Posts Tagged ‘change’

what just happened here?

Lately it’s been a daily-ish experience to kind of have my head, unexpectedly of course, snap around and wonder what just happened here?  It’s almost as though Sleeping Somebody just woke up and however much sleep is rubbed from the eyes, it’s still an unfamiliar vista.

Staring at the now Very Big fennel area in the garden, which was seeded  four years ago, I not only wonder where the time went but who was that masked person who planted those seeds?  The descendants of Tyrant, the OG Hummingbird, flock around the feeder now and eat all together.  We can see the markings of everyone who went before, including the amazing copper hummy we saw last year.  Spring came and went, in the usual quick fashion of this place, with incredible lush swaths of green everywhere and the wild flowers blooming as if in arranged bouquets, short to tall, complementary colors.  Lots of new cows and goats and lizards.  It took about a month but now everything is dry and crisp for the most part, the snow and cold are a memory, and the rabbits are once again lying in the relative coolness of shade spots on the driveway.

I’m feeling the permanence of the impermanent, maybe.  We try, all of us I think, to throw off the weight of entropy, of inertia, what F. Scott Fitzgerald called the dead hand of the past, and live our lives.  At least we try to do that when we commit to being present, feeling what we’re feeling and following that, in an effort to find Peace of Mind. And when we are able to do that? There is a brilliance to things that is almost blinding,  They race by, they stand still, but everything is somehow different in its unfamiliar familiarity.  It’s a flow, a big river of energy and light and stops and gos.

Our quotidian struggles have come and gone and been replaced by new ones, of course.  (Notwithstanding the periodic bleak moments that happen when I hear “the news” however briefly and it seems like we are in a Really Deep Hole that Goes On Forever.  Like seeing that a municipality in Oregon is going to spray a 200 acre organic farm with Roundup to “eradicate weeds” so, I’m guessing, they won’t grow on the Interstate.  Uh.  If that isn’t a deep hole I don’t know what is.) The leap into the 21st century continues and I only cried once.  So I’m proud of myself, continuing to assume that my learning curve will be a curve and not a sheer drop off a cliff.  Photography, for example, how to actually get the pictures somewhere else than the phone….my oh my.  But, hope springs eternal.  In other news: The Dog did something strange and had to be rushed to the Vet a week ago, an untimely bank account draining, equanimity squashing ordeal.  However, he appears to have been restored to vim and vigor from Whatever Happened (see?) and once again I am overwhelmed with gratitude. The xrays revealed that he has an absolutely splendid trachea and spine, so there was that as well.  His Legend Continues of course.  He had to be sedated and when he woke up and came out to the waiting room? He bounded out with a huge grin, trotted briskly over to the reception counter, stood up and put his paws down as if to say, hey! I’m here! Where are the treats? Drinks for everybody!  The staff continued to tell the tale of it later in the week when I went in for…well, more treats…and they pointed to me and said, you should see HER dog!  In other good news all the seeds I planted germinated….still waiting on the culinary herbs but it may already be too hot for them.  The Partner has done a stellar job of clearing grasses and mixing soils and transplanting tiny tomato seedlings.  The beans are in, soon to be followed by winter and summer squash, melons and cucumbers.

The continuing sense of deep unease and doubt is something I’m trying to experience calmly, in order to deal with it without screaming.  Admittedly life here is a matter of continual touch and go, new gnarly things rear their heads constantly, and we watch our opportunities to adequately support ourselves dwindle.  Most of this has to do with things that are entirely beyond our control, and the only influence we have is in how we think about these things and each moment as it happens.  Given that there is so much beauty and reward here even amidst the challenges, it’s pretty disorienting. It’s a strange business working on equilibrium and basic happiness in view of the fact that everything dies and is reborn, over and over, and we really don’t have much clarity about that for the most part.  Nor are there really any reliable guidebooks, other than those containing what is often referred to as “perennial wisdom”.  It takes some time to absorb that perennial wisdom, let’s just say.  I’m wondering how to get it to work at the checkout stand in the grocery store, for example.  As in, why NO.  That total is NOT OK.  How about a whole lot less?

In the end it probably comes down to good housekeeping.  Not only can you not take it with you, you shouldn’t lug it to the departure gate either.  Nothing stays the same, even when the architecture and firmament are recognizable.  This is actually a good thing, and leads me to my personal big question, which is: why why why why why is there all this fear?  All the acting out, selfishness, war, unfairness in the world….has a substrate of fear.  So really.  What are we so afraid of?  Even in the worst circumstances peace can be found, the moving river of whatever this is moves, you take the next step into the what is, if we’re honest, always unknown.  But it isn’t necessarily BAD.  In fact, it’s often really good.  Nothing to fear. Maybe that’s what’s been happening.

Blessings and thanks!

 

at rest, if lengthily

The Partner’s most common remark to me is that I should do less and relax more.  Usually this rest happens after I’ve had a really busy day and the next day I am completely immobile. Which, while not being actually what he’s suggesting, is better than nothing. Today is slightly such a day.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and we all know! Gentle Reader! how EXHAUSTING that is.  My aim has been to deal with the enormous amount of anxiety and dismay I’ve been feeling, both endogenously and exogenously.  Where does this come from and how can I get it to go away, sort of thing.

What I realized was that the whole thing can, in fact, be dealt with and for the most part? DISPENSED WITH.  I felt quite bucked up by that thought, right up to when I got another head-exploding pile of Important, Official Mail and had to take a day or two to remind myself that all of these things can be dealt with and forgotten about. ( The day I’ve picked for all that is tomorrow.  Seriously. ) It boils down to the question of self doubt, feelings of separation and the usual stale stew of rotting matched sets of emotional baggage.  You simply can’t function like that and ultimately, the good news is, you get tired of it and that baggage gets recycled permanently.  Of course there’s always the odd piece you’ve missed that rises up and trips you.  But once you really realize that none of this material is usable, it gave its all and now it is time to experiment, it gets easier.  Of course, this is on the personal level.

The larger level requires a similar process.  We see ourselves in a world that now appears to be at a ghastly culmination point.  A culmination point of thousands of years of selfishness, non-cooperation, and greed, not to put too fine a point on it.  This culmination point has, in the U.S., returned us almost back to our original point in time when the genocide and capitalistic rapacity all began (you know, Founding Fathers and Pilgrims and All That).  Where the despised of Europe came to “make their way”, and now seem to feel as though their forebears weren’t immigrants after all, nobody else was here to begin with,  and that they have somehow made that impossible transformation from pig’s ear to silk purse.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about here, Gentle Reader.  And looking at it all, just as it appears now, is beyond terrifying.  It’s downright unbelievable.

So I made the perhaps tenuous leaping connection between these personal and public dysfunctional ways of thinking and being.  And realized that in fact none of us really has to truly partake in them.  We can begin, or it is to be hoped, continue, to think and fend for ourselves.  To realize that everything around us IS us so we’d do better being conscious.  What someone told you was real before must be investigated before being accepted as truth.  Stones must start to be turned and the penny has finally got to drop that since you’re only seeing about 3% of what’s actually in front of you it might be best not to act like you Know It All.  It’s actually not rocket science at all and also? It’s not as hard as you think.  Making the effort to regain curiosity and interest is a simple first step.  How DO things work, after all, including you?

Thus, progress has been seen here when, for example, one is overcome with Dread and Nausea regarding the Upcoming Electional Event.  None of it will be anything you can jump up and down about in joy.  And if parts of it are so horrible they simply can’t be,  there will be a way to engage with it and move forward.  That way will involve THINKING and INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE and BEING POLITE, but there will be- there IS- a way.  You just have to set aside the residues of whatever sludge has adhered to you on your many trips around the sun, and remember that the old Magician’s instruction about obstacles still holds.  When something blocks you, you either move it aside,  conquer it or go around it.  The conquering part isn’t necessarily about a fight, either.  It’s usually about a more ongoing argument in one’s own self that precludes clear sight and thus clear action. And, the going around it part isn’t about avoidance or ignoring.  It’s about going in peace.  Moving aside is generally something best done politely and reasonably gently.

As a result of all this Intense Cogitation I was finally able to make some progress surrounding my “personal” setting, or work (who’da thunk?).  When I got to the place where my practice became my “employment”, it was a traumatic thing, as in, OMG.  There’s no money!  So I did what was said to be best practice in my situation, and a big part of that was behaving as though the things I made were ….. a PRODUCT.   Things went actually far better than I could have imagined.  But there’s a wall that gets hit in the Product world early on, and it was clear it wasn’t going to cut it overall- not financially and not mentally for yrs truly.  I make concrete remedies, yes, but they are not products and they are never the same- which is true of any recipe, when you think about it.  Even the same formula will have different concentrations for different individuals.  So I had to figure this out- balance the necessity for income with being truthful about the thing itself.  And this meant? I had to accept and believe in myself.  And hahahaha- it was an uphill slog! Until finally the daily curiosities I set for myself and the quiet observings and the continual vigilance about loose luggage began to come together.  To wit:

lemonbalm

We got a small glass essential oil still! This is something I’ve dreamed about for years and years.  I decided, with the Partner’s stern admonishment to just do it already!, to make a small investment in myself, and indeed, in US and our garden and our life.  It’s a joyous undertaking (lemon balm above) and is already transforming many of the things I make.   And the Dog approves, so, no brainer, right?  It’s really not just OK to do what you love- it’s mandatory.  This is also why there is always hope- because somewhere, love is ALWAYS present and it can be found.  Thank you for reading!

 

warp speed

Well, first things first Gentle Reader.  Thank you to all who read this blog!  Ai Wei Wei commented in an interview that the internet is an important foundation for civil society as it allows people to find common ground, to find support and clarification in thinking and developing coherent directions (for individual self and for greater community), in order that we may all do what we’re here for:  Exercise the gifts that we come into life with in harmony with our fellow beings.  It is easy to feel isolated and certainly fear is fomented on a constant basis.  Knowledge is power though, and for me in any event, knowing that there are so many others working to….unearth the beauty and goodness all around us that has been buried by our epoch’s greed and rapacity has made a huge difference.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.   We’re peeling the layers back, and of course every time you do THAT there is the concommitant OUCH followed by an expletive or two or 800, followed by some understanding and compassion.  There have been massive, tectonic shifts for this bear at least.  Certainly recent events have given me a much greater understanding of the sufferings of many of my clients, not to mention my own travails, and what I realized was this.  Plato was right.  We ARE all fighting great battles and therefore we should be kind.  HOWEVER.  That kindness has to be in the company of understanding so that it isn’t in the end simply a defensive maneuver on one’s part to avoid further injury, mayhem, and mauling.  As in, you do things for other people in order to keep them from acting out, hurting you, whatever it might be- thinking that you are helping. What it is, is you’re being a fixer. You’re working on that black belted, multi-piece matched set of emotional baggage to carry around.  It is to keep it easier for yourself, is what you think.  That other person is occupied, now I can get all this luggage moved to another room.  All this placatory endeavor does in the long run is wear the placator down, strengthen the placatee to the extent that they don’t feel any investigation into their behavior is warranted and the whole thing continues on until someone comes to their senses or dies.  There’s an interesting sense of powerlessness in it all.  The great thing is that this dysfunction can be found anywhere! Oh, boy.

I always used to think that the events themselves that create a lifetime of dysfunctional behavior for a person might not be the most important thing to focus on.  In short, you say to yourself, well, X happened, yes, but my head DID get reattached so, what’s the big deal?  Now, however, it seems likely that the patterns swirling around those many decapitations one experiences really do have to be observed and understood.  Once that happens, it’s a whole new ball game.  You begin to heal, which is an absolutely astonishing experience.  The thing of it is, though, that you can’t do it until you are ready, willing, able, and you step forward into time knowing it will all change, you’ll have to rebuild foundations.  Most importantly, you have to be able to change your mind about things.   You have to be able to let go of what you were propping yourself up with, especially since it really has been a big, pointed and loaded sharp stick.

WELL THEN!  Given the huge number of things flying around these days, all of which might be subsumed under Jon Stewart’s wonderful title: “cliffpocalypsemageddonacaust”, it seems like such a huge mess that really.  Insight just has to appear, the scales, as it were, will fall from people’s eyes, and there will be a lot of work for all of us to do.  I figure that if I could achieve and endure the realizations of late, anything is possible.  The personal IS political.  And.  Since there are people all over the world who are reaching for possibility, for balance, for justice and a sustainable life- I’m back to thinking it can happen.  It was a rough couple of weeks, for sure.  But if you are willing to follow that string wherever it goes, the truth really will set you free.