Embracing Hope: the good and the bad

Hope is expressed in music lyrics, poetry, fiction, and the pastor’s sermon. It’s a much-used expression that has different meanings to those doing the hoping:

  • “I hope Barbara goes to the dance with me if not, I’ll ask Sue."
  • “Now that I’ve washed the car, I hope it doesn’t rain."
  • “I hope and pray that they caught the malignancy in time."
  • “They’re cutting staff and I’m hoping to keep my job until I find another."

Jim Carrey gave a super graduation address. It’s well worth viewing and you won’t regret the twenty some minutes. His take on Hope begins at 24 minutes.

My dad used to say, “To sit on your butt and hope is a waste of time. It’s the action that gets results."

I had said something about hoping to get a good grade on a history test. To put this in perspective, my parents had received a report of missing assignments and sporadic attendance, along with the midterm report of a D- grade. Although it would’ve been a hardship on Mom and Dad I had to turn over the keys to the ’52 Bel Aire.

I loved that car. It motivated me to get my act together for two nights in a row before I turned to hoping and threw in a prayer or two… and scored 53% on the test. I learned that hope without action didn’t work. And I learned to walk back and forth to school and activities.

Hoping is often tied to wishing. I hope this, I wish that… without taking action that brings change.

Hope is the spark that ignites action. Can you live without hope? It would be giving up, living a dismal life–no making the best in the present, no expectations of the future. Never looking forward to a new day.

The overuse of hope has lowered its importance and value. Hoping for safety and protection in times of disaster is more than hoping a Rock Star venue has some good seats left.

Hope combined with prayer to God, the Universe, or the energy that you believe keeps the planets in line is powerful. Should you put hope on a higher pedestal giving it more importance? Does having hope make our lives better, or not?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment below:

Spiritual beings having a human experience

 

 

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience ~ Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

 I developed an interest in the paranormal during my college years. Being open to it could’ve increased the awareness of my own experiences. After a divorce, I moved into an old house across from the school where I worked. The first week I was awakened with a slap on my behind at three AM each morning. Then came the footsteps up the basement stairs stopping at the door. Needless to say, my life was turned upside down. Not as severe as Garth Andrews’s life, but enough to plant a story in my head.
The first three books I wrote were a coming of age series that explored a music-talented protagonist’s obsessive compulsive behaviors that led to addictions. A ghost that came with a pawn shop guitar was a strong supporting character, but the supernatural runs the show in Human Experience.

The colorful cast includes a variety of spirits:

  • ghosts
  • poltergeist
  • guardian angels
  • spirit guides
  • and more
The notice of divorce not only takes protagonist Garth Andrews by surprise but drives him into a deep depression that clouds the hold unseeable inhabitants of the house have on him. He is torn between protecting his children and fulfilling a selfish lust.
The novel, Human Experience, endorses Pierre Teilhard De Chardin’s belief that we are here to learn from our experiences.

About the Author

Hope, Humor, and the Supernatural

Paul Keene writes literary fiction from his Idaho home near the Swan Falls bird refuge. He enjoys exploring the outdoors, working in the herb garden, and drinking bold coffee while reading on the back deck. The author loves life and enjoys friends, family, and dogs. Humor and gratitude lighten his heart.

Spirits, Angels, Ghosts, and sounds in the night

Shadows come and go. You turn to look at whoever is staring at you. No one is there. A smell, a scent of perfume, tobacco, or food stirs a memory as it fills the room.

The veil is getting thinner, and thinner. 

Some think it becomes thinner at Halloween. Others say it has become thinner over the past decade. Then there are those who push spirits aside. “When you take your last breath that’s it–you’re gone, no heaven, no hell,” they say.

Others Say

“Someone sits at the foot of the bed. It’s my husband–I smell the Old Spice cologne and love that he watches over me.”

 

How do we know?

It’s great that we do our own thinking and have our own beliefs. That’s the way it should be. I confess that I believe in spirits. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve  not only felt them, I’ve seen a couple. Good thing I wasn’t living in the 1690s.

Seriously, even though we have our own take on the Other Side, Life after Death, or whether or not it exists–how do we know for sure? We can listen to others, attend church, accept what others say and draw our own conclusions, but how do we know if we’re right?

We won’t until it happens.

  • If we go to heaven, we’ll undoubtedly love it
  • If hell is as bad as it’s described we’ll probably hate it
  • If there is no after life, we won’t know and it won’t matter

What do you think? Your opinions are appreciated and are of value.

 

 

 

 

Finding hope in a haunted house

 

Hope, Humor, and the Supernatural

The doorbell rings and Garth Andrews is handed divorce papers. Stunned, he goes into his realtor wife’s office. A Polaroid photo of a run-down Victorian house calls out to him. He packs a few things–peanut butter, beer, and a change of clothes–and takes off.

Human Experiences launches 9/5/2017 and is available for pre-order now.

Age is in the mind: Do you know where your keys are?

IMG_5198DMFAnyone blowing out 49 candles on a cake knows that age is in the mind…and back, hips, and down there, too.

The “age is in your mind" and similar nonsense comes from a category of higher education. The awarded degrees, although somewhat different, begin with the B.S. (Bull Shit), followed by the M.S. (More Shit) and Piled Higher and Deeper, Ph.D.

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Before we know it, we exchange scotch for green tea, red beef for tofu, coffee for stool softeners, and dirty magazines for cross-word puzzles. Forgive the clichés, but youth really is wasted on the young. The kid using the blower to clear the lawn of autumn leaves, and smacking his hands to turn off the lamp makes me cry. Sits and plays video games when he could’ve been chasing girls–me oh my!

Old age strikes out of nowhere isn’t true. It begins the minute we’re born and creeps up while we’re having too much fun to notice the warning signs.

Help is available. Same as a Big Box hardware store has everything needed to renew the appearance of a weathered house there are shops on every corner loaded with tonics, lotions, and treatments that disguise the wear and tear of old age.

It’s the lie that rubs me the wrong way and gets under my skin (please note the above cliché apology).

Before you send nasty comments, let me say that I support both positive thinking and higher education. Having said this, I avoid stepping in my degrees.

I’m a bit confused where I was going with this, but today is Bingo day at the Senior Center, and I have to find my keys.            

The real writer please stand

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The writer and two imposters faced the panel and answered questions. Among the highfalutin words sprinkled in the questions were artistic, clever, imaginative, inspiration, and creative spirit.

He could be profiled as visionary or daydreamer, but so could the plumber and banker beside him. The author wanted to discuss the force that drives him to write, but the question was never asked.

2The force that drives the writer

Bone-chiling fears during youth took root in the corners of his mind. He feared the dark, heights, and loss. Shadows appeared in the night. Evil hid under the bed and behind the closet door.

Loss of money, possesions … love, success. He checked the door locks twice, three times, and two more.

Childhood memories cluttered his head–racing home from horror films at the movie theater, Grandma’s bedtime story of Ole’ Lady Longfingers who made her home underneath the bed, and Grandpa’s stories of the Great Depression.

Heated voices waked him. A door slammed, an engine started, and a mother wept. Relationships are colored with fear.

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He never woke one morning and decided to become a writer. It struck and never lay at rest. Journal, notepad, or whiteness of a computer screen, the act of writing paved the road to meaning and understanding. Characters and plot forced him face-to-face with inner demons.

The taping ended. The author went home, poured a drink, and fired up the computer.

Writing, kids, and ADHD

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Sit at the desk. Don’t wiggle, don’t bounce, or turn upside down. Stay.

Ha ha.

If a prankster posted a Keep Out sign on the school’s front gate, a number of kids would conclude the sign meant them.

keep-out-sign

As teacher and principal before ADD/HD became common teacher jargon, the kids struggling with moderate/severe ADD/HD symptoms were often placed in emotionally disturbed (ED) special education classrooms.

When I retired from teaching, I put two novels on hold that were in various stages of outline, draft, and research and wrote Running Nowhere, a coming of age trilogy. The three books tell the story of Conor Kelman—a boy with ADD/HD during a time before the disorder was recognized.

I wrote the trilogy in hopes that those familiar with ADHD would find solace, and a weird comfort in recognizing the hardship and struggle children-parents-students-teachers face coping with ADHD.

The books are fiction, written for entertainment. Nothing clinical inside the pages, but those familiar with ADHD will recognize the symptoms and the addictive, obsessive, impulsive behaviors. Yes, behaviors that many kids coming of age have. However, the ADD/HD group will recognize the struggle and inward pain of being different.

Today, the ADD/HD acronym is everywhere. Yet, kids suffer. Frustrated with teacher conferences one after another that produce no change, parents panic when ringtones announce a call from the school.

Sadly, ADD/HD is the butt of jokes. To many, it’s a non-existent cop-out, not a disorder but an excuse for poor parenting and run-away behaviors.

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What do you think? Real or excuse? Over-diagnosed? Meds or natural treatment? What are your thoughts and experiences with ADD/HD and school? Your input will benefit others.