SYW: On Belief, Morality, and the Order of Nature

I always look forward to Mondays, when Melanie issues a new set of questions for Share Your World. Her questions this week are quite thought-provoking, so I’d better get started!

QUESTIONS

What do you believe but cannot prove?
The existence of God. God is seen differently by people; there may be almost as many ideas of God as there are believers. For me, God is within each individual and in nature. God is a force rather than an actual being. But I do believe in the power of prayer, so I guess sometimes I believe – when it’s convenient – that God does “listen” to prayers and perhaps helps things happen (or not). It is a comfort to me, at least, and it also is a comfort to others to know that people are praying on their behalf. In fact, there have been scientific studies of the power of prayer, and what was concluded is that knowing that a community of people who care about you bolsters your will to get better (or improve whatever the situation is). People are saying that they support you and are concerned about your suffering. It can actually motivate people to fight harder against a disease like cancer.

Do animals have morals?   Exclude human beings from the equation please. 
Why exclude humans? Are we any more moral than animals? Sometimes I think not!

Anyway, I don’t believe animals have morals, not really, although some do have compassion. Having morals requires one to be able to imagine different scenarios and outcomes, and to be able to judge others’ actions. I am not convinced animals can do that. However, there is much about animals – particularly the most intelligent ones – that we don’t know. Dolphins have been observed helping people in trouble. Elephants also help each other when one is in distress. Whales use a complex system of sounds to communicate with each other. I always marvel at the natural world, because animals have developed adaptations to all kinds of environments and situations. But I don’t think that they can imagine the future or alternate situations. Possibly chimpanzees or gorillas, but only in a limited capacity.

People often pose the question of what makes humans different from other animals. It is our brain’s capacity to reason, analyze, synthesize, and imagine. Unfortunately, these capacities do not necessarily lead to better behavior than an animal might display. We make choices, often the wrong ones, which affect not only our own lives, but also the lives of others, including animals.

Is there inherent order in nature or is it all chaos and chance?
I believe there is inherent order, but we do not understand it completely. Science is constantly revising its hypotheses about the universe/natural world, as new discoveries are made. There is an order, but we have yet to really know that order. I read an article recently about scientists at Fermilab discovering erratic behavior by the tiny particles called muons. They have observed the muons deviating from whatever it is they do, which can alter scientific theories about how the universe works. It’s amazing that this tiny particle, whose existence has only been known for a few decades, can influence so much of scientific theory that was believed to be based on solid evidence.

Where is your least favorite place in the world?
Somewhere that I’ve never been. Someplace cold and desolate. I probably will never visit places such as Antarctica or Greenland; I have heard that Antarctica, at least, is well worth a trip, and I would love to see the penguins. But I cannot imagine living through months of darkness and frigid cold day after day. Alaska is beautiful but I wouldn’t want to live there. So my “least favorite place” might be different depending on whether that place is my least favorite place to visit or least favorite place to live.

There is one place that I don’t think I would even want to visit – it’s the only place in the world that I can think of – and that is North Korea.


GRATITUDE SECTION (Participation Always Optional)

Feel free to share something about the seasons that makes you smile!

I am capable of smiling during any season, but I will focus on the current season of spring. I love flowers and they make me smile. Here is a poem I wrote several years ago about my garden, which is mostly about the flowers of spring.

HAIKU: THE GARDEN
4/26/14

Snow drops rise early
to cheer the winter weary:
delicate white orbs.

Crocuses give hope
when purple flowers appear –
spring will arrive soon.

Yellow daffodils
herald the coming of spring
with their bright trumpets.

Tulip leaves unfold,
hiding their buds until May
brings colorful blooms.

The lilac bush makes
fragrantly scented flowers
in lavender clusters.

The rose bush’s thorns
keep gardeners at bay for
red blossoms in June.

Aromatic herbs
spice up the gardener’s meals;
worthy of wild growth!

Gardeners’ reward
is the harvest of summer:
Beauty, fragrance, food.


Speaking of fragrance, lilacs are in bloom everywhere here! They are beautiful and smell heavenly!

FDDA: A Day In My Life

Today Fandango’s Dog Days of August theme is your daily routine.” Do you follow a daily routine? Many of us are creatures of habit. We have routines that we follow, whether it’s the time we get up each day or go to bed, what we do during the day, or how we spend our time. For some, it can be disruptive if our routines are interrupted. Share a story, a poem, a photo, a drawing, some music, or whatever you wish to share about your daily routine.

I love to write haiku – it’s the most fun kind of poetry to write. So I went a bit overboard writing it, but here’s my

PANDEMIC ROUTINE HAIKU

OMG! Will it
Never be over? Five months
And no end in sight!

My routine is thus:
Get up whenever I wake,
Weigh myself, brew tea.

Eat a banana,
And a piece of cheese, sip tea,*
On my screened back porch.

*I no longer drink coffee.

If hubby is home
We eat omelets and toast
On our screened back porch

If hubby plays golf
It’s cereal and yogurt
With fruit for breakfast.

Eventually,
I get dressed and brush my teeth,
Then find things to do.

Housework? Clean kitchen,
Maybe do laundry again,
Turn on computer.

Creativity:
Ways to combat the sameness –
Read, paint, blog, research

I might watch TV,
But not for long – I get tired.
Get up, get ready!

Take walks on campus
What are ducks and swans up to?
No cygnets this year.

Swans and ducks at West Lake

Meet friends walking too –
We discuss pets, pandemic:
End in September?

Reading is something
I love to do and I have
Read so many books!

Play scrabble online,
Write a blog for all to read,
Entertain myself.

Social media?
Facebook entertains also –
Enjoy the humor!

Cute cat videos,
I laugh at anti-Trump memes,
See doings of friends.

Listen to music,
Think about playing piano…
But I never do.

I can’t motivate myself to play, but I don’t want to give up my piano!

My husband returns –
Time for a nap! Then we check
Mail, e-mail, and texts.

Dinner delivered
To us on Styrofoam trays;
Cookies for dessert.

At night we watch news –
Rachel Maddow, Lawrence too:
Trump’s latest scandals.

Get a laugh watching
Late Night With Stephen Colbert –
Laugh so we don’t cry.

Selfish people won’t
Wear masks, claiming it’s their right
What about duty?

Five months of finding
Creative things to do and
Hoping it ends soon!

RDP: Flatus

When I saw the Ragtag Daily Prompt for today, I laughed! Really? I thought. Does that mean what I think it does? Indeed it does – I looked it up, and here’s a little etymology:

Flatus comes from 17th century Latin (I imagine Chaucer made good use of it!), and literally means “blowing.” I don’t think I need to list all the synonyms, although “farting” is the word used in our house. Here’s an interesting synonym: borborygmus, its definition being “intestinal rumbling caused by moving gas.” OK, not quite the same – and although it may be embarrassing to emit the sound of a borborygmus in public, it is downright impolite to expel flatus in public, warranting a heartfelt “Excuse me!” And that inspires me to write a poem!

FLATUS

If you’re in a crowd
And it isn’t very loud,
But people start to stare,
Smile without a care!

No one needs to know
It was you that had to go
And emit (yes, you heard it!)
Flatus, or another name for it

Is farting, or more politely,
“Passing gas” whispered lightly.
Although considered rude
It’s just that I ate some food

That caused me to be so crude –
But I doubt you’re in the mood
To hear the explanation,
Of an old fart‘s gratification.

Sometimes there’s no help for it
And sometimes I just can’t quit
Whether “silent but deadly”
Or loud and like a medley

‘Cause my spouse is here beside me
We sometimes fart in harmony
So why not just have a laugh –
It’s only natural to pass gas!


30-Day Book Challenge: 19, 20, 21 – concerning Irish accents and poets

This post is in response to Sandman Jazz’s June 30-Day book challenge.

Day 19: An audiobook you like because of the narrator’s voice: I have listened to very few audiobooks because my ADHD doesn’t allow my brain to concentrate for long on spoken narration. But one that I really loved was Angela’s Ashes read by the author Frank McCourt – this is a sad story but listening to him read it, I about died laughing! His Irish accent and expression really made it for me!

Day 20: A book with an unreliable narrator: This one really stumped me. Is the character that is narrating unreliable or is the narration itself unreliable? I confess I have no answer for this one.

Day 21: An anthology you love: I can’t think of any anthology that I have read except poetry, and I don’t read a lot of poetry. Here are three poetry anthologies that I have either read in their entirety or have read parts of:
The Heath Guide to Poetry – edited by David Bergman and Daniel Mark Epstein. This was the textbook for a poetry class I took in grad school. I like it because it has a variety of poems & poets, and there are notes about each of them, helping me to understand them. I gained an appreciation for poets I had never heard of and poetry in general in that class. (I even began to write poetry once in a while!)
Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States, edited by Lori M. Carlson with an Introduction by Oscar Hijuelos. There are several of my favorite Latino poets in this anthology and the poems are sometimes funny, sometimes relevant, sometimes sad, sometimes poignant.

Collected poems of Ogden Nash – I have several anthologies of Nash’s poems, which I inherited from my mother. His poetry is light, funny, and often a veiled critique of society.

Rhyme Time: The Blame Game

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie has a writing challenge called Rhyme Time. Here are the rules:
This week we are “writing away, and having a play, with rhyming words for you today” with Rhyme Time.
‘Rhyme Time’ focuses on the use of rhyme to build your writing piece. You will be given six rhyming words* and need to use all of them (but not limited to these) in your response, which should be a poetry form of your choice.
*Homophones can be used as alternatives to the challenge words.
Our rhyming words this week are:
flame
frame
game
blame
same
claim

Examples of Rhyme in Poetry
A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounding words, occurring at the end of lines in poems or songs. A rhyme is a tool utilizing repeating patterns that bring rhythm or musicality to poems. This differentiates them from prose, which is plain. A rhyme is employed for the specific purpose of rendering a pleasing effect to a poem, which makes its recital an enjoyable experience.
Classification of rhymes may be based on their positions in the poem.

I do not consider myself a poet, though I have occasionally written poetry. Most of it is either free verse or haiku. But as I looked at the list of words, a poem started to form in my head, (not great really, but it was fun), and here it is:

Men Framed Art Prints*

THE BLAME GAME

The photo in the frame
Is of my old flame.
We were too much the same
Or that’s what he’d claim
It all became a game –
We were both to blame.
What happened I cannot name
But him I could not tame.
We both, I guess, were the same
In playing the blame game!

 

*Image downloaded from Google Images and can be found here. 

 

 

Someday

Sheryl’s Your Daily Word Prompt today is someday.

This poem is written for my son, who turns 34 today. It expresses a mother’s hope for his future.

Someday

Today is your birthday…
Someday you will be happy
Someday you will feel confidence
Someday you will love yourself
Someday you will have a steady income
Someday you won’t live alone
Someday you will believe in yourself
Someday you will be in love
Someday someone will be in love with you
Someday you will know how to deal with depression
Someday you will conquer your anxiety
Someday you will meet your soulmate
Someday you will look forward to the future
Someday you will look in the mirror and see
how beautiful you really are.

Someday…..
Even if not today.
Why not today?

Happy birthday, Jayme! I hope 2019 brings you joy!

Jayme & Katharine Villa-Alvarez
c. 1987

20190126_172038
At his sister’s wedding, January 2019

Friday RPD: Absent

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

Absent the ones we love
Memories of times gone by
An empty house
An empty building long ago abandoned

20180803_150227 DP warehouse

Those absent
Are what we covet
Appreciation grows
For those we no longer have, can no longer touch

20180607_134659

Love grows
For our dearly departed
A home we had to leave
Empty shelves, empty nest
Beauty we no longer see
Music we no longer hear in the silence of our mind.

SONY DSC

Absent is what is no longer remembered
No longer reachable
Absent is the past.

Mother facing the empty shelves

Photos: A shuttered warehouse, an abandoned trailer, weavers’ nests no longer occupied, my mother in her empty apartment.

Friday RDP: Absent

WPC: Aqueous

WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge is liquid.

Raindrop: Microcosm
126

Fluidity: Still water peace
DSC_0724

Wave: Ocean in motion
20161128_100724

Liquor
20170325_210037

Aqua: Water is life
20170323_103016Reflection: Moisture in air’s reflection on lakeIMAG0778Buoyancy: floating on water
20170623_171846 (2)
Frozen liquid: dripping
20140209_094001
Rainbow: Moisture refracted, light dispersed20170527_200455Water cycle: Condensation20170524_160439

Fog is but a cloud
that touches the earth.
Water = Life