Saturday, July 07, 2018

entering holiday mode


the bags aren't packed, i have a few edits to do, a brief or two, a couple of emails and a few posts to schedule, but my mind is already sliding into holiday mode. i got home around 7:30, went straight to the garden, picked zucchini, onions and one of those weird cauliflower-broccoli hybrids that seems to have happened in one of the brassica beds. i turned the zucchini in egg and bread crumbs, adding sesame seeds for a bit more healthiness and taste. i stir-fried the onions and caulicoli (i just made that name up) and flash fried a couple of pork chops. it was delicious. husband and i chatted and watched a few episodes of wyatt cenac's problem areas (comedy has turned to smart in these days of the otherwise dumbing down of the world, and it gives me a glimmer of hope). we had a g&t and we got ambitious about harvesting mirabellas, black currants and red currants before we leave.  there's also a mountain of laundry to do and the child to pick up from her week at roskilde festival (there were moments when she almost gave up, but she hung in there). but here, right now, this evening, i'm shifting...gearing down, packing in my mind, thinking about which minifigures to take and what sort of photo or audio project to give myself for the trip. i'm pondering what clothes to pack, which bags to take, what book for the plane (clearly my friend richard's halleluja canyon). do i need art supplies? a new notebook? plenty of batteries for the zoom? and how will i get along without the kittens? they'll be cared for by friends, who will stop by to feed and water them. they'll be fine. but i'll miss them. but i'm looking forward to places i've never been...birmingham, mississippi, new orleans, the gulf coast. orlando. it's going to be an awesome trip. but first, some time in the garden and a bit of hanging out with the kittens.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

out of focus colors


as we close in on the summer holiday, i'm feeling a bit fuzzy to say the least. it's been a long haul, these past months. it's really hard when a job you dearly love turns sour, but it so often happens in a time of growth and disruption. i love both growth, disruption and also change, but it's been a bit ridiculous of late. when the wrong people are brought in and the good people leave and the company culture changes radically, it creates change that's not good or productive. i'm ready for a holiday. and happily, we are getting on a plane next week. it also helped that i went to an intimate and utterly blissful yin yoga class today. my mind quieted down and i saw a veritable rainbow of colors during some of the long poses. it centered me and put me, at least momentarily, in touch with my body. this color thing is really interesting. i've had flashes of synesthesia over the years, but it's really started to show itself in new ways during my recent bodywork sessions. i need to learn what the colors mean, even if it's only what they mean for me...i saw everything from rich, bright, vibrant red - it's never just one uniform color, there are nuances - to salmon to yellow and orange to green and teal to the most velvety indigo. my sense of it is that it's when i'm in touch with emotions, or more like touching them, as i wouldn't say i could articulate them. i've read some pieces about colors associated with the chakras and perhaps there's also something of that in it, when one or another is activated, but it feels more connected to some kind of emotional bedrock inside me. one which i've been probably out of touch with for far too long. if i ever was in touch with it. but i have hope, with the appearance of all these colors when i'm doing bodywork or yoga, that i can get in touch, maybe also at other times. maybe it's just a reminder that i need to live a more colorful life. but first...vacation.

Monday, June 11, 2018

midlife tuneup?



i read this long piece on doing a midlife tuneup in the nytimes today. some of it seemed a bit meh and perhaps even patronizing- exercise, eat right, get enough sleep (blah, blah, blah). although i'm skeptical of the mindfulness/life coach madness that's about in the world today, the section on mindfulness and what it does for the ageing brain seemed a bit intriguing, so i kept reading. the following section on a midlife mission statement also spoke to me (being inclined to the odd personal manifesto (hmm, that one still rings pretty true...)). i've already been actively trying to have better bedtime habits (no phone nearby being the main one, tho' i fell off that wagon after a late coffee one day last week and did NOT sleep well for a couple of nights). also, i appreciate the irony of the fact that it's currently 12:44 a.m. 1:13 a.m. and i'm still at the computer. but the last section - about building up your resilience really spoke to me. all year, i've been writing intentions in a journal and they have been optimistic and positive. it hasn't always worked and there have been some dark times of late with reorg turmoil at work and the departure of my wonderful boss, but i faithfully continue, confident it will eventually seep in. i like the advice in that section - there are several things i feel i can actually use - rewriting the story i tell myself in my head, helping others and i've already taken a stress break when i could see that a situation was going to be more negative and unproductive than i needed it to be. the stress break really helped, even if the effects don't last long enough. i also like the idea of finding my discomfort zone - as long as it doesn't involve heights, that sounds rather intriguing. and i would do well to remember the times when i came back from adversity. perhaps the best start to it all would be that good night's sleep they talked about...


Sunday, June 10, 2018

a rainy sunday afternoon


it's raining at last, after an entire month of sunshine. we've never had an entire month of sunshine in a row, so it was very welcome, but so is the rain. the rain has made me slow down - i can't be in the garden, picking strawberries or weeding or mowing or hoeing, so i'm in the plant-filled front entry with a cup of creamy coffee, a book, my journal, my camera and the kittens. i must admit it's bliss and precisely what i needed. i've been reading some more of knausgaard's small autumn essays. it's a book i've had on the nightstand for some time - you can just pick it up, read one or two as you wish, and then put it down again for some weeks. it lends itself to this slow way of reading it; each essay is shining, deep and luminous and i must get the rest of the seasons to savour as well (as you might guess, there are four volumes in all). they are small musing on single words - words like badger, war, labia - very diverse - written by knausgaard to his unborn daughter, as they awaited her. they're not exactly micro-memoirs, which i've also been pondering since hearing about them on the bittersweet life podcast, more like little perfect essayistic musings on being human. in looking for more small, perfect essays, i came across brevity, an online magazine filled with them. check it out if you're looking for something to read on a rainy sunday afternoon.

Friday, May 25, 2018

four kittens = much delight





i've been listening to the kind of podcasts that i wouldn't normally listen to - mostly because the ones i normally listen to do a lot of talking about trump and his posse of trumpanzees, and frankly, i'm over that. so i listened to some back catalog stuff from oprah's super soul podcast (the alanis morissette episode) and also the bittersweet life (start with micro and quite possibly also stop there). my mind is buzzing with ideas of things to write about, but it's quite late and while that doesn't matter so much since i'm taking the day off tomorrow, i need to let them gel until morning. but suffice it to say, i'm looking forward to writing some micro memoir pieces (as if this blog isn't already full of those), and to spending tomorrow with the kittens you see above. they were born on may 2 and they're just about to hit peak cute.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

inside of ourselves


"you never know how inside of themselves people are." i read that long ago in a barbara kingsolver novel and it's stuck with me ever since. in any given situation, you don't really know where people are coming from. maybe they've had a completely shit week. maybe it's been awesome. maybe it's been both - up and down, like any other week. maybe they've just learned they have a terminal illness. maybe their father just died. maybe their mother with alzheimer's just failed to recognize them for the first time. maybe they just lost their job. maybe they just got a new one. maybe they just learned they're pregnant. or perhaps they miscarried. maybe they're tired or have a toothache. maybe they feel lonely or sad or joyful. you just don't know. maybe the path ahead of them seems clear. or perhaps it's obscured and murky. maybe they're relieved the sun is finally shining after too many days of rain. maybe their awesome boss just quit. maybe they feel like they're in limbo. perhaps they're caught up in needless office politics. what if they have a need to be right? to be comforted? to be understood? what if they feel bewildered and alone and cast adrift? what if they are newly in love and their stomach is full of butterflies? you just don't know. you can never really know. and quite possibly they'll never really be able to tell you. but maybe what they most need from you is that you see them - really see them. no matter how inside of themselves they are.