Summer no beach

So arrest me, already. I went to the beach which is a 20 minute walk away one time this summer and I almost immediately regretted it.
The water was churned up by the flopping of bodies. The sand was searing. Mating rituals involving the showing of skin, the flexing of arms, the tossing of hair were enacted everywhere.

 

no beach

no beach

Mothers hobbled by little wagons, backpacks, carry bags were limping either toward or away from the radiant heated beach trying to set up what looked amazingly like a nomad’s village of plastic toys.
The only element that I found uplifting were the line of toddlers marking the tide line. They were intent on learning. Physics of dropping objects, trajectories, weight, force fascinated them. They are trying to understand the rules on the planet. They are intent, absorbed and innocent.
I thought about reading my ever present book; however, the sound of radios, family members screaming to one another important messages just created too much background static.
I sat for a while on the benches next to others wearing hats, long sleeved shirts who looked like the very beach toys that were so laboriously lugged to the water. Only we were all a little deflated. We were slightly hunched over in the 38 degree Celsius heat magnified by the sand and water.
I could barely hear my imprinting ego say, “But this is fun.”
“Oh just shut-up,” I thought.
I gathered my book, towel and sweated my way back to the car.
I have learned physics. There is no way I am going to seduce a mate to appear while posing in my bathing suit. And I just want to read my book.

Picking Threads

I am systematically working on building new habits. Researchers have said that we are nothing more than a bundle of habits.

patterns

 

We believe ourselves to be this face, this body, this story, this history, this actor, this receiver, this age, this cohort, this tapestry of threads woven into our energy field. We believe ourselves to be conscious and operating from the Executive decision function section of the frontal lobe.

All brain studies point to this assumption as flawed.
We are in the thrall of habit mind. If 95% of what we are telling ourselves throughout the day is simply old drama that is recalculating and interpreting current data, then it is no real surprise that the movie, the plot we are enacting is the same story. However,  this time the narrative is in a different setting. We are the same being only this time wearing as a costume a slightly altered body.
Did I mention, I am systematically working on building new habits.

 
I have a notebook. I have set up a grid. I am checking off squares.
What this does is it releases me from the interpretive dance of what is or could or would or should or will or did happen. The Loie Fuller scarf dance of swooping justifications, lyrical rationalizations, slight of eye, feign of hand, performances of inner dialogue music that normally occur.
I either check off the square or I don’t.

20100815_260
I admire my ego self. It is so stalwart.

I hover my pen over a square saying, “Well I did walk around in the mall. That is exercise.” The creativity is admirable. The translation is not unlike that on Babble Fish. In one field I put the words and in the other a strange, otherworldly version appears. Breathing is exercise. Napping is physical. Sitting and reading about exercise is working toward my goals. Shopping for an exercise outfit is focus on that desired outcome. Right. Right? Right!
How I untangle the threads is with alertness. I have set up my reticular activation system to recognize successes. I have checked off doing weight for three days in a row because I do not have a vague goal of “exercise”. My goals are specific habits which I am entraining: yoga, weight lifting, and walking for no purpose.
Walking for no purpose gets rid of the “automatic out,” that ego tries to create. Mowing the lawn is walking. But it is not walking unleashed from a secondary goal. I cannot ingrain a habit without the recognition of the very habit which I am constructing.
That way lies madness. Or strange babblefish translations of ego talk.
I could be “burning calories” by eating with an incredibly heavy fork that I need to place 500 yards away and run back and forth to take that satisfying chomp of food.
All I have done is entrain eating.
Oh, the ego monster is sooo tricky.
For now, I am happy with my list. I am pleased when I put down a check mark and I stay in a place wherein I know who I will effortlessly be after a three month focus on building those particular habits.
Because, it ain’t magic. It ain’t a tragedy. It ain’t a heroic struggle to climb out of an awakening volcanic cone to the tiny pin light of the surface.
I am just a bundle of habits.
Did you follow my thread?

Negative Space

During my morning meditation, it came to me how so much of my existence has been about “available” space. I fit into the places between, at the edges. When I move through a crowd, it has been my habit to squeeze into openings successfully avoiding touching, or pushing against anyone.

 
As I sat in another absolutely abysmal presentation recently, I felt words building up in my mouth moving from my mind to my throat and clamped so that they fell castrated onto my tongue.

“No, No, No,” my head was saying. There is no content. There is no stimulating new information. Yet all sat quietly as if something were going on. As if there were life in the room.

 
I envisioned a hard shelled bug that stays small in order not to be seen, not to be in danger. Self discipline has been my method of growth.
Occupying negative space, hiding in plain sight, gagging on my own thoughts, apologetically moving through only those corridors of available space creates entropy. My fear of discovery, of chastisement, of punishment, of being found out. Found out in the open. Found.

 
Lady bug
Lady bug
fly to the sky
Your wings are the fire
with the songs of desire.

 
The child in me. The child in me wants to be disruptive,
spectacular. I want to climb all over the boundaries as if they were not restrictions but rather structures for challenging myself.
Perthaps, there is nothing to fear in just making space for everything I am.

july 19 12

Perhaps there is no essential flaw but only space and sky and passion.

To Learn by Going Where We Have to Go.

The crows have built a magnificent nest in the long arms high up in my Maple tree. They have instinct, skill and whatever evolutionary magic is on their side.

As I struggle with the sticks of new skills, the structure I am building called “marketing” and “presence” is so much less compact and architectural. At times, I feel as if my head empties out. I learn how to record on Garage Band, change the file to an MP4, load it into IMovie and then… and then…

The next time I attempt it, my voice has so much reverb I am an opera diva soloist. The track sounds like I have a 500 pound barrel body with words careening off of intestines and ribs.

What also fell out of my head or perhaps is just not aligned electronically is the method of paying my PST for my art work. Then there is getting insurance on my art hanging in a local bnb. So far it is two days and multiple phone calls.

I think to myself that it must be some Zen Koan life. When I am dealing with electronics or institutional authority, I must first fall to my knees in humility and work through waves of frustration. Eventually, it will work. Eventually, I will learn it.

Maybe, one day the path will arise to meet my feet instead of being hidden in dense under brush.

What I have been learning is how to market my work. The first task is to allow people to see what I have created. So my store on the Redbubble site found at http://www.redbubble.com/people/covitch is being featured on my facebook page, on twitter, on linked in and every time I go out for a walk, I wear the leggins.

 

My Maple tree in winter wrapped around my legs

My Maple tree in winter wrapped around my legs

At the present time, I have a list of nine things that I am trying to learn. They are in a scrawled and numbered column on my neon orange index card.

I look like the crow when it sits watching me from its perch. I have my head to the side, blinking my eyes black with ignorance. I can feel the sharp beak of curiosity trying to figure out the way in, the way out, the best way to grasp that shining bit of knowledge and fly away. I can take it back to my nest of a mind where I now “own it.”

It is a process. It is all process.

Senior moment in Kelowna

Red swirl done this summer

Red swirl done this summer

As I am turning 65 tomorrow, I have spent the week uncharacteristically. I got a manicure with candy apple red nail polish which turned out to be a very bad job. It is the fourth in my life and I was loathe to go in and get another one until the proper 15 years had elapsed. I had my teeth bleached today to a lovely lighter shade of yellow-gray. Instead of going to work, I went shopping and bought six tee shirts for $80. I am having tea with not one friend on one occasion but with two friends on two occasions. This week I have had three naps because turning older can be exhausting… and perhaps starting work at 9 am and working until 9 pm might be a contributing factor. I walked past a spider web. My to do list has remained in the dark crevices of my purse and my mind. We have gone to bed early and watched the comedy network on computer

art work layered as backdrop

art work layered as backdrop

and laughed.

One of our town councilors who has had recurrent cancer died Monday. I think about the close calls and am so thankful that I am still here to see my grand daughters, to be a friend, to enjoy the partnership with my husband, to become a better person. To have died at 38, 52, 55, 57 (from hemorrhaging almost 1/2 of the blood from my body, from cancer, an horrendous car accident, or from a live electrical line hitting our car would have meant that I would have come back as a chicken or a turtle or something perhaps.

Rhane, Dominique, Teagan, Cherie, Alexandra

Rhane, Dominique, Teagan, Cherie, Alexandra

I am only now starting to get “it”. I am only now starting to see that I am only starting to see. I am grateful for all of my teachers and all of my lessons. And like a piece of leather in the jaws of an Inuit woman from history, I have become softer with age and stretchier. I have been chewed on by time.
Planning to see a plastic surgeon soon about another eye lift…. So I can see without the flap of skin in the way.

Blessings.

Coalition Government, Stephen Harper Master Strategist

Stephen Harper: Master Strategist

URL: http://www.rickmercer.com/blog/index.cfm/2008/12/3/Stephen-Harper–Master-Strategist
Okay we just might as well admit it and get it over with. Stephen Harper is a genius.

Here we are faced with a global economic crisis. Nations all over the world are struggling to figure out how to protect their citizens — who are terrified. We’ve seen unheard of cooperation between political rivals all over the industrialized world.

But not in Canada. Not with Stephen Harper. Not on his watch. No my friends, he has one goal and one goal only and it has nothing to do with governing: how can he use this crisis to destroy the opposition?

And wouldn’t you know, he almost did it.

Stephen Harper decided Canada doesn’t need a stimulus package; all we needed to do was cancel the subsidy that political parties get.

Which would have saved the government about $26-million. That’s about the same amount Harper spends on bodyguards every year when he visits danger zones like Thunder Bay or Nunavut.

But the real upside for Harper, of course, is that the entire opposition would have been crippled or destroyed. It gives me great faith to know that as our economy crumbles Harper is on the case trying to come up with new an innovative ways to cutback the Green Party’s office budget and bankrupt the Liberals. And then the world will be a better place.

Maybe he has a point. Maybe that’s why Canada keeps refusing to give the man a majority. It’s not because he’s a mean little man obsessed with revenge, but because we just have too many choices. We go to the voting booth and get confused. Like that first trip to Baskin Robbins.

Maybe we’d all just be better off if Conservative was the only flavour on the menu.

Well we almost found out. Because if Stephen Harper got his way on this, democracy would have changed forever. And not a single citizen will have gotten to vote on the matter.