Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

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!

 

following the nose

In keeping with the spirit of the times we’ve been shifting and changing and tilting and whirling.  The Partner’s birthday came and went and on the whole? it was a success.  Roast chicken with herb butter, Popovers,  Mexican chocolate cake with coconut cream caramel frosting.  Yes.  If I say so myself.  The Dog got his current favorite treat, a Whimzees Vegetable Ear, and he also got some chicken breast wrapped in a bit of popover.

There was more to it, of course.  While The Dog zonked out in a blissful full stomach stupor, an injury the Partner had inflicted on himself a day or so before (to wit, whacking his knee with the wood maul) worked its way through his system and resulted in a seemingly strange symptom- lung congestion and the cough from infernal regions.  So we were up all night long and I wrestled, for the most part, with Dread and Powerlessness about once again entering the fray and trying to secure a doctor appointment while wondering what in the world to do NOW. ( This appointment business means dedicating a day to calling various and sundry official places and going through various and sundry assumptions of the position.) (A few days later I DID actually get this wrestled to the ground.)  I managed to get myself to a neutral position about it all, remembered to say the Cosmic Please and Thank you, and asked for some insight about this new and unwanted development.

In about an hour I opened my eyes but before that happened I saw a picture of what had possibly happened to the Partner’s lungs.  Reviewing my text book (because my brain is a literal sieve) I saw what had happened.  And, it had to do with the flow of energy through the body, as it goes through various meridians and organs.  The whack on the knee initially involved the movement of liver energy, which passes through the knee and ends where the lung energies begin to flow.  So we had an impingement on one flow that wasn’t usually problematic, but which went directly into one that has been a lifelong project, thereby creating a temporary blockage.  Adding to that the fact that the injury itself occurred at a time where another bodily energy was moving  which is not the strongest element in the P’s constitution, and? You have a disruption of the lung energy as it begins its circuit through the body.  And the infernal coughing began at the time the lung energies begin to move, and ended at the time they move into the next thing.  I was even able to explain this understandably.

The big thing about it though, over and above the fact that I finally, reflexively understood something I’ve been doing for a long time, was that the fear and anxiety level for both us was immediately gone.  We both understood what was going on, and what would be of assistance, and sure enough in another day or so, everything was fine.  And really there wasn’t anything “to do” except be kind to the affected areas, lessen inflammation and keep a good fluid intake going.

So of course I thought about it all.  Things that seem so intimidating, so complex at the outset really do open up with simple Attention.  When I initially began studying all these things, the plants and botany and anatomy and sidereal time and all the rest of it, I thought I must’ve been nuts to think I’d ever “get” it.  But something prevailed against that residual lack of confidence and now? Cake and understanding a cough in the same day? There’s hope, and it can be brought to life by just Letting It Be each time you think something is impossible or whatever word you use for OMGletmeoutofhere sorts of things.

Not to mention the other big thing which is the very imperative current necessity to disregard what seems like “truth” coming from what seems like “authority”.  The sense that you cannot handle whatever it is that is in front of you, and some larger “thing” is going to have to “do it” for you.  Or to you, or over you, or whatever.  As in, oh dear, we have to see a doctor and there are no doctors and this is going to be AWFUL. Or whatever the case may be.  “Things” seem so overwhelming it’s easy to let everything you see in a day bleed into everything else.  You know- terrorterrorterror, or whatever other fear inducing message is being murmured about.  In fact? Not so much.

SO.  It may have been the Partner’s birthday, but I feel like I’m the one who got the present.  Love and Understanding.  Not to mention dog kisses.

When Dogs Dream Big

The Dog is a prolific dreamer.  In his sleep, he RUNS, sometimes he SINGS, sometimes he TALKS. At length.  The most amazing, however, is when he wags his tail.  I kid you not, Gentle Reader, he actually wags his tail for extended periods during dreams.  We’re quite cheered by this sign of happiness although it is a bit startling in the middle of the night, especially if the tail turns out to be close to your head.  It’s also pretty amazing that he is so vocal, too, because he didn’t utter peep one for close to five months after he came.  Clearly, he tried not to cry, or cry out, and his little mouth would be set in stern effort, eyes squeezed shut.  We assumed he was working on the memories of how he came to be here in the first place.   (I gave him flower drops for all thatbabyatsunset– 5 Flower Formula, Snapdragon, and Peach, respectively-  and he got through it quite well and quickly, actually .) The only thing he’s done since the very first minute? is snore.  We fed him on the deck that first night, and after eating, he promptly flopped down, went to sleep, and snored.  At our feet.  We were hooked. When he started smiling, we were of course ecstatic although we did at times curse the unfair advantage Total Cuteness has.  And then he realized he could bark.  Fortunately he is not a compulsive barker and the first few times he did bark, he was quite surprised by it.  Now, when there are strange noises, he strides around huffing and puffing, and sounds EXACTLY like the Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune.  I picture him saying things like, “don’t make me kill again!” and the foundational “brace up!”. The high level hound-like piercing barks are of course saved for the times when I drop things, or trip, or have one of my daily multitudinous flambe situations.   Otherwise he is quite sparing with his comments, although he does seem to always have the last word/bark. We finally got him a small blue wading pool.  When his bright green round toy is in it and the water is shimmering above it,  it almost looks like a portal to another world.  He puts his head under the water and blows bubbles, which to me is further sign of wonderfulness.

So, between that and the fact that I saw 25 wild turkeys in a pasture this week, the challenges of the outside world although Big, were not Overwhelming.  Until today when numerous Lingering Fiascoes decided to coalesce into early morning  over thinking. SIGH.  But! I think we’re continuing to move forward.  I finally actually tackled one of my biggest long standing DUMB THINGS I DO.  Which is to water fruitless trees.

When I started training in Jin Shin Jyutsu, the teachers always told us not to water fruitless trees.  Being a past master at that I didn’t understand what they meant.  But I do now.  And what it means? is that giving and taking have to be in balance.  Respect has to be present.  And when something doesn’t come to life? Let it go.  In terms of healing, it means that the person who doesn’t really want to face the changes of getting well should start at another point, get ready, and THEN come to you. Kind of like writer’s block.  You take a walk and clear your head so that what’s in there can come out in some orderly fashion.  In terms of any relationships, it means that accepting the down position all the time, giving all the time and not receiving, is not good for anyone.  Period.  If people don’t appreciate what you offer, or want to take it with scarce acknowledgement, then you should move on.  Not in a negative way, just in the sense that life IS, and stuck ISN’T.  When Lady Bountiful steps toward you, it is often best to plead a prior engagement.  Hoping that something will turn into something totally different from what it really is, is not a good thing.  In fact, it is probably floating on that river in Egypt. Anyway? if it IS going to turn into something else, it’ll do it in its own good time so you need not waste your time trying to pull on the grass in order to make it grow faster.

So I made a decision in this vein.  It was surprisingly hard, and of course I didn’t exactly feel like a Brain Trust for having had it take this long.  But after a while, a big tight weight in my chest went away.  The hole it left was what occupied me this morning, and I realized that the ache from that is something that accompanies all healing, and it’s always scary since we think it means something’s amiss.  Instead it means things are very well, actually.  That, plus turkeys, plus dog bubbles? Is enough.  And also we are beginning embarkation on a long dreamed of project.  More on that to come!  Meanwhile, thank you.

success with pineapple

In all the excitement around here of late, I may have omitted proper treatment of one of my bigger accomplishments, Gentle Reader.

Which was the replication of an acceptable al pastor, for tacos.  Al pastor is one of those things I love deeply, sometimes even more than carnitas or rajas.  Naturally I was deterred from making it at home because you always see it being grilled on a rotisserie-like thing.  Which I don’t have.  So I thought, oh dearie me, too hard.

Well, not so much.  Turns out? all you really need is a good basic adobo recipe and PINEAPPLE.  It’s nice if you have the canned chiles en adobo but since I didn’t find mine until after I made the recipe, I can say it isn’t crucial.  You just then have to use a mix of roasted dried chiles and herbs and stuff, and the crucial pineapple, and whoosh it together…..and then you have a marinade to put on protein of your choice (I mean, in theory, you could use tofu- and tofu actually is not bad in rajas….) and……suddenly you find that you have accomplished something that seems huge.  And it’s basically just a recognition of what the elements of a thing actually are, and the relative sizes of them and you, and proceeding accordingly.

Bucked up by that glorious achievement, I have tried to approach the various and sundry things that seem to be hell bent on making me lose what little mind I have with what I am now calling The School of Pastor Approach.

In practice it’s kind of like stop, drop and roll in a fire.  Something happens, you pay attention to it, remain calm, and get out of harm’s way.  This means not losing even a tiny bit of composure which is always the part I struggle with: the inner Donald Duck.  In any case, the other day something happened which actually was pretty big.  I was taken aback by how quickly I went from zero to sixty on the Completely Upset Track.  (“I can’t do this” sort of thing.)

While the situation, had it been as bad as it might’ve been, was definitively not wonderful, it was also not as world ending as my feelings toward it indicated.  I realized that it was my attitude about it which was causing at least half of my distress.  Again.  This allowed me to calm down enough to not make things worse by untimely displays of inchoate emotion and yelling.  And to realize? that it was my expectation about what a given thing meant and thus should do that caused a relative inability to function.  Kind of like not being able to make pastor without a rotisserie.  Not, actually, the point.  What does this thing consist of, and how should it be approached?  How do I get on the right level here? In terms of pastor, the crucial thing is not the equipment, it’s the ingredients.  I suppose you could say the same thing of The Situation- it was the ingredients- the thinking- that made it seem impossible to navigate.  In the case of pastor, it was an addition (the sweet).  In the case of the Situation, it was a subtraction (the prickly bits- so pineapple still works as a metaphor!).  The thinking was the same, though, really.  I’m hoping this means progress has been made; over and above, that is,  the sheer joy of now being able to pretty much have pastor whenever I want.

Thank you!

two bees. or not to be’s.

I’ve been finding myself lately pondering writing as though it were like getting up on a high dive board at the Olympics.  Have I mentioned my fear of heights, Gentle Reader?

One thing that happens is so much time is spent on reading everything I think I “need” to read and writing stuff I think I “need” to write,  that by the time it comes to putting paw to “creative” keyboard, there’s no time or I’m mentally drained.  This is a lot what happens in today’s world in general, really.  Everyone’s glued to their screen, whatever it is, and time gets taken up, resources are expended, and what actually happens?  Not much.  But you’ve been busy, right? Without accomplishing anything productive or harmonious or dynamic.  This is starting to seem like it is actually the point- we are “guided” by “society” to function in ways that seem to create nothing but entropy for us, if we are really honest. Consume, react, repeat. And for HEAVEN’S SAKE!!! Do NOT confuse yourself with actual facts.  Mercy.  Don’t stop and ponder the fact that perhaps those extra pounds everyone’s so worried about could be handled by simple label reading and not purchasing things where the ingredients are largely corn and corn syrup related.  And why are so many in this country so overweight even though an unduly large percentage of us live in poverty and hunger? Not to mention the rest of the world. Why, in fact, is so much of the food we eat here not even really FOOD?  And definitely do not let yourself think too long about the fact that actual flat out blatant lies are being told as the truth, all day long, about things that have a direct impact on people’s lives.  A good recent example is the DEA saying that it will continue to classify cannabis as a drug on a par with heroin.  No research, they said, no demonstration of medical use.  This is simply not true and it doesn’t take an investigative genius to find that out.  As a result people are suffering needlessly. This will only end, of course, when the Big Boys figure out how to get all the money from this product, and not until then.  Oh, and then there’s the little problem of  opiate addiction (where they DO get all the money)- amazing what a visit to the dentist can do to you. But God Almighty, you can’t have cannabis for that.  You’ll get addicted to THAT.  And, of course.  Do not even consider focusing on just what it would take for everyone to have a decent life: cooperation.  Respect.  Having a value based on something other than personal aggrandizement.  We do, after all, have to make America……what, exactly?

What I decided at long last is it’s just another invitation to start again, to re-think, and the most fun of all, exercise some self discipline.  The temptation to go along with the flow, the tide, the crowd, the truth as you are expected to believe it is great.  Now, one could dissolve into a quivering puddle of horrified yuck at any moment, or into a twirling helix of anger- just by going out to the store, or watching the news.   This is the same kind of inanition I’ve been experiencing lately.  It’s all so overwhelming.  But then I realized something.  (For the umptieth time- when will it stick?) Being paralyzed by things is not going to cut the mustard.  And the rehash…..well. Enough, already, of that.

It will be fun to see if I can actually make sense of this for you, GR.  But today I read a really good description of Mercury retrograde.  (Bear with me, here.)  We’re accustomed to the warnings about not signing agreements and how our appliances and cars will appear to go temporarily insane during these periods that occur relatively frequently, and Mercury goes, in our view, backward.  But Eric Frances, in Planet Waves (I have a link!) wrote about it being something that exposes what has gone before- shakes the tree, as he put it.  So, then, this means? that if you haven’t paid attention, have glossed over things, or functioned as a case of Walking Entropy, problems and consequences will arise with which you will have to deal.

So, OK.  Instead of having a feeling of dread about Mercury retrograde, perhaps a more sensible thing is to say, now we’ll see where I didn’t pay attention, where I lacked clarity.  The cosmos in effect gives you a way to clean up your act, a few times a year.  If we see these times as periods where we shouldn’t do much because Things Will Go Wrong, we’re missing the point altogether.  Instead, this is a frequent flyer marvelous opportunity.  Most of the things we consider to be intractable problems are really areas where we are not paying proper attention, or willing to do the right thing.  Like, say, eat right, or keep your elected officials accountable for their actions.  These are every day actions.  Small things in a way.  Eat real food and cook it yourself, let your “representatives” know you are watching what they do.  Spend your resources consciously.  This means things like, for us anyway, not buying any more Limonata which we both adore- because why? Because Pellegrino is owned by Nestle, and Nestle is contributing to water problems on the planet in a macro way- by for example, getting water from here in California for cents on the gallon and reselling it to you, the consumer, and us from whom it was essentially taken without consent, for a large profit. And for extra fun putting it in plastic bottles which end up in the ocean.  This is real stuff, Gentle Reader, not propaganda.  Using your grocery money with awareness is an example of a  very small thing you as an individual can do that ultimately has an impact on the entire planet (where we all do live).  Especially if enough of us stop fearing Mercury retrograde and actually attend to what we’re doing.

Then I thought about what might happen if enough people on earth start doing these small things.  Evidence suggests this is happening, however slowly. There’s an energy and a power there, and what with all the worldly and political glitches coming to view, it might be possible to do what isn’t, really, rocket science.  Which is: CHANGE THINGS.  Because I personally don’t want to see one more image of one more bloodstained child or mangled man or blasted building or beaten woman in the name of what it really is all done for: Money.  Or one more parent who can’t get treatment for their sick child.  Or themselves.  Or afford it even if they CAN get it.  We seem now to live in a stupor so that the top sector of the world can live in its chosen cocoon.  We keep our eyes shut and are exhausted because it seems too tiring to do anything else.  It is not going to work- and really? it hasn’t.  So we got a BIG Mercury retrograde thing going on whether we like it or not.

When, however,  you open your eyes you see the world.  And it is beautiful. It is always new. Each step you take, each piece of trash you pick up, each person you treat with respect, wakes you up.  It’s tempting to stay in the old habits and patterns- but it is also constricting and suffocating and ultimately not even possible (uhm, thank you Mercury?).  Walking through the world with open eyes is when you can begin to claim your true inheritance as a human being- inclusion, not exclusion.  Love.  Not fear or hate.  Healing, not making yourself sick.  Worth a try.

And, for extra motivation:

happybirthday

thank you!!!!!

t’aint funny, mcgee

That phrase is from before even my time but it always made me laugh.  Until today, when I realized once and for all that? it really AIN’T FUNNY, and it is of course still largely about how you respond.

Setting aside the….spiderweb diagram of phone numbers I plowed through today trying to get a doctor appointment for the Partner.  We get assigned to a “practice” (and believe me, it IS practice, for them.) and that’s the only place we can go, per our insurance.  So that’s all fine and dandy until you live someplace like this, where: there aren’t hardly any doctors.  Apparently.  You thus get assigned to a practice and can’t go anywhere else, and you can’t be seen there because their “doors are closed to new patients” as they told me today.  Which is what the prior practice we were assigned to said. So your option is to go to the Emergency Room (and this does still make me laugh: what a misnomer! son of oxymoron) where they will do tests and stuff and then tell you? You have to be seen by a doctor.  So you’ve just wasted about 12 hours of your life and possibly contracted an incurable infection to boot.  And this is if you can be seen in the ER, because another thing that happens around here is chronic Code Black.  Because? No doctors.

In combination with everything else of late, this most recent development caused just….the…..teensiest…..SNAP.  But, soldiering on, I switched the coverage for the Partner to another option, having been told that with this, you can see “any doctor in California.”  The person who did the switching, (from a foreign country, and after a wait on hold full of advertisements for cable tv, car insurance, and Walmart) could give me no information of any kind whatsoever except that she’d done the switch.  That was helpful.  So net net, more phone calls more tooth gnashing and then the light bulb went off.  You still have to be assigned to a practice with this “new” coverage and can’t go anywhere else, yes. Nothing like everyone being on the same page even if they don’t know what book they’re in. But it doesn’t have to be in the same county as you are.  Thus, with the probably very last two synapses in my bomb blast of a brain, I thought: Let’s get him assigned to a Specialist! That’s what he needs!  Because surely, God, there must be doctors in some adjacent county. Mustn’t there?  A search turned up said doctors in said “specialty”.  I felt like I had just wrestled Godzilla to the ground, because even though it will be another ten days before we get the paperwork, and he will be assigned to yet some other place that won’t see us, we can request a provider and be assigned thereto.  At least that’ s what they said.  Then it will be a mere 100 mile drive.  But hey.  Lemons, lemonade, yes?

But wait, there’s more.  I unfortunately turned the news on to the continuing reports on the Khan debacle.  AND:

  1. The New Yorker had a recent article about an Afghan immigrant named: KHAN, who ultimately found his way to Wyoming where he sold tamales.  He was totally beloved by the tri county area he lived in, and? Came here long before..that person, cause of said debacle, who is running for President on the Republican ticket’s family ever did.  Also another relative founded the Joffrey Ballet.  So I just have to wonder why all of a sudden everybody acts like having Muslim American citizens is like a recent and terrifying visitation from Mars.  Instead of what it is: People simply trying to create decent lives for themselves and their families and as a corollary? Their communities. Why is this history being re-written? Wait.  Did I just say that? Naivete rears its silly head again.
  2. I read a blog yesterday by a blogger I generally like very much.  This was about current politics, feminism, the Presidential election.  Weirdly, the whole thing left me cold and oddly, I found, reactive.  Because on the whole, I realized the tone was grating to me. I fought many of those hoary battles for basic equity for women.  These battles have meant that many younger women have been spared the more grotesque situations of yesteryear. They do not, thus, seem to realize that it is still all vitally at stake. ( And really? One more reference to feminists as  women who didn’t shave their armpits and I am going to scream.)  Plus I find at this point that I am a bit taken aback by anyone who looks at this election situation, and can’t stand up and say, ya know? I’m not crazy about Hillary but I am not voting for someone who to all appearances IS crazy and whom we know is dishonest and disrespectful.  Because we are at a rather watershed point, and while in some circles it’s fashionable to say, oh, let it all blow up, change is inevitable, it won’t make any difference, it’s political, or whatever….that is abdicating one’s responsibility as a human being which even if we shift dimensions we will still, with my luck,  retain.  And to pay no more attention to matters like who is going to “run” the country you live in than seems apparent when no thoughtful comments are made on the subject, is also abdicating one’s responsibility.  Which of course leads to:
  3. I realized that all of this is simply: my tiny human body’s opinion.  So I turned again to investigate the attitudinal issue.  Always good fun.  And what this (unmentionable) individual cited above has in common with my doctor appointment struggles is this.  Both things make me feel out of control, powerless, and frustrated beyond tolerance.  Both things represent, on some quotidian level, exactly what is not right with the world now.  There is no accountability and people really don’t matter a whole lot once you get out in the bush.  We’re all right on the edge.
  4. When on the edge, it’s good to stop.  It’s good to think about how you got there, and do you really want to jump? or do something else.  Silence in the cranium, please, in other words.  I stopped, and it really was best.  I was able to avoid posting a comment on the aforementioned blog, which I really do like very much, that would not have accomplished anything constructive in the long run since I was so reactive.  I was able to stop and think, well, this doctor thing hasn’t worked the way we were doing it.  How ELSE might I approach this.  In both cases, much more satisfactory results.  And, anyway.  If I want to point out how dangerously close we are to lighting the firecrackers on every feral cat tail in the world by not standing up and saying that…Trump is unacceptable, on human terms, and should not be pandered to? So far I can still do that.  But after having, at least, THOUGHT about it in relative calm, and having not interfered with another person’s ability to do the same thing as they see fit.  Win win, even if temporarily.

Thank you, as always, for reading.  I appreciate it very much — it helps to know that one is not the only bear left standing. And I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to know there are More Dog Pictures coming.  Now that, GR, is something to look forward to.

trickle of thought

It’s been so hot here, for the past many days, that finally my brain has totally ground, or  actually squelched, to a halt.  I got into my car yesterday evening after a doctor’s appointment and the temperature read 117 degrees f.  One hundred and seventeen. Degrees.  I was grateful to my aforementioned brain for staying in my skull and not leaking out through my ears. This morning when I had to go back for lab work, it was early enough to only be in the 90’s, and the sun was shining on the pastures and fields, making the cow parsnips sparkle and the chicory flowers incandescent.  Watching the miniature donkeys nibble various and sundry things in the shade of a large oak tree,  I thought about the difference between 95 degrees and 115 degrees.  It’s substantial, even though it changes.

Which made me think about…haha, what I’ve been thinking about Gentle Reader, which is probably a lot more complicated than I’m able to explain in squelch brain mode.  But it is this.  I’ve been reading about physics and geometry (practical and intelligible) and thinking about the nature of time, the nature of our memories, the fact that emotion and feeling is largely the unit of understanding available to us.  If all time is concurrent, which on some level it is, theory has it that the magnetic progress of the emotional units can go both forward into the future and back into the past.  Thereby creating change.  In things we presume to be either untouchable or unknown.  Or both, in the case of the future.

I’ve read this information for years and basically used it as a blunt instrument on myself.  It gets morphed into the “you can totally create your entire future and what you want and nothing you don’t want” school of living.  This often is couched in financial terms.  And also, in terms of failure if you, poor fool, cannot get your brainwaves horsed around into monetizable units of success.  This can mean lots of things, like marrying “right” or going to any number of the “right” things or places or whatevers.

But.  And there is so often a but, GR.  This is but one way to imagine our world.  There are many other ways and the fact that an individual may be searching for something of which exemplars are few and far between is not an automatic designation of failure.  I realized I’ve thought for the longest time that since positive peer review has been, let’s just say, elusive, it just had to mean there was something wrong with ME.  What it  really meant was that I was looking for something that most people can’t see and therefore dismiss.  No more, no less. And, in terms of the ever mystifying impact of emotions and thoughts on past and future- I realized it actually does happen.  You think about something, feel it, after it has happened and quite often your entire sense of it has changed.  As though the event itself were different.   And once you go through a few of these revamps, you start to understand that if you THINK about things differently you FEEL differently about them as well.  And whether or not you win the Nobel Prize, or Publisher’s Clearinghouse, you’re quite possibly happier.  And what happens when you’re happier? Good things.  There is also a small bit of snowball effect, in that once your thinking is on a different frequency, different things tend to show up in your force field.  At the very least one can be calm and happier, no matter what else is going on.  AS usual, interpretation is pretty key.

The geometry is allied to this, in the sense that it “defines” space for us, shows it, and generates energies and movements.  Circles and trines and squares and pentagons and all shapes have actual conceptual frameworks, which involve some math.  But once you stick with it, it is possible to see that this geometry is in fact a framework for all sorts of things, an ongoing demonstration of the universal in the particular, and an expression of what it means for things to fit together in movement.

It is Way Too Hot to continue with this at the moment, but.  Food for thought when one’s fingers aren’t slipping off the keyboard.  Back to shallow, and cool, water.

thank you.

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.

fire and rain

I actually drove through such a thing this past week.  As you go north from Berkeley up to Redding, I-5 passes rice fields which, at this time of year, are burned.  The smoke, a very particular shade of brown,  is generally so thick while this happens that you can’t see anything, which makes driving even more problematic than usual (what with dozing truckdrivers and skinheads in pickups with hand grenade decals covering their back windows).  On this particular day, the fields were on fire, and the smoke rose up covering the horizon like a giant man standing square across the freeway, bending down with his arms ready to scoop up all who passed through.  It was also pouring rain. So it was strange, seeing flames and smoke in the midst of a downpour which turned into a hard and fast hail a few miles up the road.  By the time I got home, the sun was shining and it was hot.

The sensation of passing through something that was trying to scoop me up was intense and there really was a sensation of relief and escape as the smoke disappeared back down the road.  Naturally this made me think about THE SAME OLD THING- what is to be done?  We all have these tableaux daily, moving through time, approaching danger and reaching safety- and of course vice versa.   Now, whether or not you believe denial is a river in Egypt, it truly feels as though all of us are on the brink of a colossal drop into something malevolent.  It also seems to me that this malevolence has been, essentially, conjured by the absolute refusal to awaken, and the greed, of the tiny number of people who actually run the world.  Bill Maher pointed out in one of his New Rules that the six Walmart heirs have the same assets as 130 million of their fellow Americans.  Six.  One hundred and thirty.  Need I say more?

I also had occasion of late to observe the very real class differences in this country, which are supposed not to exist.  They do, though, and the sense of entitlement of those in the gravitational orbit of the “top” is quite striking.  They clearly live in another world from the one I’m in, and the one I’m in? Can just go to the infernal regions as far as these fine folks are concerned, and the sooner, really, the better.  All very polite of course, but really.

Still, one endeavors to see beyond the “apparency”, and even though the conduct of politicians and the powerful is reprehensible for the most part (do we even need to name names?), there really is something more, and that more, however obscured, is in fact what affirms life rather than monetizes it. No matter how dark it seems.  It is in the move toward that “something more” that, bit by bit, the light begins to be ever more equal to the dark, it seems to me.  I’ve spent years (ACTUAL YEARS) trying to open myself to this “what is” and now while my mind says, OMG! DUDE!  WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! my heart says, all is well.  Love, and keep your eyes open.

And love is something a whole lot more all encompassing than I ever thought.  I realized the other night that even now my understanding of love is limited.  Love is really a universal, everywhere all the time, trans AND impersonal force.  If you can stay with that love, the answers may not be immediate but the questions are pertinent and revealing.  It also turns out that staying in that love also allows you to walk away from things that harm you, and lets you know that no harm really results from being truthful in a spirit of love.  My success with this is spotty, of course, but there is ever more of it, so who am I to complain?

In other perhaps more important news?  All the seeds I planted are coming up and the happy dance is being done daily.  Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, cabbage, beets, sunflowers, peppers!  AND.  The vet originally said he thought there were probably three dogs in The Dog.  We had two narrowed down, retriever and pit bull.  The third dog has finally stepped up, unequivocally.  And the prize goes to GREAT DANE.  I kid you not, Gentle Reader.  The long, narrow fingers of the paw, the slim but graceful hips, not to mention the facial markings.  Not to mention the TALLNESS and the LONGNESS OF THE LEGS and BODY.  And the all round general ever bigger overall stature.  So it’s exciting.    We really are running with the Big Dogs.

on the brink

At least that’s how it feels, Gentle Reader.  Recent events have left me feeling both confused and enthused in roughly equal measure.

While the outside world continues at its apocalyptic pace, we still know that lots of people try and do the right thing. It is easy to forget that their efforts are probably what is keeping us from spinning off into dissolution altogether, especially when such efforts can be as small as giving someone a smile or a hug or as big as inspiration of some sort.  So when someone goes away who is a kind of support for all those Right Things in a big way, it leaves a gaping hole.   I can’t help asking myself why someone like Prince has to pass on, while Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and others who, to my mind, exemplify a sort of evil, carry on in fine fettle.  I realize this is a silly train of thought but nonetheless.  Aside from hurting, it seems grossly unfair.  Yet of course it is life, as it is -and as we don’t find ourselves able to understand all the time.

And, of course, THERE IS SO MUCH I just don’t get.  I’m like an iceberg to myself at times, so much hidden under the water.  I had a few interactions recently that left me feeling unaccountably miserable, and with the sense that my previous life’s behavior had been motivated by what I thought were survival issues, but were actually about maintaining the fictitious world image I retained from my youth.  Which is to say, I abdicated my own authority too often, resisted unthinkingly too often, and felt myself to be unworthy too often.  Adding up just the topical things that have happened, it looked like a breathtaking recipe for disaster.  But what I realized at last was this.  We really DO create our own realities, and often the discomforts we feel are about the collision between our perceived realities and what another person feels to be baseline truth.   Sometimes the best, and only, thing to do is step back, be quiet, and watch the whole thing as though it were a story we don’t know.  Then it is a lot easier to pick up the plot.  If, as we’re told as writers, we should not be overly attached to our words and characters so as to be able to move along properly, then the same should probably be true in our “real” lives.  Just because something has been one way doesn’t mean it can’t change.  When YOU change and other things don’t, it can be kind of shocking to see what you used to be, based on how the interactions with those other things go.  The energy it takes to stay in your current orbit and not get sucked back into the old bad habits can be enormous.  This apparently continues unchanged and apace from birth to death, from what I can see.  There may be some extraordinary individuals who can just wake up and say, BASTA YA, and the old behaviors and ideas are all gone.  Since this whole matter of shift and change is in the anything is possible category, it’s probably best to just say, yes indeed, remain calm, and see what happens.

While I feel yet again that a huge piece of my life has just broken off and fallen out of sight and sound, there are still pieces of the iteration that need work.  Such as The Website.  When I first did the site, I modeled it on others both from my work and just in general.  It looked pretty much like everyone else’s, which was fine.  Now it seems a bit antique, dinosaurish, and with too many words.  Partly that’s because I like words.  Partly that’s because when I embarked on dot com, it seemed that explanation of how things work was needed since, being “alternative”, I couldn’t really just say, this thing works no kidding.  People told me I had to list everything that was in my products, and guess what?  This led to hacking and rip offs.  Weird, but there it is.  I fell into all the predictable deep marketing and entrepreneurial holes, in short, but survived and maybe learned.  The Partner and I met amazing people and learned undreamt of things both on the material and esoteric levels.  And this, in a nutshell, is the current quandary.

It’s like writing, in a way.  You’re taking something intangible (your thoughts) and making it something that everyone can experience (let’s say an essay.)  You’re selling, then, yourself, bottom line.  In this case, I take the intangible of what someone else is experiencing (whatever level it may be on), look at it, and make something to promote harmony for that person.  Just because it hasn’t been replicated in a lab by Exxon Mobil, Monsanto, or whoever, doesn’t mean it isn’t real and doesn’t work.  It also doesn’t mean it can be mass produced and be exactly the same every time.  Given my past habits of mind, it has been challenging to even figure out how to describe any of this.  But acceptance of all that, and simplification thereof, is the new project.  It may not be as daunting as first thought, because after all.  Anything IS possible.  Just because people want to pigeonhole you doesn’t mean you gotta stay there.  You simply fly away with love.  And yes, the Dog taught me that.