Archives for category: Logic & Reason

I slept well and deeply, I woke “too early” out of habit. No stress there. I got up, took my morning medication, opened up the house to the pre-dawn breezes, and gently wondered at how light it is these days at 4:19 am before returning to bed. I love summer sleep. 🙂 The mild early morning breeze and scents of the meadow fill the apartment, and I nap a little while longer before waking to greet the day. A wholly lovely start to a summer morning of sunshine, and dewdrops sparkling on the lawn.

I will brave Memorial Day weekend traffic at some point today… but I might ride the bus downtown for my salon appointment… The convenience of the car is not sufficiently enticing when I fill out the details with the holiday traffic, the fuss and bother of finding downtown parking… I vacillate. Car? No car? Convenience? Ease? Quick? Low stress? It’s a small enough choice, one might expect it to be an easy one. lol

A lot of life’s choices seem to work this way; seemingly simple until I look beyond the superficial if/then, yes/no elements of the decision. Life can sometimes seem an elaborate prank. I find value in shifting my thinking to consider it more as a “choose your own adventure” game… and as it happens, it very much works that way. I make a choice, the choice dictates what other choices, experiences, and opportunities develop in my new, altered, future… another choice, another change, and so on. At any point, I can completely alter the course of my life with a choice. I think I implicitly know this on a very fundamental level, because when I feel life going sideways, spiraling out of control, or need to “back track” to sort something out, I go looking for the choice that brought me to the place I’m in. I think, though, that I’m pretty terrible at being correct about which choices lead to which outcomes. I mean, some are easy; I got married, therefore I am married to my Traveling Partner. Choice, outcome, done. It’s just that easy…only… is that really the choice I made that was the one that resulted specifically and directly in having that opportunity? In being in that place at that time? In being situated in life in circumstances that put the idea in front of us both in a positive way?

It’s hard when I’m existing in some unhappy distressed moment, or feeling discouraged and beat down, or when I am grieving, frustrated, or raging, to be mindful of how much of my experience is legitimately within my control. That’s not a moment in which I want to be reminded of it, either, honestly – like a child, I need to “have my moment” and get over that bit, but once my head clears, and I’ve taken time to process my emotions and settle down to dealing with things properly, it’s generally my own choices that lead the way to relief, to contentment, to change, to fulfillment… to the place I choose, wherever that may be. Life is interesting in this way; we have this immense power all along, but it takes some of us a lifetime to be aware it was ever ours in the first place, and then we’ve still got so far to go to learn to use it well, in service of our needs over time, in service of becoming the person we most want to be, in service of greater good in the world – or other less savory choices. It is a choice. Actually, it is a lot of choices.

What will I choose today? Where will the journey lead me? How will I become more the woman I most want to be? How will I right wrongs in my life? How will I change the world? Where will my story end? Will the narrative of my life be an incredible adventure? Will it be lovely poetic prose? Will it be a rousing call to arms? Will the narrative of my life foment revolution or beg for change? What about yours? Right now, right here, this morning – are you the person you most want to be? What will you do about that?

Neither too early nor too late.

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

I woke a bit early this morning, still smiling from the lovely evening spent with my Traveling Partner last night. I’ll probably be smiling for days, unless something entirely different knocks the smile off my face at some point. Hot coffee, headphones on, great playlist, smiling… this is a beautiful moment, as I start my day, still warm from a leisurely hot shower, still comfortable after my morning yoga… did I mention I’m still smiling?

What we see is often determined by what we’re looking at – and how we feel.

This moment is delightful. It’s still just a moment. Mindfulness is only part of this peculiar puzzle that is my journey from surviving to thriving; perspective matters every bit as much, I think. Take that lovely blue sky moment shot yesterday, pictured above, for example. It’s not an entirely frank image… I zoomed in on a small bit of blue sky, and some tree tops at the edge of a parking lot, downtown, near the waterfront, surrounded by concrete overpasses, framed in traffic, asphalt, and homeless people. I grabbed that sliver of beauty and blew it way out of proportion. I think I do that often, even without a camera. It’s also possible to do that in quite the reverse (and exceedingly common), zooming in on the suffering, the unpleasantness, the litter, the damage, the pain, the violence… life has a lot to offer, and it isn’t all pleasant happy fun stuff.

Still

How we view the world, how we experience our own lives, does have to do with our perspective on it. We filter our experience through our perspective. We give the details context, even going as far as making up, or filling in, missing narrative.

Still

Don’t miss out on the fun of life, or it’s whimsy!

We have choices, even about what to look at, and how to see it. Those choices matter, too. Balance matters. Perspective matters. Being “real” matters – and it matters how we define “being real”.

I don’t have anything super useful here, I’m just saying… perspective is a thing, and it’s useful to have some. Moments are moments, pleasant and unpleasant, and there will be some. 🙂 Taken together those ideas don’t stop life (and moments) from being rather like a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle which has pieces that are all shades of gray, and each piece uniquely shaped. Assembling such a thing into something that is ordered seems complicated. I don’t actually know if it is complicated…

…I’m just going to dump the pieces out of the box, and get started on this puzzle. 😉

Smiling and sipping coffee, feeling content with the moment, and starting the day, I find myself thinking about art, about life, about “home”, about the future, about what is and what isn’t, and what could be, and what is less likely… I am relaxed, and okay with the moment. It’s a pretty ordinary moment.

I am aware, too, that as recently as 2 years ago, this state of contentment and ease was not only not the day-to-day experience I had of life, it was not even common. I sometimes wondered it this experience could even be real. I think about the changes I’ve made over time, the different choices, the practices – particularly making meditation, hiking, and reading an everyday part of my life. Changes of heart. Changes in thinking. Changes in relationships. Changes in jobs. Changes even in personal values. Yes, there have been verbs involved, and choices, and practices – and my results have varied. Still… incremental change over time is a thing. A very real thing. It’s just sort of slow, sometimes, and it requires me to commit to the practice in front of me more than to the outcome I may think I want out of it. It has mattered to treat myself truly well, and to care for the woman in the mirror as a partner and dear friend, and as an ally.

Storms or sunshine…

What about you? Where are you on your journey? Are you content? Are you at ease with yourself? Do your choices build on your values? Are they meeting your needs over time? Are you the person you most want to be?

You can begin again, any time. If not now, when?

How much of our perceived experience is mangled in translation as we struggle to make sense of who we are, ourselves, in the context of all of the everything else? Probably most of it, I suppose, but it’s what we’ve got to work with. lol

Spring, almost summer, plenty of flowers to see, to smell, to touch, to pause for.

Late in the day, yesterday, I received an anguished text message from a younger female friend. It was an emotional soup of self-denigrating words and phrases, and simultaneously angry and despairing, and somewhat nonsensical in the context of my recollections of my friend, and known details of real life. I dislike being the one to call it out, but couldn’t help noticing that the timing was almost precise; four weeks after her last major “life is shit” meltdown. Hormones. She’s in her 20s, so that’s an experience that hits hard in her life, and at a point when she may not yet have figured all of that out, herself. Fuck I hate drama – but I do love my friends. I search for calming words, something to put the emotional blast on pause, or at least assure her she is not adrift alone. The work day was nearly over, but I felt very far away.

It was still a very good day for flowers.

No kidding, when I got home I actually invited drama to come over to a cup of cocoa. LOL Yep, brought it right into my safe haven, my drama free zone… held the door open, even. 😀 We chilled together – things were already some better. That’s the way of it, like any other sort of storm, bad weather passes.

Some flowers are small….

The three of us (me, my friend, her lover) chilled in the quiet comfort of my place, talking. Sometimes there is no perceptible difference in our ages when we hang out…we’re just people, there are more important things to be aware of. Last night, I felt that peculiar sympathy and tenderness of the elder “wise woman” in the company of youth; so much of what was troubling my friend is no longer commonplace for me, but recognized, familiar, and mostly relatively (subjectively) well-understood. I shared what I learned over many years of screaming and crying on a cycle, the things I found that worked, the things that did not, and continued to reassure her that she can be okay and learn to manage this bullshit that curses us all. lol I was going for offering more hope than I ever felt myself; I didn’t have me as a mentor, or friend.

…some flowers are more complicated…

I looked back on the woman in the mirror, and recalled all the things I wished I’d understood sooner, all the many times I learned something more. I tried to share those things with calm conviction and reassurance. I served cocoa.

…some flowers decorate vegetables…

I talked to him about little things that really do make a difference, openly, comfortably, together, because this ought not be secret knowledge! The biggest thing I have to share with him? Ease the fuck up on being right while the hormone thing is going on. It’s hard, but seriously, just stand the fuck down, back off, and revisit whatever on some other day, when everyone is “feeling better”. lol How many fights wouldn’t be fights at all if lovers would let bullshit go when one or the other is hurting, and tend to wounded hearts as lovers can? The hormone thing is just not a personal attack, the experience can feel really shitty and lonely, and more than anything it’s nice just to feel loved, and feel that our lover “is there”, and understands we feel shitty.

…others are on trees…

Then I called bullshit on her bullshit, too. It’s a hard thing, but as bad as the hormone thing can be, legitimately and truly bad behavior remains bad behavior. Unacceptable behavior is no more acceptable when driven by hormones. Being a nasty mean bitch still isn’t okay just because being female has some really shitty irritating unpleasant painful aggravating experiences that push us past our personal breaking point. We still have an obligation to do our best to choose our actions and words with great care, and with mindful awareness that the person we’re interacting with is every bit as human as we are, ourselves, and also someone we love. Including the woman in the mirror.

…some are potted…

How is it I think I can say these “terrible:” things that may appear to lack compassion? Well… I just haven’t ever seen a woman treat her boss the way she treats her lover when hormones flare up – have you? I mean, seriously, full-on raging tantrum, screaming at them irrationally, or being overtly willfully nasty to them using hormones as an excuse? Acting out? Breaking shit? Weeping apathetic pessimism that halts all productive effort? I’m betting you haven’t. lol So. Some choice and freewill are clearly still available. Just saying. Feel your feelings. Take care of you. Do what is right, nonetheless, and treat your lover with an assumption of positive intent, and an awareness that they are having their own experience and would help if they could.

…their colors vary…

Not one bit of any of that is “easy”. It takes a lot of practice. Results vary. Adulting can be hard. lol 🙂 Begin again. Practice more. Say I’m sorry” when you’ve hurt someone – right? The basics.

how we tend the garden of our hearts determines what will blossom.

It was still a beautiful evening shared with friends. Drama left way before they did. No idea how they ended the evening… I woke wondering, and hoping they are okay. Young is hard… I’m sort of glad I’m not that, anymore, at least… this morning, on a lovely quiet morning, over coffee, watching the sky lighten to a cloudy spring morning. Being where I am in life is enough. 🙂

Love matters most.

Strange weekend. Pleasant, oh yes, wholly pleasant – uninterrupted pleasantness, actually – nonetheless, it was a bit odd as well. More than once I found myself in a moment that was similar in perspective to peering over a high garden wall on tiptoes, wondering curiously how to get in there, from out here; a sensation and perspective I tend to associate with yearning for change.

I spent more than usual time with my Traveling Partner, but in some moments felt very much an outsider looking in on a relationship I cherish, wondering how it is that it is what it is, and yearning for more – for a deeper more intimate connection between adults. We each play a part in limiting that depth, in restricting that connection. I wonder why we do that? I sip my coffee, and consider it. In the quiet of early morning, there is no cause for discontent, and I decline the subtle attraction of the attack my brain offers me. I let it go. I breathe. I relax. Nothing to see here. Yearnings are sometimes merely… yearnings, lacking any more substance than any other stray emotion or thought in the earliest hours as my day begins. To want a deep connection is, on its own, not a problematic thing. 🙂

I spent a lovely quantity of weekend time simply relaxing, and doing things I enjoy doing: hiking, meditating, exploring new recipes that meet all my nutritional needs, reading, writing, gardening, enjoying the birds at the feeder and the wind chime in the breezes. It was a relaxed weekend of self-care and ease. Still, in some moments I felt distant and hollow… yearning for more… for a deeper more intimate connection… with myself? With something. With someone?

I had, several times, the sort of brief emotional experiences that suggest I am “seeking but not finding” or missing something that is limiting my joy in life. The words “intimacy” and “connection” keep coming up in my thinking, associated with a feeling of “yearning”. What to do about it? If I were in my 20s, I’d figure I “just need to get laid”, and I’d be fairly grumpy and cross about it until I sorted out “solving for X” and met those basic animal needs. I’m no longer sure that it is that simple… I’m no longer willing to re-purpose sex to meet non-sexual emotional needs, but… I don’t actually know quite what it is I’m yearning for. (Maybe it really is “just the sex thing”; over-50 the opportunities are considerably diminished, but my appetite has not decreased – something to look forward to, for those of you who don’t see it coming. 😦 Just saying. Your turn will come, and no words will soothe the ache in your heart, and no lover will be by your side to dry your tears with kisses… and it sucks. lol)

I pause and appreciate how far I have come; I am willing to take time to sort myself out before grasping at solutions. The timing is good for more self-awareness, for deeper consideration of longer-term needs, to learn more about how to best take care of me. Life is a solo-hike of considerable distance (if I’m lucky); it makes sense to do what I can to be well-prepared, and I am feeling a bit like I’ve stepped off the map to stand at an unfamiliar/all-too-familiar trail head, uncertain whether to back up and re-consider the moment – and the path ahead – or to just boldly continue, taking things as they come and hoping for the best.

In the past, these subtle nuanced moments of deeper reflection have led me quickly astray, down dark spirals to some unexpected morass of internal conflict or some corner of chaos and damage held together with ancient rage – mostly, I think, because I did not know what to do with them at all. I would quickly become a primate with a locked puzzle box, resorting to rocks and rage, and hoping that smashing the problem to pieces with my tears would amount to a solution. This morning, I sit quietly, considering the puzzle box, quite content to give it further thought, over time, without being rushed, or self-critical. There is more to know, more to understand, and I do not yet know what I don’t yet know.

No tears this morning. No drama. It was a lovely weekend.

One very lovely weekend.

I still need to begin again. 🙂