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Beautiful weekend. The sort of beautiful weekend I mark on a calendar, look back on frequently, contemplate, wonder over, and reference in the future. So… I’ve marked it on my calendar. I’ve been looking back on it, already, contemplating it, wondering over it, and here I am in my own “future” (at least, I’m one day beyond the weekend) referencing it. It represents change. It whispers to me about love, family, and contentment. It was weird. Beautiful. Unexpected. Relaxed. Delightful. Peaceful. It was filled with the company of friends, defined by long moments of joy and contentment. It was easy to find stillness – and to enjoy companionship.

I spent the weekend with my Traveling Partner, down at his place, which he shares with his other partner, who was an ex of mine. I put that in the past tense, because I use the term “ex” very specifically, and sparingly, to refer to former (and now discontinued) partnerships and relationships which have been firmly, permanently, completely, entirely, and without any potential future, ended. No continuing contact. “I’m done with that.” She definitely doesn’t fit that definition, now, although I lack language to define our current… situation.

I had a great weekend at her place. I enjoyed her company and her conversation. I realized that there are things I have missed about her (duh, we were in a relationship, once). She was a gracious and delightful hostess this weekend. We had a good time (I say, based on my own experience, from my perspective, without any cause to assume she feels differently, and having heard her affirm the same in her own words). I’ve been invited back, and not just by my Traveling Partner. Wow. I feel so welcomed. I felt so very much at home, in my relationships, as well as wrapped in the gorgeous landscape of Southern Oregon’s Oak Savanna. Beautiful sunrises. The warmth and connection of dear friends and family. It was a wonderful weekend.

It was a splendid autumn weekend, it’s only fitting that it came with a wonderful view. 🙂

The flora and fauna are lovely down there… I want to say “at home” or “back home” or… Yes, I liked it there that much, and for the quality of the company as much as for the landscape. Relationships matter. There was no hint of tension or animus between her and I, and that was lovely. Recognizing that one can indeed “begin again” allows me to do so, even with relationships. It’s a little scary; it could go very wrong (this, whispered to me by the hurt child lurking within, who is, frankly, no judge of good quality relationships at all). The big challenge of new beginnings, by far, is letting go of old baggage… so…

…I begin again. 🙂

Let me circle back on one detail; this was all her. I didn’t take the step across that firm moment of having ended things years ago. I don’t know that I would have. I’m not sure I’m that skilled as an adult. I experienced a moment of powerful respect for this woman who did put her fears and baggage aside, stepped up to me and started a new conversation. “I’d like to start over.” She couldn’t have chosen better words – aren’t I all about beginning again? Wow. How could I not agree? Still, though, this was her moment. I’m still pretty blown away. Nicely done, Woman. Hell of a teachable moment. 🙂 I’m still smiling.

It was a lovely weekend spent with my Traveling Partner, and his lovely Other (who clearly needs a better nickname, here), walking the land, and talking about the future. Our future. (Wow.)

Now here it is Tuesday. The long weekend is over. It’s time to face a new work week. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

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SPECIAL THANKS
Thank you so much to Mitch Goldfarb for this fun opportunity to reflect and share something different of who I am. Visit his blog here: https://mitchgoldfarbblog.wordpress.com/.

Thank you, Mitch (and all of you, as well) for reading my blog.  I am delighted you thought of nominating my blog for this fun circle of appreciation.

THE RULES
Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog in your post.
Display the award on your blog.
Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.
Nominate ten other bloggers (or up to 10).
Create ten questions for your nominees, and notify them of their nominations.

Mitch’s questions, with my answers:

What one piece of advice would you offer a newborn? I’m unconvinced that a newborn would be able or inclined to accept my advice. I’d much prefer to offer them my love, cuddle them awhile, and make every effort to ensure they feel safe, valued, and cared for; the world can be a cold and hurtful place, and lacking the language to speak up about it as a newborn can’t be an easy thing.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you like to meet and why? This is a tougher question [for me] than it appeared at first glance. When I begin to think it over, I am stalled – there are so many great minds and exceptional human beings who have gone before me…who would I want to meet, myself… On one hand, from a simple place inside myself, I might like to seriously party with some of history’s famous libertines – I mean, what might it be like to dine with Oscar Wilde? To have sex with Casanova or Rimbaud? I rethink that almost immediately in favor of hanging out with Robert Heinlein, or Robert Anton Wilson. I realize that I am thinking only of men, and contemplate what women in history I might like to meet… Simone de Beauvoir… Marie Curie… my maternal great-grandmother… I’m not sure on the why in any case; each of these names has meaning for me beyond biographical details – they are somehow part of who I am myself, now, and I’d like to understand myself far better than I do.

What has life taught you this week? Life is a powerful teacher. This week was a lot of review, and remedial study regarding the nature of anxiety and dread, and why I mustn’t plan my time around those terrible emotional experiences; they reflect very little of life’s truths, or reality’s probabilities. 

Why do you write? There is no ‘why’ here; I write, regardless. I have for as long as I can recall – and beyond. Hundreds of volumes of personal journals, not even counting my digital journal, and sheafs of paper torn from old spiral notebooks – and old spiral notebooks and composition books, and my letters to friends have often exceeded a dozen pages, my emails rarely have word counts less than 500… and that always looks like ‘a short note’ to me. I forget that in text messages and chats how difficult it can be to scroll through long sentences (or paragraphs) and sometimes frustrate loved ones with the sudden barrage of words (ping…ping…ping…ping…). I don’t write for a reason, I just write. I am helpless to stop myself, and do what I can to direct it some useful way.

Do you have a place where you go that empowers or nurtures you? Out into the trees, along quiet trails and pathways, on foot is best… oh, the beach is nice for a break now and then, and I also quite love the broad vast expanse of a desert or prairie – the places of stillness, of solitude are the places that nurture me most. It’s not exactly the quiet – strong winds on the coast are noisy, and storms in the forest certainly aren’t quiet, either – it’s the inner stillness I find in these places that soothes me so. I practice, every day, learning to find that same stillness at home, in urban settings, on the bus, in the office… and a bit at a time, I find more of myself in the stillness I am learning to create from the chaos and damage within.

What excites you to get out of bed in the morning? My waking moment is rarely one filled with excitement to begin the day. Days I am excited about, I often don’t sleep well in the first place. If I topple the question over on its side and answer “What gets me out of bed in the morning?” I would say “Love”. Sometimes it has been the only thing there to hold onto… and I don’t mean, necessarily, romantic sexual love… it’s more than that. Love – for the woman in the mirror, for the friends who would miss me if I didn’t show up, for the wee fish who depend on me for survival, even the love of seeing the sun rise again, or hearing the rain on the windows. Love is worth getting out of bed for.

If you had 30 seconds and the whole world was listening, what do you want to say? Please stop hurting me. Please stop hurting yourself. Please stop hurting each other. Just take a moment – right now – and understand that we are each human, each having our own experience, and all in it together. Wheaton’s Law applies.

Where do you find magic in your life? Love. Passion. Words. Imagination. Laughter. Experience. Sex. Connection. Kindness. Touch. Smiles. 

Will you please share a little about your writing career? Um… It’s not a ‘career’ – although that’s quite a delightful idea. I could enjoy doing this ‘for a living’… I don’t though. I have ‘a day job’. I write because writing is part of who I am – I have no idea how to actually monetize that.

How can we improve the planet using social media? The same way we improve the planet using any other tool; by making choices that improve things – with our words, with our actions, with our buying power – and without exception.

MY NOMINEES

  1. Leo Tarvi is a long time favor blogger of mine, for his wit and insight.
  2. Oz Monroe, an entertaining author and dear friend, is both an amusing storyteller and a great thinker. I greatly enjoy his work.
  3. Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind is a favorite blog by a TBI survivor. When I am struggling with the worst moments, this is a good place to stop by for perspective, and to feel like I am not alone.
  4. I find beauty, perspective, and calm at View Pacific – like ‘home’ in a URL.
  5. Smile Calm – peace, calm, and poetry. Balance and perspective a click away.
  6. Isis the Scientist is a woman in science. There is perspective here, too, and laughter, and shared struggle.
  7. Wisejourney feels like a friend, though we’ve never met. She was one of the first other bloggers to read my blog, to offer encouragement, and to click ‘like’. Her blog is full of that positivity and encouragement, too.
  8. Yes Means Yes is ‘a sister from another mother’ on a journey everyone who is a woman or a survivor of sexual trauma takes at some point. This is a blog to find strength, to feel heard, and to be okay while I work through some of what makes me so angry in life.
  9. Looking4Luka is another TBI survivor, surviving – and sharing the journey with words. It helps to have some company along the way, when the journey is difficult.
  10. This is an open spot for anyone I follow to take hold of this challenge – because if I am following your blog, it’s because you speak to me in some powerful way, and I thank you.

MY QUESTIONS

  1. What character quality in yourself do you regard most highly?
  2. What is your relationship with words and language?
  3. The time is ‘now’ – if there were no future to come, but you have ‘now’ without end, how would you prefer to spend this moment?
  4. You approach a crying woman as you walk – what do you do (or not do) about a stranger crying?
  5. Does your answer change if the crying stranger is a man?
  6. Does your answer change if the crying stranger is a child?
  7. Does your answer change if the crying stranger is a whimpering animal?
  8. If your answers change – what is different about the scene that changes the answer?
  9. When  you answer an ‘either/or’ question, do you visualize the question as extremes on a spectrum, or two firm choices with no gray area?
  10. If you could choose a single character quality to provide to all of humankind with the hope of changing the world – what would that character quality be?
Sometimes a sunny day is enough.

Sometimes a sunny day is enough.

Days go by…saying so makes me think of the song by that name, but it isn’t relevant.   Time spent with family, time spent on love, time…spent.  I’m nearly there, myself. I’m tired.  I very much want to take real time to write. Really write; to think, and muse, and contemplate, to reflect, analyze, wonder…to communicate and to understand.  The time is not now, but just in case you are missing me… I’m not gone, I’m just doing ‘now‘ right now, and there is too  much of that to write about it.

So, perhaps sooner than later, I will sit down at a new, faster laptop, in a quiet place, with a tranquil heart, and I will write about life, and love, and men of 20, and fathers and sons.   Until then… living, loving… and hey, yeah, painting – I finally painted the first canvases in our home together.  3 new pieces – one as yet unfinished.  I am even spending time on painting – by far one of the most worthwhile ways to spend my time. 😀

"Summer Flowers" 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas with glow. 2013

“Summer Flowers” 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas with glow. 2013

 

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A couple observations about ’emotional budgeting’:

  1. The most valuable thing I can build today is a better relationship with someone I love.
  2. The most expensive things I can break are someone’s heart, or someone’s will.

We each have limited resources… our choices matter today, and every day. I hope mine are wise today, and add value to my life and relationships, and enhance my experience in both meaning and quality. When I make mistakes, I hope I learn and grow from them, and have the wisdom to try something different next time.