You have entered the realm of a writer.

Welcome to A Writer's Landscape!

You have entered the realm of my mind where words play with the fabric of our existence. This is the map of my imagination: the very foundations of inspiration, musing, and thought splayed for your wandering eyes. Dive deep into the tides of these forces and experience my reality, my fantasy, my world; and if you should be so inclined, share your words with this land.

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is it hard to write?

I've been struggling recently, trying to come up with a reason why my mind isn't letting me pour my inspiration onto the pages before me. I usually don't have such a hard time once an idea is in my head. Something new came into focus just the other night, and it was wonderfully creative and beautifully invigorating, but the words won't match the images inside my head; thus I cannot write what I wish to disseminate from my visions. This made me think.

Is it hard to write? Writing has always come easy it me, much the same way other subjects have always come easy to me: math, science, psychology, music, literature, etc. You name it and my hand can probably grasp the subject within a matter of sessions without too much thought. Then again, once we get into deeper areas of a new subject, I may struggle; but that does not mean I won't understand it given proper processing. Right now, however, there is a distinct lacking in my ability to form the words for the pictures inside my head. My internal dictionary hasn't diminished, my imagination hasn't retarded, my inspiration hasn't vanished. What else then?

I'm focusing so much on my ability to comprehend mathematics right now. Perhaps this is changing my ideal structures in my brain patterns which isn't allowing me access to the most important areas to my life. I only say that these are the most important because writing truly makes me happier than almost anything else. Being able to write down words that inspire people to see what I envision makes me so happy.

Not only am I struggling in my ability to write, but I'm also having a hard time in Physics (another subject I thought I could easily apply my brain and nearly instantly understand the concepts and apply them to any scenario I desired). I'm beginning to believe this is how people feel when a teacher asks them to write a paper on a given subject; or rather, on any subject of their choosing. I feel lost in Physics most of the time. I understand the words my professor says and I see the math he uses, but I don't get why he chooses the equations he's utilizing or how their application is relevant to the scheme he's weaving. It's mind numbing; and he knows most of us are lost in the muck of his over-intelligent promulgations of Physics.

I believe I'll understand it here soon, when I have enough time once again to focus my life away from work (and yes I attribute my lack of time to me having two jobs. I'm crazy, I know...). I believe this the same way I believe everyone has the intrinsic ability to write, and to write well, creatively, and beautifully. We all need time to understand ourselves first, and then we need time to apply what we've discovered to the subject at hand (without stressing ourselves out). Once we know ourselves and have our time, then we can truly excel at what we want or need.

So yes, writing is hard, as any subject is truly difficult to master. And yes, I may be in a dry spell at the moment while I try to rearrange my life. It makes me sad... And I don't want to be sad about my inability to write freely like I did a few months ago. Perhaps 'discussing' this issue will help pull the stopper out of my mind and the dam will flow freely through the hole. Here's to hoping!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Without Enough

Jerry L. Wells equates the lessons of morality represented in the Harry Potter novels, written by J. K. Rowling, concisely with real world regulations in morality in the essay “Heaven, Hell, and Harry Potter.” Wells uses a quote from Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and one of Harry Potter’s mentors in the series, to indicate the nontraditional sense of morality in the wizarding world. The approach Wells takes is clearly from a Christian standpoint where the lines of good and evil are (for the most part) clearly defined. Wells also brings up the viewpoint of naturalism, what he claims is the polar opposite of Christianity in the sense of beliefs and thus a different basis for morals in society. Even though Wells brings up this dynamic polarity, he imposes his assumptions that Rowling disregarded other worldviews when creating the characters in the world of Harry Potter. The binary viewpoint Wells uses misses the multifaceted views presented in the Harry Potter series.

Dumbledore is quoted as saying that “humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them” (Rowling, p. 297). This statement brings many thoughts to mind. One of which is why are these desires only “worst” for you instead of saying they’re bad? Worst implies a sense of ambiguity somewhere between good and bad, right and wrong, or virtuous and evil. Wells addresses this in an oblique manner: never directly addressing the nontraditional moral presented in this statement. What Wells addresses is the relation between morals in Christianity (traditional good/bad, virtuous/evil, etc.) to naturalism (harboring a conflict of why morals matter) and to the Wizarding world of Harry Potter (nontraditional). The main points Wells illuminates revolve around wealth and immortality, centered on the image of the Sorcerer’s Stone in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997). The Stone provides the elixir of life which gives the drinker immortality and also turns any metal into gold. Thus the Stone is sought by many: Voldemort, Harry’s ultimate nemesis, in particular. What Wells misses out on is the underlying message of Dumbledore’s statement. The desire for eternal life and endless wealth are indeed natural, but it’s how we manage these desires that determine whether they are good or evil.

This juxtaposed view is present in the obvious characterization of the protagonist and antagonist in the Harry Potter series. Voldemort, the obvious antagonist, allows the desire for immortality to drive his every move. Wells points out that Dumbledore claims the fear of death is one of the “greatest [weaknesses]” (paragraph 5). Meanwhile, Harry Potter, our protagonist, desires many things after having been tortured by his Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin. Wealth and popularity, and possibly even a different life, are things that would better his experiences. However, Harry doesn’t allow his desire to get in the way of what is truly morally sound: friendship, trust, and love. These three aspects are things Voldemort doesn’t comprehend and sees as weaknesses in return. Of these three, love is the aspect Rowling places the most emphasis; and thus Wells focuses his essay on this pivotal notion of love being powerful.

In “Heaven, Hell, and Harry Potter” Wells draws upon Christianity and Naturalism as juxtaposed belief structures with two vastly different moral compasses. Christianity points people towards serving the ideals of a higher authority, namely God. Naturalism, Wells explains, decrees that humans are made of the simple, scientific elements and have no deity to guide the virtues of right and wrong. Regarding the contrasts between Christianity and Naturalism neglects the foundation Rowling certainly had when writing her novels. Wells claims “we do not have the space to even name all the [other religions] that might be mentioned…” (paragraph 16). This is negligent when referring to Dumbledore especially.

Many of Dumbledore’s characteristics are easily described as being Buddhist. His obvious enlightenment mirrors many of the Buddhist beliefs, especially when referring to how people choose “precisely those things that are worst for them” (Rowling, p. 297). This statement refers to the Buddhist idea of materialism which extents beyond objects to life. In a way, Dumbledore is telling people to not allow the desires for what the Stone can provide to overwhelm them, but to detach one’s self from these wants in order to stave off anger, pain, and suffering. This notion is the same as Nirvana, which absolves one from this realm to the next level of spiritual completion by detaching oneself from the things that bring suffering. To Dumbledore, and to those with a “well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure”, which could be described as Nirvana (Rowling, p. 297).

Though Wells misses the dynamics of differing religions, he does hit upon one point that definitely surfaces across the world: love. This love is innate in nature. Humans instinctually love their parents as a biological response for survival. It is also love for humanity and goodness that prevents people from harming each other. Thus, love is seen in many religions: represented in enlightenment and Nirvana, God, and the daily rituals of sacrifice in many other religious facets. Wells writes:

[It] is impossible to advance our ultimate well being by doing evil. While our short-term interests may be promoted by doing what is wrong, we are acting against the ultimate grain of reality and we will eventually have to account for our choices. To act immorally is to act against love and to cut ourselves off from God, whose very nature is love. This is hell. This is the cursed life of one like Voldemort who is willing to embrace evil to promote his own purposes. (Paragraph 47)

I agree with Wells that love is what ultimately defines right from wrong. However, I believe Wells neglected looking beyond his own experiences to see how love is similarly played out in many religions; and how these faiths are represented in Harry Potter. If he had noticed the subtle intricacies that Rowling incorporated, his view of the wizarding world would be much deeper.

Overall, I think Wells did an amazing job working within the parameters of Christianity, Naturalism and Harry Potter to distinguish the foundation of morals in society. However, there is much more Wells neglected that should have been addressed in order to create a more concrete assertion that love truly is the ultimate foundation humanity must strive for in order to reach “heaven.” His heavily Christian influenced view blocked his interpretation into a stereotypical response to Harry Potter when regarding the morals embodied in each character. His final conclusion is “the right metaphysical view of ultimate reality has huge implications for how we ought to live, … [and that] love is the deepest reality and, if we understand that, we can avoid the trap of choosing the very things that are worst for us” (paragraph 48). Perhaps Wells will notice the multifaceted worldview that Rowling noticed when creating such an enlightened character as Dumbledore, and by doing so learn more about the world he lives in through the eyes of an enlightened Buddhist.


In knowing Endless
Mind subdues the senseless time
A wrenching absence


She said it without her words:
delicate phrases pouring like petals
dressed in soot from a fire's haze
smelling of sea spraying in a bay.

I wept, knowing its truth.
Such an end tearing a world
moments gone to eternity inside
bleeding shattered mornings at dusk.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Travesty to Think.

There was a time when I was happy here, when simply walking into the crisp air brought a sense of pride from my chest to my ears and the sound of quiet breezes calmed my excitement and stress. I knew what I knew, and excelled beautifully at my work. Something shifted since those days. I have certainly changed drastically, thanks to my surrender to knowledge and experience which meant diving into the unknown and taking determined steps regardless of the circumstances; and oh! did the circumstances harbor detrimental outcomes at times. I won't deny my selfishness as long as we discuss the selflessness as well. I've done all this for myself: to build and strengthen my pride, to expand my sense of self-worth, to find respect, to inspire, and to learn about so much more in the world and beyond; but I've also done all this for my love, for my friends and coworkers and community, for the present and the future and everyone that needs inspiration to overcome their own adversities. My accomplisments speak to this duality.

Why do I feel like I don't know what I know, like this time is lost somewhere in the sands of a deep ocean where tides constrict and pull at my chest? I don't feel proud or calm or proactive. This is conflicting with more than the doings of my daily life: spirituality, motivation, and love all feel hampered or blocked; and though I stave off the overwhelming stress which still boils at the edge of periphery, I can't bring myself to honestly search for the source of my discontent. I attribute it to my load: 19 credit hours in school, 2 jobs, a relationship, and my desire to read and write as my career. Maybe it's all these things added to a debt I can't minimize given my salary; such a debt someone with two to three times my salary could handle happily. Perhaps I'm simply breaking, discovering what a crisis feels like. It could be worry and doubt accruing in the face of drastic changes just a few months away: change of schools, jobs, mental acrobats in studying, and in the structure of my relationship. Is this too complex for me to handle; me who can easily shift from writing a story built on a distant land with cultural and political intrigue, enriched with new spiritual concepts and infused with a new language, to suddenly comprehending diverse mathematical equations with precision and grace that baffles fellow students and brings a smile to my mother's face?

I don't know what's needed or what's coming down the road I wade; but I do know what I need and where I'm going. I need time, that elusive and distracting creation which leaves no room for self pity, contageous destruction, or sorrowful enlightenment. I need a physical guide who can tell me what I'm not doing, or doing improperly, or what's right; who can inspire me beyond the immediate beauty of life, unveil the worlds beyond our sneses, and fortify my will against what is worst for me. I need confidence in my actions again, otherwise I may drown with certainty, huddled in the corner of a desolate room. Ultimately, I need support and love and friendship, even when it feels like I'm not donating my support, love, or friendship in return. This is all necessary because my road is simply heading up-hill without regard to my pace; but I must find a way to keep my velocity from decreasing despite the incline.

With all this said, I know the end in sight is worth the struggles of the immediate gloom settling around my head. The sparkle of joy glints in the ground beneath my feet, intensifying as the trail continues on. Hope keeps my spirits higher; as well as the dream which remains a foggy image wavering in the distance. Each step, each stroke, each breath brings me closer to that aspiration; clearing away the soft edges.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

All Work, All Fun, Makes Hearts a Weary Day

I believe life has gotten the better of me.

You think this is negative. Truly, it can't possibly be a negative statement. Life has gotten the better of me because I have given the best I can. I'm only in these circumstances because of choices which led me to accepting my current status. I'm a full time student (as I've been for the past several semesters) taking 19 credit hours which consists of 5 classes (Physics, English Composition II, Public Speaking, Theatre Appreciation, Calculus I) while working 2 jobs, one of which is 40 minutes away while the other is 7. I'm currently seeing my boyfriend about 2 hours every three days and I haven't truly seen a friend outside my work or school environments in about three weeks now.

Am I stressed? Not really. I'm actually enjoying the thrill of pushing myself to the extreme, testing the boundaries between insanity and structure and sleep deprivation. Doing all this is fun. However, I'm already feeling the strain in several areas.

One is my writing. I haven't truly written anything inspired by creativity in quite a while. My mind has completely changed tracks and is now moving on a steady train called Academia. It goes through a circle of towns: Research, Compose, Edit, Submit. I'm enjoying this ride because it's teaching me how to force creativity into a focused, linear style of thinking. My academic papers are fun and entertaining because my prose are filled with beauty. I can't help it. This is my best.

However, essays and research papers and speeches aren't really an issue in regards to my writing. They're just other avenues toward writing nirvana (now that's a concept!). The evidence for strain is here on my blog. Notice I haven't put anything up this month. Well... school started. There's the answer. This goes beyond placing digital, poetic, fantastic words onto a website for you to read: I haven't written anything other than my essays and speeches for school. This is wrong to me, and it's something I won't let suffer.

Added to my writing, I feel another strain on my relationship. We don't see each other much, except for an hour at school (maybe) and then in the evenings if we both don't have too much homework. When we do see each other it's nothing but good times. Much remains beneath the surface neither one of us is talking about because we don't actually have enough time to deal with our issues. Every relationship, every couple, every friendship and partnership has issues lying beneath the surface of pleasantries automatically inserted when seeing each other for short moments. I need more time to work these issues out.

Writing is therapeutic for me. It puts my mind into a different realm where thoughts are actions and possibilities play themselves across a scene of juxtaposed understandings. I get answers through writing and letting my mind wander. I've realized love. I've realized pain. I've realized devotion and sensitivity and sublimity and ultimate truth. Many of these times, I've realized the next moves I've had to make in my relationships.

It suddenly feels like I've changed my way of processing from actual written works (pen to paper) to visualizations in daydreams. Meditation is certainly helping with this; and coming into a deep meditative state is coming faster and easier nowadays. It helped me realize my load is too much in life, even though I'm giving it my best and succeeding (for the most part). I've stopped trying to multitask and have been devoting my attention singularly to the tasks at hand. However, I've been doing this almost constantly during my waking hours. My only relief is in meditation and sleep.

Thus, I'm giving up one job in favor of the better/closer one. This will free of some of my evenings and I won't have to work 50 hours a week (yes... 50 on top of school. I know. I'm crazy.)! Though this won't truly come into effect for another 3 weeks, I'm still looking forward to some free-time (but it might turn into more homework time and I just won't have to stay up as late nor wake up as early). Perhaps this will allow me to fix the other issues in my life.