Archives for category: Allegories

Me, too. Well, actually, I found one – a bunch of them, and a great perspective shot down a busy, picturesque street, on a sunny afternoon, between spring rain showers. I snapped a quick shot from my position on the corner, waiting to cross the street. I grinned, satisfied, and hurried on across while the light was still on “walk”.

Later, when I sat down for a moment with my thoughts, and this metaphor about signs just waiting to become words on a page with an apropos perspective shot supporting it… no picture. It didn’t save. The moment… has passed. Unrecorded. Soon to be forgotten.

Well… shit. Moving on, then?

…Or… are you still “looking for a sign”? What’s holding you back from that next step, right now? Fear? Money? Discouragement? Frustration? Disappointment? Ennui? (Have you ever noticed that what holds people back from pursuing something of interest is rarely joy, contentment, or satisfaction in life?) Okay, so, it’s not easy to “live the dream” – if what we want requires more than we have. Doesn’t matter if that’s money, or training, or experience, or skill… there’s an effort implied to any of it, and the suggestion that if we truly want to achieve that achievement, we’ll do the work. Luck only takes us so far. (I say this as someone who has been astonishingly lucky in life, all things considered.)

Wanna be a rock star? Are you making time, and putting in the hours, learning to play an instrument, read music, write songs…?

Wanna be a renowned author? Are you practicing your writing skills, you know, by writing? Are you honing your craft, and seeking feedback that will result in becoming the writer you most want to be, telling a story only you can tell?

Wanna kick butt at roller derby? So… yeah… are you on skates, looking for a team to practice with?

Wanna build custom furniture with amazing space-saving secret compartments and interesting built-in features that are entirely unique to your brand? Okay… are you already learning cabinetry and wood-working?

My point is this; it’s not luck alone that walks us down our path in life. We have to take actual steps. πŸ™‚

…Don’t just stand there! Start walking. πŸ˜‰

I have a wee garden. It’s a container garden on a decently large deck. I currently have no new pictures of it, although I spent much of the weekend in the garden, doing Spring sorts of things. There’s not yet much to see.

In the same moment that I consider the words “nothing to see here” as I sit down to write, and enjoy my morning coffee, it occurs to me that it is a matter of perspective whether that is really the case. There are containers large and small that have been filled with soil. Older containers have been carefully weeded. Rose branches that died back last year have been pruned away. The thyme and the oregano are looking very fresh and healthy. Containers have been moved into their Spring-Summer-Autumn locations, here and there and on deck rails. From the base of one of the “dead” miniature roses, a couple new shoots prove me wrong. So much to see! I just didn’t take any pictures. Too engaged in the moments spent living to think to take a picture. There are metaphors here. πŸ™‚

It’s already Monday, and already time to return to work, for another week. I don’t feel hassled, or regretful, just ready for it. πŸ™‚

Quite a bit of the weekend was spent in the company of friends. The smile on my face lingers from a weekend of jovial connection, and contented intimacy. Hearing rain beyond the window, I decide to ride the light rail today, and find myself – still smiling – appreciating the options.

A life well-lived isn’t necessarily about Lamborghini’s, mansions, jewelry, or money; it’s about moments. πŸ™‚ That’s at least my own perspective on the matter. Of course, I don’t have a Lamborghini… so… what do I know about that? (Aside from enough to avoid getting hung up on expensive things I don’t actually want or need. lol) My genial contentment in life definitely finds some basis in sufficiency and non-attachment. πŸ˜€

Well… my coffee is gone. It’s already time to leave for the train, to do work things, in work places. πŸ™‚ It’s enough. It’s also time to begin again. πŸ˜‰

It’s a lovely morning, so far. The sun isn’t yet up, and there’s a bit of mist in the trees beyond the deck. My coffee is hot, and satisfying. I feel pretty good, generally, and aside from some stiffness, and awareness of mild discomfort here and there, even my pain level is pretty low. An excellent start to a Saturday – and brunch a bit later. πŸ™‚

I’m thinking a bit about the funhouse mirror of social media, and the way it turns so many people into emotionally demanding narcissists unable to support themselves through emotionally self-sufficient practices day-to-day. Leaving Facebook is eye-opening. I’ve stopped using it, and expect, today, to finish off the last of the data entry into my contacts list, then move on with deleting my account.

…Hell, I already have the page open to the “delete my account” action, ready for me to click it. (One last click for ya, Facebook. lol)…

One of the nicest things so far, about leaving Facebook I mean, is the increase in authenticity in my affected relationships. Already. I like that. Sure, it’s more effort to “stay in touch” – but if the only “staying in touch” we’re doing is eavesdropping on each other’s lives from a distance, lol’ing at memes, and amplifying each other’s outrage… are we really “in touch” with each other, at all? How much slower is the progress toward any personal goal, or our journey to be our best self, if we’re constantly seeking – or waiting for – likes, clicks, and views along the way. Very distracting. I just… can’t. Too much I’d still like to see, do, achieve, complete, stumble on, enjoy, share in real life, savor without comment, and reflect upon without further input, honestly, and when all that is added to the mish-mash of bullshit, misinformation, racism, sexism, trolling, data-mining, and drama that Facebook has been built upon… omg. So over it.

So. Here I sit. Realizing, in this moment, that I’ve already downloaded the historical content I wanted to save – all the conversations I’ve had with friends over this past 10 years, inclusive of all the contact updates – I’m ready. Ready to end this toxic relationship and move on with my life. πŸ˜€ No last good-bye. No final statement as I depart. No dramatic exit. Just a Saturday morning, a cup of coffee, and a couple of mouse clicks. πŸ™‚ Easy.

…And just like that, Facebook has no power over me. πŸ™‚ Nice.

This one is a new beginning (and then some), but also an allegory and a metaphor; do what matters most for you. Make your choices wisely, using wisdom you have acquired in years of living. Consult when you must – but living ones life is not a matter of consensus, likes, clicks, or trending views. Being present in the moment may not be the instantly gratifying shot in the brain chemistry that having all your friends (and a bunch of strangers) comment favorably on a post on social media may be… but it’s tangible, and authentic. It’s real. It’s also a choice, and I’m making mine. Doesn’t have to be yours; we each walk our own path. Mine diverges from Facebook, right here. πŸ™‚ There are a lot of reasons why, really, the largest of which is that although my friends add to my experience, Facebook twists that, and then adds a layer of toxic cognitive goo, and then a shitload of advertising. lol I am all about saying “no” to that.

I’ve got a hearty and well-filled contact list full of friends of many years, some old, and some new. I’ve got addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, a calendar… and the time with which to begin again. πŸ™‚

Hey, welcome to morning (or afternoon, or evening, or whenever you find yourself reading this)! Got your coffee (tea, beer, fizzy water, or whatever it is you drink to refresh yourself in this particular moment)? Mmm, me too; coffee. Hot, black, delicious – a carefully crafted pour-over, made just the way I prefer it. It’s an acquired taste – not everyone likes coffee, and not everyone who likes coffee prefers their coffee black. There are quite a few preferences we individually express, and, obviously, that’s part of what makes us individuals – however similar we actually are as mammals, as primates, as citizens, as community members, as families… yep. Similar and different. Individual.

Who are you? Are you living your values? Are you making the choices that slowly allow you to become the person you most want to be? We toss around the phrase “a work in progress” to excuse so many things… but… are you working on being the best version of you that knowledge, skill, and practice, allow? It’s just a question. I can’t answer it for you, or change the outcome of your self-reflection. I can’t do those verbs – those verbs belong to you. πŸ™‚

I had a difficult day, yesterday, for some values of difficult. I felt irritable all day. Easily annoyed. Frustrated by life. I found myself, more than once, seething in the background, but unable to ascertain “why”. A couple years ago, such a day would have resulted in many more similar days, perhaps, or escalated to some explosively unpleasant emotional moment that “ruined the day”. Yesterday, I was patient with myself. Willing to be aware of my challenges, without pushing that experience (and energy) out into the world, and other relationships. My Traveling Partner and I exchanged testy, irritable words in the morning, but the moment passed quickly, and resolved itself entirely, and the remainder of the day was a delightful one, with the one shadow being that bit of moodiness lurking in the background, waiting to take me by surprise. Well, that can really only happen if I let go of being aware of it – gently observant, compassionate, non-judgmental self-awareness for the win! Each time it surfaced as a concern, I made room to be aware of my emotions, and also the realities of my moment, to the fully extent possible for me. I let go of expectations. I let go of assumptions. I made a point to approach the worldΒ  – and more importantly, myself – with considerable care, and unyielding commitment to refraining from lashing out at others as a result of my “headspace”. It was fairly effective; the day, generally, was quite a lovely one. Win and good.

I relate all this as a reminder that we can choose. We have a lot of choices. πŸ™‚

This morning I begin again, over coffee, after a good night’s rest. A little later, brunch with a friend. Some time after that, a trip to a local artisan’s market. Fun. Monday will come soon enough. πŸ™‚

What about you? What about your choices? Who are you? Where does your path lead? Do you take your coffee black? Cream and sugar? Blended with ice and high-fructose corn syrup? Flavored? With whip? Dairy or non-dairy? Extra shots? Perhaps you eschew coffee altogether? What I’m saying is, it’s a big menu, and there’s room for you to be who you are. How will you craft that raw self into the person you most want to be? What will you learn from life’s traumas? How will you approach educating yourself? How will you interact with the world? It’s a big menu…

…Are you ready to begin again?

It’s definitely Spring. Small sprigs of new growth are turning up everywhere. Flowers beginning to bloom, though generally only those that bloom earliest, not minding the remaining handful of chilly rainy days to come. There’s a metaphor here.

Leaves unfolding, welcoming Spring.

I looked out onto the deck yesterday, early in the morning, and made a decision to begin readying the container garden for Spring. I let go of grieving roses lost to summer heat and succulents lost to winter cold, and looked on the garden with new eyes, vision no longer obscured by tears. There is so much promise in a Spring garden. More metaphors. I sat down with seed catalogs and thoughtfully considered what to replace, what to move on from, and what new opportunities are in front of me, now. I made careful choices based on a lifetime of experience, which now includes the heart-wrenching woes of the past year, and also, the extraordinary joy I’ve found, and so often. I made a tender sentimental choice to replace just one of the lost roses, with another of the same variety. I took time to appreciate that it will be “the same rose”. I made mental notes of some things I’ve learned from caring for that particular rose for nearly 3 decades, in a pot, and some things I can do more skillfully this time around. I made an exciting choice to add a long-gone favorite I’d had to leave behind many years ago, and somehow never replaced, in spite of how much I loved it. I’m eager to see it thrive here, in this more wholesome place. I added a rose that has a tiny bit of baggage to it, too, unconcerned with any of that, and trusting that the here and now will allow me to let all that go; it’s not my baggage, and it wasn’t my rose. I picked out a new one that so beautifully complements the others that it just seemed to be a necessary thing. (Are you keeping track of the metaphors, here?)

The Spring garden is about more than roses. I like to grow some vegetables, too. I also happen to be a tad whimsical, a bit careless, possibly with a tendency to be a bit lazy… and… yeah. I’m the gardener I’ve got. I do better each year, and learn more about making the most of what, and who, I am. This year I made the choice to pick out a handful of veggies I’ve done very well with, that don’t seem to require much of me, and just one thing that tends to insist I am attentive to a lot of higher-maintenance details. Ease, balanced with challenges. That’s the goal, anyway. So, this year it’s carrots, beets, various salad greens, Swiss chard, ground cherries, and tiny alpine strawberries. I’m fairly terrible with growing peppers, so why bother with that? Tomatoes? Well, I grow pretty awesome tomatoes, pretty easily, but they don’t agree with me so much these days, and I don’t generally eat them. lol There are more metaphors here. Are you listening?

Ready for Spring.

I’m not trying to tell anyone else how to tend their garden. I can’t even make skillful recommendations; I don’t know the lay of the land out your way, or what the soil conditions are like, or whether you are an urban gardener, or someone with a hobby farm, and I certainly don’t know what food you like to eat, or whether you have a fondness for beetles, or… you see, it’s all very personal and subjective. I just know that when I tend my garden, I need to show up, to really be there – or the roses die in the summer heat, the vegetables bolt or whither, and the succulents die in the cold. I’m just saying, my garden is a deeply useful metaphor for a great many things going on in my life, rich with lessons to teach me as I reflect on my experience, fingers in soil, birdsong in my ears, and gentle breezes kissing my cheek.

It’s time to begin again. I finish my coffee, smiling, and thinking of Spring. It’s a metaphor.