The Poet’s Train

 

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely, BG

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A Life Lived Well

When thinking of a life lived well, we have to consider all aspects of life.  We have to consider, our thoughts, our actions, our words and deeds, along with the abstracts of rudders, hinges and springs.

A rudder is a small instrument (or piece of wood) that  helps with the steering of a ship.  A hinge is a joint that a door hangs on that guarantees the smooth opening and closing of the door.  A spring is a cushion between two things, like a mattress top and bottom to keep the pressure off those two points.

These terms can also be used to embellish this thought of mine.

We all hear that “Actions speak louder than words,”  and before taking action we can use that little rudder to turn thoughts from bad to good.  Well intended thoughts, or words, can backfire if the spring isn’t cushioned well, or doesn’t  have enough bounce to keep it from hitting bottom.  And who wants to have those doors slammed shut, or the hinges of life broken and hanging?

In every well lived life we have to take care with all of our thoughts, actions, and words, so that we do not harm others.  A well lived life is about caring for others.  Taking responsibility for your actions, and promoting good thoughts and words in a loving way.

So, today let your ship be steered by a strong rudder, hinged on the smooth opening and closing of doors, with enough spring in your life that you keep enough bounce to spring you forward.

Keep developing your well lived life…and doing it in a loving way.

Sincerely, BG

 

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Writing Your Memories

Writing your memories is a great way to practice writing skills and add dimension to your passages.   Describing scents, emotions and other sensory perceptions will help bring a story alive and add more flavor.  Though some days in life are sweeter than others, you will also want to journal the chapters in life that are met with problems, solutions, and other smelly things.  (Studies also show how tightly linked smells and memories are.  Use this to your advantage.)

Whether good or bad, writing experiences down as they happen gives you a chance to capture them while they are fresh.   You then have the choice to use them, save them for a later, and then edit as needed.

If you live in Ohio, like I used to, rainy days in Spring smell fragrant and sweet like flowers and wet grass.  If you live in Arizona… rainy days in Spring can smell pungent and earthy like mud.

Be sure to correctly align memories in a passage.  If you’re writing a book about the “Wild West,” then the smell of cherry blossoms isn’t typical, unless you use it in the story as a memory.  Different regions of the world has different aspects about them, and it’s good to capture them effectively.  It adds to the realism of your story.

What else do those memories evoke that you can write about? 

  • What do you hear? Can you hear the sound of birds singing, the slam of a screen door, or a motorcycle on the street? Do you hear your school fight song or Christmas carols on a snowy street?
  • What do you feel when remembering?  Is there a sweet, or melancholy, sensation in your body, or do you feel irritated or wiped out?
  • What kind of physical touch do your recall?  Is someone scolding you and holding your arm, or do you feel the touch of a leaf on your wrist?
  • What does a strawberry taste like on the day you went boating? What does vinegar taste like in your mouth?
  • What does the Grand Canyon look like from a mile up looking down?  What does it look like from the bottom of the Colorado River looking up?
  • What do you smell?  Do you smell a skunk on a country road, or cotton candy at the fair, or the smell of fresh clothes hung on a line flapping in the breeze?

Just like using writing prompts, or brain dumping exercises,  writing memories may help trigger other sensations that you hadn’t thought about for a long time.

Use this practice as another means to add texture and to keep your story moving forward.

And, whatever you do, continue writing your memories.  You will be glad to have these memories on hand even if it is only to share them with your family.

Have a good day!

Sincerely, BG

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My grandkids and I wrote these a few years ago.

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Our Words, And How They Affect Others

Our words can affect others more than we realize sometimes.  Let’s face it, we all do it…say something we which we had not said.   And then we beat ourselves up, or someone else does, for that tactless slip that we cannot believe we just uttered.  We can apologize, but sometimes what was said, or what others have said to us, stays ingrained for a long time.  Talk about a lasting impression!

That’s why it’s so important to stop and think before we speak.

This passage is one of my favorites. 

My heart is stirred by a noble theme
    as I recite my verses for the king;
    my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

You are the most excellent of men
    and your lips have been anointed with grace,
    since God has blessed you forever.

Psalm 45:1-2

 

We are not perfect.  Learning graceful speech may take time, and I know it will be worth it.

Here are some more resources to consider.

  • A gentle answer turns away wrath,
        but a harsh word stirs up anger.  -Proverbs 15:1 
  • article states that words can change your brain and affect your genes.  
  • The old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey, than vinegar,” I believe is profound.  

It’s important we condition ourselves to speak kindly, or with tact, when words need to be spoken.  So, when speaking to others today, speak kindly, and think kind thoughts.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”  -Wendy Mass, The Candymakers

 

Have a good day,

Sincerely, BG

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The Watcher

 

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,

that I may meditate on your promises.

Psalm 119:148

 

The Watcher

The eyes aglow were watching

The forest in the night,

And sat atop a redwood

In shadowy moonlight.

 

This percher listened closely

For movement on the ground,

As North winds blew through swifty

Enhancing ev’ry sound.

 

The snapping of dry kindling

Sent creatures scurrying;

The watcher called out loudly

Atop the redwood tree,

 

“Hoo?  Who is in this forest?

Hoo?  Who has breached our realm?

Who dares disrupt our kingdom?”

Asked the Watcher from his helm.

 

A timid lamb stepped forward,

And bowed before the guard.

“I beg your pardon, Wise One,

This winter’s been so hard.

 

I’ve wandered from the Shepherd,

And lost my way back home.

I pray you give me mercy

For I am all alone.”

 

The sentry eyed the creature

Assessing friend or foe-

Then welcomed in the lost one

From winter’s blust’ry cold.

 

The lamb was all a shiver

Despite it’s wooly coat.

The Watcher motioned quickly,

“Please, bring the royal robe.”

 

The lamb was covered gently

In love and tender care.

“We are the Shepherd’s children;

You’re always welcome here.

 

The Shepherd is returning.

He told us to prepare-

To watch, and love with passion;

To guard His Word with care.”

 

The Watcher is the sentry,

Who warns that time is near.

“Safeguard your heart completely,

The Shepherd will appear.”

 

Take heed, my friend, please listen.

His promise still remains…

He’s coming for the Watchers

Who call upon His name.

 

B.G. Jenkins ©2017

Thinking of my friend, Debbie Williams on this one…

The idea came from her love of owls.

 

Sincerely, BG

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When the Light Goes Out…

When the light goes out…where do your turn?  Are you flailing about tripping over things looking for the light?  Where does your spark of inspiration come from?  If you’ve ever noticed…when one candle lights another, the first does not lose its light.  You may feel that you have lost yours, but take hope… there’s still a flicker glimmering low.  You just have to find a way to reignite the flame.

I’ve noticed for me my spark comes from friends, from words, from art and music.  Today it came from this quote, a Bible verse, and a lovely video my friend sent me to watch about art.  (Thank you, Friend.)

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled  by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”    -Albert Schweitzer

That’s why it’s so great to look for the sparks around you.  Those creative things from others that inspire and rejuvenate.  That jolt that inspires you to take action and free the words, the music, or the art within.

Just like a spark that gives you a zap when you touch someone’s hand when the air is dry, those things that inspire you will bring hope and joy that will possibly spark a new creation. Whether it’s music, art or poetry…  use it.  Use whatever you can to make your art or work come alive.  I find hope in Bible verses.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  -Proverbs 27:17

Collaborations and masterminds are a great way to open the mind to new opportunities and to spark new ideas.  Though you don’t want to steal another’s work, you can model the techniques and make them your own.

 

“The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.” 

-Auguste Rodin

 

Today, I’m suggesting you look around you and discover that spark that will rekindle your light… and then let the fireworks begin.

Have a great day!

Sincerely, BG

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