George Murray / Poet, Word-Lover / and Father.

My latest labor-of-love project – a blog about my father, his poetry, and his other words…

George Murray, Poet

Thanks for stopping by!  This blog is about my dad, and his love of words.

George Murray / poet, word-lover / and father.

He left us in February 2010, but his words, typed and written, live on…

Please come back often, as we post his work, published and unpublished, public and personal, in the days ahead.  Oh, and be sure to Follow, Like, and Subscribe to George Murray, Poet…

We hope you enjoy the words and wordplay of George Murray, on this site!

  – Russ Murray, on behalf of my other two siblings (grown children), and the many grandchildren, etc., of George Murray, Poet…

P.S. Some of you may realize the title of this post is a 3-5-3 haiku (senryu, actually), which I wrote, mindful of my father and all his wordy lessons…that’s why I have a poetry blog of my own at haikumages.com focusing on the short, micro-poetry of haiku & senryu, but inspired by him…

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If a man like wine / gets better as he ages / I’m now drinkable.

My words for today…from my haiku poetry blog…

haikumages

If a man like wine / gets better as he ages / I'm now drinkable. | haikumages

Twoku: Birth day observance / anniversary of when / we were delivered.

– the Haikook –

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Inspiration from Mr. Einstein…again!

I got an email this morning (a common occurrence), but this particular one was a sales/business-oriented, inspirational-type of email (actually, I get a lot of those too).  It wasn’t very good or inspiring, but the snippet of a quote from Albert Einstein they included in the email was wonderful.

Reading and enjoying the mini-quote, I knew (I’m intuitive about these things) it was out of context, and only part of what Mr. Einstein had said at the time, so I searched for the rest of it.  Yep, as expected, the rest of the quote was great, and truly inspirational…worthy of contemplation, interpretation, and application in our lives.  I present it here for you, as inspiration and affirmation, first in text (so the search engines can find it), and then in a graphic I cleverly created using the font “Albertus” which I thought was apropos and fitting…  🙂

~ Russ Murray

——————————–

“Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

~ Albert Einstein

Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. Albert Einstein

 

Celebrate the moms! / children, fathers, husbands say / thanks for mothering.

Science of Happiness? The Secret is Expressing Gratitude!

I found this video on www.UPWORTHY.com – a digest of the best, most inspiring, important and/or interesting news bits, posts, and articles online.  A man named Rafael Casal made the post and commented briefly about the video, which was originally created by “Soul Pancake”, and like Rafael, I got choked up watching it.

This video and its topic have particular significance for me, because I am seen/known as a hyper-optimist, a life-long, dyed-in-the-wool HAPPY guy, who always has a smile on his face!  But, I am NOT always happy – trust me!  So I watched it to see if it really contained the secret to my happiness (and yours)…  It was GREAT!!

So, regardless of your mood or perspective on “happiness” and/or your current location or situation…you need to watch this video as a “feel good” bit of quasi-science, which will (most likely) make you teary-eyed, and is totally worth it.  You will be glad you did, and perhaps inspired to call up someone special and express your gratitude to them…

Cheers!

 – Russ Murray

Books are Friends that Never Leave…

Taking in strays?  Books?  Looking around you, suddenly, you realize you’ve been taking in and collecting stray books, filling your shelves, boxes, corners, attics, nooks, and crannies…only to find yourself overwhelmed!  Collecting books can easily go from an interest, to an addiction, especially if you were raised in a house full of books (as I was), where language was loved, and words (the correct ones of course!) were more important than any thing else…

And this taking in of strays, and collecting books still goes on, despite the rise of Internet publishing, social media and e-Books!  In fact, it may be that the internet and e-Book revolution has put even MORE stray books on the street, as people eschew their bookish lifestyles, give up all or most of their collections for adoption by libraries (already overwhelmed by taking in too many strays!) , and even leave their books in unmarked brown paper bags in the trash or on the stoops and porches of those who may still love and collect stray books…

In the spirit of word-worship, ink-on-paper-loving, and book-collecting-to-the-point-of-being-a-fetish, I found this “Stray Books” cartoon by Grant Snider of Incidental Comics posted on Mashable.com, and had to re-post it with comments, and share it with you…

straybooks-mashable

Direct link to the Mashable article/post: http://mashable.com/2013/04/02/stray-books-comic/

So…be careful of taking in too many strays!  See you at the library?  🙂

 – Russ Murray

Our Future Will Be Brighter Than You Think, but…

There’s always a “but” isn’t there?  But…in this case, it’s not a terrible “BUT”, but rather it’s more of a clarification and refinement of what is being predicted for our future… Predicted by whom, you ask?  And who dares to predict a brighter future, despite all evidence to the contrary?

a bright future - sunset - russ murray - remages

Well, this time I am “news-jacking” and commenting about a recent article posted on www.LinkedIn.com, written by noted thinker and writer Vivek Wadwha.  The headline of the article/post finishes by stating, “…but more Disruptive.”   A brighter, but more disruptive future is ahead?  Sounds like a future I can live with! Tell me more, so I can prepare for the disruptiveness! Click here for the full article post on LinkedIn…

The LinkedIn/Vivek Wadhwa article was posted a week after another, similarly disruptive, positive, solution-oriented, glimpse-of-a-possible-brighter-future video post I saw on www.Mashable.com, which presented and commented on a stunning, fantastic, upsetting-and-re-setting-the-applecart type of talk (video on TED) given by noted scientist (climatologist) Allan Savory.  In that one, a brilliant, but chagrined, Mr. Savory offers up a 180-degree reversal of his own, previous scientific views, to offer up a solution to reverse climate change, halt and even reverse desertification of our planet, restore agriculture, and promote healthy livestock roaming in herds again–all by mimicking nature–a disruptive view indeed!!  Click here for the full article post on Mashable… TED-Allan-Savory-Vid-Screenshot

Click the video screenshot above, or here, to go directly to the video on TED…

My thinking, feeling, and purpose in posting about these predictions about our future is simple – I am a lifelong, dedicated, sworn optimist (ask any of my friends and colleagues!), but in recent years have struggled to come up with my own, believable prediction of a bright future.  From the slings and arrows of life’s realities (yes, I’m mixing metaphors!), including the steep, undeniable increase in devastating, climate-related, natural disasters over the past decade, it is no longer possible to blindly believe in a bright future.  From time-to-time, hope needs a little re-fueling by reality, tangible proof, and possibilities!

These two separate posts (articles, videos, etc.), and the clever people behind them, present viable, positive views of our future on this planet–based on hard facts, and great ideas being already implemented–worthy of our attention, and even HOPE for our future!!  I was in need of some good news and possibilities, to re-fuel my hope and optimism…done!  I am re-fueled…  Maybe you could use a little of the same, reality-based hope and optimism, and if so, click the links, read, view and be hopeful!

To pull it all together…I want to point out that there is ONE underlying theme in both article/posts–something in which I believe 100%–that NEW, DIVERGENT, DISRUPTIVE thinking is what will allow us to envision, create and build a bright future.  Disruptive thinking IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW; it is good, and real, and it is replenishing my supply of hope and optimism.  As Vivek Wadhwa (and others) have said, the rate of discovery and advances in science/technology is accelerating, and will continue to do so.  If this were not true, we could not hope for, contemplate, or create a brighter future! Luckily, fortunately, the old adage, “necessity is the mother of invention” is being proven once again–brilliantly!!!  It is the primordial, archetypal, human “survival instinct” re-packaged, and re-purposed, with almost daily updates, new discoveries, new ways to look at old problems and newer ones too, while preparing for the problems we do not yet know about…

I’m feeling pretty hopeful these days–not daft enough to think it will be easy, without challenges, or that I don’t have to make my own personal effort to realize it–that a bright future is possible… Looking forward to seeing you in a brighter future…  🙂

 – Russ Murray

PHOTO CREDITS:

1. The “sunset/halo through the grass” image (reminiscent of the on in the article on LinkedIn) is mine, copyright Russ Murray / REMAGES, www.remages.com and www.REMAG.ES 2013.

2. The other image is a screenshot from a TED Talk video, as was used to illustrate the article on Mashable.com, presented here as news/commentary only, with all rights belonging to and retained by its copyright holders.

OverHerd+OverScene is here!

Overheard Overseen

OverHerd+OverScene is here!

Little bit of a tongue-twister? You can call it Overheard-Overseen or “OHOS” for short, if you prefer.

OHOS is a project of mine, showcasing my own street photography, as well as providing a forum, community for sharing stories – newsy, entertaining, inspiring, frightening – words, images, videos!

As I say on the OHOS site, it’s all about “Things heard over the herd, and scenes we’ve seen…” My images and stories, and yours too!

Check out the OHOS blog and website at http://overherdoverscene.com

Submit your OHOS stories to: submit@overherdoverscene.com

Ask questions about OHOS by emailing: info@ohos.info

– Russ Murray

Flip lever / fill oval, make choice / feel power.

haikumages

Scary election / negative and rancorous / coming to a close.

Twoku: Election / choices, reflections / selections.

Threeku: Election battles / ending at last, decisions / a sigh of relief.

 – The Haikook

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This Page Intentionally Left Blank

I have always marveled at receiving official-type snail-mail from various companies and government agencies, which contained not only the important, printed page(s) which were the reason for the piece of mail, but also one or more blank, empty, extra (usually white), envelope-filler pages with nothing on them. Even more marvelous, these printed and blank pages were accompanied by one or more pages stating, “This Page Intentionally Left Blank” to be sure I was not confused!

Of course, I was immediately and completely confused, each time I discovered one of these intentionally blank pages, with their ominous warning, which rendered each page on which it was printed, somewhat less-than-blank. But I was also amused and intrigued — I had to understand WHY these not-so-blank warning pages were printed and sent — for what intent or purpose? I began to search for answers…

Anyone who has attempted stealth by mail (innocently or otherwise) knows that plain, blank paper is not effective at masking text to ensure privacy of a message (or check) inside the envelope. Common knowledge, right? Obviously, that’s why “security” envelopes have patterns printed inside. So I asked around, but as I asked around, nobody had an answer for me, even at my bank, the most prolific sender of blank pages. However, I did get a lot of blank stares, which seemed to say,

“Is it not obvious why they exist?”

Nope, not obvious to me. But with this unspoken, zen-like question lingering in my mind, I wrote a haiku about the mysterious pages:

The page today / is left intentionally blank / a negative space.

You can see the haiku blog post with its accompanying photograph of a “blank page” at: http://haikumages.com/2012/05/30/the-page-today-is-left-intentionally-blank-a-negative-space/

The concept of “negative space” comes from art class: it refers to the unused, untouched, unpainted, blank area of the canvas or paper on which you create a work of art. Logically, we can assume the area where you draw or paint can be referred to as the “positive space”, though I never heard anyone call it that. My best art teachers were consistent in telling me to consider the negative space as part of any artwork’s composition, affecting its message, meaning, and the feeling(s) provoked by the artwork. The same approach can be (and is) applied to graphic design, or a well laid-out page of correspondence.

Can we conclude that the senders of blank pages, are sending us messages in the form of negative space? Are there subliminal messages written in invisible ink? Is there some dark purpose to these unseen messages, which is entering our subconsciousness secretly, compelling us to change our behavior?

My best guess is that this blank page mystery has its roots in the printing, numbering and binding of legal and business documents, tracing back to the early days of computers. Maybe it goes further back to book-binding and layout, with chapters always beginning on the odd or even page, or on the right-hand side, leaving a blank page on the left. And, whatever the source of the “blank pages” may be, I guess the warning message “This Page Intentionally Left Blank” was spawned by the automation of printing and mailing of multi-page documents, which resulted in one or more blanks per mailing, requiring an official explanation…

So, over the years, I have watched these strange, inexplicably, partially and/or intentionally empty pages go by, and placed them in the recycling bin with a sigh…as a few more trees were killed unnecessarily, to prevent (unsuccessfully) my confusion.

Update:

I originally wrote and blog posted a while back about the “blank pages” without searching online for answers — just asking around. However, as I prepared to publish this silly, updated diatribe about them, I decided to hit the search engines with phrases like, “why the blank page” and “this page intentionally left blank” to see what is out there. I was promptly rewarded, and deeply gratified to find that I was not alone in wondering why they exist!

Here are links to some of what I found — just my three favorites — which are odd and/or amusing! I offer these links here for your enjoyment, and education, if reading this post has not already sucked up what little free time you had available today:

Wikipedia: naturally they had an article about blank pages, and it seems my best guesses were pretty much on target (there were several, similar Ask, Yahoo, and other FAQ site posts on the topic)…

Writer: this post was from an author’s perspective — a guy like me, contemplating the “blank page” and why it might be left “intentionally blank” sometimes — from writer’s block, Zen ideation, or just waste…

Organization — offering a quiet place on the web? This one had me truly laughing out loud, especially with their home page as a BLANK PAGE with the message, “This Page Intentionally Left Blank”…

I guess my quest for answers about blank pages, especially those with warnings about blankness printed on them, is somewhat of a waste-of-time, and a fool’s errand. Well, I’m apparently not the only fool who has been on this errand, with many other fools like me having written about it as well! And — admit it — you have probably wondered why blank pages exist, perhaps smirked in disbelief, or shaken your head incredulously at receiving a page with the “This Page Intentionally Left Blank” message printed on it. I guess we are not so different; we are all human, and we wonder about the strange things around us, like blank pages…

— Russ Murray

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