Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poker Face

"He scanned the group full of people with his dark eyes, potraying an emotionless and almost hardened expression on his face. His emotions, contrary to what he was manisfesting physically, were going haywire; yet he dared not show them. His mind was racing, and his heart whammed against his insides like a hammer, the force making it difficult for him to stand completely still. People were staring at him, glaring at him, leering at him. He could reveal none of  his inner thoughts or feelings. He didn't dare let them escape from his soul. He had to leave that poker face painted exactly the way it was when he had first put it on. His survival relied on it."

Ok, so the photo of the clover flowers which I took in DC a month ago has NOTHING to do with today's post. Nothing whatsoever. And no, the little blurb of drama above doesn't come from any of my written works in progress. It's based off of several different characters within those projects, though. Several of my charries have been in the guy above's shoes. Some are in this scenerio quite often and painting on a poker face is just a part of their everyday routine.

The poker face. One of the best expressions you can use when you are trying to appear enigmatic, fearless or inconspicuous. Or all the above. Maybe you want to hide your fear or concern for the good of those younger siblings of yours who might be worried or confused if they saw you crying or wide eyed in terror. Maybe you have potential enemies surrounding you at every angle as you walk down a crowded city sidewalk. You must appear low-key, unassuming, unobtrusive. You walk with your eyes staring blankly ahead of you, ignoring the eyes which may be watching you that very minute. If they knew who you were...things could get very bad, very quick. You must appear very unremarkable.  

Or perhaps you are leading your little siblings through the wilderness, trying to escape from a Communistic governement which would imprison you for your beliefs. You don't dare show any fear in your eyes lest the littles see, which they certainly need not. They're already scared enough as it is; they need you to be strong when they are not. So you dare not let them down. You put on a poker face.

There are many cases and instances when this expression comes in handy for less serious, dire reasons.
Most of us aren't being chased through jungles and sneaking through NYC on a mission of utmost importance.

We do however face challenges and struggles daily which either make or break us. Maybe you give your brother a compliment and he snaps back angrily at you for something you thought he'd long forgot about. Maybe you thought you finished washing all those dirty dishes and you turn around to find a whole counter-full more of them behind you.

Little things which irk, frustrate and annoy. These can be the hardest times for putting on a poker face or, even better, smiling and keeping a cheery countenance, which is what we as Christ-followers SHOULD be doing.

Sometimes a poker face is necessary, and many times it would be far better for us to simply paint one on instead of letting our true emotions flow out upon those around us. While it can be a good thing to allow yourself to be transparent, especially with immediate family and very close friends, there's also a very valid need for poker faces, too, in the proper times.

One danger which has wrecked, destroyed and even killed, in some extreme instances? Saying too much. Showing too much.

There's a time and a season for everything.

Back to using poker faces in writing, I admire my characters which are constantly utilizing the expression. Or, more fitly. I respect them. They are not squishy sissies who babble goofiness and wear stupid looks on their faces. Although some of them are hardened, jaded and skeptical of most everything, they do not speak idle words and they watch and calculate every move they make because their utter survival depends on doing so. Amidst their brokenness or rough pasts, they have learned to control their tongues and guard their lips.

That is not an easy thing to do. And even though it would be very nice to see them smile once in a while, I still respect them because they posess quite a deal of discipline. Not everybody does and it's a hard thing to aquire.

Well, there's your very random post on poker faces. Whether or not it will be beneficial to you? I don't know. But I hope it will be. :)



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hammered Dulcimer Addictions + Everyday Blessings

My most recent sketch, which I titled "Classical."

Did I ever tell y'alls how much I am suddenly addicted to bluegrass? Did I ever mention how recently I came to be utterly obsessed with hammered dulcimers?

Here is one of the hammered dulcimer performances I am currently addicted to. It all started a couple days ago when a friend from church gave us some CDs of hammered dulcimer music. Oh.my.gosh. Can somebody say heavenly?!?!

I am thoroughly infatuated with the instrument now. If ANYBODY knows of a good one for sale...I needn't say more. *wink* Let's just say I will be forever in your gratitude if you happen to have one you wouldn't mind parting with. ;)

Besides that being my most recent obsession? Today was an awesome day. Really, it was. It was one of the most productive days I have had in a little while now.

 | Got schoolwork done that was lonngggggg overdue. | Kept chores and meal-making under control. | Started teaching my 2nd youngest brother to play guitar. | Worked in the 2nd garden plot behond the house which is a desolate patch of dirt right now than anything else. It USED to be lush, rich soil. But after months of neglect, that changed. |  Got to have lovely chats on the phone with some dear friends who live out of state and I haven't had the chance to talk with for AGES. | Got to fool around a bit on the piano! I'm not going to say I 'practiced' because I don't think the time I spent is worthy of that title. It was mainy just working on some of my own compositions and fooling around with creating some random new melodies. I get so sidetracked when I am playing the piano. One moment, I'll be working on a specific piece and the next I'm fiddling up some tune entirely different and of its own. | I continue to thrive on my insanity. | God is SOOOOOO good to me. I am soooo thankful to Him for all that He has done for me. <3

So. Today was a fabulous day. I forgot to mention, we have a new dog. His name? Diesel. Yes, Diesel. Hey, it wasn't my idea. :P He is who he is.

And I got to do another sketch at dinner. Hope y'all like it!