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The Gentle Rocking Motion Just Before You Become Complacent by Ren Kolozak

There are times when rejection feels like the status quo and the idea of success is terrifying.

I’ve been an aspiring (syn. struggling) author for many years now. I have figured out how to properly balance artistic desire with practical awareness, and now I’m able to eat without worrying that my meal will take away from buying gas. It’s been a hard-won battle, and one I’m glad is over.

The issue now is complacency.

I now have to fight against the comfortable, against sinking too deep into the pillows of my bed for fear that I will never rise again. Instead of fighting to type words onto the screen, I contemplate my upcoming Netflix marathon. Rather than worry about my upcoming audition, I sigh with relief that I can cover my student loan payments.

It’s a sweet, gentle lull, and if I’m not wary, it will suck me below the tide. Soon enough, ten years will have passed, and my novel will sit forgotten in my hard-drive and my theatre resume will wilt from disuse. And, the most terrifying thing I can imagine, is looking back and wondering “Where did all that time go?”

It’s good to count pennies and have Ramen nights once in a while. It reminds me of where I’m from. It reminds me of where I’m going.

“We need to strengthen such inner values as contentment, patience and tolerance, as well as compassion for others. Keeping in mind that it is expressions of affection rather than money and power that attract real friends, compassion is the key to ensuring our own well-being.”

“Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” – Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933); Author, educator, clergyman

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius (121-180); Roman emperor, Stoic philosopher

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” – George Horace Lorimer (1899-1937); Editor

“He who allows his day to pass by without practicing generosity and enjoying life’s pleasures is like a blacksmith’s bellows- he breathes but does not live.”- Sanskrit proverb

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ~ Nelson Mandela

 Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Cantabile: A Love Story by Ren Kolozak

He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale dusty air.

But, that is not where this story begins.

It begins with bird and a star.

A bird whose songs caused willows to weep. Its voice rang through dusk and the dawn and all who heard were made beautiful.

A star who burned brighter than any of its brethren. It turned its ear towards the earth and heard the bird sing.

Stars are not meant to be moved, yet the star found itself moving to listen.The bird did not notice the star captivated with each note, unable to look away.

The bird did not notice a star fall in love.

Until, one night, the bird looked upwards and saw the star, bright with adoration. The bird felt starlight kiss its wings. When next it sang, the song was so beautiful the universe wept.

It was the first love song.

That’s not how the story ends.

The bird sang songs for its beloved until it died. The star collapsed with grief, the carbon of its corpse falling from the sky into the earth. Millions of years was all it took.

He began his new life standing up, surrounded by darkness. He opened his mouth to a song. Out of that darkness, a man came forward, his eyes like supernovas.

The man, who was once a star, reached out his hand. The man, who was once a bird, took it.

That is how the story begins.

—–

My entry for Figment’s June Challenge

“We can make this a more peaceful century if we cherish non-violence and concern for others’ well-being. It is possible. If the individual is happier, his or her family is happier; if families are happy, neighbourhoods and nations will be happy. By transforming ourselves we can change our human way of life and make this a century of compassion.”

“We are designed with a dreaming brain and a hopeful spirit; it is our nature to envision the life of our dreams. And while dreaming comes easy to us, we must never forget that it takes strength, dedication, and courageous action to bring that dream to life.” ~ Steve Maraboli (born 1975); Author

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.” ~ Horace (65-8); Roman lyric poet

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” ~ Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862); naturalist, author, philosopher

“The darkest hour in any man’s life is when he sits down to plan how to get money without earning it.” ~ Horace Greeley (1811-1872); editor and publisher

“Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen

Now I have no idea why this song doesn’t have more views. Completely baffled.

If you are a World Cup fan you have heard this song in the Beats Game Before The Game commercial, and can I just say it’s F*ing awesome. Have a listen and I dare you not to bob your head.

Follow me into the Jungle!!!

Original Version

 

World Cup Version

“You may be whatever you resolve to be. Determine to be something in the world and you will be something. “I cannot,” never accomplished anything; I will try,” has wrought wonders.” ~ J. Hawes

The Pillars of Suffering by Giovannah P

I sometimes think that I was “given” the struggle of depression so that I could understand where darkness and wickedness come from. When people intentionally hurt others it is because they too have been hurt, it comes from a dark place of unresolved pain. This explanation in no way excuses the behavior it just adds some perspective. When people unintentionally hurt others it is due to ignorance. In my life I have been exposed to both on a deeply personal level.

My Aunt is the pillar of unresolved pain, in my experience the more devastating of the two. Throughout her childhood she felt bullied, unworthy, and never good enough. She was left with a desperate need to prove herself, to have everyone know that she too was of significance, important, and worthy. How she went about proving her significance was devastating… she sought to claim familial power and control through bullying and manipulation. Now I will not discuss what she has done to others, but I will share what she has done to me. For a very long time I was one of her targets. As the eldest daughter to the eldest sister and the closest granddaughter to her mother, I represented something to be conquered, controlled, and broken. If she could break me, she could break what to her I symbolized.

As the second oldest she was always compared to my Mother. And in her eyes she thought my Grandmother,her Mother, never really liked her. She didn’t perform well in school and would get caught lying about class assignments; which at the time and in the culture was a no no. She grew up feeling small and hurt, and she used that pain to fuel what she would later become as an adult.

So she took her anger out on me, but I was only one of her targets. She manipulated and bullied others as well. She even manipulated my Father against me. As a child, I distinctly remember the feeling of getting double teamed, being constantly bullied by two key figures in my life. The bullying didn’t begin to desist until I knew how to placate, until I learned to be the small quite one, until I understood where I belonged. She could not break my Mother or her Mother, so she went after me. By winning over me she had conquered over something…

The second pillar of suffering is ignorance. My Father is a good man but gullible and he has had to fight is own demons. As the eldest of seven children my Father was often the man of the house. His Father was a trucker driver, never really home, and ended up leaving the family when my Father was in his late teens. So he has had his own struggles, his own battles to fight. And when it came to raising a precocious and rebellious young girl he was lost so he relied on what he knew…heavy discipline and conformity. There was no room for my personal and individualistic growth…there was no space to grow in and nowhere to grow to.

It has been a struggle and continues to be a struggle. Did you ever get the feeling as a child that there was no one at your side, no one in your corner? Not only did my relationships with my Aunt and Father make for a toxic environment I would often get bullied at school by both students and teachers. All of this, I believe, is what led me to begin experiencing depression as a teen. I think I had finally had enough, had finally begun the process of giving up. I remember very long days of lying on my bed in my darkened bedroom playing with matches, fire, and rubbing alcohol. As I look back at it, I imagine that the fire must have seemed a live to me at a time when I didn’t feel so; at a time when I thought that my life would have served a greater purpose if given to someone else.

Although I am a work in progress, and working at the project of me, I still remember those feelings and sometimes they find space to reemerge. And I bring up this struggle because within in me has lived the pillars of pain and ignorance, the pillars of suffering. Pillars I inherited but was not born with. But instead of bullying others I chose to self-destruct. I bullied myself. I was/am a walking open wound exposed to salty wind and hard rain. I have OCD, Anxiety, and Depression. I am overweight, make poor eating choices, and mark my skin. But beyond that my mind is on repeat with continued messages of self-hate, disgust, and disdain.

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