December 2017
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Author Archive

Solitude

“Some development of the capacity to be alone is necessary if the brain is to function at its best, and if the individual is to fulfill his highest potential.  Human beings easily become alienated from their own deepest needs and feelings.  Learning, thinking, innovation and maintaining contact with one’s own inner world are all facilitated by solitude.”

Anthony Storr,  Solitude

Solitude  for me is spending time with myself; reflecting, praying, meditating and most deliciously, not thinking at all.  It took time and practice to achieve, but the peace  that comes with ‘just being’ is profound.  And a state of  just being, of creative solitude is not easily accomplished in these times, but is an invaluable personal asset.

I invite you to enjoy the fruits of solitude.

Generations

Last weekend I attended a Memorial for my beloved Uncle.  Yesterday I attended a Baby Shower for my soon-to-be-born Great-Granddaughter.

My Uncle was the last surviving family from my Mother’s generation.  My new Great-Granddaughter is will be born to my youngest Grandchild.  It is a poignant perspective; endings and beginnings; death and birth.

I have achieved a senior position in the line of ancestry just by aging.  Nothing else is required.  However, I find myself reflecting on my contribution, not only to my generation but to those who will follow.  My efforts are far from perfect, but I am doing what I can.

There is a saying from the North American Indians that cogently expresses the Generational task, “We do not inherit the Earth, we borrow it from our Grandchildren.”.

 

Robins

Yes, Robins.  A seemingly odd juxtaposition to last weeks ‘Cold’.  Never-the-less the Robins are here.

A large Pyracantha in the yard attracts Robins to feast on the over-ripe berries.  According to Private Lives of Garden Birds by Calvin Simonds,  as Robins migrate from the southern United States to the North, they depend on wild berries and other fruits as essential food sources.  This accounts for the red-breasted invasion, but Mr.  Simonds does not mention a word about ‘drunk Robins’.

The spectacle does not last more than a few days; during which the Robins lose all sobriety.  They swagger-fly and drunk-hop until the  Pyracantha berries are so perfectly and  completely gleaned from the bush as to put to shame  any mechanized method for berry picking. 

So for these few days, the harbingers of Spring entertain me with their ribald behavior.  Under the influence, they can’t fly high, if indeed they can get off the ground.  They really do ‘drunk-hop’.  They screech and squabble with each other; and a truly hilarious moment is watching a drunk Robin dig up a worm and then try to keep it from his rowdy buddies.

Standing at the kitchen window, tightening my babuska against the cold, laughter warms my heart as I watch the antics of the drunk  Robins and know that Spring is not far off.

 

 

Cold

It is that time of year in my neighborhood.  As many of you know I am not a fan of cold weather.  It is 7:30 am and the thermometer on the covered porch reads 28 degrees.  Not as freezing as yesterday, but at these temperatures two or three degrees difference are no matter.

What you probably don’t know is that I am a ‘energy miser’.  Beyond the usual energy-saving strategies is ‘babuska’ wear.  Yes, it is true.  Inside my home I wear a wool blend scarf twined around my head and neck.  I seriously  look like a Russian Grandmother.  I am also wearing two pairs of wool socks tucked into LL Bean slippers, two shirts and a house-frau jacket.  I have not yet found gloves adequate to keeping my fingers warm while using the computer and providing the flexibility needed.

I am not about to heat the whole house (no wood stove here) as I sit working in one room.

There are some other activities that help me  handle the cold.  Excercise. Any movement helps; dancing in the living room is one of my favs this time of year.  I also ‘save’ the dishes from the night before.  Doing double-duty, morning kitchen chores warm my hands and fingers.  Still would like to find the perfect gloves.  Of course, they need to match my ‘babuska’ outfit…or maybe not.

I am counting the weeks til Spring!

 

 

Upgrade

Well, I did it.  Upgraded to Windows 8.  The word upgrade makes me think …better, improved, maybe easier.  Not so fast.  I am not tech-savvy; so what was I thinking!

There are some things I like, that do seem easier, really different, but easier.  And then there is the rest.  I backed up with a flash-drive and good thing.  Not much moved forward and it seems I can’t go back.  So begins the tedious process of re-loading, down-loading and bringing forward my desk top and all its information.

I feel like I am starting my PC affair from scratch.  Ah, the upgrade.

 

 

Resolution

Yes, it is that time of year; out with the old and in with the new.  The time when we commit to swapping ‘old’ habits for ‘new’ habits; commit to losing the extra Holiday pounds (or more); and a myriad of other changes we wish to make to enrich our lives in the coming year.  Most of us have a list of resolutions; most of us fail to complete our commitments.

This year I invite you to focus on just one resolution.  Create realistic strategies to help you reach your goal and don’t forget to build in  rewards along the way.  It is also vital that you create a plan that is compatible with who you are.  So the first step in setting your goal is to realistically evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.  Remember, change is a process, not an event!

Happy New Year to all!!

Eve

Eve is the time preceding an important event.  Eves fill us with wonder, excitement, anticipation.  Depending on the event and circumstances surrounding it, we can also experience stress, worry and anxiety; often all these emotions at the same time.

Today is Christmas eve.  There is no better time to take a breather, a time-out.  Even a few minutes to breathe, to meditate, to rest can add enormously to our enjoyment, and ease our stress.  I invite you to take some time today (and tomorrow) to keep the sacred in the secular.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!!

Guns

In the wake of another mind-numbing mass killing, the renewed call for gun control reverberates throughout the country.  The spotlight shines again on the tip of the iceberg.

If we are truly serious about change, then it compels us to look beneath the surface; to look at what we continue to overlook.

If we are truly serious about change, then it is time to consider banning guns and gun-violence from television, movies and video games.

If we are truly serious about change perhaps it is time to have a serious dialogue about our position as the world’s largest arms exporter (Stockholm International Peace Institute).

If we are truly serious about change, limiting our news media to ordinary reporting versus prolonged hyper-sensationalization of gun violence should be seriously considered.

If we are truly serious about change, taking an in-depth look at our collective psyche is imperative.

These are the things below the tip of the iceberg that we are not willing to consider, let alone change.

 

 

 

Strength

“I want to share my secret with you.  I have learned to tame the beast within, and I do it without strain.  I use my spiritual powers.  I know that they are the true basis for my outward actions.”  Spiritual Tarot, Echols, Mueller & Thomson (1996).

Finding the strength within to manage life’s vicissitudes is a process not an event.  Growing stronger in faith and understanding allows us to stand firmly in grace and act in love.  We don’t do it perfectly.  But continuing in the work, we become a mighty Oak. Growing from a little acorn into a magnificent structure, able to withstand storms and provide shelter.

Messy

I have always lived with a certain level of organized personal clutter.  Albert Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk?”  This comforting quote serves me well throughout the year.  However, there is a period of about three to four weeks late October through mid-November when my home office is a gargantuan mess.

This is the time when I bring the cornucopia of gifts I have collected throughout the year out of the closet;  join them up with recent purchases and then surround the pile with empty boxes, gift bags, wrapping paper, ribbon and bows, scissors and tape.  I am blessed with a big circle.

I do prioritize; GGK’s (great-grand children) first, then GK’s (grandchildren), packages to mail, December birthdays, and finally the rest.  As I wrap, label, decorate and begin dispersing the mass to the garage for temporary storage, I listen to soul-soothing music to help me stay on track and not go nuts. I keep muttering to myself that I am not going to keep doing this, and then…another season sneaks up on me.  To my amazement the closet is again full of gifts and I am always surprised!

I forge through the resistance to go pyro or rent a dumpster.  And then the moment comes.  The last packages have been processed, mailed and warehoused.  I return unselected gifts along with all the accoutrement to the closet (which I took the time to re-organize).  I clean, dust and vacuüm.

Turning on the little twinklie lights that outline the window and listening to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir belt out ‘Hallelujah’, I am content.  The chaos is over.  My regular messy is wonderful!