Archive for the ‘Talking Self Down Off Ledge’ Category

strange trips

Or, perhaps, Bummer Du Jour.  There was an unscheduled landing on the island State of Disturbed Mind recently and hacking through the underbrush seems to have taken what attention I had left over post various and sundry head explosions.  More on that later.

In any event, before the Unscheduled Landing, I’d been pondering something.  Ever since we came here I’ve had the Rash from Hell.  This summer it perched attractively on my face, and being actually able to GO TO A DERMATOLOGIST, I did. ( More another time on how depressed dermatologists appear to be- then again, looking at rashes all day would be enough to lower one’s spirits.)  They diagnosed me with rosacea, which is in fact a catch all term for: We have no idea, it’s a rash, on your face.  I did as told, and as one might expect, nothing really got healed.  So, one day the lightbulb went off, and I said, dude! why not try your OWN rosacea remedy? I made this up several years ago for a client, and it has been successful more often than not.  Duly making a batch up for myself, I applied it as directed (!!) and…guess what? It worked.  Like a charm.  Let’s just say it was a teachable moment.  This year particularly I’ve been trying the things I make for other people.  The usual way this comes about is someone contacts me, says what their current project is, and I tootle around and make something.  Often of course I hear nothing, but just as often I hear that people are thrilled, their problem has healed (like ganglion, rosacea, migraine, shingles, different pains and sores…well, you get the picture) and all is well.  Generally speaking I make these things, keep the recipes for future use, and think no more of it.  This year, though, things have been so rocky I’ve ACTUALLY TRIED MY OWN STUFF.  The cream for residual pain from injuries and chiro adjustments? Works.  My bone spur cream? Works. The across the board pain cream? WORKS.

I don’t think of these things as something *I* make- I am simply a conduit, a vehicle, for a higher level of awareness to be brought to bear, so it followed that I didn’t give “specialness” to, for, or about any of it- in the same way my several matched sets of emotional baggage used to block my mental entrances and exits so that I didn’t think about going someplace far, far away.

Well, haha Gentle Reader.  It turns out that far far away place is ME.  Who’da thunk? It’s been interesting walking around feeling as though I am coming to some totally different state of animation and understanding- no “self”, but SELF which is of course part of everything. It’s liberating, and challenging since of course at the same time several things have occurred pushing all the remaining recessed buttons on my panic panel.  The recently discovered “me” knows that things work out; the panic panel operant is sure that we really ARE going to die now.  In short, the human condition with some additional overhang, stakes and live tigers.

Meanwhile, in my efforts to escape the Island State of Difficult Mind, it became ever more clear that the old tools were not working.  I can’t, for example just go out and get a job like I did when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Society, we’ll use that word, is in a state of collapse and if you don’t think so, just try getting something accomplished out there.  The recent “mass shooting” in Tehama County, California, took place about 40 minutes south of us.  The media has presented “the shooter” as a mad, bad, demented and deranged man, “not law enforcement friendly”.  The dwellers at that particular threshold say they reported this guy numerous times and law enforcement did nothing.  HE said his neighbors were cooking meth, made his dog sick, and wouldn’t stop.  Admittedly he did go way over the edge but one can, if one lives here, see how it could happen to almost anyone. Net net? The whole thing is this place in a nutshell.  Half the people here are just like that shooter.  There is no law enforcement unless the Sheriff decides to do something- as in you can call them, but good luck with that project. Honestly? I don’t know how it happened that the guy (Mr. 98 years in jail) across the road from us actually got arrested but I suspect after a certain number of bodies, something Has to Be Done. So there you are, bravely going forth in a place where the citizenry is unravelling before your eyes, and there is no redress for any misfeasance.  Every law and regulation that gets passed puts us more at the mercy of whatever moneyed interest pushed it through.  We, for example, get to pay twelve extra cents a gallon tax on gas now for some in fact unclear reason, which no doubt involves money passing from one hand to the other for some “project” far in the future.  The “new” and “emergency” regulations on “legal marijuana” are like something you’d make up as a pastiche.  Municipalities get to decide if you can grow plants, and where and if you can sell them, but nonetheless! If you want to do that, in some sort of cloud of unknowing, you have to have insurance coverage of $2 million, a $5000 bond, an annual license that ranges in cost depending on Idon’tknowwhat from $1250 to $78,000, AND a sort of know-me fee to cover processing your “application”.  The rules for “medicinal” and “adult-use” products are now under the same rubric- which I take to mean that medical users get to pay the same (sorry!) usurious tax rates as profligate hell bent adult users.  This was supposedly cobbled together including “robust” public input.  And of course it doesn’t stop there.  Mr. Unmentionable LPV continues going beyond the beyond, and besides displaying a disturbing grasp of geography,  one really important thing that got his recent attention seems to have been, whoa! too many elephants! lift the ban on bringing elephant trophies back from your brave African hunts! Total tip of the iceberg of course but it is precisely this complete wrecking of any kind of social fabric, conscience, and responsibility that makes life incredibly difficult in these times.  Making a plan for the future is only possible, it seems, if you’re rolling in money.  And maybe not even then, but at least you have some choice, which is not available in the more tenuously funded realms.

All of which is to say this is quite the endeavor.  I ask that I be given the grace and means to do my work, but it is entirely unclear how that may happen.  It’s only clear that it can, and does almost independently of anything else.  And now, I must bid you adieu since the Dog needs something for itchy winter skin.  Watch this space! It will probably work on humans, too.  Blessings and thanks, as always.

dance

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what persists

This morning’s brain storm involved Greek philosophers.  Who said, among others, two things.  (And, spoiler alert, we may have successfully inserted a picture at the end here….)

One: Resistance to what is causes suffering. (They weren’t the only ones to say this of course.)

Two: What we resist persists. (I think we all have this tattooed on our wrists, actually, and mistakenly think it is an instruction instead of a caution.)

So.  Suffering thus continues ad nauseam if we let it, by behaving as if we have no control over ourselves and thus none anywhere else.  Control is of course a relative term, since the only thing we can ever even hope to control is how we respond to things.  But our responses do have demonstrable effects and those can be positive instead of negative if we choose wisely.  It becomes more a thing of seeing the flow of things instead of the immobility of how we think we want it or how unfair it is that it isn’t the way we think we want it.

So, what I thought, Gentle Reader, was: If, and it is a largish sized IF, we accept what is as simply that- what it IS, we alleviate our suffering.  And we also can posit that while pain is, as they say, inevitable since it is what IS quite often, in not resisting that in the sense of non-acceptance and non-acknowledgement, we again alleviate our suffering.   And alleviation of suffering leaves room for process, change, and movement.   Flow.  Which is still flow even when you have a slight limp.

Things really are bloody awful in this country right now and look poised to take a dive into even further depths of the dumper.  It would be easy to become totally discombobulated, which a part of me often feels is Part of The Plan.  The speed of the digital world leaves no time for digestion, basically.  Also substance is often lacking therein, no matter what topic or level you choose- it’s thorough going from A to Z.  So everyone is malnourished while feeling stuffed and empty at the same time, and when you’re in that space you’re cranky.  You may even reach for something totally inappropriate to assuage that feeling, only to find it’s made things worse since it gave you acid indigestion.

Resisting this whole paradigm was causing suffering, let’s just say.  So I began to task myself with focusing on letting nothing that came from me, word, deed, dessert or salad, come from anything but love.  This is very easy in the abstract of course while one is pulling weeds or staring into space, but in the nuts and bolts day to day it takes a certain discipline to even think about how while, no, you don’t have to kiss this jerk you really want to hit with a two by four, at the same time the helpful thing is to recognize the divergences and not pay undue attention beyond that.  For me this quite often means keeping my mouth shut and my face clear and just skipping the exegesis about whatever it is. ( I’m expecting to see some significant weight loss from all this effort, too…) Another component is not letting one’s mind go amok with all the things that could go Terribly Wrong At Any Second, complete with all the embellishments that can happen when it turns unexpectedly into a novel writing episode.  I mean, really.  The things you can imagine going sideways can make you completely nuts, and are also completely unnecessary.

In that vein, I can report things are going better- only a third of my head explodes at any given time of late. It’s a fascinating experiment to conduct if nothing else, just seeing what happens when you give any situation, or thing for that matter, your positive and appreciative attention.  Somehow that energy returns to you, then goes back, and it circulates on.  And also? You feel better yourself.  So much of it is also about replacing all those self centered thoughts with doing something for someone else, however small.  Open a door, give a complement, do something for your loved ones you know they want done (like, say, picking up dog poo from the yard).  Simple.  In fact so simple it is easy to think it’s of no value.  And this can be extended to whatever is happening outside one’s immediate personal life.  Love, as Athol Fugard said, is the best subversion.

The Dog of course continues to be the constant instructor.  We had to do several business and anxiety provoking errands this week, and we all went.  The mere PRESENCE of the Dog made people smile, then laugh, then be extra helpful.  He smiled all day with enough wattage to power the yurt.  It really made me think long and hard- the simple fact of the joy inherent in living is what he manifests- even when he gets irritated about the density of Mommy not seeing that he needs a treat RIGHT NOW.  And that has a huge impact on everyone around him.  We had a good example of that, too, the other morning.  He went outside with the Partner for his morning rounds, and a hummingbird flew up to him at eye level.  They looked at each other for several seconds in an astonishingly companionable and communicative way.  The Partner asked the Dog what Hummingbird said to him and for some reason I hummed the tune from Close Encounters.  Dog? looked at me in a startled way then SMILED and I swear he also nodded.  That’s what Hummingbird said I guess- it’s a big cosmos and we should probably accept that and enjoy it.  There’s everything and more for us to see and experience and learn, no matter what the circumstance.  Here he is, probably pondering the Next Lesson if I know him.heavycrown

Blessings and thanks, as always.

time travel

How long has it been, Gentle Reader? Time is right now  its own, very weird, hard edged commodity.  There’s never enough of it of course, which strikes me as strange now that we’re in this here rural lifestyle where it appears that people think we simply sit around and fan idly through magazines all day long and have oodles of it, when in fact it’s your basic sun up to sun down and beyond.  Just for the basics.

Skipping over current events, or more like it dashing over sinkholes pursued by hellhounds, it seems simple survival is quite a success these days.  I heard Representative Labrador (from Idaho, go figure) say that no one had ever died from not being able to get health care in response to a constituent’s disapproval of the current proposed “healthcare” legislation.  So, OK.  That’s so totally stupid I think we need say no more.  We’re just in for a really bumpy ride before this all immolates, and it’s everywhere.  One has to decide pretty quickly just how excited to get over each explosion.

Meanwhile our efforts to get at least part way into the current century in terms of “technology” continue.  It no longer makes my head explode when people dismissively say, oh, you can too get internet/doctors/books there and blahblahblah.  No, because we learned that the even the actual City of Redding does not have optic fiber connections anywhere.  The official municipal communications apparently occur on some sort of paper cup and string arrangement.  So why should I think my precarious existence should have more up to date arrangements?

Nevertheless.  The telephone situation here is dismal.  The ATT cel phone only works at a distance of about 14 miles from home.  The Hughesnet satellite home phone connection works when it feels like it and aside from not liking snow, it’s not clear what makes the satellite say, uh, NO.  Not Now.   I’ve thus been casting about for a better, more cost effective and workable phone solution that might also allow me to do more marketing for my website and products.  You know, like Instagram and stuff.  So.  I got my first smart phone.  (And yes it IS somewhat intimidating and I feel like a gorilla trying to type on it.) Credo Mobile, an at least relatively ethical carrier, free (” “) IPhone, and apparently coverage even HERE in the round house.  I agonized over the decision, but if all goes well I can get rid of three devices and just have one that works as it is supposed to.  And save money in the process which is becoming ever more important.

However the usual key words here are: IF ALL GOES WELL.  Because so far? It has been a marvelous exercise in equanimity, mindfulness, staying calm, and carrying on.  I haven’t cried, even under intense provocation, and only had one small slug of vodka after the first six hour stressathon.

Initially things went reasonably smoothly and the phone came to my mailbox when they said it would, the offer had changed in the few days since my first call but not significantly.  I felt a strange unease about setting the phone up,  without knowing why (SILLY BEAR)….and then it all became clear.  First, there was the connection for customer support, after the 2+ hour attempted online connection could not be made,  to someone in Nigeria which on my phone felt very much like the aforementioned paper cup arrangement.  Turned out I couldn’t have my old number ported to the new phone because I did not know what my ATT PIN was.  So, fine.  Give me a new number, we’ll carry on.  But NO!!!! My Apple ID wouldn’t work.  An hour plus into it I hung up and called Apple.   An hour plus into that? My home phone died.  Nothing having been successfully wrestled to the ground at that point.

AFOG, for sure.  I realized I had about a second to make up my mind not to freak out about it all, to breathe, do something else, start over tomorrow.  This was the part with the vodka.  Then I went outside and transplanted seedlings.

I started anew the next day, already having about six hours into this.  I called Apple first, where to my stupefaction (since this was about the fourth time I’d called in the past few months about this issue) the Rep revealed that? GUESS WHAT? There’s a website where you can reestablish your Apple ID.  I was thrilled.  Moving on, 45 minutes down, to calling Credo again to get connected, I found that the Apple ID had not been instantly updated so I still couldn’t do anything with that.   Fine, fine.  Another hour and another mini-death for the house phone later, it was revealed that my new IPhone was not going to power up.  Period.  No way.  It seems it needs a new SIM card.  Which we hope will arrive on the morrow when we have to go to town anyway.  Then I get to suit up and do it all over again.  Anyway it took the bulk of the weekend and while, yes, I learned a lot, nothing really got DONE.

I’m assuming this will all get wrestled to the ground and be fine.  The lacking PIN and unfindable ID related to a time long, long ago where someone else was doing my IT.  Good to sever all that and move forward into the NOW.  The question really is, how does one deal with all this overwhelming frustration and time suck?  Over something one doesn’t, in the big picture, really need but in quotidian context, must have.  It seemed sort of like everything else- all these things move in one’s life and have impact (like health care, let’s say, or a recent mystifying spot visit from two huge sheriffs trundling up our “driveway” one morning) without one having any ability to influence any part of it.  Except how one responds.

So I decided to use this as an opportunity to really work on my thoughts.  Revamped my brain as follows: 1) this is manageable 2) time can be used productively even in hacked up increments, to wit our lovely bean seedlings 3) no reason for fear or anxiety, (actually really ever) but if those things rear their unshapely heads, there’s a five minute limit and  4) in spite of feeling as though one is flying into the maw of some huge devouring reptilian creature, things are really OK.  Let’s ramp it back down to just thinking about a PHONE and not branch into ISTHEREAMETEORWITHGODZILLAONITCOMINGMYWAY.

Essentially, what I realized yet again was that we live in rather…interesting times.  The level of discordant energy is over the moon and it’s pretty hard not to feel that to an at times overwhelming extent.  Everyone really does feel it, and around here it appears to be contributing to a Night of the Living Dead atmosphere full of heroin users. However, that isn’t this.  The discord isn’t about us, personally,  and although things are dicey there’s no reason to assume the worst is always just around the corner.  In a decadent situation, things will fall down.  It is what it is, and it is where one finds oneself.  The saying used to be (pardon me, guys) if it has tires or testicles you’re going to have problems with it.  Now it’s more like if it has bytes? You’ll get bitten.  These things are par for the course though, and the continuing effort has to be toward conscious discernment in terms of just how important any given sandtrap really is, and are there sharks.  Also, even if you lose strokes you still get out of the trap for the most part so it still all boils down to learning from experience, and accepting that winds always shift.

To think I at least thought I was out of school.  Now I find I’m not only still there, but I’m playing golf in another galaxy.  And golf? used to be my most-detested sport but I find now it is quite calming to watch.  Which I take to mean, on some level, that once you put your preconceptions down, it’s a whole new world in a rather stunning way.  I’m just hoping this newest new world includes a working IPhone.

Blessings and thanks! oh, and, the Dog is fine. Even if he has lately tended a bit to melodrama- but that is a story for another time.  Right now he needs to play……

quo vadis, with recipe

It’s not getting much better yet, Gentle Reader.  The nausea and pain are prevalent every waking minute. ( Even The Dog barfed and forgot his house training for a minute- it worries him when I cry.)  The good news, besides the fact that People magazine finally picked the right guy as sexiest man on earth (THE ROCK!!!!! YESSSSS!!!) is that our local PBS station has a World channel, which now is exclusively showing First Nations Experience programming.  So it’s all natives, all the time. WONDERFUL.  We switch between that and their cooking show channel:  New Scan Cooking, a favorite, is always calming.  And hilarious as we watch the Chef lug around the exact same cast iron wood stove we have (a Jotul) to do outdoor smoking and whatnot.  In Scandinavian calm and ice.

I’ve been cooking to get my mind off how gobsmacked I am by having to behave as though people who voted for Trump are not bigots, racists, sexists and climate change deniers.  I find my face shaping itself into The Scream every time the tv accidentally rests on the news and I see that Bannon and Sessions are lined up for positions of power, but this is actually totally in line with everything that was said during the campaign. Let’s just say this about voting.   Aside from the fact that the popular vote means nothing in this country, apparently.  If a person voted for Trump, and wants to say they do not support any of the often expressed aforementioned attitudes and beliefs,  it seems to me that either such a person was not paying much attention to what was going on, or, they made a choice for conscious ignorance.   I’m not at all sure that even his supporters will be thrilled with what’s coming down the pike. It makes going outside now pretty scary, although I have to say I have found some comfort in the numbers of people (women, for the most part) I hear in the grocery store saying they are crushed and  can’t even watch the “news” any more.  The mayor and police chief of neighboring Chico felt it necessary to go on  local tv programming and say, strongly and unequivocally, that they would not be rounding anyone up for any reason, like, say, deportation.  There are a lot of kids there going to college who are now at risk, just for starters. ( And doesn’t it seem smart to deport people who are educating themselves at their own expense?)

SO.  Despair doesn’t get us much forwarder, I know.  There are a million shades of green outside right now, and a lot of golden dead leaves flying through the air with the bluebirds.  The cows eat peaceably in their pastures, the deer come out in the evenings, and the turkey are wisely sticking to heavy cover as they always do during this time of year.   In the meantime I have finally perfected cooking fritter/burger/pancake things made out of vegetables.  Here is something that actually turned out very well:

Black bean “burgers”: I cook my own beans but you can, of course, use canned.  The eggs are pretty essential but if you’re really into Vegan cooking you probably know a suitable substitute.  Depending on quantity, obviously the ratios will change but it’s pretty simple…..

2 cups of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if canned.  1 medium sized yam or sweet potato, grated.  Two cloves garlic, minced, and about a half cup of chopped cilantro.  You could use parsley if you don’t care for cilantro.  You also want 1/8 cup of spice mixture, equal parts cumin, coriander, and black pepper.  Plus a small chopped jalapeno (or other pepper if you don’t want ANY heat).  Mix all these things together, and add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs- I have found that using Panko makes a world of difference as in you can actually flip the things as though you know what you’re doing, mush free.  Mix in the crumbs, then stir in 3 beaten eggs.  Salt to taste.  Use a 1/4 cup measure and place in a heated frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a bit of butter. (Or whatever you prefer.)  Flatten the mixture a bit, fry til browned on both sides, and serve.   We like them with rajas and crema.  Mayo works great too, or yogurt with lime juice.  The usual suspects, in short.  I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving because cranberries! so there is, yes, always something positive if you only look.

I guess I’m hoping that focusing on the good, the simple, the basic, and on kindness will get me through this extended spate of difficult mental states. I’m handing out my You Matter cards like crazy.  Thank you, as always.

 

sartre lives

In a word, GR, NAUSEA.

So.  We now have Turkey, Baton Rouge, Minnesota, RNC., the Mediterranean Sea full of ghastliness, somewhat reminiscent of Otay Mesa, and more.  Even the police around here are nervous, looking at everyone as though a barrage of gunfire will erupt at any moment.  Given that it appears that the police around here are crack shots, based on the news, I don’t know why they’re uneasy. Yes, being a policeperson is a challenging job.  But no, you don’t just get to shoot people because they’re…well, whatever.  We are, after all, supposed to have a “rule of law”.  Not a rule of, I don’t like how you look so you are getting blasted to kingdom come. And, if you are being honest, you have to admit that this sort of thing happens All the Effing Time.  Here.  And, everywhere.  But the U.S. is kind of an epicenter of violence, oddly enough.  Or not oddly.  Just enough.

Moreover, it’s a really humiliating, more than usual even, time to be an American citizen, what with this “election”.  I look at the images of the individuals “in power” on TV, everywhere.  Istanbul to Cleveland, all of it.  Nobody looks even remotely human, like they’re not from this planet at all.   I’m horrified and saddened even though I am fairly sure this is all part of an evolving cosmos and world and really it will all be as it should, and fine, and well.  Still.  This is not the world I thought I used to live in.  I’m sorry, but really.  Trump? it’s totally inconceivable that anyone with even a small portion of a working brain could think he would be a functional, positive, competent leader of anything.  His business record includes, to my understanding, SEVERAL bankruptcies, not just one- and what this means? Is he defrauded everyone who invested in him.  UNBELIEVABLE FINANCING, we might call it. So, voters? Caveat emptor.  Just bring a barf bag and your check book.

But of course those feelings will not move us forward, and forward we must go.  In our world, we still have one person down and massive gardening duties as one result.  The Dog is using this time to great advantage.  For the first few days he ran wild outside, doing Bad Things Which Culminated in Vomiting since Mommy was Busy Elsewhere (with Daddy, of course).  Now we’re in more of a turbulent holding pattern, and for the four plus hours or so it takes to do what absolutely has to be done outside every day (temperature setting on BROILER), the Dog is in a state of bliss.  He paddles front paws in his water tub (yes, he does want to go swimming), flies over the deck with those same wet paws outstretched and tail extended gracefully, rolls in stickers and sits in mud.  He laughs, he smiles, he races back and forth carrying either an old slipper or small log in his mouth.  On the whole, it is in fact a lot of fun, I am getting MUSCLES.  Serious muscles, Gentle Reader.  Sort of an odd time in life to get buff but it is what it is.  And the plants are happy which is the true Big Deal.  We’ve got cucumbers and zucchini and grapes and chard already, which is exciting especially given my spotty  focus this year.

Other than that? I’ve had only one brilliant idea.  Kentucky Fried Chicken has had some, for them, quite witty commercials lately, featuring different people as Col. Sanders.  The most recent one features George Hamilton. ( Extra Crispy.)  I think the obvious next choice for the Colonel is Christopher Walken.  Followed by Samuel. ( Jackson, that is.)  It’s good to know in this dizzying world that I can still have ideas, after all.

I leave you with a picture of someone who does not like papparazzi:

dontwakeme

And of course, my thanks for reading.

the dial got stuck

Indeed it did, Gentle Reader.  For the past few weeks the setting has been permanently on CLUSTERF***.

One tiny example? No internet or phone for a week during which my email “chats” (from my landlady’s where I was perched between a cat litter box and a saddle) with the satellite provider started being all caps. As in, NO.  MY INTERNET ISN’T WORKING AT ALL YOU CAN’T DO A TEST ON THE LINE.  NO.  I DON’T HAVE A PHONE BECAUSE IT’S CONNECTED TO THE SATELLITE. THERE IS NO PHONE WHERE I AM.  WE ARE OFF GRID.  SEND HELP.  That sort of thing.  Finally, after extended misadventures, workability returned to the ethers and the entire system was replaced.  For once none of this was even remotely my fault. This miracle entailed a visit from the person who owns the “dealership” here, who asked me out for a drink with the Partner sitting there and with his wedding ring shining brightly- right after he told me about his private plane.  Are your neighbors 7th Day Adventists with a landing strip? I asked him.  Deflection scored.   I’m telling myself it’s all fine even though all the ideas I was brimming with when this latest crash happened, for the website and whatnot, and of course brilliant blog musings, evaporated like the fog rising from the ground last night after it rained.  Even the part where we ended up dispatching and then cremating a scorpion who’d mysteriously appeared in the middle of the floor with its tail raised ever so adorably (the P: What’s THAT? Oh, SHIT.  Me: What? OH. SHIT.).

In the meantime all sorts of other things have been revealing themselves and it seems clear now that we don’t, in fact, live in Kansas anymore (in both personal AND cosmic ways of course) and none of the people we used to know remember us except in the most fetishized sort of way.  The Giant Finger that is public/government involvement in one’s life (think insurance, and certain other basic things, like registering to vote plus various other matters the County involves itself in) has been showing itself to be ever more puckish, which contributes to 1) A bit of screaming 2) Deep breathing 3) Acceptance that one seriously needs a new map.  It’s a kind of condensed grieving, actually.  Where you grieve for yourself as the human you thought you used to know you were, and the life you thought you used to live.

The truth of course is nicely put by Wendell Berry:

“When I rise up/Let me rise up joyful/like a bird.

When I fall/let me fall without regret/like a leaf.”

It takes some practice but it IS possible to greet all the pits with the stakes and the live tigers as ways to do it differently.  Ways to see it differently.  I’m thinking now that if you can at least catch yourself sometime in the 24 hour period during which these things hit, you’ve got an excellent chance of doable change in circumstance.  The question is, what do you do during that gruesome 24 hours when your stomach is in your toes, your heart is torn and your head aches?  What you do is stop, and breathe, and WAIT.  Let yourself have time to speak.  Then, of course, you have to listen- which doesn’t have to be so bad once you firmly stick to the NO JUDGMENT rule.  You can, and often probably should, decide not to do or feel or think certain things again, but you mustn’t torture yourself for having done them.  Or as the case may be, not done.  It’s all a springboard, weirdly enough.

And in more important news, the Dog is almost a year old.  At 75 pounds he is what a PetCo employee admiringly said, a “tight-looking dog!”.  Even though he has taken to rushing to his bed and pretending to snore when it’s bath time, he’s really VERY handsome. The Partner took him shopping for birthday toys and evidently it was a smashing success, with the Dog investigating all appropriate items, sniffing bones, and even playing with another 11 month old.  mycouch2The romantic hues of this photo show that…well.  He takes up the entire couch now.  It’s admittedly not a big couch but it is about….five feet long? He revels. When we’re out his smile disarms even the crankiest individual. We’re still looking for a chew toy that will last more than 56 minutes and not hurt him if he swallows any of it, but I suppose that is the Quest Perilous in which we try to prove ourselves Worthy.  Prithee, Sir? doth this chew toy ring satisfactory and please thee? Anyway,  I’m making hummus for his birthday next week- it’s his favorite.  So far.  Right after potato curry and home-ground hamburger.  Little nibbles, of course.

Thank you and bless you, ALL!  as we continue on this ever wilder ride.

fight the power

AS in the old Isley Brothers song, Gentle Reader.  I won’t bore you with tales of unscrupulous, if church going, wood sellers or psycho white supremacist phone repair guys.  Suffice it to say that I have retained my composure in the stress spots, there is more right sized wood than before and the phone IS working, even if the level in the vodka bottle has gone down, along with my supply of patience.

But.  The good news continues to be the natural world.  Every morning now the Siskiyous and Mt. Shasta are PINK.  PINK!!!! ( I’d take a picture but it currently takes both hands to keep The Dog in line.)  Covered with snow for the first time in a long time, the sunrise bathes them in a truly otherworldly peach glow.  It’s like being on the inside of a song.  Two days ago there were lemniscate clouds over the Siskiyous: mountains diamond white in the sunrise, clouds pink, then back to normal in a fleeting moment.  That’s where the focus goes these days, really.  On the Pink.