Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Many Lives

[Baut Images: Pathless Path]

How many paths do we travel in one life?
How many roles do we play in one life?
How many lives do we live in one life?

And yet, so many do not see
How each 'now' moment,
How each 'new' experience,
Leads them from there, to here.

And how every choice shapes us
Into who we are today.
Like the potter, who shapes
The clay on the wheel; round and round.

Molding and shaping.
Shaping and molding.
Molding and shaping.
Shaping and molding.

Every choice that we make,
A door opens to a new future,
That goes on shaping
Us into, who we are today.

How many roads have we driven in one life?
How many people have we passed by in one life?
How many lives do we live in one life?

Many lives...

2012 Roger Allen Baut

Please note: This is a 'triplet' of image, poem and video. Please view all three as one compositon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bleak Winter

[Baut Images: Winter Collage]

Oh, bleak Winter,
From where have you come
To taunt us with bygone days
Of snowfields in the sun.

Bleak Winter with gray skies.
Branches scratching the Light
From out the day
And into night.

Bleak Winter with little snow.
A travesty of a season
Carved in ashes
For no reason.

Bleak Winter with perfidious weather.
Leaving us to ponder
Where Jack Frost has gone
In a mood so very somber.

Bleak Winter like humankind.
Bereft of integrity
Forgotten values
Living the life of a banditti.

Oh, bleak Winter,
The tombstone cracks
Under the very pressure
Of a single snowflake's track.

2012 Roger Allen Baut

"To every life a light that shines,
To every heart a beat that's true."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Shorty Awards

[Stock Image: Laurel Wreath]

I have not actually blogged an article in some time, but on the morning of February 18th, about 3:30 a.m., I woke up with the Shorty Awards on my mind, and knew that I needed to write something about them.So, for all of you who may, or may not know, this was my second outing with the Shortys, and they really weren’t something I had planned on doing this year. I'm not quite sure what changed my mind, but most likely it was the freshness of Natasha Head, her nomination, unfailing support and encouragement, that really got me involved with the 2012 Shortys.

It was actually quite enjoyable to be a part of Natasha’s first experience with them, as well as, the New World Creative Union (NWCU), an impartial place for artists and artisans to come together and share their work, and be of mutual benefit to one another. If you don't know Natasha, you need to check out her site, The Tashtoo Parlour at http://www.tashtoo.com/ and the NWCU blog at
http://newworldcreativeunion.blogspot.com/2012/02/natasha-head-tashtoo.html where she is an NWCU coordinator. She's definately a 'one of a kind' human being, out there making a difference for people and our world!

Suffice it to say, I once again found, and refound, a very good group of people to interact with during the Shortys. Some of these people were from last year, while others were new to me this year. One of the bright spots of the Shortys, for me at least, was the positive interaction that one gets with those thoughtful people, who take the time to nominate someone for the work they are doing. I think this interaction is an important aspect of the Shortys, as well as being nominated for one's work.

A lot of people, however, see the Shorty Awards as a 'popularity' contest, but of course from my perspective I don't, and I hope that is the case for a lot of people. I also hope that after reading this article, more people will perceive the Shortys as I do.

How do I perceive them? Well, I see the Shortys as a recognition for the 'work' that someone does, or the work someone is doing, and not the person. The person is merely the vehicle through which their 'work' or 'art' or 'whatever' comes into this world, whether it is painting, writing, poetry, photography, journalism, humanitarian efforts, or whatever.

However, if one looks through the various categories, and reads a few of the nominations, one can see there are many nominations, that could be seen, and read, as a 'popularity' contest, such as, "because @____ asked me to ;)," "because...he looks like Matt Damon.," or "because...i got told to lol." I guess, if there were only a few of those types of nominations, the Shortys might not be thought of as a 'popularity' contest, but if one looks closely, there are a lot more, than a just a few.

There's also the aspect of ‘questionable’ nominations, for there are some nominees who don't seem to quite fit into a given category. It almost seems that sometimes nominees are thrown in a category, where people think they might easily take the 1st place position and win. What many people don't realize is that it doesn't matter if a nominee is in 1st or 6th place, the first six positions are actually the 'finalists,' from which the winner is chosen.

Someone mentioned to me the other day, that the Shortys gave that person, "...a better understanding of who my 'friends' really are," and I agree with that 100%. The word 'friend' is used very casually these days, and most people are really more 'acquaintances' than 'friends.'What is a friend? A friend may be defined as: 1. A person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. 2. A person who gives assistance to another, or 3. A person who is on good terms with another.

So, would a friend 'ignore' a request for 'support,' if it could easily be given? Would a friend say, "Sure, I'll help you out," then not do it, and perhaps 'disappear' for a while? Or, come up with the 'usual' lame response of, "Oh, sorry, I forgot?" Yes, indeed, one can really find out who one's real friends are, especially, during something like the Shortys. Many 'real' friends just go ahead, and do something positive for another person when they see it, and don’t need to be asked. Like a "random act of kindness," (RAOK).

Interestingly, I used to see more people promoting a RAOK than I do now.
Finally, for some odd reason, ethics came into my mind. Ethics may be defined as, "...the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group ...a guiding philosophy..." Unfortunately, we seem almost bereft of ethics and principles in today's society, where the old adage, "Do onto others, as you would have them do unto you," seems to almost to come from some 'mythical' time and place.

Many "...do onto others," alright! Pretending to be friends to get their 'egos' fed, and run away until they need another 'ego' fix. We live in a time where many people are 'self-absorbed,' 'emotionally vacant,' materialistic, and greedy. "Hoorah, for me, and to hell with you!" We all know them, and some of them are reading this right now! This is not to negate, however, the fact, that there still remains a lot of good, decent people in the world. Osho says, “99.9% of the people living on the planet are either asleep or drunk,” which is a lot, but, there’s still that .1% of 7B people out there ‘making a difference.’

Yes, the Shorty Awards are really an excellent opportunity to look at society and people as a ‘microcosm,’ under the microscope, to see what may be seen. To see the considerate, and not so considerate folk. To see the sincere and not so sincere. To see the genuine and not so genuine. To see the friends and fake friends. And, to learn to know the difference.

Needless, to say, I think it would be a really good thing for the Shortys to refine their process a bit, such as making sure people who are nominated for a ‘category,’ actually belong in that category from the beginning. Let a vote count even if it doesn’t have a ‘qualifying’ reason after the “Because…” Requiring a ‘reason,’ oftentimes results in some pretty sad ‘reasons,’ as we have seen. Let people know emphatically, that ReTweets, are either acceptable or not. If the Shorty is to be the equivalent of some of the ‘other’ awards that are given to the public, it needs to develop a clearer level of standards. So, let's hope as we move into the future, this will happen, and I do remember this is only the 4th Shorty Award competition, and there's room to grow!

2012 Roger Allen Baut

"I put my trust in you...but In the end,
it really doesn't matter!" Linkin Park