Archives for category: Allegories

It’s a quiet Sunday after Thanksgiving in the time of pandemic. Weird year. I’m sipping the (cold) last dregs of my second coffee, and listening for the dryer to finish. Quite a routine sort of quiet Sunday; I’m doing housekeeping, and relaxing between tasks. There is ample time for meditation. There are opportunities for shared merriment. I hear the sound of aircraft taking off (or landing) from my Traveling Partner’s game room. I feel relaxed and at ease. Contented. Emotionally comfortable.

I sigh aloud. A sign of contentment and quiet joy. A sound that means, in this time and place, “I’m okay right now, and it’s enough.” I have not always had the good fortune, or decision-making, to be in this place. Feels good. I have been luxuriating in the wonder of it all weekend, and filling my soul up on its goodness. I don’t want to waste these moments by taking them for granted, or rushing them along, or failing to really properly savor these lovely moments. I have so much to be grateful for. I sit with my cold coffee, my gratitude, and this smile on my face, just enjoying the quiet.

The setting was simple, dinner for two, and a quiet holiday.

Thanksgiving came and went. Dinner was delicious, and compared to some years, quiet modest. We shared the cooking as well as the meal. Home-cooking. Together. It was fun. We’d each laid claim to the items we would prepare, in advance. No confusion. No fussing at each other. Just wholesome fun, intimacy, and love in the kitchen. It was splendid. Prime rib. Pumpkin pie. Everything made at home, in our own kitchen. It was lovely. Clean-up was orderly, and easily handled later in the evening. We shared that, too.

2020 has been a weird year. I’ve much to be grateful for, even so. This lovely home. This reliably supportive partnership. Love. Literacy. Hell, the basics, too: indoor plumbing, hot & cold running water, a well-stocked pantry, safe clean drinking water (I hope), a secure home in a friendly community, employment, leisure time, friends, family, places to go when the pandemic is behind us all… and hope. I’ve still got hope. I’m grateful for that, too.

There is also this lovely sunny Sunday ahead, and aside from a few housekeeping details I’d like to get done, it’s a good day for leisure time, well-spent, enjoyed on the things I find enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive, or far from home. I’m good right here. This is enough.

I finish my coffee, and begin again. 🙂

I am sipping my coffee at leisure; I took today off. I know, sometimes it’s tough to sort out the days during a pandemic, working from home. Some folks may find “taking a day off” sort of pointless under those circumstances… I still find it pretty essential for my quality of life and general enjoyment and self-care. So. A day off? Yes, please.

I’m thinking about how easily loved ones can “push each others buttons”, even without meaning to. I contemplate how much more comfortable human beings often seem to be with being their most vile self in the context of their most favored or intimate relationships. (I still do not get how that makes any sense… why not, instead, be your worst self with absolute strangers, than with people you say you love? Would you not want your loved ones to enjoy the best of who you are?) It often falls to the individual to vigilantly “supervise” their vulnerable “buttons”, and to learn to be less reactive, generally. I’ve certainly found value in that, although my results do vary. “Expectation-setting” and asking any one individual to avoid pushing a given button doesn’t seem very helpful, sometimes (or within some relationships).

I sip my coffee, and my mind wanders on.

I think for a moment about the coffee, itself. A moment of comfort. A metaphor for self-care, for being centered, for self-reflection (at least for me). I so routinely take a moment of ease over a cup of coffee that having a coffee cup in my hand feels “complete” in an odd way. So… what happens when the coffee runs out? What would replace this coffee cup in my hand, if there were literally no coffee (or, at least, none for me)?

My mind wanders on. Payday tasks are handled. There is a secure comfortable feeling that comes with that, these days, especially with the holidays ahead. Another sip of coffee, and my mind moves on…

I hear the soft sound of lo-fi coffee house “radio” from the other room, over the whirr of my computer’s CPU fan. It reaches my consciousness as a sort of “wellness indicator”, telling me it’s a fine morning to enjoy life, just as it is. This prompts me to consider other “indicator dials” and gauges of wellness in my moment-to-moment experience of living life. What other signals do I send myself that “all is well”? Do I recognize conditions on a spectrum, as one might see on a gauge or dial on the dashboard of my car? Do I have an “internal dashboard” that I could quickly glance over in a moment, and correctly evaluate conditions developing in real-time? I mean… that’s sort of what all of consciousness is, more or less, I suppose… if I listen. I like the notion of an internal “wellness dashboard”. Buttons and dials. Better be careful with that. I smile at the thought of it. I have another drink of my coffee.

My mind wanders on. Not a bad start to a long holiday weekend at home with someone I love. Certainly it’s enough. 🙂

What a peculiar and volatile time we are living in. A pandemic. The struggles of power and the trials of the powerful. Technological advantages changes what it means to be human, and how we think, and perceive the world around us. Social media “access” to the world that gives us each a megaphone to shout our opinions to anyone/everyone, unaware that we are still just as “unheard” as we ever were, but changes the way we hear others nonetheless. Messy. Difficult.

Change is.

First this change, then that change. Another change to another thing. A new different day. Another election or transition of power. Changes of jobs and roles and tasks and circumstances. Breathe through it. Another change is coming. lol Put it all on pause for a moment, and just sit with yourself. Let your thoughts and worries go, for a moment or two at least, and just be. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Tears? Let them come. Laughter? Let it fill you up. Be present and fearlessly authentic in your own life – most especially when it’s just you, in a quiet moment, alone in some quiet place. Give yourself at least that one small opportunity to find calm, and to embrace contentment.

Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Begin again.

Autumn is a season of change.

Fighting off change doesn’t prevent or halt change from coming, but – and this is worth noting – very few of the shadows that fall over us signal impending doom. Most of them are just shadows. 😉

The morning began gently, with coffee shared with my Traveling Partner. It was a lovely quiet morning, followed by what is, so far, an utterly ordinary, rather relaxed work day rather typical of my Fridays. Good enough. The state is back on a strict “lockdown”, and more businesses are shuttered for the time being than were closed two weeks ago. Thanksgiving is coming… there’s still this pandemic going on. No big event for us, just a quiet joyful celebration-for-two at home. Still feels like something to celebrate. I’m certainly adequately thankful.

I eye my cold coffee mug after a last swallow of long-cold coffee. It’s a fine time for a second coffee… and that’s another chance to begin again. 😀

Rainy weather has returned to the Pacific northwest. I’m okay with it – I like the rain. It’s pure unfortunate coincidence that my arthritis pain flares up in wet weather. Also, right before wet weather. Also, when the weather isn’t entirely certain whether it wants to be wet or dry, or chilly, or cold… I mean, it’s not much of an exaggeration to admit that my pain subsides most notably in very hot, dry weather in hot, dry climates… and that’s not even “for sure”. I can’t count on it.

Rainy autumn days aren’t even rare or surprising around here.

I can at least count on change. Change is. I hurt right now, and I see the sun peaking out from behind morning rain clouds. Well, okay… so… this moment is painful, but the next one? It’s not a given, and I don’t know. Allowing room for uncertainty, in this instance, is supremely helpful. Rain or not, and whether or not I am in pain, I’ve got a life to live.

Perhaps a walk later?

I started out for a walk yesterday. The rain took a sudden turn for the worse and the tickle became a downpour that wasn’t well-suited to long walks. I shrugged it off and returned home. I glance at the time, and at the sunshine filling the studio, for now, with warmth and light. Maybe the sunshine will still be around later this afternoon?

I take a breath, and relax. I stretch, and get up from my chair and move around some. I take a moment to recall whether I’ve already taken anything for my pain today…? Maybe it’s time. The day continues, as days tend to do.

It’s time to begin again.

“I’ll be writing while I wait for the oven to pre-heat,” I said as I walked away, headed toward my studio. “Okay” he replied, already having returned his focus to the task in front of him. I smile, contentedly, figuring whether he actually heard me or not, it was probably enough to say so; he’d walk right past the open door of my studio if he sought some moment of shared time. There I would be. 🙂 It ‘s a strange moment to focus on, I grant you… It’s just, well, it was a strangely specific moment, and a lovely sensation of “being settled in”, and I don’t recall that I’d had it quite so intensely yet, since moving in to the house. I sat down to write, and the feeling lingered, dominating my thoughts.

…And here we are…

One moment of many.

It’s been raining. Still. I’m okay with that. I enjoy the rain. I set out to walk this afternoon, counting on a soft rain. The rain wasn’t going to have any of that – it came down as a drenching downpour instead. Instead of a walk in the rain, I put on my mask and went to the store. Change is.

The oven beeps to alert me it has pre-heated.

I head into the kitchen and get dinner going. I smile rather stupidly the entire time; I feel good. I mean, pain is pain, I deal with it. The rest of the experience is pretty fucking splendid – overlooking physical pain (this quantity, this day, this time) seems achievable. Mostly is. I make note to say something to my Traveling Partner about the lights, when I notice, all over again, how very much I like the new ones he put in, and the way they enhance the “feel” of the room. It’s interesting how much difference “the color” of the light in a room can change the vibe.

I feel the silky smooth surface of the keys of my keyboard. Already, some are more worn than others. The music in the background feels welcoming, and pleasant – “non-invasive” – adding to the sensation of “smoothness” in this moment. The juxtaposition of sensations extends even to my hair, grown long over the pandemic, resting heavily on my shoulders, spilling forward, ends curling across my chest. Soft. I breathe it in, and sit here with it, just… being. It’s enough.

…Change is… soon enough I’ll have to begin again.