“you are like a rich man entering heaven/ through the ear of a raindrop”

 

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For my Modern British poetry class I once wrote a review of this (highly recommendable) poetry collection by Seamus Heaney, The Spirit Level. As I listened to the diverse and changing sound of rain today, this poem came to mind.The Rain Stick
by Seamus Heaney, The Spirit Level

Upend the rain stick and what happens next
Is a music that you never would have known
To listen for. In a cactus stalk

Downpour, sluice-rush, spillage and backwash
Come flowing through. You stand there like a pipe
Being played by water, you shake it again lightly

And diminuendo runs through all its scales
Like a gutter stopping trickling. And now here comes
A sprinkle of drops out of the freshened leaves,

Then subtle little wets off grass and daisies;
Then glitter-drizzle, almost-breaths of air.
Upend the stick again. What happens next

Is undiminished for having happened once,
Twice, ten, a thousand times before.
Who cares if all the music that transpires

Is the fall of grit or dry seeds through a cactus?
You are like a rich man entering heaven
Through the ear of a raindrop. Listen now again.

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The Media’s take on Beauty and the Average Woman’s daily struggle

 

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I wrote this article for Blogcritics in April of this year. I’d thought I’d re-post it. The comments on the original article are interesting.

Ladies, Ten Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

In view of Hollywood’s eternal trend of making their celebrities skinnier and more youthful-looking every day, thus making us normal women feel worse about ourselves, the time has come to fight back and change the way we relate to our bodies and understand the concept of beauty.

First things first. As women, beauty is an issue for us. We like to feel beautiful; it’s part of our female inner workings. The problem is that the beauty standards the media has imprinted into our brains have very little to do with the average woman. They are, at best, impossible and fascist standards. Women have become enslaved to them.

The long road back from slavery is possible. It mainly involves saying no to the system and trying to change the way you perceive your body and those of the women that surround you. More often it would seem beauty is a competition with other women instead of a nice gesture to our guys or a nice gesture to ourselves.

Make beauty a thing of gestures more than a competition. Understand that we all can be beautiful, even though we haven’t lost those five pounds.

The following are some tips that have proven helpful to the guinea pigs my friends and I are:

1. When standing in front of a mirror and taking a look at what you think are “problem areas” (problem areas according to the media’s beauty standards), focus on your dazzling smile, killer hair, and great cleavage instead of how you don’t have great abs.

2. Take a good look at Rubens’ nudes and Renoir’s bathing beauties. You will find they are beautiful. If you look like that, you too are beautiful!

3. Apply make-up (but not in an amateur way; browse the ‘net for information on techniques that will suit you). The high you get from seeing your face come to life is unbeatable.

4. Develop a fabulous strut. Try to walk swaying your hips a little. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your feminine side.

5. Highlight what you like about yourself by buying clothes that draw attention to these areas. Got a great cleavage? Show it off a little!

6. Believe you are beautiful. Think beautiful and live beautiful. Walk on the street and feel beautiful. Hold your head up high, toss your hair, and take a deep breath. If you don’t believe you are beautiful, how will others see you as beautiful?

7. Smile, smile, smile. Nothing makes a woman seem more attractive than a friendly smile.

8. Avoid programs that show impossible beauty. Don’t get caught up in the lie!

9. Don’t be afraid of the mirror. Look at your body and bond with it. Feel those curves and be thankful you are healthy.

10. Understand that the most important part of beauty comes from within. Outer beauty fades through time, but inner beauty lasts throughout your whole life. Cultivate your spirit, read, soar, and don’t spend so much time in front of that TV!

I wrote this article for RELEVANT a couple of years back and it pretty much deals with the same issue. The comments aren’t available sadly.

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