Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

the wandering mind

Lately, probably in some high level of procrastinating avoidance, I’ve been In The Kitchen.

I decided, for example, to make the herein previously mentioned lentil/rice crepes, Adai.  Last time I may have omitted mention of the FLOOD that happened during mixing.  You have to grind things together and I thought, heck, food processor here we come.  Except, no, because? Water. Which went everywhere rapidly.  It did produce a rather pleasant cumin scented cleansing for the butcher block, and I went on to use the Nutri-Bullet, with good results.  So this time? There was FIRE.  Yes.  Actual fire.  Oh dear, I said, and managed to put it out with only minimal damage to one dinner plate.  Don’t ask how that happened.

But fire? after a flood? It seemed kind of apocryphal. Or maybe I mean apocalyptic.  Also I neglected the crepe component so they were a bit….thick.  But, live and learn.  Ultimately I decided to view the whole thing as a storyboard of progress, flood, fire, and then? The promised land?

Which turned out to be sourdough english muffins.  Worth the effort but not without incident, at least I can say I get the concept now.  And it also showed an important area needing improvement.

Which is following instructions.  Oh, dear.  I had a lot of things going on so I just read the recipe for the basic dough (baguette) and mixed it accordingly.  Of course when I turned to the actual english muffin recipe, it said, don’t handle the dough much.  Uhm.  So next time, like the Adai, it will be easier I think.  Less work, actually, and paying attention to what one does somewhat carefully does yield positive results.

So, notwithstanding that it was so hot yesterday I lost my brain completely and couldn’t even grasp which pan to use to make chocolate sauce, thus skipping that part of desert, I think this has all shown me at least what the next step is, about which I was wondering.

And that step is Attention.  I realized I’ve lived my life as though chased by werewolves, lending itself to a sense of not having time to…well, pay attention.  Run, run, run.  But as flood, fire, and spongy muffin interiors show, if you don’t pay attention? The wolves are waiting for you when you get there.  Going, haha and oh dear.  Looky here……So actually this has all been rather liberating in the final analysis.  I realized I don’t have to have epic disasters more than 40% of the time, which seems to be their naturally occurring orbit just in the way of things. At least in MY life.  We were watching a sitcom the other night and all kinds of things were happening with the expected ensuing hilarity.  The Partner said, this is so unbelievable! This would never happen in real life! (pause) Except, he said, getting up off the couch and moving away from me, to YOU.

In fact, he is a brave soul, the Partner.  It made me think of a time long ago, when as a student at University, a friend and I were taking the bus back from San Francisco to the East Bay after going to Japan town to get some groceries to make some culinary extravaganza in my studio in the ‘hood.  Exciting enough, really.  This friend had confidence in me since once when we were visiting his cousin in a somewhat questionable area, and wound up having to climb out of a small back window as LAPD broke the front door down, he commended me for my “sang froid”…we WERE in college after all.  So when, in the bus station, he said, you’re always saying weird things happen to you and I’m just going to stand on the other end of the platform to see, I remember gulping a bit.  And when, as usual, a poor disoriented man under the influence of many things both seen and unseen laid eyes on me, raised both arms with index fingers pointed and started stalking over to me, and I, in response, calmly lifted a pickled daikon (shrivelled, atomic yellow, and unpleasantly reminiscent of a certain part of male anatomy), packaged in a totally brain blasting plastic wrapper with exclamation points and Kanji in red outlined in purple, out of my shopping bag? And the poor soul turned white as a sheet and ran shrieking off the platform? My friend came over to me, hugged me and apologized for ever doubting my…er….cred.

This, in short, is what the Partner has taken on, bravely if perhaps ignorantly at first? I don’t know.  He’s probably somewhat relieved that our life precludes a lot of the normal dangers of going outside in a city, and keeps me limited to a small area where he has a hose and shovel and shotgun ready at all times.  He takes heart every day I don’t get bitten by a rattler, for example.  Anyway it gives me hope.  If I pay attention and have someone at my side who Understands that Stuff Happens, anything is possible.  And there really Is a splendid dog picture (success with the 21st century!) coming up in our next installment.  He’s almost not a puppy any more……..

Blessings and thanks!

flashes of light, bits of beauty

Yes, Gentle Reader, some wonderful things have been seen and heard.

I don’t have the pictures yet, but the Dog took his First Public Walk last week and it was splendid.  We got him a brilliant green harness, to which he took like a fish to water.  We then went to the Sundial Bridge- an odd piece of farsighted beauty the City of Redding commissioned Santiago Calatrava to create.  It is a bridge with a glass and granite walk way, lit at night from underneath, and in the shape of a, yes, huge sundial.  It works.  It goes over the Sacramento River and while we walked we looked over into the river.  There are all kinds of water fowl, and of course at times fish.  This particular day there were a pair of fantastic ducks, with dark brown heads and brilliant orange feet.  We watched as they dove completely underwater and paddled around extended to their full lengths.  The water was so clear we could see every detail, and it was really just….transfixing.  Joyous, in fact.

And, of course, EVERYONE we encountered was all over the Dog- so handsome! so pretty! so cute! a PUPPY! (yes, still, at 18 months), so charming! and he just smiled and posed and licked the daylights out of anyone who’d allow it.  He walked nicely, didn’t bark or growl at other dogs or chase anything or anyone. He even pooped in a proper place and I got my first Dog Mom poop pickup in public job.  His rather piteous quietly strangled sob, emitted when a pretty girl walked by without attending to him, made them all come back and smile at him. He’s way beyond ham stage, evidently.

Another thing was this.  I learned that two people in rather far flung places on earth, who I am lucky enough to call my friends, are doing wonderful things.  One is providing meat, which she raises in a conscious, caring, ethical way, to a food bank serving quite a large population in the Rocky Mountains.  Another is making remedies for the refugees on the Greek Islands, working with a naturopath who goes there and volunteers her skills.  For some reason this made me feel so hopeful, in a way I hadn’t for the Past Longish Time, that it seemed like the most wonderful gift ever.  We can, really,  be and do good..

So.  I’ve typed a paragraph here four times, and four times this ancient laptop (kept alive by prayer and hope the ship comes in soon) and ##@#@!! internet setting have deleted everything.  Best, then, to say,  Peace, Love and Happiness to all!  We can be what we want to see in the world, starting…..NOW.   Blessings and thanks!

power or headache?

Knowledge, I mean, Gentle Reader.  Knowledge IS power, of course, which is why it is so zealously protected from us in school.  But I foolishly looked up yet another word from my recent medical record and it turns out that not only did my fine doctors make my heart stop, they also made a lung collapse.  NO WONDER I COULDN’T BREATHE FOR SIX WEEKS.  It certainly would have helped if they’d told me about this but then again, CYA is the order of the day, and medical records are at times written by spin doctors.

In any event I am finally feeling a great deal better and resorting to my own devices, more or less.

In other important news, a skink has moved in to the yurt and we still have an ever growing resident frog who has chosen a bag of almonds as command central.  We haven’t made much progress in the garden because it’s been over 100 degrees F every day for a while, but perhaps tomorrow.  All the seedlings are HUGE now.   I flirted with a tremendously handsome German Shepherd yesterday- an ex-military dog who was vigilantly ignoring me (Can’t you see I AM WORKING woman???)  until he and his human left the store we were in, and the dog sneaked a glance and a smile at me.

Still there is the perennial dilemma- the more chaotic things get the more one must slow down and concentrate.  Take yesterday, for example.  We went up to town to get groceries, it being really too hot to do anything else.  It was 107, the power went out in town and half my errands got cancelled as a result.  Some were important, but in a world where everything is controlled by computers? No power, no door opens, no cash register works.  Things grind to a halt.  So, okay.  Perhaps what I think is important really isn’t, I thought.  We got home barely in time to get indoors with, thankfully, groceries, before a torrential rainstorm with thunder and lightening happened.  *I* thought it was a stroke of good luck that our power was still on and the Partner put it squarely in the dodged a bullet category.

That, I think, is the essential question around here most of the time, and has a bit to do with how level the playing field is.  The fewer resources you have, the more you have to actually contend with what happens around you, because YOU have to do it and you can’t just go shopping or get someone else to do it.  It’s all well and good to be resourceful and live simply- more people should be doing that.  At the same time it can be exhausting and hard to get a bead on.  Is the universe telling you to give up right this instant when for all your effort you still can’t quite get over the jump?  Is it sheer good luck you’ve made it this far or is fate just diddling you around til you get to the actual pit with the stakes and the live tiger to fall into? On the BBC news last night there was a segment on refugees from Africa who are being held in Libya, I think, having failed to launch a seaworthy escape.  These were all men- evidently the lagging European sympathies for such struggles extend very slightly to women and children, but not to men.  All these men seemed to be able to fluently speak more than one language, be astonishingly poised given the circumstance, and have a snowball’s chance in Hell of improving their lot.  A roomful of young able men, wanting to do the right thing and escape a life of being press-ganged into paramilitary service.  Or worse.  One man from Nigeria, when asked the intensely silly question of whether he’d try to do it again, took a deep breath, closed his eyes, then looked at the interviewer and said quite calmly that if he found the same thing there that made him leave his house before, yes he would do it again.

And that is true: yes, one WOULD do it again.  And then have the jump off into God knows what if the effort is successful, or the horrendous fall into the pit if it isn’t.  How can this be right?  Feeling lucky or dodging bullets is not good enough for a long term action plan.  But luck and bullets are determined by those in power for the most part, whatever propaganda one is inundated with to the contrary.  If luck is out of the question for you, then what?  I do firmly believe in what we might call the Great Mystery, and I know that death walks with us all the time, nothing is certain, blah blah BLAH.  I believe that things work out as they should whether we know what that is or not, and that something over and above human action makes things move along.  But riding such a tidal wave of insufficiency in this world makes you wonder.  And sometimes that can make you afraid.  Perhaps the thing of it in these times is to simply stay with the fact that you are alive, and something can be done in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, however small and even if it is only maintaining equilibrium of a sort in your own mind.  It is important to do what you have to do, and as Bruce Lee rightly said, we should pray for the strength to be able to just do that.  But in times where it seems the roar of implosion of everything you ever knew is all you can hear?  It can be a challenge to stay in that place inside.   At least I am finding it to be so, even as I feel ever more sure that all the people in this world who are moving toward something better and freer and kinder, however they can, must surely succeed.  Let it be so, please, and thank you.