Where you been?… 5 Sightings

I have not blogged for so long that I cannot remember the last thing I wrote. Since moving to the Denver area, my days have been pleasantly fullFor the past few weeks, my attentions were focused on my doctoral application process for the University of Denver. Currently, the application is awaiting the GRE score {gnashing of teeth}. I do not want to think about my score so no details…know only that I am a poor tester.

1.  I joined Lighthouse Writers.

I love the community involvement provided. Lighthouse Writers participate in “Writing the City” and “Friday 500.” In October, we toured the Clyfford Still Museum and wrote on his “Works on Paper” collection. I read my piece, “Lady of Misery,” at the museum’s 5yr anniversary gala on 18 November 2016. LW collaborate with museums and art galleries as means of relaying artistic expression through diverse media. A text of the poems will be available in 2017. Also, I took my first workshop “Weird World Building” with Prof. Lumans. We read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, discussed symbolism, and participated in writing exercises. Lighthouse spring courses begin in January, and I have not decided yet which workshop I want. Click HERE for Lighthouse Writers website; online courses available.

2.  The Denver music scene is a challenge.

There are so many bands to choose from, selecting a show is a mini-ordeal. One ultimate truth:  music relies on subjective preference. lol. Just because a friend says it’s the “best band, you’ll love them!” – does not mean that the band is even something you classify as “music.” For me – a writer, a thinker, a reader – I need words. If there are no lyrics in your music, then there is no direction for my mind to follow. Instead, it just loops and loops in eternal “warm-up” phase. No thank you<>. So…I am trying to make room for EDM – ole girl just needs a few words thrown into the mix. Sorry, Tag and all the editors at Punchland.com – I wanted to send you loads of cool reviews and write-ups. Sadly, I cannot corral enough positive thoughts to write about the music I’ve experienced. Instead, I would be writing on the “festival goers” dependency on drugs …and, in my opinion, if one must take the drugs to enjoy the music, then…the music must not be that good to begin with. But that’s just me, and I am not into drugs or bad music. I like my music lean on additives and full of meaning.

We saw Maynard from Tool – twice. We went to the concert and then attended his book reading. The concert was amazing! Even though Maynard forbid photographs and videos, I saw some posted on YouTube. I opted for the official video here because I want to honor the artist’s request. Seeing the show was great, however, the book ended up being written by Sarah Jensen, and the reading  – lmfao – was confused by most of his fans with a show. Click HERE for some reviews, many of which sound like they were written by website employees. First book reading I’ve ever been to where the audience screamed out, “Fuck Yeah Man!” and ticket-holders were so drunk they literally fell down. It would have all been worth it if the book was awesome. Sadly, it is not. The book begins in Maynard’s childhood – which is fine – but…Maynard didn’t have a traumatic childhood experience. The audience, at least this chick right here, expects a meaty, horrid, dark, and twisted tale. Instead, Maynard’s childhood is typical suburban America, a product of divorce. What I mean is – his childhood was average, the author could have skipped over it or quickly summarized. I am now on “skim reading,” searching for something of interest. But this text will go in the donation pile as it does not benefit my library. Not only that, but I have also lost respect for Maynard. Adding insult to injury, Maynard discussed how society should move away from capital gain and expect to give more than one takes – a sound idea, yet he is not leading by example. Music provides him with plenty of income, adding this book shows how capitalistic even the Artists can be.  And that makes me terribly sad.

3.  HLCA Global Conference 2016

hlca-cert-of-appreciation-trophy

Attending and presenting at The Humanities, Literature, Cultures, and Arts Global Conference 2016 cemented my desire for doctoral studies. I found “my people” in other academics. I cannot describe the energy, passion, and momentum present at conference. I only know that this is the place I belong. I am a scholar, and I crave company with other scholars. Why talk about sports or recipes when we can talk RESEARCH? O Philosophy! we can talk research! I cannot stress how refreshed I am at the notion that there is a sect of people who are interested in topics I contemplate. A network of Otherly thinkers is within grasp. In short:  I am not standing alone – “The Cheese” comes in many fragrant samplings.

4.  President-Elect Donald Trump…the election, it happened.

The before-and-after effects of the election are upsetting. What upsets me is the political process, the electoral college, and the mass usage of misinformation. When “Freedom of Speech” is exploited, is the action still “free”? There are so many controversial issues within politics that pointing the finger at figure-heads just seems silly. Read Democracy by Henry James; click HERE for a free download. The President is not the only one who needs an attitude adjustment – society is acting childish on both sides. The scary part is that real-deal ethics suffer, regardless who “wins.”

I advise each person to remember that they are an Individual, and individuals are responsible for their own actions. I cannot change the world, but I can change myself. I can be mindful of my actions, thoughts, and words. One trick I use – anytime I immediately want or reject something, I ask myself why I am feeling that way. I question my motives to see if they are, in fact, original and my own, or if the motive was learned.

{The Coffee Test:  Americans wake in the morning and automatically have coffee. Ask the self, “Why do I drink coffee? Do I like it / depend on it? Do I drink it because that is what people drink in the morning? Do I really want a cup of coffee?” …well, do you? Or do you drink coffee in the morning because your dad does, and drinking coffee signifies that you are an adult? I drink coffee whenever I want because I like the hot cup in my hand.}

Choices. Every Individual must choose and then accept responsibility for their choices.

5.  Secular Holiday Guide:  What Non-Believers can do – Create their own Rituals

The Secular Student Alliance developed a Winter Solstice Event Guide. Click HERE for the Secular Student website, the guide is available for free download. The concept of ritual does not have to be removed for Free Thinkers. Humanity develops ritual and meaning by joining together. Personally, the Winter Solstice holds meaning as it signifies life surviving through harsh conditions. It means life continues on, regardless of the climate, despite the shorter days. And we, advanced humans, continue adapting, protecting ourselves from snow, wind, storm, and sea. Winter Solstice reminds me that life may struggle, but that the struggle produces a grand result. For nature, the result being Spring / rebirth.

Apply the concept with one’s life – what lessons did you learn by surviving your own struggle, your own Winter? …more than likely, you learned invaluable lessons that could not have been taught<>

Happy Whatever-Holiday-You-Honor, dear Readers…

Angela, MmeWriter / MmePhilosopher

Plea to my Future Self:

Do Not Alienate a Questioning Mind

Throughout my journey in academia I have encountered variant professors. Certain scholars stand out from others – the Profs passionate about knowledge and curious for new solutions to old problems. I have been fortunate. The minds I have studied under are a vibrant tapestry of diverse thought; I know poetesses and writers, historians and seekers, deep-thinkers and intense pacifists. However, lurking in unsuspecting courses, one may encounter the false teacher:  one who is concerned more with their personal life than with their responsibilities of guiding eager minds, or…worse still… one who wears the shirt of religious toleration yet demonstrates vindictive sidespeak to the secular student.

I am a secular student. I look to science and empirical evidence in efforts to discover truth. I will not apologize for this as the scientific method is the most reasonable procedure available to integral consciousness. I have many questions, and I will not be held down by traditional convention. Not in life, not in philosophy, not in theory.

What I need to remember – for that glorious time when I am the Prof – is that minds have the right to question everything. Passion can be found in doubt. I will change, over time, as human nature is apt to do, but may I hold this always:  Beauty is found in doubt; therein lies our ability to search for truth.  I want to remember that not everyone thinks the same. Many people prefer following models set by tradition. I do not want to alienate the religious minds anymore than I would want them to alienate my #FreeThinkingMind. Human beings are diverse, we work with what we relate and understand.

Picture c/o:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/76/Secular_Student_Alliance_%28logo%29.jpg

~ Neither here nor there, but…when I searched “free image darwin and women” the first page is filled with woman’s shoes. {gnashing of teeth} We are so much more than footwear.