Wednesday, May 17, 2017

things to remember.....

I've read some good articles lately... or listened to a TED talk... or watched an interesting program... all of which made me stop and think and reflect.  Some thoughts filled a void where there had been some lack of understanding. Some ideas just clicked and finally made sense. Some thoughts were convicting and made me see myself... or others... and what I didn't want to be... or do in my own life. It feels good to learn... and change (hopefully) for the better. Become more wise... and more at peace...

Some of the things I want to remember....

* I heard this said today... "Life is not about avoiding suffering, but finding meaning". Sure made me stop and think. Abruptly. Suffering has always been so tough for me to understand. It has taken me a long long time for this truth to travel from my head to my heart. Why? Why do some truths you have heard many times all of a sudden sink in where they can do some good inside of us? Sometimes the right person has to say it. Sometimes it has to come at the right time and in the right way. I don't know why things click when they do... but it clicked for me recently. Maybe I am finally (maybe) making peace with the reality that suffering is part of the human experience. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.

* Principles without practice equal... or result in... lostness. Just because we believe the right things (or say we do) means little without practicing... or living it out... in our lives. Makes me think of the Bible verse "faith without works is dead"... Worthless. Do... don't just say... or think.... or believe.... Do.

* Don't be a "right fighter". There are a lot of right fighters around. Always have to come back with saying something to disagree or try to prove another wrong, argue, never backing down... believing that is a virtue even... Just cannot keep quiet. This doesn't mean we cannot express an opinion, but after you have, let it be. And be kind on top of that. "Never miss a good chance to shut up".  My first marriage was with a right fighter... and I probably had some of that in me as well.... Not a happy marriage. But I have wanted peace for a long time now. I still have strong opinions, but I don't have to throw them around all the time like a weapon. Sometimes (often) peace is better than being right. Sounds harsh but... "I knew I matured when I realized every situation doesn't need a reaction. Sometimes you just gotta leave people to do the lame shit they do." It's true.

* Death is what makes life precious... gives life meaning. Dying is what creates preciousness... it's what gives us the impulse to make meaning. Death proves life.... (whoa!)  B.J. Miller TED talk is awesome. Just awesome.

More to come..............

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

morning kitchen activity

I love to cook and bake. Especially if I can share with others. But even if visitors aren't expected I enjoy good food and the process of making it for myself. I don't make every meal from scratch, but I have to admit when I do it's a whole lot better tasting than the freezer section of the grocery store!

It might be nice to have a servant who did all the cleaning up though! But even that can be satisfying ... to get the kitchen back to a clean and organized status.

I've had the ingredients to make Creamy Tortellini Soup and Focaccia bread for a few days now ... both using fresh herbs from my garden. It was as good as I hoped it would be and I will definitely make it again. It would be a good meal for company with a green salad on the side.

Norman is my ever-present-doggie-in-the-way-at-my-feet companion while I putter around in the kitchen. I'm sure he has learned that he gets lucky from time to time... 

... and it's always nice when something falls our way.

Friday, May 5, 2017

productive day

May 5th already.... and it's been a nice spring. Some days have been unseasonably warm and others have been unseasonably cool. I could live with that for months, but that will end soon and it will just be hot, hot, hot.

I was sick with a disturbing intestinal illness a couple weeks ago that knocked me down hard. I don't remember feeling so weak and energy-less for such a long time. But it makes feeling well again that much better and I'm glad I could tackle some work in the yard today.

I got outside early and confronted the yucky, gnarly, junk in the gutters! Thankfully, only one side of my house fills with tree debris, but around here it's pretty substantial. I felt so glad to be able to complete the job by myself and do something hard... and not fall off the ladder!

After digging out the gutter gunk, I then had to clear it out of the stones on the ground which also took a lot of time... 

Afterwards I went to lunch with a friend and then returned home to enjoy my yard!

Feeling very, very grateful.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter memories

Easter. My memories are vivid. My grandparents visiting. Going to church on Sunday. Dressing up in a new Easter dress. Getting an Easter basket in the morning filled with candy, chocolate, a hardboiled egg that we colored the day before... and a stuffed bunny of some kind.

As always Mom made it special. How thankful I am for those memories.

And there were always flowers. Mom would buy some for my grandmother... maybe lilies, maybe tulips... usually one would be for me too.... Hyacinths were my favorite. Probably the reason I always have to buy one when Easter comes around each year. When I smell the fragrance I always stop in my tracks and .... well it just brings me back... instantly... Isn't that nice?

This time of the year there would be tulips and daffodils blooming in the yard outside of my New Jersey home.

So this year is no different. I colored eggs because I love to participate in the memories that are still part of my present...

And I buy some flowers. And drink in their sweetness... and all the love I remember ...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

all of us... being human

"....It all just sort of fits somehow. And even if you don’t understand how yet, people will die in our lives, people that we love. In the future. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe years from now. I mean, it’s kind of beautiful, right, if you think about it, the fact that just because someone dies, just because you can’t see them or talk to them anymore, it doesn’t mean they’re not still in the painting. I think maybe that’s the point of the whole thing. There’s no dying. There’s no you or me or them. It’s just us." (Kevin in This is Us.)

This was part of a longer monologue that a character on This is Us spoke.  He was trying to explain death and life somehow by using a painting full of brush strokes and various colors going in many directions.... all over the canvas. We influence one another and are part of one another's story.  People we've loved and lost in this life and those generations in the past are part of who we are....

Sometimes a show comes along that is full of life and meaning and thought-provoking, really good interaction, dialogue and drama... I'm often in tears at the end of an episode because it touches something deep inside and shows me something of value and what relationships should be about. 

As parents we don't have control over how our children process situations or experiences they've had growing up. We can't control the conclusions they come to or how they see themselves. We can try to help them ... and we do... but each person is unique in how they see the world around them. That's why there can be two kids in the same family growing up with many of the same experiences and yet they can describe an event very differently... because of how they felt at the time.

Today I was thinking about struggles we have in real life. It doesn't matter if you were raised in the best family ever, it doesn't guarantee we will not have problems or issues or things we struggle with... Why? Because we are human. I've come to believe that I will never be perfectly right and healthy in this life. I think it's part of being imperfectly HUMAN. We are all managing being human. I know I sure am. Learning, growing... but always managing being human.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

cool breezes and safety

The air is cool as it filters though my window right now. If anyone can tell me why this gives me such joy I would really like to know. The fresh air... the coolness ... it delights me and makes me feel cleansed and renewed. I feel safe and loved somehow. I know... that seems kind of silly.

These cool days are in decline. Spring and Summer days will be here in Texas sooner rather than later....  so I savor the cool breezes of today...  and want to drink them in. There must be something in my past... my delightful childhood days that bring me back to this feeling .... I want to stay here. I feel secure. I feel wrapped up in warmth as this cold chill meets me ....

I felt safe as a child. I grew up feeling safe. I want every child to feel safe and loved as they grow.

Oh God. May it be so.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

home made

Home Made Coffee Creamer! Yum Yum Yum

Remember the times you did that thing that made you feel good and at peace? You were being productive and happy and felt like you were doing what you were meant to do?

We should do more of that.

My "things" have generally revolved around home... creating a feeling... getting my hands in the soil... baking... homespun.... being inspired... inspiring someone else .... surrounding myself with beauty ... writing...

Maybe I should open a coffee shop. I sure enjoy going to them. Or a book store. I like them too. Or a coffee shop that has books lying around.

Hmmm... maybe not, but ... something....

I don't know...

Just thinking.