Thank You

Thank You

I said I’d do it and I (blush, sniff) did it.  I wrote every day for a month.  I know it’s probably a small feat for some of you out there but it was totally a new thing for me.  Had never done it before and now: I did it.  Now I know what it’s like for me to do something like that.  And I can’t help but wanna say Thank You.

If you read me, Thank You, you helped me understand what it’s like to be read. Seeing numbers go up bit by bit was motivating and suprising.

If you didn’t read me, Thank You as well. You helped me understand what it’s like to not be read. It was important and sobering.

If you “liked” a post, Thank You, I was proud and flattered every time. I looked at the “likes” over and over again. It was exciting to have touched somebody even if I didn’t know exactly how.

If you have a blog and you liked a post, Thank You for keeping your blog up so that I could take in a bit of your perspective and learn a bit about you and where you are coming from.

If you didn’t have a blog and you liked a post, Thank You for even looking. I had no idea anybody without one would even be able to see something I wrote.

If you commented, Thank You, you made it tangible that there were humans on the other side. You were kind and generous with your comments and for that I also Thank You (it was intimidating to think it could be otherwise!)

If you supported me to stick with it and not give up, Thank You, my doubts and hesitations were real and you helped me push on.

I was even Liebstered and it was so totally flattering! Thank you! I will post my proper Liebster post very soon (I just wanna do it right… an exasperating lack of time in the last few weeks has prevented this from happening but my big project is done so I’ll be able to do right by it now).

If you followed me for any amount of time, Thank You, wow. Wow. Me? I am so honored. And excited I will now have more time and be able to dedicate a bit more thought to my posts in order to deliver more at my best and less at my hurried-est.

Thank You also to Zerotohero, you helped me understand a lot of the possibilities I had with my blog and with more time I will go back to your prompts so that I can try them all out.

And Thank You to WordPress. For this awesome soapbox. Hats off to you folks!

It feels really great to have had this experience. I did like it and will now tailor it to something a bit less pushy for myself: Instead of posting every day I will aim to post once a week (though I’ve yet to figure out what deadline day of the week I will give myself… I think that will be necessary in order to actually keep this up).

Anyway, Thank You for being there and all that. You’ve made me a better person, you’ve given me something incredible. I feel so lucky!

Cheers:
to following through,
to new experiences,
to writing,
to posting,
to reading,
to connecting,
to appreciating,
to you,
to me,
to this.
xoxo

 

Something spectacular, something lovely

To have something spectacular.  Shouldn’t we all be able to have something spectacular?  I think so.  Or at least something lovely. We should be able to have something lovely.  

There have been several times in my life in which everything was just…  okay.  Or just tolerable. Or just plain awful. And I’d forget that I had options, that I was making choices about where I was at that moment.  Or choices about the way I looked at things.  And it didn’t occur to me to think that I had any power to find any enjoyment or to make anything be lovely, much less spectacular.  Maybe I could have taken a little time here or there to do something nice for myself.  I could have made sure I reached out to a good friend or took time to read or eat something wonderful.  I could have made it a point to take walks somewhere lovely or to just sit… and appreciate that I can listen to my breathing, can enjoy taking deep, long breaths, can hear the blood pumping through my body when the room is quiet enough.  It worries me how much time we can remain in deep discomfort, how many excuses and justifications we find to explain why we remain in the bad place we’re in.  And it worries me how hard it can be to see that we can do something to change things.  Maybe it’s easier to blame external forces because it enables us to keep our hands down and our how-to-save-myself creativity inactive. It takes the blame off of us, the responsibility.  But we have options. I think we do.  Don’t we?  Nobody doesn’t have options.

Smell

The other day I was chopping some cilantro and some garlic and there was a cooked sweet potato near me. Nothing else to smell, just maybe the kitchen, though nothing much was going on yet. The pan was warming up some oil. It was the early evening and I had just gotten home so there might have also been some random smell attached to what I was wearing- you know how sometimes you bring smells back with you? Well my hands were working on dinner and my mind was thinking of… I don’t know, nothing.  And suddenly I was back and about to get into my dad’s Volaré, back as a little kid, little enough that I didn’t have to duck at all to get into the car but on the contrary, lift my leg up high. The car was green and the seats were beige, like either vinyl or leather beige, like a beige gray. My parents were divorced so he’d pick us up on Saturdays and take us for the day. There was always a mini candy waiting for each of us in the Volaré. As adults he had told me once that he had the candy as an incentive for us to get into the car without dilly-dally and also because a part of him would worry we might not want to get in so the candy was insurance.  He didn’t know he didn’t need it but it also worked. And I was back there,  that little kid again. swinging my leg onto the seat to slide into the middle where the candy would wedge itself between seat and seat back. And in the bright light of that morning I could see my legs and my white shoes and he was there and I was there with him and my brothers and it was another amped up Saturday morning and I was glad. I felt a calm in me.  We were where we were supposed to be- a “home” of sorts was Saturday morning.  And then I am back at my cutting board and everything stops. And I can’t believe it and look around at my hands and the knife and the food and the floor of the kitchen and I try to get it back really quick get it back just for a moment please just one more little moment. And I know it’s all come back to me through smell, up my nose to back in time.  From somewhere.  And I just can’t put it back together.  But I’ve had that. In the past and right then. So much to appreciate.  So much to mourn. To be so lucky to have ever had that!  Oh smell…

Rain reminder

Remember:

When it rains, and eventually it will, you can go out.  Or stay out if you’re out, don’t just run in.  And you can let it rain on you.  Take a drizzle at least or let it fall, so much that you let it soak you.  So you can feel it dripping down.  See it coming, watch, look up.  See it beading on your skin and see the little rivers forming, down and off of you.  Watch it pool and puddle.  You can hear it.  And even turn your ear up to it.  Maybe tapping, applauding, crashing.  And smell it… indescribable, moisture, earth, yourself.  You can let all of this happen on top of you. Lucky you under the rain, the pouring water from the sky, at least for a little bit.

This is not a metaphor.  This is about rain.  And what you can do next time.

Dreams and garlic

DREAMING

Does anybody have advice on what to do to remember your dreams?  I hardly ever remember them…  it’s really rare.  Sometimes I think I remember dreams only if there is something really intense going on in my life and sometimes I’ve thought that I’m remembering them because I have eaten something particular that evening (sometimes I have eaten seafood that evening and it makes me think that’s what has done it).  One time a doctor recommended I start to take a bunch of vitamins and he said, “don’t be surprised if you have really vivid dreams”.  I did and it was pretty great.  I just can’t remember what vitamin specifically was the one that made me dream and the doctor is in a city far, far away.  Yes, I’ll do a web search but I just thought I’d ask and see if any humans out there had any tips from their own experience.

 

GARLIC

Puree a whole garlic clove with a few pinches of salt (to taste) and enough olive oil to help the puree process (I use about the same amount of olive oil as there is of garlic- I use a little more or a little less, depending on what method I use to make the paste).  Save it in a little jar in the fridge and have it ready to put it on everything.  It’s a super handy way to store it in order to have it ready to cook with too.  But raw, oh my gosh raw, is just so incomparable!  A wonderful feeling comes from knowing that this is such an absolutely delicious and bright taste that you really don’t care who smells the garlic on you.

Not so sure

Not so sure this thing is for me, this blogging thing, and I’m only 11 days in. Maybe what’s not for me is writing every day. It’s what I was trying to do starting on the 1st of the year. And then the zerotohero challenge was mentioned by a friend and I thought that was kind of a neat idea but the prompts ended up being something other than what I hoped. I wanted it to suggest interesting things to post daily but there’s other challenges for that. And looking at those, I really need to dig around to find something I feel motivated to respond to. Most aren’t what I’d like to be trying so I’ve kept posting things I myself want to post although I’ve felt several times like I’m pushing it and forcing it out, making me a bit embarrassed to press “post” but feeling like “this is the only time today I’ll have to do this” and I wanna see what it’s like to do all days in a month. I’m being kind of all-or-nothing but I’m mostly able to do this about posting every day, not about posting only what I think is “worth” the post because then I’m afraid I’d probably hardly ever post. I don’t know. I guess zerotohero is kind of like a mini course on expectations for bloggers (do this, click this, widget this, stand out, fidget to find the best look, etc). It’s educational but not especially motivating for amateur me. I HAVE enjoyed posting some things and have been so interested to learn who is interested in them. I am FLATTERED and FLOORED whenever somebody “likes” a post… but I feel like what I’m asking of myself in this thing is to be some sort of “life of the party” or “truth holding guru” every time I post. Which, sure, it’s more about a ridiculous expectation I have on myself: to do everything I can to be “worth your time” so that you will stay. But I can’t design that even in my regular life and if I could I wouldn’t understand the point of it anyway since those who stay, stay. And it’s because they are sold on who I am when regular life is going on, not just when I’m at my best. And there’s nothing more awful than having someone stay because you’ve been morphing yourself into who they want you to be cause then you’re stuck doing that and as soon as you stop, and one day you will have to, they will leave. So why do it here, be the life of the party, in this format? To an audience of who knows who? I don’t even know who my intended audience is or who I want them to be. I feel like I sound ungrateful (sorry browsers, readers, likers, followers, and commenters) but it’s not what I mean. I’m just not getting this and I’m feeling like publicly writing about it (mostly because that will fill in today and maybe because my insecurity feels like making excuses for the lack of quality of some of my blog’s content). The latest suggestions from zerotohero are “make your About page irresistible” and “follow 5 more blogs and or topics”. Well… why irresistible? I’m not irresistible. I’ve defaulted to what I tend to do which is more sort of honest and straight forward. If that’s not enough then that’s what’s gonna be there anyway. Follow 5 more blogs and or topics? Hmmm… I am following a few and look forward to one day being able to go more deeply into others that I will want to follow but I’m a bit overwhelmed already by the amount of time it takes to post something. Because I want it to be understood by many, no? And I want to be generous in what I give and really give something I’d like to get, something that will be “worth something”. And I want readers to finish reading, no? And I want readers to read me again, no? I guess. All that takes SO much time and I’m already so very busy with job and home and just my brain and my spirits and trying to get done all that needs to get done. Ugh… I don’t know. There’s also a part of me that worries that every hour I spend in front of this machine is one hour I don’t spend walking outside where the humans are or pursuing things that will amount to accomplishments that are more than the “I tried that” checkmark. Hmm…I think I’ll finish off the month with 31 consecutive days and then begin to post just whenever if at all.

To finish off, if you’ve read this far, I guess I just want to say:

Sorry for when you feel it’s a waste of time to read what I’ve posted.
And
I am so magnanimously glad when I can post something that gives anything to you.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and are able to get what you want from it.

But how will I find you?

Some time ago, I was teaching at a day camp for 5 year olds.  Our teaching assistant was a young college student.  She was a really great teacher and very sweet with the kids.  We took them swimming every day, offered a wide variety of interesting science and art workshops, and played all sorts of games.  It was so much fun.  One of our campers, a playfully rambunctious yet somewhat reserved boy, really took to the teaching assistant and would plop himself on her lap whenever we got the group together on the floor.  On the last day of camp, kids were casually talking about what they were going to do next.  Some kids had other camps, some had trips, and some were going to spend some time at home.  Plopped on her lap as usual, he suddenly turned her face to him with his hand and urgently asked, “What about you?  What are YOU going to do?”  She lightly said she wasn’t sure, that she was going to travel a bit and maybe spend some time with her family.  He started to explain to her that he wanted to know where she’d be, he wanted to know how he was going to be able to figure out where she was.  “But how will I find you?”   She explained she really didn’t know because she wasn’t sure herself where she was going to be in the next few months.  “I must be able to find you,” he said, “I will tear the world apart to get to you”.

Not yet present

You’re back then and latersomeday and before, even soon and not yet.  But lately you’re not at all now.  And it’s making you scattered so: Present.  The word.  What is that to you?

You want to read it pretty and you want to read it true and because definitions are poems, you look it up, the way we tend to look things up.

Tap tap tap. Enter.

And you read a lot of things. Here and there…  and there.  And scroll…  and again.

And somehow it isn’t enough. The fonts are ugly. The layout stupid. And it emits light… what?

And you think.

You walk to the bookshelf and pick up the ten-pounder.

Okay, so maybe it’s not ten pounds but it’s ten pounds.

And you cradle it over.  And lay it on the table.  And open it anywhere, kind of in half.  It spreads out like it’s meant to. How long has it been?  And it’s out and exhales like it’s comfortable.

Beautiful scroll, split. Curves, slides.

You glide your hand over tabs to the golden letters

O
P

and then… turn, turn,

forward, forward…  too far.

Backward, back, forward…

there. And glide up and down and there:

present n. A moment in time perceptible as intermediate between past and future: now.

And then you look for it as “gift”.  Because it’s something that you want.

present n. Something presented; a gift.

Scant…  so then you head toward gift…  On your way is Judy Garland (what a treat!) and a gargoyle and a gibbon and a glove.  And then here:

gift n. Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.

And you go back to present.  The now.

And right before it, (ha!) you didn’t tell me, is this (of course it is):

presence of mind n. The ability to think and act calmly and efficiently, especially in an emergency.

And it’s consciousness.  You know.  Even though it is not written.  Not absence of mind but presence.  And that is what you want.

And yeah. It’s an emergency.  That though you are here, all the time here, you are simply not.  And you are not thinking or acting calmly or efficiently about it. How can you?  How will you?  Can an alarm, say, every hour, pull you back to now?  You don’t know.  But you’re trying. You are really trying.