Archives for posts with tag: what is real?

I woke a bit early this morning, still smiling from the lovely evening spent with my Traveling Partner last night. I’ll probably be smiling for days, unless something entirely different knocks the smile off my face at some point. Hot coffee, headphones on, great playlist, smiling… this is a beautiful moment, as I start my day, still warm from a leisurely hot shower, still comfortable after my morning yoga… did I mention I’m still smiling?

What we see is often determined by what we’re looking at – and how we feel.

This moment is delightful. It’s still just a moment. Mindfulness is only part of this peculiar puzzle that is my journey from surviving to thriving; perspective matters every bit as much, I think. Take that lovely blue sky moment shot yesterday, pictured above, for example. It’s not an entirely frank image… I zoomed in on a small bit of blue sky, and some tree tops at the edge of a parking lot, downtown, near the waterfront, surrounded by concrete overpasses, framed in traffic, asphalt, and homeless people. I grabbed that sliver of beauty and blew it way out of proportion. I think I do that often, even without a camera. It’s also possible to do that in quite the reverse (and exceedingly common), zooming in on the suffering, the unpleasantness, the litter, the damage, the pain, the violence… life has a lot to offer, and it isn’t all pleasant happy fun stuff.

Still

How we view the world, how we experience our own lives, does have to do with our perspective on it. We filter our experience through our perspective. We give the details context, even going as far as making up, or filling in, missing narrative.

Still

Don’t miss out on the fun of life, or it’s whimsy!

We have choices, even about what to look at, and how to see it. Those choices matter, too. Balance matters. Perspective matters. Being “real” matters – and it matters how we define “being real”.

I don’t have anything super useful here, I’m just saying… perspective is a thing, and it’s useful to have some. Moments are moments, pleasant and unpleasant, and there will be some. šŸ™‚ Taken together those ideas don’t stop life (and moments) from being rather like a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle which has pieces that are all shades of gray, and each piece uniquely shaped. Assembling such a thing into something that is ordered seems complicated. I don’t actually know if it is complicated…

…I’m just going to dump the pieces out of the box, and get started on this puzzle. šŸ˜‰

I woke from a nightmare this morning, one that doesn’t actually belong to me. I put the material in my brain myself. I knew going into it that there was some risk, too. I still chose to binge watch a terrifically (in the literal sense) dramatic and emotionally provocative television show, Ā hanging out with my traveling partner. I had a great time, it was a fun weekend experience to share. I still woke from a nightmare this morning. I’ll get past the insidious thing in due course, but it has me wondering…if this sort of thing affects me profoundly, how many people just wandering around are similarly powerfully affected by things that ‘don’t actually belong to them’, and suffering greatly over it?

Well, sure, you say that, but...

Well, sure, you say that, but…

In this instance, the nightmare was simply that in all the world each and every single person in all languages spoken could be counted upon to be utterly duplicitous, deceitful, not only looking out for their own interests exclusively – but not necessary with good awareness of what served them best, nor what the circumstancesĀ truly are. Liars. Cutthroats. Thieves. Worse. And me – living as authentically as the world will allow, without reservation, without hesitation… without defense. Oh. Shit. That didn’t feel safe or likely to have a good outcome at all. I woke trembling and nauseous, and fearful of my safety. It was weird to feel it so intensely, and to be also clearly aware it wasn’t really anything to do with me ‘in real life’.

I got up for the morning, and allowed the nightmare content to linger in my thoughts… sometimesĀ that ‘compare/contrast’ inner dialogue makes a nightmare seem more ludicrous, surreal, less ‘real’ – undermining the seemingly ‘valid points’. In this case, this morning, that wasn’t the experienceĀ at all. It was a huge mistake, and the aftermath of the nightmare wasĀ far worse than the dream was itself. I’m easily able to recall being lied to, or misled, even by people very dear to me. (No doubt some of them have had similar moments with me.) Sometimes with good intentionsĀ – like ‘white lies’ sometimes used with the intent of kindness, for example – still lies. Other times for less innocent purposesĀ – like omitting details to convey a different impression, still easily definable as willful deceptions. There are, too, grander machinations – real gaslighting – even in the context of loving or familial relationships; I’ve endured some myself, watched others from the sideline. For a moment, humanity seems pretty fantastically vile, as my awareness of the hurts, and the lies, and the manipulationĀ starts piling up…the television images of violence conflate with my own experiences, and I feel… something complicated…something primitive… something more like fear as it builds, and anger as it diminishes. I’m okay right now. The big take away? Be more careful with binge watching television; no content is worth a visit to the nightmare city. šŸ™‚

"The Nightmare City" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas w/glow

“The Nightmare City” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow

The morning started early. My partner and I are both up with the dawn. He asks me how I slept. I tell him. He chides me for the quantity of words so early in the morning. I still had my nightmare in my thoughts. We’ve both just awakened. I take my coffee and my bleak outlook in the studio, and give us both a shot at a pleasant morning, once we’re actually awake.

It was a lovely weekend to share. The time together well-spent relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. No stress. No drama. Just people who love each other hanging out together, and sharing life’s journey without having to take up arms. Quite a contrast from television. šŸ™‚

So…now it’s a whole new week. A new adventure. Where will it take me? Will I meet an exciting stranger? Will I learn discover the truth? Will I find my fortune? Will adventure catch me unawares? Life isn’t usually so dramatic, frankly – unless I invest imagination, assumptions, expectations, and a hearty helping of attachment in it, and then pursue chaos with ferocity, and reactivity. I think I’ll pass. Television shows are not usually written about contentment and living beautifully – low ratings – but this says nothing about whether these are worthy qualities in life, they are perhaps the most worthy characteristics on which to build my life. I’m only saying that because I find it pleasant to be content, and to live beautifully…and I’d find it less pleasant by far to be constantly worried about betrayal, violence, and lies. šŸ™‚

IMAG6952

Today is a good day to enjoy life’s most mundane pleasures: a good coffee, a lovely sunrise, a smile from a friend, a hug, a kiss, laughter, loving with all my heart regardless whether it is reciprocated – because love feels good. Today is good day to live – well, and deliberately, and eyes open. Some people may indeed be playing a diminished ‘Game of Thrones’ in their every day lives…but it doesn’t have to be me. šŸ™‚