Category Archives: #Reflections / Мисли

Two for Tuesday: More Pebbles

Today, I’m sharing even more pebbles to make the River of Stones. Not just two, I mean.

10/01
The storm just hit
Accumulated anger and aggression –
happily not I, the target.
I am relaxed, although alert.
And then – the drama entered –
both concerning cats and human children.

Where is the counsellor?

11/01
Have we made for the clear exit of our tiny muddle?
Not sure we have.
What I’m sure of is the weekend’s here,
so, I don’t care,
and my plan is to comply.

12/01
It’s joyful I have yoga.
It’s nice I have a masseuse.

Is it dramatic?
Is it enough?

I seek relax and solitude
so that I recharge
for new exhausting battles.

Today, I think not of that.

13/01
I love Sundays, in general
and, in general, distaste them.

Today’s the same –
void, therefore giving me
a sense of loss.

Especially disliked
are afternoons.

14/01
Just cold. And nothing else.

15/01
I don’t look out, I’m simply wondering
as usual.

What will tomorrow bring?

###
Accomplishment and recognition
received from an unexpected source
Make up for some of my tribulation.

Tribulation and unrest
mark the day as I expect the rest.

16/01
I suffocate
My own words are my burden.

I can’t breathe
Emotions twerking in and out impede air.

The day, no matter good or bad,
just passed unnoticed.

17/01
Heavy load
Hanging on
To it – new load
is added.

Sleep will not come.

18/01
Spring-like day –
azure the sea, the air fresh.

We speak of love –
as is the norm in crisis.

The door slams
Regret remains.

19/01
Free from turmoil
comes the grey morning
which, nonetheless, seems
like endless sunshine
and brings me up and standing,
almost running
just for joy.

Small Stones in January, Pebbles

On a Friday, there are many things to do which are relaxing and appealing. Today, I chose to form a small rivulet using the pebbles below.

3/01
Tension is crawling back
slowly, but deftly.

Slowly, but deftly, too,
I’m defying it
For the time being, at least.

Wine in the evening
brings joy.

4/01
Snow – only not here.
Only wind and cold
roam here.

That’s our winter.

5/01
I do yoga
hoping to fight extra weight
Yoga brings me joy
It’s kilos that emburden me.

No pressure in that fight
Thus, no results expected.

6/01
The day –
amazing with its sweetness.
Outside –
so freezing, that we stay indoors.

To love and hug each other
and be loved and hugged
into a tenderness of heart.

7/01
Today, I felt frustration bitter
speculating what is and what might have nee, or was…
In short, things I shouldn’t muse over

Coming back to the flatness of mood is tough
(reading back here, I see repetitions)

How come all my journeys back are hard?
Is it with age that I’ve become so slow?

You know, the day, it started off so well –
I read promises of books and hugs and whisky.
(I’d discard the whisky)
And also forest walks in sparking snickers
with obviously painless knees.

8/01
No more bitterness –
Today is only satisfaction
and fulfillness.

9/01
Did I ask too many questions?
Was it too late when I asked them?

I expected craziness
But was met with calm

Apparently, the storm will hit another day.
###

Myths about Introversion, Part 3: Rudeness

Here we go with another blog post in my #SavageSaturdays sub-series concerning Introversion. To check the previous posts in the series, you can see here and here.
This post is going to be on one of the most popular myths about introverted people – Introverts are rude, impolite, selfish or arrogant, depending on the situation.

Do you remember the last party you went to? Was there at least one person, a man or a woman who didn’t mingle with the group? She seemed aloof, kept at a distance, didn’t laugh at your jokes and, generally, didn’t make nice talk to anyone. Oh, except for that very weird neighbour of your friend, the party host. Or, the pet. Or, did you see her reading a book in the hallway? Playing or chatting on her phone all the time? But mainly what set her apart was the fact that she never laughed. Not even at the host’s jokes. She wasn’t a teenager, she wasn’t dressed as a Goth, so the only thing you thought was: rude.

In fact, introverted people don’t like small talk, they are never prepared to chat about shoes, cooking, the town gossip or the weather. Neither would they try to solve the problem of poor education or healthcare in the country at a party. They don’t see a reason why they should be prepared for such topics, actually. Small talk seems a waste of time to them. When it comes to jokes, you need to be really funny to make them laugh. That doesn’t include the “banana-skin” sort of funny.

In addition to the above, we must keep in mind that often introverted people are more scared to socialise than others are insulted by their lack of socialising. That lady kept to the side not only because your topics are boring. Even when they are interesting, she might keep away. She is too self-conscious. She imagines that stepping closer will move a spot of light onto her, all eyes will be on her, and in their lame attempts to make her feel ‘at home’ people will stare and start interrogating her. That is exactly what it feels like – interrogation. However, introverted people don’t have ready answers for even the simplest questions, apart from, perhaps, their name, age, family status and job. They need to think, then they need to phrase and re-phrase, and re-think and re-phrase again. In short, they suck at promptness. To avoid all this, which might not take place, at all, they choose not to risk getting into the spotlight of attention.

I hope, more of us would find the time to think about that when we see someone looking or walking away just to avoid us.

Quotation Marks – Basic Punctuation and Peculiarities Rules

When writing I am most often puzzled by punctuation rules. That is why, whenever I think of this blogging topic, #WriterlyWednesday, I turn my view towards punctuation. Today’s matter of discussion is quotation marks, a.k.a. inverted commas. The use of quotation marks in English is a tough topic for me, not only because it’s different in my language, but also by the complexity and variety of cases that are present.

First of all, let me say how indignant I am at the fact that there are two types of quotation marks – single and double, and, of course, British and American English go completely opposite each other in the way these are used. There are also two names for the same thing, and namely, you can either call them “quotation marks” or “inverted commas”. Such diversity is unnecessary, IMHO. Let’s move on, though.

In British English, you would use the single quotation marks. They are very hard to see and distinguish, partly because they look like the apostrophe, and this is a good reason for me to give up using them after years of poor attempts. You see, I naturally go with the British English version of everything, but typing ‘said he’ quickly gave way to “said he”. Did you see that? Visibility and certainty that these commas are in fact marking a quotation.

The Americans use the double marks for the same cases. Why then the other marks exist? Very simply, they are used when you need to put some quotation inside the main quotation. This is also the reason why our language doesn’t need a second pair of quotation marks – we don’t put dialogue in inverted commas, so if we want to use them in dialogue, we simply use the normal ones.

One of the huge puzzles for me personally is where to put the full stop – inside or outside the quotation marks. No wonder, that also depends on whether it’s British or American English. In the latter, the full stop (which is called “period”) goes inside the marks. I prefer the logic of the British writing style, however, where it depends on whether the ending punctuation mark of a sentence is an integral part of the quote. Thus, if it isn’t, it will stay outside. Here is an example:

I wonder what would be an appropriate use of the phrase “point blank”.

Do you think he’ll say it’s “long overdue”?

See what I mean by logical? This is the way I use quotation marks. Where I step away from American style is the type of the marks – I tried to use single, but this simply doesn’t work with me, so I turned to double and plan to stick to them.
Do you follow the British or American style? Which one seems more intuitive for you?

The Future of Jobs

And the Jobs with no Future, or Who Will Work That?

As an HR, I’ve attended not one or two conferences where the future of jobs was discussed. Not only that, but I’ve also watched the news and read some articles of interests in various media that also dealt with how work and employment will develop and change in the near future.
First of all, most repetitive and monotonous jobs will be filled in by robots. We don’t imagine complicated androids with dreamy eyes, perfect skin and the ability to discern between good and evil, in addition, to express emotions and empathy. We have to imagine simple non-humanoid machines which execute operations and manipulations that don’t often need creativeness and intuition.

That leaves open the question of what will people do when they can’t execute such jobs. The answer: people will do other jobs. What other jobs? Answer: programming and maintaining the said robots.

We get to understand that there will not be people on cooking, cleaning, data entry, accounting, payroll, and other similar positions. Machines will be doing that. The people who are taking these jobs at present will be re-qualified to maintain the new workers. That notion poses several questions at least. Let’s start somewhere.

First, the educational systems and food industry are continuously producing half-witted adults, semi-intelligent at best. Children finish school hardly literate, they eat junk food and synthetic drugs are their best pals since early teenage. That may be a good thing if we aim at producing idiots who are easy to rule, control and kept in submission. Their addictions to good life, easiness and love of sensation make them an easy target. New adults are lesser and lesser human beings, much to the disappointment of thinkers of old.

Second, these future jobs although they sound cool because there is the word “robotics” in them, sound to me maintenance thing. The majority of these new positions will be simple repairing and adjustment stuff, not higher level coding, programming, design or creative projects. There will be creative jobs, naturally, but I don’t expect them to be so many. The rest? Instead of cooks and cleaners, the rest will be maintenance staff for robots. This doesn’t sound prestigious, for sure. Plus, when so many people do this, there is hardly a reason to consider the jobs anything exclusive or special.

Third, I don’t believe all people will be able to do jobs such as those described above. There is a reason some people end up as cleaners. I know, some law graduates choose that profession for themselves, but the majority of cleaners do it for lack of better options. And for lack of patience and study skills. That is one group – those with lower intellectual abilities. How will they do the engineering jobs? The other group are people of artistic inclinations – poets, musicians, artists, various performers, athletes. How can we expect the artistic mind to bend around mechanic and engineering thinking and action?

Thinking of all that, conclusions are hard to draw. Thinking of all that, I wonder what the future holds. Not that I’m personally curious. It’s just… that human thing I’m thinking about.

Small stone for 2nd January

I seem to remember having identical thoughts on the second day of the year. I usually check the weather, which is still fine; I try to come back to my regular sleeping habits, and I also think about having to go back to work on the following day. Here is my small stone for today:
~~
Slowly falling in
daily orderly routine.
No sleep or too much.

~~

Бавно се връщам
към ежедневието.
Сънят е проблем.
~~

A River of Stones, January 2019

Years ago, I followed a blog challenge, A River of Stones, where I tried to contemplate and write one small piece each day in January. Although the stream was interrupted and the original blogger discontinued the tradition, over the years, I have seen many of my poetry friends do the same every January. After the very first time, 2012, I have had many fresh new beginnings, with each New Year dawning, but I, too, discontinue very easily.

This year, I will write small stones for as many days as I find them. No promises, no tears lost. Here is the first stone in this 2019 January River:
~~
Без сняг пред портата –
поле от сивота
и сухи съчки.

~~
No snow –
the field is brown and grey.
Just windy.

Mindful Monday, or How I Scored on My New Year Resolutions

I am posting this only to share how well I did on my last New Year’s Resolutions and to formulate the new ones. To refresh your memory in detail, I can refer you to my blog post from last year.

In short, I’ll report on each of my resolutions:
1. I wanted to make the “Devastation of the Soul” chapbook. Checked. That is ready, but not submitted anywhere. I didn’t finish it by the end of February as I’d planned, but at the end of September or mid-October. – KEPT!
2. I intended to translate 13 horror stories from English to Bulgarian – one each month plus an additional one. I completely forgot about this, and never even started it. – FAILED!
3. I wanted to write a poem every day in April and November but didn’t keep my April part of the promise. Honestly, I don’t even remember this resolution. Anyway, I’m nearly ready with the November Poem-a-Day challenge. That is, all the poems are written in their first draft and need to be edited and the ones for the final chapbook selected. OK, that’s a new plan. – HALF-KEPT!

4. Regarding this project, I won an artist on my side. She thought about it, started drawing, and then, in September, forgot about it. I’ll give it a try next year, perhaps. – HALF-KEPT!
5. Yoga once a week – sometimes, I managed, other times I couldn’t. We’ll consider this as FAILED!
6. Dieting with a journal – definitely not with a journal, and not the whole year through. So, we’ll say it’s FAILED!
7. Five new theatrical pieces and 3 new operas – I saw 3 plays and 2 more for children, so this part of the resolution can be considered kept. As for operas – I saw one new musical, and that’s all. I planned to see 3 operas, I almost bought the tickets, but for one reason or another, I wasn’t able to attend. So – HALF-KEPT!
8. Blogging once a week – actually, I didn’t until August. Then, I made an editorial calendar and started preparing my blog posts earlier, so that I have time to think and polish the content. Well, since August, blogging has been quite fine. Let’s say this resolution is KEPT!

Above, I can count 2 KEPT, 3 FAILED and 3 HALF-KEPT resolutions. I’ll consider this a successful year.
Happy New Year, everyone!

Frivolous Fridays: Happy Newtonmas!

Happy Newtonmas and Reason’s Greetings!

For my last post of 2018, I was looking for a fun topic to share with you within the #FrivolousFridays tag. I’m really happy with my finding – although it’s not so new, I’ve discovered Newtonmas, the alternative Christmas. Accidentally, Newton was also born on 25 Dec, so the community of science geeks and atheists in the world introduced the celebration of scientific achievements as an alternative to the Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Very curious that Sir Isaak Newton was born on that particular date! That is his old-style birthday, while the new-style date is on 4th Jan. This difference puts him in a different year, of course, but I am sure this is not that important from the perspective of the time elapsed.
To make the long story short, the Skeptics Society needed a name for its X-mas party, and in 2011, they came up with the bright idea of “Newtonmas”. Other names for the same celebration are Gravmas along with its spelling variants “Gravmass” and “Grav-mass” that derive from “gravitational mass”.

So, what do we do for this day? Or, we can make it a week-long period of festivity. It can also take all the days between the two birth dates of Sir Isaak Newton – starting on 25th Dec, we can go on celebrating by a different science-related activity each day to 4th Jan.

– Cards – Send out cards saying “Reason’s Greetings” instead of “Season’s Greetings”.
– Gifts – When choosing the special presents for the people we love, need to make sure they are science-related. Encourage children to pursue an interest in the sciences. There are plenty of children-friendly microscopes, telescopes, experiment kits and observatories. Bookshops are full of encyclopediae for the young readers with awesome visuals and catching way of presenting science.
– Games – Board games that are intellectual, such as math or word puzzles, are especially encouraged. Why not also design and build something useful or science-related? You may use scale models, too.
– Food and drinks – Oh, that is up to you. Atheists observe no dogmas regarding food, apart from their personal dietary preferences and peculiarities.

Here’s a thought – when you decorate your X-mas tree think planets and stars instead of ordinary balls and snowflakes! Think galaxies and nebulae instead of garlands and colourful bands – and you’ll have the greatest and warmest of the reason’s holidays!

Share your thoughts, I’m curious to hear them. Did you know about this special celebration?

Mindful Monday: Tao Te King 24

For today’s #MindfulMonday topic I chose to write about Chapter 24 of Tao Te King. I don’t apply any system when choosing the verse. Let’s say I picked this chapter because it’s the 24th day of the month.

Here is the text:

He who stands on tiptoe
doesn’t stand firm.
He who rushes ahead
doesn’t go far.
He who tries to shine
dims his own light.
He who defines himself
can’t know who he really is.
He who has power over others
can’t empower himself.
He who clings to his work
will create nothing that endures.

If you want to accord with the Tao,
just do your job, then let go.

This must be one of my favourite chapters, focusing on a quality I value highly – humbleness, which is not soliciting recognition. The verse states it all – you need to focus on doing what you are supposed to do without burdening your work with any secret hopes for recognition or praise. In my view, this is one of the hardest things for a person to do. We all want to be recognised for our contribution, even if we speak differently. Frequently, we expect to receive the praise we deserve, especially when and because we keep silent about it, in an attempt to be humble.