Saturday, May 27, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors









I've been thinking a lot about "selflessness" lately.
And I've come to the conclusion that, 
to me anyway, 
it does not mean becoming bland, or silent, or the same, or nothing. 
I guess to me I see being selfless as just seeing yourself and others and the natural world as interconnected and ever changing with courage. 
Recognizing yourself and everything and everyone else trying, learning, coming, going, dying, hurting, asking, walking, breathing, listening, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, unkempt, vibrant and endless 
just means you start to see less and less space between you and all of it.

Selflessness is just 
a lessening of the distance.

I guess I've been trying to lessen the distance by asking questions instead of assuming. 
Because I don't think assuming is incredibly helpful.

So I have been asking questions. 
And asking questions and truly listening and trying to understand has turned out to be magical.

In a perfect world the asking of questions can unveil things.
They can help disillusion and correct your vision to some degree.

Clarity and closeness and courage.

However, the world is broken to some degree. 
(Possibly)
There is a twist in it. 
(Possibly)
But in anycase we naturally all see it differently.

So you may receive false answers to questions honestly asked.
You may speak the familiar language but the ciphers are different.
You may honestly answer questions and find they fail to translate correctly.
You may speak as truthfully as you know how to but find out later you were under informed.
You may act with good intentions but fail.
You may truly care but cling too tightly.
You may truly care but grasp to lightly.
You may be somewhere and elsewhere all at once.
Your mind may breathe and sit in open fields while your hands make coffee drinks. 
You can be with someone only to find they are not with you.


And that's where Grace comes in. 
I use that word because it's my word 
for the beautiful life that is.
 Just because.
It is the giver and the taker.
The balancer.
It is a forgiver and a teacher. 
The change and constancy.
It is the breathing life.


But I suppose an important component to loving and forgiving and the seeing with clarity more easily this world is also the loving and forgiving and the searching and the asking of yourself. 
A finding of peace regardless and forgiving yourself 
 For all the questions you never got or thought to ask.
For all the questions you were to afraid to ask.
For even the times you had no idea how to ask. 
For all the answers you gave with such certainty only to find that later they changed. 
For all the time it took.
For all the time you didn't take.
To watch the fluidity of you mirrored in another and seeing the rippling people pass through your rippling. 
And know that even though you don't know if it will all be alright in the end or not
 but trying not to let that uncertainty harden you or let your fears harm your chances of living fully .
The grace in
Taking care but also 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Will and Grace




It is the choosing.
And the options.
(But how will I know what to do?)

It is dropping things.
 And picking things up.
(But, wait-)

It is sitting in the shade.
And squinting into the sunlight.
(So what happens if I open my eyes wider?)

It is the burden
And the bearer.
(But how will I know which is which?)

It is a funny remark 
And the sad truth behind it.
(Then how will I know when to laugh?)

It is the asking
And the listening.
(But what questions do I ask?)

It is the building up
And the wearing down
(What will happen when I get worn out?)

It is the holding.
And the letting go.
(But, what if-)

It is the circle 
And the line.
(Then how will I know where to start?)

It is the trying.
 Just because.
(But how can I be sure?)

Music:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stranger Thinks




A few months ago I was finally ready to crawl all the way into the hole I'd been preparing for a long time. But I only made it halfway. 
I may have been technically alive but in every other way I was, what I can really only describe as, done. 
And I didn't even want to try to get out of it because I had found a measure of peace in that level of detachment. 

But lately I've had some wonderful opportunities to get to know a few people in my life and have really amazing conversations and have made some really kind and honest connections. And there is also a profound peace in that too. 
I've been dancing a lot.  I've been hanging out more with my friends, I've been visiting some new places and going on adventures.
I've been exploring what I might want to do with my life. 
I'm not going to lie. 
That last one still wrecks me sometimes. 
I think it is just because I forget that I just have to make a choice and move forward and let things unfold and adapt accordingly. But for some reason those decisions can feel like monsters in my chest. But I'm managing to quiet them by remembering:
A) That hypothetical pitfalls are not the same as real pitfalls. 
B) That I'll never truly be stuck. 
C) To chill the fuck out. 
D) To hug my dog.
E) To eat cold cereal and read a book. FOR FUN. (I know. I'm a fucking menace.)

Because, I mean, a lot of life can sort of feel like this:


#conflicted.

I've also realized that while I take responsibility for who I am, who I was, and who I am becoming and the choices I have made, and make, and will make I've been helped by the most amazing and kind people along the way when my choices have not worked out as planned. And I am so grateful. And I can only hope that I communicate that gratitude in someway whether it be saying words or giving back in some measure.
I've been finding a lot of joy in being a woman and being human. I've been loving being amongst  women and men and honest and kind humans who inspire me with their courageous vulnerability. 

I've seen and felt a bit of what self-loathing can do. I've seen glimpses of how much pain loved ones in my life are in. I've seen guilt rip people's minds apart. I've seen it devour their sense of self-worth and have also seen it help them make changes in their life.  I have seen anxiety crush them at times. And I know I'm not immune to those feelings either. 
But I think those things can heal. 
Maybe not all the way. 
Maybe not all at once. 
Maybe not all the time. 
Maybe not forever.
But healing can happen.


I just wish they could see and know how good they are. How enough they are. They are not deficient or worthless or trapped. They are big, bright souls that I am so grateful to know. 
I'm surrounded by people who grant me the grace of time and patience even when they are dealing with their own turbulent lives. 

I can offer love, listening, dad jokes and dog memes. 
But often times I find I don't have anything to say in response to their words. 
Because sometimes there are no words that can help.
Or the only words I can think to say seem insufficient. 
But my heart explodes and a hug or standing really close to someone or some other form of appropriate physical affection is all I can give to express that sometimes.

I'm a human. I make coffee drinks for a living. I dance around my house a lot when I'm home alone. I drink too much coffee. I read fantasy novels and books about mindfulness and giggle at weird things sometimes.
My life is wild. I know. 

In any case, I'm waking up again. And it's warm outside.

Music Stuff:
Nobody Speak: DJ Shadow Feat. Run the Jewels
Tsar B: Escalate
Louis the Child: It's Strange


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Homedogs

I'm home sweet home now.
A few people have asked me how it's been going.

I was a bit nervous to come back.
 I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up socially with the times and people I care about. 
But I am doing alright actually. 
I think.

Granted I'm usually nervous that I'm going to be an awkward idiot or seem disinterested simply because I don't want to pry but I also don't want to look too interested to the point of weirdness.



I'm worried I'll ask the wrong questions or say something seemingly off topic but the connection to the current topic makes sense to me etc. (therefore, once again, appearing disinterested and distractible)


Or I just end up talking about my dog Ezra a lot. 
Because he is cute. 
And better with people than I am. 



Or, 
what if I have something on my face?



Or what if I revert to a neutral topic by inserting an equally generic phrase into the middle of an awkward pause and ruin everything?



 And while it is entirely plausible that I can be both awkward and an idiot, that I might have something on my face, that I ask the wrong questions or inadvertently started a fan club for my dog, 
it is irrational to think that it matters much since very few people put any amount of thought into reminiscing over past conversations with gentle acquaintances. 



So I don't know why I worry so much over it.


Overall,
I am so grateful for my pup Ezra and his unconditional love for me though.
We go on walks, play fetch, take selfies, eat too much peanut butter, read, watch Gilmore Girls and cuddle.

 At the end of the day I can sometimes (often times) come home feeling like I've totally failed at life and that my communication skills that day were entirely sub-par and I feel an odd filmy sort of dirty from being at work and I smell weird and I'm tired and stressing out about things I said or didn't say etc.
my Ezra is a bub and a half and greets me with unfeigned excitement and love and he just lets me love him with my whole heart and it's so simple and kind and transparent and whole. 




And I love being back at Augie's and being able to see my friends regularly :)



I know I over think my social exchanges far too much. 
I know I go in to them with broken intuition, good intentions and absolutely hilarious pun jokes.
I know it doesn't matter.
To be honest, there is an immeasurable amount of comfort in knowing I'm not significant or needed or essential etc.
 I do not carry the world on my shoulders even if it sometimes feels like it.


But I am loved by some anyway.
And I love others anyway as well.
And that's pretty neat.





Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Much Ado About Nothin'




If there is anything I have learned in my life, it is †hat I know nothing, because I don't know everything.
It is very hard to look out at a world you only want to make better and safer but knowing you will add your share of pain to it as well.
It's painful to know that with life and the world the way it is I can only ever, if I'm lucky, do more good than harm in this world, even though I don't want to harm it at all.

I don't truly understand anything fully but I know that  
everything is connected somehow.
And I know good intentions are not enough.
But I also know that fear is death.
Just because I don't understand this world and the people in it or my place in it etc. doesn't mean that I shouldn't still try to be truly kind.
To Listen.
To See.
So I will keep trying to do the best I can in the best way I know how.
Even if it's two steps forward and one step back.
It may seem like slow going, but that's alright.
I'll keep trying to do more good than harm in my life anyway.
And maybe that's a thing close to hope.



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Life Lessens



When I first got to Michigan I started to freak out a bit about the geographical isolation. 
And how "little" there was to do. 
Now I'm done freaking out. 
It's actually really nice not being surrounded by anything except trees and a horde of wild turkeys.
And the rain is magical.
I've spent more than one grey, rainy day huddled on the couch in my PJ's  reading (or watching Teen Wolf) with a mug of coffee or tea and my dog curled up next to me.

Also, I have realized that living alone is actually something I really enjoy.
More than enjoy. 
LOVE.
Not because I dislike people.
But because, for the most part, I can have a vibrant and productive work and social life, be out and about, talk to people, travel etc. and know that when I go home it will be just me and quiet and my dog. 
(And of course having a bit of land to plant a garden and sit outside with Ezra while he insists on being his over-large lap-dog self and drooling all over me.)
And I'm still a twenty something who doesn't plan on settling down and having children anytime soon so living alone seems plausible and totally amazing. 
Seriously, home is my jam. 
And I've realized my solitude is deeply, deeply needed.
More than I can express really.

In other news:

Watermelon is delicious here.
*Correction: All the fresh produce here is insanely delicious.

Also, I've learned that any coffee can taste palatable with enough almond milk in it and if consumed at high speeds.
Also I have realized I love Tai Chi.
Also yoga doesn't feel like a slow and agonizing stretch of a mind-numbingly boring death anymore.
(Every time I do yoga though my dog is pretty sure I'm dying so he comes over and puts his big head under my arms and pushes me up and pats me with his feet until I assure him I'm alive.)
Needless to say he is not a fan of this "yoga." 
However, his "downward dog" is phenomenal.
 He's a natural.
(Ti Chi just seems to confuse him. But he is kind enough to pretend not to notice my hapless flailing about in my hopeless attempt at being gracefully Chi-full.)
(Often all I'm thinking about when I do Tai Chi is if I would be an Airbender or a Waterbender. I'm partial to Airbending. I can be flighty.)

I also have fallen back into the habit of reading insane amounts.
And I am SO happy about it.
I finally feel like I am remembering what it feels like to not be so distractable.
Consequently, I have managed to find a (two-story) Barnes and Noble. (Yeah. I know.)
And, consequently, I still managed to spend too much money there.

Fun Facts:

Also, while reading, I finally discovered how far a "league" is distance wise.
It's four miles.
So then I suddenly realized,



" Holy shit. That means Eomer and his warrior buddies and their noble steeds could have been somewhere around 1200 miles from Helms Deep when Gandalf went to find them. Which makes it even more impressive that they arrived there on the first light of the fifth day." 



#gandalfthebadass


I also have been listening to a mythology podcast and found out:
 Hercules was a real jerk,
Flying Buddha's can be goblins in disguise,
Hera has a weird sense of justice,
 Don't trust jealous Centaurs that offer you their blood-soaked cloaks,
Being a boulder can be cooler than being the sun (obviously),
And that King Arthur's brother Kay was not actually all that bad.
Also, apparently King Arthur was still beardless at, like, 22 and all the other guys wanted to dethrone him because of it.
 (Never mind that he, you know, pulled a magical Human-Hacker from a big stone. And then flirted with some scaley wench in a pond for another fancy Apple-Peeler. #youbettarecognize)

Also, did you know Pavlov actually removed the salivary glands from inside his dogs mouths and sewed them, instead, on the outside of their cheeks so gathering their saliva was easier? 
Yikes.

  I randomly sink into the notion of dropping off the face of the world, erasing all my social media and living with my dog in the woods and growing stuff and playing the cello and drawing plants and learning medicinal uses for said plants and raising animals.
However, the peace I find in connecting with other human beings in small and meaningful ways is too profound to give up entirely.
Balance, I guess.

All of this to say that one of my best friend gave me some tough love that I really needed and helped me snap out of a funk.
So I've been adventuring again.
And that adventure has looked like, drinking hot tea, hanging with my dog and family, going to Barnes and Noble, trying coffee shops, reading a ton, running, watching Teen Wolf and Mr. Robot, learning a bunch, loving Lord of the Rings and totally sucking at the whole drawing thing. 
And I've been realizing that whatever I do in the future I need to incorporate a lot more alone-time than I was a few months ago.  And to also stop apologizing for needing my alone time.

I thought there was less to do here.
Turns out there are just less distractions.
So now I'm going to try to learn how to be far less distractible even in places with copious amounts of stimuli all around.
Oh boy.


Tunes:
Doe Paoro: The Wind ( AWESOME Music video)
Vancouver Sleep Clinic: Lung
Memoirs of a Geisha: Sayer's Theme
Ólafur Arnalds - Þú Ert Jörðin

Monday, August 29, 2016

Michigan Impossible

As you might know, I'm taking a bit of a break in Michigan.


So I've been trying to keep a low profile.


But I think they know I'm just another awkward selfie-taking 20 something.


Oh yeah,
I live next to a place called "Knotty Pines."


Oh good. 
I live next to a forest with behavioral issues.


Also,
It seems to rain here whenever I decide to go on a walk.


Just kidding.
It's like this.



So what is there to do in The-Middle-of-Nowhere-Michigan you ask?

Well,

I get crawled on by at least one bug,


 Then I make a considerable effort to keep up with the times. 



I've even been attempting to walk on the treadmill while watching Netflix.


Then, 


Even stacking wood and rocks can be fun if you're desperate enough.


But eventually, 


Now, I love the quiet but when I am in the nearest town trying to remember how to say words to other people things can get a little dicey.


So I've had to learn to improvise.


I eventually get my point across and they hand me a coffee.


But it could be worse.


Moral of this story?