When Beauty Disappears :(

By: Monica Pana

Last year I’ve presented to you the Tulip Symphony from Herăstrău Park. A Splendor in the Grass. A beauty that takes your breath away. A joy to the soul.
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This year I present you nothing. Because it no longer exists. Because nobody is interested in anything. Because in their pursuit to death, people forget to enjoy and to enjoy others.
Because… what is beautiful… always disappears 😦
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It’s a shame!

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Please visit her site, look around! to read more of Monica’s fine work!

Redwood Summer Part I Chapter 1

By:- Robert Kirkendall

For Mom and Dad

The ball I threw while playing in the park

Has not yet reached the ground

-Dylan Thomas

 

SAN JOSE, CA 1990

Was it all just too good to be true? Jason was in the passenger seat of a work truck as he reflected on the life changing events of the previous few months.  He looked out across the austere expanse of Silicon Valley, one and two story concrete tilt-ups in a grid of pavement, as the truck passed one building after another.  I had a good job with room to grow, Jason recalled, I had all my friends, Christine and I didn’t have a care in the world. How did it all change so fast? Jason lamented, then wondered if all the good times were gone.  The morning sun was above the eastern Mount Hamilton range and shone across the late autumn sky.  The faceless buildings cast shadows on half filled parking lots and dry landscaping.

“So what do you think about all this?” Hal asked from the driver’s seat.

“Huh?”  Jason was knocked off his train of thought.

“You know, what’s going on in the Persian Gulf.  They’ve been talking about it on the radio all morning.”

“Oh, I guess I wasn’t paying attention.”  Jason once again noticed the news talk over the radio. He was a little annoyed at the interruption, then wondered how long his mind was somewhere else.

“Don’t you follow the news?  This is going to be major.”

“Of course.  I was just thinking about some other stuff.”

“We may soon be going to war,” Hal emphasized.  “What’s more important than that?”

“Look, I hear ya,” Jason agreed, “but I got other things on my mind right now.”

“More important than what’s going on?”

“Maybe not, but it’s important to me.”  Jason sensed Hal’s waiting for an answer. “You know, personal stuff.”  He tried to hold onto the series of memories he was thinking of as he waited for the intrusion to end.

“Okay, I won’t pry. But you might want to start paying attention to what’s going on. I’m too old to be drafted, but you aren’t.”

“No one’s been drafted in years,” Jason replied. “I’m not worried about that.”

“Well if things gets worse, you’ll hear about it,” Hal warned.

“No doubt,” Jason said reflexively.  They drove along further through the maze of nondescript structures.

“Well, maybe it’ll be good for the economy.  Wars usually are,” Hal pointed out.

“Yeah, as long as you don’t get killed.”

“Serious.  Look around this valley, all these tech businesses, they were built on orders of the Defense Department.  And with the Cold War over we need something new to keep the wheels turning.”

Hal continued to talk as Jason looked out the window in thought.  He tried to focus on the day and the job ahead, but the past kept drawing him in.  When did it all start to change? he wondered, the year started out really good, every weekend was a party, I was working toward my A.A.  Jason then remembered how credit card bills suddenly piled up at around the same time the rent on the house he was sharing went up.  When was that, he pondered, April? May?  He then remembered how his parents let him move back home so he could pay off his debt quicker, and how he told himself, and everyone else, at the time that it was only to be temporary situation, and everyone agreed.  But he also couldn’t help but be bothered by the idea that it was a step backward.

Jason leaned back in his seat and rested his arm on the window frame. Did my life already hit its peak? he worried, and does that mean all downhill from here?  His memory searched from the beginning of the year onward, then focused on a company meeting at his last job, not long after he moved back home, but when life were still happy.  That was a good day, he thought. They said everything was looking up, and the future was only going to get better. We were true believers.

Jason thought back to that day.


The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. 

Redwood Summer is a novel by the author Robert Kirkendall,  which takes place in the Silicon Valley during 1990. Stay connected for more chapters and updates. Also visit his wonderful website for his further creative works.

Message to the Despondent (SOC)

By: Jonathan Noble

You have been uniquely and wonderfully designed
Into an individual person of which there is no other
Nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be again;
And your self is of inestimable value
And immeasurable worth right now;
Do not give in to despair and despondency this day
Or any other day . . . God loves you
And someone else loves you, too!
Chances are you are valued by many people, in fact,
And you don’t have to change your face or language,
Your skin color or height, weight or sound of voice
To be the amazing person you are already as you!
And if you need to change your heart,
Then grab hold of love, peace and joy,
And especially hope and allow these to transform,
But don’t allow yourself to think you are a mistake
Because that in itself would be the worst mistake!
And whether you can quite see it right now or not,
You have meaning and purpose in life in this world,
A genuinely unique purpose no one else can fulfill;
Yes, you! The ‘you’ who you are, bright shining star!
And enjoy the world around you;
After all, it was finely crafted for you to truly enjoy,
Along with so many, many other people in your life!
No, don’t hide yourself away in some darkened hole;
Breathe in the Spirit and awaken your soul this day,
And begin to soak up Life in all its amazing grandeur!
You are worth it! Yes, you … You’re worth fulfillment!

Sad … But It’s Easier to be Icy

By: Monica Pana
 
“Spiritual diseases are no longer treated with hot teas, but with cold showers.”
 
I do not know exactly who said this, but he’s right. Often we are cold, we feel insecure and it’s hard for us to give a hug. Maybe age is to blame. A child is much warmer and more affectionate. He feels the need and he expresses that by simply offering.
 
We always want warmth, a good thought, a few words of encouragement. We need to hear and see. Although it is a paradox, despite the fact that we can hear, see and speak, we are largely deaf, blind and mute. We do not hear cries for help, we do not see the sadness that occurs behind a crafty smile, we do not console thru words the wounded hearts.
 
We do not want to treat a broken soul. We look with an icy and lost look to those around us without making them understand why. Angel eyes hide a demonic mind. A broken heart, bandaged in a stone of confusion. We produce in them doubts about their own existence. We forget them and then we need their warmth. But, eventually… human nature is cold. We live with disappointments, we disappoint others and, after that, we give up the need for warmth.
 
Sad… but it’s easier to be icy and to protect yourself than to risk and be fulfilled.

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Please visit her site, look around! to read more of Monica’s fine work!

Memories Are My Enemy

By: Monica Pana

I want to let a desire with minimal intensities to master me, thinking that I will not be led by my mind. I want to let the time follow its path without me in its way, but I let the past determine my future without knowing why.

I want to feel any feeling. Because when you feel something, it is more than an emotion, it’s a proof that you’re human.

I’m sick of everything I ever thought that can grieve me. I never thought that the greatest joy is the greatest sadness. That what I love will destroy me faster than people… I never thought that memories are the greatest enemy of mine.

Things are changing and everything goes away and you wait, but you don’t ever know what or when it will come. Why would everything you want come to you? How can you afford to have everything when you really don’t know what you want?

We are born with desires, we die with hopes. Hope dies the last, but we die hoping. Is there any reason to hope when you know you hope in vain? And when everything you do is against you? All you can do is to say “sad” and to go on with your gaze forward and your heart behind.


Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Please visit her site, look around! to read more of Monica’s fine work!

Student Athletes Emulate the Pros in Abusing Painkillers

By: NewsUSA

Sometimes we’re so caught up in all the pro sports stars whose lives have been wrecked by misusing prescription painkillers that we forget the problem extends down to the amateur level.

And, yes, that does mean college and even high-school sports.

At least one study put the number of college student athletes who’ve used prescription medications to enhance their performance at as high as 53.3 percent. And another recent study on high school athletes, published online in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, reported that 12 percent of male seniors and 8 percent of female seniors admitted to abusing painkillers.

To former ESPN.com columnist Gregg Easterbrook — who wrote about painkillers in his book The King of Sports: Football’s Impact on America — it’s no surprise that the largest percentage of those young abusers play football.

“Youth and high-school players see an example that appears to be of men so tough, they laugh at pain,” he wrote. “The message sent is that young players should use their own bodies recklessly.”

So what’s a concerned parent to do?

Well, if your child is experiencing neuro-musculoskeletal-related pain from playing sports– spinal pain, say, from too many tackles or strained soccer kicks –first know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last March began urging physicians to avoid prescribing opioids for chronic pain in response to a record high 28,647 deaths involving the highly addictive drugs in 2014.

Know, too, that the most popular non-pharmacologic alternative to routine care is drug-free chiropractic care.

“Doctors of chiropractic play a key role in sports health care by providing hands-on care that help improve range of motion, flexibility, muscle strength, and other key performance factors,” notes the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress  Sherry McAllister.


Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

Set Yourself Free!

By: Monica Pana
I had trouble on a road that doesn’t smile, at least not to me. Sometimes it seems inaccessible, other times it is easier than clouds. I walk on fingertips in strange places, devoid of souls. It’s too cold, it’s cold in every man and that makes me feel cold, too. 
I feel like I swim upstream in a river that leads nowhere. I feel I’m a mistake, but I know that mistakes do not define me. Sometimes I feel like I see another life, another world, something beyond the boundary line between the real and ideal. A place I would have loved more than anything if it were not mine.
It looks different if you look from the outside. It seems that it looks more beautiful, especially if you do not feel it and if it does not touch you. It’s an unbearable place, sometimes it seems lifeless, but other times more alive than a full life. It is dislocated from fear and surrounded by cold.
It’s a continuous storm here, but it’s not about weather, it’s a storm of thoughts and ideas, ideas that bring rain and thoughts that remain in the sky becoming stars. Feelings are floating in nothingness being taken by the wind from the real life. It’s hard to imagine this world, it is inaccessible and dangerous.
It’s a maze of a confused and frightened mind. It’s a paradise of the childhood and the inferno where you feel immortal. It’s hard to make peace with your mind, but it’s even harder when it leads you. You must learn to accept the storm, to embrace your thoughts and ideas, to let emotions to show you what beauty means.
It’s hard, but it’s possible: TO LET YOURSELF FREE!

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Please visit her site, look around! to read more of Monica’s fine work!