For the Record...

A new, occasional feature of my writing life.

(still writing a fair bit, but posting very little. One hardly knows what to say, these daze…)

A few quick daily observations in these what-seem-pretty-extraordinary times:

Monday, Sept. 17:

  • Concerned about Hurricane Florence, & possible nuclear implications.

  • Interpersonal issues/challenges.

  • A useful Eckhart Tolle tutorial (as it were; it quite hit the spot, for me!)

  • Went to the garbage/recycling bins outside, liberated a raccoon who was stuck inside one of them (the creature failed to thank me before scampering off rapidly, &, I assume, gratefully).

  • Decided to take a walk this morning. Have not been walking much, in the oppressive humidity of this summer (we are now into our 3rd month of unusually hot & humid weather here in Toronto. Well. It began, as I recall, in late June). I decided “Enough already! Walking is my sanity! Must start walking routinely again, weather be damned!!

  • Chemtrail assault!! Many days in a row (pre-Hurricane Florence) with not a trail to be seen in the sky. (Was all air travel suspended?? Surely not??) Today?? Whoa. They’ve really gone to town today, I must say. Whoa. #thetrailsareback!

Stray insight in past 24 hours: We are perhaps none of us quite the nice people we take ourselves for. (Or is it only me??)

Helpful quotation for today: “The privilege of a lifetime is to be who you are.” – Joseph Campbell (more JC quotes)

Tuesday, Sept. 18/18.

  • So. Walked again. (Still humid as hell.) Realized that 2 of the main things that keep me sane (well, sort of) are my walking & gratitude habits. & I’ve let both lapse in recent months. Not a good plan!! 🙁 🙁 Time to re-jig. Especially since I consider both of these practices to be pretty much magical!

  • Self-loathing. Ugh. I am pretty sure it is epidemic. & likely has been for … well … eons?? It’s complicated. It’s part of the human condition. But … ugh, anyway.

  • Re: the nuke situation I was worrying about? More news on that front.

  • Being spontaneous. Living in the moment. Ahhhhh. Such a good thing.

p.s. liberated another raccoon from the garbage bin! Sheesh! This one didn’t scamper away. It … ambled. Climbed a nearby tree pretty sloppily, I must say. (Well, in all fairness, it had been snoozing when I woke it from its nap on a pizza box in the garbage.)

p.p.s. no trails today.

Quotations for today:

“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.” ~ Dr. Robert Holden (more gratitude quotes)

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (more walking quotes)

A "Good" Day

The concept of “good day” has changed for me. It’s morphed. Morphing.

These daze, a “good” day is when I get the dishes done before I go to bed … thereby increasing the likelihood that the next day will at least begin on a positive note.

&, hmmmm.

Maybe seeing only one centipede (at a time).

None at all would be even better, of course! … but I apparently live on the Centipede Highway from (or to??) Hell – & have been known to spot MORE THAN ONE (yes, I’m shouting!!) of the #UglyCritters skittering around the bathtub at one time.

For the love of God.

🙁

(but then too, I HAVE learned how to deal with centipedes (you can read up on that here. Though I failed to include there, I now see, the bathtub-dealing method. Which is likely obvious enough not to need any further elaboration, hmmmm? & for the record, even when I keep the plug in, as a means of keeping them from crawling up into the tub, these bloody critters arrive by some other method; some other Centipede Highway. I don’t know where they come from, but they sure seem to like me a lot! Ugh.)

 

Life is becoming increasingly challenging in what feels increasingly like The End Days.

Details not too important, hmmm? I expect we all feel it.

Viscerally.

 

(Unless we are numb, of course. I suppose many of us are numb.

&/or living in The Land of the Very Deluded.)

 

Both the heavy breath of extinction blowing right on our necks

& the increasing challenging-ness (if you will) of these latter days of human civilization (as we so quaintly call it) on Planet Earth.

 

Once upon a time, I used to be a pretty perky Pollyanna person

(Whoa! PPPP; that was me!)

Not so much lately.

 

I repeat: details not important. I’m sure everyone has a sense of what I mean.

 

My 2 new top mantras?

 

Be kind.

(& believe me, this is a constant struggle & discipline. It truly is. It takes effort.)

&

Bloom where you’re planted.

 

Both of which can be interpreted pretty broadly.

 

With different meanings or resonances, depending upon one’s personal circumstances.

 

It’s about the best I can offer up right now (the Collections posting has a selection of mantras from other, past times, if …… well, if one is inclined to dig into all that old stuff).

 

Janet

Your friendly local loud revolutionary (sort of)

🙂

 

p.s. of course, the old Kurt Vonnegut advice to observe, as often as humanly possible, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is!” also still applies. (another old posting…)

p.p.s. & I suppose the advice of near-term extinction dude, Guy McPherson, to ‘Keep Flossing’ also still applies.

 

Couple semi-relevant quotes that spring to mind…

“He was glad to be out of the wind, though, and eventually the claustrophobia passed and instead with the stars and the water’s constant roar came a sense that everyone on earth was irrelevant, that if the world were emptied of people tomorrow they would not be missed at all, not by bird nor beast, or God up in heaven or the devil down in hell. It took a bit of getting used to, but he was surprised how comforting it was to feel that this was so.” – thoughts of the character George in the novel A Shout in the Ruins, by Kevin Powers

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

“The most revolutionary thing one can do is always to proclaim loudly what is happening.” – Rosa Luxemburg

** lots of great quotations about truth here

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Aren't you curious?

I read a novel a few months back called Only Child, by Rhiannon Nevin. Really enjoyed it.

An aspect of the plot involved some lessons shared (supposedly) by Merlin (the wizard dude) in a book (maybe series of books) the family was reading.

The 4 bits of life advice were:

1.    Pay attention to small things around you, like in Nature

2.    Be curious

3.    Have compassion for all living creatures &

4.    Take care of someone who needs you.

 

These rang true for me.

As for my own curiosity...

I think I have always been a very curious person. Not sure why. Just am.

I like to poke at things (not literally) … until I can grasp some understanding – some insight – into how things (& people, & human endeavour, human “culture”) work.

What makes things tick.

I’m curious about my own personal shortcomings too! My various neuroses – hang-ups – my stubborn persistence in doing some dumb stuff over & over (& over) again. (For the record, I do usually manage to figure it all out. Though some things in life have to be chalked up to mystery, of course. Mystery, with a capital M. We simply cannot know the answers to everything…)

So, I am just a very curious person.

& to be honest, kind of blown away by people who are not curious. Hmmmm. I guess I am curious, about the un-curious…

Who have seemingly zero interest in figuring out how things really are. How things really work.

I really like what Dr. Kelly Brogan said in this item:

“Release the fear and move into curiosity.”

Seems to me like pretty great advice.

 

Those people who are seemingly not very curious?

Maybe they need to hold tight to what they have been taught. At home, at school, by some guru … whatever.

Maybe they need things to be black & white.

Certain.

Maybe they just need things to be simple.

 

For sure, my own curiosity has, on occasion, led me to bark up the wrong tree entirely. For sure, for sure, for sure. No doubt about that!

🙂 🙁

Ah well. I’d have to say that, on the whole, my curiosity about things in life has served me rather well.

So. There's that.

Janet

p.s. a few somewhat random, maybe vaguely relevant quotations:

“The philosopher seeks to hear within himself the echoes of the world symphony, and to re-project them in the form of concepts.” – Nietzsche (quoted in Oliver Sacks’ book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales)

“There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling . . . Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.” – Aldous Huxley, 20th century intellectual & author of Brave New World (said later in his life, apparently, when he regretted having taken himself so seriously in his younger years).  *** from a Rob Brezsny newsletter

“Let us face it: an Earthling’s sense of humor and fascination with sex makes it impossible for him or her to concentrate seriously on anything, even his or her survival, for more than an hour at a time.” – Kurt Vonnegut in a speech in 1972

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think.” – Rebecca Solnit      

“You must locate your deepest private feelings – philosophical, religious, spiritual – and then decide to live out these beliefs in a commensurate way, in public, as much as possible without compromise.” – Marv Davidov, peace activist (quoted in Nukewatch Quarterly, Spring 2012 issue)

“This, then, was what had come of her poor compromise, her attempt to do right, to separate the conflicting dictates of head and heart, to assuage conscience, which was, as Mark Twain had shrewdly observed, “no better than an old yeller dog.” For fairness and loyalty, however important to the head, were issues that could seldom be squared in the human heart, at the deepest depths of which lay the mystery of affection, of love, which you either felt or you didn’t, pure as instinct, which seized you, not the other way around, making a mockery of words like “should” and “ought.” The human heart, where compromise could not be struck, not ever. Where transgressions exacted a terrible price. Where tangled black limbs fell. Where the boom got lowered.” – from Nobody’s Fool, by Richard Russo (pg. 545)

“I don’t fight fascists because I think I’ll win. I fight them because they’re fascists.” – Chris Hedges, as quoted by Guy McPherson

“The truth is that we never conquered the world, never understood it; we only think we have control. We do not even know why we respond a certain way to other organisms, and need them in diverse ways, so deeply.” – E.O. Wilson

“Look deep into nature, & then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” – Kahlil Gibran

“I believe we inherit a great river of knowledge, a flow of patterns coming from many sources. The information that comes from deep in the evolutionary past we call genetics. The information passed along from hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family, and the information offered months ago we call education. But it is all information that flows through us. The brain is adapted to the river of knowledge and exists only as a creature in that river. Our thoughts are profoundly molded by this long historic flow, and none of us exists, self-made, in isolation from it.” ~ David Brooks

 

"You and I are flowers of a tenacious family.

Breathe slowly and deeply,

Free of previous occupation.

The latest good news

Is that you can do it,

And that I can take time to do it too, with you.” – Marci Thurston Shaine

 

“Be truthful, gentle and fearless.” – Gandhi

“So long as I breathe and have the strength to do it, I will not cease philosophizing, exhorting you, indicting whichever of you I happen to meet, telling him in my customary way: Esteemed friend, citizen of Athens, the greatest city in the world, so outstanding in both intelligence and power, aren’t you ashamed to care so much to make all the money you can, and to advance your reputation and prestige – while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your soul you have no care or worry?” – Socrates, Greek philosopher, 469-399 B.C.

“In helping others we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” – Flora Edwards

“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” – Henrik Ibsen

 

4 Rules for Life

Show up.

Pay attention.

Tell the truth.

Don’t be attached to the results.

Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher, author (1940 – )