Posts Tagged ‘Shift Happens’

always learning

And yes, we are, Gentle Reader.  First, the animal report.  The pigs we’ve been watching grow are so big they collapsed their little shelter on top of them.  Now they’re sprawled over it whilst hammering out z’s.  The continuing dialogue between citizenry and police (cows and cow dogs in this case) continues, with outstanding stare downs and dogs slightly on the minus side in terms of Imposing Their Will on The Cows.  And, speaking of cows, a brand new crop of babies are suddenly, delicately, on their hooves in between being nestled in the still green grass like little pieces of obsidian, and having long philosophical discussions with their mothers.  Add to that the smoke trees blooming by the river? and it’s perfect.

So as usual,  the things of the earth are resplendent and wonderful.  Even while we’ve got solar activity pelting us all to the point of feeling like our heads may explode from the pressure, and while Nestle continues to bottle water here in California where they say we’ll run out all together in about a year.   It is sad to think that a company involved with chocolate, the food of the gods for mercy’s sake, is just so completely…well, evil.  Let’s us make a lot of money selling these poor fools their very own water back while they can’t flush their toilets for lack thereof.

But at the same time, it is spring, I just had a restorative visit with dearly beloved friends, it’s almost my birthday again (made it through another year! award time!), and although the amount of weed pulling before me is beyond daunting and our basic position vis a vis the World seems to be on a razor’s edge, I’ve learned something that will keep me going for a while.

To wit: It really IS about how you respond to things.  Especially now, when things just look so completely grim and hopeless all over the place- at the same time people are doing wonderful work and the light is made to shine in unexpected places.  We all do want to be happy.  Recognizing this just puts you on a, metaphorically, level playing field with everyone else.  We all want the same things, but the challenge arises in the manner in which we pursue these things.  Often people go after experiences and things  in an effort to find this happiness, but the problem arises when they haven’t figured out what really gives meaning to their lives.  Willy nilly, rushing around in pursuit of the external, perspective gets lost in the quest for gratification of whatever sort.  Everything really is connected- the business of a butterfly affecting things on the other side of the globe is quite literally true.  The fact that we can’t always SEE the ramifications of what we do in the moment, and the corollary that many aren’t even at the point of caring about those ramifications for various, numerous reasons, brings us to the world we have today.  Which is in truth a mess filled with human created obstacles and congestions and blockages.  A mess because of US.  Not “God” or space aliens or anything else.  Just us.

I think the basis for all of this is fear.  Fear is the big stick that keeps us coloring inside the lines even if we hate the drawing and crayon color.   The reality is there is so much more going on all the time than we can possibly take in that we should find relief in that fact, and focus on paying attention to what we truly see before us instead of confabulating stories about what we are told might be out there.  In time we can get to a place where we actually SEE what is there, and if one has the ability to tread lightly with that awareness, all sorts of things unfold.

Love is the motive force, but love is not an ego based deal.  Love is what happens when you unlock the gates in yourself and let everything go in and out.  It isn’t about “results” or outcome driven processes or anything like that.  It is like a huge beam of light that moves through everything and allows even the darkest, worst moments to shine with meaning and potential.  Love doesn’t mean you’re even going to “like” everyone you come in contact with; but you don’t actually have to worry about that.  Cleaving, as it were, to what really is true- and basically that is that we all want to be happy in an existence full of change and often of pain- what happens?

What happens is you can smile.  This is what I learned this week.  I found myself uncontrollably smiling at people (except, it must be said, the two idiots on the interstate who just about killed me by, respectively, tail gating behind and slamming brakes on in front while everyone’s going 85 mph- sadly I succumbed to non-equanimity and flipped them the bird) and my gosh.  Everyone put their shoulders down and smiled back.  If I can keep doing that until my time on this planet is complete?  I’ll have gotten something accomplished.  Now, on to the Great American Novel, and birthday cake selection, and continuing to behave as if ALL life matters- because it does.

woman saved by art

I often think how amazing it is that we can write songs, and stories, and paint pictures- and another person can understand something from that, something that might be big in their lives.  We receive a gift, reach a condition of universality for a minute.  Or joy.

Anyway, through a very odd worm hole meander- of brain connections, I found the words of a song running through my mind and they expressed exactly the crux of something that has been- eating at me, really, for a long time.  It was a moment of clarity.

It also demonstrated something of interest about pain.  Pain, as they say, is inevitable, but suffering is optional.  This was something I had trouble parsing for a time, kind of like the difference between wants and needs.  I guess I thought they were pretty much the same.  And while wants and needs should, reasonably, be an aligned and dynamic duo instead of a pair of equally unreachable and unsustainable opposites, pain and suffering can be separated in a way.  Or, the way you respond to pain can be in a way that does not lead to its enhancement, i.e. suffering.

So, then, this song made something deep become clear.  I had thought that when this deep thing WAS made clear, it would stop hurting so much.  The truth, of course, involved a rather surprised me experiencing a wave of understanding and the cool refreshment of that wave, followed by: Pain.  That old black hole, in short.  But.  It was different.  It was, is, a pain that comes from knowing that something had to die in order for something else to live (in this case, in my opinion, me.).  This death involved another knotty issue, the thing of not being clear as one went along.  Things did not have their proper names.  I think when you know what something is, honestly, and you call it what it really is, no matter what happens you are in an equilibrium with it that does not exist when you are not, let’s say, calling a spade a spade.  Projection, denial, fear, whatever it may be, your own emotional opinionated brain, in a misguided attempt to protect you, actually becomes a giant pac-man madly gobbling up synapses.  This leads to suffering and a lot of cleaning up.  Post traumatic debris and huge matched sets of emotional baggage.  More, then, than simple pain.

What this episode has begun to reveal is that things really do leave a mark.  The mark leaving episode may or may not be your idea, but whether the mark turns into a scar or a support is up to you.  Whatever has happened, be it physical injury or illness or other event, you really have to come to an understanding of what truly happened, correct your own mis-steps, and accept what Is, Now.  What passes for nostalgia or missing of things often concerns our sense of missing what we wanted, missing the imaginary great thing we hoped for and didn’t seem to get.  This gets a person nowhere really quickly.

What we fear to see in ourselves often turns out to be nothing like what we expected, the dread of what sort of person does it make us to do, think, say or feel  (x) or (y), the fear of pain, the fear of loss and endings and deaths.  Even when there is something so very, very painful that has to be viewed and resolved, it is  SO much better to turn the lights on.  You’ll still have twinges when you put weight on the limb in question and sometimes it’ll hurt like hell, especially when the weather is a certain way,  but on the whole it will not only be better, but get better.   The definition of better shifts into perhaps a truer meaning- that place where we find joy in the world even in the midst of sorrow.  You know that it’s going to hurt.  But you also know you will move forward, stronger than before, even with that mark.  This may or not translate into anything tangible in the world, but I can tell you that you will be a lot happier, and enjoy yourself more.  And that, Gentle Reader, is really the point.  Until we, as individuals, make these efforts on our own behalves, the world is not going to move forward either, so time is of the essence.  No pressure, of course.

Thank you, as always.

 

Issues of flow

Well, heck.  It’s been a while since I last put paw to keyboard and as usual it has been, as a friend said, high impact the whole way.  I really DO have pictures of Mr. Toad to show you and….well, soon.  We’ve had a few more frying pan incidents (with Mr. T.  hunkering down in absolute NO-ness when pan was placed someplace he didn’t want to jump out into) and it is quite perceptible just how much this little guy has grown when he’s racing across the kitchen floor.  There’s also another, smaller toad, who spent a whole day atop the small swamp cooler, nestled in a wet towel.  Frog hostel, perhaps, is what we have here.

The other day I got to see again the wonderfulness that is the first moment of sighting Mt. Shasta as you are driving north on I-5.  Suddenly it looms on the horizon, huge and spellbinding, and it is as though the road is going directly to its heart and you are being drawn to it by a ribbon of soft moss.  It really is quite an experience, and it did make me think about the fact that we actually LIVE next to one of the sacred mountains of the world.  The WORLD.  I mean, it’s amazing in that context.   At times it seems like the most bizarre juxtaposition possible, that incredible mountain and…all of this deeply crazy humanity.   Perhaps it is a metaphor along with being an actual physical display of the majesty and magic of creation.

As in: the sacred and magical is always right there but we have to train ourselves, or learn or  grow into or however it happens, to see it.  Once that is seen, life is still the same in an odd way.  I guess I used to think that once I “understood” things it would all be “easier” and “better”.  Not, uh, so much.  It IS easier, actually, to go forward without all the opinions and judgements we make about things.  Being grounded in the energies of this earth certainly helps one feel better on every level.   The difficulties, however, continue to exist and exist apace.  Many traditions repeat that one must give everything up to gain anything Real- the World is an illusion and understanding of the deeper reality, whatever one calls it, is crucial to growth.  Once that deeper reality is understood, though, it can be alienating for a time- I mean, once you know you need to take care of the earth and air and all it seems completely impossible that people wouldn’t do that.  Right?  Then of course there’s, oh dear.  Politics, the pentagon, censorship, torture, Monsanto…….I go back and forth about the impact of people changing their minds, and acting from love instead of fear.  Just that one thing.  It would really make a difference in every way one can imagine, so why is it so hard?

I’ve been thinking lately about the origins of physical problems.  Energetically (and greatly oversimplifiedly) speaking they come from influences that come in to us and if we don’t have our personal electrical grid in good working order, they can get “stuck” and then the problems can arise.   Think about it: we all have germs and microbes and whatnot up the cabonga inside us.  So what’s the difference between becoming ill and staying healthy?  I’m thinking that while, as they say in AA, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional, this truth is hard for us to grasp.  We may be able to avoid “bad things” but sooner or later something is going to pull up even with us and give us a slap upside the head somewhere.  We may even be in “resonance” with that thing from a prior experience or exposure, whether pleasant or not.  Then, what counts? How we respond.  So, this awareness of the bigger grid, the bigger reality, is what can help us move forward through those tingling blows and proceed.   The greater clarity we have in daily life, which is to a huge extent perspective, the better able we are to deal with all the things that transpire in life.  And we are here to deal with those things, for sure, not avoid them and not pretend they don’t exist.  We’re also not here to make careers out of these occurrences.  They’re all learning experiences, not corner offices with great views- we don’t need or mostly get to stay there.

Now I’m struggling with the part about: WTF?  It makes sense, all this, until that rock hits whatever window you’re looking out, and then the scramble for breath and balance is on.  I don’t know if it matters “why”, even though we all search for meaning and knowledge is power and all that.  It still seems to come down to what we feel, and what we understand about that.  Death is always the ultimate punctuation, we all know that, but it is always painful to encounter it as we go through our lives.  We know, for example, that we all will die, change clothes, put down that overcoat.  But, later, right?   Things we like change, things disappear, it is all in constant movement even when things seem the most static.  Best laid plans are upended, things happen that we cannot predict and fervently hope to avoid.  But the test is remaining faithful, I think.  And in joy- even in sorrow.

 

Having it all

Indeed.  It was somewhat forcefully brought to my attention this morning that for me? Having it all really revolves around having my poor little mind stay in one piece.   Since apparently I have given up on having any part of the American Dream- after all, as George Carlin said, you have to be asleep to believe in it.   We are definitely awake at our house.

I didn’t realize (for lo, these many many long years) the effort involved in passing myself off as “normal” and “functioning”.  Not to say I am not quite functional! but normal may be a stretch never to be made.  It’s a short step to thinking that had I not been quite so…shall we say disoriented?….in my formative years Things Might Have Been Different.  Or not.  It’s also true that things always happen for a reason, we do what we are here to do sooner or later, and there really are no mistakes in the final analysis.   (Oh yeah?)

Still.  It is quite the endeavor to review things with an eye to integrating one’s self and situation.  At this point I’m pretty much standing with my eyes and mouth wide open, hands covering the dropped jaw.  My drive to be independent saved me, but of course also put me in a certain outlying paradigm- not, after all, what girls were allowed to be without some effort back in the day.   It’s clear at this point that everything that’s happened leads to the work I do now- understanding how to deal with things that have been damaged or seemingly spoilt- clearing the pain away so that the light of day can appear at long last.  This is, though, I am quite sure, something that can be done, and I am very happy to do it even though the monetary elements are not always what one might wish.  The values coursing through our society often can make it SEEM as though you  fail if you don’t make a lot of money, but it ain’t necessarily so, and less really IS more, minimalism IS a good way to proceed.   Things do get better even if it takes a very long time.  Remembering that all beings want to be happy and that in fact they generally do the best they are able to do, it gets easier to let go of things that don’t serve us- once, that is, we get the map of the shoals and currents and deep waters inside us where we can see it.    And that map may really be what having it all actually is.  You come to see the world you are in as it is, for you, and not someone else.  You know those deep currents are cold and fast but you also know you can swim them and survive.    So for today, right now? I have it all, at long last.  Have a good day, Gentle Reader!

Momentum

Something I struggle with mightily, Gentle Reader.  MIGHTILY.  Those smooth stretches where you work on a task or something and can finish it then, more or less, instead of next week.  Or never.  I think that may happen when one is alone, but not too much otherwise.  There are always interruptions, intrusions, things that require you to be elsewhere than where you are, or were, or would wish to be.  Things don’t get finished or sometimes even started.  I make countless lists and by the time I get to the end the same list is staring me in the face again.  I’ve learned to accept interruptions calmly, change directions at a moment’s notice, go with the flow.  Still it isn’t good enough more often than not.   Whatever I do, someone is not pleased.  Which, really, is kind of the essence of dealing with life.  You can’t please all the people all the time.  This is an unreasonable expectation that I will venture to say is more often laid on females than males.  The question is then, how do you focus on the right kind of pleasing?  Which probably means, once again, being true to yourself, which does not mean being fixated on the rigidity of the ego’s demands and what the “self” wants.  It means listening, evaluating, looking honestly at situations and taking action based on that.  Which then means you have to know something about the bigger existence outside yourself- have as much information as possible.  And of course not be afraid to displease others from time to time as the need arises.

I think back to when I actually had a studio.   What bliss that was.  Then one might have to deal with blocks or deadlines or whatever but it was all taking place in that separate space, private and focussed.  In living with others, however, in a tiny space, it gets quite a bit different quite quickly.  The solitude required to create something is not so easily come by and many things compete for time and attention.  There is also the thing of getting tired.   You spend several hours on a project and then, funnily enough, don’t really feel like applying hyperfocus to cleaning the bathtub, or speeding through anything, really.  And out here in the country, there are always a vast number of things that need to be attended to, all the time, no matter what.  So it’s quite a balancing act.

I’ve been mulling over the fact that pretty much my entire life (except that short period when I had the studio) other people have been telling me that what I’m doing isn’t important and I should do something else, generally something they wanted done.  Yet this urge toward expression has never left, never abated.  Whether or not it generates money turns out to be beside the point.  Like the old story about the Muse: she shows up when she chooses and you dance then and there, period.   No fooling around, no screwing her, either.  It’s like an absolute of a sort.  Whatever it is, dance, write,  make pictures, you just have to do it, period. Regardless of perceived balance or lack thereof in the moment.

At the same time, these absolutes (if we can call them that) are part of the bigger current we all swim in and ultimately are a connecting thing rather than a distancing one.  The whole image of artist as ongoing tantrumer is only one image, and one more reflective of the values of this culture we find ourselves in than the essence of the absolute itself.  Everything is art, really.  People just don’t do much for themselves anymore, in the sense of creating tangible daily objects and food and whatnot,  and lose sight of that truth.  We’ve allowed things to be run by the Ego, with Profit as the motive, and anything that fits into that paradigm works.  So, that includes tantrums but it doesn’t necessarily include work for the good of all.  I happen to think that craft, art, all the things we do as humans to express and expand our vision and experience, work toward the good of all and are valuable.  The idea of the limited few overarching everything with their drive for profit- monetary, of course- is not in the end a workable one.

And what, you might ask (or not) does this have to do with momentum?  It has to do with the striving toward awareness and fulfillment of purpose instead of the blinkered rush toward something unitary and abstract, like profit.  Or finishing up six tasks so you can sit, quietly panting from exertion and wondering if you’ve actually accomplished anything.  So then time gets distributed a bit differently.  Some days are devoted to the unitary purpose, say going to the dump or pulling weeds.  Others are devoted to developing awareness.  Generally one likes to do both those things at the same time but that is not always possible.  That is when momentum has been lost.  To recover momentum, maybe one has to step back from the pairs of opposites populating everything, and see where the real yesses and noes are.  And THAT, Gentle Reader, is where we often get snarled up around here.  Because, when you look at it, everything is right, it’s all moving along and whatnot. The world is not going to end if task A or B doesn’t get done immediately, even though it may “feel” that way.   Our attention gets snagged on something and we get stuck because we react to it, thinking it is something substantial, which usually it isn’t.  It doesn’t mean just blithely saying, oh, it’s all an illusion, tra la.  Or getting mired in the crush of it all, so many points and sharp places and obscure turnoffs.

What it does mean is what we’ve been padding our way through the last few days.  No answers yet.  And, I’m beginning to be more sure that maybe it isn’t answers that there are, at all.  More questions, mostly.  And an ever present sense of being opened up, experiencing whatever it is, feeling the feelings and refraining from attaching meaning or opinion to them whenever possible.  It’s oddly painful, oddly joyful.  One thing for sure is there’s no going back, even or especially when you feel it’s time for a thoracic surgeon to enter the picture and sew you back together.  But there’s no needle, no thread, no bright light.  And funnily enough, when you do get someplace you can examine that wide open space in you, it’s healed up or it isn’t, but it’s fine as it is.  JEEPERS.

Try, try again

Which we did.  Get up, that is.  After a crash and burn like yesterday’s everything looks a little unfamiliar right off the top.  It’s cold and the skies are like lead.  Neither the Partner nor I remember the oak leaves being quite so gold, so yellow last year.  It’s an astonishing effect against the lodge pole pines and live oaks and manzanitas.  In any event it makes the entire landscape here look very different, oddly spectacular in a dream like way.

The whole thing about perception is still on (what is left of) my mind.  It is almost as though our society has made the simplest common denominator approach to things the only one allowed.  Something that is outside the bounds of those rather manufactured and horsed around explanations simply doesn’t exist.  It is a variation, of course, on the unseen galleons in the harbors of the new world; you don’t see what you don’t expect to see.  You don’t expect to see ships, you don’t see them.  You expect things to fit into a simple paradigm, they fit.  Except of course if and when they don’t.  So this is the beginning, perhaps, of an understanding of things that have eluded me up until now.  Perhaps it won’t be a very “happy” revelation, but we have to start somewhere.  It does seem, though, as though we here on earth have been on a long trip through a reality that has been almost entirely geared toward money, making money, having power and control over others, and lacking a certain- moral compass? we might say.  No wonder some of us feel lost.

Continuing Apace

There’s something interesting about writing things that are public and yet (Hello my loyal  Gentle Reader!) unseen for the most part.

Anyway.  Did I mention it’s hot now? Well, indeed it is.  But the hummingbirds flit around our garden and the quail are out for their morning breakfast under the elderberry.  We have a volunteer tomato plant.  A cow escaped last week and had a companionable morning next door until it got chased away.  The day after that a veritable posse converged on US, asking after the errant cow.  Apparently we are the Bastion of Common Sense on this side of the road, as things are developing.  Even if it is only to say things like, it went that way.

There were some fantastic cactus flowers across the road, which I didn’t have time to photograph the day I saw them.  Huge, yellow blossoms shining in the heat like nebulae.  Anyway, I went back yesterday (at a snail’s pace because it was already over 100 degrees) and somebody had EATEN them.  Cleanly nipped off avoiding the spines and whatnot, which made me think it was not a deer who had that feast, since they seem to always leave some sort of tooth mark, like a calling card.  It might have been the horse next door, who  roams around freely like a big, brown dog.  He woke us up a few days ago at about 4 am, having wandered over here.  There WAS a big patch of red clover right outside the yurt, which now? Is no more.  That horse is a fast eater.  I bet those flowers, all of them,  were delicious but it definitely reminded me that everything is fleeting, no matter how it may seem in the moment.   Especially around here.  Everything, that is, but the heat.  THAT is of a startling fixity, and yesterday I found myself wondering if I’d make it through another summer the way it’s shaping up.  But, night falls and brings some relief, we made Chinese food outside (perfect use for the electric wok I’ve had forever) and here it is, another day.  We’ll see.

Houston, We Have A Bear

We do.  Really.  We think it is a smallish sort of bear.  A smallish, black and no doubt cutie pie of a bear.  It was kind of a high point, actually.  The Partner stumbled upon some poop, which we identified as bear scat, and there we were.  A bear uses the bluff above the yurt, from where it can view Mt. Shasta, as a bathroom.

Not like the bobcat or mountain lion which ALSO lives in our neighborhood- oh, no.  That cat just strides around leaving huge pawprints and scaring the daylights out of the chickens next door, who pretty much routinely live in fear anyway between the family dog who can’t keep from clamping its jaws around their little necks, the hawks, the coyotes…well.  The poor things need sedatives if you ask me.

Meanwhile, we have been  attempting to forge ahead here in Brave New World and as usual, things have not gone without incident.  We learned that when you install a wood burning stove? You really, really need to put a wind shield over the rain screen.  That way, the wind won’t blow down the chimney, out through the stove, and into your living space with highly undesirable results.  We’ve also learned that when you build a yurt YOU NEED ALL THE INSULATION THEY OFFER.  Yes, it’s expensive.  Yes, it appears to be optional.  But really?  Indispensable.  We’re now trying to figure out a way to install wall insulation, and the Partner has a genius idea, on which I will report when…it materializes.

Meanwhile, even though everyone has said it never does this here, it has frozen and even snowed.   We take comfort in the thought that the coming summer will be infernally hot enough to keep the larger predators away, up in the cooler part of the mountains.  Then we’ll just be back to snakes and ants.  And flies, of course.  The man we finally bought our wood from suggested a 12 gauge shotgun for the snakes for me.  He can’t use one anymore, he said, having broken his neck in three places somehow at some time.  I’m thinking it might be a bit too much for me too although so far, I haven’t broken my neck.  Cause for celebration.

It’s kind of hard to know what to think about anything, really.  We go down into town and things are pretty crazy at times.  Checking in with the news, it seems that the entire world is almost completely crazy.  But the snow covered mountains turn pink at sunset and I like to think that THAT is what will prevail.  Meanwhile, we are chopping wood and carrying water.  It’s really, REALLY different.  But I like it.

Deja Vu, ALL OVER AGAIN

Yes, I know it’s been a long, long time.

I don’t know if I’ve recounted the Rattlesnake Shooting, or the Scorpion Siting in Unpacked Box of Dishes.  The flat tire?  The ruined paint job on the car from the water here? The fact that it is still almost 100 degrees in mid-October?  Plus we had an entire day of 40 mph winds last week?  The issue of pending bills in “Congress” that would cause an end to my business altogether, albeit creating new, large bureaucracies? and when I wrote to my Representative urging a NO vote, I got an email back thanking me for telling them I support that legislation?

Perhaps it was the wrong time to read my New Yorker, especially the article about failed climate change (” “) legislation.  Perhaps it is because I have no TV now but I find myself increasingly shocked and enraged by what I read about this country,  the politics- which is to say, capitalism as usual.  It just doesn’t seem like it could possibly be real.  Not being consumed in the hectic pace of urban life, there is indeed more time to think even though one’s efforts are continually aimed at basic survival out here in the Country and that does, believe me, take one heck of a lot of energy.  But this self serving, greedy, money-grubbing mongering and- dare I say it?- idollartry?  I am stupefied, Gentle Reader.  We are not just going to Hell in a handbasket, we are half way there and it’s down hill the rest of the way.  When a political candidate can threaten to beat a reporter up for their remarks, and voters view that as “showing backbone”, as happened in New York’s gubernatorial free for all…I confess to being deeply disturbed.  When legislation about climate change (the slogan should be: BELIEVE IT) circles entirely around how much money is going to be made by the petroleum industry?  When it should be circling around how to get them out of the loop? I feel like I just fell asleep for a long time and have woken up without a clue as to where I am.  This is beyond freaky.

Still, hot or not it is beautiful here.  We have a trio of talking frogs, one of whom crawls up on our window screen for stomach rubs every day.  Absolutely splendid lizards, honey bees and butterflies, and a gaggle of hummingbirds who run the place like a bunch of Mafia Capos.  We are awakened early every morning by the sound of their wings as they zoom around and around the yurt, chasing each other and getting the kinks out.  They fly through the deer wire fence we had to put up (hissy fit hoof print seen the next morning after fence was up, a rare moment of triumph) as though it isn’t even there.  The small plant saucer bath we have is host to a dizzying array of bird bathers who very neatly and calmly share, along with the wasps.  We saw a green hornet! and dragonfly swarms.  Full moons and starry skies.  I guess it’s like that story about St. Francis.  One day he is out harvesting a crop and an angel appears, saying that the world is going to end in one hour.  St. Francis thanks the angel, then goes back to his work.  I aspire to that, perhaps, and today found me falling far short.  Oh, well.  Tomorrow’s another day!

Some days

It’s 120 again, Gentle Reader.  I can attest to the fact that this does nothing for the nerves.  Mine are shot.  But, in the name of fairness:

Sierra

Out the front door.....

This is what we see out our front door from time to time.    Also,

Through the trees

That white thing? Is Mt. Shasta.

THIS.  From the sleeping area.  So perhaps, Gentle Reader, you can sense my dilemma.  How can something so beautiful be so infernally and constantly over the top difficult.