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I’m Learning

There are times when the noise and the haste of this world we live in drag me down, and it is at those times I remember what peace there may be in silence. But I often allow the silence to become a hiding place. I sometimes see my withdrawal as a good thing, but at other times I see it is not a good way to deal with the confusion and chaos of this life. When I pull away and retreat within myself, I tend to feign affection, and become cynical about love. 

But I am learning. I’m learning to nurture strength of spirit to shield myself in in the times of calamity, disappointment and sometimes sudden misfortune. I’m also learning to not distress myself with dark imaginings, which has been my habit for too many years. I have come to realize that many of my fears are born of fatigue and loneliness; fatigue the more prevalent of the two. But the loneliness—I cannot deny it—is there. And, again, it is something I have—sometimes unaware—chosen to be.

And so, I continue to learn. I’m learning to be gentle with myself and learning that though it is sometimes not clear to me, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. I strive to be at peace with God and have peace in my soul. For within the noisy confusion of life, with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, there remains a beautiful world. And so, I will choose to be cheerful. I will strive to be happy.

June 6-19 4 quote

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. … Psalm 23: 1-6

Please note: This writing was inspired by the poem “Desiderata”, which was written by Max Ehrmann. You can read his poem it in my previous post:

Desiderata

You can also listen to a beautiful recording of the poem by Les Crane, by clicking here:

Desiderata ~ Les Crane

And please visit my blog to see my other writings, including my inspirational books:

Be Still

Just A Man

Thank you.

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DESIDERATA

CLOUDY June 6 2019 (2) quoteI came across “Desiderata”, an early 1920s prose poem by the American writer Max Ehrmann, sometime in the 70s. I was astounded then by its beautifully written, simple, yet profound message, and remain so today.

DESIDERATA

GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann © 1927
Original text

 

 

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Blood On The Moon ~ the story

This is a short story and poem I wrote when I first started writing. It’s one of my personal favorites. Read it if you have time. I think you’ll find it very interesting.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

001 Blood On the MoonBlood On the Moon was the first short story I wrote when I decided I wanted to try and write. This is the 2015 rewritten version (I hope it’s better than the original). It’s 2170 words long (5 single spaced pages), so print it and read it later if you want. I’ll even email it to you, if you can’t print it off the blog. Click the picture to enlarge and read the poem by the same title.

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Beautiful Exiles

beautiful exiles

Beautiful Exiles

I’m currently reading Meg Waite Clayton’s, Beautiful Exiles, a novel about Ernest Hemingway and his third wife, Martha Gellhorn. Gellhorn, also an American novelist, travel writer, and journalist is considered one of the great war correspondents of the 20th century. She reported on virtually every major world conflict that took place during her 60-year career.

I’m paraphrasing the following from a passage in the book, simply because it rings so true to me. Especially regarding my autobiography, Just A Boy: When a writer, more so if he’s an amateur like me, lets go of a book, he does so, knowing all the wrong in it will forever be wrong. And even the bits—and it truly seems it’s only bits—that are good and right leave your soul ripped out of your chest and placed on the page to be examined by anyone who cares to read them.

This—to me anyway—rings even more true today than it did in the days of Hemingway and Gellhorn. Thanks mostly to the Internet, which has given license to “perform” to anyone—me included—who dares take their shot at writing, singing, comedy, art, et al. It’s a good thing but also a very bad thing. Good, in the sense we can take our shot, but bad in the sense that so can millions of others, and the odds of being “shot down” are high.

I’m not complaining, or excusing my lack of success, I’m merely trying to convey how this feels—this writing thing. I’ve often said that to write, one must be either very intelligent or somewhat insane. I’ve decided I’m just smart enough… to be fool enough… to write.

Here’s a list of links to my published works:

Just A Boy

Just A Man

Be Still

Juli

Shelter

The Devil’s Dust

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I Can’t Stop the Bleeding

At that moment I was twelve going on twenty. I’d jumped so far forward in life my head was spinning but, in a strange way, it was all starting to make sense. But it was making sense in a way that made no sense at all. As I looked across the table at my mom, her tears dripping onto the Formica-topped kitchen table, I wondered about love, I wondered about God, I wondered what life was all about. And as all these things raced around in my mind, they began to form the new me—the soon-to-be-a-man me. I suddenly realized, and I admit a tinge of fear accompanied the thought, that I had to—somehow—protect my mom, my brothers, and my sister. From my dad.

~~~~~

The above is an excerpt from a book I began writing last November. I abruptly stopped writing the book, due to a very unexpected circumstance. Most of you are aware of what happened but if not, you can read my post, The World Stopped Turning, for the details. But there’s more to it than that. I simply didn’t, and still don’t, know if I can write the rest of this story.

But, a few days ago, I began reading a book, not by but about, Ernest Hemingway. As I read it, I was inspired, not by his talent, or his person, but by his pain. He was a tormented man, and he was not afraid to display his frailty to the world. He said this about writing:clouds and mountains HemingwayI’m certainly no Hemingway, but I bleed, and I cannot stop the bleeding. I’ll let you know when the book is finished.

Just A Boy

 

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Kind Eyes

Mom's cloud - Angels poem

I have heard them

Sometimes in a word—just one

Sometimes in a conversation—a long one

 

I have seen them

Sometimes for a moment—a smile

Sometimes for a season—or many years

 

Sometimes from a distance

With only a picture

Or with words on a screen

They have touched me

 

Always there

Always watching

Sometimes carrying me

Sometimes simply being there

 

And sometimes…

Oh, yes…

Sometimes…

I have felt them…

Seen them…

In the eyes of a mere mortal

As my tortured soul was soothed

By kind eyes

 

Copyright © C Mashburn 2019

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Obsessing Still

Obsessing Still

 

In my youth I was obsessed

The automobile and its awesome power

Owned me

Its only rival the music that

Moved me

Or… were they partners in the game 

Both have ceased to call to me

 

jbs house (2) quote

Breathing deep of the unseen rose

While gazing at silhouettes on smooth water

As daylight bows to night

 

In the void, seeking; sometimes finding

Blessed inner peace

Wanting nothing more

Hoping for nothing less

Obsessing on its promised caress

All else… scattering in the road

Behind me

 

Now and then, glancing up to the mirror

Watching… as the silent movie plays

Parts and pieces bouncing and tumbling

Into the muddy ditch of the past

Once filled with the raging waters

Of my life

 

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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