Maintenance: Autumn Edition is a go.

Continuing the still new trend of introducing changes to the blog with every next season, and with the astronomical Autumn being just behind the corner, I declare it is finally time to say “fare thee well, Summer, you will be missed”, and launch the Calmest Waters: Autumn Edition.

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No big changes are to be expected. Few, minor adjustments.

First of all, new background photo AND for the first time new blog description. After several months, the “When you think too much, but have no one to talk to” verse that welcomed visitors on the front page is being retired. From now on, the description will be changed with every season, just like the photo.

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Song: The Day We Left The Hills

A song whose original version was created six years ago, but which gets very relevant every year around September, and so I believe it deserved some improvements and fresh composition. Here it is:

Days are getting colder, the weather gets wetter week after week. For me, September means two things: Summer is almost over, and it’s time to switch homes. Every year the same story: after three wonderful months among the fields, lakes, woods and green hills of my Summer Home, the time has come to move back to my home-for-the-rest-of-the-year, the city.

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In defense of differences.

My second post for the Brains Unite blog. The topic: gender differences in the workplace.

I hope you enjoy reading this more than I enjoyed writing this.

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Gender differences in the workplace. To be honest, not a big fan of that topic in general. Several problems with it.

First of all, and I know this may initially make me sound like an idiot, but it needs to be said: it’s way too vague. Differences in what exactly? Wages? Employment rate? Area of employment? Workplace accidents? Which do you find interesting and/or important enough to talk about? Maybe all of them?

And here’s the second problem I have with the topic: it implies there’s something to talk about. I’m not denying that there are differences. Of course, there are. But I’m much closer to celebrating those differences than considering as something evil, wrong or harmful. Every time someone makes the point that “there are gender differences (in any of these aspects listed above) in the workplace”, the answer has to be “yeah, and?”.

If you accept the simple, obvious…

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“A lightning struck me down”.

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I was working back in the southern field,
Watching birds and sipping beer,
For once I truly felt so free,
Then a lightning struck me down.

I noticed stars soar above my head,
I saw my mother, then long dead,
I heard the man from Galilee,
When the lightning struck me down.

Warm wind tossed dust in the air,
When the lightning struck me down.
The birds fell silent here and there,
When the lightning struck me down.

My jacket’s burned, the grass turned straw,
No more crickets all around.
Am I the only one who saw
How a lightning struck me down?

I patched my wounds from the attack,
Grabbed my beer, then struggled back.
I cried and cursed my whole way home,
Since the lightning struck me down.

Not a cloud in clear blue sky,
Not a drop of rain so far,
No one there to let me know,
Why a lightning struck me down.

Am I a sinner washed in grace?
Or just stood in a wrong place?
Am I a victim of a prank?
Or laws of physics once went wrong?
Am I unlucky to burn alive?
Or should be happy – I survived!
Am I a victim poor in need?
Or was I only drunk indeed?

A poem, lyrics, call it whatever you want as usual.

May sound even weirder than the rest, but who cares at this point?

I was suddenly attacked and overwhelmed by the idea for this in a rather random moment, driving my car and humming a lovely melody that I hope to turn into another project for my Soundcloud. Wasn’t even thinking of storms at the moment.

On one hand, a sudden hit of inspiration isn’t an unfamiliar feeling for me, on the other, it’s usually for more serious posts. But this works just as well, whatever “well” actually means in that context.

Who knows, maybe I’ll add melody to it one day, but for the moment, I’m happy with the text.

As always, I hope for you to enjoy it. Let me know if you do. Or if you don’t, works too.

Wishing you all a great day!

-Calmest Waters

 

To the unknown man.

117 years and 167 days – the age of the oldest living person on the planet, Miss Violet Brown. She has seen the world evolve so much in that time. We have advanced rather dynamically and drastically, as a society, as a species, as a planet. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the world at the time of her birth was a completely different place than it is now. But not just because of the said advancement of ours. Because, and what to me is the most fascinating, 117 years and 168 days ago, the Earth was populated by an entirely different set of people. Great majority of those people are forgotten forever.

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It’s not the first time I share with you my fascination with the past in that context. I discussed similar topics here and there. But I still feel I haven’t thoroughly exhausted the subject. I’m not satisfied yet.

Being in my twenties, it’s still rather difficult for me to think about the “good old times” like, you know, the elders do. Even ten years ago I was just a kid, my understanding of the world, my goals and ambitions were completely different. From my perspective, ten years has to be a lot. In that time, people disappeared from my life and were replaced by new people met along the way. Different schools, different house, different look and taste and everything. Now granted, I went through a big, big change: from a kid into a teenager and eventually, into an adult. Quite possibly, the biggest change that naturally occurs in our lives. But still, ten years is… well, a lot. It’s almost another life.

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“Autumn winds blow chilly and cold”.

The raven arrived from the Citadel this morning, Your Grace. The Conclave has met, considered reports from maesters all over the Seven Kingdoms, and declared this great summer done at last. The longest summer in living memory.

Grand Maester Pycelle, “Game of Thrones”

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I know what you’re thinking. September has just begun, the summer won’t be over for three more weeks. That is if you are just as ignorant when it comes to the nature of seasons as I was up until recently. Anyways, yeah, you would be wrong.

September has always felt like autumn to me. Back when I was a kid, I simply associated summer with holidays, which in Poland begin in late June and end with the last day of August. And classes throughout June weren’t really classes at all, the students had their grades already secured, and teachers didn’t even bother to force us to work. It’s June, it’s summer. Except, of course, it wasn’t. Summer begins on June 21st. Imagine my surprise…

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Sailing on the Calmest Waters.

A better, longer, more enjoyable musical adaptation of what I mean by “Calmest Waters” now uploaded to my Soundcloud.

The differences, however mostly subtle, are really important to me. It’s also quite a bit longer, you could say that another “verse” was added to prolong and build upon the experience which I sincerely hope this song creates for you, as it is, I shamelessly admit, doing it for me.

Fading stream, just a quiet river,
Days are long and the nights are silver,
Silent swell of the Neptune’s daughters
Sailing on the Calmest Waters.

Leaving with the morning breeze,
Seeking shelter in the open seas,
Heart at peace and soul never faulters,
Sailing on the Calmest Waters.

Dark around, only Moon leads yonder,
Across the sea of stars I wander,
Mist hides paths, but the course won’t alter,
Sailing on the Calmest Waters.

Enjoy if you can!

-Calmest Waters

The Voyager Mission.

The Voyager Mission. Two probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, launched in 1977 to, originally, explore the outer Solar System. A scientific program, arguably marking the beginning of the golden age of space exploration. Unnamed vessels launched into the void. Probably not as “groundbreaking” as its older sibling, the Pioneer program, not as famous as its overachieving brother, the Apollo program, but at least as successful, if not more. Among the many daring and fruitful space programs, what makes this one so special?

First things first. Pioneer program, however challenging, was designed to explore our closest cosmic neighborhood. Even the most ambitious units, Pioneer 10 and 11, had the mission of exploring Jupiter and Saturn, and if possible, give us some idea of what exactly lies beyond, as the missions to Uranus and Neptune weren’t an option at the time.

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The liberty that adulthood is.

I remember one time, back in middle school, we had a school trip to the local theater for a play. We were taking a public bus to get there. It was just after ten o’clock in the morning, as we first had two full classes before the trip. So we’re riding the bus, and I noticed two men, sitting at the end of the bus. Students, as I quickly discovered, going for their classes at the local university. I heard them talking.

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The thing I found interesting, was that they seemed to be going for their very first classes that day. At ten in the morning, so they couldn’t have been starting earlier than ten thirty. And yet I, a kid just over half their age, had been up and running for hours. More than that, they were making plans about what they will be doing after they’re finished with the university for today, so apparently, after one p.m. Me? After the theater, we were supposed to go back to school and stay there until three p.m.

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One a.m.

Another “new” old track uploaded. This time, a tribute to my favourite hour in the world, 1:00 a.m., the time where my creativity, energy, motivation and overall frame of mind are at their highest.

Shadows move, with nobody watching,

The lights are going out.

Eerie, as if nothing has ever been

Hopeful and aloud.

 

Heavy air, cold, and the shudder,

Crawling on my skin.

Empty streets, all windows covered,

The lights are giving in.

Now keep in mind, this one is fairly old compared to the rest of the music I posted so far, so the quality might be detectably worse and the style unfamiliar. But I like it simply because I know that while the years have passed, I wouldn’t make it any different today. It still works perfectly as a theme for this magical hour, and it still reminds me of the wonderful times when it was originally recorded.

If anyone wonders why I love the night so much, I talked about it some time ago.

I hope you enjoy!

-Calmest Waters