Failure: The Other Side of Success

 

 

Thomas ERdison

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Can you imagine a world without the light bulb? It took 1,000 failures before Edison could invent it. Thomas Edison chose to account for his initial failures in this way “It took 1,000 steps to get to the light bulb” (Success, Pauline Estrem, 2016)

I remember as young student teachers going out on our first student teacher practice we gathered in a classroom to get clarity from the lecturer about  a new concept that was added to the curriculum. Instead of acting to alleviate our confusion he smiled and said, “When you’re confused you’re learning. He might not have been far from the truth. By the end of the tenure of student teaching we were possessors of great understandings. We were satisfactorily illumined

arrow-of sucdc3essBut who wants to work through failure or ambiguity? Experience shows that from time to time our world will be catapulted into a state of flux. However,  it is as we try to wade through the flux that clarity comes and the seemingly obscure pathway becomes clear.  We certainly do not arrive at the platform of success using parameters of the past. Within the context of ambiguity or failure there are certain dynamics. These dynamics propel us toward making purposeful, strategic shifts vital for interface with new dawn that is headed our way.  Another way of looking at the failure/ success dynamic is to recognize that  missteps/ failure/ mistakes challenge our assumptions and cause us to rethink or think of new ways required by the arriving new dynamics.

Michael JordanMichael Jordan, legendary basketball player who won MVP five times and led the Chicago bulls to six NBA championships confessed “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

 

Ariana HutffingtonArianna Huffington is one who recognizes that success is built off of failure. Thirty six publishers thought her second book was not good enough. Now she is the author of 36 books and the owner of the Huffington post media group.

Vera Wang

Vera Wang despite training hard as figure skater disappointingly failed to make the Olympic team in 1968. Yet she went on to work first for Vogue and Ralph Lauren then became a revered name in the designing world.

Tina TurnerAfter a debilitating history of domestic abuse, Tina Turner made one of the biggest come back in music history. She ascended to the top of the rock & roll hall charts with the release of her songs “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and Private Dancer. Private Dancer won three Grammys and sold 10 million copies around the world (RollingStone Magazine).

Lucille BallDo you know the back story of Lucille Ball? Her biography would have said failed B movie actress. But then came the “I love Lucy series” that brought her success beyond her wildest dreams. Ultimately her biography had to be rewritten to indicate her ionic status as one of Hollywood’s most talented actors/actresses.

Humans, it seems must check into at the teaching point of failure en route to success.

By Ingrid Rizzolo author of Splendor from Ashes

An Accidental Discovery

A few weekends ago I was on the subway in New York City when a handsome young guy came into the train. He struck up a conversation with me and began to share a joke with me. I don’t usually strike up conversations with random strangers. I do find it easier to talk to strangers because, there is no judgment or assumptions as they don’t know me and there’s a fair amount of security in that.

I noticed his guitar case and inquired as to the type of music he played. He mentioned Ed Sheeran. I was happy because I had just read Ed Sheeran’s story and was able to talk animatedly about him.

African American man with guitar

I asked the young guitar player to strum a few bars for me. Through numbed fingers he began to strike chords that brought forth restful melodies. I then revealed to him that I write and perform poetry and asked him if he would play some music to accompany the recitation of one of my poems. Suddenly my mind went blank. I could not recall even one of my poems. I then turned instinctively to one of my favorite poems to perform, Maya Angelou’s Still I rise. I had to adjust my rhythms to match the cadences of the music drifting up from his guitar. On that cold winter morning the entire carriage warmed to the beauty of the spontaneous performance. What ensued was a thing of beauty. The guitar player and I made beautiful music together in what was an accidental discovery.

Is this the wave of the future? I may have accidentally discovered a way to merge my penchant for poetry writing and that of giving stage performances.

I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter? What do you think?

 

The Fear and Desirability of Love

The Desirability of Love

beautiful-girl-among leaves

Addictive to love. Being in love can be euphoric, comparable to the endorphin released feel-good experience of a runner’s high. Neuroscientists for instance suggest with such feel -good activities dopamine is released to mediate the pleasure of this experience. You and your brain become suitably rewired by dopamine as it stimulates you to continue to seek out this pleasurable activity in an effort to maintain this state. In other words, you become addicted to love.

Love is a desirable state. Søren Kierkegaard the father of existentialism suggested that people accessed their best selves in a loving, committed relationship (Big Link accessed 01.04.17). Love is therefore to be desired and not just a grand idea as Rizzolo explained her book Splendor from Ashes. However, falling in love after a painful experience is hard. While to find the courage to love again is admirable – to let one’s guard down like this – can be likened to the irresponsible actions of  a recovering addict who potentially compromises his/her hard work towards sobriety by venturing into spaces that need to be off limits after recovery.

couple-wanting to loveConfronted with the possibility of loving again conjures up past hurts for some. But then love is a high-risk investment, the risks are high but so too are the possibilities for reaping rich dividends. Should one become imprisoned within protective impenetrable walls of one’s one own making one would not be able to draw down on the  potential high yields; the outcomes of investing in love.

The truth of Lived Experience.  The respected psychologist Kiekergard also said truth is not about discovering objective facts independent of lived experiences.  You may be the possessor of objective facts but these facts may rob one of the beauty of one’s own subjective experiences. The truth- your truth – is found in how you allow yourself relate to your experiences (Big Link accessed 01.04.17).

Lovelorn girlin white on park benchLove is scary. Contemplating the exposure of oneself to love and the involved raw emotions once more is scary. However, paradoxically I have found that wholeness comes to those who have the courage to allow themselves to be vulnerable again. Moreover, loving seems to be a natural human motivation; we seem to be driven by innate desire to love again and beloved. Psychologist Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory supports this idea and recognizes a clear relationship between love and self esteem. The push towards love then is an indicator of increased self esteem and the acquisition of the psychological freedom to grow.

Ambivalent about love. As one who had loved before I became cautious to the point of being ambivalent in my feelings towards loving again. When I decided I was ready for love again I wanted this person to be my intellectual equal, share my belief system and of course love me to pieces. These poems reflect the fear and inner transactions as I wrestled with fears that accompanied this resolution. (The names accompanying each poem are merely textual devices)

  use with abuse story

Love is scary. While contemplating the exposure of oneself to love and involved raw emotions, once more is scary, paradoxically I have found that wholeness comes to those who have the courage to allow themselves to be vulnerable again. Moreover, loving seems to be a natural human motivation/drive; we seem to be driven by innate desire to love again and beloved. Psychologist Maslow hierarchy of needs theory supports this idea and recognizes a clear relationship between love and esteem. The push towards love then is an indicator of increased self esteem and the acquisition of the psychological freedom to grow.

Not afraid t o love black man

Ambivalent about love

As one who had loved before I became cautious to the point of being ambivalent in my feelings towards loving again. When I decided I was ready for love again I wanted this person to be my intellectual equal, share my belief system and of course love me to pieces. These poems reflect the inner transactions as I wrestled with fears that accompanied this  resolution. (The names are merely textual devices)

  

To Russell

I enjoyed making you coffee

And watching you take your tea

I wanted to cook you dinner

But you were hesitant

To let it be

 

I wanted no intellectual

I simply wanted you

But you misread my benign teasing

And drove a wedge between

That which could have been

Afraid of love. 2+jpg

To Larry

Your love

Makes me feel ethereal

Feminine and flirty

And ecstatic and sexy and…

 

I see it in your eyes

The love you speak about

And my heart leaps within

My woman’s breast in response

 

I wish for all things,

On the strength of the promise

I see in your eyes

And God knows I want to respond

 

But I am afraid to love you

For love is so fleeting

Temporary, painful, stifling

And oh so disappointing

 

My love when it comes will be genuine

And bounded in the truth of my being

Is your truth and your love

Rooted in the real truth, in God’s truth?

 

Is your love expendable, transient

Exploitative, harsh and unmusical?

Or is it gentle, soft, freeing, selfless,

Durable and, kissable like God’s love?

goodbye

 

 

 

 

To Glen

 

Before the Night Comes

A tentative hope nagged at the hemline of my heart

Like a stranger in midst of a gathering darkness

And I grope among the dead fetuses

To find my way before the night comes

 

And as so many times before

Hope ignites and dusts distant dreams

From the cobwebs of disenchantment

And statistical mismanagement

 

Dreams of love and rightness once more

Are redeemed from well worn pages

Are redefined by the new and the strange

And are placed now within my range

 

Oh but I have been here before

Where smiles become engulfed by familiar cynicism

Doomed to be stillborn

In the interstices of our beliefs

 

And my belief is me,

And his belief is him,

And though I want mine to be his

Oh, he vows it will never be

 

But I feel like I’ve met a kindred soul

Must this thing so beautiful and so delicate

Be doomed at its very dawning?

I know I must walk away but I don’t want to

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging Celebration: Unto 2018

Happy-New-Year-Jumping-From-2017-To-2018

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1514474465&f=BVhy41xZuJ8UY0015dVugQ&d=0&m=p&r=360p&volume=100&start_res=360p&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=

This video I celebrate five months of blogging. I also wish to express my appreciation for the support of dear my family and readers as I trudged along.  The journey has included a lot of accidental learning but I look forward to even better outcomes in 2018.

Brenda fixed my book cover

With your support I will continue to blog in promotion of my book Splendor from Ashes (available at Amazon.com). I wish you all the best for 2018

 

Happy-New-Year-Jumping-From-2017-To-2018

https://www.amazon.com/Splendor-Ashes-Emergence-Ingrid-Rizzolo/dp/1491716614/ref

The Penitent : Audio slideshow

https://1drv.ms/p/s!ArtqrYWVxxCUwVki3GTniaAWuBon

Click on the link above to view the slide show that accompanies the reading of The Penenitent, a poem found in my book Splendor from Ashes available on Amazon.com. The poem can also be found below:

The Penitent (2004)

My God, I relent.

What did I not do right?

Which t’s did I not cross? Which i’s left I undotted?

Was I too haughty, ambitious, proud?

Please tell me, Lord.

I might have erred in ignorance.

For my errors I want to atone,

so that the pain will cease.

I hate myself for being weak,

for being pain’s unrelenting prey.

Shine forth your light in the valley

of this approaching death

that masks true faith

in the circularity of its jagged labyrinth.

Is there no absolution,

no healing for the penitent?

Why are wounds still raw,

routinely reopened,

exposing pink flesh to fresh infections?

Headed for Dystopia

 

 

Dystopia

Headed for Dystopia

When fascism is allowed to rise

And its proponents described

As a bunch of fine people

Then your Utopia is my dystopia

And we are heading for a dystopian society

 

When one man kills 60 in cold blood

And we have to search for a term to describe him

We are heading for dystopia

And when we go back to business as usual

The evening  after

We are heading for dystopia

 

When a 29-year-old mows down Innocent people

in the name of the caliphate

And thinks God is pleased

We are headed for dystopia

When a fifteen-year-old is suffering from schizophrenia

Before he has had a chance to live

We are headed to dystopia

 

When a minute to glitter on the silver screen

Is the carrot on the stick

The lure of well- dressed

well-heeled predators in palatial homes

With palatial reach, and political clout

We are headed for dystopia

 

When Hollywood hides predators

Behind its smoke and mirror shows

And becomes a cover for people without a core

When its producers with ease of conscience

Monetarily erase deviance

And are still allowed to score big

On international screens galore

We are headed for dystopia

 

When some states are equal

But others are more equal

And animal farm Is the white house’s Lawn

And opposing views castigated

As incendiary rhetoric

Then broken hearted we concede

We are in a dystopian society

 

When fascism is allowed to rise

And its proponents described

As a bunch of fine people

Then your Utopia is my dystopia

And we are heading for a dystopian society

 

When one man kills 60 in cold blood

And we have to search for a term to describe him

We are heading for dystopia

And when we go back to business as usual

The evening  after

We are heading for dystopia

 

When a 29-year-old mows down Innocent people

in the name of the caliphate

And thinks God is pleased

We are headed for dystopia

When a fifteen-year-old is suffering from schizophrenia

Before he has had a chance to live

We are headed to dystopia

 

When a minute to glitter on the silver screen

Is the carrot on the stick

The lure of well- dressed

well-heeled predators in palatial homes

With palatial reach, and political clout

We are headed for dystopia

 

When Hollywood hides predators

Behind its smoke and mirror shows

And becomes a cover for people without a core

When its producers with ease of conscience

Monetarily erase deviance

And are still allowed to score big

On international screens galore

We are headed for dystopia

 

When some states are equal

But others are more equal

And animal farm Is the white house’s Lawn

And opposing views castigated

As incendiary rhetoric

Then broken hearted we concede

We are in a dystopia

 

Being Thankful

Being ThankfulI am thankful for four months of blogging. I have learned so much from my fellow bloggers in this initial stage of the journey. At first I wanted to blog to support themes raised in my book Splendor from Ashes in which I tell of my journey from domestic violence. Now in addition, I enjoy blogging for its own sake; for the self revelation and the joy it brings to me.

To my Fellow bloggers and readers:

I cannot be fully me

Unless you are fully you

Yet I don’t think you’ll

Ever fully understand

How you’ve graced my life

 

Thank you

Ingrid Rizzolo- Splendor from Ashes

Royal Coupling and the Courage to love

 

Meagan Markle and Prince Harry Engaged

Royal Coupling and the Courage to Love

There is no universal definition of love but these two young people, Meagan Markle and Price Harry seem to have lost themselves or found themselves in each other from the look of things. It took courage for Meagan Markle to make the decision to love a royal. But then fear is the birthing place of courage for one can only become courageous when fear is present.

New BuckinghamPalace-e

Courage should not be equated with the absence of fear. I am sure they both have their fears; they would be ignorant no to.  It took courage for a black woman to set her sights on one of the inhabitants of the cold palatial walls of Buckingham palace. Similarly, for a royal to court a black woman was previously unheard of. unimaginable prior to now. For some this amounts to the breaking of a taboo.  (According to dictionary.com a taboo is a social or religious custom that prohibits or forbids a particular practice.) Some may even consider the relationship profane, while others like me consider it may consider it to be holy- a sign from the Heavens. What is apparent is that at 36 this divorcee, Megan Markle, summed up sufficient courage to step on stereotypes of all genres to claim a forbidden love.

prince-harry-meghan-markle at a game

It took a lot of courage on their behalf to choose to be each other/ to make this love choice. All of uswho have loved before are aware that it takes courage to love but we can appreciate it takes greater courage to love against huge divides. They have entered this relationship knowing their lives will no longer be the same. They would no longer be able to do what they want because of who she is now and will become and what she would come to represent.

Positions of Vulnerability and Couragemegahn and the press 2

Meanwhile the press and the enchanted crowd of witnesses like an evolving circus try to box them into certain expectations; reading and manipulating every nuance of their lives, and crucifying them for failing to live up to preconceived expectations of which they maybe unaware. I guess this is the burden of royal coupling. Last words to Megan and her prince, “Be strong and of A GOOD COURAGE”.

Ingrid Rizzolo author of Splendor from Ashes