Friday, December 19, 2014

Youth to Wise

inspired by a post from Lissa Rivero Sanders
Dedicated to all the wise women & men who offered their teachings, whether or not I accepted.

Dear Wise:

Wise, it is true,
we rush to take our place.
We oft forget to hold the space
for beauty.

Wise, it appears
we are cold and hard as steel,
And we speak but do not feel

We can't wait to dance away.
  We will always come back to hear you.

Wise, it does seem
that as we strive and fret
We rush courtesy and forget
our kindness.

As we find our path
through the changes of each day,
It is easy to dismiss the way
it's always been.

We are a little envious because we know
  we are building on the foundation you have created.

Trust us, as we trust you.
Believe, and we'll come through.
For it is your world too,
While you are here. 

We will let you go grudgingly.

And through the cycles of life,
through the dance of time and space,
The bridge we build together will always be a place
Of love and honor.
Patience and Kindness.

Integrity and Strength.

i hope you have a great day!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Enlightenment is Awesome - Crap! It's my Turn

I just had lunch with a friend who's been out of state for many years.

Of course, there is the adage that good friends can just regain communication as if no time is passed.  And that felt true.  Which has its benefits and its downfalls, especially if you've both been practicing new habits, new modes of expression.

And of course, there is the "new" judgment classifications I have been learning - acceptance is easy.

But now there is the added layer of "what sort of energy exchange is there?"  Do we share similar enough perceptions, similar realities?  How will time spent with her feed me? 

These are especially important questions for me, after all this transformation, and claiming of self, and choosing how I'll release my gifts, and choosing who I want to hang out with.  Balancing my new needs with the complete joy of spending time with someone I have treasured for many years.

Happily, as I have been growing and expanding, so has she.  There is still language to learn and, of course, differing perceptions, but the broad dreams, the world shaping desires, the manifestation of reality, is similar enough, in alignment, resonation, that we will be walking side by side for a long while yet.   Yay!

Then, as I was driving home, basking in that strange happiness & pride one feels when a friend is still awesome, I realized something.  Okay, something I knew already, but this lunch kind of crystalized it.  Solidified it.  Helped me see it wasn't just me, but was, is, as I am learning, US.

I have looked at the way education is being treated, heard (despite my efforts) of the atrocities being committed, come to think that maybe the children of the 21st century hardly have time for childhood.  And I have thought, oh man, these are the people who will be running the country.

And maybe someday they will be.  But  not before I and mine have a go at it.

Speaking personally, I wouldn't claim adulthood for myself until I was 33 years old.  21 may have meant legal adulthood, but it took many years of practice for me to feel confident, free, and rooted enough in myself to make decisions for myself.  It took another 10 years of practice to bolster that confidence, to define my morals and my personal beliefs and my responsibilities.  And further, what I expect from others.

And now, now it's time to express that, to claim that, to see what parts of my country, my world are able and willing to stand up, to stand together, as strong and confident individuals who accept each other and allow no one, not even the government we've supposedly elected, to bully us.

We are not the 12th district; we are none of the districts, to meekly offer up our dreams and our wills just to retain an unhappy existence for the physical body.

We are not bought and paid for.

And we are not children, to be told what to do, to hide from experience and responsibility and the alien-ness of those around us.

We are individuals, with emotions and free will.  We are all unique and awesome, and we are taking back our power.

We are the next generation - those of us reaching our prime, mature enough to have enjoyed 20 years of choices, flexible enough to still see a better future.  A melding of realities.  A celebration of personhood, where the person is an actual living, breathing, human being.  'Cuz when it comes right down to it, even corporations, even governments, even local businesses, hospitals, countries; even this world is simply a grouping of many individuals.  There is the energy and the  memory of those who have lived and died before us, but mostly, there is just now.  And us.

So I accept.  I accept the job of creating a glorious tomorrow, in my own way, with my own dreams, my practiced will, my sacred honor.  I accept the responsibility of being the best me, the strongest me, the most awesome me, unbowed and unbullied.  I accept all those who stand,  working hard for their reality.

I know the people who are the "kids these days."  And I want to hand them a strong foundation to work from, an awesome, expansive, inclusive, caretaking example for them to follow.

But more, I want to create a happy world for me.  Cuz I'm still here.  So it's still my turn.

It's my turn.  It's our turn.  I accept.

Do you?

I hope you have a great day!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

If you're like me, you have a sister.

If you're like me, when people post sappy stuff about sisters, and how they're best friends forever, you just kind of roll your eyes and scroll on.  Cuz you know that the word "Frienemies" was made for sisters.  Possibly even the word "nemesis".

If you're like me, you realize there's no other woman who was there - who knows what you mean when you relate back to childhood training and experiences that have shaped your current existence. 

If you're like me, you can hurt each other like no one else, simply because these shared experiences lead you to expect shared language.  But your sister has her own points of view, and perceptions, and experiences, and dreams that are totally different from yours.  And if you're like me, you have no idea how 2 people raised in the same household could be so…  not even opposite…  unaligned. 

If you're like me,  you are connected so deeply to your sister, you feel safe enough to ignore her for months on end, 'cause you each have to work through current experiences your own way.  And yeah, you're grateful when you need to reach out, 'cause you know she'll reach back, eventually.

And that it's reciprocal.

'Cause if you're like me, you love your sister deeper than the mountains and higher than your desired level of income.

I hope you have a great day!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Failing Asleep

If you're like me, sometime it's tough to fall asleep.

I don't think it's the full blown insomnia that some people have.  It doesn't happen every night, or even consistently enough to be a PROBLEM.  But it does happen, and it is frustrating.

And I'm not talking about the nights you just stay up, playing your games, reading your book, while you tell yourself you really should be in bed.  Ha.  If you're like me, you've cut back on your reading because of that tendency.

No, the most frustrating nights (if you're like me) are the nights when you know you're tired.  The nights you go to bed early.  The nights you've flung yourself on the bed before finishing your nightly routine, and you drag yourself back up again because you MUST finish.  And then, when you finally get snuggled in all proper and ready, the brain kicks into high gear and you don't sleep.

Well, you feel like you don't sleep.  If you're like  me, it is possible you slip into a doze in between bouts of intense wakefulness.  You don't realize you've been asleep, so all you're aware of is the wakefulness.  Is the wanting to be asleep.  Is the "Oh my Gods, why can't I be asleep?  I want the warm cozy snuggly feeling of just waking up, of drifting on dreams, not this cold, isolated, left out feeling of aching restless body & over active, repetitious, mind.  Shut up shut up shut up!"

So, if you're like me, you've developed some ways to deal with it.

Here are my two favorites.  The first is a tool to replace the repetitious thoughts or scenarios which run around and around in the head.  There is a track, I swear, which seems to enjoy repeating things!  (Maybe it's the learning track, because that is one way I learn - by doing the same thing over and over again until I get it right.)  So, when I want to sleep, I occupy that track with something familiar & monotonous - the alphabet song.

I like to sing it without a pause between letters, so I finish the alphabet before I finish the tune.  This gives my puzzle loving brain something to concentrate on, while still being monotonous enough to be lulled into sleep. 

If this doesn't work, and sometime it doesn't,  I move onto step two - the countdown.  I start at 100 and count  to 1.  Simple and easy.

This has many benefits.  If you're like me, the countdown is associated with meditation, and that means relaxation.  So as you countdown, your body starts releasing.  You may be amazed at which muscles have been tensed in the effort to MAKE yourself fall asleep.  (My buttocks and upper thighs are big favorites for sneaky tension.)

The other benefit is the monotony.  You have to really concentrate.  It's so easy to get distracted from the countdown: By the wandering thoughts.  By the relaxation.  By the alphabet sneaking back in.  And often by that little rebellious child who will insist on falling asleep when you're trying to stay awake and count. 

I rarely make it to 1.  When I do make it to 1, I get out of bed, and go to another room.  I read a chapter, play a video games, or do some work for an hour.  Then I go back to bed and try again.

But I have to make it to 1.  If I realize I've stopped somewhere, or I'm not sure what number comes next, I have to start over.  At 100.  And count down all the way to 1, clearly, concisely, consciously.  I have to make it to 1.

Just last night, I was ready to bound out of bed when I realized I had stopped at 9.  I hadn't actually made it to 1.

I had to start all over. 

I never made it to 70.

Sleep rocks.

I hope you have a great night!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Soapbox of Perception - Chemistry of Tears

this was written in January, 2013 - for myself, after my mom died.  I posted it on my website, before that website was here *g*, so you may have already read it. But given the season (Sawhain!), and the fact I like to reread this from time to time, I decided to post it again. - L

When someone we love dies, most humans express their emotions with tears.  Even if the death is a healing; even if we believe in a next life that is better, we cry.  The tears roil up out of some mysterious pit and head straight for the eyes.  Then they spread to the nose, the throat. A sound often emerges.  The body shakes.  The head aches.

We rarely get to control when we cry.  Sometimes we can control how much noise we make, whether it’s a few artistic tears or a flood.  Often, we can clench our teeth against the dying animal sounds.  The headache we can do little about.

But why do we cry?  Why does the emotional wave wash over us?  Why does the stomach clench and the breath hitch and the nose run?

Here is today’s theory, specifically related to death.

We create connections with each other, with family and friends and teachers and clients.  We form energetic bonds with many other beings.  Thus, when we think of said being, we reach out energetically, with heart or soul or mind or psychic field or what have you, and touch quickly upon that being.

When a being is alive, she is bound by the physical nature of the body, the limitations of the rules placed by time and space.  So when we think of the being, the energetic touch reveals information we are able to translate easily, even if we don’t know we’re doing it.

But when a being dies, her self is released from the physical form.  The soul or heart or consciousness or what have you becomes an energetic body.  This body, this state of being in whatever afterlife, is a body unbound.  It is a body that can experience, encompass, embrace, expand into a whole new existence.  An existence with which we, as bound humans, have little experience.

So when we think upon the being who is dead, we reach out energetically, with heart or soul or mind or psychic field or what have you, and we touch upon the awesomeness that is heaven or the universe or the cosmic mind or... or... or...  We touch upon the beauty we have no words for, the emotions we have no ability to feel, the richness that is overwhelming.  And we cry.  We cry from the wonder of it.  We cry from the shock of it.  We cry because we cannot experience the fullness of that existence.  We cry in fear and sorrow and wonder and desire and envy and anger and bewildered acceptance because that is how the human body releases the overflow of emotions.  When we are full physically, we belch.  When we are full emotionally, we cry.

So reach out to the beings who are no longer in this physical existence. Touch the other side, fel the connection and the wonder.  And let the tears fall.

I hope you have a wonderful memory!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Positive Purpose Restored

For to submit a story, one must have a proposal;
And to create a proposal, one must know her market & genre;
And to know her market & genre, one must research;
And to research, one MUST go to the library or even the bookstore.
For WORK. Haha!
I hope you have a great day too!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just Meandering

Hi!  Guess what?!  I'm still here!  Yay!!!!!

And I have high hopes for future production.  I have started being serious - okay, serious is the wrong word.  Perhaps, intensive.  I have started being intensive about my productivity.  Which requires not only knowing what I want to get done, but figuring out how I do it.  I have written many posts about this, I simply haven't actually posted them all yet.  (It's on the list!  *G*.)

Happily, as we round the corner to Fall and the Harvest, I can feel all the pieces coming together.  I can feel the practice settling in; and the habits I WANT to form, the habits that make me happy, are claiming their places.

There is, of course, a lot of work to do.  After all, the goal is productivity, right?  And a few things to finalize (like my latest book, YAY!).  And often, just when I think I have a handle on my preferences, my body introduces something new, or my husband's schedule changes, or it snows.  Or Zynga puts kittens on Castleville Legend.  (Yeah, I have been practicing being productive BEFORE earning kittens.  Yay me, again.)

So, we're still working on the pattern.  But it's obvious posting makes me happy, cuz I keep coming back to it.  Even if I'm being sporadic about it right now.  Sometimes, when practicing production, one ends up focusing on the things which are new, until they are soft and pliable and fit well into the tapestry of...  
...woof, lost that metaphor.  Talk about meandering.

So, I hope to see you again soon.  Or, more accurately, I hope you will see me again soon.

I hope your harvest is coming in even more lush and abundant than you expected.

And I hope you have a great day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Morning Song

(inspired by Tweet from @TanyaHuff)

Countin' dead frogs on the side of the road @ 7 o'clock in the morning.
The tarmac is crunching under my sneakers, the passing cars honk out a warning.
or is it a greeting they're tooting at me, as we share this moment in time.
The cool, crisp air: falling leaves, blowing hair;
Are the frog bodies a sign?

Oh, the year of the frog.
we change as we grow, or we die
Oh, the year of the frog.
On strong legs we leap for the sky
some may see us as slimy
some classify us as spry
we hail each other as beautiful, wondrous.

I think I just ate a fly.

I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Enlightenment is Awesome - Tell me what I want!

In the last few days of this wonderful transitional time, the song that has most often played through my head is by the Spice Girls.

But, I tend to change the words.

"So, tell me what I want...
Yeah, tell me what I want...
I really really really wanna...."

And I pause hopefully, waiting for some melodious voice to fill in the answer.

It never does, because what I want won't fit into so few bars of music.

I wanna read, write, sing, speak several languages fluently, travel all over the world, stay curled up at home, have a really cool job in a big company, be a spiritual counselor in my own store, bake cake and eat it.  I wanna ride horses, have dogs and cats and bees and birds and squirrels and wolves and white tigers.  I wanna dive into warm water, swim in mountain lakes, drive fast cars, drive cars fast (tee hee), take the light rail to work, walk to work, work from home, meditate all day long, dance half the day away, play the music loud, sit in silence.  I wanna hang out with friends, with family, have coffee in small groups and give large parties.  Oh yes, and I wanna play videos games, bake bread, sew skirts, crochet scarves, read the runes, reconcile bank statements, file books, meet authors, go to pagan festivals, attend CONS, grow flowers, have an assistant, study theology and philosophy and psychology and archeology, live on a boat, live on a farm, live in a commune, have a townhome exactly where my apartment is located, have all the money I'll ever need, not need to have money.  I wanna walk through the wildflowers on a snow covered mountain  next to the beach.  With a unicorn.  And Wesley Crusher from Next Gen.

In short, I want it all!  And given the way we've "tamed" the time/space continuum, that would take many life-times.  

So the question becomes not only, what do I want now?  Not even, what do I need now?  But, what, in a year from now, will I still be happy I've done?

And it appears going back to school for anything! is not currently in my plans.  I can daydream about studying Theology in Wales (and wouldn't that be AWESOME?  There's even a course where it's taught in Welsh!)   Also out is getting an accounting degree and going into forensic accounting - the ultimate puzzle job, in my opinion.  They would both be interesting and very involved careers, but...  all that time and energy, I would rather spend with friends, and husband, and family, and pets.  And nature and spirits, books and video games.  Oh yes, and music.

So, that's two things put on the "next life" list.  Or possibly a previous one.  Only 553 thousands more things to choose from.

I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Not Really a Housewife

I like doing laundry.  I admit it.   I like sorting the colors.  If I had the time, space, and money I'd probably sort by material also.  I care about which laundry detergent I use and which dryer sheets.  I like the folding and the hanging and the putting away in neat stacks.

I do not iron.

I like vacuuming and sweeping.  Seeing the piles of dirt and the bits getting sucked away brings me happiness.  I even move things, and try to get under things.  I strive to do a good job, even when I thought I was just going to do a "quick turn".

I don't like mopping.  Or scrubbing.  I don't do windows.  I will do walls about once every two or three years.  Dusting only happens when we're rearranging the furniture.

I don't HATE to cook 'cause, you know, food.  Yum!  But given my druthers, I don't want to cook.  And I sometimes resent cooking for others.     

I think I like sewing.  I know I like crocheting. 

I don't remember to water the plants.

I don't consider myself a housewife.  I don't care enough about the overall home atmosphere.  And I am a "modern" woman, so I automatically have a shudder effect with the word "housewife".  It's a trained reaction which I hope to undo someday, for I admire people who can make a cozy place for others.  I admire caretakers - mostly from the viewpoint of one who is being cared for, true, but the admiration is sincere. 

Regardless, when I disdain dusting, I do it with pride.

But sometimes, my inner housewife comes out, puts on her "do-rag" and grabs her laundry basket.  And she's pretty proud about that too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Enlightenment is Awesome - Teach me Again!

Ah, trusting oneself.  Practicing what one preaches.  Grasping onto the lifeline of happiness when one is amid the whirlwind of decision making.

Yup, Lila got sucked into the future vortex again and quit practicing a lot of stuff.  A lot of stuff.  Okay, that's not true.  I practiced.  I simply practiced less well than I would have liked.

So is she going to rant and rail against herself, spending precious moments berating herself and focusing on what she did wrong?  Not intentionally.  She's going to…  I am going to write about it instead.

The tenets that have been popping up in the last few days are these:
  We teach that which we most need to learn.
 Treat myself as I would treat others.

This has now become three posts in one, really.  Three different topics to focus on.  Or 4 or 12.  But we'll just focus on today (tenet #3) and write what I need to write.  We'll figure the rest out later.

I have been in a tizzy of non-decision making and over-eating and pain.  And who knows which comes first?  But (#4) does the why really matter?  Not in this case.

I have thousands of ideas running around inside my head.  Some are for writing, but some are for the future of my business, or the future of myself, or the possible future of the world.  All of which, by the way, could become writing ideas .  Heck, they could all be the same thing! So it's difficult to tell which is what.  Which is possible only on paper, and which is possible if I just have enough passion, desire, energy, courage, elbow grease, money, happiness, motivation…  ?

There are so many things I think would be fun, exciting, interesting.  Things I would love to try.  Things at which I would love to excel.  And since I do actually believe anything is possible, it's very easy to lose myself in a night full of "where is my passion, desire, energy, etc.?"

With all these ideas I sometimes feel like Hwel, the playwright in Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters.  And, as I said, I do get lost amongst them.  Drowning in the current of intentions and desires.  So I get out of the pool all together and  lose myself in video games and books.

Do I cast the runes, as I would for others, as I would advise others to do?  Not really.  Though I have done a very good job of doing the daily reading and the follow up post.

Do I meditate with purpose, as I would advise others to do?  Um, no.  I meditate, and let my thoughts run wherever they wish.

Okay, so then do I allow myself the time to swim through the raging river of ideas?  To relax and float and enjoy all the possibilities, even if they're things I don't really want to do?  Oh.  Uh, no.  Because they deal with something so important!  The future and my happiness.

Okay.  Did I at least enjoy the movies and the books and the food I escaped with?  Well….

And let's be honest.  Remember honesty?  The key to happiness?  No martyrdom is necessary, no drama is desired.  (I guess that's #5.)

Then yes and no.  I didn't enjoy all the food, which is frustrating, because if I'm going to imbibe more calories than I want to, I should at least enjoy them, right?!  Right.  But the books and the movies I very much enjoyed.  I laughed and cried and came out of myself for a little.

And then I did actually meditate with intention.  And I realized, I don't even know what the question is.  "What do I want?" is what I think the question should be, but there are so many answers I would be meditating all day!  "What makes me happy?"  Well, that's pretty much the same thing. 

So I let myself go, a little, to see which direction I was heading.  And then I found myself.  It was kind of like grabbing myself and giving myself a big hug, which brought me through all the yammering, clamoring ideas and down to the kernel of myself.

And the question became, "What should I do next?"

And the answer, "Trust yourself."

It took me awhile still to settle down.  I read some more.  And ate some more because I did enjoy the flavor and the texture.

And then I woke up this morning to clarity.  And remembrance.  A very important remembrance.

#6.  Today is what matters.  This moment.  This breath.  The TRUTH of this moment.

How have I gotten through every difficult moment?  By knowing it would end.  How have I stretched out and enjoyed every glorious happy moment?  By remembering to savor it, because it too would end.  And who knows what the next moment will really bring?  We cast our nets, put our hopes and thoughts out there and we trust.  Trust ourselves, because we are all part of the vast network of the universe.

Sometimes we receive things too late.  Sometimes we receive them too early.  Sometimes we choose things that feel utterly wrong 3 months later.  #7 - It's never right or wrong.  It's always learning.  And as long as I follow the truth of the moment, I can always be happy.  Always.

So yes.  We make decisions for the future.  What I want now and what I want later.  We are always balancing the two worlds, and trying to see things from the outside view to get the whole picture.  We are always influenced by others and we are always striving for nurturing and protection and healing and foundation.  We are every single rune, encompassed.  The known and the unknown.  We are infinite possibilities, every future and every past.  Every choice and every reaction.  WE are each all of those.

So, once more, I choose to be the choices that make me happy.  I choose what I want for this moment.  I choose to accept responsibility for myself and keep moving forward and exploring the hundred thousand different things I want to try no matter my perceptions of others' opinions.  I will trust myself.  I DO trust myself.  And I choose to be happy.  Now.

And since that is what I most wish to learn, I hope this has helped someone else do the same.

Thank you.  I hope you have a great day!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Perceptions & Realities: Did I do that?

Many years ago, I realized I had a yen for male voices - singing voices in particular, but the deeper a voice the more I liked it, speaking or singing.  I chalked it up to attending an all female high school.

I remember singing at a Christmas mass.  A cold caught me, and I was unable to reach the soprano notes I usually reached.  In fact, for that mass, I sang the bass line.  It was fun.  I liked it.

Though I love the power behind a well-executed high note which rings out across the audience, high shrill voices really hurt my ears.

And yes, the huskier the female lead the more I like the singer.  Yes, I love Cher's voice.  The depth of many blues singers hold me in thrall (and I don't really dig the blues, I just like the voices.) 

Which doesn't mean I don't worship at the altars of Celine Dion, Bernadette Peters and Aine Minogue; I just would rather sing Trisha Yearwood, Bette Midler and Pink.  And perhaps Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond and Train.  And seriously, in musical theater, who has the best songs?  the Phantom.  The Robber Bridegroom.  Pippin.  Joseph & the Narrator.  Rusty.  

The point of this is the following.  I went to see a laryngologist today.  A vocal ENT specialist.  I went because I have some interesting, um, qualities?  Abilities?  In my upper range.

Originally, I thought my limitations were due to a lack of singing.  And there's probably still some of that in there…  before this year I haven't formally sung for over 20 years.  (I guess singing in my living room so my neighbors could hear doesn't count.)  So yes, the muscles need to get into the swing again.  And, as you'll notice from my blogs about singing and life, there are still some breathing issues I'd like to relax away.
But it turns out there is another issue that learning how to breathe properly will never fix.

One of my vocal chords is shorter than the other.

I know.  Can you believe it?  What does that even mean?

It means, there are only so many notes I can reach above middle C.  Middle C!  I used to sing the G above high C!  I've lost a whole octave, because right now, the G above Middle C is the top of my comfort range.

I can sing pretty low, though.  Not quite as low as the red-head in Pitch Perfect after her operation, but pretty low.

And singing low is easy.  Perhaps too easy.  Perhaps I think I have to "work" at my singing to be a good singer, no matter the quality of my voice or my diction.

The doctor said it was some sort of nerve damage caused by a virus.  So who knows when or how.  But it makes me wonder.

Did I do that?  Mind over matter.   My appreciation of a lower voice.  My enjoyment of singing low.  Did I manifest an alto  range?  I mean, they often get more fun parts.  And they don't have to shriek.  And it's easier to breathe on the low notes.

Or, do I like all those things, am attracted to the lower notes,  vibrate (if you will) with the Altos (and/or tenors) because I have always had, or knew I was going to have, a shorter vocal chord?  And it's only now that it has become an evident issue?

I hope you have a great day!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Driving Karma

Or: How learning to use a turn signal can save your afterlife.  (suggested by Lori)

If you see a vehicle barreling up behind you, sun roof open, music blaring, driver either gesturing emphatically or singing at the top of her lungs, that could be me.

It's true, I tend to drive like I own the road.

And it's also true that I don't own the road.

But neither does anyone else.  (Unless, of course, it's a private road.  Ha ha.)

Which is why there are rules for the road.  These rules are common courtesy.  Like driving on the right side of the road, stopping at red lights, pausing at stop signs, letting pedestrians cross when their light is white.  These rules help us drive in harmony, & when we all drive in harmony there is much less cursing, which makes for a much better afterlife.

Here are the rules I know and try to follow (or the guidelines I follow, and therefore think they are rules.):

  • Use your turn signal BEFORE you move.   Whether you are switching lanes or turning a corner, use your turn signal.  This is more than good manners; this prevents negative thought.  Because the turn signal isn't for you, dearie.  It's for the other people on the road who are driving at their preferred speed (or frustrated because they can't), dealing with all the minutiae of their lives, and are just as focused as you are on getting to a destination.  Since few of us drive with telepathic or precognitive senses on, we rely on your turn signal to let us know you're going to turn or pull over.   We can be prepared.  People won't have to slam on their brakes.  Or accidently run into you.   Causing an accident, bad karma.  Preventing one, GOOD.
  • Corallary - when you are turning, turn into the near lane. The only vehicles who should be turning wide are those with signs on them.  You turn into your lane, and I'll turn into my lane, and look at that!  Traffic goes much faster and we aren't cursing at each other.   Lack of curses, Good Karma.
  • When you are driving slower than the people behind you, move into the right lane.  Regardless of how fast you are going.  Regardless of the actual speed limit.  Regardless of the type of roadway.  If there are two or more lanes, slow traffic stays to the right.
  • Corallary - the person in the right lane has the right to go as slowly as they need.  The right lane is for right hand turns.  The right lane is for gawking.  The right lane is for pausing and possibly pulling over.  The left lane is for driving.
  • Co-Corallary - Yes there are times when one must turn left.   And even when one is slowing down to turn left.  This does not require you to drive in the left lane for 3 miles.  Drive in the right lane.  A block or two before your turn, use your turn signal.  Pull into the left lane.  Then, use your turn signal again.  Then turn.   Forethought & follow through.  Good Karma.
  • Green means go.  When you are driving, your attention is required the entire time you are behind the wheel.  So when you have stopped at a red light, this is not a commercial break.  Pay attention to the cycle of the other lights.  Be ready to drive when it is your turn.  Even if you are the third car in line.
  • Merging - it's like a zipper, or an expertly shuffled deck of cards.  Left, right, left, right, left, right.  One car then the other, smoothly moving along, adjust speed, slowing or speeding up a little.  I know, I know, I too have cursed the driver who zoomed up on the right side when everyone was pulled over to the left.  But this pulling over creates a bigger traffic jam.  If you halve that line into two shorter ones and merge at the narrowed point, you are blocking a lot less of the road.  And yes, it takes a lot of practice, daring to be a merger.  I'm still working on it myself.  Spreading out at stop lights is another way to prevent that long ugly line. This can be tricky, especially if everyone needs to get on the highway, or turn at the next street.  It might require merging.
  • Mistakes are fixable, lives are not.  If you miss the turn, you miss the turn.  It's better to go right around the block than to create a 2 car pileup.  Granted, often people will let you in if you use your turn signal and traffic is moving at the right speed.  But holding up traffic behind you because you suddenly need to turn left is rude.  (Rudeness is bad karma.)
  • Headlights are also there for the other drivers. How can I see you coming, & thus utilize the appropriate road rule, without your headlights on?

Cars are heavy machinery.   They are tools, even weapons, one needs a license to use.  There are multiple lanes for various speeds; there are lights, signals and signs so everyone knows what's going on.  Driving is a big huge dance of people in battering rams.  And if everyone does follow the basic rules of courteous driving, there would be less road rage, there would be fewer traffic jams, and few accidents.  And there would be a lot less cursing, and thus, much more good karma.

So please use your turn signal.  And save your afterlife.

Thank you.  And I hope you have a great day!


Monday, June 16, 2014

The Day After

And now it's the day after.

The event is over.
The planning and preparation have come to fruition.
It happened, or it didn't, with all its glory and confusion, sorrow and celebration.
And now it's the day after.

The waiting is finished.
The decisions are done.
The whirlwind of wondering has died.
The chosen outfit worked, or it didn't, and beauty and horror and uncomfortable glamour was felt.
And now it's the day after.

The words that were said.
The tears that were cried.
The thoughts that still hang as an echo.
Were they real?  Was it right?  Was it necessary and true?  It was so important then.
And now it's the day after.

It felt so immediate.
It seemed so powerful.
It loomed so large and important.
It was the dream.
It was the fear.
It was the goal.
It was the end.

And now it's the day after.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I wonder

The other day, before my retail shift, I looked at my nails and saw a ragged edge.

I thought, I should file that.

I thought, I don't really have time to do my nails.

I went to the store.

That afternoon, helping a customer, my nail snagged a piece of clothing.  She had to go get a different item, and it turned out to be a different color.

I  really do wonder, still, what else did that event affect?  Did she wear a different outfit one night?  Did it make her more or less out going?  Was she angry deep down because I ruined the one she really wanted?  Was it a major turning point in her life?  Does she even remember that moment?  That choice?  That event?

Obviously, it was a huge moment for me.  So was I "just" a catalyst?  Or did it change nothing in her life and everything in mine?

I wonder.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Enlightenment is Awesome - "Pick a Little"

What is it about gossip?  About talking?  About telling the story and, more importantly, making our opinions known?  Are we, as Piers Anthony postulates, simply a machine to sort out the chaos of the universe?  Is the reason we search for the meaning of life, for the reason to live, because that is our purpose?  To find the meaning of that elusive molecule, life?  And the talking, the story telling, the drama and the emotions and the chemistry and the happy and the sad…  all of that is a way of analyzing?

Every creative thing, as far as I can tell, is a form of communication, telling a story, evoking an emotion.  Our histories are driven by emotion.  Our hopes for the future are all based on our emotion.  Heck, my life's goal is to be happy as is possible for me - totally emotion.

I have been writing and writing about how acceptance as the key to happiness, yes?  And I have been striving to live in an almost detached fashion, pleasing only myself, letting only my opinions and my judgments of myself be the truth of my life.  And one of those opinions is the annoyance with gossip, with talking about others.  With the need to fill the space with noise, noise, noise.  (There's a song from Alanis Morisette in which there is a few seconds of silence.  She prefaces it with, "Here, can you handle this?")  And so, it has been my goal to remove myself from the talking about others.  Partly, because the talking passes judgment, and mostly because it's really none of my business, nor the business of anyone else.  If someone wants to share parts of their life with someone else, they are welcome to do so.  But it's not my truth to pass others' words along.  Unless, of course, I am discussing how it impacted me.  And often I try to paraphrase.

So today, people are talking about some things that have happened to change their world and the latest reasons for the change.  And I find all these opinions swelling up inside me.  Whoosh.  Smash.  Wave after wave after wave!  And I so badly want to call someone so I can spill these opinions out into the universe, so my point of view can be expressed, even though it has absolutely nothing to do with me.  My opinion wasn't even asked!  Nor was assistance requested.  I am simply the recipient of news.

But the urge to talk to someone!  To share this news, to find an opinion that matches mine, that validates it!  It's a bit relentless. 

So I have to wonder, as Candace Bushnell might say, what is it about the story telling?  Why are we driven to talk, to communicate, to make much of?  Why does it fill a void?

Or does it really fill that void?  Is there something else that belongs there, some connection or input we're desperately trying to replace?  Is gossip, drama, creativity, like intercourse - a striving to reach that moment of pure bliss where we are no longer in and of ourselves alone, the place where we are existentially fulfilled?

I hope you have a great day!


* the title comes from the title of a song in "The Music Man."

Monday, May 26, 2014


I learned something interesting today. The "burden" of telling a story extends to my singing.

One of the truths I've been practicing has been to stop the drama!  Decisions are decisions. Choices are choices. And life moves on. Events are either more or less personal as I want them to be.  I give them importance, or not, as I desire and thus, they affect me with as much impact (or as little) as I desire.

It turns out my singing is the same.

It has been years since I've had formal voice training.  I took lessons for a while after Up With People, but for a variety of reasons, some of which I am willing to admit to, I quit singing.  I lost the training and conditioning  Eventually I lost all the mental information. Belt vs classical vs legit. Alto mezzo, soprano.  Tremolo, glissade, treble, staff, coda, repeat. Rest.

And yes, my breathing is all out of whack.

I currently work on three different types of breathing. 

There's deep breathing for meditation & calming purposes. A proper deep breath fills the lungs all the way to the stomach.

There's inhaling, supporting so one can blast the sound out into the back of beyond. And sustaining, of course, for that final awe - inspiring note.

And then there's the holding in your stomach and still keep yourself conscious, breathing.

I have no idea how to maintain all 3 types of breathing.

Heck. I have a difficult time remembering to breathe at all!  I find myself holding my breath, for reasons unknown, as if it were a limited commodity.  Then I expel it forcefully in a whisper.  This does not work at all well for singing.

I try to take it great gulps of air, but then I have no support or control with the actual notes. I move the muscles in a remembered fashion, but there's no result, like I'm still in neutral when I think I'm in fourth gear. (Or drive for you automatic auto peoples.)

So my practice this week will consist of allowing my breath to come thru. The higher the note, the breathier. 
And subsequently…  concurrently?...  also…  Relax while singing. I'm just talking on a specific note.

Let go of that illusionary concept, control.  And quit making it so complicated!

Like the rest of life these days, perhaps, striving for the drama of the singing instead of letting it just. be. singing.

Which is similar to the writing process for me.  When I strain for the story, the idea or the thread of thought, I seem to expend more effort than my production is worth. But when I relax & just write --  dare I Say -- the truth of the moment,  I have much more success.  Though I'll admit to having no idea how this is going to work. There's going to be a lot of practice required.

 At least I have the awareness, though, that my preaching has far outstripped my practice. Time to review a few of my truths. In speaking, in singing, in writing, in life, there's no need to make it complicated.  Accept it for what it is. Let it BE.  Enjoy it. And the breath will come.

I hope you have a great day!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

A dark and stormy night

It is a dark and stormy night.  And if another word is said, it's going to be a dark, stormy and deadly night.

I realize I am responsible for this situation I find myself in.  The dark and the storm are all inside my head.  But that makes it no less frustrating.

I have tried writing about peace.  Or about packs.  Or even just write a short story.  And nothing flows.  Because the outside influences do not play well with inside streaming.

I am the one allowing myself to feel irritated.  Peaceless.  Packless.  And definitely storyless.

There is no use and no sense in railing against the outside influences.  They are who and what they are.  They have as much right to be whatever they are as I have the right to be whatever I am.  Whoever.  Whomever?  The trick is in learning to adapt.  So let's find the real root of the problem.

I am annoyed because this is the third or fourth week in a row where I will be posting a last minute post to my blog.   I am not proud of this, even if this posts turns out well.  I like the process of writing it all out, then refining it.  It helps me learn what I am learning, and express what I am trying to express.  Coherently.  But once more I found myself staring at the calendar notification with nothing to show for my week of blog babbling.  And I have been jotting down ideas!

Today I at least tried to catch the wave on some of the feelings of the waiting ideas.  I will give myself kudos for that.  Especially since one of the posts is about inner peace…  how peace is supposed to come from releasing the resistance to outside irritations and letting them filter through harmlessly.

Yeah.  I'm gonna have to keep working on that.

But the posting process is also about practice, isn't it?  So far, my attempts to get something I feel is post worthy written before the deadline have been unproductive.  So it's time to change when & how I do the writing.

Does it have to do with  my perceptions of others' perceptions?  It's okay to "work" at writing when I’m alone.  But it's so hard to justify writing as "work" when others are present.  This is a perception I myself need to practice.  But perhaps if I actually produce things when I write, then I will feel like it is work - in the good and fulfilling sense of the word.

Rather like practicing my vocal exercises.  Today was my first official practice at home, and I could just imagine the thoughts in neighbors' heads.  They probably weren't even home!  And I haven't heard them talk, so who's to say how much they can hear of my singing?  But still, the auto-critic is quite happy to sit on my shoulder and point out how embarrassing their opinions might be.   And while I firmly believe their opinions are none of my business, still it helped to practice with earphones.  After a while, I will gain enough confidence to put the vocal lessons on the speaker and actually listen to my voice ring through the room AND out the open window!  La!

Similarly, it's time to find a way that works with my writing, so that my work actually produces some writing.  Currently (as in right now) that way seems to be writing when no one else is present.

I can do other things when others are present, like my 'Rithmatic.  All that paper and pens and calculators and beeps make it seem very official and respectable work.  And when outside influence start getting loud, I can slip on the headphones and the music won't influence my train of thought.  That's the beauty of numbers.

And when all is quiet on my front, I can write.  I can start my days with my worlds and ideas and philosophical thoughts.  Rather like  meditation, yes?  It seems almost self-indulgent, to play with my writing before I do the Rithmatic.  Or the Retail.

Yup, perception is queen.

So, still working it out.  Step by step.  Moment by moment.  Adjusting each thing as we go along.  And yay to me for continuing in the forward motion.

In fact, yay to all of us who are continuing forward.  Who adjust and adapt, who bob and weave, who acknowledge that one way doesn't work and so we try another way.  And another.  And another.

Because let's face it.  Murder and mayhem may seem like marvelous ideas in the middle of the dark and stormy night.  (Not to mention great story fodder.)  But in the light of the new day, I'd much rather look back at pages of writing, and feelings of productiveness, than have to worry about explaining the mess on my carpet to a jury of my peers. 

I hope you have a great day!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fun is work is Fun

I sit
I stare
A purple chair
Where can my muse darling be?

I sit
I type
A bunch of hype
Playing upon the tv.

I sit
I sigh
The breaths fly by
I forward a sentence or two.

I sit
I babble
In poetry I dabble.
What else can this dry writer do?

I sit
I wiggle
I watch him giggle
Yes, that happened that way.

I sit
I smirk
Work is fun is work.
At least I will finish today.

I sit
I scribble
The cat sleeps in dribble.
Would this turn out different if penned?

I sit
I listen
The rhyme here is glisten.

And that brings this poem to its end.

I hope you have a great day!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Soapbox of Perception - a Special Day

I have a question for you.  Why do many schools & places of business close on Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas, yet stay open for other holidays?  What special qualities do these three holidays have which the others lack?

Thanksgiving is an American holiday.  But so is the 4th of July.  And both involve food.

Easter and Christmas are based on religious holidays.  But so is Halloween.   Valentine's & St. Patrick's Day are religious in origin also.  They all involve food.

Of course, to be fair, most of the holidays involve food.  Or some form of party.

And the retail market will grab any special day to make an extra sale, so we'll take that out of the equation also.

Easter and Christmas are family holidays.  So is Thanksgiving.  So is Mother's Day and Father's Day.  And so is Halloween (remembering our ancestors).  And Memorial Day.

Easter and Christmas involve gifts and games for children.  Thanksgiving involves games for adults - of both sexes, as more women are showing their preference for watching football to cleaning up the kitchen.  New Year's often involves games (often not suitable for children).  Halloween involves games for young and old, and gifts for children.  Though I'm not sure it counts as a gift, if it is demanded.

Easter and Christmas often involve dressing children up in adorable outfits.  So does Halloween.  In fact, on Halloween, many adults dress up in outfits, though adorable isn't always the adjective to be used.

In fact, going by these statistics, if any holiday is going to be honored by having stores closed for it, Halloween has more in common with Easter and Christmas than Thanksgiving does.  Halloween is  a family oriented holiday based on religion which involves the giving and receiving of gifts.  There's a lot of food, games and parties, and adorable outfits.  We pretend it's for the children.

And when it comes to home decorating, Halloween is the only day which gives Christmas a run for its money.  Or would that be the reverse?

In fact, Halloween is probably the real biggest Holiday we still celebrate together.   It's the one Holiday where the whole community can choose to be involved without needing a specific invitation or affiliation.  Just leave your light on!

So now my question is, when are we going to start closing the stores and businesses for Halloween?

I hope you had a great day off, if a day off you had.