The Weight Of Things

 

 

tree leaves autumn color

 

An elderly neighbor of mine passed away last autumn. I didn’t realize this until the following spring when I saw people pull up in front of her little green house on the corner to carry away her things. First it was the chair, then a couch and a tall lamp.  This came as a surprise as change tends to do. Abrupt and unexpected. She was old and frail and we’d seen less and less of her over the years.  Her son Lenny lived with her and tended to the maintenance of the house and yard. He was a shy and gentle soul who never let anyone get to know him except for the neighborhood cats, which he attracted in droves.

As neighbors go they were my favorites. I like shy and gentle people, the elderly and cats.  I was a bit pissed at myself for not knowing what had happened for almost 6 months.

MM suggested we go over and take a look at the obvious to us now, estate sale that was happening at the little green house on the corner.  I admit I was curious as I had never been inside. I wondered where her son was as I got on my shoes and we headed over.

 

 

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Half the neighborhood was there sprinkled among the other shoppers.   I was stricken at first at how cramped it was, full of people pawing through Angie’s things. I felt funny. I didn’t know her all that well but now I felt sort of protective of her stuff and her memory. I took a quick tour of the downstairs bedroom. I saw her hairbrushes and clothes for sale. It seemed all too intimate, all too strange and all too much.

 

Oh I had spoken to her several times over the years exchanging cards at Christmas and the like. I knew she had lived there for over 40 years and had raised a  family, watched most her children  move away and start lives of their own. I know her husband had died there. I know that she seemed somewhat hard and no nonsense. I know that my preconceived notions about her had allowed me to keep her at arms length like I do with most people.

 

But now it was so different, so final..

 

The rooms were tiny and jam packed with various things. It was overwhelming right away: there was so much. It was difficult to take it all in. The first thing I zeroed in on was a set of commemorative dishes priced at $650 dollars next to a tin of cocoa marked “new” and on sale for one dollar.  Along with old dishes and salt and pepper shakers shaped like Minnie and Mickey, there was a package of paper towels for sale and paper napkins.  Who buys this stuff? I wondered to myself and more importantly who sells this? I was tempted to open the refrigerator to see if there was some old milk for sale but decided against it.

 

old toys

 

MM beckoned me up the flight of steep creaky stairs that led to the upstairs bedrooms, all small and filled to the brim with stuff. Old holiday decorations and kids toys  neatly arranged in boxes. It was hard to believe they had hung on to these items for so long.

The atmosphere was oppressive, it was thick with oldness and stagnation.  I could  feel the 40 years of history there.  This was once a place of life and hopes and dreams and now only lost memories remained. It was as if the remains of a sweetness had stagnated and turned acrid; buried under the heaviness of the years.

It wasn’t long before I had to get out. Needless to say I didn’t buy anything, I wasn’t planning to.

 

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Time passes so quickly. It’s too easy to just go with the flow and let circumstance carry you along.  I am in the midst of that and I sensed my neighbor was too but only she had floated farther than I…and stayed too long, accumulated too many things with too many links to the past. So many that there was scant room for anything or anyone else.

So much stuff with so many memories attached to them. It’s easy to do; hang on to things. I too have that pack rat mentality. Sometimes you never know when you may need something.

 

More importantly, these cherished bits of happiness; intangible memories encased in tangible objects enable us to hold a piece of the past. It seems holding on to these things brings us closer to what we miss.  It’s a little silly when you think about the significance we give to objects, it’s not logical.  But who is logical?  Especially not when we love someone. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I truly understood how important mere objects can become.

 

I have limited myself  a few items, tokens of memory, attached to a person not so much as a time. A few items: a Buddha statue of my father’s and his namesake tree in the front yard.  A tiny doll my teenage daughter played with when she was younger, The blue striped blanket my son came home from the hospital with. I have kept the odd concert ticket, a tiny figurine from when I was 4. There isn’t much.

 

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I’ve been ruminating on this experience all summer. It’s prompted me to re think the way I’m living my life.  How I hang on to needless things. The tangible and the not so tangible. Outdated stuff, old baggage, outgrown ideas and ways of thinking.  How possessions can possess the possessor and how little by little all this stuff we accumulate weigh us down… keeps us from flying.

 

 

Perhaps my neighbor missed her chance to fly, maybe her son being thrown out of the nest so late is in flight now.  At any rate we all must go someway, somehow.  I ponder this as I watch my neighbor’s tree come down foot by foot until it’s gone and I realize it’s been blocking what I see now is a great view of the mountains.

 

~Nancy

 

 

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

freedom shadow butterfly woman sunset

 

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In My Life / Jake Shimabukuro

 

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Moments

 

 

 One moment bleeds into the next
Moment
Bringing with it nothing
Leaving behind nothing
Only existing inside this one fragment in time
Try to hold it in your grasp and its gone
With a whisper

 

woman with sun shadow

 

Life is made of moments, each one slipping into the next in an endless cascade that ripples like a wide sea. Currents toss us this way and that, we are passengers on a great journey, a journey through time and space; through the moments that make up our existence.

Our lives are framed by these fragments of time. We are shaped but what occurs in each frame in succession, each effecting the next and so on unto infinity or…?  What we do today creates our tomorrow. So much can happen in the span of a scant moment; each one leads us to the next and before you know it, time has passed. There have been instances in my life when one moment mattered so much. It’s funny; seldom do you have the luxury of knowing which of these moments will be that one until it is right on top of you.

We’ve all had those pivotal moments in our lives. In my experience they seem to occur in slow motion, every action elongated, every nuance multiplied. There is no time to think in these moments, seemingly so.  I suppose instinct comes into play here, our body has an intelligence all its own and can react before we can….our heart knows…

I  think for the most part at least part of us knows the answer on how to react or not react to life’s little surprises. There is a trust involved and sometimes we don’t trust ourselves when we should.  At least that is what I do. For all my advice and proselytizing regarding listening to one’s inner voice, I have myself at times ignored it and carried on like my conscience was silent… as if my psyche wasn’t speaking to me; whispering glorious and not so glorious truths in those quiet moments of reflection.

There have been times I have buried revelations behind a thick wall of willing indecision, trying to put off the inevitable…there have been plenty of moments lost to fear of misstep, misfortune or just plain falling flat on my face.

And so I hide from these important moments which require the important decisions. Maybe that means I hide from life too. Perhaps I pick the safest moments; the ones that require the least risk.

 

I know what I would say about that…

These are moments I will never get back. I only have so many.  It may be time to take my advice and not just listen but act.

Points to ponder as the moments pass…

Have an excellent day!

Nancy

 

 

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.” 
― Paulo Coelho 

 

beach-couple-sea-walking-sunset-love

 

 

Like a wanton criminal seize the moment. Take it. Make it yours to the fullest. Don’t look back. Yesterday is over and tomorrow has not yet begun, there is no guarantee there will be a tomorrow–neither exist.  There is only now.

 

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We share the same sky

Credit: SBI
Credit: SBI
The night air is hot
Heavy dark and damp
I sit by the back door of my imagination
in the green denseness of dreams
there lies a brick courtyard
that faces the western sea
The rain grows hard
and blows soft mists
across my warm face
I imagine they are your tender kisses
and a smile forms across my ruby lips
I gaze out into the abyss
straight to the deep nothings that darkness
creates from everyday
A thought from the back of my mind
comes forward
commands me to
pay attention
I can do nothing else
and the dark trees and moonlit sky
beckon me toward the light
through a meadow of wet silvery grass
there is a pool where my dreams lie
across a galaxy and  six thousand miles
waiting for the impossible
by the back door
on an idle rainy Friday
and the sky opens up
stars like tears that stain the night
the persistent moon
haunts the sky
the very same lonely sky we share
and your name lies unspoken on my lips
like a lost promise
under the warmth
of a distant sun

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©2013 copyright. N.L. McKinley

glass cosmic-explosion-1360359523BCu

 (YouTube)

ACROSS the UNIVERSE by The Beatles

Interstellar Overdrive by PINK FLOYD

TED TALK–Brian Greene: Is our universe the only universe?

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Entangled Particles and the Certainty of Love

We are star dust.  We are atoms, molecules, particles and quarks. We are flesh and bone and hearts and minds. We are human and we live in a complex universe full of mystery. I am an artist, a writer and poet.  I have many varied interests which mix in my brain and leads me to think some pretty interesting thoughts.

For years I have been curious about the universe at large and how it became to be. As I mentioned before, my mind is slanted toward the more creative side of the spectrum, but physics, especially quantum physics is a subject that intrigues me. I have read about a dozen books on the subject; ones that are written for the layperson like myself.  Contained therein these books are concepts which are very difficult for my creative and whimsical mind to grasp.  One of these is the subject of Entangled Particles.

Einstein, one of my heroes and an altogether fascinating and smart guy called the subject of  entanglement “spooky action at a distance.”

particles entangled

“Inside the atom, electrons exist in orbits around the central nucleus. And just as the Earth spins daily on its axis while orbiting the sun, electrons also have spin. That Particles such as electrons can also become ‘entangled’, so that any measurement of the spin of one of them is correlated with the spin measured on the other – no matter how far apart they are! The ‘non-locality’ of this entanglement means two particles can be considered as a single object, even though they may be separated by some distance.”

To me, in my silly mind, this is not so much spooky as it is romantic….and it just gets better; no matter how far these entangled particles get from each other, they stay intertwined and behave as one, even on opposite ends of the universe;  Star-crossed lovers if I’ve ever heard of them.

We humans are made up of these countless particles.  

This makes me think of these two particles; together as one until one day out of the blue and from no doing of their own…they are split apart… just like that. And hurled into opposite ends of the universe.  I know what you’re thinking; how tragic!

Isn’t that just the way. I have seen many romantic movies with the same plot.  Boy meets girl and boy loses girl…just like that. These entangled ones are so “into each other” they keep acting the same no matter how far apart they get from each other. He may be in the jungles of South America and she may at her country estate on  the moors of Wuthering Heights but they never forget how it was to be together and long for each other like crazy.

In the cold reality of space we know these entangled particles will never meet again but in the affairs of the heart we know that often love finds a way.  So say a million billion trillion years pass and these entangled particles meet again somehow; would they recognize each other?

Ah…as Shakespeare would say; that’s the rub and this is my point….

Ever meet someone who you already knew? Someone you could fall into and float with forever?  Maybe that’s why; it may be our particles recognize each other.   Spooky?  I say not….I say it’s a Quantum Romance.

Just a few thoughts from the mind of a “nutcase”

Strawberryindigo.

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“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.” 
~Rumi

Entangled Hearts Red White Blended Background

****References and Related Articles****

      Quantum Entanglement (wikipedia.org)

Spooky Action at a Distance (pbs.org)

Spooky Action at What Distance? [Uncertain Principles] (scienceblogs.com)

Quantum Computing Moves Big Step Closer To Reality As Scientists Teleport Data Across Chip (huffingtonpost.com)

The first quantum entanglement of photons through space and time (wikileaks-forum.com)

An Indigo Rant

screaming woman in public domain

I’m angry…damned angry. Boiling mad angry. This is a rant my friends and if you don’t wish to see the darker side of SBI please look away. Come back again on another day. That is a warning and this is a rant!

I feel someone should speak up here. I suppose I lead a sheltered existence, safe in my little blog world where I am surrounded by enlightened and caring people.  I do however venture out to the virtual world at large, and oh yes, we all know this world can be ugly, unbearably ugly.

I try to stay  away from all this but I am concerned.  I do care and I am curious.  I recently visited the Huffington Post. It is a place I go. I have an account there and I am called theindigoside. As the name suggests it is the indigo side. I can get somewhat political but I am me, and all the me I can be.

I ran into a story:

Timothy Alsip, Oregon Homeless Man, Robs Bank For $1, Asks To Go To Jail To Access Healthcare

TIM-ALSIP

This is all very sad.  Many of us in The United States have no health care. I was chatting with a British friend of mine on Facebook and had a difficult time explaining how our system “works”. I personally have recently lost my benefits and those for my two children. It is a scary thing to be at risk like that but  I am grateful and I feel blessed to have all that I do…but I digress.  This rant is not about me.

This poor man in the story is a homeless and obviously desperate man. He could be mentally ill. He could have a myriad of problems.  This is not my point….it is obvious again that he could be doing better but he is not. THAT is a fact.  We could go over who and what the problem is. We could blame the government, the Democrats or the Republicans. We could blame the one percent or the 99. We could blame his parents, society or corporations..we could even blame the man himself.

The world is f**ked my friends, oh yes, we all know this…

This is all valid but this is not why I am so upset, at least not at this time. Right now,  I am upset about the type of comments this story received.  I am appalled really.

No one saw the sadness, no one had any empathy for this man. Some blamed the “freeloaders” of society. Many had someone or something to blame.  Some made fun of his appearance and all the comments I read blamed him in some way. Not one of them had any sympathy for this poor fellow human.

It was a competition on who could be more clever and witty than the person before them.  I probably put myself up for ridicule with these people but I had to speak up…I had to…

This was my response:

However someone looks at it. Whoever someone blames for the ills of society. Whatever someone says trying to be clever and witty all the while sitting at home with a full stomach and a nice warm comfortable bed to retire to. In this someone’s opinion it is a sad and sorry state that has befallen us when no one has any sympathy, empathy or any sort of feelings for a fellow human being.
NO one is immune to adversity. However and whatever some may think. One’s fate can turn on a dime, just like that. This story is just sad. Damn sad all around.”

And it is not just here. It is everywhere. I see smug self-satisfied people judging others. It is so easy to do so. It is easy for some to tell themselves that their luck or success or whatever is due to the deserving of it.   It also is easy to save one’s compassion for the attractive while condemning those who are not so much; old people, ill people ,the homeless, the wretched, the insane, and the troubled. It is easy for some to blame and condemn, to point the finger to all except themselves.

Many rich people have worked very hard and so have many poor people. Good fortune plays a huge role and that fortune can and does change.  As we all know the rain falls on us one and all.

I know for a fact that you are not like this. You are compassionate and wise and wonderful.

Surrounded by people like you all the time one could think everyone is like you, but this is not the case.  I know I am preaching to the choir here.  I guess what I’m trying to say….

…next time you hear some of this garbage being spewed by your fellow human please stand up for us. Set the record straight, help us all and preach understanding and compassion. Let those who hold these sorts of negative and unproductive opinions know that that sort of thing will not be tolerated. Speak up for the voiceless, the misunderstood and the ugly. Stand up for the ill and the homeless and the poor people who have done nothing wrong but be poor.    We all deserve kindness.

speak-the-truth-300x287

Because…

quotes suess EarthDay

Thanks for listening,

~SBI

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato

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Perservere

Credit: Public Domain
MT HOOD in Oregon. Credit: Public Domain

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
~Confucius

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Perseverance must begin somewhere…in a cold and dark room in the very early morning in the dead of winter. It is sharp with a hard edge, tempered by a million stings. Perseverance is tired but hears the shrill of the alarm in that damn biting cold and gets up anyway.

Perseverance doesn’t think. It doesn’t moan or complain. It just acts. It never questions, it does….and never under any excuses does it ever make excuses. It is strong, steadfast and true. It is a port in the storm and it can weather it all, from wind to rain and sleet and snow.  Perseverance can outlast any hurricane.

Perseverance is not easy.  It is hard-fought and not easily won.  It comes in fits and starts and twists and turns. At times it flows like the mighty Mississippi, at other times it drips and drips like a leaky tap. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all. It is when we feel low, when we are alone in the pitch black darkness…we shout and plead and scream “please help me!” and our pleas fall on deaf ears, no one comes to help and our despair only grows.  It as if we are at the end of a slippery rope, our hands bleed trying to hold on, we think we cannot hold on but somehow from seemingly nowhere we find the strength to hold on….

Perseverance is a broken foot that walks a million miles…it is a voice that sings a million songs. Perseverance is a heart that loves a million times over and is always ready to love once again.

You can fall a million times, a billion…Perseverance will get you back up…it always does and always will. Cling on to this miracle. Hold it in your hand and never let go and it will never let go of you…

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

Strawberryindigo.

Scribbles from a little blue notebook…

Lonely field in cyan
Lonely Field in Cyan- Credit: SBI

Songbirds sing a song tinged with sweet hope bidding a farewell to the dark of yesterday’s night. The sun has not yet risen but they know it will, as do I. The clouds are strewn in patches across the sky. The sky is dark blue interlaced with an even deeper indigo that outline the tall buildings which are spotted with light. It seems every third window is lit with a warm and welcoming light. Each one reminds me there is a devoted soul inside who is engaged in some early morning business. I hope they will stop if only for a moment to watch the sun rise…and rise it will, just as it always does. There is a certain comfort in that. A certain knowingness that no matter how life changes there will always be some things we can depend on.

Credit: SBI
Credit: SBI

I hear the train in the distance just as I always do. It’s arrival is marked with a melancholic anticipation. The bike riders show up at the last-minute, their blinking helmet lights announcing their arrival. It is always this way. I sip the last of my hot tea and steady myself before we board the train. It is already half filled with early morning commuters.  We are all silent. There are no smiles, no revelry. Some stare out the windows, some read paperbacks and a few others steadily tap away on laptops. Many start to drift off and some are asleep as we make our way into the long dark tunnel that starts my morning journey.

I take out my little blue notebook and start to scribble, recording my thoughts and dreams and hopes and schemes.  I stretch my mind and explore my imagination searching for something profound or funny, but today I find nothing. …just the remnant of a song I heard earlier and the lingering doubts I sometimes feel about myself. Writing eases the lonely hours, this act keeps me from feeling so alone. It will be this very thing that will save me…someday…this I must believe.

Credit: SBI
Credit: SBI

The sun rises as we make our way from station to station. Yes It did come, this glorious sun! This sun we knew would come. I think of the songbirds back at the station I left far behind and I think of what awaits me at my stop where I will get off.  I smile a little private smile knowing that someday this will be all worthwhile as long as I can just take it day by day…

Reporting from the “wilds” of Beaverton,

Strawberryindigo.

Credit: SBI
Credit: SBI

NOBODY HOME by Pink Floyd

In Search of Good News

I have been finding myself in deep thought as of late. Time has slowed down for me and that has given ample time for refection. At first this made me depressed, as life has been throwing some major curveballs that have been hitting me right in the face. As I looked around I found more and more depressed people…angry people, the worn out and the frightened. This only confirmed my suspicions that the world is going to hell and really anyone can see that. Some even think the end is coming. It certainly does appear that way…while I don’t think the end is near, I do think it is changing…and fast.

I think it can be unsettling to people…the conditions of the world today; the world at large and the world right down the street. It is overwhelming and it overwhelms. I don’t need to list it all here, besides being a significant undertaking it just spreads the contagion.

Contagion

Yes, I do think it’s a contagion, this crazy despair. The media feeds it with sensationalism. I can’t blame them, that is what they do and I suppose they are doing a fair job of distracting us from what’s really important…and there is much to be distracted by.

I feel a prevading sense of desperation…and fear in the air. It seems people on the whole are less hopeful for the future. It takes effort not to get caught up in it.  Is this how it feels to live in a civilization that’s in decline?

This I cannot accept….I feel the helplessness, the creeping unease, the feeling that you are in a boat with a hole in it and you better start bailing before the water gets any higher.  There are a good many souls on this boat, this “ship of fools”. And while we point the finger at each other and squabble over nonsense, the ship is going down. We know it….we can feel it sinking…we can see the now blatant obvious signs.

I want to hide in my garden, among the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and think lovely thoughts…I want to write beautiful words and pour my soul out on paper but the unease grows.

I pace and look out the window and a million ideas run through my mind; the good….the bad …and everything in between …. I try to record them all but they spill out into a pile on the floor and it becomes hard to focus.

Until I write and write and write. This unease disappears and I feel that in my own miniscule little way I am doing something.

I have been talking to people, some very smart people and I have been given all sorts of advice but one piece has struck a chord in me. At first it seemed so simple but as my mind ruminated on it the more I came to understand the deeper aspects.

I complain about the media and spreading the contagion of negativity and sensationalism.  I lament: “Where is all the good news?” Surely there are people out there doing good things…somewhere.   I ask, and rather loudly: “Why aren’t we hearing about good news?”  It can get depressing to hear all this doom and gloom…

And as I lament, a wise person mentions that in some small (very small) way that I, strawberryindigo, the blogger, am a part of this same media that I, Nancy, the person complains about and then she asks me:

 “Where is your good news?”

This has permeated me ever since…

…And it was there  that I stopped. That was about 3 months ago. I stopped because I was literally stopped in my tracks. This revelation set me back and it was this that told me to abandon everything I had written and focus on some happiness instead. It is easy to share one’s despair but it takes work to share happiness especially when you are not happy yourself. The world is unhappy enough for me to add my misery so, I chose not to finish or publish the above words at that time.

…and really, I didn’t have an answer…I still don’t in all honesty…but I’m looking all the time and I’m finding that sometimes it’s not the world that’s the trouble, it’s the way I’m looking at it.  I lament: where is the good news? where can I find this mythical land of good news.. and then like a flash of lighting it hits me.

It’s been here all along.  The good news is everywhere. It is all around.  I just needed to open my eyes…

 I found the following quote:

“Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Desmond Tutu

Inspiring words to be sure. Simple and true and sometimes forgotten. I guess I needed reminding…

Goodness can come in many shapes and sizes and good can come from the oddest of places. I am finding the more I look for it,  the more I see. 

What I am finding so amazing is that this goodness typically starts out small, so small and slight that most of the time it goes unnoticed. These seemingly small gestures we do for each other from time to time, tiny interactions between strangers… there’s magic in these tiny incidents. This grows and spreads like a contagion.  We hardly ever hear of these small incidents of good, they are not sensational or exciting. Mostly they are mundane and seemingly unimportant but they can be quite beautiful.

All are important and important enough, in my opinion to acknowledge and tell others about it. This is the stuff of inspiration, this is the good news that I seek.

From time to time I will be sharing pieces of good news; real life stories from inspirational people I meet or hear about. I will be sharing with you happenings and events, tiny miracles and good things as I try to do a little spreading of my own.

                                            

 I have come to appreciate simple acts of kindness more and more.  I have found that we all need some kindness now and then, and in places we’d never expect we’d be. I am impressed by this sort of thing and I believe it is good news that needs to be shared.

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Have any good news to share? Please let me know, better yet write a post about it and let others know too. Let’s spread some good news!

Peace and Happiness to YOU

Strawberryindigo.

GREAT


GREAT WALL of China
Credit: pingnews

“Because of a great love, one is courageous.”

Lao Tzu

Have you ever been stuck on a word? Have you ever used one particular word so frequently that it caused you any worry? Have strangers mocked you using that word in a public place?  If you have answered any of these questions with the word Yes, you must be like me and I am not so alone in my cheap and tawdry word addiction.

I’ll admit it right here and now. I will shout it to the rooftops…” I am Strawberryindigo and I am a wordaholic–my tonic of choice, my vice, the object of my obsession: the word “GREAT”

HAHA…  It is probably of no surprise to you; my overuse and abuse of the word.   It litters my posts and certainly my comments. You are so very nice not to mention this. You may have asked yourself at one time or another…How many times can one person say “Great Post”?

I’ll admit and everyone knows that Great is a great word. (That is why it is called that, duh) If there is any word to over depend on it is this word, this great word. It is positive and it is versatile. To me it sounds strong and certain of it’s place in the whole scheme of things.

I can’t help but think  too much of a good thing (or great word can be just that: too much.

GREAT WHITE SHARK
Image by © David Fleetham/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis

I know what you’re thinking right now… How can I be so impossibly brave? I ask myself that too. Perhaps it is the writer in me yearning to break free of the confines of convention? Maybe I grow bored with my limited palate of words? It could be that if I am to be any kind of writer at all I must extend my vocabulary.  Great just isn’t cutting it.

So I am asking you a favor…Please if you see me or hear me use that word–you know the word–THAT word, let me know in no uncertain terms that I am being a weak overdependent hack. Tell me this, I deserve it. We will all be better off this way.

Besides…

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS

There are so many words I can use instead: Words such as…

abundant, ample, big, big league, bulky, bull, colossal, considerable, decided, enormous, excessive, extended, extensive, extravagant, extreme, fat, gigantic, grievous, high, huge, humongous, husky, immense, inordinate, jumbo, lengthy, long, major league, mammoth, mondo, numerous, oversize, prodigious, prolonged, pronounced, protracted, strong, stupendous, terrible, titanic, towering, tremendous, vast, voluminousable, absolute, aces, adept, admirable, adroit, awesome, bad*, best, brutal, cold*, complete, consummate, crack*, downright, dynamite, egregious, exceptional, expert, fab, fantastic, fine, first-class*, first-rate, good, heavy*, hellacious, marvelous, masterly, number one, out of sight, out of this world, out-and-out, perfect, positive, proficient, super-duper, surpassing, terrific, total, tough, transcendent, tremendous, unmitigated, unqualified, utter, wonderful

GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA
WISHING YOU AN UTTERLY SUPER-DUPER DOWNRIGHT EXCEPTIONAL DAY!!!

Dress me up weird Portland

Here I am in the middle of downtown Portland.  I am wandering around looking for interesting goings on to write about. Portland is a city that prides itself on being weird. Bumper stickers with the motto ” Keep Portland Weird” is plastered all over cars. People take this to heart around here. That is one of the aspects of Portland I enjoy the most.

So it is of relatively no surprise when I spy Robin. Yes, THAT one, Batman’s Robin. Well, it kind of looks like Robin, he’s got the costume except this guy is unshaven and dirty and is carrying a backpack.  He’s appears to be flying a sign asking for spare change.

I hear” Hey Robin!” from a passerby. Robin deftly and quite expertly flips the offender his middle finger, I begin to laugh and I try to snap a pic of the scene but the boy wonder is too quick for me and hides behind his sign by the time the flash goes off.

This is the sort of thing I came down here to find. The raw, the unusual, the sometime crazy but wild creativeness that is urban living. I have been witness to many strange scenes on the streets of Portland but never before have I purposely set out camera in tow to look for them.

I told my family I was going downtown for the excellent hubs of blatant consumerism that I have been known to frequent in the past. Little did they know I was setting out into the wilds of the urban jungle in search of a story, or a little adventure perhaps. At least I’d be getting some exercise and getting out of the house.

Robin was the first but certainly not the last person I saw in costume that afternoon.

It didn’t take long before I saw two others dressed up. I tried discreetly taking their picture which resulted in some not so good photos. I vowed to get a better shot next time. There seemed to be a theme going. People dressing up in costumes and just walking around going about their business like it was nothing.

I have to admit that I am probably a bit out of it. I am a middle-aged mom with two teenagers. I’m sure people have been walking around in costumes for years…” Where have you been lately?  You may ask. I don’t know… but I do know that it is a little strange, definitely Portland weird for sure and I like it. I not only like it….

I LOVE IT!!!

I am jealous. I instantly wish I had worn some sort of really hip and happening kind of outfit, avant garde, edgy and creative….something with bright colors…wings too and boots!

I have always liked to dress up since I was a wee one. At five I would sneak into my Mother’s closet and try on her dresses and put on her makeup. As I grew older I would continue the tradition. I have always had a flair for the dramatic and when you are 10½ or even 20½ it’s considered cute and when you are 42, it’s odd to say the least. I realize this and have confined my dressing up to the only socially acceptable day for this sort of thing: My favorite holiday, Halloween.

I have accepted his little “fact” of life and I’ve gone along with it; waiting patiently for Halloween to arrive so I can let all my dramatic weirdness come out.  I’ve made it no secret that I am a big kid at heart. I think engaging in a little fantasy and play is good for one’s psyche.  Some of us take this adult thing way too seriously. We need fun and some of us won’t admit it.

I say embrace your inner child and if it doesn’t hurt anyone…Go for it!  No matter what it is…..as long as you have fun and who care what anyone thinks? Make a total fool of yourself (it’s not officially fun unless you do.)

So in the tradition of The Power Puff Girls and Robin, Larpers and Furries, Comic-cons and “crazies” let’s dress up!

Damn convention and all that….I DARE YOU!  

…I will if you do…

HAVE A FUN DAY!

Strawberryindigo.

Garden Confessions

I have to admit something that I am not proud of and this is difficult for me to do.  I am somewhat ashamed but I have the need to confess…I am a nature lover.  I proclaim this in much of what I write. I cannot help but do this since I feel a profound connectedness to nature, I do.  I am a big advocate for the environment. I recycle, I reuse, I hug trees and all that….yes, I am a nature lover….. and I am a neglectful gardener.

For the past year really, I have barely done the bare minimum in my yard and it shows. My sanctuary, as I once called it, is getting ragged at the edges; weeds are popping up, left to seed, the grass has brown patches and the roses are wilty.

Queen Anne’s lace has taken over in the back and choked the life out of one of my favorites: a spectacular white swan coneflower, its creamy whiteness and dark brown centers stood in terrific contrast to the Black-eyed Susan. Now only the Susan remains; her bright yellow petals were being encroached by the fine white flowers of the over-zealous and jealous Queen Anne.  A wild and invasive royal who is apt to take over the whole kingdom. I have been digging out her bundled white roots but no matter how deep I dig there is always more.

Black Eyed Susan

I lament this. This is my fault. I am not only a neglectful gardener, I am a soft-hearted one who tends to let an unknown mystery plant grow and grow until I find, which I usually do that it is an invasive weed.  These science projects, so to speak have run rampant as I have not kept up my previous level of commitment.

The Hot Lips Salvia has grown leggy and the usually sensational Scarlet Daylillies never emerged due a growing shade from a behemoth of a hedge that has taken over the west side of the yard.

The hydrangea need pruning but the fuchsia has never looked better.  I am amazed at the resilience of nature; how it endures. How no matter how much we mere mortals try to have it our way, nature has hers in the end.

That being said, it would be foolish of me to fight what has been going on since before we know-it-all humans came on the scene. Nature has her checks and balances. It is a good system and insead of trying to buck that system I am going to try to mimic it as much as I can.

My plan is to plant mass quantities of White Sweet Asylum; a free-seeding, free-wheeling annual that’s ambitious and attracts a good number of various beneficial insects. The Queen and the Asylum will battle it out and hopefully, with some help from me, the Asylum will win out.

I am coming to the realization that I can use these priciples anywhere. The trick is to go with what already works. I have been reading up on the subject and plan on eventually taking out much of the grass and replacing it with native plants and edibles.

This will take a few seasons but I’m not in a hurry. I will document my progress and keep your posted.

For now I will try to stop cringing when I see the brown patchy grass and the wilted roses…and I’ll try to hold my head up high in the neighborhood. Having an unkempt weedy lawn doesn’t make me a bad person does it?  Hey, I can proudly say that we used less water this summer…conservation is important too!

Have a happy day!

Strawberryindigo.

(Note: all the above photos were taken last summer)

Weekly Writing Challenge: A few of my favorite THINGS

“We see things not as they are.

We see things as we are.”

The Talmud

Old and Unwanted Things

Here I am at the local dump amongst old unwanted things. The place reeks of decay.  It is quite the surreal scene and there is much action going on. People dumping this thing and that. Workers busily compacting it all; pushing it aside for the next dumpload. I am here with my sister. We have reached that stage in life when you end up going through and cleaning out your parent’s stuff.  It is a strange and bittersweet task that most of us will experience in our lives at one time or another.

We have a truckload of old junky things from the garage, nothing too sentimental or important; those things will come later, for now it is this.  My sister is a wonder of a worker and she immediately gets busy throwing things onto our assigned section of a giant junk pile.

The Joy of Destroy

This is only my second time here but I have begun to enjoy it. Yes, it is loud and stinky and full of garbage that the birds fight over. It’s not those parts I enjoy. It’s the throwing out of things. It is a terrific stress reliever and its a lot of fun. I love to take an item; a thing…whatever it is; an old wooden chair, a mangled wicker basket, an ugly old lamp, whatever. I throw it in rather haphazardly with thump and a crash and sometimes a dull deep satisfying thud into a pile full of other people’s junk. I am not a violent person but I do admit this act of throwing things out is exhilarating and liberating too.  At times it can be fun to break things…the sound, the feeling, the energy emitting from the very act. Molecules crashing into each other. My whole body shakes as I release piles and piles of pent-up stress and anxiety.

It is a rather freeing experience. All our lives we are taught to value and treasure things. It’s a bad thing to break them. Things are valuable.  At one time someone paid good money for all this stuff; these very things that litter this gigantic open air warehouse which sits on the industrial end of the city. Now these things are unwanted junk and it feels good to destroy them.

I start to feel good. The sun is out. It is a nice day and I start to forget why I’m here.

Reflection

This is a freeing experience but it is also a reflective one; all the while that I’m releasing all this pent-up aggression I am also watching myself throw out pieces of my past: the old white chair that sat in my parents room. I used to like to sit there, sing songs and talk to my Mom about all kinds of things when I was small about 5 and 6. It reminds me of those times…there goes my Dad’s old metal desk with a massive ka-boom!  I remember the drawers being filled with pens and rubber bands. I remember him sitting there writing, stapling things. I recall the smell that his adding machine would give off when he used it. It seems like almost yesterday…there goes that ugly green lamp. It used to sit in the living room of the old house. I always hated that lamp, now I think I might miss it. It’s strange. All of a sudden I feel like taking it all back; the desk, the chair, the lamp.  “I can save these things. I can fix them.”  My thoughts race. I never put much stock in these things before but now, now as I watch these pieces of my past, these things and they are just things…as I watch myself throw them out one by one…I realise these are moments I’m tossing out, moments with loved ones that I’ll never get back.  Now quite unexpectedly these things; these old pieces of junk have gained significance to me.

I admit I was tempted to keep some of that old junk but I didn’t. I couldn’t but I did keep something; I noticed it when we first got here. I had almost stepped on it.  It is an odd thing to see at a place like this.  A photo of a smiling and happy family. I don’t know who they are but it strikes me as lonely thing…this orphaned photo. Someone’s memories laid out there. Left behind. For some reason it made me feel better to snap a photo of it. To me, it’s like in some small way these people, whoever they are won’t be completely forgotten.

My Favorite Things

Since that day I have taken inventory of all the things I treasure most in the world ( my favorite things) and I’ve discovered that not one of them hold any real monetary value. These things I hold so dear, are representations of moments but it goes beyond that; to me, it’s as if a tiny drop of essence of the owner is left behind in the object. I can almost feel it. At least it makes me feel good to think I can.

One of my most recent treasured objects is a Buddha statue. It was my Dad’s. It sits on my nightstand. Whenever I look at it with it’s happy smiling expression, I think of him and I smile back.That feeling is priceless and could never be replaced by a million things.

Strawberryindigo.

Related articles:

Weekly Writing Challenge: A few of my favorite things (dailypost.wordpress.com)

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things thepunktheory.wordpress.com)

Few of My Favorite Things (beebeesworld.wordpress.com)

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things (sks-whatevs.com)

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things (scrapydo.wordpress.com)

Nothing

I have countless notebooks jam-packed full of ideas and subjects to write about. I have  been blessed/cursed with an active imagination. So I’m sitting here thinking about what’s next, I must feel passionately about the subject at hand or the words don’t flow, it becomes strained and forced and there is no point to writing anything at all. Fortunately this rarely happens and when it does I just walk away and do something else. The time has to be right….

…and so this very afternoon I lament this to MM;  He has a gift for making my complicated little life dilemmas into simple bite-sized pieces that can be easier to chew but sometimes not so easy to digest..

I remarked in passing how I felt like writing (Ha, big surprise) but that I didn’t know what about. Currently I’m in a layed-back Sunday mood although it is a Tuesday, it feels like it anyway. It is cloudy and cool and I am listening to some soft melodic guitar music. The coffee is hot and it’s black and I shouldn’t be drinking it but what the hell it’s Sunday…I mean Tuesday and life is too short…

…and so I am sitting here and I lament all this to MM.

Have I mentioned what a wise person he is? Well this wise person suggests that I should write about nothing….  At times I  have foolishly resisted his advice but today I’m taking it.

This may sound a bit difficult to write about nothing but I am always up to a challenge like that. So as MM carefully crept out the door and down the hallway and I, like a dog with a bone, set out to write about my just found obsession: Nothing.

I know that MM knows I will be tapping along for a while; at least 400 or so words at a stretch. He knows I can’t help myself and that I will be distracted with this very thing: Nothing.

And as I’m tapping along MM goes and does the dishes…without my knowledge, under my very nose…he’s like that you know. (sorry ladies, he’s taken)

And so, as this wonderfully lazy day goes on with me writing and pondering the deepest philosophical mysteries about nothing. MM has the satisfaction of knowing he’s doing a good deed all the while pulling one over on me in the process…

..and me? I’m going for my second cup of coffee….

Strawberryindigo.