Vasilios Theodorakis – An Online Author is a digital repository of all my written work (in text and podcast formats)…

June 30, 2012

Drawing A Line In The Sand

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 8:33 pm

I’d like to believe you can draw a line in the sand and quarantine the past and the present from contaminating the future. For human beings though – it’s never that simple. Depending on circumstances, temporal contamination of the future can take the form of physical, emotional, psychological, social or spiritual issues. If defined in this way, drawing a line in the sand, is an attempt to prevent personal history and current circumstances from further contaminating and wasting an already shortened life.

Though I’ve made regular attempts to implement this principle, i.e. taken a stick, drawn a line in the sand and begun moving forward in earnest, I almost always encounter a health issue that causes my past to stumble back across the line – wasting even more of my life. You might argue that chronic ill health is no one’s fault, but when you lose years, then decades of your life to medical conditions, it’s hard not to blame yourself for allowing life’s sacred essence to ebb away and rinse quietly down time’s infinite drain pipe!

So why continue to redraw a metaphorical line in the sand when I know my health will ignore my wishes, step over the line and contaminate/waste the present moment yet again? Even though I can’t regulate my health very well, I can prune all my other problems, forcing them back beyond the line and giving myself the best possible chance to move forward with the least amount of baggage. That is, maximising my chances to make a difference in the world and leave behind some sort of legacy. Unfortunately, this means working harder than most (which I know seems unfair) and “pedastooling” the underdog’s “don’t give up” attitude. Dealing with chronic illness as a separate variable to other self limiting issues needs to be internalised and needs to become ingrained in one’s constitution in order to get the most out of drawing a line in the sand.

So, if like me you can’t quarantine ill health, you can at least draw a line in the sand for a whole series of other things that limit life’s potential. For example, (quarantine and don’t allow the following back over the line or into your life) – 1. Don’t waste the little time that you do have on petty issues and petty interpersonal dynamics; 2. Don’t settle for being thrown resource/monetary crumbs off the table of the healthy and the wealthy! Demand to be paid what you’re worth and find smarter ways to make more cash using less time. 3. Never accept that you’re not worthy of living where you want to live! Find a way to live where you want and make sure your environment is bright, clean and hygienic – even if it’s just a room in a house! 4. Never self deprecate and dumb down your intelligence in order to make others feel smarter and better about themselves. Also, just because people around you think chronic ill health equates with being intellectually deficient, doesn’t make it so. People who patronise you in this fashion are just a couple of steps away from pure malevolence – so avoid them!

To sum up – no matter what your circumstances, make good use of whatever time you have at your disposal and pro-actively ignore anything and anyone that detracts from using time well! Though you may not be able to draw a line in the sand and hold back all derailing aspects of life, quarantining and leaving behind as much as possible will definitely make life more pleasant and successful. ;)

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – June 2012

June 24, 2012

The Poet’s Online Dumbbell

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 10:57 am

I’ve been writing poetry since 1983, so I figure that makes me a poet of sorts or at least gives me some credibility in terms of talking about poetry. My writing includes some good, bad and ugly verse but every poem has been an exercise in refining the skills of my craft.

Sadly, there are few online exercises (that I’d recommend) in order to help a budding poet with their poetry skills. One unexpected surprise however, is a unintentional piece of wordsmith “exercise equipment” called Twitter.

Poetry has always been about saying the most with the least amount of words and if you can do this eloquently, you’re on the road to success. Twitter, which limits your tweet/post to 140 characters, forces you to be very exact in your word selection.

I opened a Twitter Account on the 1st February 2012 in order to promote my own work, never realising, how useful it was as an exercise tool for poetry. And by this, I don’t mean using Twitter to write actual poetry like Haiku, etc. The simple act of forcing one to think about whether a word is necessary or not, or whether there’s a better word to convey one’s meaning is a fundamental skill that every poet needs to master and maintain.

Over 360 tweets later, and even though I haven’t used my Twitter account as intended, the act of tweeting has kept my word minimalist skills sharp and my enthusiasm for tackling more verse high.

In regards to Twitter verses Facebook, it’s no secret that I don’t think much of an organisation that openly collates dossiers on its users and makes money by selling that information. Even if I didn’t have this grievance, I can’t see the likes of Facebook ever doing anything as constructive in terms of wordsmith skills as Twitter does with its 140 character limitation. ;)

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – June 2012

June 22, 2012

Nothing To Lose

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 10:00 pm

If life is seen as a poker game, some of us inevitably get dealt a dud hand. The difference with life and poker though is you can’t fold and walk away then change your mind and get back into the match. Once you’re in the game of life, you’ve got to play, no matter how bad the hand is you’ve been dealt.

Sadly, the way my cohort usual deals with a dud hand is to discard one card after the next, taking on new cards in the hope that our hand will improve. Unfortunately, we never do get past that dud hand and miss the statistical fact that some hands don’t get any better – that’s just life! It’s not personal, we weren’t hand picked for higher levels of misfortune, it just happens that way.

So what should we do? Fold early and just walk away? I never did like the idea of pro-actively choosing death – we’ll all be dead soon enough, so why rush getting there! Bluff, and hope that your poker face encourages everyone else to fold before your dud hand is discovered? Or, keeping taking cards in the hope that good fortune finally smiles at you?

The reality is, if you get a dud hand of cards, you have nothing to lose – which can be very liberating. If you’ve decided that you’re prepared to fold and walk away, why not take another card or astound the other players with your thespian skills of bluffing. You never know – by hanging in, you might just win the whole “pot” in spite of providence handing you nothing but empty promises and/or pain!

On a more personal note and inline with this metaphor – it’s good to still be here and good to still be in the game – especially since I’m able to write again!

“So, dealer – I’ll take three more of those cards thanks.” ;)

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – June 2012

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 1983-2016. All rights reserved.   Powered by WordPress