity.

How the Leopard got his Spots—'painted by an Ethiopian'—Rudyard Kipling Just So Stories

How the Leopard got his Spots—’painted by an Ethiopian’—Rudyard Kipling Just So Stories

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

He said a whole lot more—for his time, old Rudyard was the man with the mot juste

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:

Rudyard Kipling would be appalled by our disrespect for Nature

Rudyard Kipling would be appalled by our disrespect for Nature

This novelist, poet, literary innovator (1865-1936) also wrote The Jungle Book, and Tiger, Tiger (short story) while transitioning between London and Bombay. I wish we were all so talented. He in turn was inspired by poets of his grandfather’s generation, like William Blake:

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Williuam Blake (1757-1827)

Both men of their times were inspired by Nature—in their era still plentiful, unendangered and thrilling to witness. What it seems our generation has dealt us are a few scattered rhino, an elephant population preserved in tiny spaces for the cameras, and still (sadly) plentiful zoos. Kipling would be appalled to learn of our disrespect for Nature, our wholesale slaughter of helpless creatures under pressure from big business to cash in.

William Shakespeare said ‘Needs must when the Devil drives…but I prefer Kipling’s calm in the face of mayhem.

The new enlightenment is supposed to come from the West—so say Herr Tolle and others. It looks like I need to take the poet’s advice and keep my head. Solar flares, hell or high water, we writers may be insecure, but we owe it to ourselves to stay in that calm pool: thank you Mr Kipling for allowing us still to dream.

And thanks as ever to Alex and IWSGers, of course.
©2013 Marian Youngblood

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June 5, 2013 Posted by | authors, blogging, crop circles, fiction, writing | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments