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Progress Not Perfection

Hands of different races

“Believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.” ~ W. E. B. Du Bois

“We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

As you can see, I’m reworking my website. I’m getting ready to launch my podcast, and I wanted to have one place where my blog and podcast posts can be accessed.

The day I started this project, I was hoping to get it all set up, but of course, not being technology minded, I got only so far. My site doesn’t look the way I want it yet, but I’m determined to learn how to make it look exactly as I envision. It will take time and effort to learn how to do that.

As I walked away from my computer with what I call a technology headache, I remembered what Denzel Washington’s character, Robert McCall says to more than one of the other characters he’s helping in the movie, The Equalizer. He helps them keep moving toward their dreams by reminding them, “Remember, progress not perfection.”

It’s a violent action movie of a different kind. Robert McCall has a mysterious past. The viewer soon realizes that Robert must have been in a special military unit, or worked for the CIA, or NSA, because of his skills. But from the things he says, he has promised never to use those skills again. He’s trying to be a better person, to care for the others in a peaceful way. But then, of course, there are characters that need his special skills and he has to make a choice. Use them to help the helpless, or turn away and let them suffer.

I used to believe that there was never a reason to use violence. But as God points out to Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations With God, sometimes a person like Hitler can only be stopped by armed resistance. Those kinds of people don’t understand anything else and they won’t stop their dreams of domination unless they are stopped by force.

I hope that we are finally coming to a time when we don’t have to use force to stop people who have no regard for human lives, but I have to remember we’re in a transition period. Sometimes we may have to be like Robert McCall and use violence to stand up for people who are weaker than we are.

However, I have been encouraged to see that the recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations are mostly peaceful. That demonstrators are covering the fence around the White House with posters and artwork advocating for the end of violence against blacks, and some of the protestors are using music and dancing as part of their demonstrations.

As human beings we, hopefully, are working toward progress in our personal growth and in the establishing of more loving and equitable societies. Change is sometimes a long process. I’m happy to see the tide turning. I’m envisioning living in a peaceful society where people are too busy fulfilling their dreams to be hateful toward each other and people like Robert McCall’s character are no longer needed.

Have a blessed weekend. Thanks for reading, liking and commenting.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

 

From To Kill A Mockingbird, Jane Austen, the MCU, and Back Again pt. 1


This is the first of an edited two hour conversation I had with my sister, Celeste Sage-Tate. When she and I get started, we talk about one story that leads to another, and another linking themes and what we’ve learned from them.

Story~Power is now available on Apple, Google and Spotify podcast apps.


Part One
I have had the love of reading since 7th grade. I would spend hours after school just reading and seeing myself in the stories I read. I read many different genres. I do not limit myself. As a Life Coach I have read many books from Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Marianne Williamson.

Stories Discussed
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee, Movie, (1962) Robert Mulligan, director
The Crucible – Arthur Miller, Movie, (1996) Nicholas Hytner, director
Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler
The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling
Gladiator – (2000) Ridley Scott, director
Braveheart – (1995) Mel Gibson, director
Star Trek (all series and movies) Gene Roddenberry creator
Author of note: William Shakespeare
The Stand – Stephen King, Mini-series (1994) Mick Garris, director
Shawshank Redemption – Stephen King, Movie (1994), Frank Darabont, director
The Green Mile – Stephen King, Movie (1999) Frank Darabont, director
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen, Our favorite version – Mini-series (1995) Simon Langton, director 
Dune – Frank Herbert, Movie (1984), David Lynch, director
Finding Nemo – (2003) Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, directors
Bruce Lipton non-fiction books
The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins, Movies, (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015,) Gary Ross and Francis Lawrence, directors
A Return to Love – Marianne Williamson
Saving Private Ryan – (1998) Steven Spielberg, director
Wayne Dyer, Spiritual Teacher and Author

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognitive Scientist

No Fear Shakespeare

This is my first episode. We had a bit of trouble with the sound but Dave and I had a fantastic conversation. I asked Dave to be my first guest because I’m in awe of his knowledge about the Shakespearean and the Elizabethan time period. It’s sad for both of us that his timeless work is not appreciated as much as we’d like it to be. I hope if you’ve hated Shakespeare in the past, after this podcast you’ll consider getting better acquainted with his work.



Dave Dahl

Dave has loved theatre since his first performance in the Opera Carmen at age 6. Since then he teaches acting and has led actors workshops and founded The Northern Colorado Actors Studio. He also acts in his spare time. He recently directed, Constellations, Orson’s Shadow, and Antony and Cleopatra, Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Chimes at Midnight, Twelfth Night, King Lear, As You Like It and the regional premiere of Gloria. In his 30 years as an actor favorite roles include: Mr.Paravicini in The Mousetrap, Alf in Peter and the Starcatcher, Edgar in King Lear, Horatio in Hamlet, Orgon in Tartuffe, Benjamin Franklin in 1776, and Theo Maske in The Underpants.

Works by William Shakespeare we Discussed

Measure for Measure
Chimes at Midnight by Orson Wells (1965, available on Amazon Prime)
Richard II
Henry IV, parts I & II
Henry V
Hamlet
Shakespeare’s sonnets performed by Patrick Stewart (on YouTube)
The Tempest
All’s Well that Ends Well
Romeo and Juliet
Macbeth
Twelfth Night
The Taming of the Shrew
Much Ado About Nothing

The term Dramaturg was discussed in this episode. For those who are unfamiliar with the word, a dramaturg is a special consultant who provides specific, in-depth knowledge and literary resources to a director, producer, or entire theatre company.

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognaitive Scientist.

Taking a Break

Ashley Pond Park in Los Alamos, NM

For the next few weeks, I’ll be working on launching my podcast, Story~Power, and hopefully finishing the audio version of The Space Between Time. I will be back when I’ve finished those projects. In the meantime, here are a few quotes I came across this week that seemed so truthful to me. Let me know what you think.

“Hate, in the long run, is about as nourishing as cyanide.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

“Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be’–she always called me Elwood–‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart, I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.” ~ Elwood P. Dowd in the movie Harvey

Maverick ‘Mav’ Carter: (In response to finding out his daughter Starr has a white boyfriend.) “I ain’t set a good example of a black man for you.”
Starr Carter: “No, you didn’t. You set a good example of what a man should be.” ~ from the movie The Hate U Give

“When the brain gets involved, it starts a spreadsheet.” ~ Pete Holmes

“The only obstacle is believing there’s an obstacle.” ~ Rupert Spira

“I’ve wasted so much time being beautiful.” ~ Lady Caroline in Enchanted April

“You are enough. You are so enough, it is unbelievable now enough you are.” ~ Sierra Boggess

That’s probably enough to keep you busy for a while, but don’t make a spreadsheet. Let the words sink into your heart. How do they make you feel?

Blessings until I return. Stay safe and healthy.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

When We Know Better, We do Better!

Tattered but Salvageable

“While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s Creation.” ~ Maya Angelou

I’m feeling very emotional as I write this post today. It will be published on American Independence Day and that brings mixed feelings for me almost every year, but particularly this year with all the demonstrations and influx of Covid-19 cases. The demonstrations against racism and declaring that Black Lives Matter are necessary to help bring about real change. It’s just another step in our evolution as a country. The influx of Covid cases is, in my opinion, a lack of strong leadership coupled with people claiming their First World Privileges that put us all in danger.

But I want to take you through my thought process that led to this post.

A few days ago I was chatting with a college friend for an episode of Story~Power. We were talking about musicals since she loves them. And she was pointing out something I had never thought about before, that there is always a dark side to almost every musical. Since we were recording close to July 4th, I mentioned the musical 1776, which she had never seen. That surprised me. It’s one of my favorites. It’s not one of my favorites because it glorifies the unprecedented, at that time, declaration of intent to separate from the mother country. It’s because the musical has scenes and two songs that acknowledge the imperfection of the process of trying to form a new country.

The first song is one I find oddly relevant it’s “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men”. It’s about the conservative landed men who have become rich in their new land, and that their aim is to make sure their set stays on top of the population heap. If you watch this on TCM, the commentator will point out that this song was removed from the first theatrical release because President Nixon had previewed the film and didn’t like the song. It was too close to home. It exposed the tactics of his party and himself. He asked the producers to remove it. The link will take you to the site where you can find the lyrics for this and all the songs in 1776.

The second song, “Molasses to Rum” is even more devastating. The lyrics point out the connection between molasses, rum, and slaves and the fact that this trade triangle wouldn’t exists if not for the ships sailing out of Boston with bibles and rum heading for Africa to pick up a ship full of slaves bound for the Colonies. The music and lighting are hauntingly beautiful which belies the dark reality of the words.

The movie also shows that this country was made possible because those who wanted to end slavery had to compromise with those who promised to block separation from England if they didn’t allow it to continue.

The formation of the United States of America was a huge experiment. People like John Adams and Benjamin Franklin wanted a clean beginning for our country. But they couldn’t accomplish that at the time. They had to make a choice, to attempt to separate from Britain, or to continue to suffer under Her rule. We know the choice they made.

Like all experiments we’ve tried and failed over and over again to free people from oppression. Less than one hundred years after we became a country, we fought a war to end slavery. One hundred years later, the Civil Rights Movement made some progress for the rights of blacks. Now fifty-five years later we get a new opportunity to reset our experiment and try again.

The thing I love about The Black Lives Matter movement is that its bringing up not only inequities of how blacks have been treated, but all other populations of color as well and that’s a good thing.

The title of this post is, I believe, a quote by Maya Angelou. The Founding Fathers did the best they could at the time they declared independence from Great Britain. But of course the slaves, women, Native Americans, and many other groups of people were left out of the “We the people of the United States …” written into the Constitution. I’m hoping that from this 4th of July forward we, as a nation, will do the self-examination necessary to make those rousing words of The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution finally become reality. I’m committed to not turning away from the work. I now know better so I have to be committed to doing better.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and liking. If you like what you read here, please share it with a friend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

What’s Most Important?

Getting a hug from Dad

“One of the most important things one can do in life is to brutally question every single thing you are taught.” ~ Bryant H. McGill

“One of the most important things you can do in your life is to learn to pull back the curtain of fear so you can see it for what it really is – the enemy blowing a lot of smoke and pushing your buttons. ~ Victoria Osteen

I’ve been mostly at home for sixteen weeks which has given me a lot of time to think about what is most important to me. It probably comes as no surprise that human connection is my number one priority. I call or text loved ones often. And part of the reason I’m creating the podcast Story~Power is because I crave connection with people who have as much passion for stories as I do. Consuming stories connects me with the author or movie maker and gives me an opportunity to gain new insights.

My other top priority, and this might seem antithetical to my desire for human connection, is to experience mental silence. I don’t think these two concepts are mutually exclusive and here’s why.

I’ve recently discovered this amazing motivational speaker on YouTube named Simon Sinek. I’ve watched four or five of his motivational videos and the main message in all of them is that leaders, and of course regular people as well, need to be focused on creating real, caring relationships with the people they live and work with. Paying more attention to financial gain over the people who create the products and services isn’t a good business model anymore, if in fact it ever was.

This morning, as I’m writing this, I listened to a short video in which he outlines the 5 Rules That Will Change Your Future. In rule number 5, he talks about Nelson Mandela who is universally regarded as the best leader in recent times. Simon tells why. When asked what made him such a great leader, Mandela said he watched how his father, who was a tribal leader, conducted himself at tribal meetings. His father listened to what every member of the council had to say before he spoke. I imagine he even sat silently thinking, or perhaps more accurately, feeling everything that was said before he ventured to offer his opinion. That’s exactly the kind of person I want to be, someone who is silent and listens not just with my mind but with my heart to what others have to say. Then take the time to evaluate what has been said before I speak.

As I’ve been recording and editing the chats with my podcast guests, I realize, I need to listen to what my guests have to say more than talk myself, because what they have to share is extremely interesting. I’m learning important things from them and I hope my listeners do to.

And one last thing, mental silence is restful and I don’t know about you, but I need to disconnect from all the noise that’s being generated right now. When my mind in silent, and believe me some days that’s difficult to achieve, I can truly rest. Being stressed out and combative on social media, or with acquaintances doesn’t help solve any problems at all. It only causes more stress.

That’s really all I have to convey, that I feel the need to chat with people, listen to their stories, and contemplate their points of view before I share my own thoughts. Because my mind gets caught in a loop of thinking the same thoughts over and over again. And listening to other people share their experiences and opinions interrupts all the meaningless stuff running rampant through my brain. Thinking the same thoughts over and over again is both boring and non-productive. I think that’s one of the reasons I consume books, movies and TV shows, so I have new things to think about.

I plan to launch Story~Power on July 22 and publish a new episode every two weeks. There will be a page on this site exclusively for the podcast, with show notes and a short bio for each guest. I’m getting excited to share my conversations with all of you.

Have a lovely weekend. Thanks for reading, commenting, and liking. Welcome to my new followers. I hope you stay healthy and safe.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.