more pearls than whine

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Move over Flat Stanley

Maybe macabre conversation, but was definitely humorous, too:

I was feeling overcome with the heat (and it's only June!) and thinking that it could possibly do me in, especially if I tried to push myself in it.

Me: Hey, I think I'd better do my will. I'm going to leave all my junk to you (spouse) and then you'll have to dispose of it. Hahahahaha

Spouse: No! No! Can I refuse it?

Me: Yeah, I think so. In any case, I'm reminding you that I want to be cremated and I don't care what you do with the ashes.

Spouse: I thought you wanted to be put on a plant or something.

Me: I don't really care. Hmmmmmm. Well, you could scatter my ashes all over the world. This way I would get to travel. (That would probably be breaking all kinds of laws ... but, some people say *grin* laws are made to be broken.)

Yeah, you could carry around some of my ashes in your pocket ... kind of like lint ... and casually dribble a bit here and dribble a bit there. Like in Shawshank Redemption when he carried the dirt from the hole he was digging in his cell out to the prison yard and added it ... undetected ... to the dirt already there.

Me: Hmmmmm. I should probably do my traveling in the flesh. It would probably be more fun.

Spouse: I want my ashes thrown out the window of the car on Route 90 in Wyoming ... so no one will be able to find me.

Me: But you'd be in the wind, which means you'd be everywhere. We could wait for a tornado ...

By this time my audience had pretty much lost interest in my excessive flights of fancy and was walking away.

Still, I had to chase him down to tell him about FLAT STANLEY, who also makes me think of the traveling gnome in the commercials. (So my imagination took me one more step. I could also picture some unique container [with my ashes in it] being photographed in exotic settings ... But I didn't share that tidbit.)

I told him that every once in a while grandparents bring a child's hand colored picture of Flat Stanley -- he's about a foot tall ... and flat -- (a lot of children in elementary school seem to be doing this) to the museum ... and photograph him in, on, or near different exhibits. They have so much fun with Flat Stanley, probably more than their grandchildren do, and take him wherever they go some place interesting.

After some thought and a few laughs ... I found it funny ... I decided that I'm going to go to exotic places while I'm alive, thank you very much. I'm making a list.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

All the time in the world

I was thinking about time today. This is the thought ... the "truth" that came to me:

I have relatively little time left in this life ... yet, I have all the time in the world.

Just as I was thinking ... Gee, I'd better do this or that while I can, creating a picture of physical and mental frenzy ... I stopped. I don't want to be so busy-busy that I forget to live. I've been there and done that.

Everyone knows that time is just as much subjective as it is objective. When you're a little kid the summer vacation seems like forever ... as does the school year. As you get older, time speeds up ... subjectively. I've often compared it to rewinding a VHS tape. As it starts to rewind, it takes its time ... whirr whirr whirr... but, the closer to the end, the faster it goes ... buh dh dh dh dh dh dh dh dh dh dh. I can't seem to write the sound of your tongue making buuuuudh-ing sounds on the roof of your mouth just behind your top teeth. Hey, it's how the tape sounds at the end. What can I say! Now I "get" why people leave their holiday decorations up. The holiday is going to come around practically in a minute.

I've used different methods to "slow down" time's passing. A big one is ... not rushing around crazily ... trying to get so many "important" things done. Being present. Being in the moment. Knowing that I have all the time in the world. Not easy to do in our fast-paced society. For me, a big one is reading, especially fiction. When I'm reading fiction, it's a mini vacation ... I'm "there" ... in that time frame and span. So if years pass in the book and I've been reading for an hour, well ... I feel like I'm collapsing time. Being present is excellent, but not always easy to do.

Think about hitting the snooze alarm and going back to sleep, dreaming an epic dream and then the alarm goes off again ... and it's only been four minutes ... objectively. Hmmmmmm.

Time. It's a thought and a paradox.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

One person's courage ... to LET HER SPEAK

While I was walking my dog along the lake road this evening, I was thinking about a brief encounter with a visitor today.

I would have liked to visit with her, ask impertinent questions, find out her "story," because everybody has one. Hers sounded like it would be more unique and interesting than most ... filled with boldness and courage, but I never got the details. Ah ... the missed story.

In any case, the encounter did make me think about courage, itself. I could say, "I wish I had her courage!" Whatever her courage actually was ... I had the sense that perhaps she listened to her inner voice and went wherever it guided her, that she did what was important to her. I'd like to think that was true. To do that would certainly require courage, especially if what you wanted to do was unconventional or difficult for friends and family to grasp.

Then I thought that maybe that it didn't really require "Courage" because it was so natural and not at all difficult to walk her path, because that's the way she was made ... and it wouldn't occur to her to do things any other way. Maybe it only looks courageous to someone else looking in from the outside, who doesn't have the same kind of courage ... who couldn't have possibly done those same things.

People lacking that particular type of courage certainly have courage of their own, in areas they take for granted. They just don't realize it. Because it comes naturally, it doesn't actually take "courage."

Here's a very small example. I will go anywhere by myself. In a car, plane, bus, train ... whatever. I went to Mexico a few years ago by myself (not a tour). I'll go to a movie by myself, or eat out in a restaurant. I discovered that "everybody" doesn't do that ... and in fact, some would be afraid or at least uncomfortable ... and simply not do it. To someone else, I might be brave and courageous. That wouldn't be true. It is just natural for me.

Even when I was a teenager, I would go to movies by myself. It didn't make sense to me to have a "date" just to go to the show if I didn't actually like the person. Other people did it all the time. I guess I never traveled in a pack ... and I certainly wouldn't have had some of the experience that I've had if I hadn't been by myself. Maybe those "others" would just consider me "odd." Entirely possible!

I might do these "social" things with someone else ... but only if that person is good company and can travel in harmony. Otherwise, it just isn't fun. I like my own company (thank goodness!) and am just not a person who is easily bored .... although I might be "boring," even though my daughter says I'm not.

But, I might need courage to stand up for myself, to speak up, to let my voice out. Do I even know what my inner voice says? Have I muffled it somehow? Do I have the courage to LET HER SPEAK?

Talk about stream of consciousness here! Wow! I had a spiritual dream long ago ... maybe 25 years ... that is still vivid. It was a bright, you-are-there type of dream where sound was coming out of my pores in 360 degree angles ... and I heard exactly that ... LET HER SPEAK! Amazing! I will have to ponder that.

I guess finding courage ... or inner strength ... requires stretching the self and discovering it within. It appears that I will need to listen.

Monday, April 18, 2005


How is it that I suddenly develop an allergy to what is in the air? Or did I always have it, but now it is more pronounced?

I woke up this morning and sneezed three times before I even got out of bed ... the kind of sneezes that tease you until they crest and then roll over you ... completely satifsying sneezes. That was kind of fun.

But, It wasn't an isolated moment. Everything escalated and the rest of the day went downhill from there ... it involved an entire box of tissues, more sneezes, instantly refilled sinuses, and a drippy nose. I can't even breathe through my nose right now. It makes me feel as though I'm sick, which I'm not. It's just totally unpretty.

So what ... so I had an allergic day. I could wake up tomorrow just fine.

Allergic? Hah! What if I refuse to be allergic?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Definitely a Pearl

There's nothing wrong with me, there's nothing wrong with me, there's nothing wrong with me!

I've been chanting this to myself all day and I feel great. Maybe it's just the day, maybe it's a shift in consciousness.

In clearing out Stuff (Decluttering Project Blog), I came upon a book called There's Nothing Wrong With You. Wow. What a concept.

Actually the cover has more on it. It says

Regardless of what you've been told There's Nothing Wrong With You Revised Edition ... Going Beyond Self-Hate ... A compassionate process for learning to accept yourself exactly as you are, by Cheryl Huber, who is "a student and teacher of zen for over 30 years." On the back cover ... "We will attempt to explain that you have been unable to fix yourself because there is nothing wrong with you, but there is quite a lot 'wrong' with what you have been taught to believe about yourself and about life."

It really is quite extraordinary.

And, that trying to FIX yourself perpetuates the myth that there is something that needs fixing.

Whatta concept!

There's nothing wrong with me.

The idea is ... once you embrace yourself as you are, then all those things you've been trying to fix fall away by themselves because they don't need to be there to help perpetuate the myth that there's something wrong. Does that make sense?

Pretty convoluted.

I like it.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Panic! No Internet Access for a Day!

Whew. I'm back! I couldn't connect yesterday and naturally figured my computer was at fault. It has been acting up lately and needs a serious scrubbing. If I knew how to scrub it, I would!

I remembered to call my provider before I left work today. It turns out a bridge went out due to flooding and took essential cable with it ... 50 miles away.

But just in case I can't get online at home ...

What do I do if my computer fails me? Because I like to have what if alternatives ... and because I'm still not 100% sure I'll be able to get online at home, I stopped at the public library to get online for an hour ... just in case. I've had my fix and also took care of some essential transactions.

How addicted am I? I'm so addicted that ...

Well, if all else fails, I can go to the public library!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Could I be with my thoughts for a week?

I've been thinking about this ... All kinds of creative ideas pop into my head while I'm walking my dog. I'm not reading a book ... or listening to one. I'm not watching TV or a movie. I am not listening to anyone else talking about anything.

I'm just with my thoughts ... in the day ... outside in the world ... in the moment. I'm not filling my head with other people's ideas.

I was wondering ... could I give up my books, my computer, my TV, for a week ... without being in solitary confinement where I had no choice?

That is a very tough question. If I did this, would I really give some serious thought to different things, or would I decide I needed to entertain myself ... Would I invent stories in my head?

I could give up the TV pretty easily, I think. And the hard copies of books ... for a week, sure ... well, maybe. It would be much harder to stop listening to my unabridged audio books ... small panicky feeling. And, the computer, maybe, because it is my outreach right now to the world ... through email and the blogs. The blogs are closer to solitary confinement in that I am with my thoughts ... and my invisible audience.

Gee, if I did this, would I allow myself to write things down, or would I let things swirl around in my head?

I might try this. It bears thinking about. It sounds like an opportunity for the creative juices to flow.

Or, if I gave up these things, I could clean instead. Nah.

I'll have to think about this while I'm walking my dog.