Archives for posts with tag: life is a banquet

It was evening. I was home. There wasn’t much going on. As I recall, we’d already had dinner, and were just hanging out when I caught the first flash out of the corner of my eye (I exclaimed “lightning!” rather exuberantly, and also rudely interrupting my Traveling Partner with my unexpected enthusiasm). Dramatic clouds that had darkened the skies during the commute home, finally became something of note; a thunderstorm. Uncommon here. Enough so that we put further conversation on hold, and I opened the patio door and stood in the electrified breeze, listening to the thunder crashing in the distance, watching for the flashes of lightening. The air tasted fresh and inspiring. I felt homesick for the childhood innocence of being excited to see lightening, to hear thunder; I let myself have the moment.

Thunderstorms were quite common where I grew up. I thought of then. I thought of now. It felt like a choice send off for my Mom. We used to enjoy the thunderstorms together; my bouncing excitement, her feigned gruffness masking her own. She would make a point of stopping me from rushing out into the yard, cautioning me about lightning strikes. Last night, my Traveling Partner was her “stand in” when I jumped to my feet excitedly exclaiming that I was going to “go out in it!” to stand on the deck and feel the wind wrap around me. “Out on the deck? Why not just open the curtains, and open up the door?” We enjoyed the storm together, while it lasted. Storms pass.

After the storm, a hurried shot taken while the rain fell. I got the focus wrong, but… this is sort of common with me, generally. 😉

A couple more work shifts, then the weekend. I sip my coffee and smile, recalling the text from my sister, yesterday evening, asking me if I would like to have Mom’s favorite cup and saucer…? My smile becomes a grin; it was that particular type of floral pattern, that got me interested in porcelain tea cups and saucers, so many years ago. I have a lovely collection of them now, gathered over years, and miles, of lifetime. I eagerly accepted, and later stood in the doorway, listening to the thunder, thinking of my Mom, and of “having a coffee with her”, anytime, always, by enjoying mine in her favored cup. Still smiling, I notice the aphorism on my weighty, serviceable, ceramic mug this morning; life is good. Yes, yes it is…

…If nothing else, it’s better than the alternative (at least as far as I can know). 🙂

It is afternoon, sometime. I am tired – so tired. I woke in the night for no obvious reason, and after getting a drink of water to soothe me of nightmares I had already forgotten, and checking my email and finding profound connection, and amazing good news, both, I just couldn’t sleep. My mind would not quiet itself. So… I rested quietly in the darkness, smiling.

I’ll start a new job soon. I’m excited about it. There’s nothing much else to say at present. It appears to be a good choice, made in the right moment, and it is an excellent “next step” toward a future that remains unscripted, and wholly unpredictable. This amuses me, considering that a large part of what I do  professionally gives every appearance of “predicting the future” in some way. lol

I’m tired now. So tired. Too well caffeinated, and I may regret that later… but for now, it sustains my attention on the matters currently at hand.

New beginnings? I see several coming up fast. 🙂

What’ll it be? There’s a next step ahead of you, right now… will you take it? Do you have something in mind? Is the future as yet unscripted, unplanned, undecided…? Where are you headed?

The map is yours to write…

So… What’s next? It’s time to choose something – big or small.

Journey

It’s not about how many steps you take, so much as it is about where the journey takes you.

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Yesterday sorted of slipped past me. Spring. 🙂 I woke from a deeply restful night’s sleep, yesterday, slowly, gently, a day fully planned for hanging out with a friend and going out later. When I stood the headache just flattened me. I intended to take things easy, what with the headache, followed by a bit of dizziness and nausea, but shortly found myself… wandering around the house… kind of randomly and without purpose.

I honestly wasn’t sure what was up with me beyond the headache. I cancelled hang out plans first thing in favor of self-care.

…I didn’t make coffee. I have no idea why, but I just… didn’t. I got in the car, barely awake, and drove down the street to an excellent cafe (the storefront of a local coffee roaster I enjoy) and got coffee. I committed firmly to heading home…and spent 90 minutes driving around the countryside drinking coffee. It was a weird morning, lacking in stress – or purpose.

I found my way home, and sat awhile on my meditation cushion in the open patio doorway, listening the rain fall, and feeling the spring breezes. Definitely spring; there are signs of greenery, like a fine mist, all over the deciduous trees, and the roses are leafing out in shades of bright green and russet (the reddest of my roses always seem to have the deepest red new leaves and shoots, where the yellow, pink, or peach ones are often very bright light green shades). I watched squirrels play. I watched birds hop about. I definitely wanted to be in the garden.

As soon as I stood to head into the garden, my headache reminded me why I was taking it so easy. Then my eye reminded me that I would not be easily able to do the things I wanted to do in the container garden on the deck without a visit to the nursery or garden supply place nearby… and I hadn’t actually visited those last autumn after moving in. I happily got back in the car and drove around checking out the nearest garden suppliers, finding one that feels most “like my sort”, and spending quite a long while exploring there. I stopped for Turkish coffee along the way. I came home with soil and a handful of seeds. Yep. I could have gone just about anywhere for the things I actually returned home with. LOL

One lovely moment from a lovely day.

It was a weird day with the woman in the mirror.

Spring is here.

I spent the afternoon in the garden, and finished up out there aware that I was still headaching on this whole other “maybe you really need to take it easy” level when I careened into the door jamb clumsily. Okay, okay, so… maybe a night out on St Patrick’s Day to see a great band play in a local bar returning home further fatigued and faced with night driving would not be an ideal choice? I canceled those plans, too. I felt content with the decision-making, and unconcerned with the weirdness.

Later, I roasted a chicken on the smoker-grill on the patio; it sits under the eaves, just out of the rain, and the smell of it was wonderful. Cold chicken salad tonight – which also sounds quite nice.

It was a lovely Saturday, headache and all. I’m content to have enjoyed it, making the most of the day without regard to that headache, which, honestly, completely sucked all day long. I just really don’t want to waste more days on pain than I have to… I’m not sure how many I get, you know? 😉

Today, brunch with a friend, and a visit to a favorite market. The headache, for now, has eased somewhat. It’s a lovely morning to begin again.

I slept in, grateful for a comfortable bed, a heated home, shelter from the ceaseless autumn rain, and a well-stocked pantry, looking forward to a long weekend. I woke slowly this morning, a bit at a time, returning to sleep a few minutes more without reluctance or judgement, until I felt truly rested, and definitely awake. I feel grateful for the small luxuries I am fortunate to enjoy each day. My espresso is tasty, and I made this latte with almond milk, which doesn’t aggravate my health in the way that bovine milk seems to do. I smile when I think about the butterflied turkey breast waiting in the fridge, and – honestly – about having a fucking refrigerator in the first place. I am grateful for the means to enjoy a comfortable life in a place that feels safe to me, without much stress.

I greeted my Traveling Partner online, first thing. He was already awake. He is sick at home and will not be making the trip up. I’m grateful he has the wisdom to wisely choose self-care when he must. I am grateful that he loves me such that he is also pretty bummed out not to be here, with me, as planned. We chat a bit. We chat about coffee. lol Of course. 😀

An unexpected solo holiday, and I find that I am nonetheless filled with gratitude. A holiday in a household filled with people, crowded with family members visiting from afar, or friends popping ’round with sides and desserts and bottles of wine, can be so utterly warm and joyful – and I’m not “missing” that, because I’ve done it many many times. I am grateful for those experiences, and those memories. I enjoy a mental montage of those today, and find that I remain grateful for this quiet holiday, wrapped in love, and warmth, and contentment, and quite deliciously alone.

I have a friend who is also solo for Thanksgiving, and he made mention of frozen microwave breakfast sandwiches and despairing loneliness. Ouch. I’d have invited him to join me – because that sounds pretty shitty – but firstly, he is very far away and would not be able to make it, and secondly – and this is a bit hard to observe without a poignant moment of real pain – he chooses this experience, with his whole will. I’m grateful to have the positive experience of life, generally, that I do these days. I’m grateful I gave some of those verbs a try (meditating, caring for myself, letting go attachments, eating a good diet, practicing good sleep hygiene, showing self-compassion, showing self-respect… oh, just a ton of verbs, really) and that I have continued to begin again when I fail, and continued to practice what works. We each choose our adventure. I’m grateful for free will, and I am grateful to be in relationships that respect my agency.

My coffee is very good this morning. I’m grateful for the 133 year old technology that put it into my cup as a latte. I’m grateful for the 45-year-old technology that lets me enjoy real-time communication with my Traveling Partner on a holiday we can’t share in real life, in shared space. I’m grateful for the 90-year-old technology that will provide me with ample entertainment today, in the form of video, and the 562 years of the printed word that always ensures I have something to read – and let’s not forget the many thousands of years of literacy that makes having a book in my hands worthwhile in the first place.

I am grateful for paved roads, sidewalks, and convenient, well-stocked, retail spaces. I’m grateful for the remaining acres of unspoiled wilderness.

My point, this morning, is that I am grateful for so many things, it only makes sense that there be a holiday to savor and cherish gratitude itself. It makes sense to cultivate it within my experience, and to enjoy the things I am most grateful for in a mindful and aware state of mind. I know a few people who are enjoying, instead, some Thanksgiving ire or Thanksgiving outrage instead, today, due to pilgrims, heinous violations of the agency of indigenous Americans by entitled European land thieves, and more modern outrages against our modern indigenous brothers and sisters that are so shamefully still ongoing – those things are worth being angry about, no lie. My own thought on this holiday is that the connection between this date on the calendar, this celebration at the autumn dinner table, and this holiday gathering under a banner of gratitude, is tenuous at best, and frankly wholly artificial. That being the case, and this being a “made up holiday” intended to move school children, and sell turkeys, I choose to honor it at face value; a holiday about gratitude, and a day to appreciate, together, or alone, what we do have, what does work, what is valued in our shared or individual experiences. An autumn feast day, a start to the holiday season, a moment of thanks – because we all have things to be thankful for, and we all need a moment of celebration now and then. It’s not about pilgrims, land grabs, or empire, for me. It doesn’t have to be – it’s a made up holiday. Make it your own. 🙂

I finish my coffee just as I finish that paragraph. I continue the conversation with my Traveling Partner, which will no doubt last the day in small exchanges over the hours – shared moments are shared moments, and in the 21st century, a great many of those are online, digital, and remote. It’s the emotional connectivity that matters most – the internet connectivity just holds the door open for that to occur. (Have you phoned your congressional and senatorial representatives to demand that net neutrality be preserved? It matters a great deal.)

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have far more to be grateful for than you have to bitch about. I hope your recipes turn out well, and your guests are entertaining and delightful. I hope you take care of yourself, and enjoy a low-stress holiday. I hope that you love, and are loved in return. ❤