As I was reflecting on the significance of all that happened during those few days at Elk Lake a message came to me... "Choice is marvelous but Decision sets you free..."
Now that I write it, of course it seems fucking obvious... But the process of analysis paralysis had me sucked in with the Canon vs. Nikon and Lightroom vs, Photoshop so that I was overwhelmed and stopped.
What I find especially interesting are the various elements I felt it necessary to consider. All opinions outside myself... what would Chris or experts think?, do I respect that person?, do I trust that person?, are they similar to me?, do I respect the quality of their work?, do I respect their perspective?
All these questions circled around "an expert's" use of a program and gear because I quickly discovered the actual features of the products were amazingly and basically interchangeable or so subtle that given my amateur use would be materially unimportant.
All that REALLY mattered was making a decision... WHAT I decided only mattered in so far as I was satisfied and happy with the final determination. Nothing is perfect so I the outcome was an interesting combination of kismet and coincidence... kismet: the Nikon stopped working and Coincidence: Bob knows Bridge and Camera Raw and was present in the moment to show me how it worked. It did help that it was easy (for me).
So after all the toil and turmoil the decision has set me free. Since then I have put that practice to good use with the upgrades to my bicycle, my office space, my office organization. I'm a decision making machine. I bet I figured this out somewhere sometime in the past of this lifetime... which is why, like the 20th time I pick up the guitar, it feels so right.
I just returned from a fabulous retreat. A retreat to a Lodge with no cell service and limited (very limited) WiFi... I've been there before, two years ago. It was only four days and three nights and an easy hour and twenty minute drive from home. Maybe it was the last five miles of dirt road... or the quiet... or the scenery... or the people? No need to analyze. Bottom line, I needed the break and I accomplished some serious, excellent decisions and lasting learning. The program was provided by Carl Heilman II Photography - Wild Visions Inc. (check Facebook) and the place was Elk Lake Lodge.
I was tempted to hunker down in the lodge near the WiFi and write a couple of times and it just didn't happen. I got distracted by my photographs, the programs, the people, the amazing and breathtaking photo ops! I've attached just a few and will continue to post them as I get them processed.
What shifted? And How?
A new leaf, that is. Yes, Again... what else is there to do, really?! I'm not even going to say what I turned over this time or why or when. I know the suspense is killing you all. Ha!
What I'm present to is a recent visit to a medium who, once again, confirmed through channelling various relatives on the other side, things I already knew and am working on.
I have a friend who is new to the whole idea of channeling and Runes, and Tarot, mediums, spirit animals and psychics, numerology - palm reading - fairy cards, stone power and tree talk, you get the idea. All this is new to her, completely, as amazing as that sounds. Talk about sheltered! =) Anywho, given the overwhelming "newbieness," I felt obliged to share a bit of my vast own experience that 99% of the valid and good messages received via those various methods usually served to confirm something I already knew. You have to be careful, obviously?, for screwballs and frauds just after your money... I trusted my gut and that didn't always work out,
Ok back on "track" such as it is. I "happened" to tune into an episode of This American Life last night that brought me to tears and inspired me to research respectful ways of honoring our dead. The story by Miki Meek on the "One Last Thing Before I Go," was amazing!
That is all for now.
For your eye for beauty... a fun garden option spill those pots
For your corny funny bone:
LEXOPHILES (LOVERS OF WORDS):
1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
2. A will is a dead giveaway.
3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
4. A backward poet writes inverse.
5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.
15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
16. A calendar's days are numbered.
17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.
22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.
29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.
30. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
31. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
32. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
33. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
34. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
35. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
36. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
37. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
38. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
39. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
40. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'
41. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
42. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
43. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'
44. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
45. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
46. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.
I'm SO HAPPY English is NOT my second language! Yikes!
Today is Monday, September 11, 2017. 16 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, It's a landmark that always takes me back to Venice Beach where I lived at the time and the fact that I didn't own a TV and had a beautiful and exciting photography 5 week European adventure planned for 10 days hence. I lived and thrived just fine without TV. I joined my friend, Jane, on her couch to watch the insane images of 9/11. What a crazy journey I've been on ever since. That was before my solo RV undertaking and every wonderful thing that has followed since... the NYC project, meeting Chris, starting my own business, taking responsibility for my drinking and smoking... so much has happened in eleven years! It makes me wonder and ponder and consider what my life may look like eleven years from now... 2028. I may actually want to consider creating some intentions...? Maybe a thoughtful option...? To do list item, that!
Anywho that is what comes to mind on September 11th of any year. Gratitude and reflections, wonder and amazement, analysis and inquiry. I'd like more good things... friends, beautiful days, wonderful food and animals and views and family, perhaps. Alignment with self and serenity and all the promises have to offer. I'm open and curious, not fearful or embarrassed.
I'm very grateful and aware that my perspective on 9/11 does not include a personal experience of loss or sacrifice or tragedy. For this I am also grateful and extend my heart to those who still suffered then and may be hurting still.
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado.
Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.
Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.
The only safety lies in letting it all in --
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.
So the poison ivy experience presented quite a journey of interesting exploration into a physical way of relaxing and being and letting it all "hang out" that I was not expecting. Odd and fun and weird and wonderful. Thare you go.... let your imaginations run wild with the details of that... or not.
The transition from a full time insane project back to plenty of me free time is well underway. Each step moves me forward toward a much more pleasant and inviting way to spend my days. Grateful and wiser in many ways I'm looking at fall with new eyes again and playing with body speak. I'll say more and more as the days progress. For now what there is is gratitude and grace... photos - drawing - guitar - singing - comedy - gardens and gifts of conversations with new and future and past friends of all sorts. Hooray!
"Heal Your Body, The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them" by Louise L. Hay First published in 1976. Thanks Louise!
Problem: Poison Ivy
Probable Cause: Feeling defenseless and open to attack.
New Thought Pattern: I am powerful, safe and secure. All is well.
Problem: Rash (I love this one... =)
Probable Cause: Irritation over delays. Babyish way to get attention. ;-)
New Thought Pattern: I love and approve of myself. I am at peace with the process of life.
If you don't already have this book in your library, I HIGHLY recommend it. I've had it for years battered and beaten, replaced and shared. Once I diagnose a health "challenge" and go to the doctor and get drugs (only if absolutely necessary), I consult Louise's advice on how to address any underlying metaphysical causes. Can't hurt, right?! What's the harm in repeating... "I love and approve of myself. I am at peace with the process of life. I am powerful, safe and secure, all is well." Right!? If the shoe fits, great, if not, so what, move on.
So I went weed pulling in the back yard Thursday afternoon... by Friday I noticed some small blisterish bumps between my index and middle finger on both hands. I had gloves on... I wasn't too worried. By Saturday I noticed itchy spots under my bangs and on my neck. FUCK! Growing up in Colorado I never came across any poisonous nasty plants. However, poison oak found me when I went hiking nearly every weekend at Thomas Aquinas College near the Los Padres National Forest (search Punch Bowls Ojai, CA). My roommate got blood poisoning, a scary dark line from her wrist up to her elbow. It never smacked me around too badly but I know the basics... do NOT take a hot shower... don't pop the blisters... don't scratch... apply calamine... rinse and repeat, the simple basics.
So this time it's just a bit annoying and a reason to relax and take care of myself. Oh and NOTICE everything I touch and what touches me and be more aware of my body than ever! The gift of awareness, thanks poison ivy... or sumac or oak or whatever... I know what you look like, I'm onto you now. And I'm now OH SO aware of my every movement... sitting, standing, sleeping, walking... every move I make, basically. Holy Shit!
Anyway, I went to urgent care because since my fav doc, Andrea Carrasco, changed her practice focus I haven't found a replacement primary care physician... The twenty something cute as a button urgent care doctor gave me a script for Prednisone... I normally would be heroic and martyr-like and tough it out with calamine lotion for a bit longer. Fuck that! I know this drill well enough to know I'd rather move on, the faster the better. I did mention to the sweet nurse, Darcy, (that checked my birthdate for the umpteenth time and verified I am who I am) that I needed a new primary and she happily and quickly recommended Maggie. Awesome. So I now have a new primary, already made the appointment. Thanks poison ivy...
So the shit itches like fucking crazy god damnit! I'm just grateful it hasn't spread more and it should be gone in a few days. Nothing like a health or physical challenge or upset to force awareness and gratitude down your throat. Thanks again!
What is it to listen to your soul speak? To be still and open and light or dark... just be. There is a flow that I've felt since I was young, a current that streams and is spilling over always just there... under the skin, behind the eyes, beneath the surface. It is calm and knowing and patient and kind. It reminds me of people like my Grandparents, but it is it's own wisdom. It drifts up, exposed in hushed chapels and hovers in a mossy grotto or blows you over on a mountain top. It's there, trickling, in coffee shop chaos on 85th & Lex on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Where ever I go, there it is if I remember to listen.
There are pulses and waves and tides to the flow of it. Waxing and waning in and out over and through. There is no concern only curiosity and wonder, surrender and letting go... gushing in and running out.
I watered the garden this morning and listened to the birds and hung on every sound. I went out on Lake George yesterday just boating about and took some of the photos on the banner/header... but just taking it all in... drifting in ... ebbing out...
Some little voice whines about purpose and progress, perfection and promotion... that little voice is only scared to let go and open up. What will I do? Who am I? Why am I here? Hush, hush small one, young one, hush, hush and be still. All will be revealed or nothing at all. And this is fine and grand and marvelous all at once while it is frightening and disturbing. Time will tell.
And why do my eyes tear up? I've touched something deep and special darkly shining. So beautiful it draws out things long hidden. Perhaps a dam is breaking? Perhaps a breezy wind will clear away the webs of years of fearful thoughts?
Why, yes! And why not!
"Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts."
I'm switching to a new journal... always a bit of a melancholy time. So much blood, sweat and tears in the journal about to be shelved. So many lessons and enlightening moments, breakthroughs and break downs... I can never be patient enough to completely, completely write to the very last page... at least not usually. So there are left at the end of most of my journals a few empty pages. Can you imagine that I used to abuse myself for that? Crazy! Now it occurs to me to beat myself up or force myself to linger and write by force of will on the last couple of pages... that's all, it occurs and then, thank God I can let that go!
Trees and roots and rooted is coming up a lot today... in the Big Book reading page 12
"He was on a different footing. His roots grasped new soil." now this...
"Just as a tree, though cut down, sprouts up again if its roots remain uncut and firm, even so, until the craving that lies dormant is rooted out, suffering springs up again and again."
"Look within. Be still. "
"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself."
There's a theme here, think? My next time is to discuss with myself how my body feels and what it needs right now. I have continued, persistent and optimistic on the path of healthy pursuits and now is another day.
Wonderful it is
to train the mind,
so swiftly moving
seizing whatever it wants.
Good it is
to have a well-trained mind
for a well-trained mind
I have a wonderful spiral bound journal from Piccadilly Press... the one I'm using at the moment contains a quote/saying from Buddha on every page. There are other themes for other books... Mark Twain, Jesus, etc. Very nice. The quote above is from a page of the journal. If I find the quote to be particularly meaningful I also write it out, large and fun and stylish on the page. Today in a meeting I found myself writing it out again and drawn to it precisely because mind training seems to be something I need (everyone does) right now. The thoughts of work and people around work keep running a muck... it's a silly waste of time. So this little poem came to me in the moment...
Shaping - shifting
Swinging - swirling
Swing and swirl
Breathe and Smile and Write
DETOUR! Hey There!
Detour to gratitude and grace!
That is all for this wonderful mid August rainy Friday!
I live in a "suburb" I guess, technically... of the proper town of Saratoga Springs. There are still woods everywhere pretty wild and dense. I glanced out the kitchen window this morning and saw a deer and a faun. The mom was happily munching on the fuchsia and white geranium flowers. I ran upstairs to grab my phone to take a photo. I thought it was pretty cool and cute until the mother deer was joined by another full grown deer and they proceeded to eat ALL the flowers on the potted patio plants. Yikes... I had to dash out and chase them off.
Anyway this got me out the house and noticing that things needed deadheading and watering. Nice, thank you dear deer! Gobble gobble... I've heard it before a gobbling noise... noises are like smells very hard to describe but a turkey type noise is common enough, right? In the past I would search the woodland floors to spy a turkey. I've seen them around here before. I didn't find one and just figured it must be very well camouflaged. I happened to mention it to Chris who laughed and said that was the gobbling crow. Apparently crows enjoy mimicking other creatures. I had no idea it could be so realistic. Well... there he/she crow was again this morning carrying on as if were a turkey. Messages there? Who knows... fall is coming... ?
Anyhow, that's all... boring I know but I liked the title... gobbling crow. Perhaps something more profound will come to mind later, or not... =)
I grew up Catholic, like strict Latin Mass every day wearing a veil and a pleated plaid skirt on my knees Catholic. I don't remember personal care ever being a topic of conversation... other than take a shower and brush your teeth daily. Nothing further on how to respect or pamper or even be aware of the physical being. I do remember a brief bit on how to deal with my menstrual cycle... that's it. No worries, my Mother probably didn't receive any info to pass along...
Somewhere around the ripe old age of seven or eight I discovered orgasms. How did that happen, you ask? Quite accidentally during a forced "stay in bed until we get up" Sunday morning and while pretending to be the woman being sawed in half at the haunted house at Elitch Gardens amusement park. I happily enjoyed masturbation frequently, very frequently, until I found out it was a deadly sin when I was in a high school Ethics course. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.
Anyway... I'm wandering around the point... just to illustrate the level of my own personal body connection disfunctionality. (no hyphen, new word, because I said so) Also to be certain you understand the level of my insight is about a 2 on a scale of 1-100. Ok, disclaimer complete...
In my late twenties I had the excellent honor to be part of a Native American community that was much more tuned into body/mind/spirit integration and care. (Interesting side note, the word "care" is very negative in it's first 8 listed definitions... I should say the NOUN is very negative. The verb is OK.) It's a moon cycle not a menstrual period and you become a wise woman when you are menopausal... WHAY more friendly and optimistic. I also learned about my internal council. I'm sure I've mentioned this before but it bears repeating. I've listened and the number of internal voices is definitely more than the stereo typical angel and devil. There's a whole rowdy crowd in there. The Native Americans call it an "Inner Council" and over the years I've used a way of journalling to bring all the crazy conversations to the forefront and begin to establish some working relationships ner I say alignment...?! (knock knock)
Anywho... it's come to my notice that the "BODY is a major part of the council... very soft spoken and unassuming in it's word communications. I gardened like crazy yesterday... beautiful results but stiff limbs. This morning I spent 10 minutes stretching... but I resisted it mightily. SO... bottom line, to the quick of it... I need to set a time for a journalling session where I specifically open up lines of communication with the body and discover the source of this silly resistance... =) That's it!
I hear they are making another Karate Kid movie. I just looked it up on Wiki and the original was released in 1984. Wow... that means I was a freshman in college when I went to see it. I would have guessed it came out earlier, when I was younger! Do they still make meaningful, inspirational block buster type movies? I don't think I've seen one since Avatar... any way...
Many of us will remember the whole wax on wax off exercise, especially all the awesome classic cars. If you're too young, Google it! (Did I just say that?!) I guess the fucking reality of progress not perfection and/or practice and peeling onions has been around for awhile. Imagine that! And thank God I'm only 50 something and I may just now be figuring it out. I say "may" so as not to antagonize the Gods. There's also no wood handy to knock on...
Anyhow, for the moment anyway, I seem to be finally able to stop resisting (knock, knock) simple repetitive tasks. The book I'm reading has definitely helped (Peace in Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh) . You can be aware, serene, peaceful and meditative in ANYTHING you are doing. This is the great equalizer, isn't it. (That is a whole separate post!) There's so much to notice and acknowledge and appreciate in every fucking awesome moment that with the right frame of mind and a bit of mind control we could all be happy. Shit that in a pile!
I may be on to something here... track with me for a moment... So, if I can pay attention and with gratitude and awareness accomplish any task happily... wait, no, that's too easy! (LOVE IT!! I love paradox... I ALWAYS know I'm onto something good when paradox pops up.) So, back to the thought yes... easy AND hard! You have to be aware number one.. that's no churned butter. You have to be able to maintain focus on the actual task that is also herculean. Finally you have to manage the fucking monkeys or squirrels or whatever you call the madness that are thoughts in your head. You have to keep those monkeys on task and thinking happy thoughts... So suddenly it seems impossible rather than easy. However, it is worth it.
Case in point... the hell I went through recently has passed (knock knock) and a shining, wonderfully delightful and tasty milestone of collaboration and and actual project satisfaction has been attained. Wax On... and Off and On and Off again many times for that one! As much as I hate to admit it, the distasteful painful process (I STILL don't buy that there is no gain w/o pain) did yield a bushel of fruit. Aside from the momentary collapse into utter bliss... I learned a lot about myself in the business world and experiencing emotions... of all sorts. I also know now, without doubt that I am an excellent organizer of things and data and people. This is a great and noble skill as well as being valuable, useful and somewhat rare. I also am a pretty excellent communicator, fearless-ish and getting better every day. That is, perhaps, an even more rare talent set.
while I'm frustrated
I am also rewarded,
while I am stuck and mucky
the sun shines
bogged down and
lifted up at once
circling as I move
forward & back
who I am...
and how to be here
This is the advice of Thich Nhat Hanh in "Peace is Every Step The Path to Mindfulness in Everyday Life." I guess that's easy enough to remember and now I have a couple post it notes splattered around to remind me. It is not very helpful in informing actions, really. There are some great steps to coping with emotions.
I've always been a very impulsive sort. Now, to be OH so IN... I'm living in "the moment"! Not the planning kind, at least in terms of my longer term future. No white picket fence or husband with children even crossed my mind. I didn't consider whether to be a vet or a biologist or a poet or a journalist. I just never thought about any of that. (It's funny, I did think about writing a book about all the millions of career options at one point.) There never seemed to be a choice... it was business then work and work and work and work with occasional romantic interludes. I've taken a total of one true vacation my entire life Sept 2001 I went to France for a month. Every other vacation was mostly go visit family in CO... Oh, I take that back, Chris and I went to Costa Rica for a few weeks and we did go camping on Lake George for one night last summer.
I'm not complaining or feeling bad for myself, mind you. Depending on your definition of vacation... I enjoy where I go and what I do. For decades I traveled all over the country by land and by air. No complaints. I guess it's just a middle age crisis. I may actually choose to pursue something as if I was 21 again... like from scratch... only now I have a 52 year old body tagging along. Perhaps it's teenage angst that I'm feeling? Rebellion and frustration at having to choose and I can't picture myself really happy enjoying any one thing for very long... at all. I think menopause is just a name for puberty when you're fifty.
So the standard book definitions of puberty and menopause are strictly related to menstruation. A woefully inadequate expression of what the words normally mean in common speak. I could say that the best most confident and carefree days were "pre-menstruation" and perhaps a more fun way to look at middle age is "post-menstruation" and a return to the carefree energetic carefree times. Menstruation brought self consciousness at a new level... the odd body that was no longer mine. All sorts of oddness came along with it, a body image weird responsibilities and rituals... I never wanted and never wanted children.
OK... so new thought I am free to return to the pre-menstruation state of mind. Pre smoking, pre drinking, pre eating too much... I think I rode bikes and read books and hid from my family mostly. Sounds like a plan. I'm pretty sure I believed in leprechauns, I wrote in my diary and played in the sandbox. It sounds better and better!
It does feel like applying the brakes and moving thru more than breaking a bond as in breakthrough. Curious how words and our auto associations work, Eay?
When did I discover Runes? It would have to have been, probably, at the CO Renaissance fair. I used to go every summer, no matter what. I had no idea how fabulous the grounds were/are and how lucky I was to have such a diverse and well attended festival so close. Festival LINK!
Anyhow... Runes are... wiki link... a Norse alphabet apparently but they are images on stones or pebbles that are used for divination and guidance. There are so many different books, my favorite battered and well loved version is published or was, by St. Martin's press The Book of Runes, Tenth Anniversary Edition, commentary by Ralph Blum, 1993. I pulled Hagaz yesterday... HOPE... breakthrough, transformation... "because the timing is right the outcome is assured although not, from the present vantage point, predictable..."
Yikes I just hit a major side tracked moment... LOVE IT!! I now have images of all the runes in the style/font of the one above... NICE!! I keep remembering how much I love graphic art. Next profession will have to involve more creative ventures like writing, photography and art/design.
Today I pulled Laguz... FLOW and Humor! =) "unseen powers are active here, powers that nourish, shape and connect... the attributes of this Rune are water, fluidity, the ebb and flow of EMOTIONS, careers, relationships... " Yeah, got that right! Whoot Whoot... there's more goodness to communicate about this Rune, but I've run out of time for today. Look it up or BETTER YET... pull your own Rune for the day! =)
If Chris accuses me of something I didn't do... I respond and get angry. Cause and Effect are pretty clear in this case and no mystery or puzzle is involved. Of course I can choose the intensity of my reaction, not react at all... speak - don't speak, take responsibility or not, a thousand shades of grey.
Lately my experience of emotions is more like being pinched in a crowd. You feel the pinch. You spin and search for the source of the nip. Occasionally the culprit comes clean but more often you're left wondering and on guard against being pinched again. WTF! So I may wake up in the morning with an anxious feeling in my stomach or get a rush of heat or intensity while sitting in a meeting or talking with someone. There's a feeling there but just like the crowd pinch the precise cause/effect relationship completely escapes me.
I've had various wise and experienced folks advise me to "take a moment."
Go inside and feel the feeling, don't shut it down or be fearful. Ask yourself quietly where it comes from and/or what it's about. Let it reveal it'self. Just speaking purely from reality... it's difficult to make time for that. And honestly I haven't had much success with deciphering anything useful. Good grief! The pinching rascal has ducked out of sight and moved on.
I'm constantly reminded of that character played by Peter MacNicol on the old Ally McBeal TV series who was constantly "Taking a moment." It was funny and annoying but I had no idea how brave and insightful that was.
All I can muster the gumption to do in the moment is PAUSE and NOT SAY ANYTHING. I observe and just keep my mouth shut. I don't ask myself anything I just sincerely try to avoid putting my foot in my mouth by saying something outrageous. Hey, that's a start. That's where I'm at with this anyhow. Who fucking knew emotions would be so difficult to ferret out and deal with! Shit!
Note: I am on the look out for a good replacement for the word Fuck. After my recent memory trip regarding my Grandparents... if they are watching I have a feeling the cursing is not something they approve of. Although I also imagine in heaven or wherever they are it probably doesn't matter a bit one way or the other. Any how, I am interested in at least exploring some options. FYI.
I used to hate commuting to work. It was wasted time between space, from here to there always in a hurry. Especially when I lived in LA the traffic is horrible all the time everywhere basically... it sucked. Even a short 5 mile commute from a Venice Beach neighborhood to Santa Monica was plagued by PCH backups. Later driving from Long Beach to Santa Monica even with my newly purchased "commuter lane" approved Prius it sucked... not a fan of "THE 405"... they predicate all highways with a "the" in LA because they are a basically members of the family... "how was the 405 today?" "Backed up between the airport and the Santa Monica FW... " "Again... yep..." blah blah...
The best commute ever was from my place on the boardwalk in Venice to Santa Monica... beach bikeways & the SM pier overpass are only crowded on weekends! Any who... I'm reminiscing again... apparently I'm in that mode. The point is I'm commuting now from Saratoga Springs to, our fair capital city, Albany. Not bad really... no REALLY.. compared to the 405 it's a luscious piece of Tiramisu! There's one little section that's a bottleneck near the twin bridges over the Hudson River... otherwise unless there's some sort of emergency situation it's pretty smooth sailing... about a 30-40 minute affair. SO>>> the point is I've eased the passage of time by listening to a book on Audibles. I listened over and over to the book of Joy... now I'm listening again to Becoming Wise. It's funny how you have to be in the right mood for some books. I didn't enjoy listening to it the first time.. the language and ideas were a bit overwhelming and felt untouchable. Now... for whatever reason I'm inspired.
Yep, so there's a chapter on hope and some thought provoking - eye opening observations worth sharing and that I would consider worth remembering and further exploring... =) a distinction... hope vs optimism... I hadn't considered before.
"Hope is a cognitive, behavioral process that we learn when we experience adversity, when we have relationships that are trustworthy, when people have faith in our ability to get out of a jam." (page 250)
HOPE IS BROKENHEARTED ON THE WAY TO BECOMING WHOLEHEARTED.
HOPE IS A FUNCTION OF STRUGGLE.
The next paragraph goes on to describe the process, I've just noticed as well, regarding remembering and relearning things we have already been through before... and, in my case, written about in poetry or journals. "There is another way to talk about the move from intelligence to wisdom - seeing basic realities again, finally, but for the first time with consciousness: evolution reflecting back on itself."
The most fun section helped me learn about life... myself reflecting back and beginning to become less resistant... everything involves struggle or bad times or waves, as I would say, of disturbance... the fact that I am persistent has been a golden light. She calls this resilience...
"Resilience is a successor to mere progress, a companion to sustainability. It acknowledges from the outset that THINGS WILL GO WRONG. All of our solutions will eventually outlive their usefulness. WE WILL MAKE MESSES, and disruption we do not cause or predict will land on us. THIS IS THE DRAMA OF BEING ALIVE... It's a shift from wish-based optimism to reality-based hope. It's akin to meaningful, sustained happiness - not dependent on a state of perfection or permanent satisfaction, but a way of being that can meet the range of emotions and experiences, light and dark, that add up to life. Resilience doesn't overcome failure so much as transmute it (gracefully), integrating it into the reality that evolves (life)."
I paraphrased a bit... there was another quote at some point that struck me...
"We are not here to save the world we're here to live in it Fierce and humble..." Courtney Martin. I'll have to find the exact quote... it was stupendous! I've got to run.
Still miss you guys! Damn! And, I was thinking maybe I'll cut back on the swearing. Gram wouldn't approve... AT ALL! "it's unladylike."
The house I grew up in is for sale. Wow. My mother and step Father have moved to their new digs in Longmont. The old place went on the market officially yesterday - open house this weekend... 825 W. 7th Ave. Dr. Broomfield, CO 80020. Yikes, that was the first address I ever memorized. I walked to kindergarten and walked home to this house for lunch every day. My Grandmother made snow bunnies and men and women in the yard here. There was a view when the trees were smaller and a short fence with her rose garden.
The utility room was Grandpa's workshop and used to have Grandma's kiln and china painting supplies. The "red room" hasn't been red for a long time and the space under the stairs isn't a mystical, secret hiding space any longer. The piano that was upstairs along with the old console record player hasn't been present or heard in a long time... except in my mind. The Aloha Hawaii Reader's Digest collection still plays in my memory (Tiny bubbles!) as I play dress up and barbie dolls with Carol from down the street. And Grandma plays piano and the two of them sip champagne as they put up the Christmas tree. OMG!
I can picture Grandpa shaving and brushing his teeth at the downstairs bathroom sink. I used to sleep in one of the twin beds in the front bedroom upstairs the one with the really weird red pointy pendant light. And I would run up an down the hill and hide and play. I crashed my trike and skinned my knee for the first time on that street and watched the birds and squirrels from the kitchen window. There was always African violets and the downstairs fire place going in winter and corned beef hash from the can or Lipton chicken noodle soup from the package! I could have died when I was blown off the slide at Kohl elementary and Grandma came to rescue me. I could go on and on and it was only me and them... no one else around to reminisce about these things...
I'm all choked up for Pete's sake good grief! I didn't realize how poignant it was until I started tripping down memory lane... shit! Well there it is.. times change and we all move on. They bought the house new in the 60's. Wow! Miss you Grandma and Grandpa... miss you guys a REALLY LOT!
August 19th - Update... the closing is on the 21st of August. Mom had to replace the 55 year old furnace! I added this post to my Facebook page on the day I wrote it and my cousin Rob had this to say. Very touching... thanks Rob! We'll all share some memories when I come home to visit.
From Rob Hug posted on Facebook July 28th, 2017 9am
Lots of good memories there. Where I learned to walk (Grandpa let me sip his beer then took it away, I went from crawling to miracle boy running in that one moment!). Countless days of lawn mowing and being happy to do it, some riding the bus up and having grandpa pay me double bus fair, to go home and come back, "that's how you know I think you did a good job, here's money to come back!". The lavender lotion, the crazy lamp, spending the night before snow storms to help shovel walks and the metal roof(!) Grandma teaching me to read, making rosaries, doing gymnastics and the bluejays that would sing to her. Grandpa standing near my bed with my newly broken arm joking about how with the Alzheimer's patients he was visiting, you only needed one good story, and could tell it over and over... great memories indeed! I hope someday I can be as good of a grandparent to my grandkids as they were to us!
David Whyte - Facebook Post July 18th
"is the deepest form of care, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt.
Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger points toward the purest form of compassion, the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for.
What we usually call anger is only what is left of its essence when it reaches the lost surface of our mind or our body’s incapacity to hold it, or the limits of our understanding. What we name as anger is actually only the incoherent physical incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love helplessly in our bodies or our mind with the clarity and breadth of our whole being.
What we have named as anger on the surface is the violent outer response to our own inner powerlessness, a powerlessness connected to such a profound sense of rawness and care that it can find no proper outer body or identity or voice, or way of life to hold it.
What we call anger is often simply the unwillingness to live the full measure of our fears or of our not knowing, in the face of our love for a wife, in the depth of our caring for a son, in our wanting the best, in the face of simply being alive and loving those with whom we live.
Our anger breaks to the surface most often through our feeling there is something profoundly wrong with this powerlessness and vulnerability; anger too often finds its voice strangely, through our incoherence and through our inability to speak, but anger in its pure state is the measure of the way we are implicated in the world and made vulnerable through love in all its specifics: a daughter, a house, a family, an enterprise, a land or a colleague."
It goes on... and I love it. What a unique and fabulous different way to consider the anger that I've been feeling so often lately. Thanks David Whyte! www.davidwhyte.com! He also posts amazing photos... I guess he is the photographer! Awesome!
SELF-PORTRAIT - David Whyte
It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
if you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes,
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
or the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace,
even the gods speak of God.
Or maybe I should call it a sucker punch to the gut. It's the weirdest thing ever! I didn't sleep well again last night. Thoughts spinning, sure, but physical "intensity" "tenseness." (I didn't know that was a word.}
I'm attributing it to emotional responses to a work situation. Maybe that's wrong? Maybe it's totally unrelated and merely a physical response to something else entirely? WTF!?
That possibility didn't dawn on me until just this instant... that the two things may be completely unrelated... Let me play with that idea for a bit and check that out.
I'm going "in" folks. Wish me luck. Hopefully I won't get trampled by all the bat shit crazy squirrels running a muck in there!
I noticed yesterday that the fact that I had two years smober overshadowed (in a brilliantly awesome way) everything that happened or might happen yesterday. In other words as I went about my day and had a few interesting and potentially dire & stressful things on the horizon... the remembering that it's a special day to celebrate assisted in cruising right through the day. Somehow providing an instant "attitude adjustment."
A similar thing happens when I work out in the morning. For the rest of the day I have that "win" in my YOU ROCK column. Focusing on that for a moment makes me breathe and actually feel lifted and lighter. It literally removes some of the shadow of dread from whatever I happen to be ominously shuddersome about at the moment.
Is this a minor breakthrough and awareness of the amazingly obvious? Sweet! It's similar to remembering to feel grateful... but has a different energy. Gratitude is somewhat "humblie..." (yes my own new word) feeling... Celebration feels delightful, proud, satisfying and congratulatory rather than modest and quiet, abject and submissive.
Both are cool, don't get me wrong... it's not an either or thing at all. I'm just noticing how awesome celebrating feels. For the first fucking time? WTF!? Like really!
SO>>>> I'm pretty sure I can come up with something DAILY to
MAKE MERRY about...
BEAT THE DRUM... about
LET LOOSE and LIVE IT UP about...
MOST Excellent insight! Thanks!
It's easier to make the bed
when you're IN IT...
I can't remember which wise adult provided this advice to me as a small child or why I chose today to remember this. It's fun and probably a veiled manipulation and incentive to get a kid to make their bed...
It also endures because it is true on some level. You can, while still laying in your bed, nicely cozy and warm make actions like making a snow angle. This gets all the creases and bunches in the sheets moved to the edges and away. You can pull the covers up and over and around layer by layer so that when you carefully climb out finishing the process is a breeze. You can kind of drop out backwards and have fun with it... just sayin'... why not!? Start the day on a fun and efficient note instead of drudgery and grumpiness... or even mindless routine. Start out being creative and entertaining for your own personal self.
So I woke up this morning thinking this... interesting spin on many different aspects of life and living and learning and so forth. for pondering further another day... today actually 12/7/2017 I'm cleaning up all my draft blogs and finishing them. What fun!
So... there are so many different whirls. If you can't see the forest for the trees... that sucks. You have to realize you're in a forest. Well you don't HAVE to do anything it's just EASIER! Isn't there some other saying and lying in the bed you make...?
So I will leave further inspirations and ruminations to you... I just love to make my bed AND be IN IT!
"Worry is like a rocking chair. It uses up all your energy, but where does it get you?" Bob Gass
I had the gift of being raised by my grandparents until about the age of seven. Grandma was loving and supportive, positive, creative and wise. She was also a worry wort. It's in my DNA and my early environment. It's one more thing to pay attention to... and just say to myself... "Thanks for sharing... and choose another thought.
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!