Poems About Paintings

I started this daily blog about 10 years ago as a way to encourage myself to write more, and I’ve been fairly consistent with it. I’ve missed a day now and then, this year more than ever, but it’s still going and I expect it will be until I die, which hopefully will be several decades into the future. There is no shortage of material, and it’s easier than poetry.
I’ve started other writing projects over the last couple of decades: to write a poem for every card in the Tarot Deck, to write more sonnets than Shakespeare, and a couple of others have resulted in books.
There was one project, though, that I worked on for a couple of years and then abandoned, because the theme was sort of played out and it was just more work than it was worth. That was Poems about Paintings, a web page. The idea was that paintings are very usable as a writing prompt. Even an abstract pattern, if you stare at it long enough, might inspire a few rhyming lines to float through your head. But it was too much work, I got tired of doing it, so I stopped.
Of course, since this is a thing online, it’s still there, and if anybody is interested, some of the poems actually provide insight into the universe we live in and the lives we lead. What I can’t figure out is how it continues to generate interest, given the complete lack of new content.
When I looked at my notifications this morning, it said “Poems About Paintings has 16 new likes, 2 new followers, 1 new save, and 5 new post… ” and I never figured out what came after the 3 dots. When I clicked on the notification, it took me to the page, which looks exactly like I left it, about 2 years ago, i.e. very abandoned and unchanged.
And I get notifications like that frequently.
I’m not complaining, I’m not too bothered. I just honestly don’t understand.

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Zoom II

Taught my first online English lessons today. It was not as bad as I feared, but it wasn’t exactly a raging success.
It was good in the sense that it happened, it was begun and completed, and perhaps some English was learned. Not sure of that, but then I’m never sure of that in person, either.
Attendance was slightly less, but i think everybody who wanted to be there was there, although one girl had a hard time singing on and was only there for about half the lesson.
I found it a bit awkward, not being face to face, but that just has to be.
Mostly, though, I’ve got to learn the medium better and come up with some interactive activities.

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Meaningless Thought

The mind works in mysterious ways and we try to find analogies for it, stream of consciousness, train of thought, wool gathering, but nothing accurately describes it, or anyway we wouldn’t know if anything accurately did because we don’t really understand it yet, but I think it’s safe to say, and this is the point of this morning’s extremely random blog, that it doesn’t work perfectly and in fact generally doesn’t work very efficiently at all.
We sometimes wonder why our world is as fucked up as it is but fail to appreciate the near miracle that we manage to survive at all, as limited and erratic as our minds are.
I do not remember my dreams last night. Just a single, little jingle that was floating around my brainpan when I woke up this morning. A name plus a nursery rhyme. And the name is a famous person but about all I knew about him (before I immediately looked him up on Wikipedia to try and get some clue about why his name was in my head) was that he was some famous Indian guy. I did not know if he was a mathematician or a Bollywood star. (turns out he was a poet, novelist, philosopher and political activist of the early 20th century, won a Nobel prize, I really should have known).
So, this morning the earworm that I woke up with was:
Rabindrinath Tagore, Rabindrinath Tagore
hi-ho the derry oh
Rabindrinath Tagore

What does it mean? Probably nothing. We look for significance in all things, and sometimes it’s just not there.

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Zoom Anxiety

I am going to make my first attempt at giving English lessons tomorrow. The first group are like 7 and 8, the second group up to about 12, I think. I’m a bit nervous about it.
I’ve participated in Zoom discussions before, but this will be my first time hosting one.
I’ve taught English for over 20 years, but always face to face.
I’ve got a couple of activities planned, but “The Best Laid Lesson Plans of Mice and Men aft gang aglay” as the famous poet said.
And, I’m not really very good with tech stuff and it would be very embarrassing to get showed up by a 7 year old.
Still, we did a test run tonight, everything functions, and, in between the doubts and the possibility of it being sort of a disaster, there is the possibility that it will work fantastically well.
Holding my thumbs, as they say in Czech. Fingers crossed.

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Neurodivergence

This little nugget of wisdom appeared on my Facebook page this morning and made my day, shared from someone who I’m almost certain their real name is not ‘bogleech’ but, anyway, a big Thank You to Christi Brooks for sharing it and here it is: “The neurodivergent experience is thinking you’re sharing fun, interesting or helpful information in a normal, human, conversational fashion while they think you’re an asshole looking down at them like they’re stupid and also that no matter how many times you have this experience you always think you’re doing it the right way this time.”
That sounded profound and right on to me, but before dedicating a blog to it I decided to look up the term. Psychologists and psychiatrists actually use neurodivergence more to talk about autism, and Asperger’s, and ADD and stuff like that, but both are true and I like Bogleeches definition better, so I’m focusing on that.
Like so many great thoughts, it’s just plain obvious when you think about it. We are individuals, so it’s obvious that no two of us experience the universe in exactly the same way. If you say you like ‘The Simpsons,’ for instance, we are in rough agreement, although we may have different favorite episodes, different favorite characters, and might have laughed loudest at entirely different moments.
We are individuals, and that’s a good thing. It’s one of our strengths, and we should embrace it. But how, then, can we communicate? Well, imperfectly perhaps, there is always going to be a bit of friction, as there is whenever two surfaces meet.
But, if we take our neural divergences into account, listen to all sides, speak (or type – ‘speak’ at this point is often a verb used metaphorically) politely, and examine evidence as needed, we can move forward into a brighter future together, even if it’s not exactly the same future for all of us.

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