Archives for posts with tag: roses

I sat, relaxed and contented, contemplating the quiet evening of solitude ahead. “I’ll probably spend some time out in the garden.” I said, smiling. I looked at my hands. “My nails are too long. I should cut them back, first…”

“Wear gloves. It’ll keep your hands clean and minimize the risk of leptospirosis…” my partner suggested. Seeing my frown, he added “I’m just looking out for you.” I smiled back and agreed his idea is a good one, wondering briefly if perhaps he disapproves of the way I encourage the chipmunks and squirrels. I let that foolishness go, as soon as the thought forms.

One rose among many and a lovely afternoon.

Some time later, enjoying the evening alone, I went out into the garden for awhile. I pulled some weeds. Smelled newly opened roses. Gazed into the trees, and enjoyed the glow of late afternoon sunshine on a warm spring day. It was lovely. I returned to the cooler comfort of the indoors, and washed my hands. I enjoyed a certain merriment; no broken nails. Nice.

What is enough?

Sitting quietly on my meditation cushion, I enjoyed the breeze filling the living room. When it began to cool down, as the sun sank low in the sky, and the living room was suffused with a sort of peach-colored glow, I got up to close the patio door… and broke a nail right to the quick, as I pulled the door closed. Fuck.

Perfect is a fiction.

…And I giggled. Then I laughed. I laughed for awhile. It felt good to laugh so… thoroughly. So much mirth over a broken nail. Cheap thrills, right? lol I sat down, still smiling, and cut my nails. At least they’re more or less even, and in proportion to each other. Short nails; fast typing. ūüôā Nothing really changes here. Short nails. Long nails. It’s the sort of irrelevant detail it’s so easy to get wound up over. Not last night. Not today. I woke still smiling.

Somehow I suspect there’s a lesson here, somewhere beyond the laughter, no doubt buried in a moment of reflection at higher altitude. Some metaphor? For now, the laughter is enough. ūüôā

 

…Change the experience. It definitely does seem to work that way. This does not diminish the effect of a changing experience also similarly being one route to changing my¬†thinking, this seems quite true, too. How I experience my experience, and what my experience happens to be, influences my thinking… and my thoughts influence my experience, or at least some qualities about it.

I had a ‘what now??’ sort of moment yesterday, walking from one place to another, when I noticed that my face ached rather peculiarly. I took a moment to consider the sensation without panic, and without leading myself astray with fearful thoughts about aging and health. Yep. My face aches. At the edges of my jaw mostly, and a bit more toward my cheeks also, and this is a new development… I consider it further and bust out laughing out loud, startling some geese. Sure my face hurts… I’m smiling that much. I have been smiling, just… smiling… so much since I left my job that my face hurts! That’s a hell of a ‘reality check’ on a major life decision.

Yesterday passed quickly, and also seemed vaguely timeless and enduring. It was a pleasant day and I got quite a few things done. By the end of the day, I was feeling a bit as if the day were not productive, although looking back I no longer understand why. I made room for those feelings, and didn’t beat myself up over it; I accepted that by some definitions of productive, I wasn’t, and also made a point of recognizing that I was, myself, entirely content with what I did get done. This morning as I moved through the apartment, I am struck by how much I got done¬†yesterday,¬†as seen¬†when I look¬†at things with “new eyes”. Awareness really matters. Perspective remains very helpful. “Enough” is achievable.

My traveling partner and I celebrate 5 years this weekend. The thought puts a smile on my face that lights up my heart from within. I may not write over the weekend; my attention will be on Love. We have plans, and I’m very excited about celebrating love with this being I hold in such high regard… Any excuse to hang out together, really. lol ūüôā

Today is still Thursday, and an entire day away from the start of the weekend. There are Thursday things to do, some verbs to choose from, and I’ve got a list of all the many things to do that can be done. Looking ahead to the weekend makes it to the list, but it’s well down past mundane chores like ‘take out the trash’, ‘do the laundry’, and ‘do the dishes’. ¬†Much higher up on my list of things to do today are¬†‘live beautifully’ and ‘enjoy the day’… those seem pretty important, too. ūüôā

Today is a good day to stop and smell the roses.

Today is a good day to stop and smell the roses.

After numerous flight delays, I finally reached my destination, and a taxi. I was one 40 minute cab ride away from home.

My driver made the trip in a heart-stopping 24 minutes!

My driver made the trip in a heart-stopping 24 minutes!

My homecoming was delightful, warm, loving, supportive. I know we hung out for a little while, I know souvenirs were brought forth, shared, discussed. There may have been an anecdote shared, or two. ¬†I think we ‘got caught up’. I didn’t stay ¬†up late, but I didn’t rush to bed, either; Las Vegas got me used to just going and going and going…ending the evening and going to sleep was challenging, in spite of obvious signs of exhaustion.

Yesterday happened. Most of it involved sleeping. I woke in the morning, too early, had coffee and started an argument. It hadn’t been my intention, and in-the-moment I wouldn’t have described the circumstances that way, but looking back, the step-by-step process of ‘starting shit’ was evident, and well-followed with considerable precision. I was still so incredibly fatigued that I was highly volatile, and that’s a poor moment to attempt conversation about political matters – ¬†important or otherwise. This was not ‘important’. I was just killing time, waiting for an entirely other sort of moment, actually, and my choices were poor. ¬†(Not surprising, really, my decision-making when I am fatigued is often quite peculiarly poor, and I suspect it is due to the specifics of my TBI.) I went back to bed, once it became clear I just wasn’t rested enough yet to be fit to interact with human beings.

Yesterday I slept 16.5 hours, waking 4 times for various reasons, and durations of time. I managed to drink about 128 ounces of water (thank you Hello Kitty water bottle!). I even managed to fit in some meditation, some yoga, and a couple short walks. ¬†Apparently that is what it takes me to recover from 4 days in Las Vegas. lol (I think we could all have done without including a nasty tearful temper tantrum, next time I’ll try that.)

I am excited to be home. I am rested. Life feels very good.

Today is a good day to garden.

Today is a good day to garden.

Today is a good day to notice small delights.

Today is a good day to notice small delights.

Today is a good day to enjoy simple things.

Today is a good day to enjoy simple things.

Today is a good day to love without reservations.

Today is a good day to love without reservations.

Today is a good day to change the world.

This weekend was well-spent on healing and wellness, gardening, love, meditation; it was a delightfully quiet weekend.  In spite of aching knees, juggling a cane, and the frequent heavy rain showers, I spent much of the weekend in the garden, hands in the earth, feet on the ground, eyes skyward or focused on some tiny wonder.  The fresh spring air, and dampness of raindrops on my skin as they loose from where they had collected, when I brush by unconcerned, soaks into my skin, into my heart. I feel refreshed and whole and free.

There have been few places or times in my life when I had no garden at all. ¬†Even in apartment living, I’ve generally had at least some potted herbs, perhaps a rose, or a potted tree of some sort. In 32 years of adult life, I’ve been without a garden for only about 5 years. Some gardens were a continuous struggle with drought, heat, rain, drainage, bugs, critters, in-laws, distance…something. It isn’t always easy. Actually, it’s rarely ‘easy’. Gardening is work, and commitment, and planning, and more of all that and trouble-shooting on top of it. ¬†Long before I heard the word ‘mindfulness’ used in a sentence, I found ‘now’ in my garden. Healing perspective is in my garden. A breath of fresh air, that too, I can find in my garden. A few minutes of stillness, some wonder, excitement, a bit of novelty, a sense of home, peace and contentment, adventure…all in my garden. Lush greens, dark corners, hidden corners of peace and loveliness, and the occasional stray flower of a sort I don’t recall planting; my garden has been the foundation and safe deposit box of whatever sanity I could hang on to, in many¬†years of my life.

Remember the gazing ball that was broken last year? I replaced it Sunday.

The new gazing ball, honoring the hold one; this one already broken, a mosaic of shattered glass.

The new gazing ball, honoring the hold one; this one already broken, a mosaic of shattered glass.

It was that sort of weekend in the garden. I puttered around tying off loose ends, finishing projects, following up on things, taking a second look… it was a weekend for pleasure and perspective.

...And a new bird bath.

…And a new bird bath.

I sometimes overlook how healing I find the garden. A moment of OPD or weirdness, a flare up of my arthritis, or a trip to hormone hell, and even though I know how healing the garden can be, it isn’t always my first destination on that journey. Still human. I checked.

Beauty feels so good.

Beauty feels so good.

It’s worth taking the time to ‘be’ in the garden. Permanence is not relevant. I had allowed myself to be distracted by impermanence, somehow. Perhaps tomorrow, or next year, or 5 years from now, this will not be my garden. Is that important now? Now is the garden as I stand in it. It needn’t wait for another day, or more certainty, or something better, or more of… it needn’t wait at all. ¬†The garden has planning and future, and daydreaming, of course, and all that is as lovely as soap bubbles on a spring breeze. The garden is a very ‘right now’ place nonetheless. ¬†It has my history, my present, and my future along stone paths, and held in bright pots, unfolding each moment as a seed of some ‘next time’.

My history. "Splish-Splash" rose [Moore. 1994]  I've had this miniature, this very plant, with me since 1995.

My history. “Splish-Splash” rose [Moore. 1994] I’ve had this miniature, this very plant, with me since 1995.

I have moved a lot. I’ve had more than one garden. I’ll likely have others. Each is precious to me, and each is ‘my garden’ for all the days I tend it. I hold nothing back; I garden now, even though the future is not assured.

The garden is my future, as well as my now, holding my daydreams gently.  Seedlings of the California poppy border I planted this spring are just coming up now.

The garden is my future, as well as my now, holding my daydreams gently. Seedlings of the California poppy border I planted this spring are just coming up now.

This weekend I enjoyed the garden and let life’s small drama’s pass me by as much as possible. ¬†It made for a beautiful weekend, and a lovely ‘now’.

Today is a good day to smile and make eye contact with strangers. Today is a good day to listen to the answers to questions, and hear more than words. Today is a good day to enjoy the spring. Today is a good day for kindness and wonder. Today is a good day to change the world.

I woke at 1:37 am to a loud bang. I returned to sleep. I woke again at 4:21 am for no reason that was obvious, and went back to sleep again. When I woke to the alarm, it was a bit as if I was never sleeping. My brain seemed pretty busy from about 1:37 am on until the morning alarm. Mostly playing mc chris’ “Tarantino” on repeat in the background of my consciousness. What’s that about? My back aches with the ‘everyday pain’ of arthritis. Yoga is difficult this morning. Sitting with good posture is difficult.

My coffee is neither creamy nor sweet.

This morning these are simply my experience, my observations. I feel pretty positive and basically ‘okay’ as an emotional being. It’s a nice change from Wednesday.

Wednesday, a bit like this.

Wednesday, a bit like this.

Yesterday wasn’t bad at all. It started well, ended comfortably, and aside from a distinct lack of physical comfort in my experience, the day proceeded well between the beginning and end. ¬†Yesterday’s high points? Love, and roses.

"Baby Love" rose [Scrivens, 1992] first to bloom in my garden this year.

“Baby Love” rose [Scrivens, 1992] first to bloom in my garden this year.

My very human experience has its ups and downs. This morning is still so new there’s no knowing. I meditate, sip coffee, study, do yoga, and prepare to face the world. I feel, for the moment, content and complete, in spite of my arthritis, in spite of pain, in spite of the headache, the bitterness of my coffee, or the slightly sick feeling of mornings. A little later than now, I’ll leave for work, probably have to remind myself to grab my cane before I go; it is an encumbrance as much as a help, and like I child I tend to abandon it anywhere I happen to sit down, if I happen to stand up with ease when I return to movement. lol

In spite of pain, and the unsteadiness of my knees lately, I still walk as much as I can. I’m still getting in about 5 miles a day, about 3 of that is commute, spread out over the morning and evening, and 2 miles for a walk midday. If I ‘give my knees a rest’ and allow myself to¬†succumb to the illusion that not using them will somehow put things right, I put myself at risk of gaining weight, pretty much immediately. I keep walking every day I can put weight on my knees and ankles at all. (I’m heavier than I’d like to be, and very much aware of the toll that is taking on my knees and ankles. Stabilizing my weight below 200 lbs is within reach, and I’ll be very happy to hit that benchmark.)

Still, the pain is what it is, and it is part of my experience. As much as I look forward to the beauty of spring, and a lovely walk on a nice day, there’s a bit of a ‘Little Mermaid” element to it; every step may be painful. Growth has often felt that way to me; every step painful, journey and destination worth the difficulty.

Pain is a shared experience. Most people have some. It’s odd to be in a group of people and observe that one person commenting on their experience of pain or discomfort tends to launch a round of compare/contrast statements, with some one-up-man-ship thrown in for flavor. I try to stay out of those, and regret it when I launch one. Few things result in feeling less heard about hurting than everyone else chiming in about how much they also hurt. Everyone wants to feel heard about pain. ¬†I’m not sure anyone ever does. ¬†Our own pain is so visceral. The pain of others tends to be far less so. ¬†I have been working on compassion first, sympathy, understanding – hearing that this human being speaking to me is hurting, and recognizing their experience, without sharing mine, even out of sympathy. (Allowing them to have their experience, feel nurtured and supported, and not diminished by my experience, or denied the opportunity to be individual. ) I don’t know that it does or does not ‘work’ any better than countering every tale of discomfort with one of my own, but it seems likely to be less annoying or dismissive.

It’s Friday. Looks like a quiet solo evening on the calendar.¬†I find myself hesitant to be at all excited about it. I’d rather not become invested in the outcome and have to deal with disappointment if life throws some changes in the mix. I’m eager¬†to spend some time on my writing and dive deeply into meditation without a timer, clock, or deadline on the other side. ¬†It’d be nice to look forward to doing that pain-free, but that’s unrealistic these days, so I don’t bother about the pain until it speaks up with enough force to be a real game-changer.

Friday. Black coffee. A backache. Spring flowers. A quiet morning. This is not only ‘not bad’ – it’s actually pretty good.