Author Krista Tibbs

Archive for the ‘Being Human’ Category

When I Wish You Merry Christmas

In Being Human, Original Fiction, Spirit on November 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm

WhenIWishYouMerryChristmasBlue2

When I wish you Merry Christmas
I’m remembering all the love
That I’ve been blessed with through the years—
from here on earth or up above.

I wish you joy and hope and peace
and all that swells your soul
And that you’ll recognize your blessings, too
and feel you’ve been made whole.

I wish you Merry Christmas
from the memories of my youth;
I hope you will be heartened
by a special memory, too.

I wish you silent moments
like a walk through falling snow
Or light that bathes your whole hometown
and warms you in its glow.

I wish your spirit to find purpose,
and if purpose has been found,
Then I hope you’ll find a voice
that spreads your gifts to all around.

May your focus always land
on what brings cheer into your heart
And look past the petty other things
that dampen your true spark.

I hope you’ll find a home
where you forever will belong
Where any broken places in you
will be healed and come back strong.

But if your strength has all been drained this year
or nothing feels like home
I wish renewal through your winter.
Please know you’re not alone.

I pray that you’ll believe
in something greater than this life
And feel the peace of knowing
there is solace past the strife.

I wish your soul much deeper
than just happy holidays
So when I wish you Merry Christmas
this is all I mean to say.

© Krista Tibbs
Author of The Neurology of Angels

Book Videos: Uncertainty Principles and The Neurology of Angels

In Being Human, Original Fiction, Politics & Government, Science, Spirit on November 21, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Second-hand Grief

In Being Human on November 26, 2013 at 1:49 am

Although I only put the thoughts below on paper this October, I began to think them 20 years ago this Thanksgiving. It seems that every year since has accumulated another gray event upon this holiday, yet no matter who it is, I still don’t know how and when to say I care. So, more often than not, I say nothing.

I hurt for you, but can I say so? Maybe you don’t want to be reminded. Then again, maybe you do.

Every time you cross my mind, the pain crosses with it. We never talked about things like this, but now, how can we talk about anything else?

What do you want people to say? To do? Is it different every day? Do you even know?

Do you think about it all the time? Are you doing okay? Are you tired of being asked? Or does it help to hear that people care?

You can count on me, but I’m fumbling. So please just know: I’m thinking of you. I’m thinking of you. I’m thinking of you.

Soundtrack for “Uncertainty Principles” Featuring Werner Heisenberg

In Being Human, Light Menu on April 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm
The songs in the following imaginary soundtrack were chosen by the characters in Uncertainty Principles. The choices were  in no way unanimous — except for the bonus track, “Heisenberg Sings”, which is not to be missed.

Track 1. “Dare to Believe” by Boyce Avenue

“Don’t keep holding out while the innocent die.”

 
Track 2. “Closer to Fine” by Indigo Girls

“The less I seek my source, the closer I am to fine.”

 
Track 3. “Invisible” by Jason Chen

“Let’s save each other from this cold world.”

 
Track 4. “No Matter What” by Jennah Bell

“Always know me as the north, and you’ll always know you’re home.”

 
Track 5.  “Sweet Sacrifice” by Evanescence

“Fear is only in our minds, but it’s taking over all the time.”

 
BONUS TRACK: “Heisenberg Sings” by Werner Heisenberg (via Larissa Walkiw)

“I got physics in my brain and I ain’t afraid to show it.”

Grocery Shopping on the Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

In Being Human, Commentary on November 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Normally I consider grocery shopping to be a chore, but I actually enjoy going on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Sure, I like the festivity in the air, but I also like to watch the clientele. Solid core cooks have already bought most of their supplies before the big day, so on that Wednesday afternoon, a lot of what you see are men and teenagers wandering around with lists.

The teenagers and younger men are usually on a critical mission for supplies that the cooks assumed they had plenty of but didn’t: like the vanilla that always runs out at the worst possible moment or a can of pineapple, which will be listed next to the word chunks in big letters, because you can’t make a fruit salad with pineapple mush. These men take their time standing in the aisle staring at the shelves, partly to make sure they get the right thing so they’ll score the full set of points for the errand, but mostly because they’re in no rush to get back to the den of crazy and whatever other chores await them.

The older men go up and down every aisle, marveling at all that’s changed since they were last in a grocery store, this time a year ago. They’re usually looking for something obscure: for example, today a man picked up a jar of mincemeat and read the label, then read the list, then read the label again, then muttered to himself, “But there’s no meat in that.” The wives of these poor men just made up a vital need to get them out of the kitchen. The beauty of the wild mincemeat chase is that these men can be counted on never to ask anyone for help, providing a good hour of peaceful cooking time before he returns.

The holiday patrons also include the occasional couple who had decided to forgo Thanksgiving because their kids were off to college and not coming home until Christmas this year, but decided at the last minute to enjoy a dinner for two. Each thing they pick up is accompanied by a tale: Oh, potatoes, Katie always mashes the potatoes. Or, remember the time when Johnny dumped cranberry sauce all over your mother’s Irish linen?

Going through the check-out line is nice on this day, because people are all wishing each other “Happy Thanksgiving”, and no one has to worry about whether they’re saying the right thing or if they should have wished a “Merry Meal-sharing” instead. Even people who try to make the holiday into an opportunity for enlightenment have a hard time getting offended by a hearty “Happy Thanksgiving!”. Because on this day, anyone can give thanks about anything and to whomever or whatever they wish.

This Wednesday afternoon is also the time when the last of the donation bins are picked up to go wherever the massive volunteer meals will be cooked on Thursday. I offered my time to every mobile meal service and charitable dinner venue in my new home city and was told that they are all full up with volunteers. So I’m thankful this year that there are plenty of people who not only think of those less fortunate during their holiday, but also choose to spend a couple of dollars and a couple of hours doing something about it.

Things I Want My Niece to Know/Be/Do

In Being Human, Commentary, Light Menu on October 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

© kjraff11 – Fotolia.com


There are some things we figure out the hard way, and maybe that’s what makes them meaningful. But if there is ever a chance for me to spare my niece some tears on her way to a full and happy life, then I will offer these bits of advice:

1) Push through the difficulties of learning, because there is a great joy of accomplishment and internal reward on the other side.

2) Whenever you feel the wind, believe in the power you can’t see.

3) Understand that a stranger’s meanness has more to do with herself than with you, even though it seems personal.

4) Look for the goodness and intelligence and strength in everyone you know, but forgive them when they fail. Especially your friends. And yourself.

5) Realize that friends sometimes fill the parts of us we wish we could be but aren’t. That’s a recipe for jealousy; don’t let it spoil what matters.

6) Get close to other people but don’t rely on them for your happiness. When you figure that out, teach me.

7) Never doubt that your parents love you even when they don’t answer your pleas of the moment. The same is true of God.

8) Know your own soul that follows you all the way through your life. At the same time be willing to change and experience new things and grow.

9) You feel how you feel. Acknowledge it, but don’t dwell in it. And don’t let anyone stifle your sensitivity; it is a beautiful part of who you are.

10) Learn a ballroom dance.

Watching Baseball

In Being Human, Commentary, Light Menu on October 11, 2012 at 2:39 am
I like to watch baseball, especially the post-season, for the suspense, of course, but also to see grown men with the excitement of little boys. It never fails to make me smile. Even in professional baseball, with the many millions of dollars in talent who have worked hundreds and hundreds of games, all the players–even the arrogant ones who say it’s just about the money–come to the edge of the dugout and shoot their arms in the air while they shout.

I once watched a rookie get three two-run homers in Game 7 of the division series, and he tried not to smile as he ran the bases, keeping his jaw slack so as not to grin. But he couldn’t withhold it as he landed home and his teammates crowded around to hug him. Full-on hugs and then some to that same rookie they like to pick on. The team warms my heart.

I like to remember the 2007 Rockies when they made it to the World Series. Those grown men leaping tree feet in the air, piling on top of each other with giddiness. And what Red Sox fan can forget Game 4 of the 2004 World Series? The pitcher catches the ball, there is one last out to win the game and the series of a generation; all he has to do is toss it to first base. He hesitates with the realization of what is about to happen, runs toward first base as though he’s going to make the out himself, then finally tosses it underhand ever so carefully, all the teammates making sure it is firmly caught and the out is called before the mad celebration begins.

Such moments conjure pictures of these men as they must have been after a Little League game, that joy of play, the thrill of accomplishment, the chance of a lifetime. How many professionals get that level of excitement? (Not many that I know, unless they’re just leaping on the inside.)

Why does it make me smile? I guess anything that makes grown-ups feel eager like children has my vote. We could use a lot more of it.

And now, a recap of that 2004 moment, for all the Red Sox fans (I dare you not to smile):

Ray Bradbury, Bullying in Politics, and the Potential Kindness of Kids

In Being Human, Commentary, Integrity & Freedom on June 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I read today that Ray Bradbury died. He was 91, so I suppose it wasn’t a surprise, but it is always sad when a light of insight is extinguished.

I remember the story “All Summer in a Day” that we read in junior high school. I have probably mentioned it before, but only because it twists my heart whenever I think of it. It was essentially about bullying, and maybe that’s why the teacher chose it, although I don’t remember any aha’s at the time. Kids already know other kids can be cruel. It was true in 1954 when the story was written, and it is true today.

The means of spreading cruelty are different, and faster, and other writers have explored these phenomena more deeply than I. All I want to say is that kids don’t come pre-wired. There are ringleaders, and maybe they have stronger propensities, but ganging up can’t happen without followers, and followers usually walk the best paved path. The way I see it, the path to cruelty is paved by adults. They bait and anger each other online, they gossip and form cliques even in church, and they bully each other in politics. I mean, what greater ringleader is there than a President himself when he uses ridicule to belittle his opponents?

But kids can just as easily follow kindness, especially when the leader is one of their own. I saw this demonstrated in the following video this week. Sure, kids can be cruel, but they can also try pretty hard to be great.

“I think the sun is a flower, that blooms for just one hour.” – All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury

The Flip Side of Stability and the Seasons

In Being Human, Commentary, Original Fiction on February 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm

There is a common saying in New England and East Tennessee: If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute. That serves as a good analogy for this week, which started with an old story lying in the graveyard and ended with a new story winning a contest.

Offer anyone in New England or East Tennessee a trip to Hawaii in February, and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who turns you down. From what my dad has told me about Hawaii, the weather is in the 70s year round and although it rains a little every day, there is also sunshine every day. It is almost the epitome of stability, or at least equilibrium.

But stability has two sides. In Hawaii, you don’t get the dreary depths of winter but you also don’t get the renewal of spring. So I would like to visit Hawaii, but I’m not sure I’d want to live there.

My everyday life would probably be easier with a little more stability and routine. For example, I wandered around three levels of the parking garage yesterday because I couldn’t remember where I parked my car. I don’t park in the same spot every day at work, mostly because I don’t arrive at the same time every day, mostly because I don’t leave the house at the same time every day, mostly because I don’t do the same things every morning or go to bed at the same time every night. I could go on and on about how haphazard my daily life is.

But, if it were not so, I would not have been able to take half a day on a whim to write a story and enter a contest last Saturday, and I probably would have smiled a little less this week. If I lived in Hawaii, I would not be anticipating a possible snow day in the middle of next week. How many inner children are stirred by those two little words?

In contemplating the difference from Saturday to Friday, Maine to Hawaii, and snow days to spring, there is one conclusion I’ve reached that is true at least for me:
Variability is the root of hope.

The Story Graveyard

In Being Human, Commentary, Original Fiction on January 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm
The crickets were chirping after last week’s post, so I’m sending it to the story graveyard.
This graveyard is not a sad place, though; it’s a release. I have files upon files of unfinished stories — some are just a title and one is 53,000 words — and I feel guilty that I can’t spend time to develop them all.

I suppose they are like relationships. Many just petered out or lost direction. Others I worked on intensely for a while and then had to take a break. There are a few that I’m happy to see again every time, even though we always drift apart. Some I have put away and never gave another thought.

The hardest thing for me is to know when to let go. After I’ve invested so much time and heart trying to cultivate something, it seems a waste to give up on it. And those that are just a title — those that I never got to know, never fought with or tore up or cried over — they still have beautiful potential. I am a sucker for potential.

I spent at least 2,000 hours on my first book. That is the biggest commitment I’ve ever made in my life. But now that I know what it takes, it’s paralyzing to think about doing it again. So I keep hopping from story to story, looking for the one I want more than anything else, that is worth the time and the sacrifice and the commitment. I haven’t yet found the persistent passion that I had for the first book, but then I wonder, is a mature relationship entered with forethought ever as naively all-consuming as a first love?

Meanwhile I find myself going back to that story that has been percolating for years, building on those 53,000 words, just not quite ready to admit that it is The One.

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