Archives for the month of: March, 2017

Please note: this is not the usual thing, I think, and I’m not really sure quite what “set me off”. I feel vaguely inclined to apologize, or perhaps to at least give you an opportunity to reconsider this one, so… here’s me, alerting you that this is some pent-up ancient anger simmering just under the surface, and, well… a bit of it seeped through, somehow, and bubbled up… and spilled over. So. Angry ranting ahead. Choose wisely. 😉 ❤

One more chance to choose perspective and beauty. Angry ranting ahead… you’ve been warned. 🙂

I made the mistake of scrolling through Facebook first, this morning. Gross. Seeing the ethical and moral decline of a country I feel part of, connected to, is frankly super depressing and… provoking. It irks me to deal with the constant continued attack on women, on people of color, on people who face economic disadvantages, on people who choose reason, on science (and scientists)… all so a small handful of rich old white guys can fatten up their bank accounts and afford enough great medical care to manage a few more self-congratulatory erections and strut around impressing themselves while others suffer. It’s fairly sad and pathetic, on the one hand, and on the other… it enrages me. I’m frustrated, and my emotions bounce between anarchistic anger, and immobilizing learned helplessness; I am not an old rich white guy, not the daughter, wife, or chattel of an old rich white guy, nor subject to any clear benefit that they exist. Still… I persist. It’s an ugly, hateful system that preys on the weak, robs the poor, and penalizes the outspoken.

On the other hand, when I lift my head from Facebook, and put down the new media’s aggressive outrage-generating machinery, and interact directly with the world, I find myself connecting with a lot of other people who, just like me, are angry and unwilling to sit down and shut up about it. I’ve unhesitatingly ended friendships over the past two years solely because I was not inclined to participate in hate. (I’m not seeking praise for that; I have things to atone for over a long life. I will not reach the end of this journey able to say “I never hated anyone and always did my best and cared for my fellow travelers”, and I often find myself so very angry.) I see other people – real people – who actually care. I don’t mean grand gestures that demonstrate with big obvious public actions that we need to care. I don’t mean running for office or protesting in the streets. Those things are needed, too, but… I mean, I see every day people helping each other out, being kind, offering support in a difficult moment, expressing affection, sharing… those things give me hope. There aren’t enough of those things. There’s a lot of fucking hate.

So, I put aside Facebook this morning, resolving to log off social media for the weekend and get some digital downtime. The world can wait on my anger for some other day. I need some rest and I need to recharge and take care of the being of light resting within this fragile vessel.

My heart feels heavy when I think of women who won’t have healthcare forced to bear children they don’t want, on poor timing, because their consent is not sufficiently respected, or who don’t have easy access to birth control. I think of women and girls who could turn the world around with scientific breakthroughs, improvements in technology, great works of engineering, art, or philosophy who lose their opportunity through a willful institutionalized lack of basic respect. I think about women of color. I think about women in poverty. I think about mentally ill women. I think about the woman in the mirror. It feels like a very personal attack on me as a woman every time I see some smug rich geriatric white asshole in office smirking over something else he’s just done or said that diminishes women. If I say so, I get called angry. Fuck yes, I’m angry. Why wouldn’t I be? Do the simple thought exercise; turn the tables in any direction you choose, change the balance of power and put yourself at a chronic institutionalized legislated disadvantage – however you identify yourself, in whatever class or group – make sure you add a hearty helping of no one takes you seriously about that, so you can be both frustrated and demeaned, and take that shit for a test drive. No heroics, make it real. Is it too hard? Well, too bad – at least you get to choose whether to think about it.

Privilege being what it is, I find it hard to see my own. I’ve been making an effort to really really try – because it matters, and because hate is so pervasive, and those who hate tend to be so fucking self-righteous, justified and self-congratulatory about it. I want no part of hate.  I study. I listen. I mean, I really full fucking stop take time to listen. It can be hard to hear that I share characteristics with a “problem class of individuals” being both white, and at a point in my life when most of my basic needs are relatively well-met. It’s still necessary to listen, and to understand, and to be part of changing the world.

I’m sure old rich republican white guys think they’re doing women who rely on Planned Parenthood a real favor – go ahead, ask them, they will shove some line of clueless bullshit your way so fast you’ll need an army of fact-checkers on meth to sort that shit out in time to stop some internet troll from climbing on board to turn it into “news”. I’m not immune to being human, and I know I can, will, and do make mistakes that have the potential to hurt people… but I don’t want to be someone insensitive to the impact of my choices on the world around me. Caring matters. Compassionate awareness matters. Acknowledging mistakes matters.  I mean… I killed a spider this morning… as killings go, fairly inconsequential and commonplace… but… I bet it seemed like a big deal to that fucking spider. :-\ I think I’ve come some distance as a human being, from the point at which I started life; I have mixed feelings about killing that spider.

Wow. Start the morning with angst-y angry ranting? Why, yes thanks, I think I shall. <sigh> All too human. I think I’ll have a second coffee… and begin again. 😉

Yesterday was an intense roller-coaster ride of emotions.Shortly before midday I hit a low point. Not an everyday lull in my enthusiasm, or a mildly blue moment – I was overtaken by darkness, and feeling an almost suicidal level of despair. This is not an exaggeration; I know what that feels like, and what those words really mean. It took me my surprise. It took me over. While I struggled in the sticky mess, tangled in despair, and unable to find any fucks to give, a soft defeated inner voice tried her hardest to pull me back. “This is emotion; it lacks substance unless you give it substance.” “Begin again.” “This will pass.” I not only didn’t give a fuck, I couldn’t remember at all why I should. Bleak.

As I arrived home from what, in the moment, seemed like a fairly pointless waste of time (my annual physical), I let my Traveling Partner know I would be going offline to take care of myself and to avoid spreading my vile mood like plague. He offered understanding, compassion, and support. He cracked a tender understanding joke. He’s having his own experience, and as much as I am able, I return that loving support, and endeavor not to “weaponize” my emotional experience. I approach the apartment, already prepared for the person with the pressure washer cleaning the building exterior and sidewalks; the landlady alerts me of these things, these days, in advance so that I am not taken by surprise. I find room for gratitude and appreciation, but it does nothing to lift my mood.

I sat down with a cup of coffee, a notepad, and an attentive eye and begin making a list of the housekeeping details I would like to handle. The list grows. I begin weeping intermittently. I don’t make any effort to stop it. I just don’t care. I pause, aware for a moment with more than usual clarity that I am indeed in A Very Bad Place and that steps are in order. I remind myself to let my friends next door that I’m in that bad place, and to check on me later “if things sound too quiet” or… just because. I don’t get the chance; my phone nags at me briefly to attend to a message from them. We end up hanging out and talking about… house work. Room mate drama over housekeeping is such a mundane real-life challenge of adulthood that it’s no surprise to hear that there are such challenges next door… and… I’m preparing for my own afternoon of housekeeping, facing some loose similarities in dealing with the woman in the mirror, who I hadn’t noticed had been slacking off a bit. I also hadn’t noticed I’d dropped my highly effective habit of making a to do list each day. What the hell? When did that happen?

As we converse, I mention I figured I’d been a little overly casual about the housekeeping, myself, for… “about two weeks, maybe”. I flipped back in the notepad on which I was making a new list. Nope. A month. A month ago I’d stop making lists. Just… stopped. Damn it. I laugh. My friends laugh with me. We drink coffee together. We talk about chores. We talk about the way our inner narrative and our assumptions change our perspective. We talk about “theory of mind” and how we tend to assume people generally think as we do, know what we know, and make decisions in the same way. We walk about compassion. We talk about explicit communication. We talk about boundary setting. We talk about life – and we talk about The School of Life (great videos!) We lift each other up through affection community and conversation. When they leave, I feel… able to go on.

“Go on” is exactly what I do; I get on with the housework. I tidy. I organize. I clean. I really clean. My mood begins to lift. Details that were dragging me down, in the background, begin to lift me up as the apartment takes on that well-cared for, detailed, tidy, orderly appearance that I love. Small tasks, large tasks, general tidying, deep cleaning – all of it matters if I am “feeling disordered”. Each task lovingly handled from start to finish, satisfying once completed, builds the foundation for the task that follows.

An hour or so of connected social interaction, and another hour or so of household chores, my mood completely turned around. I felt connected, present, and capable. The bleakness and despair of the morning were behind me. By the end of the day the apartment feels great. It is tidy and clean and orderly. I like order. It gives me a rest from the chaos still lurking within.

Today? Today I begin again. 🙂

I took today off. I didn’t plan to be sick, I just planned to take the day off for my annual physical and some downtime. I scheduled a hair appointment (to have the wild lavender and pink and green that it is now refreshed before an upcoming concert). Later, I unscheduled the hair appointment, remembering to be frugal while I house hunt; the funds will be needed, more than likely. I re-planned the day to do some “go sees” of new listings in the afternoon. Yesterday, I canceled that too. I’m sick. I will just go get my physical, and come home and sip tea and read, I suppose…

…Nope. My plans are over-turned by the rental management here in the community. It is, apparently, “inspection time” again. (Please imagine me rolling my eyes irritably at this point right here.) I don’t have much to do to be ready, but I have canvases out in my studio, and I’ll just fret about the stupid inspection if I don’t spend an hour tidying up a bit, regardless. So. I guess I’m getting my physical and coming home to housework. The inspections are on Thursday. I won’t be home. I’ll have already taken today off from work, and can’t cut into my work hours further without putting time-sensitive work at risk of not being completed. It makes me uncomfortable to have anyone in my space when I’m not home, these days (other than my Traveling Partner), and the last time my landlady was in my apartment on a day I wasn’t at home? Yeah, I was burglarized. I’ve lost trust, and feel anxious about having her in my apartment in my absence. Work from home? I wish. The work I’ll specifically be doing is much more handily done with the vast acreage of widescreen dual monitors connected to the network directly than it can be at home on a laptop screen connected through VPN. I’m just going to have to adult this one. I’m annoyed by that, but not unprepared. I managed to avoid letting it keep me awake last night… mostly. I got 4 and a half hours of sleep. :-\

I woke mostly clear-headed, head still stuffy, lungs not yet congested (yay!), and still willing to embrace life as a goodness. That’s something. Today is  not the day I planned. (It often isn’t.) It is, however, a day out of the office, with a little more than typical looseness to it. I remind myself that this irritant (the inspection) is just one of the many small things driving me so urgently to find my own place – really my own, as in “homeowner”.  The inspection (for me) is a nothing event, anyway; I live a tidy, quiet, gentle life, and take good care of this space. The inspection never amounts to more than a casual walk-through, I just won’t be here, which really creeps me out. So. I’m inconvenienced and uncomfortable. I’ll get over it.

I am my own cartographer on life’s journey. There is no rule book, no map, no user’s guide for being human. We are each having our own experience. The map is not the world. The day… is not the plan. I’m still okay right now. 🙂


I got through most of the work day pretty well, yesterday. By noon I was fading fast, losing cognitive efficiency and clarity of thought quickly, with a viral-seeming sort of headache plaguing me quite continuously. I “called it” at 3:30 pm and headed for home a bit earlier than I typically would. I arrived home, stood in a hot shower for a while. Figured chicken soup would work for dinner. Couldn’t eat. Just had no appetite, and didn’t care. I went to bed about an hour or so after I got home, expecting to have a restless night, or be up again sometime later unable to sleep.

I woke to the alarm, at the usual time. Headache is gone. I feel alert, and generally okay. My head is a little stuffy, but not unmanageably so. I sit down with my coffee wondering how long this will take to fully run its course, pleased that it isn’t worse than it is, and glad that I took a Benadryl last night – it gets some credit for the long night of relatively deep sleep.

I scroll through my Facebook feed and then back out of that. There is a lot of anger in the world, and justifiably so in the face of new heights of government cruelty and societal bullshit. Is it really new, though? Nope. It’s really got our attention, now, though. People are really objecting to it, and are no longer willing to shrug it off, disappointed, disillusioned, and exhausted by lack of change. Social change that happens slowly over time often goes mostly unnoticed. Social change through protest, dissent, and private emotion in public places – “wearing our anger out loud” – is change through upheaval, and it definitely gets noticed. It creates a grand “conversation” between groups. It gets heated. Families get torn apart. Tribes are formed. Friendships end. Friendships are forged. It’s a time of change. From my own perspective, my best possible choice through it all is simply to be who I authentically am, on this personal journey to be that person most skillfully, most honestly, and with my choices and my will focused on my Big 5 (respect, consideration, reciprocity, compassion, and openness). It’s less about being right than it is about listening deeply and learning more… about being. If I can be a better person tomorrow than I am today, I am content that I am making progress toward being the person I most want to be, over time. If we were each committed to being the best possible human being we have the ability to be, it would be a good start on a peaceful world… right?


Right? Nah. Probably not. Most people already think they are “one of the good guys” with no further self-reflection at all, never considering the consequences of their actions on others. Tons of people are hung up on their own righteous ideology, their own opinions-as-fact, their own take on the world. We’re fancy primates; we don’t give up easily on our own bullshit.

Today is a good day to really listen to “the other side” of a discussion – however many other sides there are. Today is a good day to listen deeply, to consider other ideas than my own, and to make room in my awareness to understand the thinking of others. Today is a good day to accept the premise that we are each “doing our best”, generally, as we understand it ourselves. Today is a good day to ask illuminating questions – not to “win” an argument, but to truly illuminate my own thinking, and inform my understanding of the world more broadly, with greater wisdom and perspective. Today is a good day to maintain an awareness that we are each having our own experience. There is more to learn.

Today is a good day to begin again. 🙂

Weird morning. Restless night. I’m struggling to wake up fully. I’m feeling a bit uninspired by the day ahead – which is completely unfair to a day that is not yet started. There’s no knowing from this vantage point what the day may hold. I remind myself to give it a chance, and contentedly (if somewhat groggily) sip my coffee.

Rain-soaked park

The rain fell steadily yesterday. There is rain in today’s forecast, too. My perspective on rainy days sometimes changes, dependent on “having to” go out in it, or “getting to” go out in it. My hike yesterday, through the rain-soaked park, was lovely and I greatly enjoyed it. I’m less enthusiastic about my commute to work on rainy mornings. It’s odd that there is any difference in my appreciation for the rainy walk, considering I like both the walking, and the rain.

My wee container garden 

I spent some time in the garden, weeding potted miniature roses, taking note of winter losses, and planting some greens. I didn’t mind the steady drizzle then, any more than I minded on my morning walk. The sound of the wind-chime, and the musical ping of raindrops on the flue cover was delightful. I considered what the future holds for my wee garden, when I move to a home of my own… these roses have always been potted, except for one. I am eager to see them grow into the earth, and reach for the sky, once planted in beds and borders. What will I use the containers for, then? An unanswered question without any urgency to carry along with me while I look at houses, and consider each in the context of being my own.

The weekend is behind me, now. Another busy work week begins. I sip my coffee and consider what I can easily do to support myself today. Slow to wake up, and feeling sort of cross, still feeling some cold symptoms (that have still not become anything more noteworthy)… It seems a good day to treat myself well, and with consideration… How best to do so is the only question, now. How to similarly treat others well is another worthy question to consider.

One task after another, one question after another, one moment after another, the morning begins to take shape, and from there, the day. Today it’ll have to be enough to do my best, and to be considerate. We are each having our own experience. It’s a very human one.  🙂