Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mattering and Changes

In John Green’s book An Abundance of Katherines, he talks of mattering and changes.

“…that what matters to you defines your mattering….

… the past is a logical story…it’s the sense of what happened…but since it is not yet remembered, the future need not make any sense at all…

“In another 2,400 years, even Socrates, the most well-known genius of that century, might be forgotten.  The future will erase everything---there’s no level of fame or genius that allows you to transcend oblivion.  The infinite future makes that kind of mattering impossible.       But there’s another way.  There are stories.” ….."and he found himself thinking that maybe stories don’t just make us matter to each other—maybe they’re also the only way to the infinite mattering he’d been after for so long.”…’even if it’s a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me.  An infinitesimal change.  And that infinitesimal change ripples outward—ever smaller but everlasting.  I will get forgotten, but the stories will last.  And so we all matter---maybe less than a lot, but always more than none.”

“….And it wasn’t only the remembered stories that mattered…” “….but that there’s a place in the brain for knowing what cannot be remembered.”


Here’s to books that change us.  That change who we are.  That change how we look at things.  That might even change how we write as writers.

The main character in John Green’s novel looking for Alaska talks about looking for his great Perhaps.

As writers that are looking to be published perhaps that applies to us as well. 

Are we all looking for that ‘great Perhaps?’

May we as writers always write the stories that change others, that change us, in some way.

So what stories have changed you lately?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Opportunities - Missed or Not

Do we ever miss opportunities because they don’t come in the form we expect them to?

Because they don’t come in the time, the way, all wrapped up the way we wish them to?

I do believe in second chances.  Mostly.  But second chances aren’t the same as first chances are they?  Once something has happened there’s no way to quite recapture what that something was.  From one minute to the next, one breath to the next, we’ve already moved on.  We are different.  Time has moved us on our way.   

That’s not to say that what was broken can’t be repaired, what was lost, found.  But it will be different because we are different. 

Will the repaired be less than what it was new?  Maybe.  But maybe it will be stronger.  Will it be less valuable or more valuable?  Depends on our view of it.  And the value we put on it.

It is interesting, the value people do or don’t put on friendships.  The people that insist on trying to keep things the same, even after a friendship has irretrievably been broken.  It can never be the same because the time, the people, it’s all different, all has changed.  That is only a bad thing if we allow it to be.  It could just as easy be a good thing if we choose to look at it that way.  Or take the opportunity to make it a good thing.  That doesn’t mean we can ever have things the same as they were.  It’s all about our choice of how we choose to look at it and choose to do about it.  The opportunity we choose to take and the one we don’t.

As some of my recent entries have talked about, as well as Maggie Stiefvater’s comments, some of the most meaningful things have come in the littlest gestures that might seem insignificant or inconsequential.  But have turned out to be opportunity that would have been lost.  To be a better person.  To make someone else’s day a bit brighter even if ours seems dim and uninteresting.  To grow a bit more into the person we are meant to be. 

I wish you this day, whether on the giving or receiving end of opportunity, to open your eyes to the possibilities that surround you each day.  May you see the opportunity that surrounds you each and every minute.  To do better.  To be better.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Things We Do

Seeing a comment by Maggie Stiefvater on one of my blog entries [over on another blog that she said a writer needed to have] made me feel a bit awful that I haven't done much writing lately.  On my blogs or my novels.  A lot of reasons.  A lot of excuses.  A lot of need-to's.  Sigh.  Would say a lot of life but have feeling when people say things like that it's a lot of hiding from life.  

After all, Maggie sure seems to have a whole lot going on and she manages to get writing done.  A Lot of it evidently!
Not to mention all the art and other things she manages to create and do.

Sigh.  Sigh.

But her comment did make me think of how little things can make such a difference sometimes.

Like the time I was going into a restaurant and happened to see a woman coming in that looked really good.  Very put together.  Or something.  Not even sure I remember now actually, but at the time I had the distinct feeling I should tell her how nice she looked.  At first I brushed it off, after all she Had to know how nice she looked.  Didn't she?  
Well, I finally figured it was such a little thing, what would it matter.  So I just told her how nice she looked and all.  She looked at me and about burst into tears.
She'd been having such a rough time lately but decided to take a few extra minutes that morning to get ready and to try to look nice.
She and I spoke for barely a couple minutes but I think both of us benefited from it.  We both walked away feeling better.
And I came away with another reinforcement of listening to the inner voice that prompts you to say or do something good for someone.  Skip the bad stuff, everyone hears and gets enough as it is, don't they?
But if it's in your power to do or say something good, do it.
No matter how tiny or insignificant it might seem to you.  You never know what it's going to mean to someone else.  At the time they really need it.

So it really is about all we say and do, or don't say and don't do, isn't it?

And maybe size really doesn't matter. ;-D

So this is my good thought that I send out for whomever comes across this and is reading it.    You have worth.  You have talent.  We all might not have the talents Maggie has now. ;-D    But we all have something to contribute somewhere, somehow.     And you might not ever know what you do for good is having impact on anyone.  But do it anyway.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How are you different?

“She made me different.”

Words from John Green’s novel looking for alaska.

“……because now I am irretrievably different….”

The words struck a resonance in me somewhere and I stopped to listen. And think.
Images of people flowed in a stream through my consciousness. Some good, and as with most people, obviously, some not so. But even when people have not been good toward me, perhaps, Eventually anyway, they have been good for me. For good or not, they have irretrievably made me different in some way. If for no other reason than the way I react to them. As my husband has repeatedly been telling me over the years as I am venting or sobbing, I cannot control what others do to me. I can only control my reaction to them. For good or bad. And so they have irretrievably changed me in some way. Whether significant or not, or on either way of what that seems to be, I am changed.

Who has changed you? For good, or not, who has irretrievably made you different?