Archives for posts with tag: ask the question

I’m sipping coffee before work. Taking a few minutes to write. My fingers feel light on the keyboard, this morning. I feel comfortable in my skin. I feel safe here at home. I am reflecting on the weekend, and on life, and love – and taxes. I flip through the pictures I took over the weekend. The camera seems to have captured details that I missed with my eyes, in the moment. The pictures delight me.

Gray skies greeted me when I arrived.

The slow calm minutes alone with my thoughts for a couple days was a nice break. I needed the rest and the quiet time. I say “quiet time”, but this too is relative. It wasn’t that quiet at some points; Friday night there was a “hotel party” in the room next to mine that lasted until 1 am. It woke me a couple times before folks finally called it a night and settled down. Saturday night, on the other side of my room, a very intoxicated couple checked in, early in the evening. By 9 pm, they’d been removed by the local police for creating a disturbance, after several people complained about yelling, threats of violence, intimidation, and noise. Home is much quieter. lol The disturbances were an interesting opportunity to reflect on exactly what I need out of my solo time, and how best to get it. It’s not a need that is always easily met simply by being somewhere else. ๐Ÿ™‚

I considered going home early, at one point. I know I’d have been welcomed home eagerly; my Traveling Partner was missing me quite a lot. Another quiet night, though, and another slow solitary morning, was a nice investment in my wellness and contentment, and I’m glad I stayed and enjoyed the time (the money was already spent).

One last shot of the ocean before I left… blue sky breaking through the clouds, reflected in the water.

It’s nice to be home again. We shared a quiet afternoon gardening, and a quiet evening watching short videos and nature shows. It was supremely pleasant. Now…? Now it is a Monday. Time to get back to work and life and life and work, and all the details that connect and surround those experiences. I’ve got 158 pictures to remind me of my weekend away, even a couple videos of waves and the sound of the sea. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d end with an observation that it’s time to begin again, perhaps, but… where does this journey lead? What’s next? Roses and gardening? Meditating and writing? Life and work? Love? What matters most? Who do I most want to be, when I see myself in the mirror? Is my path taking me there? Can I even know that? So many questions – and really, not one of them answered by a weekend walking on the shore. lol Just more questions. More moments upon which to reflect, later.

…It’s still a journey. My morning walk took me past each house in the neighborhood. At first, I counted off the roses I passed by, sometimes by name (when I recognized them). I lost track; there are so many roses, they quickly become uncountable. There are so many gardens, tended by so many hands, with so many different visions of “beautiful” in mind. I take note of the details I like the most, as I pass by. I smile and wave to other early risers when we spot each other. I keep walking.

What now? Where does this journey lead? What does the day hold? What of the future? My heartbeat feels like the tick of a clock. I glance at the time – it’s definitely time to begin again.

Where am I headed? Easy enough to know where I began, I suppose, or where I begin, now. Here? Over there? Somewhere near at hand, if the journey is to be successful; it’s difficult to go from “here” to “there”, if my understanding of what “here” is, is at odds with the practical of matter of where here is, in fact. lol That’s one major detail that presents each of us with a unique-feeling challenge; if our understanding of reality is notably different than what reality actually seems to be, it’s hard to navigate reality in an effective way, right? Definitely harder to communicate with those around us who don’t share our view.

Unavoidably, while some of what we understand of the world around us is demonstrably “real”… some of it is bullshit we made up in our heads, without any kind of validation, fact-checking, or even a quick look at the world around us. Less than ideally useful, I think. We can do better. We probably ought to consider other options than storming the fucking capitol or hitting someone when we’re angry; there are better choices that map more accurately to the real world, and the needs of our communities, families, and selves. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Near or far, we don’t see what is beyond our horizon.

Any way, I’m just saying… every morning we each get a new start, if we choose to accept it. We stand in some moment, on a new day (with or without coffee), and we take that next step along our path. Choose your path. Consider it with care. Where are you headed? Will this path even take you there? I sip my coffee thinking about the day and weekend ahead. Thinking about “my path”, and this strange journey through my chaos and damage, seeking a sense of well-being, seeking “wholeness”, seeking to more fully understand and more skillfully make use of agency, to embrace accountability and responsibility, to serve family, and community, and to be the woman (the human being) I most want to be. It’s January 8th. 8 Years ago, I started this blog, and started down this path…

The path isn’t straight, the destination isn’t obvious, but the journey must continue.

I reflect on this journey, thus far. I’ve come a long way from that despairing woman, exhausted by her personal demons, worn down by years of poor self-care and less-than-ideal mental health – and problematic relationships. I was not even certain I wanted to go on living. (Despair is ugly shit.) I had choices to make. I still expected clear answers to existential questions. I still wanted certainty about the outcome… or the point. The first steps on this peculiar new path didn’t take me very far. I wasn’t sure I was moving at all. No sense of “forward momentum” and some of the days felt “sticky” and gummed up with years and years of baggage and bullshit, that had festered for so long it seemed to much to process, at all. More than once, that first year, I just wanted to give up… or destroy something. Anything. I needed so desperately to feel that some kind of progress was being made. Incremental change over time is often an almost imperceptibly slow thing.

It may not be the shortest path – but this journey isn’t a race, or a contest – I’ll just keep walking.

These are such personal journeys, these human lives we lead. Each step our own… whether we choose it or are forced upon it, these are still our steps, our miles… our choices. Don’t like where you seem to be headed? Choose another path.

Change is a verb – and also an outcome. Where does the path lead?

So many steps, miles, verbs, choices, practices… and so much change over 8 years time. If I’d had to know, then, that it would be 8 years to “now” – this now – I’m not sure I could have endured the journey. It’s felt very “now” all this time, looking back on the path now and then, looking ahead on the path stretching before me, for as far as I could see… and walking on. Breathing. Exhaling. Reflecting. Finding those moments to be truly the woman I most want to be, and really enjoying those. Being.

Building the path as I walk it.

Sometimes the way ahead in life doesn’t appear to be an easy journey at all. We spend our lives becoming. Finding our way. Wandering. Questioning. What if – just hear me out on this – what if that’s really the point of it? To become. To discover. To learn. To ask. To wonder. It’s a question I find worth considering now and then.

Coffee’s finished. The day ahead unfolds gently. There’s an easy smile hovering at the corners of my mouth in spite of the pointlessly serious expression I feel on my face. There’s this day – and this journey – ahead of me, and it’s already time to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Where does this path lead? I guess that’s always a question. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay on the path. We become what we practice.

Well, or maybe not – especially if you haven’t asked, or I haven’t told you, or we don’t spend much time together…right? Assumptions tend to result in people having relationships and interactions with rather different people than the people involved are thinking they are, themselves. Like a lot of thinking, it isn’t ‘real’; it’s all completely made up. When I approached turning 50, I made a choice to take a much more genuine approach to my experience, generally, and I’m glad I did. It hasn’t been the easiest change to make; I can adjust my own thinking, and refrain from making assumptions, but I can’t do a damned thing about the thinking, or assumptions, of others – not even to wake them up to the rather significant changes in my approach to my own life and experience. I will be taking The Four Agreements with me out into the trees. It seems a good time to reread it.

Pop songs make so much of life, love, and sex sound incredibly easy.ย I don’t even find ‘being easy’ particularly easy in practice. It’s fortunately more amusing and bewildering than anything else, most of the time.

Do you know what I like? Even if you know me personally (and some of you do), even if you are an intimate associate or partner, what chance is there that you actually know me sufficiently well that you know what I like – right now, after a couple of years of intense growth and change, without actually asking me? Experience tells me that it is quite rare to be so well-known as a human being, even by the most connected and intimate associates, even after years of interacting, without at least some exchange of explicit communication. ย To expect to be known so well in the midst of change, or at the end of a period of profound growth, doesn’t sound likely at all, and seems likely to cause all kinds of suffering.

I also notice that it is very uncommon for people who already know each other to make much effort to update their knowledge and expectations of their friends, lovers, or partners identities, preferences, aesthetic; the details that express the heart of soul of who we are. That seems very strange. I know assumptions have survival value – or we probably wouldn’t have developed to make so many of them – but they are not a particularly useful intimacy building tool… and yet, we cling to them, argue to defend our assumptions – even in the face ofย actual information.

Do you know what I like? More to the point – that person walking beside you in life, how about that person – do you know what they like? Do you listen when they talk about it? Are you interested? Does it matter to you? And you – do you feel heard? Recognized? Valued? Encouraged in your endeavors? Do you face holidays and gift occasions eager, and content in the knowledge that you are known, and understood? That what matters to you is significant in their experience because it does matter to you? Do you still look love in the eyes eagerly wanting to know more?

Oh, Baby, you knoooow what I like!

Oh, Baby, you knoooow what I like!

It’s a lovely gentle Saturday, spent on art, lattes, meditation, and some words – and questions. Today is a good day for questions. Today is a good day for presence. Today is a good day to be genuinely this woman I am; who else could do it better than I can? Today is a good day to change the world.