Archives for category: Allegories

β€œLife should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” ~Hunter S. Thompson

…And all the new beginnings that that implies…and perhaps a few more.

I put quite a bit of time, enthusiastic daydreaming, and research, into the trip I planned to take this past weekend. I never did the one thing necessary to bring it to life; I did not begin the journey. I just thought about it. LOL There’s a lesson in there. An allegory. A metaphor. A parable, perhaps. The weekend did not lack of significant XP, however; it was an adventure, a brief journey, and an interesting progression of emotions and events, nonetheless. πŸ™‚

I needed wide open space, and big sky – and found it close to home. There’s a lesson, here, too.

My birthday has been well-celebrated. A new year of life has been kick-started, decisively. There has been feasting, entertainment, the company of friends, and so much love! Errands were run. Housekeeping got done. The garden was cared for. A humble adventure has commenced.

My first orchid. A wee adventure with which to start the year.

It’s been a fast, relaxed, and delightful handful of days, in spite of news of my Mother’s decline. There will be time to process that in full, and there is no need to rush, or to force it down into a dark quiet corner of my heart. It is what it is; we are mortal creatures, and of all the things that will inevitably pass, our brief mortal lives are one of the most challenging to let go of… and then that greater challenging of letting go of those we love. No user’s guide for this one, either. I sometimes feel I am fumbling around in the dark with my emotions. I know that my emotions haven’t killed me yet. πŸ™‚ I’ll get through this, too.

I think about the beautiful broad expanse of meadow, and the scent of wildflowers on the breeze.

I smile, letting the details of the weekend unfold in my recollection. What a lovely time to share with my Traveling Partner.

Life’s pleasures don’t have to be fancy to be enjoyed. Life’s beauty doesn’t have to be costly to be lovely.

I sip my coffee. It’s Monday. I shift gears to “now” and remind myself of the path ahead. The year will continue to unfold. What will July hold? What of September? And the holiday season with my Traveling Partner right here at home? What of the future? And the unanswered questions in life?

Where does this path lead?

It’s time to find out. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

I sat, relaxed and contented, contemplating the quiet evening of solitude ahead. “I’ll probably spend some time out in the garden.” I said, smiling. I looked at my hands. “My nails are too long. I should cut them back, first…”

“Wear gloves. It’ll keep your hands clean and minimize the risk of leptospirosis…” my partner suggested. Seeing my frown, he added “I’m just looking out for you.” I smiled back and agreed his idea is a good one, wondering briefly if perhaps he disapproves of the way I encourage the chipmunks and squirrels. I let that foolishness go, as soon as the thought forms.

One rose among many and a lovely afternoon.

Some time later, enjoying the evening alone, I went out into the garden for awhile. I pulled some weeds. Smelled newly opened roses. Gazed into the trees, and enjoyed the glow of late afternoon sunshine on a warm spring day. It was lovely. I returned to the cooler comfort of the indoors, and washed my hands. I enjoyed a certain merriment; no broken nails. Nice.

What is enough?

Sitting quietly on my meditation cushion, I enjoyed the breeze filling the living room. When it began to cool down, as the sun sank low in the sky, and the living room was suffused with a sort of peach-colored glow, I got up to close the patio door… and broke a nail right to the quick, as I pulled the door closed. Fuck.

Perfect is a fiction.

…And I giggled. Then I laughed. I laughed for awhile. It felt good to laugh so… thoroughly. So much mirth over a broken nail. Cheap thrills, right? lol I sat down, still smiling, and cut my nails. At least they’re more or less even, and in proportion to each other. Short nails; fast typing. πŸ™‚ Nothing really changes here. Short nails. Long nails. It’s the sort of irrelevant detail it’s so easy to get wound up over. Not last night. Not today. I woke still smiling.

Somehow I suspect there’s a lesson here, somewhere beyond the laughter, no doubt buried in a moment of reflection at higher altitude. Some metaphor? For now, the laughter is enough. πŸ™‚

 

I’m thinking about the way social media tends to give us each the impression we know all there is to know about what’s going on around us, and with the people we know, or observe from afar, as though eavesdropping a conversation in a restaurant booth behind us holds any potential to give us context and depth of understanding of the unseen faces having that conversation. It’s a misleading sense of the world, at best, and at worst… we participate in lying to ourselves, and dumbing down the world. Frustrating to attempt to have a deep conversation with a human being heavily invested in the world-via-tweet or yeah, even Instagram – my last remaining social media account. lol

…At this point, I’ve unfollowed every “influencer” (I hadn’t followed many, to begin with, because I don’t know them), and anyone who re-shares spammy bullshit, or advertising, or memes. I have limited my feed to direct relationships with people I actually know “irl”. No exceptions. It’s not about them. It’s about me; I don’t want to build shadows of relationships with distant entities who hold no potential to be “real” in my experience. I may not always like every one of the people around me… but I like them all 100% more than I hold any affection for a twitter account. LOL I mean, seriously? An ever-loving-fuck-ton of celebrities don’t even “manage” their own social media. They hire people to take care of that “workload” for them. They definitely don’t “care” about me – or you. They care about their brand. πŸ˜‰

I can’t save anyone else from the impersonal science fiction abyss of dystopian disconnection. Sorry. You’ll need to crawl out on your own, if you can. It’s not actually hard, exactly, but it does require your will, and honest intent. So… verbs are involved. Choices. Practice. I kept Instagram, at least for now, simply because I enjoy sharing my photos with my actual friends, and enjoy seeing theirs. Innocent. Authentic. Rather unworldly, inasmuch as I guess I think that’s something I can have… Maybe it isn’t? I sip my coffee and wonder about that. Instagram remains a profit-generating social media platform on which I am not the consumer… I’m the product. Yick. I may need to rethink even this. lol

Snail mail, anyone?

I have been writing letters lately – a bit like the “elderly aunt” I seem to be becoming, slowly, over time. Hell, I’m okay with that. πŸ™‚ I write a lot of email. I receive far less, but it’s not likely that a handful of emails and letters can provide a societal course correction in any detectable way. In my own experience, though, it’s quite a lovely relief from the fuss and bother, and anxiety, of a life in which every possible moment is “connected” via social media. That’s not really being connected at all, as it turns out. We’re all just shouting our opinions at each other, and sharing the ones that agree with our position, hoping to be rewarded with attention, with likes, with clicks, with a boost in personal status, or a large collection of “friends” or followers. How is that not toxic as fuck? lol

There is much less bullshit and drama in a life that is mostly pretty starved of social media. πŸ™‚ Maybe take it for a test drive? If you were born in any year after about 1980, chances are good most of your life has been tangled up in the digital world. Take care of yourself if you do a really serious digital detox; you may be surprised to discover how actually dependent on it you are. Social media has some very drug-like qualities, and you may even be an addict. Be kind to yourself. Be patient.

I laugh for a minute. Quitting wasn’t anything like easy, and the world is just… yeah. My bank uses hashtags on their social media posts. Some of the merchants I do business with have specials that are only presented using digital coupons. Some of the artists and craftsman whose work I favor have contests that require “liking”, “subscribing” and sharing of social media items. It’s everywhere. I still walked away, because I’d rather live very authentically in the real world, such as it is, rather than become a (cognitively) fat shapeless media-fed caterpillar… without at least knowing what I will become, later on. (Pretty sure it won’t be a lovely butterfly of emotional wellness… just saying.) πŸ˜‰

I finish my coffee. My thoughts continue to rattle around in my consciousness. I’ll spend time on my meditation cushion this morning, making a point to let all of this go, before I begin again, here, alive, awake, and aware, a solitary human being living in the world. ❀

A rose in my garden. You can’t smell it from a picture, or feel its silky petals – that’s only available in the world. πŸ˜‰

I’m sipping coffee and considering how difficult I sometimes find it to communicate. Asked a question, I often launch a dense volley of words in reply, carelessly unleashing metaphor, poetry, and unhelpful allegory. I thoughtlessly drown friends, family, and colleagues, in wasteful verbiage – regularly. Worse, it sometimes gets all tangled up with what I actually meant, and all manner of foolishness, humor, and bullshit, whereupon one or another takes something personally, or becomes frustrated. It would be comedic gold where it not so ceaselessly frustrating (for me, too).

I take a breath. I smile. Pull myself back to this present moment. Make a point to make room for self-awareness, self-reflection, and some kindness; generally, my way of speaking isn’t damaging anyone, and I am able to be considerate, appreciative, and of positive intent. I have, over time, learned to listen – mostly. It’s a practice. It became a bit easier and less frustrating, once I accepted that there wouldn’t be much positive reinforcement; people want to be heard, but they also expect to be, and are not very mindful that they, themselves, interrupt chronically, and “wait to talk” instead of actually listening – but most people don’t see those behaviors in themselves, only in others, and are notoriously disinclined to notice, or appreciate, subtle improvements in how well they are being listened to. (And, strangely, are sometimes very aggravated if they are listened to with such care that they are held to their words in some way…)

…I’m just saying; communicating using language is one of the fanciest things human primates do. We don’t do it very well, generally, and our emotions still arrive to every moment ahead of our ability to reason. We’re not as good with our words as we perceive ourselves to be. We are every bit as shitty at it as we think other people are. lol

I frown, suddenly, noticing an entirely unrelated aggravation; the spellcheck icon appears to be missing from the row of formatting tools in this editor… weird. I sigh and let that go. Hell,there is at least one spelling error or overlooked typo in every post. It’s almost a fucking commitment. I laugh and finish off my coffee. I’m okay with that. This journey is not about perfection. Being able to communicate is notoriously complex; in the grander scheme of things, spelling errors are not that big a deal. Meaning matters so much more.

I think over the words I’ve said and heard in recent days, and wonder if I’ve truly done my best to communicate skillfully, with care, considerate of the feelings of those around me, respectful of factual accuracy, and a willingness to “be real” – to be authentically this person that I am? Could I do better? I think about momentary awkwardness and resentful silences. I think about peculiar micro expressions. I think about being called a bitch, “playfully”. I think about tripping on my words and saying just the wrong thing. I feel the negatives tugging at me, and realize that this could become a spiraling rumination of frustration and insecurity… So, I also think about moments of laughter. Irresistible mirth. Joyful smiles. Appreciative exclamations. Softly spoken loving compliments. Witty retorts. Playful banter. Knowledgeable answers. I take time to consider the words, and the context, because they matter.

…Then I let all that go, because clinging to it isn’t helpful, and becoming mired in my thoughts does not ease my steps down this healing path. They’re just words. Just thoughts. Thoughts about words. Briefly useful, perhaps. Definitely not permanent.

The morning unfolds gently. I am listening to the traffic beyond the window, and planning a trip to the store for some groceries, before an appointment, later. The day has started well, although I slept rather poorly last night. Still… perfect is not a thing with which I need to concern myself, and this, right here, is enough… so… I guess I’ll finish this, and put a period at the end of all these words… and go seeking a beginning, somewhere beyond the words to describe it. πŸ˜‰

I’m sipping my coffee, before dawn, on a Spring morning. Well-past Winter, and headed for Summer, the morning is mild, and the patio door is open to the cool morning air. I haven’t written a word in days… unless a letter to my Mother, for Mother’s Day, counts. I suppose it does… but…

…I’ve spent lovely hours in the garden…

…I seem to have broken my writing habit. lol Yep. It’s entirely possible to break a habit, however long-standing, however well-favored, and even when that habit is relied upon, enjoyed, and cultivated until it becomes a plot point in one’s life, and an element of character. Still breakable.

Just stop doing it.

Stop a habitual behavior one time, and it has little impact. Stop it again, and it becomes a repeated behavior. Continue stopping it ( as in, don’t do it) and, over time, it becomes part of who you are that you don’t do this thing. We become what we practice, it is that simple.

This is a technique, a practice, that works. It works very well; practice something long enough and changes occur. Practice a desirable behavior. Practice something tedious. Practice something useful. Practice something foolish. We become what we practice.

I broke my writing habit by taking a day from writing, now and then, which grew to amused tolerance of not writing, even for a couple days, which slowly became a small kernel of doubt; do I even want to write? I took a vacation for a few days, to focus on Love, and found myself just… not writing. At all. Good times. Challenges. Adventure. Drama. Practice? Well, one thing I was not practicing? Writing. It’s been interesting to live life without it.

The last day or two I have tended to be somewhat irritable, and easily hurt. At that same time, there’s been something “a bit off” every now and then, between my Traveling Partner and I, in spite of how delightfully well we get along, and how much love exists in this relationship. It struck me as I fell asleep last night that, in some small way, my writing is not only part of who I am… it is part of who we are. When I don’t write, not only do I lose “my mirror”, and regular moment taken for self-reflection, and reinforcement of those practices that tend to make me more the woman I most want to be… it also removes a handy window into who I am, and how I’m doing, that my Traveling Partner is quite used to having available. I wonder if that’s something he counts on? I remind myself to ask, some other time.

This is not to say I sense any obligation among all these words; my choices are my own. I miss writing every day. There is a longing that exists alongside the tempting freedom from this habit of sitting down each morning, over my coffee, reflecting on my thoughts, my actions, my experience… and frankly the longing won. πŸ™‚ That’s okay, too.

I listen to a little bird outside my window, and my neighbor’s car warming up in the driveway. I sip my coffee, and feel the cool morning air fill the house. I think of the happy happenstance of running into a former coworker (current friend) yesterday, that I hadn’t seen in a while. I exist in this vaguely merry pre-dawn state, drinking coffee. I love this “place”, this particular moment and state of being. How is it that even this habit is so easily broken? How is it so easily resumed?

We get to choose.Β 

Imagine the insane power our freedom of choice actually implies – and what it says, really, about who we each are (and who we are choosing to be). Raw power.

…And…yeah… it means that it matters who we each choose to be, and that who we are is a product of a great many choices we willfully make, each day. We can choose differently, and better, than we often do – and once we notice that? We sort of have an obligation to ourselves – to that person we most want to be – to step up, and walk a path we choose with care, and make those choices that make us more fully who we do want to be, until, over time, that’s who we actually are.

…So… There’s that. I check the time, and begin again. πŸ™‚