September 1, 2008

Defining Moments

Geoffrey PhilpWhat was supposed to be a restful, month-long vacation turned out to be one of the most hectic periods of my life.

Besides the repairs to my house (long overdue) which meant I was out of my comfortable bed, the month began with the possibility of my blog being deleted. The thought that two years work could be gone—poof! into a cyber black hole made me think about my commitment to this medium.

Then, Fay tumbled into Florida, and one of my favorite aunts (I just saw her last November!) made her transition. Coupled also with the passing of the artist, Christopher Gonzalez, with whom I always felt a strange affinity, it was time to take stock of everything.

All of these events made August one of those extended defining periods.

This strange, wonderful, frightening, ephemeral life (and cyber life).

It could all be gone in the twinkling of an eye.

So, what’s a writer to do?

I’ve decided to live my life like those dancers whom I’ve always admired—their ability to fling their bodies through time and space without any consideration of ideas such as immortality or being remembered after they have died.

Writers can be so pompous…

Still, I’ll mark the milestones in my life and cyber life, but perhaps not with the frenzy that accompanied their approach.

And just when I was about to go into a serious funk, my sister, Judith, and my niece, Aleisha, came down from Orlando and we had a rollicking good, kick-off your shoes and dance party for my sister-in-law, who will be leaving for India next week.

They reminded me that I should continue to do the things that I love to do and to spend as much time with those whom I love.

It’s really the only way to live.



Anonymous said...

Hi Geoffrey!

There once was a time when I would have been quite shaken if something were to happen to my blog.

Nowadays I regard it much the same way as the news stories I write and report every day.

I put a lot of time and effort into my stories. They run once or twice that day on the radio, I post them on the net and then they are gone. Whether or not they "live on" is cyberspace no longer matters. There are hundreds of mine out there, and hundreds of millions of others created by other people. (Wow - where the heck are we storing all this stuff?)

Each day is a new day. Start fresh and don't look back.

Peaceful Blessings,

Geoffrey Philp said...

Dear Dave,

Give thanks for this. Yeah, when you grow up trying to write LITERATURE, the notion of disposable writing is difficult to wrap your mind around.

As it is, blogging has forced me to accept the freedom and the terror of starting fresh every day.

It' so strange. When I was younger I loved to read Camus and the existentialists.

Blogging is existential writing.

Much Blessings,

Rethabile said...

Agreed, about it being the only way to live. I often wonder, too, about how volatile this medium we've adopted is.

Welcome back.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Rethabile, it's good to be back!

This medium is quite volatile, but I'm really glad it's freed and my writing form these notions of literary immortality.

I'll do what I do and what I love.

1Love, my brother!

LADY ROOTS said...

Idren Geoffrey,

Peaceful greetings from Jamaica! Giving thanks for surviving Gustav's visit.

May your Honoured Auntie live in Zion as uncompromisingly as she lived here on Earth. (In your words, not taking crap!)

Life is precious because of it's transitory nature. We, as humans, don't want to acknowledge that the world can continue to spin without us. Nothing is more healing to the soul than laughing with loved ones.

Bless Up,
Lady Roots

Geoffrey Philp said...

Greetings, Lady Roots & give thanks for the uplifting words.

Glad to know that you have survived Gustav.

Yeah, there seems to be a vibe going around. Over at the Fearless Blog, Marlene writes about an incident that happened a few years ago at our college with some Buddhist monks and sand mandalas.

I'd forgotten about that lesson.

Give thanks to you and Marlene for reminding me.


FSJL said...

All one can do, Geoffrey, is take what life dishes and keep on going until the clock runs out. In the meantime, I'm glad to see you're back online and still active.

In the immortal words of Paul Claudel, 'between the crisis and the catastrophe there is time for a glass of champagne'.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Cheers, Fragano!

clarabella said...


Good to have you back! Give thanks that Gustav didn't do you nuttin bad to you, never mind that he took plenty lives between Haiti and the Rock.

Thanks much for the "Island Woman" feature. Funny about that poem: is it a woman speaking as if she is an island, or maybe an island speaking of herself as if she's a woman? These things write you more than you write them!

If your blog vanished it would be a huge loss, Geoff! It's a resource...



Geoffrey Philp said...


Give thanks for the safety--notwithstanding, the tragedy the the Caribbean.

I love "Island Woman" as I do many other of your poems. And yes, these poems do take on a life of their own.

Blog deletion may be a loss, but I'll tell you, I'm really developing a detachment to these things. I mean when I say that the blog is my sand mandala.

Stephen A. Bess said...

Yes, blogging has become a hobby. I don't think I realized what I was getting into when I first logged in April 2005. It's a great social network. As for my friends, they are as scattered as my cyber friends. I'm blessed to have family and extended family close by. I have more than enough love coming my way. It sometimes overwhelms me and makes me giggle. It's a blessing. Peace, brother.