Archives for posts with tag: the choice is yours

I’m not at all firm on what to write about, this morning. I often begin that way, and it is a state of things that does not cause me any particular stress. I put words in the title field, and then begin typing in the text box, and away I go. Writing coherently, fluidly, about something that matters to someone, in a clear, specific, insightful way… is not a given. It’s more a coincidence, I think, when it does work out that way.

I think that “insight” is more to do with you, the person reading the words, than me… or the words. We each have our own dictionary, and what I think I’m saying may not at all be what you understand me to have said, and this need not be a relevant concern to the matter of insight, at all. You’ll likely make some assumptions as you read. Maybe if you know me personally, you read my words “in my voice”, but is it my voice now, or my voice of some other lifetime? Are your assumptions accurate? Were mine? If you don’t actually know me personally, in what voice do you hear these words, when you read them? There go those assumptions again, at work in the background. Who do you think I am?

If I got something from the process of writing the words, and you get something from reading the words I wrote, does it matter at all if we understood completely different things? Perhaps – at that point we attempt to explain to each other how well we understand one another, I could see that being a potential sore point, but… maybe not? Maybe? I don’t have an answer here, only a question. It’s not even an important question. Just a random thought on a Friday morning.

I make a second coffee, and marvel at how terrible it is. How is this cup of coffee possible, from the same beans, using the same machine, made in the same way, by the same method, into the same cup, at all different than the previous coffee?? I take another sip, puzzled, curious, and seeking greater understanding. I like understanding things. Yeah… No – this is one terrible cup of coffee. Wow. I mean… like… an achievement of bad coffee, a stand out, an extraordinary demonstration of how poorly made a cup of coffee can be – and I didn’t even need to use a percolator, an air pot, or poor quality additives. Good grief. This sucks. I mean… on this whole other “No, seriously? I must be wrong… one more sip…” level. lol This is bad coffee. LOL I am still drinking it… no idea what that says about me, or about human primates generally, but… this is me. Drinking terrible coffee. At this point, I am savoring this terrible coffee and even enjoying its noteworthy awfulness. Please don’t ask me why would I do such a thing, because frankly… I don’t have an answer for that one, either. It is every bit as inexplicable as if I were to suddenly rise from my seat and do a cartwheel. lol

I think about the winter ahead. I think about the future. I sip my bad coffee, now mostly over how dreadful it is, my consciousness has moved on to other things. I think about love. I think about lovers. I think about the twinge of discontent that sometimes catches me by surprise in some lonely moment, when my awareness of age and aging collides with my awareness that I “still feel young on the inside”. This morning, the thought is merely a thought, and does not evoke an emotion. My thinking moves on.

I’ve a busy weekend ahead, and I am eager to get on with it. I’ll see my Traveling Partner this weekend (if all goes to plan, next weekend too!). Fuck I miss that guy. I’m ready to make the drive down, and I’m glad I seem to be well enough to do so; I don’t think I have the pro-adult skills to firmly decline if I weren’t up for it. I just miss him too much at this point. lol I consider the drive itself. It is autumn, and a lovely time of year for a long drive through beautiful countryside. Weather permitting, perhaps I won’t take the highway? A longer route, through scenic forests, down less traveled state highways and country side roads could be quite lovely and relaxed, and a great deal more like part of the weekend than mere transportation from point A to point B. (I-5 is efficient, but not beautiful, the result being the drive feels very purposeful, and more like “work”.)

The map is not the journey. The journey is, itself, the destination. Life’s menu of options is vast, and the choices are many. I am my own cartographer. I sip my terrible coffee and smile. The words pile up. I open up Google Maps with a plan in mind, ready to begin again. 🙂

 

 

I sat for some time at the patio window, meditating. It wasn’t a fancy moment, just very chill and quiet and comfortable. Enough. Noise, excitement, adventure, the going, the doing, all these things have their place; I also love stillness. There are things to be found in the stillness, alone on a meditation cushion. It doesn’t require fancy props, or tapes of soothing voices rambling pleasantly, or very strict adherence to specific posture or breathing techniques, and it’s quite free – as in, no financial cost. It’s odd that it was so late in life to find my way to this specific practice. I’m glad I finally did.

Perspective matters. I often find it here. ;-)

Perspective matters. I often find it here. 😉

Now and then a friend asks about my meditation practice. They’ve tried, and it “didn’t work” for them, or they didn’t understand the peculiarities of some branded practice of meditation. Too complicated. Too hard. No time. Until as recently as 4 years ago, I would have said “meditation doesn’t work for me”, too. It’s true that what I was doing that I was calling meditation was not doing for me the things that meditation could purportedly do. It was a pretty big deal to understand that there is more than one contemplative practice to choose from that can be called meditation, and some of them are pretty interchangeable (outcome-wise), others less so. Some are an easy fit for my lifestyle, others less so. There are experts who write about them all.  Still… the basics are pretty basic… Start with a moment.

This moment.

This moment.

Just breathe. Take a moment for you. Sit comfortably. Be aware of your breathing. Let your thoughts drift past without investing in them, or interacting with them, as though from a distance. Breathe. Deeply. Comfortably. Focus on being aware – of your breath, of how you feel, of your emotions. Observe yourself without judgment. If you find your mind wandering, bring it back to your breath. Again. And again. It’s a practice. It doesn’t have to be fancier than that. My results vary. There are verbs involved. It’s enough. 🙂

It’s morning. I’ve already gotten sucked into reading the news and found myself being baited into reacting to this or that with, of course, outrage. The media stokes the reactive side of our nature, because in reactions are ratings – and consumer spending. It’s that simple. I let it go, again.

I found myself baited into outrage via Facebook a short time later. I let it go. Again. It’s too early to tilt at windmills. I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee. I pull myself free, and make a point to sign off. It’s a good day for a digital detox. I’ve no desire to let my devices dictate my day, or my experience. 🙂

Well, sure. This.

Well, sure. This.

Twice more I find myself pulled into emotional reactions that aren’t really anything to do with me, directly; I am reacting to the outrage machinery on which the media relies so heavily. I let it go. Again. And then again. I sign out of more stuff. I sip my coffee and redirect my attention to my own experience, right now – this one, here – and take note of a couple things I’d like to get done today, for me. It’s a short list, and I smile at it, wondering if today might be the sort of day that nothing on the list gets done… I’ve no interest in being pinged on by the world, frankly, and our messy tedious ongoing social issues are commonly of a sort that are willfully chosen, inflicted on all by a few, and entirely easily resolvable – if we chose to do so as a body politic. That seems unlikely to happen today. Perhaps instead of fussing over all that, I simple get started with the weekend…maybe head to the trees for the day, and put some miles on my hiking boots?

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I take some minutes to consider forest trails…

Date night was called off last night, due to my traveling partner potentially being contagious; his Other is sick. I definitely don’t want to get sick while I am likely to do interviews. It made sense to change our plans. I enjoyed a quiet evening, and got a good night’s rest. Both are experiences I enjoy. I miss my traveling partner. I smile thinking of him, looking forward to the next time we’re together.

Where

Where will life’s journey take me?

Yesterday I was in a lot of pain. Today less so. The reduction in pain makes everything seem easier. Yesterday I couldn’t bend low to empty the dishwasher. Small things. I feel eager to hit the trail, this morning and realize that I’ve made my decision about the day, without being aware that I had; I’m already distracted from writing, from making my list, from drinking my coffee – even distracted from the outrage engine working tirelessly to get my attention on The Next Terrible Thing. I’m plotting my journey, staring intently at a map unfolded in my lap… keyboard, blog post, world…all but forgotten.

It's a good day to walk on.

It’s a good day to walk on.

I think today I’ll head for the trees. 🙂