Happily Ever After

 

 

The wilds touch my back door. A part of them does anyway. Strangeish insects and unfamiliar Corvids enliven the “wilds”of my new backyard.  Tall skinny Evergreens surrounded by persistent English ivy. Small deciduous trees that await new spring leaves dot the landscape accented by bright green moss providing splashes of color that reminds me that spring really truly here.

A tiny brook babbles on by fifteen feet below. I can hear frogs in the morning and the friendly neighbor’s cat comes to greet me in the bright but cool sunshine. I am beginning to attune to my new atmosphere.

It is different here but I find much beauty in this newness.

I am now an apartment dweller. My big yard has been replaced by this woodsy spot with two cement slabs and the before-mentioned surrounding moss which will now serve as my garden area. I have three large pots, empty for now. I will certainly get more. Out of the thousands of plants in my old yard I brought only one; the meadow rue. It lies dormant under the soil in an indigo planter awaiting warmer weather.  It wasn’t a choice I wanted to make but in order to make a new life for oneself one must put aside the old.

I have done a lot of that lately; setting aside.

After a 17 year relationship I parted ways with someone who wasn’t good for me. My trusting nature and naivety paired with my wholehearted belief in redemption kept this damaging storm rolling much too long despite the, obvious to others, unhappiness it was bringing me. When living inside the eye of the hurricane; the epicenter of emotional and psychological abuse, you can’t see how bad it really is. Over time the abnormal can become the normal.

And a deep sadness can embed itself in you and you don’t realize how awful it really is in part because if you stop and do this it will break your heart and maybe you can’t go on. And so I put what I thought was a convincing happy face to the word and went on. Inside a hole grew and grew and in time, by the end of those 17 years, it was a giant gaping hole…a chunk torn out of me and beat to hell.

My yard which was in it’s entirety what I deemed my salvation would have to be left behind. My  cats too. Spotsy and my Mario would stay with the house and the yard and it’s owner. I left with my two kids ( 18 and 21 ) to go live in an apartment across town. A new place of sanctuary. A place of  freedom with my name on the lease.

It’s different but it is becoming home. Home is really in the people you are with not the place anyway.

I was fortunate to meet someone at work. An amazing person I knew that I knew the instant we met. I have been having the pleasure of getting to know him ever since. We all live together in this apartment that skirts the edge of this thin strip of urban woods.

There is a freeway that lies beyond it. I can hear the traffic, its steady hum sounds like the ocean to me, it is easy to drift to sleep to.

I feel free and happy and loved. I feel confident and hopeful, more than ever.

The hole in my soul is filled, love pours out and spills out into the world. I am grateful. I thank God everyday. I am blessed beyond measure. I have the opportunity to start anew and this I will do, This I am doing.

 

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Winston Churchill

~nlm

George Harrison – What Is Life

Advertisements

Aliens inside us

 

There are aliens inside us…hidden deep inside us…restless ones who move about changing shape and creating quite a stir…subtly effecting us in ways we cannot imagine…slowly taking over our minds…driving us insane…

 

This is the dramatic version I like to entertain myself with. The one that suggests a nerdy sci-fi thriller mixed with a slick medical docudrama. This may not be too far off. ..

So just what am I jabbering on about you ask?

 

Mitochondria!

(Play dramatic music here)

that’s right. Mitochondria.

 

 

mitochondrion 1
Mitochondria

As we all know from Science class , mitochondria are adorable microscopic rod-shaped organelles. They live inside our cells, they give us our get up and go, our va va va voom and our very breath.

 

Really far out and groovy scientists hypothesize that millions of years ago a microscopic  free-living single-celled organism met up with another larger microscopic free-living single-celled organism and the two dug each other so much they reached some sort of agreement to develop a symbiotic relationship. And so they did;  shacking up together like bohemian live-in lovers, one not being able to live without the other, each complimenting each other perfectly. Eventually, the larger organism developed into a cell, the eukaryotic cell to be exact and the smaller organism developed into the mitochondrion we know today.   But how much do we know about mitochondria anyway?

 

Cultures cell stained for mitochondria (red), microtubules (blue), and the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (green)
Cultures cell stained for mitochondria (red), microtubules (blue), and the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (green)

Although they live inside us, mitochondrion do not share our DNA, they have their own.  They are quite the powerhouses of energy. They can change shape rapidly and are quite restless moving about ours cells almost constantly.

Mitochondria may not be literally the air that we breathe but it is they who convert the oxygen we breathe into energy in a process called aerobic respiration. Without mitochondria higher animals such as you and I and even my cat Mario are not likely to exist…

Ever since I heard of mitochondria and this arrangement made millions of years ago I have been fascinated.

 

 

I myself have entered into what most would consider a symbiotic relationships with another human and I don’t have to tell anyone that sometimes these relationships just don’t turn out. Sometimes they end badly and by the time you realize this,  it’s already too late and you have been driven insane.  It happens all the time. But imagine if you had literally absorbed this partner into your body and now it’s DNA is in your nucleus!  How can you undo this?  Argument, logic or idle threats cannot separate you. You are stuck with this mistake forever and there’s no amount of clever legalese or high priced lawyers that can save you.  OMG! Yikes!!

 

Mammalian mitochondria
Mammalian mitochondria

Really?  Can your Mitochondria make you crazy and if I ever do go crazy can I use this as an excuse?

I have been catching up on my technical journals and ran into articles citing evidence that there is a correlation between mutated mitochondrion and mental illness. This is no surprise.

This aspect is what intrigues me about the whole subject.  I mean could these little buggers be influencing us on a more subtle level, and if I screw up or do something stupid can I blame them?

Would anyone buy this?

This is what I ponder as I look out the window into the great wide world outside. I watch two crows fly high in the sky which leads to more pondering.  Yes, there are times when symbiosis goes horribly wrong but what happens when it goes wonderfully right?  Apart from some craziness, are we not the product of a successful symbiosis?  I try to imagine a time before the merging of the two single-celled organisms that created life as we know it here on earth.  In our narrow human point of view not a lot had happened before this chance meeting.  It was a spark that set off a whole heaping helping of a lot, dammit…

…has all of this been good ? That I will ponder another day…

I feel restless…

..the sun is out and I think I will go for walk

 

~NLM

art fractal gif 6

 

 

References and Related Articles

Entangled Particles and the Certainty of Love
The Air that I Breathe - The Hollies 


High Intensity Exercise Makes Muscle Mitochondria Happy

Psychiatric symptoms of patients with primary mitochondrial DNA disorders


Mitochondria (What is Mitochondria?)


Free Hugs

I came across a picture today.  It was a drawing made by a someone I don’t know. I saw it online, I think it was in my Facebook inbox.  The artist’s name is written in the side. It is basic but genuine and to me conveys the most achingly beautiful sentiment.

and it sparked something…

I will sometimes get an idea for a post, but I won’t know actually how it will turn out.  It starts with a message I want to convey, whether it be simple or complex. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, months even. it just rolls around in that crazy head of mine waiting for something… a spark?  Something to give it life. Incidences will happen; little things, really of no significance but then one day–wham! It all fits together. This picture was a catalyst.

Love will show us the way by Art the System on Facebook

We share a collective consciousness. The good, the bad, the everything contained therein.

The best and worst of us is inside us all. We share so much. One important need is to give and receive love. We are an empathetic species that thrives on mutual understanding and cooperation. We need togetherness.

Newborn babies can die if denied love, it is ingrained in us, the need to reach out and be held. It is a basic and human need we first receive usually from our mothers and fathers. And it this need to touch to be touched lasts through our lifetimes. It is beyond sexual desire which in itself is powerful. It is grounding, it is humbling and uplifting.

The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety.  Hugging relaxes muscles; releasing tension in the body. They can take away pain and soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.  Hugs balance out the nervous system and boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

~ Virginia Satir

FREE_HUGS';_Tokyo

Hugs are wonderful. They are warm and innocent expressions of affection.  To me hugs are magical events.

free_hugs_2_by_dastalisa-d3adynw

They are hopeful. They are happy. They spread happiness.

'FREE_HUGS',_Notre_Dame_de_Paris

We have a human need to be wanted and valued and accepted. A hug is a demonstration of that.

There is much to be said about the power of a hug. I have noticed a trend as of these last few years of people with signs giving out free ones. It is a novel thing. it creates a bit of a spectacle and maybe it isn’t all that serious but it does make people happy. and it sends out a terrific message.

I have noticed with the passage of time that hugs are becoming more freely given and socially acceptable. When I was a child one rarely would see two men hug, these days it is commonplace. This is a wonderful thing.

It is such a wonderful thing and so is a kind word, a pat on the back and a smile.

Sometimes we don’t know the burden another may be carrying and cannot fathom how one simple act of encouragement from someone; a stranger even and what sort of positive impact that it can have.

If we all made a point of doing this;  reaching out to others even sometimes going  the extra mile to tell another person you care; whether it’s just an ear to listen.  Sometimes all people need is a release; someone to talk to and a little sympathy.  Sometimes it is a stranger, a person you will never encounter again, this does not lessen the quality of the interaction. Every positive interaction we have with another person makes them feel good and makes us feel good. it’s all good!

And just like rabbits these positive interactions spread and before you know it the room is of full of rabbits.

Try it you’ll like it. Hug someone today.

Strawberryindigo.

.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” 
― Albert Einstein

English: 'FREE HUGS' in a marketplace, Chile
English: ‘FREE HUGS’ in a marketplace, Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

References and Related Articles

Why we need at least 8 hugs a day (mindbodygreen.com)

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5756/10-Reasons-Why-We-Need-at-Least-8-Hugs-a-Day.html

5 Ways to Hug  (wikihow.com)

 Miracle/soulmate (helioshub.wordpress.com)

The Smile Factor

Cat smiling at sanctuary
Image by rikkis_refuge via Flickr

Smile

According to my ancient Websters dictionary; A smile is defined as a change of facial expression involving the eyes and an upward curving of the corners of the mouth that may express amusement, pleasure, affection or irony.

That sounds a tad bit antiseptic. It doesn’t define the human element of a smile and the power that a smile has.

I believe that smiles are magical and slam dunk contagious.  A warm smile has the potential to melt the coldest of the cold.  If it is honest and heartfelt, one simple smile can mean so much to the receiver of such a gift.  A smile can convey sympathy and friendship.  It can say “I understand” or “you are not alone”.

Smiling Baby

The Smile Factor

Smiles unite us.  They break down language and cultural barriers. They are a basic part of our humanity. We are born with that smile factor; that need for a smile because acknowledge it or not, we all need them.

Warm smile
Image via Wikipedia

It can be easy to forget the power of a smile.  A sadness or anger can set in to a person that will cause them to never smile again.  Their face balling up into a permanent scowl.  This scowl may remove the possibility that anyone will ever smile at them again.  I think that sometimes people don’t realize the effect that we humans have on each other.

We are all connected and we affect each other more than we realize. One person’s bad day an easily become the next person’s.

Bad days are contagious too.

I have started to think about this of late. It seems some people save up their misdirected anger for someone “easier” who cannot retaliate.  “The customer is always right” is their motto above all else, even human dignity.  I have witnessed some rather awful behavior by some “right” customers.  Rarely do I witness the opposite.

Smile 2

Making a difference

I am but one person, but I believe that even one person can make a difference in the life of another.  So I am making it my habit to spread some good cheer around wherever I go. This is not always easy and I am not perfect, but I have found that putting aside my feelings a bit to sympathize with someone, pay a deserved complement or just a simple smile can have rewards in themselves that reach far beyond the here and now.

It’s easy and it spreads like wildfire.  Try it. Smile at a complete stranger if for no other reason that to just do it.  Watch the reaction you get.  A smile truly is a gift that keeps on giving.

Keep smiling

Strawberryindigo.

SMILE

Related articles