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My pen name is Georgia Belle; named in tribute to the great state of Georgia, and The South in general.
I am a Soccer player, Irish fiddler, basic pianist, reader, hobby writer and artist. I was home schooled through high school with an easy-going, pick-and-choose self-made curriculum. I love history in general, but particularly Irish history and the history of the American Civil War.
You can see the art website that my twin and I have, called Look Twice Art, here: https://looktwice.art.blog/
"All good things are wild and free." ~Henry David Thoreau
*The lush landscape photo above is focused on the foot of Blarney Castle, in Cork, Ireland, where my ancestors are from.
Sometimes writing a story, even for those who write often, can come to a stand-still. The mind freezes. The pen hovers over the paper. Nothing happens. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. What do you do? Especially if there is a deadline, and the writing must be finished? Obviously, that pen in hand can form words onto the paper. So why not just make it move? Curling out the letters, spelling out the words? Telling the story? Why not? Maybe, just maybe, it's because the mind that forms the story thinks that story will not be good. Thought after thought, reason after reason, picture after picture, and still none of it is an improvement to the mind. The mind just hurts, trying to reconcile to the story. The pen hovers. Then scribbles. Jagged, frustrated, wordless lines and swirls. Then the pen is set aside, the paper pushed away, and the author crosses their arms and stares off. The sun reaches through a window, leafy branches make shifting patterns across the table. The scribbled paper slips off the edge of the table with a sigh, then clicks on the wood floor and lies flat. Still, nothing picture perfect comes to mind. No feeling, translated to words, seems like worthwhile, storytelling material. The author, uninspired, sighs. Who were they, anyway, to write a story? There's a lot of other things they could do besides writing a story. And who would actually want to read their story? Everyone's attention-span is shortened, right? In this age of constant scene changes, where TV shows swap camera angels every two seconds or less, who would care to hold paper in hand and actually digest a story, word for word, verbal description after verbal description? Let alone a story written by me. But wait. Maybe there's more to storytelling than just trying to please the general public. Just maybe. Maybe the story will only appeal to a few, but those few will be just the kind of people you would want to read your story. Because, obviously, they are in touch with what really matters. And what really matters? What really matters is time. Time to look around, to soak in and observe the world around. The ground we stand on, the sky we stand under, far far above, the food we eat, the sounds we hear, the nature around that moves so slow but wins the race. How marvelous, more than all that, is the creativity that stems from observing it all. Creativity that writes a story. Creativity that reads the story, and imagines the story as it flows. But still, still, the pen lays still on the table. The author still has their arms crossed. Still. So story telling is not to please the general public, but it might please a few. It might. So pleasing the few is not the goal either. It's just a bonus, not exactly a goal. Not THE goal. So why? Why tell a story? Why write it? What is the goal? What happens when you write a good story? How do you feel? Something inside you tells you the story is good, and you don't really care how you know it is good, you just celebrate. You feel centered. Grounded. You wrote a story, and it was good. Bring it. That's why. You write because you, beautiful, valuable, intrinsic you, are in that story. You are in that story, and when you write that story, you, in your brilliant image, will be revealed to yourself even more. So if you feel your story will not be good, then just write a not-so-good story. Even though it sounds gross, the best way I can think of to describe it is, just brain vomit. You will surprise yourself.
Hello. I greet you without any physical approach whatsoever. With this COVID-19 situation, people don't really greet each other at all in public places. Eye contact is fleeting and hesitant. The only interaction is a team-work effort to keep away and make space. Friends who see each other give a brief acknowledgement and say "Stay safe!" It's hard to give this COVID environment a one-word description. "Strange" is close, but anything associated with "strange" before is different from the "strange" that COVID-19 has brought us. The world has seen a lot, but this seems new. There are bits and pieces from history that can be sort-of related to now, like the Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, maybe World War II, but all of those were longer in time, less abstract, and definitely more American feeling. American as in patriotic. This... this is different. This is a world on hold. Never has the world been on hold; the major population voluntarily frozen, in place, waiting. In a movie about surfing, an expert surfer said to his pupil, "One thing you gotta know: Fear and panic are two separate emotions. Fear is healthy, panic is deadly." But his pupil responded, "If you're scared to death, how do you not panic?" The surf expert answered, "By identifying the fear, and what it is that you're afraid of." With the COVID-19 upthrust, there is probably panic in more people than the virus has physically affected. Panic, because in a hasty attempt to identify their fear and where it is coming from, they found something hard to identify. Something that seemed new under the sun. But is it? Those who are not panicking must have identified the source of fear. They must have recognized COVID-19 as something simple. Something that is not new under the sun. Something more or less as a part of a cycle that is unmeasurably old. And so it must be. Older than the sun.
Boredom is a bad word. It is distasteful and inappropriate, for all situations, and at all times. It is the killing of the mind. With the mind, nothing is without a chance of good pass-time. Boredom cries for entertainment. And yes, entertainment can be derived of every lull if given effort. But then, does everything have to be entertaining? Can there be no entertainment and no boredom, at the same time? Entertainment is usually a distraction from everyday actions. A source of interest beyond the usual interactions of life. What, on the other hand, is boredom? The picture that generally comes to mind for boredom is lulling eyelids on an expressionless face, and a mind that cries for distraction, but is too tired to find it. Boredom is commonly associated to being "stuck" with nothing to do. When there comes a moment with nothing to do, very often it is described as a "boring" moment. And usually, when someone says they are "bored," they say it with a disgusted, annoyed tone of voice, which seems to imply that someone needs to entertain them, fast. But why? Sure, they need a break from everyday exercises, but do they need a lively distraction from it? Entertainment is good and healthy, without argument. Nonetheless, life should not have to consist solely of everyday routine, and entertainment. There is one more thing in life, which is commonly forgotten, but which is arguably the biggest secret to sanity. This secret is nothing. Simply doing nothing. Oftentimes there is little chance of doing nothing in our busy lives, but this is not about busy times. This is about times in life when things are the least busy. Times in life when it seems like everything stops. Times when things are slow as molasses. There is every reason to just sit. It has been given a bad name, doing nothing. Obviously we all know that it is only bad to do nothing when times are busy, and when duties call, which is most of the time. But when those times have a cease-fire, for one reason or another, it is quite healthy just to sit and look around, or close your eyes, and listen, and let yourself be still. There is so much good to taking advantage of lulls in life, just to do nothing. So much goodness grows out of stillness. A flower makes very little effort, if at all, and yet it becomes something of great pleasure to all. Trees are the soul of deep-seated stillness, and yet they become tall and lush and their branches are a welcome shade on a hot day. This secret of doing nothing is why boredom is a bad word. Because in associating stillness with lackluster, boredom has given a good thing a bad name.
Once upon a time, a man named Paddy dug in the ground to harvest his crop, and found rot. Black, putrid rot. After digging more and more, he only found more of the same. He grabbed up a handful of what was supposed to be a potato, and, after pondering for a second, he suddenly and violently threw it; a long, hard throw, further than he thought he could throw, with fierce, clear adrenaline kicking through his body. But as he looked after his hurled piece of rot, his eyes focused on the Irishman's spear to the side. The landlord's men. A miserable, merciless, loveless lot. Now. Today. Coming to his house. Dropping everything, he turned and ran, faster than he thought he could run, up the hill to his humble stone cottage. He arrived there just as the men came riding at a swift jaunty pace into the hard-packed dirt front yard. His mind was on one thing. He neither turned nor stopped his pace, but hurled himself into the house and straight to that one thing. Along with a few last coins, he grabbed that one precious item, and ran far out back and, digging with his hands in the dry soil he placed that precious thing in the ground and threw some dirt over it. Then, turning, he saw the men ram rod the stone walls of his house. Stones fell and thudded inside the cottage, and he felt his heart thud with them. Like a wild man he wanted to run and fight them all, running into the midst of them like a one-man nightmare such as they had never seen before. With a roar the thatched roof went up in flames, and deep inside him something roared with it. But before he launched himself from his locked trance, heaven's gates swung open, and with a wild rush, it let loose its tears. All was thickly veiled with gray, fast falling, drenching, pouring. Quickly he turned, and threw himself on the ground, over his precious item shallowly buried. When the heaviness dwindled into a light drizzle, he lifted himself from the ground and turned to gaze at the landlord's work. The landlord's men were gone. Tumbled stones and piled ashes dark, damp and glistening held close the earth. Sifting smoke stirred up from it, lifting softly, sweetly, sorrowfully, like a soul leaving a young body, prematurely. And he felt his soul going with it, lifting, drifting, sifting. But not dead. Yes very much alive. More alive than many a living thing. Grief struck deep into his soul, the truest grief, yet not a tear he shed. Sorrow stung his heart, yet still, he rose upward. His precious item buried, he bent and dug it up. There it lay, like a small, premature casket, a narrow wooden box painted black, as long as his arm. His soul was in there, or, at least, a prime defining feature of his soul. Though it lay in a dark box, it was not dead. In fact it was one of the greatest defiers of death. Opening the box, Paddy pulled out his fiddle.
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