Ever Ask Yourself?

Why me? Do other women my age revisit the question of why was I born in this family? Isn’t that a teen something question and aren’t we supposed to have accustomed ourselves to the unchangeables of life by the time we are in our …shoot man…. half century mark?

Is it just arrested development? Some sort of nightmare fountain of youth…where you get old but never really adjust.

And what is it that makes us feel so betrayed? Just expectations gone awry? Where did I get the idea that family involves caring about the other person. It doesn’t seem realistic. What is family? Why are certain members favored and others are not?

Lots of people think the answers are easy. Either in the positive or the negative. I don’t find this true. It is not simple, although I think it should be. Family should be simple. People should just love and want the best for each other and it ought to be easy to figure out how to do that.

But it is not.

I grieve over my father alot. In many ways…because he was a terribly flawed person. I feel sorry for him and angry about him. I am appalled at some of the things I learned about him from going through his papers and letters. He left me a mess to deal with in my family. Just a mess of humanity that is hurt and hurtful. I think about it, but when I think about my father I must close the book on each thought. Because he is dead. There is nothing more to do. No talking. No praying. No nothing. Just close the door on each thought and feeling as it surfaces. All the ‘would have likes’. They are over, aborted before they were ever to have been . They were my fantasy world – the ideas that I could change anything, create anything, without the realization that you cannot do that without cooperation.

See, there is where the difference lays. People who deal with their lives properly somehow understand and get cooperation from others in their lives. I have thought alot about this. And for some there is a gift, called “favor” in the Bible, that some are given. Others naturally want to cooperate with them. It is odd really. The way talents, gifts, abilities, circumstances, and so many very important things are chosen for us. Of course, we have what we do and develop. No doubt about that….. but how much of our lives are spent trying to make a silk purse from the sows ear?

And where do we get those ideas in the first place?
Continue reading Ever Ask Yourself?

Proof of the Pudding

I am in the throes of real life. Real Christian life. That is: I have encountered one of those dilemmas of having to work out a situation that demands that I face up to how much real sacrifice I am willing to commit to in living out what I say I believe.

I hate those times.

I mean it. It is so excrutiating to face up to laying aside ones own interest for the sake of conscience. I hate it. I hate the struggle and the feeling that it isn’t fair. I hate feeling like I lose. And that nobody cares…. and that God is only mildly interested in how this turns out.

Which of course, I have to face up to as a lie on my part… a lie I tell myself. God very much cares… with more interest than I can imagine.

And it is made all the more difficult because I am dealing with those who are supposed to be as dedicated as I am to Jesus. So I tell myself that they are as much obligated to conform to being giving and reasonable as I am.

But that doesn’t matter. What matters is what I know to be right and that I am responsible to follow what I know to be right. Although I also know I am very prone to applying the tourniquet to my arm prematurely. You know, my cure is worse than the original problem, and I should give time to the resolution.

I hate this. I feel sad and betrayed and it seriously interferes with me going about my business and accomplishing something worthwhile. Because lots of obsessing and regurgitating thoughts is just not a good use of my life.

internet mysteries

In one of those mysterious things on the internet …. I have some strange option that has come up in the comments. It prevents me from commenting and maybe you….? I can only guess that it is something from movable type to prevent spread of spam and/or the most recent virus.

I have no idea. I just know I didn’t initiate it.

So here is my reply to the last comment (Vash):
Continue reading internet mysteries

You’re Cool, I’m Cool- ok I’m not

Is it my imagination, or are people becoming ever more faddish in the area of their morality? Do we have certain ethics and morals based on how cool that makes us? Wouldn’t that qualify as hypocrisy in the highest degree? A purely outward motivated ideal of what constituted right and wrong?

Or is this just my imagination?

The herd mentality has always been with us, but I always supposed that moral ideas and ethical practices were based in principles that we understand are an elemental part of humanity.

I know those ideas of principles have taken a knock. That people really struggle with the concepts of right and wrong, to the degree of whether they accept that there is any such thing. But has it reached so far into a blind way of living that it truly becomes the thumbs up or thumbs down of the crowd? The fifty one percent majority, or the best Madison Avenue presentation to the public?

Is that all it has become reduced to? And is the upcoming generation simply scared to pursue the questions? Or too tired to think about it? Or too scared to move off their own peer base of what is acceptable?

Maybe not. Maybe just not a clear enough sound of the trumpet. Not enough force and passion behind the breath needed to give clarity of a discernable sound.

So the glitz and the fireworks, the barker and the flashy costuming gets the attention and the whole thing simply becomes one bill of goods.

……. and ideas of truth, duty, sacrifice, honesty, and courage become lost in the din. Sold off and forgotten.

It could be my imagination.

It is Abortion, this time

I wasn’t intending this at the outset, but I had written this long comment that wasn’t accepted -for length. So I was forced, forced, I tell you, to comment on a post concerning abortion.

I was minding my own business going to the links on my blogroll. I visited Philosoraptor and since (s)he makes an excellent job of setting up the logic of the argument, it was easy to see some of the problems involved.

Here is my comment that I so wanted to append to the post:

“”It?s clear that it is wrong for terrorists to murder innocent people; it is not clear, however, whether it is wrong to abort a fetus.” -Philosoraptor

If I understand you correctly, the pivotal point of your contention is whether a human at the fetus point may be considered a person.

I think that a “philosophical person” is going to have a great deal of trouble identifying and defining that term, ‘person’. And the point of “sentience”. Even “brute biological life” at the point of a fetus is still human, biologically speaking.

Perhaps the woman, Hughes, used emotional vocabulary, … but I believe that if one digs far enough into the topic… your own stance is no more “logical” and has premises and stopping points that are emotionally based, as well.

Such as: you just don’t like some things. I would agree with you if you protest a ‘terrorism-abortion analogy’, but if it is a grouping with the similarities that life is sacrificed for another’s purpose, then maybe she wasn’t so far off as you contend.

However it works, the great philosophical question in the abortion issue is ‘what is a human?’, and the ethical one, ‘what are we allowed to do with fellow humans’?

Perhaps that is at the root of many of our issues that involve death: abortion, war, capital punishment.

Maybe we are having a hard time figuring out just what “human” is. And the what and why of “rights” that follow on the conclusion.
Continue reading It is Abortion, this time

Where’s My Virtue?

I waste time. Sometimes curiously, sometimes to vent tension, and while I have no idea what has contributed to this latest bout …. I have followed links on other’s blogs that then led me down the primrose path….
Anything but Ordinary led me to the creativity test where I scored a 77.4 or something like that. High in Boldness,Complexity,Paradox and Curiousity; rather low in Abstract, Connection. She has the nifty graphic of her results…. I don’t. Then on to the punctuation game.

The other day I spent bunches of time making fake picasso’s from following the Ocean Guyto Mr. Picassohead. I never was much for abstract art. Not that I can’t appreciate it, I just can’t work with it. But hey.

Christian Bloggers Awaken

So. How verrry interesting. Discovered in time for the conversation I was having on Forums…where Christians and NonChristians intersect… is this discussion on Christian blogs about the perception of insulation of Christians, by Living Room and an internet outreach project in the making. I don’t have time to opine at the moment, but I wanted to alert Vash to this since I feel her comments, based on her experience in this sort of dialog and coming from the ( presently 😉 unbelievers side of things would be pertinent.

It reminds of my beer story …now that I have read Vash’s comment.
Continue reading Christian Bloggers Awaken

Everyday Branding

I’ve been reading more of the book on creating your “brand”. I can’t use all of it, but there are some highly useful concepts in there.

Theophilus, in asking about Vash, is actually requesting something of a brand description for “Vash“. We do that all the time, look for short-hand to get a handle on people and concepts. It is a physical process actually, the reticular formation of the brain at work.

Branding Web Presence

I was thinking about my ‘web presence’, ahem, such as it is, on the internet horizon (that miniscule blip…oops! you missed it), as I was reading the book. My website started as a desire to do something creative from long-lost artistic leanings and to share some of the hard-won practical knowledge in the important areas of my life. Sparked by a need to to keep tabs on my wayward, but computer-genius, son.

So Ilona’s Reflecting Pool grew and evolved; it had the parameter of concentrating on the “whatsoever is lovely” of Philippians 4:8. It is filled with experimentation in graphics, layout, topics, and is a mix of copying what I admire and producing things of my own origination. It is a collage of expression.

And out of that grew ‘truegrit’ (this blog).

This design is more stable and businesslike, which is why I so wanted the MT mode of blogging. It is clear and serious, which fits how I want to be expressed here. Want playful? I have a blog for that… and I am trying to have separation of intent, which I find is useful for the web…. but I always break my own rules.

Truegrit grew because not everything in this life is “lovely”, but in order to produce the lovely , one needs to address the corrections of ‘wrong’ and ‘faulty’. It is the present incarnation of my old “Opinions” page, in which it should appear in an iframe. Which itself was stimulated by participation in the forums. ( that brings me to Vash, and forum life…..)

Comparing brands

…. and how affection and respect can break the barriers.

I want Vash to describe herself, but I can give you her labeled identity vs. my label identity.

We met on my first visit to a Delphi Forum, the old “ExWitch”, which is no more. I went there by way of a featured url on a Christian newsletter.

Vash quickly became something of a Nemesis for me there. She is young, I am old. She is atheist ‘by name’, and I am ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ ( but be careful-I have a different definition than many of you in this). She is Socialist- left in politics, I am mostly conservative. She is smarter than I am, but I have more life experience.

We have duked it out on many an issue. My profile is stubborn endurance, hers is piercing, belly-finding probes. You’d better be real with Vash on the boards, but that is a little like me. I like her, I value her input.

She’s seen me go through my usual track of becoming a lightening rod, occasionally incinerated. I think she feels some pity, and so has become kind to me. It is one of the few long-lasting online relationships I have experienced.

There’s much more if you go into detailed analysis, like thinking style of INTP, and stuff like that, but that is peripheral here. forums no longer give me the satisfaction of new stimuli, which is one reason I spent time there. I also have an undercurrent of the web being a type of ministry. In my terms of what that is for me…. and the forums that elicited that dried up or fossilized…or something. Imploded, maybe.

I learned much about how to, and how not to, communicate with people. Always one of my weak points.

How many dead-ends there are in debate of the issues is another illustration the forum format provides.

People often believe what they want to believe. but there are some sincere seekers out there. And those are the ones that interest me. And I am a die-hard when it comes to believing that discussion will accomplish more than propaganda. I very much want to leave my world a better place for having existed here. The web offers possibilities for that.

Forums, Lists, Blogosphere, Website-Surfing are all different communities with intersecting boundaries. So far, blogging is the wave of now. It is where you are most likely to find truly intelligent commentary and genuine respectful interaction. There’s lots of hooey, too, but that is life, you know?

Anyway…. enough blogging.

Make it Public

Announcement of quitting a forum really drew my interest, posted by Theophilus. I spent much time in that venue and came away with a few opinions and some lessons from those experiences. I recommend reading all through the comments following Theo.’s post … many worthwhile observations. After all, we are observers of our culture on these blogs, right? That is part of the draw.

In my own experience…..
Let’s see…how much do I want to tell? Where’s Vash? I trust she won’t mind if I share some things that include her.
Continue reading Make it Public

Thoughts on a Book, “Make A Name For Yourself”

At the library today I picked up a book on a whim. I often do that. Usually I get gardening books or books on a certain subject I need to study for some odd reason, but every once in a awhile an odd topic will attract my eye and I will pick up the book.

Once picked up, it is soon read.

The Book, “Make A Name For Yourself”

This particular book is called ‘Make A Name For Yourself’ by Robin Roffer.

Make a Name for Yourself: 8 Steps Every Woman Needs to Create a Personal Brand Strategy for Success

Admittedly, my website endeavors are the motivation for reading this book, because face it, I am all over the place with my website subjects, style, and opinions. I am easily distracted.

So in the interest of shaping up the focus of my websites, I borrowed the book.

It turns out to be sort of a self discovery book. It asks you to think of yourself in terms of your strengths and “core” qualities. I would think that would be easy for me, but I am finding myself a little non-plussed.

Sometimes I kid about reworking the identity thing that was supposed to be resolved in one’s twenties. But it is too close to what I am actually doing. I am sometimes still asking the Who Am I? question. I find that slightly ridiculous. I’ve lived most of my life. Two-thirds with the threescore and ten measure.

But maybe I am not so much ‘reworking’ as further refining the definition. And you know how I love definition.

I must start asking those closest to me which characteristics are most definitively “me” in their estimation. I am so about “me”. But you can’t really relate to others well if you don’t have any idea what “you” are. Well. Introverts can’t, anyway.

Character Traits

Here are a few of the traits:

Personal values:

authenticity success generosity love honesty kindness loyalty community connectedness courage ethics inspiration appreciation growth warmth …. etc.

Attributes Prized in the Workplace:

accomplishment accountability ambition analytical assertiveness cheerfulness competence competitiveness cooperation creativity decisiveness dedication dependability initiative determination ….. etc “

Further, Roffer takes personalities that we see as brands, like Madoona, I mean Madonna, Martha Stewart ( pre-trial ), and Oprah and analyzes their “brand qualities”.

Applied To Me

Interesting stuff. About the only thing I have thus identified about me is ‘authenticity’, which I have incorporated into the blog here…. because that is one of my core values, to be authentic whether in a good or bad way: WYSIWYG.

I don’t much like surprises as in being disappointed that someone is not who they presented themselves to be. And I don’t like to be misrepresented, myself.

Although sometimes we accidentally do that- even when making efforts otherwise.

Anyway, I am not very far into the book, it could be enlightening or merely entertaining….. if it inspires further thought, I’ll post.

and if I get REALLY inspired I’ll create a logo 🙂

just what the world needs, eh?