Wednesday, June 6, 2012

To Infinity and Beyond!

Poetry. I like to read it and write it (well I attempt to write it.....the art of it can be illusive). I think the love of poetry (writing/reading in general) runs in my family. My dad (Jeff Streeby) not only walks around in his cowboy boots twirling his handlebar mustache, he also writes incredible poetry. He just published his first book. Sunday Creek. It is AWESOME. He is my go to guy for all things poetic. He critiques my writing (in a wonderfully kind and fatherly way) and always encourages me. Next is my brother, Cutter Streeby. This handsome, intelligent, reckless, softy loves to write as well. He has also published many different poems (mostly in Europe) I send all my poems to him for advice as well. It is nice to have both my brother and my dad to critique my writing since they both have different styles and tastes but, essentially, they have helped me improve enormously. From confessional poetry, to observational to just plain abstract they help me out and never cease to believe in me. That is a wonderful thing. My mom the funny, generous, loving, firecracker has always been extremely supportive of my families love for writing. She used to be a journalist!  My sister the fair headed maiden on the sea paints, so, her poetry truly is "poetry in motion." Our mutual love for the art of writing has not only taught me the importance of support when delving into undiscovered lands but also it has taught me the importance of passion.

I was thinking the other day, as I was driving home, that in this world it seems that those who have no opinions may be politically correct and safe but sometimes they may seem a bit fickle but those who seem to only see in black and white seem to limit themselves completely from all the extraordinary possibilities of this crazy, ever changing life. I think it is healthy to be a little bit of both. To have opinions and passions but to also be willing to change your mind if situations arise that contradict a previous notion or opinion you once held. It is impossible to be correct in all things, so change is inevitable. I am not saying be fickle about one's beliefs or supporting a chameleon life style of changing colors just to blend in with others. Just be open. Also I know that there are beliefs I hold that I will never give up. Such as my belief in free-agency. I choose what to believe. I choose who to become. I am responsible for what I have become. In the end it is my choice. Freedom to choose is a beautiful thing. And it is everyone's freedom.
I realized that I needed to stop blaming people or circumstances for who I was or how I was feeling because I am free. And because they are free.
And I respect that. Realizing that I am entirely free to be and feel how I choose has brought me so much happiness. Because it helped me to let go of so much that weighed on me. But I had to and still have to go through life recognizing and trying to change things about me that I do not admire. But I try to do so calmly and lovingly. Even when it hurts. There is happiness in the process. And there is pain in the process.
And it's all going to be okay.

I believe in kindness and love and trying and courage and balance and freedom and hope and many other things.

I don't know everything and have never met anyone who does. So limiting myself by refusing to change when I know I am wrong because of pride is what I hope never to do again.  I am human though so I know I will make mistakes  But I will keep on trying.

Since this blog began with poetry and morphed into something else I guess I will share some poetry with passion.

This is one of my favorite poems of all time. I love everything about it. It puts into words almost everything I wish to be and do. This poem voices some of my deepest desires.

     The House by the Side of the Road

      THERE are hermit souls that live withdrawn
      In the place of their self-content;
      There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
      In a fellowless firmament;
      There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
      Where highways never ran-
      But let me live by the side of the road
      And be a friend to man.
      Let me live in a house by the side of the road
      Where the race of men go by-
      The men who are good and the men who are bad,
      As good and as bad as I.
      I would not sit in the scorner's seat
      Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
      Let me live in a house by the side of the road
      And be a friend to man.
      I see from my house by the side of the road
      By the side of the highway of life,
      The men who press with the ardor of hope,
      The men who are faint with the strife,
      But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
      Both parts of an infinite plan-
      Let me live in a house by the side of the road
      And be a friend to man.
      I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
      And mountains of wearisome height;
      That the road passes on through the long afternoon
      And stretches away to the night.
      And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
      And weep with the strangers that moan,
      Nor live in my house by the side of the road
      Like a man who dwells alone.
      Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
      Where the race of men go by-
      They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
      Wise, foolish - so am I.
      Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
      Or hurl the cynic's ban?
      Let me live in my house by the side of the road
      And be a friend to man.
      Sam Walter Foss

and another------


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son! 
Rudyard Kipling
FIN....for now :)

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