Archives for category: Metaphors

Some things are worth the effort to experience them.

(I should just stop there, perhaps; it is 100% of what I am meaning to say this morning…)

I sip my coffee, and contemplate the weekend behind me. It was definitely worth the drive down. I went to a good party. Met some cool people. Reconnected with people I know and cherish. I felt that warm welcome I love so well. It was an intimate connected weekend filled with fun – and strangely enough, also with sleep. Well, sleep did occur, and it was luscious and restful and was, itself, worth the drive down. You see, after basically 36 hours awake (just due to the way timing and my sleep worked out), I crashed out in my Traveling Partner’s bed, and in his arms, and we slept harmoniously together, quite soundly, for something like 12 hours. lol No regrets there; I’m quite delighted to make the drive down to enjoy that experience.

That’s what I’m saying, this morning, some experiences are worth an investment in effort, in intention, in awareness – they linger in memory, holding on to some magical quality about life or love, preserving it and bringing it back to life every time I recall it. I smile again, and sip my coffee.

I think about a cup of coffee my gracious and charming host (of the party I went to Saturday night) made for me in the wee hours on Sunday. I know, I know, small thing, right? Not really… big party, lots going on, and my host is a new friend – I would not have imposed. I was, rather naturally I think, as it was a bit after 5 am, starting to lose enthusiasm for partying (and starting to feel the sensation of “going without coffee” around the edges of my consciousness). In the context of the conversation, I admitted being a junkie for the stuff (coffee, People, coffee), and he very sweetly offered to make me a cup, himself, personally. It was a damned good cup of coffee, too. The sort of strong cup in the morning after partying all night that reaches into my brain from my tummy and sort of just punches me right in the fatigue, refreshing me and restoring my merry wit. 😀 Fuck – I hope I remembered to say “thank you”! 😀

It was worth the drive down to meet this new friend, and to enjoy that cup of coffee. 🙂

Now it is Tuesday. A work day. A different set of timing constraints, rules, limits, and obligations are in place for the week ahead. The coffee? Made it myself. The sleep? Solo. The morning? A new beginning.

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Eat less or exercise? Personally, I have to do both. It’s non-negotiable. If I get less exercise, still keep my caloric intake well-managed (and low) and eat healthy food, I gain weight anyway. If I get plenty of exercise, but make poor nutritional choices, I also gain weight. If I eat a poor quality diet, don’t manage my calories closely, and also don’t get sufficient exercise, I not only gain weight, I gain a lot of weight, and I pack on the pounds fast. Some medications cause me to gain weight, too; that’s something I reliably find out the hard way. So… eat less or exercise? I don’t get to choose, I’ve got to do both. 🙂

There are quite a few things in life that we sometimes get snared viewing as a choice between options, when, actually, it’s a choice to change, or not to change; all the options involving change may be required to make change occur in the direction we’d specifically like to see. Real-life doesn’t tend to negotiate with our whims.

Emotion, and the skillful management and expression of strong emotion, specifically, has some things in common here, with a twist; incremental change over time is super slow, but our emotions jump to the head of any queue, lead every moment, and arrive to every party too early. So sure, it’s reasonable, and true, for someone mid-freak out to have the recognition and understanding that their experience is based on “irresistible” internal forces beyond their immediate control; strong emotion, particularly powerful emotions like rage, frustration, and sorrow, can erupt from within us, sweeping over us, taking away our sense of control, and eventually leading to regrettable words and actions. The “I’m sorry”s begin to pile up (if you are that decent sort who regrets treating others badly). So do the rationalizations (about hormones, childhoods, provocation, circumstances…).

It’s also quite true that our behavior is a choice. Yes, all of it. Yes, pretty much all the time, every time. The first time someone lashes out with an act of violence, they might get by with “I didn’t know” or an expression of astonishment that they could be provoked to that point, but second times? Third times? Times that occur after someone – anyone – has pointed out that’s not okay? Yeah, those are choices. Yielding to strong emotion and relinquishing control over behavior is a choice (unless maybe you are profoundly mentally ill and urgently in need of inpatient treatment). Well, if that’s also true, is everyone who ever treated a loved one poorly, or punched a wall, or lashed out with horrible words deeply mentally ill and urgently in need of treatment? Some of them probably are! Most of them likely are not. That they are choosing such behaviors is still a choice, and they could choose differently, and no you can’t “make them” change, and omg – if they decide to change themselves, that is a process that can be infernally slow, fraught will failures, and varying results.

…And before we can change ourselves through our willful choices in the direction of being our best selves, we actually need to 1. be aware that we would like to be other than we are, and 2. understand that change is possible, chosen, and must be practiced. It’s a lot to hold onto. It’s a lot of work. The practice has to come ahead of the need to be changed. It’s necessary both to feel, and to practice our best behavior under the stress of an “emotional load”. We’ve got to do both. It’s work that will have to be done in the face of real-time failures, disappointed frustrated loved ones, relationships that don’t make it through the process, friendships that end because it turns out some of them were invested in what is being changed. It’s work that is continuous and ongoing. Change is a verb – and you have choices.

Another school shooting. I read about it and can’t help but wonder where so many people have gotten the idea that their anger, disappointment, frustration, or any other emotional experience, entitles them to take a life – any life. Where did that come from? How long has this toxic seed been part of our culture? Did the shooter understand this is unacceptable behavior? If he did understand that, and chose to do it anyway, where did he get the idea that this is a course of action appropriate to his emotional experience? Why do so few people understand what poison their “righteous anger” actually is? Even otherwise good-hearted people can be drawn into making the most outrageously hateful statements about the value of another life (don’t read the comments on the internet, People, I’m just saying there’s an astonishing amount of rationalized hate out there), given the opportunity to frame that other human being as a bad guy of some kind. We most commonly succumb to hate due to a lack of empathy… I don’t know how to fix that for the world, or my nation. I’m still working on it for me – one practice at a time. Changing myself is within my control; I have choices.

Time to begin again.

Well… Happy Valentine’s Day, at any rate. Try to avoid getting VD (venereal disease) – it would be sure to detract from any potential holiday joy. 😀

“Lovers” 8″ x 10″ watercolor on paper 1992

I have a lot of thoughts about Valentine’s Day, few of them are G-rated. My personal take on Valentine’s Day, as a holiday, is that it is the one holiday on the calendar specifically devoted to sexual love. Romance. Not “family life”, not little kids giving paper cards, not “hearts and flowers” in any casual sense (“I sent my Mom flowers for Valentine’s Day” is definitely not in the spirit of the holiday as I understand it, myself). Valentine’s Day is a holiday to celebrate sensual pleasure, sexual pleasure, physical connections and bonds, the delights of romance of all sorts, and not some watered-down Hallmark holiday at all.

Is love a journey or a destination? Or… is love a verb?

Having said all that… I’m alone this Valentine’s Day, and lacking co-celebrants of any sort in any near-at-hand physical sense. LOL 😀 Somehow, I manage not to be bitter about Valentine’s Day. Some years I’ve been partnered. Some years I’ve been solo. Some years being partnered hasn’t resulted in sex on Valentine’s Day… which is like the worst way to celebrate this holiday. LOL At least have some smooches and snuggles, y’all. 😀

Be love. It’s a choice. Love is a verb.

Somewhere a long the way, people seem to have gotten the idea that “inclusion” and “inclusivity” means everyone can, and must always have access to be able to, celebrate and/or enjoy everything available to be celebrated and/or enjoyed by anyone at all. I don’t think life really works quite that way. This is a really good example. I see Valentine’s Day as a specifically quite carnal sexual celebration of love… I also don’t have a partner at hand with whom to celebrate this holiday, on this day, in this year. Those are all true things. Does this, then, mean I am entitled to celebrate nonetheless and all such celebrations must now be tailored to enable and accommodate my participation? And what if the pre-requisite for such requires that I be fundamentally other than I am? What must change? Just something I turn over in my head now and then. I’m a huge fan of inclusion – sorting out what precisely that actually means is tougher. I mean, I will nonetheless “celebrate” the holiday – by noting that it exists, and quite probably enjoying a lovely meal later, and maybe a very tasty glass of sherry or port – but it is a pale comparison to my preferred ways of celebrating sexual love. LOL 😀

Love matters most.

Valentine’s Day-wise, Love gets to lead a lot of the conversation. Love has a lot to say. I don’t know what it says about love – or folks who read my blog – but this post on Valentine’s Day, from 2013, is my most popular post ever of always to date. So, this year, remember – even if you can’t “get lucky” this Valentine’s Day, how lucky you are simply to be, and to be you; you matter. Celebrate with the person in the mirror (<groan> lol, sorry, I could not resist, but sure, if you’ve got the time and inclination, do you. LMAO). Enjoy you. Lavish yourself with your own affection this year – why not? You may begin the best relationship of your life, by beginning a better one with the person in the mirror.

Tonight the “silence” sounds reminiscent of a hot summer evening, sweltering temperatures, and the night air filled with the sounds of insects. Crickets. Mosquitoes. All of the many kinds of buzzing and crawling and flying things… and maybe a street light buzzing along with all of them. Dense. “Shimmer-y”. My tinnitus has been with me a long while. I don’t have a clear recollection of not having it. It differs left and right.

Why mention it at all? No reason really. I’m sitting here listening to it, which gets me to contemplating it with greater care. Sometimes I might start to panic, thinking I can’t hear anything else now, and have to pause to very willfully listen to other sounds to coax the tinnitus to recede into the background of my awareness once more.

Why on earth am I sitting here listening to my tinnitus? I didn’t mean to be, actually. I sat down to exchange courtesies with my Traveling Partner, check in with some friends, and catch up my personal email for the day before moving on with the evening. I put on headphones with the intention of listening to music. lol I never got that far. Something distracted me, and I’ve been sitting here listening to the sound of my poor judgement. (I don’t actually know for sure what causes all of my tinnitus sounds. I do feel pretty certain it would not be this bad if I had been a committed fan of hearing protection in my 20s and 30s.)

Funny what can catch my attention for a moment. I smile to myself, hit “play”, and begin again.

I have managed to get genuinely rested over the past couple weeks, a bit at a time. Good sleep hygiene restored after a carefree disregard for it through the holidays that required another 3 weeks or so of recovery time. We’ve all got to pay for our thrills. lol

It’s an ordinary Monday following a chill, modestly productive, imperfect, still adequately restful weekend. I miss my Traveling Partner on this whole other level that nags at me in the background. I remind myself that the upcoming weekend will see me heading down the highway for another visit. 🙂

The week will end on yet another visit with yet another doctor. I honestly have too much other shit to do, but with these being health-related concerns, getting them seen to is sort of non-negotiable. So. Doctor’s appointments it is.

I look around, coffee in hand, and notice a few things I’d prefer not to return home to, and lacking a full-time domestic in residence (a level of luxury I don’t aspire to), I decide to give up a bit of leisure morning to finish up some housekeeping left from the weekend list of things to do. This is a “me thing”; I find that my thinking is more orderly when my environment is also orderly. I finish my coffee. Finish this lackluster bit of writing. I look my Monday in the face with a smile and begin again.