Cheer Up

Prompt: New Year


Greetings, Wednesday!

“2020” has a good ring to it. It implies perfect vision. It is reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties. It could very well be a good year, a less interesting year (alleged Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times), a year that we strive, accomplish, endure, enjoy, appreciate. A better year than 2019.

How can we ensure that 2020 is a better year? Here are some simple suggestions:

  1. Be kind to yourself. You are a human with limitations, not a superhero, but the beauty of humanity is that we are all unique. You bring something to the world that no one else can. What is it?
  2. Relearn how to cry. Happy cry, sad cry, doesn’t matter. It means you feel things. It’s ok.
  3. Vote.
  4. When you are feeling particularly frustrated or upset, take a few seconds to imagine you are looking down on yourself from a great height. The higher you go, the less afflictive the frustration becomes. Breathe. Be patient. Know that your neighbours  have sorrows too.
  5. Find a place where the air is fresh and the water is clean. Revel in it. Resolve to do your part, large or small, to make this accessible to everyone, everywhere.
  6. Make your world smaller. Buy local. Look people in the eyes instead of through text on a screen. Go for walks. Look around. Take time to feel what you feel, from base sensations to profound feelings of joy or distress.
  7. Pet your dog, or someone else’s, regularly.
  8. Say please. Smile. Hold the door. Offer your seat. Donate a winter coat. Give to the food bank. It’s not that hard to be a good person.
  9. Love freely, knowing it is an infinite resource.
  10. Enjoy the cartoons on Fluffy Pool, including the ones below!

cartoon new year still good

cartoon new year hat

cartoon new year trash


Peace and love,

~~FP

New Dread

Prompt: Fear


Hello Wednesday!

I’m shocked to discover it has been over a month since I last posted— the month of December, 2018 does not exist for Fluffy Pool. That was an alarming discovery. If Christmas memories weren’t so vivid, and I wasn’t sitting here inhaling spruce fumes from the most aromatic Christmas tree ever, then I might start to wonder if December ever really existed— or if I existed in December. It’s a little like taking down a favourite photo album of a memorable wedding or holiday, and finding it full of blank pages.

I was not well in the month of December, 2018. I had some disturbing health issues that seemed to throw me into a spiral of depression. Or was it the other way around? In any case, it was a difficult time; and a difficult time to be ill, as there were significant plans made and special people to entertain. There are lots of metaphors for the feelings of depression, sadness, chronic pain: clouds, fog, darkness, quicksand. For me it was something like being blindfolded— think Sandra Bullock in Bird Box*— completely disoriented and lost, but the alternative was somehow, irrationally, more frightening.

On the advice of a friend I am trying now to bring some kind of structure to my life in 2019. I’ve been working on my book— it will be a compilation of many of the stories and characters I’ve introduced here**— and the organizing, filtering, editing, discovery, and new writing so far have been challenging and illuminating. I’m trying to be more active despite, for example, this morning’s layer of ice on the sidewalks and roads. I am moving away from destructive habits. I have plans to reconnect with old, true friends, rekindle old passions, learn new things, be open to new adventures.

I won’t say more, as it sounds a bit like the dreaded New Year’s resolutions which are traditionally doomed to fail. But wearing blindfolds is debilitating, even dangerous— and I need to learn to embrace light and truth instead of fearing them.

“Fear” is the prompt for this Wednesday, so may I present a few of my favourite cartoons related to that theme?

cartoon alternate dickens

cartoon-i-can-t-deal-with-your-fear-and-paranoia-new-yorker-cartoon_a-g-14828399-15519954

And this one is probably too close to truth to be satire!:

cartoon-new-dread-the-magazine-of-undiscovered-fears-new-yorker-cartoon_u-l-pysgez0


Please stay tuned!

Wishing you a year free from fog, darkness, quicksand, blindfolds, and scary tea.

~~FP

 


  • *Bird Box is the much-watched horror-style movie currently on Netflix, a service which I will shortly be cancelling since they suddenly decided to raise the monthly fee by 40%. Grrr.
  • **I will be looking for beta readers for the book, so if you are interested please contact me here.

What Happened?

Prompt: Stroke of Midnight
Where were you last night at midnight? Would you have wanted to be somewhere else?

Flying-Caceres trapeze

The music stopped, and he died. What happened?*

Do you remember those riddles? Another one was:

A man walked into a bar and saw two lawyers having a drink together. He pulled out a gun, shot, and killed them. Why?**

The idea was to keep asking Yes or No questions until you came to the perfectly logical solution to the mystery.

I was thinking about these riddles, and how everything seems to be a bloody riddle these days. Where was I at midnight? What happened?

I went to a party, and danced until the music stopped. Or, I walked into a bar. Or, I wrote a story about people killing each other. Or, a year passed. What happened?

 

*In the first riddle about the music stopping, the one who died was a trapeze artist. They rely on precise musical cues, and the conductor of the orchestra had them stop playing at a crucial moment, and he fell to his death.

**In the bar scene, the man arrived to find his wife, a lawyer, with another man, also a lawyer, whom he suspected of having an affair. I guess mediation was not in the cards.