Using a prompt

It’s that time of year again. Every year about this time I hit a writing block. Nothing good ever comes out of late winter for me. No ideas. Nothing. I’m serious, look at my past years’ posts in February (which is when I’m writing this). A lot of years I complain the well has dried up and I should throw in the towel. But I haven’t yet. I keep going.

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The Deep Cuts

“Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but…”

Remember that saying? We chanted it on the school playground trying to grow thick skin. Or to bluff that our skin was so tough mere words couldn’t hurt us. But the truth is, words can hurt. They can cut to straight to the heart and for some, those wounds never heal. But some wounds cut deeper than others.

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The Quick Relationship Guide

Four-hundred years ago, English poet John Donne wrote Meditation 17 while seriously ill. If you are like me, you are familiar with only one often quoted line: No man is an island. While you can look up and see how the intellectuals explain this five word phrase, I am going to attempt to do the same. In probably much less space with a lot less fancier words.

I have the same qualifications as you do because the past two years have been our tutor. One glaring lesson our experiences since 2020 has hammered into us is how valuable our relationships are. When we know the value of something, we learn how to take care of it. In theory anyway. Here are three of my relationship takeaways I have learned.

Note: when discussing relationships, I am referring to all relationship types. Friends, family, romantic, etc. They all fit into this guide (I told you it would be brief).

1. Desire

This first fundamental principle seems like a no-brainer. But yet, here we are. This is the fuel sitting in the tank. It is the motivator for the connection. Of course, there needs to be a desire to have a relationship. Without the want, we would remain strangers or merely acquaintances. So, why mention it?

Because the desire must be found in both parties. It does no good – and I would dare say more harm – if the desire for the relationship is only one-sided. If only one makes the effort, the relationship will eventually die. And that death will be a nasty, grueling parting. For a healthy relationship to exist and live, it needs to be wanted by both parties.

2. Communication

Even primitive animal circles practice a form of communication. For a relationship to be real and more than a facade of good will, true communication must develop. Appearances are deceiving. In some form, we can all be actors. But if a relationship is important to us, this is not the time to vie for an Oscar.

What is true communication? It is not interviewing. Sometimes we tend to run through a check list of questions to get to know someone. There is a time and place for such basic questions, but if we want to level up in our relationship this can’t be the norm. Rather, open communication may involve such unpleasantness as hurt feelings and forgiveness. It is about being willing to attempt to understand another perspective. It is about practicing love. And it requires focus. Which means it can be both exhausting and liberating. Like a bandaid peeling off, it may hurt in the moment but provide healing in the future. For a healthy relationship to survive and thrive, it needs true, open communication.

3. Time

Time is essential. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints used to run a series of ads showing us families. The tag-line was “Families, isn’t it about time?” It was a clever play on words with dual meaning. So clever that I have not forgotten it.

Healthy relationships are not just going to happen magically. It takes effort. Effort requires time. Your time. Bonds are forged by experience. Experiences give us memories. The more memories the stronger the bond. One of the most valuable assets anyone has today is their presence. Whatever you spend time with today will more than likely be strengthened. Whatever you neglect today will wither.

As I mentioned, I’m not an expert rather an observer. While I am not familiar with all relationships, the few that I have seen have all had a mix or lack of these three components. Healthier relationships have all had the equal part desire, the true communication, and time spent strengthening it. The not so healthy ones, lacked one or more.

As always, I tend to cut my lists off in threes. There are probably many more relationship tips that we have been reminded about or learned the last couple of years. I keep my lists short. Short attention span, and all. I’m curious, what takeaways from the past two years have you learned or improved on?

The Interview of ‘22

I am not a journalist. A far cry from one I know. But I do like to play one on-line with my little inconsequential blog. As a pretend journalist, I need to do some interviews. Here is the first of what I am hoping will become a regular feature on my blog. I interviewed not one but three willing participants. Full disclosure alert though, I did pay them with a piece of candy for their time.

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Cori’s Cuts

Just over a year ago, for reasons I won’t go into here (because they no longer matter at this point and will hopefully soon be forgotten) I started posting on instagram. My pictures do not feature people but usually scenery. My intent is to post something beautiful. Considering I live in the high mountain desert that most people find “ugly” this is a rather personal feat. I attempt to accompany the pictures with short word posts of encouragement. Sometimes, the pictures repeat. Sometimes I have to borrow lyrics or others’ words. For the most part, I feature my pictures and my words. All in an attempt to strengthen and edify anyone who happens upon my little insta-home.

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The Plan

Satan sat at his desk doing paperwork. He hated paperwork but unfortunately, if he was going to destroy the world and every living creature, it was going to take planning. A key quality of his he boasted of every chance he was given was that he was intelligent. So he knew that planning something as grand as the end of an entire world would take careful planning. Planning required paperwork. Which meant he still had work to do even though he was tired and would like to call it a day.

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