Still Coping

Covid Calamity

Here we are almost four months in and things are not improving. I’ve posted my thoughts and feelings about the isolation involved with staying safe and I must admit that my resolve to stay productive is waning a bit. As a result, I’m reading a lot of books. You’ve probably noticed all the book reviews on Crooked Creek.

Thanks for bearing with me. I cannot believe that I have all this time and suddenly I have so little to say. I’m not sure what this means for the future of this blog, but time will tell.

Meanwhile, be safe. You know the drill.

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Quiz Results 2

Update

Several more readers have weighed in on the Quiz of August 2. Surprisingly these additional answers skewed the results in two ways. First some readers do favor serious topics and eschew longer posts. Also, some of the last respondents follow other blogs. This will be the last update on the quiz.

Thank you to each who participated.

https://crookedcreek.live/2018/08/02/anniversary-month/

Other News

Crooked Creek now has 201 followers! Welcome to each of you! 

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Quiz Results

Reader Feedback

Thank you to the readers who responded to the quiz of August 2. Of the few I’ve heard from, the results are that there are no strong opinions regarding the seriousness or length of posts. Readers were not particular about scheduling. A positive for me, is that all readers agreed that photos and graphics add interest.  I enjoy the addition of media, too. No readers follow other blogs regularly at this time. 

Thank you again!

It isn’t too late to answer the quiz and get your opinion counted! https://crookedcreek.live/2018/08/02/anniversary-month/

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“Nothing exists except atoms and empty space, everything else is opinion.” Democritus

 

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Milestones

Followers/Readers

Today Crooked Creek has 148 followers. That makes me very happy. What would be even better is if most of those signed up as “followers” are real readers. It stands to reason that some percentage “follow” and forget, but if some of my posts are read and cause people to think more deeply (or widely) on any subject then I feel the time spent blogging is worth it. When we look at life’s challenges and even day-to-day issues from an before unexplored angle I believe it often changes our way of doing, of living, of giving. 

Blogging

fullsizeoutput_1644Blogging is a chore, I will not lie! It is not easy, even after attending a class for new bloggers. It turned out that the instructor was learning as she went along and that was very frustrating.  I must admit that it has continued to be frustrating after almost 100 posts. Some things don’t work as they should. Some things just don’t work at all. It takes me several hours for each post, but I’m sure that many bloggers have less difficulty and perhaps some worry less about small errors. I’m saying all this to say that that it is worth the effort. The internet affords us the opportunity to share our stories and I am grateful for that. If you think you’d like to blog, I encourage you to jump in.

I started out on the WordPress platform with a free domain. I quickly learned that it was not going to be very attractive, so after a while, I bought the “Personal” plan. I’ve never been satisfied with its bland look, so today I upgraded to a “Premium” plan and have to admit that it looks more like what I envisioned. I had planned to make the changes when Crooked Creek got to 150 followers, but today I was in the mood to move forward. So, SURPRISE! I hope you like the new look. 

Writing notepad-3316995_1280

Writing is not a chore. It takes time and effort and sometimes it turns out better than others, but I enjoy writing tremendously and blogging is about the next best thing to writing that book we all have inside us (or think we do). Thank you, readers, for following, reading and commenting from time to time. 

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Soul 4

Oprah’s Guests

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Oprah – Photo by Google

Those referenced in Soul 2 who were interviewed by Oprah https://crookedcreek.live/2018/04/07/soul-2/  are often called upon for their opinions in spiritual matters. Her guests include many who are well prepared via their education and experience and perhaps some who are self-proclaimed experts on the topic of the soul. Let’s look at some of the characteristics they used to describe the human soul to see how they agree or differ.

 

Authors

The one distinction the following group has in common is that they are all published. 

NAME

BACKGROUND

SOME WORDS USED

Dyer, Wayne Motivational Speaker birthless, deathless, changeless
Franklin, Devon Spiritual Success Coach where the Holy Spirit resides, connection with God
Pink, Daniel Behavioral Scientist purpose
Singer, Michael Founder of The Temple of the Universe indwelling consciousness, center of being
Vanzant, Lyania Spiritual Life Coach fingerprint of God that becomes the body
Vaughan-Lee, Llewellyn Sufi Mystic our divine nature, belongs to God
Williamson, Marrianne Spiritual Teacher truth of who we are

Eternal?

These interviewees have been grouped together because they each indicate that the soul has no beginning nor end. It surprises me that of the thirteen interviewed only three indicated that the soul is eternal and two of them did not use that word but did indicate that was their belief.

NAME

WORK / BACKGROUND

WORDS USED

Chopra, Deepak Medical Professor, New Age Movement, Alternative Medicine Eternal, core, internal reference point
Ford, Debbie Self Help Coach Core, never dies, contains all lessons learned
Zukav, Gary Seat of the Soul Institute Present before and after birth

Essence

This last group is made up of those who used the word I repeatedly come back to when trying to describe the soul. That word is “essence” and in our next post of this series, I will try to explain why.

NAME

WORK / BACKGROUND

WORDS USED

Breathnach, Sarah Ban Philanthropist Essence
Houston, Jean Human Potential Movement Essence, innermost being, beyond form or consciousness
Tolle, Eckhart Wrote “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” Essence, transcends our leaving this mortal coil

How do these all of these professional descriptions agree with what you have always thought or now think about the soul?

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“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” George Bernard Shaw

 

Part 4 of 7

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Soul?

Soul Food, Soul Music, Soul Mate

Since we often reference souls we must know what a soul is, correct? Is it a soul or the soul? Do we have one? Does every person have one? Can you sell it? Can you bare it? Can you bless it, as in “Well, bless my soul!”?

I used to believe I had the full answer to these and more profound questions from my faith tradition. As I have lived longer, had more experiences and opportunities for learning, I have less confidence in what I used to believe with little question. 

This is not intended to be a religious discussion nor debate. On this blog, I eschew that subject with almost as much determination as to the subject of politics.  https://crookedcreek.live/2016/09/03/declaration/

That being said it is worth mentioning that the word soul appears in most holy books. For example “soul” can be counted 55 times in the Christian *New Testament, 224 times in the Quo’ran and a whopping 443 times in the Hebrew *Old Testament.      

*King James Version


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What is Soul? 

I feel that each of us has a theory and of course, we can easily check the dictionary for a formal definition but I am more interested in your personal beliefs. At the least, I hope to stimulate thought on this subject. I will be sharing my thoughts and those of some of our contemporaries in the next several posts.

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”   Harriet Ann Jacobs

 

Part 1 of 7

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Nancy

Marilyn, Helen and Janet – Friends of Mine

I have a lovely neighbor who I’ve known for five years. Her name is Nancy. For some reason each time I think of her I think her name is “Marilyn.” She doesn’t look like a Marilyn and I have no idea why this thought comes to me. 

Several years ago I met a very nice friend of my daughter’s and her name is also Nancy. I immediately started calling her “Helen.” She does look like a Helen, I think, but it is not the name her parents chose for her.

Last year a met a friend of a friend whose name is . . . you guessed it, Nancy. Guess what I thought her name was? “Janet,” I called her Janet in emails about our meeting. I still think of her as Janet. Since she is a Viet Nam vet I’m very glad that she is so pleasant and understanding.

Nancy

After much thought, I believe I have figured out what is wrong with me concerning this name. As I shared in a post on October 26th of last year, once I was Nancy. 

https://crookedcreek.live/2017/10/26/halloween-then/

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Books 4

Reader Feedback

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First Book Memories, Favorite Books and Authors

So many of us remember our reader, Dick and Jane from first grade! Nancy Drew mysteries are another favorite among Crooked Creek readers. This chart lists your first memories and your favorites according to comments made regarding the past three posts: 

1st Book Memory

“A Tree for Peter”  by Kate Seredy

Dick & Jane (elementary school book)

Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

Favorite Books

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith

“The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck

Scriptures from the “Good Book”

Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross

Favorite Authors

Mary Higgins Clark

Harland Coban

Shakespeare

Nickolas Sparks

Jodi Picoult

James Patterson

Francine Rivers

Dean Koontz

Stephen King

Lisa Gardner

Access, Storage and Disposal

Most of you indicated that you love books today even though many of you did not have books readily available in your family growing up. Some obtained books from the library or a “Bookmobile” operated in rural areas. I, too, remember those visiting libraries, but I do not if they still exist. An interesting concept today for urban readers, according to one of you is the placement of small repositories where books may be borrowed or added.

You are a generous group, mostly passing your books on to others or donating them. Some of you resale at Half-Price Bookstores. And, it seems that there are always books with which we cannot part. Only one person shared how their books are arranged and that was by alphabetical order. Readers were about 50 to 50% in preference of paper books versus electronic or audio books.

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Pixabay Photo

Genre

Whether you are reading for self-improvement, to learn new skills, to broaden your mind with history or poetry or simply to be entertained or thrilled you are engaging in an activity that will forever be a part of your life. Even if, like one reader, we need to keep a list of the books read so that we don’t buy them a second time, there are passages that affect us in ways of which we are unaware. 

Thank You Pat, Lula, Rose, Kay, Sylvia and Others

I am honored that this blog is one of the things that you read!  

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“Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.”  Louisa May Alcott

Part 4 of 5