Archives for posts with tag: summer flowers

This cup of hot coffee tastes well-made, and satisfying. An early hour for it. I woke this morning, ahead of the alarm clock, alone. The morning unfolds quietly, gently, without any fuss. It could be any morning. How does it feel so very different, simply lacking the (sleeping) companionship of my Traveling Partner? The subtle shift in my awareness accounts for that, I suppose; I am not dedicating a portion of my awareness to continuously maintaining consideration for another human being, asleep in another room. I sip my coffee, contentedly. No loneliness this morning, just quiet.

He departed yesterday, some time after I left for work. We’d had our morning coffee together, quietly, contentedly. There wasn’t much to talk about; the planning had been skillfully done, the car was packed, the day was ordinary in most other regards. We sat together, waking slowly, gathering our thoughts, forming our intentions, sipping our coffee. I enjoyed the moment a great deal, and it became a happy platform upon which the day ahead would be built. After an ordinary enough work day, I returned home. All so very beautifully mundane, so easy to overlook the tremendous warmth and affection that infused it, like the strawberries in the infused water in the office – subtle and mild, and quite lovely.

Work was work. Summer flowers are blooming everywhere. The day passed quickly.

…I’ve no idea how any of that was so tiring, really, nonetheless; I had little energy or interest in doing things after work. I got home, more thirsty than hungry, and after quenching my thirst with many glasses of water, and enjoying a few minutes of conversation with my Traveling Partner, (once he arrived at his destination, for the night, moments after I got home, myself) I went to bed. I don’t think it was even 7:30 pm, yet. lol I didn’t “read awhile”, or meditate, or toss and turn; I was sound asleep within some few brief minutes after laying down. My sleep was deep and satisfying. I woke gently – to the sound of a chat notification on my phone, of all things (had I really left the ringer turned up??). When I checked my phone, there was no message, no notification, no sound – and the ringer was off, phone set to Do Not Disturb, for the hours between 11pm and 6am. lol I dreamt the sound. Just time for a new day, I guess.

It feels luxurious to get up, turn on a light without concern about waking someone else, and move through the details of my morning routine unconcerned by clumsiness, or someone else’s needs, just focusing on starting my day well, and caring for myself. I make a point to savor the things about living alone that I enjoy so much; there will be ample time to “appreciate” the things about being alone that are less pleasant, and I will make room for them in my heart, too, and hopefully grow from those experiences, and learn more, better ways to love and to share space. I sip my coffee, and consider the differences between living alone, and living with someone. I take a moment to fully appreciate having a partnership that so skillfully supports my need for solitary time. My Traveling Partner “gets me”, and I feel very loved.

…I take a moment to appreciate the way we “choose” this partnership, every day.

Sometimes our path is illuminated. Sometimes we walk our mile in darkness.

….Mmm… This is a very good cup of coffee. I find myself hoping my partner’s morning cup of coffee is similarly good, and smile at the first hints of day break showing through my studio window. So far, a pleasant morning. ­čÖé

There’s little truly shareworthy content in this quiet morning, beyond the quiet itself, and that’s only worth sharing if I consider it in the context of yearning for quiet and not finding it, or lacking any conviction that the quiet is worth experiencing, or… well, it’s all very subjective, I guess I’m saying, and not exciting, or the sort of thing that great adventure builds from. I’m just here, now. It is morning. I am content. By itself, quite worthwhile, and exceedingly achievable, with some verbs, and open communication, expectation-setting, self-care, and a well-chosen partnership. Nothing about that is “easy” or without effort. All of it is within reach, based on choices, generally. Real life happens. That’s a thing. I remind myself to be grateful for these easy-feeling moments, and to savor this quiet morning; life can be chaotic. Struggle is real. The wheel turns. This, too, shall pass.

…My coffee nearly finished off, I notice I’ve let myself become distracted by thoughts of work, already. I breathe, exhale, relax, and let that go – it creeps back, anyway. I sigh, and laugh out loud, disturbing the stillness. I check the time, and decide to get an early start on the day; this moment is as good as any to begin again. ­čÖé

I woke in pain this morning. Ah, but, I am also undeniably well-rested. That’s something. I scrolled through my feed too early, not quite awake, and fucking hell, the news is not very pleasant. On the other hand, there’s also quite a lot of hopeful news, and, historically, a lot of forward momentum, too. So… I guess that’s something to hold onto. Back and forth – finding “balance” is its own challenge. Like a pendulum or a see-saw, my experience, mood, perspective, and general sense of both wellness and self, shift, swing, adjust, wobble… It’s kinda crazy up in here. You, too?

Where is your fulcrum? What do you pivot on? What supports that search for balance, and soothes your stress? For me, it’s “now”. Just that, and it’s pretty basic, uncomplicated stuff. I come back to this present quiet moment, right here. If “now” is also really super shitty (and not the national or global heart-wrenching what-the-fuck-is-going-on “now”, we’re talking about our personal right here, this instant, “now”) I may need to walk on, get some distance, and work from some other slightly future “now”, when I get to it – more often than not I simply need to let go my attachment to something or other I’ve begun to cling to emotionally, and be truly present, myself, in this “now” right specifically here where I am, myself.

A flower. A moment. There is effort in tending my garden with care.

I woke in pain. Yeah, that sucks. Could be worse pain than it is. That’s something. Perspective is a big deal. I don’t focus on other moments of worse pain, though, that’s sort of backwards, as it happens. I sit gently with my thoughts, contemplating entirely other things than pain, at all. There’s the art show tomorrow night. That’s a thing. I’m excited about it. I consider the work I’ve selected, and what all I may need for the evening, generally, and the pain slips from my consideration for a time. I share a moment of conversation with a far away friend over my coffee. I water the container garden on the deck in the lavender light of dawn, before the summer sunrise. Perspective helps me find balance.

Carefully selected work waiting to be seen.

I sip my coffee, already past that irksome moment when I observed I’d yet again allowed myself to run out of “easy options”. I smirked at myself, leaning on the counter for support, hurting, painfully aware (literally) that the state of things is entirely my own doing, for me to manage. There’s plenty to make coffee with; it all requires effort. Effort, I point out to the woman in the mirror, is not a swear word, and is, in fact, a goal. Making more of it results in greater emotional and physical wellness, and connects me more fully to the things that matter to me most. There are verbs involved, and don’t I know it! I pull myself upright with a sigh, and make a pour over. My coffee is very good this morning. Better than convenient. Better than easy. Made with love. There’s a lesson in here somewhere.

Back and forth with myself all morning. Finding balance. Using perspective. Making an effort. Practicing practices. I smile and sip my coffee.

…Then sneeze, spilling coffee in my lap, and rather hilariously also sneezing it all over my keyboard. Damn it. Already time to begin again. ­čśë

I slept well, and deeply, and even slept through the night. My coffee is prepared – I haven’t tasted it yet. This morning, like so many mornings, is pleasant and quiet. The morning seems to lack any connection to the stress and weirdness of the night before. That’s pretty pleasant, itself, and represents a significant improvement in outcome. Practice may not make ‘perfect’, but it definitely has the potential to change things; I know to be thoughtful about new practices, mindful of the new outcomes, and careful about attempting to choose wisely what will meet my needs best over time.

Last night it was basic self-care and self-compassion for the win, and I am okay. I was okay last night, before I went to bed. Hell – I was ‘okay’ even while I was crying, really. The emotional moment passed – I knew it would. Nothing so intense is really sustainable. And, as is often the case after the fact, I’m not at all sure now what it was that was actually upsetting me so much. There is no requirement that I have certainty about what may have caused prior tears; deep-diving those details is just asking for more, and it is a process that generally lacks the value it seems it might have…or feels as if is should have. There are other, more effective practices, and certainly there are other, more pleasant, uses of my time on a quiet morning.

Summer berries, summer sky.

Summer berries, summer sky.

So. Here it is morning, again, and another lovely one. I’m content with having made progress such that pleasant mornings are so commonplace. I miss my traveling partner – that’s not uncommon in the mornings, although I also very much value the deep quiet of solitude, greatly; it’s very good for writing. Still…we do well together in the mornings, and I miss having the occasional unexpected quite exceptional latte, made by loving hands. It was my traveling partner who taught me the value of quiet leisurely mornings, so of course I do associate the experience with him, even though it is quite rare that he is up so early, himself. Shared mornings are less common living apart, making them even more precious when they occur.

That’s one element of living alone that I treasure beyond words; the profound way my traveling partner and I are able to make every moment together count. There hasn’t been a single trivial argument – or any argument, actually – and so little stress between us that I can’t recall it at all, since I moved into my own place. We just don’t waste time on negative bullshit, or drama these days. The time we share is limited, precious, and put to the very best use: love and┬áloving. Mortal lives are short – there really is no time to waste on contentious foolishness or game playing. Letting go of that sort of thing has resulted in a life that feels rich, warm, and uplifting most of the time, resulting in an environment that really promotes growth and healing – we are on a shared journey, with shared goals. It isn’t really relevant that we live in different buildings at all. Cohabitation doesn’t dictate the quality of a relationship – and a building isn’t the essence┬áof ‘home.’ You probably already knew this stuff – I’m very much a beginner in the School of Life. (Did you know there actually is a School of Life on the internet? It’s pretty awesome.)

Oh hey…I got distracted by thoughts of love…and sex… lol. Time has passed. The morning begins with smiles and thoughts of love – that’s a good start to the day. There remains time enough to hit ‘publish’, and do a little housework; I love coming home to a well-kept tidy home, and I love waking up to one. Each morning I do some housework to prepare for coming home from work…each evening (often before bed) I do a bit more, so that when I wake I step into a lovely orderly space. This suits me. It is ‘my way’.

Summer flowers.

Summer flowers.

Today is a good day for beginnings, and good practices. Today is a good day to appreciate love and lovers. Today is a good day for gratitude, awakenings, and growth. Today is a good day to heal. Today is enough.

 

 

How often have I heard it – how often have you – “you just…” or “you only…”, or “it’s super simple…” and subsequently found it a journey to new heights of frustration? It happens. Perspective matters. Experience counts. Aptitude gets to weigh in, whether we like it or not. What is obvious to one person, isn’t necessarily obvious to another. These are what make patience with each other, consideration, kindness, and compassion so incredibly valuable; we don’t all ‘get it’ with the same quickness, or in the same way, we don’t all learn at the same speed, and of course we are each having our own experience.

It’s been an interesting weekend to contemplate one particular very human duality, and finding balance between them. The first of these, and unavoidably so whether we recognize the truth of it or not; we are each having our own experience. ┬áRecognizing that has been a big deal for me. ┬áThe other, and no less important generally; we’re all in this together. Yep. Interdependent, connected, social, and organized, one look at a global map of internet connections and it’s pretty obvious that we’re connected, by the communication of thoughts and emotions┬áif not by flesh or ideology.

Each precious moment holds something worth cherishing now.

Each precious moment holds something worth cherishing now, something worth sharing.

This has been a good weekend to apply a number of things I’ve been learning over time. A good weekend to paint, to practice taking care of me, to invest in my continuing education as a human being, to invest in the qualities of mind that make me more who I want to be. The weekend went to ‘unscripted mode’ before I ever got home Friday night, though we’d had plans as a family that would have taken much of the weekend. I found myself undisturbed and content to let the weekend take me where it might, and I’ve been delighted with the outcome. Having space to paint set up and ready to go any time resulted in an easy and gentle switching of gears, yesterday morning, and it was as effortless as walking up a flight of stairs to be in another space, a different context, and enjoying my experience on my own terms. It was lovely.

"Summer Lamb's Ear" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas w/glow.

“Summer Lamb’s Ear” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow.

It was so productive, and comfortably so, that this morning I woke already thinking of painting, although my calendar clearly shows I’d intended to hike this morning. My arthritis chimed in early, having been my wake up call, alerting me that today would be characterized by more than usual pain, and less than ideal freedom of movement. Hiking would probably help. Painting could wait until afternoon. I dither over coffee. What do I want?┬á

"Carried Away by Opinion" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas w/glow, glitter, and googly eyes.

“Carried Away by Opinion” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow, glitter, and googly eyes.

Letting that go for the moment, I reconsider the somewhat peculiar weekend. I have been content, satisfied, serene… it’s been a lovely weekend so far, and I feel nurtured, comfortable, and secure. It’s peculiar because observation tells me that my partners may not be having the same quality of experience, themselves. Earlier plans falling through has seemed to┬áfind them discontent, and to my outside perspective, struggling with various levels of unhappiness moment to moment. That sucks. I see it. When I can, I attempt to appropriately support them both, and each, and nurture positive experiences, and treat them pleasantly, and compassionately. What I’m not doing this weekend is undermining my pleasant experience┬áby adopting their discontent for myself. This is an area of life and relationship building where I find a lot of my challenges. ┬áRipping out programming that once drove me to make choices based on ‘well, if I really care, won’t I also be unhappy and share their feelings/experience with them?’ has been slow going; it feels somewhat disloyal to take care of me. That’s how programming works, though, it’s rooted in layers upon layers of internal dialogue, self-talk that uses key words and language to keep us in line, and it fights for survival as though it has an identity all its own.

Sometimes a change in perspective matters more than we can know before we get there. "Summer Lamb's Ear" photographed in darkness.

Sometimes a change in perspective matters more than we can know before we get there. “Summer Lamb’s Ear” photographed in darkness.

The weekend has been, for me, so far, quite wonderful. I have no idea where today will take me, and I have not invested in any expectations of it; spending the day on chores, painting, and study, and enjoying the companionship of my partners, would be satisfying and sufficient. I could enjoy investing time in keeping my image archive organized, or exploring my options for updating my webpage. A walk in the forest, camera in hand, would be lovely, too.

What do I want of my life, today? Whatever it may be, today is probably quite an excellent day for that.

The title sounds promising. It is, however, the truth and for the moment nothing more. It’s 2:11 am. I am awake in this moment. I was so incredibly sleepy, and feeling deep down tired when I went to bed, early, last night. I slept deeply, soundly, restfully… for two hours. Then another two hours. And another. This time, I meditated for a while but didn’t find myself feeling like sleep; I’m not anxious, so calming and soothing myself didn’t result in anything but a calm heart. Nice by itself, I’m not bitching. Yoga, too, did nothing to return my interest to sleep, but my back feels a bit more limber, and I am comfortable but for my throbbing ankle, which by itself would not keep me awake.

I wandered the house restlessly for a moment or two, and stepped out into the cool night air and looked for the stars. Living near a huge Intel facility that lights the night sky, seeing stars is not a given, and tonight the cloudy skies are illuminated from below; there were no stars to see tonight. I sat quietly in my studio (I love saying that!) for a time, contemplating the work in progress, and giving some thought to an idea developing in the periphery of my consciousness, and feeling ‘at home’. I am neither uncomfortably warm, nor feeling chilly. I am quite comfortable. I feel at ease.

Why the hell am I awake?

It’s a rhetorical question; there is no why. I am awake. The world is quiet and dark, at least from my current vantage point. No trouble-shooting required. I quietly amuse myself flipping through the evening’s Facebook feed. I am content with being awake, for the moment, and looking forward to the morning with friends at the Farmer’s Market.

Having read a considerable amount of the science available regarding sleep, I have my monitor brightness quite dim, and enough gentle room light to prevent the monitor from being a high-contrast light source. My intention is to prevent whatever I choose for entertainment or passing the time in the night from becoming something so stimulating that it actively prevents further sleep. I take a moment now and then for deep cleansing breaths, and a chance to observe the slow approach of the shores of dreamland. I’ve learned a lot about enjoying the wakefulness in the night without discouraging more sleep. I yawn. I smile. It’s coming…

I don’t know what tomorrow will hold, but poised wakefully in this moment between yesterday and tomorrow, feeling satisfied, balanced, and content, I’m feel ready for it. It’s been a lovely week.

It's been a week of colorful flowers...

It’s been a week of colorful flowers…

...blue skies...

…blue skies…

...and beautiful summer flowers in uncountable numbers...

…and beautiful summer flowers in uncountable numbers…

...and mornings chilly enough to catch bumble bees napping.

…mornings chilly enough to catch bumble bees napping…

...and hot sunny afternoons.

…and hot sunny afternoons.

It was a lovely week, indeed. I find myself yawning and thinking sleeping sounds like a fine idea…I wonder what tomorrow holds?