Posts Tagged ‘nature of reality’

palimpsest

I’ve always liked that word, Gentle Reader, and since it means a surface containing layered images from various different periods of time which have been covered up by succeeding users of the surface with their own images which, in turn, get covered up by future users…..it just kind of makes sense in general to me.  It’s kind of what we are, really.

I guess it’s a good thing I like weathered surfaces, in short, given that I’m kind of turning into one.  And in that process, various things surface and submerge, day after day.

In the ongoing “What Would Pooh Do?” effort, we’ve had a couple of successes.  I found myself doing math in my head.  Multiplication and long division even.  Algebra!  And arriving at a correct answer, which was needed to figure out proportions in a tincture presently being made, and also one coming up as soon as I get more vodka.  This is quite something given that I always thought I “couldn’t do math”.  So.  Lesson learned was: don’t let other people tell you what you can and cannot do- try it out for yourself.  Gently, humming a bit.  It actually works.

In that vein as well I decided to play with the Dog when he wants to, even if I don’t since I often feel like I’m “too busy”.  A question of what’s important in a way, and the lesson here? is Joy is Always Important.  It helps with all the other spots of eye watering horror that pop up around here with Monotonous Frequency.  It’s harder to see that happy, bouncy, smiling yippee-ness of the Dog (with his various toys being tossed hither and yon requiring important sorties for retrieval along with extravagant praise for same) in humans but just knowing it is there makes it easier to just Do It all the time.  It really takes no effort to just smile or give a compliment or kind word- far less than coping with a slobbery, squishy dog toy actually.  And speaking of slobbery dog toys, we had another Step Forward today.  The Dog dashed out the door giving chase to a miscreant cat.  He’s done this a few times and it has always been dicey because he tends to run, and then just keep going…you know, for the Joy of it.  But today he actually came back when called.  We were both speechless.  Extravagant praise ensued, plus toast crumbs which he especially fancies.

jack 2:17

The third thing is realizing that we really do for the most part have just what we need.  The challenges and privations of our life now are real, and  it is way too easy to get sunk in anxiety and gloom about everything, and get on the What If Train to The Future (which as we do know is almost always a trainwreck).  The mood swoops all over the place at such times.  But! As usual cooking revealed the lovely picture underneath the more current spray painted scrawls.

It revolved around peanut sauce.  Kind of a necessity for certain noodle and vegetable dishes, as well as making a terrific glaze for broils and braises of whatever you might have.  It calls for fresh ginger which  I’d used up the day before so there I was at a pivotal last minute, chewing my lip.  We HAD to have peanut sauce of course, no question, and the clock was ticking.  And as I stood there the lightbulb went off.  I’d received, in a bit of a fiasco’d situation (since improved) a box of Fortnum and Mason stem ginger in chocolate.  The box is exquisite and ginger candy is a favorite.  FORTNUM AND MASON, after all. But? This stuff was ghastly.  A real British dessert, deafeningly sweet and a travesty of chocolate, if I may say so.  The ginger, however, was good and actually tasted like fresh.  So, I thought: hah! cut off the chocolate and use this ginger for the peanut sauce.  It worked like a charm.

Aside from enjoying the improvisational success, it really made me think about the fact that we do, in fact, have what we need.  If we’re calm enough to settle down and let it manifest- let, in short, the muddy water settle and clear.  As usual, the Dalai Lama is right: No reason for too much worry.  Just continue to saunter through the multi-acre wood, remembering that no matter how it looks, there’s something underneath and something to come and it will all work out.

Blessings and thanks!!

 

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.

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.

in another part of the empire

I’m often struck by how, in the end, so many basic concepts- political, religious, behavioral- get argued about even though the arguers in point of fact share the exact same view, just in different words.  There’s a great African story about this.  One day a God, being the usual god-like shit disturber (and male, FYI), decided to walk down a road which separated the fields of two villages.  He painted one side of his body blue, and the other red.  He was big, too.  Probably radiant.

So there he is walking down the road humming a song he was working on, and the villagers are out pulling weeds and thinking of witty ripostes as we all do at such times.  Suddenly someone looks up, says OMG!! THERE’S GOD!! AND HE’S BLUE!! at precisely the same time someone on the other side of the road says, OMG!!! THERE’S GOD!!!! AND HE’S RED!!!!!

Shouts and jostling ensue, and things are getting tense.  What does the God do?  He walks back up the road, the other way this time, so that?  The colors are exactly opposite.  Which leads to anguished howls of OMG!! THEY WERE RIGHT!! GOD’S (whatever color)!! answered by, OMG!! THEY WERE RIGHT AND NOW…THEY’RE SAYING WE’RE RIGHT…AND….net net the villagers swarmed over the road and began flailing gardening tools about wildly at each other.  Because God, right?

Finally, having gotten a little bored with this exercise, the God stands in such a way that everyone can see all of him.  YOU BIG SILLIES,he says, or words to that effect.  OMG. GOD IS GREAT AND MULTICOLORED. NOW WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO PULLING WEEDS, the villagers all say, or words to that effect, and which ones were grateful and which ones wanted to go back and fight is left to your imagination.  It is indicated, however, that some of the villagers actually realized on the spot that it didn’t make a bit of difference what color God was or is.  The incredible thing is that such a being exists at all, and that is amazingness enough to take a lifetime to truly understand and act upon. Also? God has a wicked sense of humor, which means that both those who lack compassion AND those without humor are pretty far from the tee, or weed patch, they’re supposed to be on.  One can only assume both villages did something like comedy competitions for a while to hone their humor skills after being taken in so completely.  Yah, they’d probably say.  So and so! What a goof! Started a whole new religion with a PURPLE God!! hahahaha…..

So it is with many things.  I was at my landlady’s after the Primary election, and met her gentleman friend, who told me, YUP. I’M A CONSERVATIVE and you KNOW WHAT? They tried to keep me from voting, saying I had no party preference!  Didn’t want any votes for Trump!  Given that this place is a reactionary hotbed, I murmured, I have a hard time understanding that but whaddaya know?  They did the same thing to ME.  It was one of those moments where the red and blue of God were quite visible and it is, albeit remotely, possible that some kind of meeting of the minds in compromise was reached on a few “conservative topics”.  This sort of thing always makes me reach for the tequila but there is just so much of it right now that I’ve had to break down and stick to water.  Still- it is a bit easier to navigate these shark, rock, crocodile, rocket launcher and yeti//bigfoot infested waters of the now when you can remember that really, we are all talking about the same thing.  It may be that some simply don’t know who or what they are, and maybe they never will given an intense attachment to STUFF and therefore a corollary lack of care for  PEOPLE, and so they think their language is the only one and refuse to listen to anyone who says, look! God was blue and now he’s red! even when they can see the same thing with their own eyes. (I think Marx and Engels referred to this as false class identification…) Nonetheless, it really is both/and, not either/or, or even worse neither/nor.  Regardless of whether you see the whole face or not.

And in truly exciting news, we have a shower for the first time since we’ve been here, thank you Partner!!!  I had forgotten how wonderful showers are.  Another reminder about what really matters, and mostly it is the simple things, adequate shelter, decent food, and beyond that the ability to appreciate the world and express love in it.  While remembering all the different words for same, of course……

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.

shaken AND baked

The Dog is taking the triple digit heat in a Sensible Doggy Way.  He’s snoring on his bed, coming out periodically for ice cubes and the odd chicken dog sausage.

I’m sitting in a heat induced stupor with spinning wheels, for the most part.    The one year I am totally on top of starting my seeds, it’s too damned hot to plant the seedlings.  My Looming Project, re-doing the website, is acting like a wayward foxtail in a sock and making me the teensiest bit anxious and procrastinatey.  Partly it’s because I read an old blog about when I did it the first time, so long ago.  I forgot how much screaming was involved and the over the top frustration level (oh, you mean this browser DOESN’T SUPPORT THIS ACTIVITY? AND YOU SAY NOTHING IN THE INSTRUCTIONS?), and the daily tide of you can’t keep a thought in your head for two seconds is not abating around here.  I realized I was fretting over a shopping cart button, in short, while I was looking for remnants of a thyme plant.

Deciding to abandon that for the present in order to wipe the sweat out of my eyes, I’ve been trying to also not focus on the fact that Donald Trump is making an appearance in this podunk place today, at the Redding Airport. Waving to the Folks from his Personal Plane.  Suddenly we exist here, it seems.  Bernie came to Chico, which makes some sense as he actually has a brain and some ideas.  But Trump is the LAST thing anybody up here needs since they’re mostly 98% fully crazed and well armed to begin with.  A conservative hotbed where until quite recently I could count the number of black people I’d seen on one hand, and men in the post office make jokes about how the only “Allah” they like is “ala carte”.  Haw haw and all that.  They’re probably lapping his antics up like seals getting fish in a circus, right this minute.

That may not, in fact, sound very “nice”.  And there’s always the thing of not letting the other person’s Stuff poison you.  But there’s also such a thing as kowtowing to the fuckery and I for one am struggling with balancing the overt perfidy of people with the truth of our oneness and the absolute necessity of honoring that through love.  I’m tired of acting like this whole thing is working.  I read recently a good analysis of anger and resentment, which we see manifesting on every news program and interview.  Anger happens when you learn something you didn’t know (in this case it might be something like: There will never be a decent job for you, so sorry), and resentment is doing something you don’t want to do.  Which in this case seems to mean behaving cooperatively and as though one is not the entirety of the universe.  The hangdog, uninformed victimization one so often sees is very disturbing indeed, since it leads to so many problems down the road.  People believe things they must on some level know are not true- but hey, they saw it on the internet.  Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees are coming into the country.  If so, where are they?  Not here, since they’re not coming.  The Egyptair flight that went down- Trump brayed out that it was a terrorist bombing.  At present that doesn’t seem the most likely cause.  Will he ever acknowledge he shot his mouth off without knowing what he was talking about?  Given that the answer to that is a no doubt resounding NO, is this the sort of person you really want wielding power?  I’m not saying I’m happy with the other part of the spectrum which seems to be in favor of supporting the noxious status quo.  Still, it seems a sounder choice than someone who behaves as though being a crude embarrassment to the human race is a good thing.

The bigger problem with this is, of course, that people gravitate to such negativity, such bullying, and such straight-up disrespect for intellect and cooperation and each other.  Not to mention plants and animals.  Sometimes I think we’ve been so saturated with TV, computer, media images- where everything is split second, truncated, and meanings are fluid- that it has changed the very ability to pay attention.  There doesn’t seem to be much of that going around.  It’s like everyone is following the breadcrumb trail left by the evil empire, not caring if they’re going over a cliff or not.

Knowing as we do that this sort of thing has gone on for all time, just like people forgetting to put everything back in their picnic basket after lunch and then criticizing each other when the spoons seem to have disappeared, it still seems a challenging thing to resolve.  I do believe that things will shift and change, and that more and more human beings are rising to just that occasion- being real human beings.  This is a matter of joy to me whenever I encounter someone who is actually Living their Life.  Maybe that’s the thing.  So many of us are trying to run away from ourselves, our feelings.  So many people don’t even cook their own food.  So many don’t understand that they have abdicated their ability to think for themselves, and as a result will say things like “all the prices went up right after the minimum wage was raised and it just made things worse”.  No ability to look and see, or see what you’re looking at, or that hoary chestnut, consider the source.

When I did my herb farm apprenticeship, one of our teachers said we should remember that one day soon, planting your own food and medicine would probably be a crime.  At the time I thought it was a bit hyperbolic.  Now I’m not so sure.  But I’m certainly going to keep doing it.  (As we all should.)  And remember that loving kindness is worth more than almost anything- except perhaps water.  And air.  And Earth.  And ice cubes, if you’re a dog.

 

yonder: wild and blue

It’s hard to say what’s been occupying my mind of late.  There were a lot of “things” that happened and required a long, taxing slog through what I actually “think”.

Sometimes, it really is true, we hold beliefs about ourselves that are inimical to growth.  Or peace of mind.  Then we have to actually just look at those beliefs and put them in context.  Things really are dependent upon each other and try as you may, finding an exact individual starting point for anything is not generally doable.  Therefore, limiting beliefs are the result of a CONTEXT that had a lot of things in it which were aimed at being limiting: aimed at controlling us for one reason or another.  Aimed, also, at being the authority we’d accept.

When the Partner remarked to me the other evening that, given my history, the only way I ever really had to go psychologically  was UP, it made me think about how many of those limiting, destructive beliefs I’d adopted as reality.  And about how much they cut me off from what I am as a person.  (Whatever, uhm, that may be)  And then?

I had an experience of something that even still I had difficulty believing could be true.  It kind of dovetailed with becoming aware of how much not being able to take certain things seriously, largely relating to self worth, had held me back.   It also related to the ambivalence I saw in myself about my sense of reality- which is that everything is alive and moving and we CAN, if we choose, heal ourselves- maybe even cure.  A constant back and forth I didn’t even know was happening.   Anyway, I met another person who works in related arts, who “worked” on me, and helped me in the most profound way I can remember.

So.  I am here to tell you for absolutely dead bang certain that you CAN change the things in your life that don’t work.  Obviously this involves some distance from the capitalist model of money equaling success, and movement toward understanding that success is no more, or less, than LIVING and ENJOYING your life.    We’ve had, for example, the ongoing crap shoot of life here which has involved several largish unexpected expenditures- which is usually right up there on the disaster scale around here. ( A rock hit and shattered the back window of our car, for one thing.  With all the hilarity that ensues.)  But this time? It didn’t stress me out.  Earlier that day I’d spoken with a friend who has recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  We agreed that actually the diagnosis didn’t make a bit of difference- what mattered was still the quality of each moment and what this person DOES in those moments.  And that quality is something that we can influence, unlike most other things.  Something about the healing work I received finally really sank in and the actual joy I felt upon realizing I wasn’t upset about all the crap that just happened…was beyond words.

This helped also with the Dog.  He dashed through a foxtail forest getting one lodged in his ear.  Vet bills ensued.  But even though I was worried about him, I didn’t lose it.  Instead I was able to marvel at how GOOD he was at the Vet’s even though they were pulling something out of his ear.  He was with one of his “girlfriends” and watching through the window, I saw him resting calmly against her.  She had her arms around him and was scratching his head.  The Vet was in the affected ear with Something Official Looking.  And he? was smiling radiantly.   There is a light in the world, Gentle Reader, and we can see it more often that we think.  Sometimes all it takes is a friend and a 70 pound Dog.