Archives for category: Relationships

Fog is weird stuff. We pass through it easily, still, it blinds us and alters what we see of the world around us. Try to shine a bright light directly into fog, and it becomes more difficult to see, rather than easier. So weird. So… metaphorical.

Sure is foggy… am I really so certain I know what’s hidden out there?

How many times have I driven a familiar road, blinded by fog? Or walked some foggy trail listening to muffled steps through the mist, with only my thoughts for company? Or just sat quietly, in the dense damp of morning fog, imagining whimsically that the fog held more meaning than mere droplets of water densely dispersed in the air?

Fog is a pretty good metaphor for the various thinking errors I find myself prone to, and even the “obscuring mist” of misleading assumptions that can so easily crowd out any perception of my reality in the moment. I think about that, on and off, from that first moment standing outside, early this morning, wondering if the mist were properly fog, or more likely the smoke of distant wildfires. Both, maybe. The stench of it suggested at least a considerable portion was – is – smoke. Blech.

…Maybe rain tomorrow? The weather hints at the potential. So does my arthritic back. Fingers crossed! We could use some rain. We could use a way out of the fog.

Yes, of course, it’s a metaphor. 😉

Begin again.

My coffee is a memory. By the time I got to actually drinking it, it was already rather tepid. It lingers, cold, and bitter, in my recollection. My day is off to a rather poor start for no good reason. At some point, the quality of my experience becomes up to me…

I reflect on things quietly, thinking perhaps I’ll gain perspective through writing, then find myself stalled, unwilling to tackle the “harder questions” this morning, in spite of knowing they would do well to be asked, and where possible, answered. Instead, I make an ambitious list of household chores and resolve to complete those. It’s easier.  Today is, in most respects, an ordinary enough Sunday.

…Order from chaos… sometimes I find it helps with other challenges troubling me in the background…It helps to have a list.

Same view, different day. Perspective matters, but we each have to walk our own hard mile.

I remind myself to make room for other perspectives, to listen deeply, to be open to change…

A slight change in point of view can make a difference in understanding our circumstances.

…I wander off to get started on my list. Another new beginning… the day may improve, if I can stay open to that potential. I can always begin again…

…Sometimes this shit is hard. Seems so, I mean. Subjectively. I remind myself “one practice at a time, one step at a time, one task at a time; it all adds up”… I feel unconvinced and blue. Some days suck. I make a mental note that change is – even the most miserable moment is just a moment, and it’ll pass. I have choices. I have practices that I know I can count on to be uplifting. Yeah, not super convincing that time, either. I’ll “get over it” and “move past this”. For now, this is the experience I seem to be having. I try not to take it personally, and stay with both this actual moment, and these feelings; the moment, which is frankly fine, is my anchor, my point of “safety” that gives me a firm foundation to consider the feelings without becoming mired in them (that’s the intention, anyway). I’m okay right now. That’s real. The emotions are emotions. I make a point to refrain from conflating the feelings with actual experiences.

…I make a point to consider the experience separately from the emotions I feel during or about the experience, itself…

…Uncomfortable or unpleasant experiences are something I can learn and grow from. Fighting that isn’t particularly helpful. Getting mired in unresolved emotions isn’t particularly helpful (or comfortable) either. I take a breath and turn towards my discomfort, seeking growth… and begin again, again. I eye my “baggage” and personal demons with some distaste and impatience, and snarl to myself “bitches, I can do this “begin again” shit all fucking day, just go ahead and fucking bring it“. That at least gets a laugh out of me.

I check my list, and yeah, I even check it twice. There’s more to do… and it all begins with a beginning.

I’m drinking cold fizzy water. My work day is over. My Traveling Partner is in his shop, making something specific of nothing-much components – tools and knowledge make a lot of things possible. I reflect on small irritants, and things for which I am grateful, too. Sometimes the irritating things in life feel damn near inescapable. I often find that taking time to savor the things in life I cherish, and to reflect gratefully on the many many things in life that don’t irritate me, is time well-spent and a helpful anodyne to the plentiful aggravations life may throw my way.

Perspective matters.

Yesterday began well. A lovely day.

One very cool thing about perspective is that it can change. It can be willfully, deliberately, altered – by choice, if you’ve a will to choose to do so.

A strange haze began to develop, later in the morning… or was it just a trick of the light?

It’s tempting to see perspective as a single point, just one way of looking at something, or one position from which to consider things. Is it, though?

There’s definitely a haze, later in the day, and a high wind storm warning to go with it.

There’s often more than one “right answer”, more than one solution to a problem challenge, more than one way that “things go together”. On and off I keep contemplating perspective, and how best to make use of it to understand the country I live in, my own circumstances, or the strange times I find myself in. We’ve only got this one planet, and these all-too-brief mortal lives…

The otherworldly result of smoke from distant fires.

…somewhere, communities and forests and fields are burning. Fire season. Cities, too, for other reasons. It’s a very good time to contemplate perspective – and to broaden it. There’s more to understand than I can even grasp. I have another drink of water. I’m grateful for cold clean drinking water. I’m grateful for this place I call “home”. Even that sick strange orange sky – I’m grateful to be able to see the sky, and to breath the air. I read some of the news. It’s bad in some places. I put it down – it’s not new news, just words about things I’ve read before.

What are you “for”? What are you “against”? Why do you feel that way? What have you done to test your assumptions? (I’m betting you’ve made more than a few assumptions, without testing them; it’s very human.) Would you refuse to test drive a change of perspective if you knew doing so might change your thinking? What does your answer tell you about the person in the mirror?

Too many questions, and my water bottle is empty. The sky is still a crazy sort of orange that fascinates and alarms me. One way or another, we’ve got to begin again.

I slept poorly last night. I’m not taking that personally this morning. It’s a lovely morning. I sort of slept in. The coffee, shared with my Traveling Partner, was quite good. We sat out on the deck, listening to the birds, watching clouds drift by, and enjoying gentle conversation. I can’t imagine needing more than this. I sit quietly alone for a few minutes, here at my keyboard. I give myself time to savor these precious moments.

There is a day, and long weekend, still ahead.

My partner points out that the deck is spacious, suitably so for painting. He expresses some surprise that I’ve not yet had my easel out on the deck, painting. I find myself surprised, too. It’s been a busy time since we started down the path of moving into our home… little time, it has seemed, for painting, or really any sort of creative endeavors…only… I hear him in the garage, this morning (which has fairly quickly become a very organized woodworking shop through his efforts)… I find it inspiring to hear him working creatively. My eye wanders to the deck. I think about the tasks ahead if I were to undertake to paint out on the deck, this weekend… my studio is still in a sort-of-orderly state of disarray, awaiting repair work. My easel? It’s in the farthest least accessible corner of the room, tucked in behind the long expanse of my desk. Paint brushes? Put away in the drawers where I keep them… which happen to be those on the far side of the desk, over there near the easel. Paint and canvas are much more easily within reach, requiring only some general care and common sense to get at them. That easel though… I’ll need to move two bookcases… and move them back… and a stack of paintings that are placed “just so”, safely out of reach of contractor work space… with some care and patience, it’s not that big a challenge. It’s just some physical effort.

…Do I have the will…?

I smile and sip the dregs of my coffee. The day had originally been forecast to be very hot. It’s not looking like that will be a concern today, really, and the forecast has since changed. Cooler temperatures are now in the forecast. Suitable for painting outside? Yes, and for walking. 🙂 I think that’s my “next thing”, today – a walk. The nearby farmer’s market at the grange will open shortly, and it is pleasantly on the way for most walks I might take near home. They practice good social distancing, and folks are comfortable staying masked, which I appreciate. We finally found a good value in a set of pots and pans for the new house (many of those I had been getting by with before had lived out their useful lifespan and needed replacing). We’ve been doing a lot of summer cooking, out on the grill, and pots and pans were a low priority, but occasionally cooler weather reminded me they’d be needed for soups and casseroles, and things cooked in pots, generally, and my high level of background inspiration also finds me wanting to cook, to bake, and to make things at home. I remind myself to bring a re-usable bag along with me when I go walking.

Home. Feels like we’re really “there”… here. 🙂

Contentment can be cultivated. 

I did not notice until I sat down this morning that the busy week had so occupied my consciousness that I haven’t written in days. Funny that I failed to notice it altogether. (If you have been missing me, I recommend an assortment of older posts – so many words!) Strange to be this content, moment to moment. Even my “to do” list is taking on new characteristics, as tasks associated with moving and with getting settled are slowly replaced with routine housekeeping tasks, and items like “water the lawn” and “write a letter to ____” begin to show up.

…Yesterday, I sat so quietly on the deck, as evening began to take over from afternoon, a hummingbird landed on a taut bit of line that anchors one of the shades over the deck, very near me. We sat regarding each other for some time. I made no move to take her picture. It was simply a moment shared between creatures. There are more of those such moments as I get acclimated to the new environment, and slowly build new routines. I’m less patient with myself – and the process of getting settled in – that I would like to be. In spite of that, change is, and things are slowly finding new norms.

I look at the time. I feel the quiet of a Saturday morning. Seems a lovely morning for a walk… and I think it’s already time to begin again. 🙂

 

It was a lovely weekend. That’s definitely how I remember it… and I think that’s a pretty accurate summary. My Traveling Partner and I shared many connected, intimate moments, some productive moments, appreciative moments, encouraging moments… definitely a lovely weekend. We met neighbors from a couple houses down – a byproduct of community, in a community that “does community” pretty well, and where neighbors see each other, and interact. My partner, working on projects in the garage, door open to the breeze, attracted the attention and genial neighborly conversation of passing folk heading to or from the mailboxes on the corner. Conversations were had. Connections made. 🙂 Social distancing rules were observed without awkwardness. (Life in the time of pandemic has rules of its own.)

The weekend was so… ordinary. We cooked, cared for our home, spent time hanging out together, ran a couple errands, started and completed projects. I don’t need “more”; it was rich and fulfilling. It was enough. I took care and time on my self-care, making a point to meditate, to get enough exercise, to eat healthy meals, all of it matters. The day-to-day is more pleasant when I care for myself skillfully.

Every moment a potential new beginning – that’s a promising thought.

I start the week, and the day, with good practices. I shower, soak (meditate while soaking), and go for a comfortable pleasant walk of a bit more than a mile. I watch the sun begin to peak through the trees, from a seat on the deck, while sharing coffee with my Traveling Partner.

A chilly late summer morning, cold toes, warm fire, hot coffee. 🙂

No, there is no “perfect”, and I’m not always certain I’m “making progress” or “achieving success”, but there is this lovely “now”, and endless new beginnings. Right now, that’s enough.

Check this out… it’s already time to begin again. 😉