Family Day

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Today was once a somber day in our house. Its an anniversary that is welcomed and feared each year. Me and my wife had a baby boy called luke, he was born at forty weeks and five days. His weight was 7 lb. 11 oz and he had dark hair. Sadly he was still born.

This happened on April the fifteenth 2000. He would have been twelve today.

For the first few years we would shed tears, hug lots and visit the cemetery. The years passed and we had two more boys. With these our expectations of this day began to change. Five years ago our oldest son asked if we could do somthing a bit more fun on this day. After a brief period of soul searching and a small amount of guilt we did just that.

Now five years on, this day has evolved from being a day of remembrance. The day has changed, both our boys, and me and my wife call this day our family day. It dosent matter whether it’s raining or sunshine we go do something fun, in remembrance of Luke. Although our two sons never really knew of Luke they are very aware of his presence and importance in our lives. My wish is that as they grow, we can carry this tradition on and make this day always a day for the family.

I ask that you take the people you care for and go and have some fun today. Its what life is about.

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The End Is Nigh

I watched a TV program this morning and one of the points made, was that of the sun exploding and destroying the earth. Thus killing us all.

It got me thinking that if we KNOW this will happen to the human race, then should we not be making concrete plans to find other places in the universe, and go there. (The story of Noah comes to mind. The only difference is that we maybe capable of avoiding our demise.)

They say that ninety nine percent of creatures that have existed on earth are extinct. So are we being premature to begin planning so we don’t go by the way of a swollen sun.

I must be clear that the sun will not take us for about another 5 billion years. So we do have time on our side.

May I offer this for thought, that we should maybe eradicate starvation and human suffering before reaching for the stars. Can a race expect to survive on other worlds when it still cannot fix such fundamental problems such as these. I’m no fundamentalist and I except the role of nature and evolution in our lives. Its just sometimes I watch the news and see things happen in the world, that make no sense to the evolution of our species.

There is a miss interpretation of the mayan calendar, that all ends december 2012.

A phrase comes to mind, ‘everything that begins, must end’  so the calendar could not run for all time and they who made it had to make a point to stop it somewhere.

Reflection!

When we reflect I cannot help but wonder why. People I speak to seem to reflect back on there life with the filter of  regret. I can honestly say there are only a handful of friends and family in my life that follow my interpretation of reflection.

Above is a collage of words from my tags of the last year. I can say that these are the most important words from my last year of posts. When I look over these, it makes me reflect with in, I see happy, sad and great social times. The last year has brought me the death of my father. The finish of my book. The realisation that I need to do more. Also a great growth within my self. My first blog almost a year ago was (and you can look this up in my archives if you wish) To Van Dyke or not To Van Dyke That is the Question. Since than I have posted fifty seven times subjects ranging from information about my writing  to family holidays, great social events such as the Royal Wedding and some very personal events too.

This is the past and we should learn from this, not repeat it.

We hold onto the past with notions that to persist and repeat will bring better results. It will not.

Most conversations I will have over the next twenty four hours about the future, will involve the past. Trying to make a better future by clinging onto a changed or modified past.

The glory days are just that.

We anchor ourselves with Memories but we set ourselves free with Dreams.

We look forward and shape the future, use your glory days, don’t repeat them.

On this I wish you all a very happy and productive New Year. I look forward to the new challenges it will bring.

 

To save a life

I wrote a post this morning about the neutrino and how it seems to have traveled faster then the speed of light. I was happy with it, and will post it later maybe tomorrow.
The thing is I then received a call from my wife who is in London on business and has been there most of the week. She began the conversation with “you never believe what I have just done” Her voice was shaky and I could hear tears in her voice. “Iv just brought a man back to life”
I said. ” what, I don’t under stand”
“I man collapsed on the tube and died he went blue and everything, then Stopped breathing and stopped moving too”

Me being so supportive normally, I had nothing to say, apart from “well done” I mean come on.
She began CPR and brought him back to life.

She said “It was like on the films when when they take the big breath and suddenly he is alive again”

I am so proud of her, she had the training and many people have, but who would use it. If I’m honest I don’t know if I would have the balls to step up to the mark. And I think until you are in the situation you will never will know.

So Joanne ( my wife ) I’m so proud of you.

Emotions part five ‘Hate’

I wonder what we mean when we say hate. I think most people can see a person in there minds eye if I ask.

‘who do you hate?’

I have been trying to write this post for months, it seems that I just cannot get a handle on hate. It could be me, maybe I just don’t have the ability to hate.

Is it hate that we feel? or is it another emotion that we are just confusing as hate. Like jealousy or envy.
Hate is what I would call a prime emotion like a prime colour. It’s one of the big ones, we use this in a combination with others to make our mood or feeling at any one time. It wouldn’t suprise me to find that there are specific parts of the brain that directly involves it’s self to making us feel hate. There has been many times in my life when I have felt hateful towards someone or something; it is normally short lived and happened when I was a much younger person.

In the wisdom that comes with thirty eight years (if any) I seem to have mellowed, It takes a lot more to rattle my cage. Maybe having children has taught me to control this destructive emotion.

Our feelings have developed over many thousands of years. We as a species used to use such things as tools. Only now we live so different to our recent ancestors that we can get confused to which emotion we should be using.
It’s not human to hang on to any situation after the outcome is obsolete. So if you feel hate for someone because they have done you wrong then that’s fine but as soon as your hate becomes self destructive then it’s time to let go. Move on and make the best of what’s left. Whether it be love, money or a family feud. Life is to short and to preoccupy our life’s with such futile endeavours if wasteful to say the least. In the end hate is powered by the situation that gave it life. What we have to do is rationalise it as quick as possible to limit the damage it will cause, because if left it will cause damage.

This is when the empathy comes in; to see the situation from the other point of view will give you prospective and know doubt show you how small it was in the first place. In the end maybe it’s our ability to forgive and empathise with others that makes the difference. Writing makes me empathise with others, after all if I could not empathise I would only write a one sided story. I’m only able to give characters there own life by taking that life from everyone round me. I little bit of everyone I know will be in all my story’s

My oldest brother has some great advice, that is “do to others, only what you would have done to yourself’ (Im sure thats out of a very famous book, involved a man who’s name began with a “J” I think)

So hate is useless and a waste of hormones.

Buddha said “Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love” Be it karma or some faith from a corner of the world or a spiritual intervention, but I do believe that we get what we give.

What I tell my two boys when they blur the line between right and wrong is that ‘bad people get bad things and good people get good things’

So give nice and receive nice in return.

Dads, fathers, papas, the old man

I have just watched a film called the beaver. It stared Mel Gibson and Jodie foster, by all accounts a very good film. I can’t help but feel that it is directed at fathers. As I am a father and recently lost my father I can say it hit a nerve. We as fathers give to support the family or should I say we try to give what is needed.
I believe my two boys are ok and happy with what I provided for them. The pressure of being a father can some times be over looked by what a mother has to deal with in there day to day. When I lost my dad I began a sole search trying to make the adjustment of loosing a parent while I’m still in my thirties.
In this day and age I expect to see my parents well into my fifths. But because of life choices I have lost my father now.
Mel Gibson in the film goes through a break down after his faith in life is lost and His ability to maintain himself is lost, so he makes a new him through a puppet called beaver. I won’t go to far into this incase you have not seen the film.
The nerve that was hit in me is how fragile our life with our families are, and how we balance work and family responsibilities. While trying keep those childhood dreams can be hard. You see as children girls can be told of family, children and the White picket fence, but us men are told of party’s, girls, money, cars and fancy jobs with lofty opportunities.
Don’t get me wrong I’m very happy with my life and the affection I have for my father. It’s just that I have noticed that I’m now filling my children with dreams of collage, university and a good life. When actually they will have to fight to keep that goal alive. I don’t want to sound like a depressive as I’m a very happy family man.
It’s been a while since I last posted and eleven thirty five at night fuelled with some very good scottish whisky called lachnagar will help. I have been away to a small scotch town called Tarland for the past week and plan to post a few notes and pictures tomorrow.
See you then.

The thief that is sleep

I think sleep is a stealer of moments. We take it like a drug, every day we give valuable time. Time we could spend doing productive things such as writing. I understand that we need this drug and that for me I use it. I get many ideas while in those waking moments, I have note after note describing short scenes so I don’t forget the special feel of the idea, I try to trap my memory in there. So when I read it at a later date it will hopefully spark the same.
It’s not that I think we should get rid of sleep just that we should take it in moderation.
For instance the medical profession say from the age of four or five we need a minimum of twelve hours sleep per night. This is to give our body time to build and mature as we are still growing this makes sense.
Now after eighteen we begin to mature a little slower, much of the big stuff is done and by twenty five we are done. The cake is cooked and needs no more time in the oven “except to keep warm”
So take me at thirty eight I need no more cooking time just time to warm (and think over story’s and other stuff, not all other stuff is kept to the bedroom though)
A healthy adult can quite happily survive on just four to six hours sleep so why do we all strive to achieve this eight hour minimum.

I chose to think of sleep as a drug and although it is very addictive and lovely and warm I aim to fight to get back my lost hour of life that this condition steels from me each and every day.

My wife has just said “your not going to post that are you, you have done nothing but moan about how tired you are all week”

Maybe I’m still in withdrawal. 🙂

Writing Stuff

I have been writing or should I say rewriting my novel, this is to send to someone who is going to give me some feedback. on things like Story, plot, characters and so on.

This being my first novel length story, I have learnt quite a bit about how I write and have seen many problems while also seeing many good points. A bad point for example is the show don’t tell rule. I seem to be breaking this over and over again, this will lead to many rewrites, not of the whole book just the relevant bits. I am also noticing that I break into the ‘he thought’ and ‘she thought’ quite a bit at times. This again make for the show don’t tell rule. when I’m in there head and conveying there thoughts then I’m telling and not showing. this is ok if say I want to get the characters from one part of town to the other with no relevant story needed to be told about that journey.

Example : He thought, it best to lead his team straight to the station, when reaching the tall door, he thought. God I’m pleased to have got them here safely.

This although a bad sentence gets rid of many pages of description that would have been written if I showed then getting to the police station. The story should dictate whether it is needed or not. The problem is when I’m writing and its 11:30pm my eyes are falling closed on every breath. then it seems easy to replace five pages with one sentence.

But now that I work through the manuscript my tardiness is obvious. It makes me question the rule (there are many rules about this writing lark) just write no matter how bad you can sort it out in the second draft. now I’m in second draft it seam I should have been more decisive.

I think you learn as you write.

Emotion’s part 4

Affection, Love, Happiness. (all the good ones)

These emotion’s seem really hard to write about.

I think its because where as the other emotions can be broken down I find it harder to break this one, when I do it kind of breaks the magic behind love and happiness.

I do believe in the magic that comes from caring for someone close to you, when you give over all you are. If you are as fortunate as me to have found the one person who you truly care about above and beyond yourself. (I think I will get some stick for this post)

Maybe this is it, we give affection to others in the hope that it will be returned. The problem is that sometimes it’s not returned and we start on one of those other emotion. This is what’s hard about the good emotions, they take an effort to keep. Were as the bad ones like hate and anger these take an effort to get rid of. It’s easy to stay angry. It’s harder to be happy.
Which in its self is kind of cool because most people you will meet are happy. I know a lot of people who are in love with someone. So at least we can take joy from the fact that most people want to smile and be your friend.
This is a quote I like from Albert Camus

Do not walk in front of me; I may not follow.

Do not walk behind me; I may not lead.

Just walk beside me and be my friend.

(like I said, I think I might get some stick for this post, showing my softer side I think)

I do like that that Albert Camus has written. It basically says be my friend, not by boss, nor me yours.

When I decided to write about emotions I did a bit of research. Did you know that there are 48 separate emotional states. I won’t cover all of them, that could get boring fast. But I do find the emotional state very interesting, how we mix and match them depending on who we are interacting with. How some people can be angry at one person then turn and be nice to the next. while others get into an emotional state, no mater who they see, that state will not change, it has to run its course. (heart on there sleeve comes to mind)

This variety in the Human emotions makes for very interesting discussions. Me and my wife will talk and when out eating at a restaurant we people watch. It soon becomes apparent that people are all the same, we all have the same worries and problems while at the same time we all have the same desirer to be connected and wanted by others.

Life is good if we understand that deep down we all want the same.

To Lie?

I was going to call this post emotions number four but lies are not really an emotion, although they do evoke an array of emotion.

First  I should define between a damaging lie and a white lie. I believe a white lie is when your partner says they had one biscuit when they really had two. A damaging lie is self explaining, they cause damage. The worst kind of lie is when the lie its self prevents you from fulfilling a promise or stops you from supporting the victim of the lie.

If you lie to someone close to you, the kind of person you would not normally betray. The disappointment you will cause that person will do a number of things to you (the lie giver). Firstly the guilt will make you angry at yourself which you will pass on. Also you would begin to avoid the victim of your lie (the one lied to), this in its self could cause more damage.

Then there is the trust lost, all lies do make themselves known eventually.

Someone once said if you cut your arm you will heal. If you keep cutting the arm eventually it will fall off. A lie is like a cut you only get to do it a few times. Then it will end.

As for the victim lies only hurt. There will never be a good one.

If I sound like a preacher I apologise, I don’t lie.

DO NOT LIE. EVER. EVER. 🙂