lisa marie corley | greenville, sc



I haven’t abandoned you….

….it’s just crazy-busy right now, and it’s been hard to find time to write. And when I do have a bit of time, I’m either uninspired or so tired that I’d rather nap. Is this a good thing? I’m hoping. :)

Tonight I’m planning to experience a concoction called Hop, Skip, and Go Naked. Maybe there’ll be an ensuing story.

In the meantime, following are some interesting thoughts about art and creativity. I agree with them all….what about you?

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
– Francis Bacon

Art is made to disturb. Science reassures. There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.
– Georges Braque

An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it.
– Paul Valéry

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
– Scott Adams


Name that gizmo / round 3

Andy Warhol once said, “People are always so boring when they band together. You have to be alone to develop all the idiosyncrasies that make a person interesting.”

Do you agree? I agree. Of course, there’s a catch-22 in there somewhere. A non-joiner may become a wildly fascinating human….but since s/he is a non-joiner, will anyone ever truly know s/he is wildly fascinating? If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear, does it really make a sound?

Alice Thomas Ellis said, “There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children, children love hamsters.”

Do you agree with that one? I don’t, even though it makes me chuckle. I googled Alice, and I think she was a tad ill-disposed. Don’t listen to her.

Aldous Huxley shared, “An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.”

Agree? Disagree? Hmmmmmm. I…..think I must….disagree, if only by reason of semantics. Sex and intellect have too much to do with mood. At times I might be more interested in some cerebral topic than sex, but — given another frame of mind — I’d chuck Einstein and his buds out on their intellectual asses in favor of a great ….. ahem.


While you’re pondering those thoughts, ponder another — what’s the gizmo at right made to do?

OK for a girl

Well, I’m done with the 5K training, at least until my lower body returns to normal. Last night was the run. I did it in 33:35, placing 373rd out of 618 female runners. My overall ranking, if I’ve done my math correctly, was 841 out of 1186 total runners.

Translation: I did OK….. for a girl.

The run itself didn’t *seem* as long as the one I’d done in May. I just didn’t think that one would EVER end, but last night, I was surprised to see the finish line as soon as I did. I even had a little energy left to speed up at the end. Go figure.

This was a freakin’ MOB compared to my previous race, which only had a little over 300 entrants. There were so many people in this one that I couldn’t even run initially. The horn sounded, and I took off at a fast….no, slow….jog…….um, make that a walk. People were eager to get going, and I felt the crowd pushing behind me. One woman about 10 feet to my right tripped over a rug in the road that had been placed to cover cables leading to the stage. I saw her land on all fours. I only got a glimpse of her beginning to get upright again before the crowd hid her from view. Geesh, I hope she didn’t get hurt.

After a couple minutes, it thinned out enough around me so that I had my own space and could set my own pace, so I started my fabulous Shuffle, which was set to begin with my all-time favorite running song — the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Higher Ground.” But even their pacing was too slow! Ya gotta love race adrenaline, huh?

So I ran at a faster pace than my first few songs, but not long after that, I was able to fall into my planned stride. Good. I’d designed the playlist to help ensure I wouldn’t run out of steam before the end.

There was never a moment during this run that there weren’t a lot of people around me. Some people passed me, but some people I passed. More folks stopped to walk than I’d noticed in the other 5K. There were two buff-looking military types ahead of me who were running together at my pace. Why in the world would they be going so slow? Hmmmm. Maybe they were saving themselves to sprint at the end. One sweaty athletic-looking man passed me going uphill, grunting hard and struggling to push his son in a baby carriage. The boy, who looked to be about 3 or 4, kept turning in his seat, laughing as he watched all the runners around him. The kid was obviously in heaven. He caught my eye for a second….was he laughing at me because his dad was kicking my ass, or was he just happy to be in the midst of it all?

I wasn’t expecting the traffic jam at the first water station. I wasn’t even expecting a water station….I thought maybe someone else had fallen and people were stopping to help. At one point, I admit that I had to walk for a bit. I think it was only 30-45 seconds, though. It was near the apex of a loooonnnnng gently-sloping hill.

I missed the time-shouter-person who must’ve been at the mile one mark, so I don’t know how my time was that first mile, but at mile two, a man shouted “21:10!” as I passed. Cool, better than the other 5K! I concentrated on keeping my strides long and perky. I think that previously, my end-time suffered because my strides grew shorter the longer I ran.

Running that last mile was tough. Humidity was high, so, even though I didn’t have any trouble breathing as some of my group buds later said, I was sweating like a ….. hmmmm, a cub scout at Neverland. Ugh. Yuk. I really need to find some sort of small clippable towel that I can attach to myself while running.

I daydreamed about running on the beach, and tried to imagine the sea breezes. It helped that the street lights cast shadows of me as I ran, reminding me of watching my shadow on the sand as I ran with the sun at my back. I lapsed into “I’m-a-machine” mode, and tried to hypnotize myself with the music, my breath, my pace. I must’ve been breathing like an emphysema patient — as I approached one man who’d paused to walk with his female run buddy, he turned to look at me over his shoulder. And……offered me his bottled water. Ha!! I smiled at him and declined, laughing to myself after I’d passed. Good lord! What in the world had he seen — and heard — coming toward him? Something upon which he obviously took pity.

And y’know what? At the finish line, I forgot to look at the clock! I had no idea how I did until shortly after 2am this morning when the preliminary results were posted on the race website.

And why, you ask, was I awake at 2am? Auuuuuuughhh! My lower body is TORE UP.

I am not a smart woman, y’all. If I were, I’d listen to my chiropractor, my orthopedist, and my own body — all of which tell me pretty emphatically, “Good freaking holy giant God, woman — take up another sport! You are not built for this high-impact INSANITY. You are going to permanently hurt yourself.”

Instead, I’m thinking about doing the Spinx 5K in October. Just to see how close I can get to 30 minutes.

My justification goes something like this (courtesy of Jack London in Jack London’s Tales of Adventure):

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.

Today, though, I’m going to stifle myself into dry-rothood right in front of my TV, flat on my back with my legs in the air. I’ll be a meteor tomorrow.

A lazy post

Yeah, yeah…..this entry is a blatant cop-out, I know. The original content here is nil. But WHAT a hip little blend of funny, philosophical, and practical. You may find some words here which will change your life forever. Wow!

If it raises me a notch in your esteem, I do have a couple topics percolating. They’ve been…..smelling kind of nice in the mornings. Mmmmmmm. :)

When my friend told me he had found Jesus, I thought, “Yahoo! We’re rich!” But it turned out to be something different.
— Jack Handey

A secretary runs into the boss’s office and says “Can I use your dictaphone?” He says, “no, use your finger like everybody else.”
— Bernard Manning

You’ll never achieve extraordinary results by taking average measures.
— Skwigg

Silly is you in a natural state, and serious is something you have to do until you can get silly again.
— Mike Myers

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.
— Franklin P. Jones

Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?
— James Thurber

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
— Elbert Hubbard

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.
— Jack Handey

There are grammatical errors even in his silence.
— Stanislaw J. Lec

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
— Pablo Picasso

It is no accident that you are reading this

At some point during college, I was thumbing through an art magazine and ran across a black-and-white photograph which I found particularly engaging. It was dark, a bit bleary and mysterious, containing a silhouette of a nondescript, generic man. Underneath the photo as an integral part of the image, photographer Duane Michals had — in a quick, confident handwriting — incorporated these words:

It is no accident that you are reading this. I am making black marks on white paper. These marks are my thoughts, and although I do not know who you are reading this now, in some way the lines of our lives have intersected… For the length of these few sentences, we meet here. It is no accident that you are reading this. This moment has been waiting for you, I have been waiting for you. Remember me.

This was a powerful concept for me at the time…..I mulled it over for weeks, and began to look at the things around me in new ways. Every experience, conversation, gesture, magazine article, song, novel, poem, painting, photograph, TV show, class lecture — became supercharged with potential. Each moment of my life was destined just for me. No other person in the world had the same set of experiences, and no other person would interpret these experiences the same way I did. I had a unique, truly unique, existence which I could turn into something meaningful. All I had to do was be present enough in each moment to recognize — and remember — the important stuff.

I really love this particular epiphany. It lurks in my constant subconscious nowadays, and has become an integral part of me. I believe there is potential wisdom — even potential soul — in every event, every friend, every stranger, every adventure, every boredom, every search, every dream.

A friend once held out an upturned hand to me, offering a fleeting moment of comfort in the middle of a freakin’ crazy-insane college weekend. The image of his hand — and the tenderness, honesty, and vulnerability it represented — froze in my head more clearly and brightly than my Nikon could ever document. It broke my heart when, fourteen years later, I sat beside his hospital bed in trauma ICU as he lay in a hopeless coma…..tragically silent among a thick circle of blinking, beeping, ultramodern medical technology. I held the same hand he once offered me.

All those years ago, something inside me recognized a significance of a moment, a person, a friendship. I still look for those moments. They make life richer, more dimensioned, more purposeful, more fulfilling. I hope I know what to do with them when they happen.

Einstein, consciousness, and sex

Back in the heat of the summer, I shared with a couple work buds a quote which I found pretty insightful. Delivered to my browser’s home page via iGoogle, it was by Albert Einstein:

No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.

When the quote appeared on my screen, I suppose it spoke to me because a group of us at work were about to dive into a series of creative problem-solving exercises. We’d been given an advertising/branding concept to which had been attached a specific visual element or two, and it was our task to translate it into practical design guidelines/templates/whatever. While each of us saw strengths in the “givens,” we also saw challenges.

So reading the quote made me feel better about those challenges. We were bringing to the table a new consciousness.

Instinctively, I also saw a different type of meaning in the quote — that, if you have a problem of your own creation, your ability to solve it will be greater if you can somehow look at it with new eyes. Gain a new perspective, change your position to view a new angle. Bring to the table a new consciousness.

My previously mentioned work buds, however, stared at me blankly when I explained this to them. They’d liked the quote when I recited it to them, but apparently they’d translated “consciousness” as a separate person or group, an entity outside of the problem-creating source. Their interpretation: No problem can be solved by the same person who created it.

They seemed to see my point after a minute or so, but the enthusiasm for my interpretation was a bit lukewarm. Their reaction has hung with me, prompting an echo of a question to tickle my brain now and then. Is it too Pollyanna-ish of me to believe that someone can so radically change their own perspective enough to solve their own problems?

I’m not saying it would be easy…..and maybe it would be impossible for people unable to break free of “self” for a minute or two. But it sure paints a bleak picture. It’s an image of the masses running on a supergiant hamster wheel, all of them fruitless disciples of one self-help discipline after another. All destined for ultimate failure, despite their fleeting light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel moments. They’re zombie pale. They’re wearing dark, dingy grey that has yellowed from prolonged exposure to the blinking, buzzing florescent lights above their heads. Remember the opening sequences of Tom Hanks’ Joe Versus the Volcano? It’s that sort of vibe, this bleak picture in my head.

Well, recently I decided to google Einstein’s quote in order to understand its context. One site used the quote in support of prayer. Many sites used it as part of a call-to-action for humanitarian causes. Other sites, most of which seemed a little more scholarly than the rest, had slightly different wordings. Then…payoff! I found several sites which included the next sentence that came out of Einstein’s mouth:

No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.

Cool. I still don’t know the context in which he uttered the sentences, but apparently he did NOT mean to imply that people couldn’t solve problems of their own making. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.

I feel better.

By the way, I put sex in the title just to make this entry more intriguing. Sorry. It was wrong to tease you like that.


Remember the bit “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey” during the good ol’ days of Saturday Night Live? Well, I found an iGoogle module which feeds me one of these per day, and I’ve been saving the funnier ones…..

It’s easy to sit and scoff at an old man’s folly, but also, check out his Adam’s apple.

I guess of all my uncles, I liked Uncle Caveman the best. We called him Uncle Caveman because he lived in a cave, and because sometimes he’d eat one of us. Later on, we found out he was a bear.

I think a good novel would be where a bunch of men on a ship are looking for a whale. They look and look, but you know what? They never find him. And you know why they never find him? It doesn’t say. The book leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide. Then at the very end, there’s a page you can lick, and it tastes like Kool-Aid.

In weightlifting, I don’t think sudden, uncontrolled urination should automatically disqualify you.

When you go in for a job interview, I think a good thing to ask is if they ever press charges.

I think a good gift for the president would be a chocolate revolver, and since he’s so busy, you’d probably have to run up real quick and hand it to him.

When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police, but then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns.

You can’t tell me that cowboys, when they’re branding cattle, don’t sort of “accidentally” brand each other every once in awhile. It’s their way of letting off stress.

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