My word for 2014 is enough


I have decided. Enough is my word for 2014.

Enough is as good as a feast.
Enough food.
Enough sleep.
Enough exercise.
Enough books.
Enough beautiful location.

“If you are lucky enough to live in the mountains, you are lucky enough.”

Enough is such a useful word.
When things go wrong, I can throw up my hands and cry, “Enough already!”

Out with the idea that I am never;
perfect enough,
or pretty enough.

I only need enough to get me through one day at a time.
I am enough.

I can hike under blue skies in the bright spring sunshine and sigh, “It is enough.”
Enough to get me through that day.

I have lived to hold grandchildren in my arms. It is enough to have experienced that moment.

The beauty of a sunset, or a sunrise; the harmony of a song well performed, is enough to make life worthwhile.

Enough to get me through that day.

And when unwanted challenges come?

I will be enough.

Not Often a Serial Writer

When did we start flinging words, bandying them about? Dangling participles and cliffhanging plots on shreds of scrap paper?

Working in radio is a dance of words anyway. In the low-budget spirit of non-profit, I repaired the worn corner of an office chair with a corduroy patch. Thinking to lighten the insult of frugality, I also embroidered the letters, patch cord, so no one would miss the message. Not every professional radio announcer can sew, though the ability to stay on-air through all challenges is essential.

It was in the olden days of two turntables, three reel-to-reels, a cassette tape deck and an 8-track player. Editing was done by hand with a tape snipping block and tape. Spinning platters and cuing tapes accurately made for a clean sound and no dead air.

The Sunday afternoon a second reel-to-reel player went down was not to be born without proper mention. An out-of -order sign was obligatory. The word choice was mine: consider the abilities of this reel, it toileth not, neither doth it spin.
A day later, someone added: Yet, Solomon, in all his glory was not dismayed by one of these.

Life became punny at work. The paper trail grew a tail like a kite all the way down the corner of the production room window.

As I said, it was the olden days, so these were not post-a-notes. Each added missive was a torn piece of scrap paper, attached to the previous with a morsel of transparent tape. Our station manager dained not to participate. A pity, for he was a consummate wordsmith.  Every so often the night guy would throw in a pencil drawing of a smurf or loony tunes character with a caption totally off-track the general thread.

Those were my early days of serial writing, but I had completely forgotten them – until I began following the group writing activity at Novel Matters. Today, it’s my turn to contribute. What do you think? Has my writing improved? Or am I just the night guy throwing a wrench in the plot?

Revisiting Failure

So, how long do you wait to revisit failures? Is ten years enough? And when you do revisit – after you have changed, matured, honed your skill and your character – are you still embarrassed by the past failure? Are you able to shake it off? Laugh it off?

When you review the performance, replay every beat and detail, suppose you see an abundance of excellence – maybe 95% excellence; does the five or four or three percent, or even the one mistake, one sour note, negate the whole and make it worthy of discard?

Yes, one loss demolishes a perfect record.
But does it have to destroy your entire future?

How long do you take to let it go? To retire the failure? To move on?

Here’s my story
An entire cadenza – avalanched. 1,000 copies stamped out and distributed. A huge fail permanently etched in polycarbonate. It took me 10 years to revisit and listen to the CD. It’s still bad. I can never fix it. The mistake cannot be erased.

Finally, I gathered courage to play in public again. This time, with more confidence, to a different audience. I am a richer musician; but, I still make mistakes.

During the opening ceremonies of the olympics, I was reminded by the announcer, “now entering the stadium are the best athletes in the world.” Gold medalists set a new standard for perfection. Silver medalists or bronze are not quite as perfect. What about those who compete but do not place? Surely their imperfections are showing. But, they are still among the best athletes in the world. I wonder; how long does it take them to get over their mistakes and failures? Some things cannot be undone. When is it time to revisit the failure, replay the recording? And when is it time to move on?