A grownup is a child with layers on.—Woody Harrelson

I’m a child

with layers on

like an old tree


in clay-sand-humus

tickling the sky.

©2016 Ontheland

This is my final quote in a series of three about growing old—preceded by ‘Mind over matter’ and ‘Fifteen years from now’. I would like to extend my thanks to Kim Russell who invited me to join in with a Three Day Three Quote Challenge.  If you enjoy poetry and creative writing by accomplished authors, I highly recommend her blog:  Writing in North Norfolk.  

My challenge nominees are:

Laura’s Photos

Drink Life to its Lees

My Journey with Hijab

Rules of the challenge:

  1. Post three quotes over three days.
  2. Name three nominees each day (no repetition).
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform the nominees.




Mind over matter


Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

∼ Mark Twain

Another Three Day Quote Challenge has come my way—this time, from Kim Russell of Writing in North Norfolk.  If you haven’t yet read her exceptional poems and other writing, you might want to visit her blog.  Thank you Kim for providing me with an occasion for sharing a series of quotes on aging that I  was saving in anticipation of my milestone birthday last month.

I have entered a new decade and I do agree with Mark Twain, it ultimately ‘doesn’t matter’.  Yet matter does enter the picture and sadly, for some of us more than others. Aging is uneven.   I have realized that part of the ‘game’ is recognizing and accepting deterioration and  limitations—and living with them.  The other part is using both mind and matter as much as possible—that’s living after all!

My challenge nominees, should you be so inclined, are:

Mis Lucja

Grammy Writes

The Journey of my Left Foot

Rules of the challenge:

  1. Post three quotes over three days.
  2. Name three nominees each day (no repetition).
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform the nominees.




Blogging, Living, and Poetry

It’s Friday and I am posting my weekly quote post—usually a Wednesday ritual.  Lately, life and my inner flow aren’t conforming to a tidy blogging schedule.  Approaching spring is having a more profound effect on me than even New Year’s did—I am turning my attention to indoor seed starting, outdoor repairs, and how my routines will need to shift when the gardening season begins.

Lately, my mind has been grasping for the essence of a quote I read recently—about how living life comes before writing.  We have to live if we are going to have something to write about.  Although not necessarily a useful message for everyone, I relate to it.  I want to revisit ‘before-I-started-blogging-last-summer’ activities; respond to the pull of the garden; and spend more time on new/old interests such as reading novels and poetry.  If verbalized, my new internal mantra would be:

I want to blog to live rather than live to blog.

Another recent theme that has been on my mind is the meaning of my recent attempts to write in poetic form.  I have a few responses to that question and one would be ‘why ask why?’.   Another more direct answer would be that one thing has led to the next from Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge to WordPress’s Writing 201–I’ve just been enjoying myself.  I like writing, I like learning, and I like words.

It also occurred to me that ‘it is all writing’.  The more you write, the more fluid you get.   The divide between poetry and prose is not as great as some would think. Prose can be poetic and poetry can look quite similar to prose. Ultimately, the name of the game is expression.   Poetry allows more word play and can also teach precision.

A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.

∼ Vladimir Nobokov, Russian-American novelist, 1899-1977

I like this quote as it turns the stereotypes around, giving precision to poets and imagination to scientists. Obviously, there is both precision and imagination involved in both poetry and scientific research.  The quote also suggests that any type of writing, whether it is fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, benefits from the magic touch of imagination and precision.

Southern Pinwheel galaxy
This post is in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge.  This week, Colleen Chesebro and Ronovan Hester have announced a new twist to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Challenges. To read all about it, please visit the challenge link.



Words of a leader

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, made his State of the Union address last Tuesday (January 12, 2016).  He addressed many important issues, but my focus is on how the current leader of the United States proposes to address climate change. The good news is that President Obama talks about taking steps to transition away from the burning of fossil fuels.  Whether or not those steps will be sufficient, is, at this stage, less important than whether those who support action will prevail  after the elections later this year. Here is an excerpt from his speech where he addresses climate change:


Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You will be pretty lonely because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.


But even if — even if the planet wasn’t at stake, even if 2014 wasn’t the warmest year on record until 2015 turned out even hotter — why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future?


Listen, seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results. In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills and employs more Americans than coal — in jobs that pay better than average.

We’re taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy — something, by the way, that environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support. And meanwhile, we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60 percent and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth.


Gas under $2 a gallon ain’t bad either.


Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future, especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. We do them no favor when we don’t show them where the trends are going. And that’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. And that way, we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system. (APPLAUSE)

Now, none of this is going to happen overnight, and yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. But the jobs we’ll create, the money we’ll save, the planet we’ll preserve, that is the kind of future our kids and our grandkids deserve. And it’s within our grasp.

Now, climate change is just one of many issues where our security is linked to the rest of the world, and that’s why the third big question that we have to answer together is how to keep America safe and strong without either isolating ourselves or trying to nation- build everywhere there’s a problem.


Be in love with your life–Jack Kerouac


“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” — there is a certain intensity to this proposition that is hard to keep up with. Yet I like the challenge–the notion of living positively, moment to moment.  It fits with the season–for those of us who feel an inclination to reflect on life in 2016.

The quote is emblazoned on a journal I received as a gift for Christmas–shown above. It is attributed to Jack Kerouac, but I have not found the source.  There is a clue though in Kerouac’s 30-point  Belief and Technique for Modern Prose point #4 is ‘Be in love with yr life’. (‘yr’ is how he wrote it).  Two more of the 30 points are:

5. Something that you feel will find its own form


13.Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition

All 30 points demonstrate how to write in a spontaneous, connected way (please follow the link above for the full list).

Jack Kerouac is well-known for his novel, On the Road, which was made into a movie. This line from his book seems to capture the energy of  ‘Be in love with your life every minute of it’:

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…

Jack Kerouac lived 47 years, from 1922 to  1969, a relatively short but intensely creative life.  I hope you have enjoyed this Jack Kerouac excursion–I certainly did. Most known for his novels, he was also a poet and a major contributor to the American English form of haiku, one of my new interests.  He is considered to be a pioneer of the ‘Beat’ generation and recognized for his method of spontaneous prose.

Now I have explored my journal cover quote, I wonder if I will be able to live up to it when I write within….