Listen to Jim: http://jimreedbooks.com/mp3/howtoreviewyourworld.mp3
or read on…
HOW TO RE-VIEW YOUR WORLD
Sometimes, stopping to smell the roses can be thorny. But sometimes, it’s a good way to re-start, re-boot, refresh the day.
You might even consider getting up close and allowing the roses to enjoy you.
Consider these notions about gaining control of your world on your own terms:
Turn down the sound on the radio and watch it closely for
Adjust the television image and watch a color film in
black and white.
Turn the sound down and just watch television.
Then, keeping the sound off, read the closed captions.
At the movie theatre, use a hand mirror to view the audience behind you, ignoring the film entirely.
Pop a blank CD into a player and listen to the quiet for 70 minutes.
Carry snapshots of your parents and grandparents and brag about them every chance you get.
Have someone read you a bedtime story.
See what happens when you go a full day without television, ipad, texting, facebooking, tweeting, emailing, phonetalking, gameplaying…see what it’s like to avoid setting an alarm or looking at a clock or using a timer or switching on the car radio.
Try watching a turned-off TV screen by candlelight for 20 minutes.
Read only the last line of each newspaper article today.
Read a short story backwards, from end to beginning.
With eyes closed, clutch a very old book to your chest for an hour and imagine what is happening inside that volume.
Turn the world upside-down for a day and tell me what that was like
© Jim Reed 2011 A.D.
or read on…
RAINY DAYS AND SUNDAYS NEVER GET ME DOWN
The cartoon strip character Ziggy once said something like, “When you’re down and out, lift up your head and shout, ‘It’s going to be another lousy rotten rainy day!’”
I get this cry of despair from people a lot, especially on rainy days. Don’t know why, since I have memories of many wonderful rainy days.
I’m a kid playing in the back yard with brother Ronny, when we see rain coming in. This could be an adventure! We decide to crawl under a big wooden table that has Mother’s plants and doodads on it, and pretend that it’s a shelter in the wilderness during a typhoon (we don’t know what a typhoon is, but it sounds dangerous). Sure enough, we ride out the storm, huddled against the imagined snakes and grizzlies lurking just a pebble’s throw away. The flash flood misses us, the wet grass captivates our sense of smell, the surrounding mud is great fun to stick our toes in. The nearby rusty oil drum awaits our next escapade and becomes a time machine to lurk inside.
Rainy days like this remain safely in memory dear, to issue forth at just the right time in order to conquer just the wrong mood.
Rainy days mean the making of gentle love, the launching of handmade sailboats, the re-booting of dusty landscapes, the abolition of dew, the cleansing of an attitude, the conquest of thirst, the revitalization of thirsty critters.
Rainy days remind me that, should I weather the outdoors sufficiently, I will know when safe haven arrives. There’s no guessing about the moment when the rain stops, there’s no guessing that that overhang at the shop signals the end of wetness, there’s nothing preventing me from running out into the drizzle, nothing stopping me from running for shelter. Rain lets me know my boundaries, lets me know that no amount of whining is worth missing the rain and the Sun.
I’m happy to see Sunny, happy to see Rain.
Besides, what would it be like to have no weather at all?
Kind of like hearing the sound of one hand clapping
© 2011 A.D. Jim Reed http://www.jimreedbooks.com
Everybody has a list of favorite things in life.
Here’s my list of books and stories. What’s your list?
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS AND STORIES OF MY LIFE
Note: These are stories well worth the reading, well worth the writing style.
Some are disturbing. Some are inspirational.
Some are quite worthless save for their lingering images.
All are compelling in one way or another.
Most are difficult to forget, even if you try.
Bixby, Jerome. IT’S A GOOD LIFE
Bradbury, Ray. DANDELION WINE, THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, ZEN AND THE ART OF WRITING, THE SMILE, TO THE CHICAGO ABYSS, THE TOYNBEE CONVECTOR, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
Caldwell, Erskine. GOD’S LITTLE ACRE
Carlin, George. BRAINDROPPINGS, NAPALM AND SILLY PUTTY
Carroll, Lewis. ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Cleaver, Eldridge. SOUL ON ICE
Cozzens, James Gould. CASTAWAY
Davies, Valentine. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
Defoe, Daniel. ROBINSON CRUSOE
Dickens, Charles. A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Einstein, Albert. RELATIVITY FOR THE LAYMAN
Elliott, Bob and Ray Goulding. FROM APPROXIMATELY COAST TO COAST
Farmer, Philip Jose. THE LOVERS
Faulkner, William. INTRUDER IN THE DUST
Frankl, Viktor. MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING
Goldman, William. THE PRINCESS BRIDE
Gray, William. FUN WITH DICK AND JANE
Hemingway, Ernest. THE GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA
Hunter, Evan. BLACKBOARD JUNGLE
Huxley, Aldous. BRAVE NEW WORLD
Jackson, Shirley. THE LOTTERY
Jones, Guy and Constance. PEABODY’S MERMAID
Kazantzakis, Nikos. THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
Kelly, Walt. POGO
Kerouac, Jack. BIG SUR, ON THE ROAD
Khayyam, Omar. THE RUBAIYAT
Kiersey. PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME
Lee, Harper. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
MacDonald, John D. THE GIRL THE GOLD WATCH AND EVERYTHING
Matheson, Richard. I AM LEGEND, BID TIME RETURN, THE SHRINKING MAN
May, Robert L. RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
Menninger, Karl. THE HUMAN MIND
Merritt, A. THE MOON POOL
Miller, Walter. A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ
Moore, Clement C. THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Nabokov, Vladimir. LOLITA
Orwell, George. 1984
Parker, Dorothy. COLLECTED POEMS
Raines, Howell. MY SOUL IS RESTED
Reage, Pauline. THE STORY OF O
Reed, Jim. DAD’S TWEED COAT, CHRISTMAS COMES BUT ONCE A DAY, YOUR PEOPLE MY PEOPLE
Rilke, Rainer Maria. COLLECTED WORKS
Robinson, Frank. THE POWER
Sagan, Carl. THE COSMIC CONNECTION
Schweitzer, Albert. OUT OF MY LIFE AND THOUGHT
Sheehy, Gail. PASSAGES
Shulman, Max. BAREFOOT BOY WITH CHEEK
Silverstein, Shel. WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, FALLING UP, RUNNY BABBIT
Smith, H. Allen. HOW TO WRITE WITHOUT KNOWING NOTHING
Smith, Thorne. THE NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS
Spillane, Mickey. I, THE JURY
Steinbeck, John. TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY
Stevenson, Bryan. JUST MERCY
Stoker, Bram. DRACULA
Tazewell, Charles. THE LITTLEST ANGEL
Teasdale, Sara. COLLECTED POEMS
Thomas, Dylan. A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, UNDER MILKWOOD
Thurber, James and E.B. White. IS SEX NECESSARY?
Thurber, James. THE THIRTEEN CLOCKS
Tolkien, J.R.R. THE HOBBIT
Vonnegut, Kurt. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, HARRISON BERGERON
Watterson, Bill. CALVIN AND HOBBES
Wells, H.G. THE HISTORY OF MISTER POLLY, THE TIME MACHINE, THE
WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE DOOR IN THE WALL
Wilcox, Ella Wheeler. POETRY
Williams, Tennessee. BABY DOLL
Wilson, Edward O. CONSILIENCE
Wylie, Phillip. FINLEY WREN, GLADIATOR
The lessons I learned from some of these books never quite go away.
The ideas they proffered endure. The images they evoked don’t fade