Archives for category: Allegories

I slept in, grateful for a comfortable bed, a heated home, shelter from the ceaseless autumn rain, and a well-stocked pantry, looking forward to a long weekend.Β I woke slowly this morning, a bit at a time, returning to sleep a few minutes more without reluctance or judgement, until I felt truly rested, and definitely awake. I feel grateful for the small luxuries I am fortunate to enjoy each day. My espresso is tasty, and I made this latte with almond milk, which doesn’t aggravate my health in the way that bovine milk seems to do. I smile when I think about the butterflied turkey breast waiting in the fridge, and – honestly – about having a fucking refrigerator in the first place. I am grateful for the means to enjoy a comfortable life in a place that feels safe to me, without much stress.

I greeted my Traveling Partner online, first thing. He was already awake. He is sick at home and will not be making the trip up. I’m grateful he has the wisdom to wisely choose self-care when he must. I am grateful that he loves me such that he is also pretty bummed out not to be here, with me, as planned. We chat a bit. We chat about coffee. lol Of course. πŸ˜€

An unexpected solo holiday, and I find that I am nonetheless filled with gratitude. A holiday in a household filled with people, crowded with family members visiting from afar, or friends popping ’round with sides and desserts and bottles of wine, can be so utterly warm and joyful – and I’m not “missing” that, because I’ve done it many many times. I am grateful for those experiences, and those memories. I enjoy a mental montage of those today, and find that I remain grateful for this quiet holiday, wrapped in love, and warmth, and contentment, and quite deliciously alone.

I have a friend who is also solo for Thanksgiving, and he made mention of frozen microwave breakfast sandwiches and despairing loneliness. Ouch. I’d have invited him to join me – because that sounds pretty shitty – but firstly, he is very far away and would not be able to make it, and secondly – and this is a bit hard to observe without a poignant moment of real pain – he chooses this experience, with his whole will. I’m grateful to have the positive experience of life, generally, that I do these days. I’m grateful I gave some of those verbs a try (meditating, caring for myself, letting go attachments, eating a good diet, practicing good sleep hygiene, showing self-compassion, showing self-respect… oh, just a ton of verbs, really) and that I have continued to begin again when I fail, and continued to practice what works. We each choose our adventure. I’m grateful for free will, and I am grateful to be in relationships that respect my agency.

My coffee is very good this morning. I’m grateful for the 133 year old technology that put it into my cup as a latte. I’m grateful for the 45-year-old technology that lets me enjoy real-time communication with my Traveling Partner on a holiday we can’t share in real life, in shared space. I’m grateful for the 90-year-old technology that will provide me with ample entertainment today, in the form of video, and the 562 years of the printed word that always ensures I have something to read – and let’s not forget the many thousands of years of literacy that makes having a book in my hands worthwhile in the first place.

I am grateful for paved roads, sidewalks, and convenient, well-stocked, retail spaces. I’m grateful for the remaining acres of unspoiled wilderness.

My point, this morning, is that I am grateful for so many things, it only makes sense that there be a holiday to savor and cherish gratitude itself. It makes sense to cultivate it within my experience, and to enjoy the things I am most grateful for in a mindful and aware state of mind. I know a few people who are enjoying, instead, some Thanksgiving ire or Thanksgiving outrage instead, today, due to pilgrims, heinous violations of the agency of indigenous Americans by entitled European land thieves, and more modern outrages against our modern indigenous brothers and sisters that are so shamefully still ongoing – those things are worth being angry about, no lie. My own thought on this holiday is that the connection between this date on the calendar, this celebration at the autumn dinner table, and this holiday gathering under a banner of gratitude, is tenuous at best, and frankly wholly artificial. That being the case, and this being a “made up holiday” intended to move school children, and sell turkeys, I choose to honor it at face value; a holiday about gratitude, and a day to appreciate, together, or alone, what we do have, what does work, what is valued in our shared or individual experiences. An autumn feast day, a start to the holiday season, a moment of thanks – because we all have things to be thankful for, and we all need a moment of celebration now and then. It’s not about pilgrims, land grabs, or empire, for me. It doesn’t have to be – it’s a made up holiday. Make it your own. πŸ™‚

I finish my coffee just as I finish that paragraph. I continue the conversation with my Traveling Partner, which will no doubt last the day in small exchanges over the hours – shared moments are shared moments, and in the 21st century, a great many of those are online, digital, and remote. It’s the emotional connectivity that matters most – the internet connectivity just holds the door open for that to occur. (Have you phoned your congressional and senatorial representatives to demand that net neutrality be preserved? It matters a great deal.)

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have far more to be grateful for than you have to bitch about. I hope your recipes turn out well, and your guests are entertaining and delightful. I hope you take care of yourself, and enjoy a low-stress holiday. I hope that you love, and are loved in return. ❀

I saw a meme this morning promoting what seems, on the face of it, a really good idea that holds potential to benefit “everyone”. Hell, it has “everyone” right there in the bold white on black text!

The meme is not the world.

I don’t disagree with the idea that making voting day a properly recognized cultural day, on which we “all” take off work to do our civic duty and make our voices heard. I actually like the idea. I’d just like it to be something other than a meme. Something more truthful and real than a slogan. It’s a great idea – but it isn’t, and can’t be, made to happen in any literal sense – even with a federal holiday, even with “compulsory” voting. Why? Well… think about those words carefully. Think about the world “everyone” and think about the words “national holiday”. Now tell me what “national holiday” currently celebrated is enjoyed by literally “everyone” such that all have that opportunity?

Did you jump to Thanksgiving? Fourth of July? (I know you’re probably sharp enough to dodge the temptation of Christmas!) So… yeah, about that… On what “national holiday” do all business shut down, and all employees get the day off? I’m seriously splitting this hair, yes I am. Hospitals? Open. Gas stations? Open. Convenience stores? Open. A great many sale-hosting profit-seeking employee-exploiting big box chains? Open. “Everyone” is a big commitment.

Therein lies the danger of getting one’s ideas from memes. They are easy to share, true enough. They are conveniently succinct and pithy. They communicate emotional triggers well. None of this ensures they rise to the level of “true”, “accurate”, “feasible”, or “realistic”. I’m just saying. Think about what you read using your actual brain. Don’t just consume media and regurgitate prepared opinions, please? You have all the qualities of mind that a fancy primate brain can provide. Don’t just let it rot inside your cranium. πŸ˜‰

…And with regard to improving access to voting, preserving voting rights, and making voting more accessible? How about voting by mail? πŸ™‚ So easy. It works well, and is already the practice in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado; states where the news is not constantly on and on about voter suppression.

This isn’t really about the vote, though. Surprise! It’s about checking references, doing homework, fact-checking, getting news from reliable sources, and making every attempt I can at avoiding having my consciousness influenced by delightfully persuasive likely sounding memes. πŸ™‚ It’s hard. There are so many engaging gifs and sound bites and vines and YouTube videos and memes and slogans and advertising… it’s almost as if getting my attention has intrinsic monetary value to the individual, group, or agency promoting the thought behind them. πŸ˜‰

Taking care of me is complicated in the 21st century. Everyone wants my views, my clicks, my likes, my shares – yours, too. I want other things for myself.

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

There’s a lovely long weekend ahead for me. (I know, right? Another one!) I am spending it with my Traveling Partner out in the countryside. No agenda, no plans of note, just time together. Maybe I write, maybe I don’t… if you miss me… well… there are like… 1416 other posts (surely you have not read them all?? πŸ˜€ ). I’ll be back soon… Sunday.Β  It’ll be a good day to begin again, feet up on the deck, autumn leaves strewn about, hot coffee steaming up my glasses in the chill of evening light.

What if you died today and had to give feedback to yourself on your life, or defend, justify, or excuse it, after-the-fact? How would well would you rate yourself?

What if you could try again? Would you make any changes?

It’s an interesting thought exercise… I’m inclined to follow through on this one very soon, perhaps over some solo weekend during the holiday season. I did it once before, purely by chance, years ago. It mattered a great deal and gave me new perspective on my life. It’s a tough one, though, and can really mire one in sadness – it’s not for the timid, the faint of heart (nor the inauthentic). Taking it lightly is neither useful nor helpful. I do hope you find it either useful, or helpful, or at least a thought-provoking read over your coffee, or tea.

Ready? Let’s begin…

Imagine this; you’ve died. It doesn’t matter at all how, you are dead. No opportunity for one more please, thank you, I’m sorry, or I love you. You are done. Game over. Right now. Okay, so now let the death part of the scenario just go; you know nothing of it, and can’t. You’re dead. Nothing new to remember. Let’s look at your life instead – or more to the point, you look at it. That’s right. You had your chance. It’s done. Game over. You are only a collection of memories – your own, and those that others left behind have of you.

Look at your words, and actions, and the outcomes of your choices, andΒ  your baggage, – your free will brought you to these ends. What were your actual, no bullshit, real values – based on your actions, your decisions, what you chased in life, what mattered most to you in fact (what you said you valued has no meaning now, you’re dead and those were just words) – what were your real true actual values? (Don’t rush this, you’ve got plenty of time; you’re dead.)

“Why those?” is maybe not the correct next question, more to the point; is this what you wanted of your life, and your choices? Is this end result “enough”, or “what you wanted”? Are you okay with this being your legacy?

Are the things that were stressing you, truly, now that you’re dead and can look back unafraid and unashamed, were they truly stress-worthy? The times you snapped at loved ones over petty annoyances – worth it? Justifiable? (I mean, you can’t change it now, and all they have to look back on is who you actually were, and how you really treated them.) The stress about work, all that potentially wasted time grinding away on someone else’s agenda – was it worth it in the end? Was there ever “enough” money? Was being “right” worth the agita of forcing someone else to say that you were right – even if they only did so to shut you up? Was it ever finally the “right time” to do something about what you wanted most to do?

Ask the hard questions. Gnothi seauton. No bullshit. Turn and face yourself, naked and revealed. Look into the mirror. Who were you? Is that who you wanted to be? Who you expected to be? Who you thought you were?

Could you have done “better” or “more”? Who defined those qualities for you in life? Why wasn’t it your call, your definitions, your free will reaching out to enact your own choices? Why did you settle? Why were you “chasing” happiness… money… pretty lovers…a better high…a more perfect romance…? Whatever it was… the curtain has fallen. You’re done. Was it worth it? Are you content with the person you were? Will you be remembered? How will you be remembered? What is your legacy?

There may be other questions, too, that matter to you particularly, that hold you back right now, questions I can’t possible know – but you know them. So ask those too. Who were you? Is this truly what you want to leave behind when death overtakes you?

Take your time – I’ve got work to get to, can’t stay with you while you work through the details on this one, and really… It’s all about you. When you are finished with being finished with being you… what then? When you allow yourself to understand and fully accept that a time will come when indeed “you had your chance” and now it has passed you by… will you think you have wasted that precious limited life time? Will you feel a moment of regret for the shitty choices, poor values, lack of ethics, lack of conscience, cruelty, carelessness, regrettable loss of control, the hurt you have done to loved ones, and yes, even strangers? I sort of hope that you do, or that, if nothing else, you feel something that moves you to make some change or other that takes your journey somewhere new – somewhere you really want to go, but hadn’t yet gotten to. Because death doesn’t seem to hold a ton of potential to change who you were, you know?

…Well… At least in this instance… you get a do-over. You get to begin again. Are you ready for your second chance to be the person you most want to be?

Here it is. Right now. It begins right here, right now, and with each choice that follows this moment.

What will you do with it?

Maybe I shouldn’t have put my headphones on first, filling my head with music. Jungle. Drum-n-Bass. Oh. Hell. Yes. lol But… now I am staring at a blank page. Head full of sounds. Dancing in my seat at a loss for words.

If you have Facebook, let me share the moment with you. πŸ˜€

It’s not a day for adulting, really…well… I mean… I can loosen up a little. It’s Saturday. I’m not working. One more coffee and I’ll hit the highway heading for a different point of view on life, an alternate perspective, a whole other moment. πŸ™‚

Yeah. This morning, this is enough. What about you? Needs met? Concerns eased? Able to take just a wee moment or two to put down the stresses of other days and just… breathe – or dance? If not now, when? πŸ˜‰

Don’t forget to take care of the human being in the mirror. Be sure to give yourself a chance to begin again once in a while. πŸ™‚ See you on the other side of the weekend, you beautiful beautiful human. πŸ˜€

My coffee this morning is exceptional. No idea why, exactly, but it’s a damned good cup of coffee, and I am enjoying it. I’m tired, even groggy. (I didn’t sleep well.) It doesn’t matter; this cup of coffee is just that good. The espresso shots were quite lovely when I pulled them, with rich even crema. The steamed almond milk was dense, smooth, and even, and quite perfectly lovely as it swirled into the espresso, as if poured directly from my state of contentment into my coffee mug. Yep. Damned good cup of coffee. It’s a delicious moment on a pleasant morning.

It’s enough. One pleasant moment of leisure, enjoyed on my own terms, something pleasant over which to linger, to savor in the moment and in later recollection…definitely enough; I get a lot of mileage out of moments. I get a lot of enjoyment out of a simple cup of coffee.

Although a great many other mornings led to this one, and a great many other cups of coffee were involved in how well this particular one turned out, it’s not obvious how large the investment over time has been, in creating this one moment. It’s just a moment.Β Only a moment over coffee on a work day, early in the morning. It’s not fancier than that. I didn’t bring any special equipment or gain any particular epiphany. I didn’t work overly hard at this moment; I showed up. I made coffee. I am enjoying it.

There’s a point to pointing this out. I’ll leave that to you. I’m just going to enjoy this cup of coffee right here, now. πŸ™‚

…If your coffee isn’t exactly as you’d like it… Begin again. Practice. πŸ˜‰