A Full Moon and Mortality

It is a time of sadness. I am sleeping deeply with the comfort of my habitual sadness blanket wrapping me alone. I am a mummy in my bed, the cold air cracking in my window strokes my face.

meditation on Christmas
The Ice full moon burns cold in the empty sky and next door my neighbours have colored lights strung on every branch in their yard. They are unafraid of child wonder excess in their unfenced territory.
I have a single ornament swinging from the hook meant to cradle newspapers. The gold star is all that I have left from what I threw out when I changed my life.
Under the fat moon the snow was blue, last night, and sequined. But I could not capture my reality with my camera as I stood there. It would not read whether I stood or crouched.
Reaching out. Not reaching out. All the same, my ego tells me. I am a vessel sink and the memories pass through me like water carried away somewhere I cannot know. The seven families that I have passed through are present at Christmas.

Just now, I lack the fire to excite myself. Teaching myself patience day by day, I sit meditation and feel into my thoughts like breath, like water passing in and through me.
I watch the desire for the perfect self appear and pass away.
And I listen to my ego chastising me for the errors that I insist upon repeating.
I wrestle with the desire not to wrestle with my thoughts and simply drop my eyes to feel so much grief for being human. The grief of yearning for more than I could possibly hold in my own two fists is singing to me.
The mind keeps making list maps to glory.

 
I watch and endure the waiting for the end of waiting. I think of the magnificent sparkler moments when I just burst into the light an ecstasy moment of love.
I am sitting waiting for passion to carry me out of this frozen time, to carry me above the rigidness of anger. I endure the invasions of barbarian thoughts destroying everything in their path.

We create the self. We go beyond the self
I work on myself learning how to accommodate the chaos of being alive in a body in this time, at this time, marked by the franking of my sex, my family, my culture, my identification.

The only untainted goal is to be between restless desires for a split moment and let the tears like water flow from me, flow through me to clarify my vision so that I maybe present when I am called upon to love.
I sit and watch the invasions of my barbarian thoughts and forgive myself for being merely and so magnificently human.

Can Confusion Be Delightful?

I like a paper map. I like holding it in my hands. I like folding it up and putting it away when I have achieved the arrival. When it is open and I admit I am lost, I can get my bearings from all possible surrounding landforms, highways, rivers and adjacent topographies.

When I travel, I am frequently lost and it is challenging. To a person who decided in grade 9 what career she would pursue the fluky unforseen is a source of anxiety.

On Monday I sit and create my weekly calendar. I lay out what I think are necessary social interactions because I take them like my cod liver oil, as a preventative measure. I assess what days are best for working out with my weights. Walking is penciled in for aerobics. I establish what the major project is that I need to focus upon and carefully allot time for that goal.

At the present time, it is the book I am writing about my Alternate Reality trip to Europe. I am thinking of calling it Blood on the Street. Walking in my ancestor’s steps and experiencing the death of 90 people in Paris was not a vacation.

The difficulty I experience when things seem chaotic is that I sink down into a sense that I am, somehow, not up to the challenge. I know it is an old story. I know it is a left over narrative.

My new life since I have grown up, does not include being late, shuffling along in an unprepared state, showing up with no idea of what I am meant to do.

However, I sabotage my intentions. The walk never happens. It is too cold, or too wet, or too hot, or too gray or without purpose. I have learned that simply to walk somewhere without a purpose is as unlikely to happen as me suddenly liking sports. That is just a giant fail.

The concept of using up my resources keeps me in a tight little spinning circle. I become a spinning top… around and around.

My intention this week was to work on my book and I did well for four days and then…. I got sick.

Now my focus shifted to the battle between blame/resistance and selfcare/ submission. My mind always goes to the same questions. “Why did you get sick? When did you lower your energy and allow viruses to get in? What is wrong with your body, your spirit, your immune system, your habits?”

It is an interrogation but does not shift from good cop to bad cop. It is all bad cop.

A weak voice will be saying as background to the sound track , “You are building immunity to a new virus. That is good. You are working with your immune system to grow stronger.”

But it is a hardly discernible voice.

The project that I agreed to do entailed learning software and a new site. I spend over twelve hours trying to to navigate various software tools without success. I attempted for over 10 hours to load a video onto a new site without success. I was clenched. The failures piled upon one another as the deadline got closer. But I kept at it.

It is as if I am sailing along in a boat and think it is fine… then the wind shifts and I see there are gigantic tears in the sail.

And so I became frustrated and bent over and focused on all of the areas that I had no skill. My time line fell apart. My good intention calendar dropped its pages like a 1930’s movie graphic.

Godzilla had walked through my beautifully architected city and flattened it. And then I got sick.

I am confused as to why so many things did not work. I am confused as to why I can set up a beautifully designed calendar map unfolded to plot out the road of my week and yet I end up somewhere else.

There is so much destruction and reformation in life.

 

Growth: Keep Page Open

Growth: Keep Page Open

But one gift that has been brought to me after what I interpret as an abysmally unsuccessful week, is that I see exactly which signs I was not reading. I understand where I am going off the road. And that what my confusion is about.

Setting intention is only partially effective. Sometimes going up the wrong road all the way to the flat landing place that shows you the entire stretch of the landscape means chaos and acknowledging that you were on or took the wrong road.

The delight in the confusion is the light in the chaos. The seduction of side projects, working to pick up small checks, moving my focus from one thing to another is not working for me now nor has it ever worked. What is it I am passionately headed toward?

That is all that needs to happen now. Leave the flirtations behind.

There is so much that I hide from myself. Perhaps, this week of chaos is just an opportunity to truly get the party started. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

January: Stop Dicking Around

The snow fell. Fat fluffy flakes like a kid’s Gif. The trees were outlined white against a white/gray sky. The hills were draped in tulle clouds. It was quiet. The world was insulated against sound.

For three days a “snow on eyelashes” kind of magic surrounded us. And then it began to melt.

Because I lived in the North for nine years, I felt the urgency of changing the armature. I knew the melt and freeze was inevitable. I did not want to have an ice fort blocking in my car. I did not want to have a slide trough of ice leading to my front door.

So for every day I shovelled for an hour.

It is such an opening up when it snows. Like having a wet cloth on the face, the colder temperatures. And the neighbours reappear from their hot air caves. As I cleared the sidewalk, my neighbour came over and helped me. I went on to clear the next sidewalk where the couple is busy managing four children and, frankly, life.

The tree heavy with snow.

The tree heavy with snow.

The guy next door and I then went on to clear the walkway of my sister/friend (24 years and counting) who had put something out in the backish, hippish, thighish region. Usually she is so alert that she shovels the snow while it is still in the air.

Usually she is so thorough that not one patch of ice is ever found on her sidewalk.

And so I waved at the woman across the street with a little boy. I saw them getting out of the car and he is bigger. Since this summer he has entered another stage with another name to it: Baby to Toddler.

The pressure cooker of expectations and demands that we call a celebration has passed. Christmas is over. The snow comes almost as a “letting down” of tension, of the weather of gray pasty skies.

And the mind asks, “What now?”

Now is shovelling snow. Now is watching squirrels run along the tree branch highway. Now is seeing the stark outlines of the nest the crows built this summer in my 50 year old Maple tree.

It is time to establish new habits. It is time to align with new intentions. It is time to stop distracting, soothing, repeating unsuccessful habits.

As I stand in my front yard with my daffodil yellow snow shovel in my hand I say to myself, “It is time to stop dicking around at life.”

 

Stop Dicking Around

Stop Dicking Around

What is now is whatever you did in the past to bring it in.
Breathe and create. Clear the path. Make sure your vehicle can move. Don’t allow yourself to be blocked in, captured by the past.
Keep asking, “What now.”

Summer Bright

The thing about summer is I always wait for it during all the long, gray preceding months and then one day while I am bending over the spring flowers, putting in new seeds and weeding the snake like vines slithering between the strawberries, it hits.

 

bare foot gardening

Living in the Okanagan means that it hits at 38 degrees celsius. Living in the Okanagan means it explodes through the windows after days of over cast semi-light and flirtatious temperatures. “Hi, there,” the day says, with its 20 degrees followed by a manic wind storm, bolting off the sky with dark clouds and monsoons.

It toys and coys and ploys with us, the weather. And then it blasts us stupid. It was 42 on my deck today. I spent most of it with my face turned side ways on my bed, dog sweating from my tongue. I think I either slept or hallucinated for a good two hours. There is an entirely separate brain wave patterning for that heat zapped coma.

 

Turning the fan on is just an annoyance because that entails readjusting the stream over several hours.

The first night of heat I did not get to sleep until 3 am. The fan was always off target. It was too high and passed innocuously over my bed. Then it was cooling the space under my bed doing nothing more than making aesthetic choreographies with dust motes.

 

I identify with this response to heat

I identify with this response to heat

My friend and I decided to go for a walk at 5 pm because surely by all that is rational it would have cooled down by then. The cement buildings and sidewalks were just beginning to off gas stored up heat. It was rather like being dropped onto an Urban barbeque. I turned to her as she said, “Maybe we could just walk up a few blocks to a coffee shop?” Her forehead was a glistening water fall of sweat. Her eyes looked a bit dazed and she was leaning to the right away from the building’s blast as she walked.

The day that I decide I can’t take it any more is when I turn on the Paddle Wheel sound of the wall shaker air conditioner. The room throbs a bit but if I turn my body just right, a cool stream of air blows the sweat off of me into the room somewhere. That is a good feeling. It is the season I have so longed for.

 

Georgia O Keefe Rose1

And then the beauty of blossoms begins again.

DIY is it an Illusion?

Embracing the Power Dragon

Embracing the Power Dragon

This last month there have been so many lessons learned. When Pay Pal made a deposit to my account twice and then had to remove a payment, I flipped the anxiety switch off. Like a current of negative electricity that threatened to run through my mind, the story started to play. Flip the switch.

open draw

My thoughts immediately went to a statement which I had read in a library book, Zen and the Art of Falling in Love by Dr. Brenda Shoshanna.

She asked the question, “What is the host and what is the guest.” It was simply put. It got through to me. Is a feeling of being at home, loved, supported and respected the host in my house of emotions? Or is the sense of lack, scarcity, vulnerability the host? Are moments of sorrow, grief, anger, numbness the elements that take up most of my mental floor space? Or do these emotions just visit for a while to a place that is more fulsome and joyous?

So $600 that I had not expected to flow out of my account would leave. First, I said to myself, “That was never your money. You are glad to pay back that which is not yours.” Secondly, I went into my practice of asking, “What are you supposed to learn?”

Going to that place lead me to understand more fully how my relationship with money is less than adult. Do I know how much is in my account as if I were an adult? Am I anticipating payments that must come out such as my house insurance which I had “forgotten” about?

So much of managing my money has been about deprivation because that is what I have become an expert at living. My parents worked four jobs yet when we went shopping my mother would visit every store on both sides of the Columbia river to see what items were cheapest. When she died she still had every receipt for each and every item she had purchased since 1960.

I was in graduate school for an extended period of time and lived with no heat and little money. My way of living has always been as a poor student. With over 2,000 books, I moved from one boarding house to another. The thrift stores provided me with clothing and household items. Each time my life fell apart it cost me thousands of dollars and I had to begin again.

So being cold, underfed and wearing thrift clothing became a sign of competence. It meant I could live within the constraints of my pay check. But this month, I was once again directed in a more powerful mind set. What if you took your assets and managed them more mindfully to allow plenty to flow in?

I went to the bank and sat down with the investment banker. I was reassured that my understanding of the world economy was accurate. I do have two years before inflation will begin. I have two years to pay down my “reverse dowry” line of credit obligation taken out to buy my freedom.

I felt actual fear as I took the money out of the self directed account to allow the bank to manage it. But the jar of coins under the bed attitude was not serving me. The wrap up in a blanket and keep the lights off mentality was not serving me.

It is against my very cautious nature to go out and buy expensive items just to feel powerful. Today, I replaced the stove element on the second hand simple appliance all by myself. It cost $37 and it worked. But I have the heat up and bought some lovely food items on sale.

centered

centered

It is walking that territory between fear and delusion that is the trick.

I am so proud of myself for the head way (and don’t you just love that word!) that I have made. For the first time since my divorce, I have begun to eat breakfast sitting at the breakfast table. I went through the double financial lessons of house insurance payment and having to pay back $600 without drama. It was a lesson and I took the homework with me to the bank. I called a handy woman to repair the tiles that have not worked properly in the bathroom.

Only quietly, like a whisper down a well, was I hearing the anxious beasty voice telling me I would shrivel and die dehydrated and starved. And as I was watching my mind, I could see that I did not have what I call “push back” on the ego voice. I just left it whimpering in the well.

surrounded by blessings

surrounded by blessings

The other wonderful awakening has come through using the tests for the seeds of intention that I found in the book E2. The first test is to ask the universe for an unexpected/unusual gift. The test was for 48 hours. I noticed my negative, ego voice growing louder and louder. “It is 40 hours now and nothing.” “It is 42 hours now and nothing.”

At 46 hours a friend came to my house with five CD’s some by Liquid Mind. I had heard of the artist and thought I wanted to check him out. And now I am standing with his works in my hand. People bought me coffee, Three polka dotted zipper bags showed up in my mail. An old friend left me with a big bottle of Lavender oil she had crafted from her garden.

So what my lessons have all pointed to this month is a sense that I am using the skills I have worked toward. I have been able in the moment of an event to shut off the negative current, to get down into the structure of the thing and ask, “What am I supposed to learn?”

The biggest realization for me has been that it is not about solving problems. It is about developing technique. I was on the tennis team in high school and spent hours hitting balls that were coming at me fast. Some I had to hit back handed. Some I had to smoothly connect with on the forehand side. Some bounced wildly and the ability to calm the ball down with the surface of my racquet and then send it with intention was necessary.

I understand now that that is exactly what is happening. Balls are coming at you. Lessons are coming at you. They will not stop. Hitting one does not mean there will never be another. It is a deluded mind that thinks, “I will solve this problem in order to solve all problems forever.”

IMG_5978

The light came on for me. It is about the skill. Am I standing with my feet balanced holding the centre? Are my hands relaxed? Is my mind calm and alert? As things come toward me, there is no place for negative emotion. As I watch myself, I understand that over time, with intention and patience I am building skills.

How did I reach this place where peace, joy and gratitude are the hosts and lower energies are the guest? It is because of my coaches, because of those who have taught me in books, on you tube. It is because of my friends who have moved forward to live more authentically and fully. It is because of my spirits, angels, guides surrounding me.

I eat at the table. I repair those things which need to be repaired. I watch my financial situation with a more alert eye. I am not a Do It Yourselfer. I have been taught with loving wisdom. I am growing to trust myself and others more fully for the first time in my life. Now where is that screw driver?

Dave with the Diamond, The Language of Love

As the baking heat of summer abates, I walk along the waterfront. The experience is so much like the last sip of mango juice, the last kiss of a loved one, the fragrance of the remaining rose standing singular on the stretching branch. Knowing that it is drawing to a close makes me open up my senses all the more.

I think to myself, “Soon you will not see the loose, relaxed bodies of family tribes strolling with a shared rhythm. Soon the skin, arms and legs will be hidden away for winter like putting away seasonal clothing, these exposed limbs. Soon the evening air will not be perfumed by the release of fragrant flowers like a retelling of the narrative of the heat soaked day.”

Sunset City Park

Sunset City Park

It is in the denouement or in the anticipation that we most awaken to our own lives. Studies have show the point of greatest happiness is when an individual is working toward a goal. Olympic athletes report a loss of joy at the end of an event, even if they have garnered a prize.

Quo Vadis losing the way

Quo Vadis losing the way

The ability to be awake to my own life is and has been my focus for several years. How do I stay in a place of contentment even as the seasons change, through the trajectory of plans, effort and achievement? How do I allow emotions, deep grieving memories like forest monsters be recognized and acknowledged? Can I remain aware of what I hold in my body and of what I hold in the grinding fine mill of my brain?

Feel, release. Listen, release.

When I wake up the dreams are tangled around me like dark sheets. For decades I would have nightmares about being killed. The residual fear of my father coming in my room would be presented to me in dreams. My subconscious would be saying, ” Deal with this. Feel this.”

For decades I would awaken sobbing with my heart already shattered.

Through my vision quests; through my sitting at the feet of Shamans, teachers; through my listening to broadcasts from life coaches; through my reading DIY reconstruct your life books I have come to a place where there is an opening.

My eyes unclench at the start of day. I am encased in sadness like a gray, smudging cloud and then I move to gratitude. I put my hand on my heart and thank it for being so committed to staying alive. My heart has kept me here. I thank my heart for being so open and child like. The spirit I am wants to be in love, to share love, to be innocent and expectant. “Thank you, heart,” I say.

Seeing the love

Seeing the love

I lay my warm hand on the place where I held cancer. The place where I have growths removed every five years and I say, “You are healthy. You are fully alive. You live in freedom. You are beautiful. Thank you body.”

As I swing my feet over the edge of the bed, I envision jumping off of the edge of a ledge into the day.

“What kind of a day will you have?” I ask myself.

“Any kind of day you create,” I answer.

“Oh great. Then, it will be wonderful and full of love.”

How do I know my focused study is working? Because there are times when I do not hear a dozen crows and fifteen monkies all chattering in my mind at once.

How do I know my dedication to feeling and healing is effective?

As I walked along the boardwalk a little boy under the age of two was being pushed in his stroller by his parents. He was wearing a wonderful, expensive fedora. I did not smile at him. I did not stop and make faces at him.

I only thought, “Dude. I see your spirit. You are one rocking dude.” He broke into a smile and put his hand up to high five me. His parents stopped, looked at him. They looked at me and were puzzled. And then we all laughed.

I went to the bank and behind the counter was an attractive, thin, very stylish new bank clerk. His name tag said: Dave.

“Dave,” I said, “are you new here?”

“No,” he responded, ” I usually work in another bank.”

I thought how much I liked him daring to be so trim so stylish so unmundane. And then I saw the gigantic engagement ring on his left hand.

“Oh,” I said, “aren’t you the lucky one.”

“I know,” he said, ” and it isn’t because of the ring.”

We smiled together about his love, his claiming who he is in the world, my recognizing how wonderful he was. We just stood smiling together.

As I walked down the street, I saw a car enwrapped in love. On the windshield were two generous bouquets of gladiiolas. An aluminum heart balloon saying, “I love you,” was on the windshield. And balloons, balloons so pink and plasticy were floating from all of the wiper blades.

t I love you ballon

I am so grateful when I see the bravery of love. I am so lifted up when I see two people kiss on a street corner, exchanging tenderness. My heart sings when a baby waves at me.

t power feet

The nightmare world of helplessness, having my bones broken and my spirit invaded are giving way. These days I step out into a world of surprising, magical moments of love. Thank you Dave for wearing your diamond and sparkling bright.

It is not a new season. It will not slip away like summer. It is where I plant my feet. Now.

My thoughts still attach to the narrative trajectory… anticipation, tension, release but I am thankful that I can be aware of what is appearing on my “reality screen.” And sometimes, I can even switch the channel.

Fully Now. Fully Here

The question of when will I no longer be in a quantum blur often occurs to me. Like the field of energy around an object, I float, I pulsate.

Every Atom Belonging to Me as Good Belongs to You

Every Atom Belonging to Me as Good Belongs to You

My physic professor explained to the class that a table was not solid and rigid but was in fact constantly changing its shape. I was excited and thrilled to learn. I walked out of class looking at the clouds, at the trees and hillsides knowing I was incorrect in my perceptions. This moment was the first time that I had substantiation for my sense that the three dimensional universe was like a movie set. Facades. Ghost town. Structures build by the Scene crew.

Lately, I have been noticing some major shifts in my life. As I address the issues of flow, I have become more solid. Throwing out, giving away objects I no longer wish to cling to is creating a thick, downy feeling of peace surrounding me.

To be still is to grow

To be still is to grow

I feel driven. I feel like I am being on purpose to sort my jewellery, to throw out past income taxes, to dispose of past prescriptions. Linens which are worn, rings which were never worn all go.

And in the process I am bringing myself into a sharper focus. As I discard memorabilia for my 18 year marriage, I am grateful for the feelings that come up. Like a person checking a wrist which was broken to see if there is any residual damage, I find that I feel nothing but relief and gratitude for no longer being in the deep pain and sadness of that interaction.

Energy Management

Energy Management

So I release objects, I release memories, I put papers in order. My eye is looking around in my environment to see what else I am merely clinging to in order to make myself feel somehow impenetrable, secure, immortal.

Sitting on my freshly sanded and painted deck on a new chair at a new table under a new umbrella I see my blackberries are ripening. I hear the birds in the large Oriental richness tapestry of the 50 year old Maple tree.

I have siliconed the cracks in the water falling surfaces of the house built in 1946; refinished table tops; diamond coated the heavy traffic floor but most of all I have brought myself into the present. My eye is looking for what I can repair, discard, be done with. My eye is looking for what I am done with.

The surprising result is that along with working out consistently, I am feeling stronger. I am feeling that there are more possibilities. I am feeling that I can change the shape of my “destiny”.

Wearing my heart on my chest.

Wearing my heart on my chest.

I have an estimate coming in. This beautiful bungalow that houses me has one wall essentially uninsulated and a kitchen floor that I have been holding down in place with the yearly coat of appliance paint. That area of the house will be upgraded with a new sealed wall and a newly laid floor.

Yes my caution with money for three years has allowed me to pay down a fragment of the large debt my collapsed marriage created. However, in order to go forward, I have chosen to go forward.

I will finish the house. I will continue to get the physical world around me in order. And as I do, I feel stronger, quieter and more full of possibility.

I am not anchoring my Self by my attention to the material world. My spirit is starting to see that I am not living “around” myself. I am not tied by tendrils of objects, paperwork, photographs, jewellery, documents to an association which is done. The past is the past. And now. Well now is about caring for my body, my house, my finances, my family, my friendships. Out of these strong roots a new shape is growing.

Societal projection androgenous manikin and real self

Societal projection androgenous manikin and real self

I don’t know yet what it is and my mind does not go there. Because I do not want to live as a shimmering ghost energy in my life with the past, the present and the future all exchanging places in my mind. I know my body is “all over the place” according to quantum physics and that I am actually living all times at once. I accept that and it is kind of exciting.

The point of power, however, is in the present as I am now perceiving it. And the awareness that I am training my mind, working with my body to create a clarity leads me out of the chaos of too muchness which is where I was choosing to live.

It seems so counter intuitive that the more I release, the more rich my life becomes. It goes against the siren song that our culture teaches us. Even the homeless push carts full of plush toys, car parts, shining objects around with them.

I am enjoying the exploring. I am enjoying the travel in the orbit around myself without the space debris obstructing my journey.

And now. Now I feel full of possibility. For the first time in three years, I am no longer feeling like a patient in recovery. There is something just around the corner, and there is now. The breeze blowing on my back, grapes ripening on the vines in my yard, people coming into my house and saying, “This is an angel house.” There is now. Gratitude for all my lessons.

new growth, tender leaves

new growth, tender leaves

The illusion of Stillness

Mundane, repetitive, stuck, cycling gray
bare cutting into the sky
branches dividing the flat planes.

Over two yards a tree
is busy with dead small leaves
standing texturing the view somewhat.
I seek continuity of
over and over the same
gestures, habits of delusion.
Mind full of thought crows
brassing sounds
comparisons, directions
attempts to keep me scared
and small.

One day looks like the next
a river’s flat silver surface
all turbulence underneath
where water meets the rocks.

To be still, quiet and accepting of one state or another is a monumental practice. My urge to weave a story keeps presenting itself. Today after a month of taking my laundry to the laundromat because some mysterious parts are no longer functioning in my second hand washing machine I see my mind is at work. Up there, in the tree head I weave narratives.

We create turbulence

The higher place is where I try to stand. I call it the balcony view. I picture myself standing on a balcony looking down at my thoughts as if I were a cultural anthropologist and the primitive society was ME.
As I bagged up the laundry, I checked in. So far so good. No story. Just putting the bags in the car. Then I remembered the times when I was in Europe doing laundry and as a grad student. So here was the version I was constructing: I was on an adventure. I was going to a new place.

At the laundromat, I realized I had no soap. That made me laugh. It had been so long I guess I imagined the soap just trickled down like pixie dust from the soap fairy.

When I went next door to the deli/grocery store, a sample pushing woman approached me in her pseudo maid’s outfit lofting a silver tray. After exchanging information about my gluten intolerance, she ran off to check on the two miniature hamburger shaped chocolate eclairs. They were “safe”. She gave me both.

On the way back to the laundromat, I breathed deeply, looked at the sky and thought about how wonderful my day was. Two amazingly delicious, sugar saturated chocolate eclairs melted in my mouth one after the other. The machines were gigantic and tipped on their sides could be a power smart car. Fast. They were done in 20 minutes. I put the wet clothes in the car and drove home singing to the Glee CD I am determined to wear out.

So I did create a story. It was a story of finding the adventure in the flat places of winter. It was a story of seeing my being alone as being free. It was a story of unexpected pleasure when I dropped the turbid drama weavings, the cat’s cradle of catastrophe.

The washer still isn’t working. The repair men went away but after looking at the back of my dryer they explained that the luke warm hours of turning are a result of bad venting. Because they came today, I will have both the washer problem and the dryer problem resolved.

As I sit here with the tepid light coming in my window, I know that there are more things that will appear to be unrepaired, too slow, stultified which are in fact only incubating. Under the shell, under the soil there is growth going on. And that is a story that I allow to dance in my head.

Distant and Dealing

I have not posted for six weeks. The sense of making each day count has been the driving motivation for me lately. After reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, I made a chart for my refrigerator. On the chart are those things which are most supportive of my well being, in other words the care of my body.

At the top of the list is drinking water. From all that I have read, getting enough water can offer immense support for the “plant.” Inflammation is a response which must be avoided. Inflammation damages the body, creates stress and can lead to a cancer response. Drinking enough water also keeps the body from signaling “hungry, hungry,” when in fact it is dehydrated. Toxins are also carried through with water. Honoponopono practice which is traditional Hawaiian spiritual practice has as its core drinking water. A blue bottle is placed in the sun (try that in the Okanagan winter). As the sun goes through the water, it is believed it activates it to heal. The thought that the practitioner is supposed to hold is that all past “scripts” are washing through the body. What happened to me when I was two or twenty or sixty is now flushed out. Now. That brings to you now. Without a story, a bag of past grievances slung over the shoulder. Just you, the ground, the breath and the flow of water washing through the body.
Sleep is the next item on my chart. Getting eight hours sleep can pull down the inflammation response very efficiently. When the body is rested, it feels strong and calm. The daily attacks: bills, broken appliances, family disasters, angry people are inevitable. But if the body feels strong and rested, a person is in a more capable state. Solutions are easier to discover. I also find that it is easier for me to not attach to the difficulty with an emotional state that strangely enough usually outlasts the problem. So often in the past I start to out run the tiger long after it has retreated to the dark forest again. The sound of my own hyperventilation and pounding anxiety would accompany me long after the threat had passed.
And friends are extremely important. In scientific experiments of people under stress, it was discovered that their telemeres shorted. These are the “shoelace” like tips of DNA strands. The longer they are, the longer your life span. Stress will shorter the telemeres whose job it is to repair cellular damage. So women under stress raising handi-capped children who formed into a support group had a slowing down of the telemere damage and in some cases actual repair to the repair kit.
My goal is to make contact with old friends or to meet new friends every day. As with all activities, it becomes easier the longer I do it. At first, going through the door after my long retreat was like breaking through one of those aluminum foil barriers on a jar… only it was over the door. One evening I went out just because I didn’t feel like going on.
These simple items top my list on my happiness project chart. Another part of the process, is to realize that it is a process. When I misstep or don’t have an X to put in the box, I realize that I am changing myself for the better. I celebrate that and treat myself with compassion because I am my friend as well. Right?

Cultural Community

Tonight I went to two events. The first was a group of people interested in working on their presence in the world through retreats, conferences and reading. The second was a group gathered together by UBC-O’s creative studies department to learn which individuals were to be awarded the top three places by guest judge Annabell Lyons. http://annabellyon.blogspot.com/
It was a joyous, relaxed evening.
At the first event, I met three people formally that I had passed in my life. We shared many experiences. One used to own a book store where I was selling art work on commission. Another taught dance in the building where I had my studio. A third was a close friend of a friend. It is interesting to see where connections can lead. It is why my daughter keeps telling me to go out the door. Staying home in my diaphanous Emily Dickens reclusiveness is not moving me on from this stuck place in my life.

Original photograph of a piece of string on the floor

At the short story competition announcement, I got to hear readings from four writer’s works. It was varied, skilled and interesting work. I had the audacity to take flyers of my poetry anthology which is for sale on LuLu and handed them out to four people. It took guts. I felt very hesitant but know that I have to start getting behind my talent if I want to make money from the work I am doing. My anthology is 36 pages of poetry written over the last year and posted to facebook.

http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/facing-it-2010-to-2011-poetry-posted-on-facebook/15105587
My hopes are that the process of advertising my work becomes easier and more natural for me. Finding a gallery, an agent, a way to run the work I have been doing for thirty years up to a point where it begins to create it’s own energy is what will happen if I keep working to that goal.
I am going to a retreat in Victoria for the last week in March and really happy about having some time away. Life has been very lonely and quiet. Shows are coming up: Myths and Legends opens Saturday night at 273 Bernard; Digital Art show in Vernon t.b.a.; Sopa Under 8 in April. Currently, I have a show at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall which is a wonderful space to show art.

Plans to attend the Permaculture group meeting for tomorrow night are flying around in my head. I also feel like getting out to see a movie or go to Chapters. I have been disciplined this week working on art, cleaning the house, feeding my blog. Tomorrow, I need to prepare for my course at UBC-O Continuing Studies teaching Grammar Lite. Being back in the classroom is always a rush for me. I love to react to what it is my students need. Teaching, for me, is not about feeding a baby. Open the door. Here it comes. Neither is it like teaching steps in a dance routine. People need to know what they are ready to learn. I guess the really challenging aspect of teaching is being able to deal with four or five levels at the same time. It is a challenge; however, it is a thrill to walk out of a room knowing that you have awakened confidence and curiosity in your students. I love it.

I am thinking that it is time to go through all of the boxes of ballast I have in the shed. Clothing, books and fabrics can be freed, reorganized and utilized to create some revue for me. What I am not wearing, I must sell. The separation settlement left me in a position whereby I must start doing things to dig myself out. Listening to Tony Robbins was inspiring yesterday. Tomorrow I will sit down and brain storm 200 methods of bringing in prosperity to deal with the giant debt I had to take on to be free. Now I will find a way to be free of the weight of this debt.

Recently, I created two book jackets for a client who is a poet. I also created a banner for his web site. I worked images as far as I could in Gimp then I finally broke down and downloaded a free trial of Photoshop. Some of the images I created from playing with photoshop were interesting. I am missing my Flaming Pear, Eye Candy and Painter filters that went bye bye with the multiple crashes on my computer during my dark and disheveled days this last year. My creativity is coming back and the feeling of anticipation for what will be is like the pink shoots in my flower bed. Promising.

chocolate enclosure