Thursday, June 30, 2005

some days are like this

This post - percys crazy world2: Getting Old or Something  made me laugh. Humor is a good way to lighten the day. I sure have had days like that. It is why I often get very little done on my days off, and keep a written list and goals for the day for everything else.

I woke this morning having apparently dreamt about yesterday morning's meeting - the problems and my mistakes. There are time deadline things as well as some issues with collaboration and my missteps. But though my mood was initially dampened, I also woke with some ideas for new avenues to pursue for solving some other problems for the same client.

"A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life." ~ Hugh Sidey

I don't know that I've found the humor in the exact situation of yesterday morning (especially since there are bigger issues I created for myself because of my mistakes [shrug]), but there is something about making a communication and style error in front of one's boss and other bosses when one is up for promotion, that seems slightly amusing.

Mistakes, Lessons, coincidences and diversions..

"Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong." ~Peter T. Mcintyre

"There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons." ~Denis Waitley

"Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors." ~David Viscott

"Coincidences are spiritual puns." ~G. K. Chesterton


I tried searching archives (except Google doesn't always do a good job on older archives), because I was sure that Andy at Older and Growing mentioned the book "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity" a long time ago, as well as seeing it mentioned by several other people.

I had forgotten about the book (though it is in my list of 'want to reads'), so I was surprised to see the mention of it tonight on this website :

How To Collage in Your Personal Art Journal

Running across this is one of those strange coincidences; not only did I mean to buy Julia Cameron's book before now, the place this website (which isn't Cameron's, only links to the book) was linked from was a random web surfing choice, and one of the projects I have had on my mind lately to try, has to do with making several collages for the loose purpose of connecting with the unconscious.

The aisling d'art site has some other interesting journaling/ art/ craft pages to wander.

And here is "The Artist's Way at Work: The Official Site" with a couple of sample worksheets/exercises, some history and other things.

As a day, this one had a couple of one eyebrow raising moments (the 'did I hear what I just thought I heard directed at me' sort) , some later 'aww darn, I know better's' and 'will understand better next time's'-- everything reinforcing the ideas that 1) I still make lots of mistakes, 2) there are some people that I couldn't work for and maybe can't collaborate with, and 3) my boss is really a rare fellow as bosses go- a motivator and a diplomat, even without today's obvious comparison. I would rather have his gentle constructive criticism that always ends with something positive, than lots of other people's praise. It makes being confident but sometimes wrong- easier....

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

time management ;-)

"It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important." ~Soren Kierkegaard

"By doing just a little every day, I can gradually let the task overwhelm me" ~Ashleigh Brilliant

(Tuesday night)
Besides seeing clients and various related tasks, I managed to set up the files and notes I need for the rest of the week, study a bit, and winnow the email that comes to my desktop (as opposed to the unforwarded gmail) down to the items labeled important and already marked in red.. That is to say on the email, I dealt with much that was unimportant and managed to avoid the important for another day.

It's the end of the month, so reports and billing are due on Friday and must be finished sometime in the next two days. A very, very early morning morning meeting (way across town, of course) means I must sleep early- like right now. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to month end.

I wonder what Blogger does with a post dated post? Did they figure out how to fix that so it works?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"storm of thought"

"Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one's head." ~ Mark Twain.

I liked the phrase "storm of thought". This is from one of the newsletters I sometimes take weeks to read. I am procrastinating doing something else with my morning by reading the commercial and neglected email.

Busy- not Hurried, Synchronicity, and the Unconscious

"Synchronicities are meaningful coincidences." ~C.W. Jung

"The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else- we are the busiest people in the world." ~Eric Hoffer

"The more one sees of human fate and the more one examines its secret springs of action, the more one is impressed by the strength of unconscious motives and by the limitations of free choice." ~ C.W. Jung

If I said that this was a busy week, it would be true, but it is not so overly busy that I cannot manage it well. I seldom over-commit my time these days, though I don't always leave quite enough "me time" (I always leave some). There are plenty of hours that are mine to relax- just none for starting new projects.

I haven't found a way to think myself an increase in energy, though I am always aware when my thoughts manage to decrease it. I seem to have developed a much lower set point for energy levels and I am much more aware of its seemingly finite aspects than I was thirty years ago and plan accordingly.

Three things managing to compete for my thoughts tonight: One is the offer of consideration for a full time opening (and promotion) at the end of July (I said yes! formally putting my hat in the ring). That would possibly be synchronicity still working in this area of my life, because it was a series of fortuitous coincidences that led me to intern, then be hired part time at this non-profit very close to home. Of course it shoots in the foot the two other things that I thought I might get a little experience with- those were plan B and C and I still might figure a way to fit them in. There are several advantages to this job offer, including almost no nights and possibly less driving as well as more money. There are a few possible disadvantages too, including the full time hours and possibly not seeing individual clients as often.

Will the offer pan out or will someone else be better for the job? I don't know and am not in the least worried or anxious one way or the other- stay tuned.

The second thing on my mind is a project for a client. I have a month minus this holiday weekend, to find a place for her and her long time boyfriend to live; Practical, logical, objective stuff- needed soon, but not so soon as must be frantically hurried. In the process of that I met someone tonight that might someday open one or more group homes and need someone to manage cases and services... more synchronicity working on the future perhaps?

The third item is something I have been trying not to think about directly, but is still showing up. I will have 22 years in this marriage on Friday. I say and think that with a flat affect which in itself says something, though I am not sure I understand what.

Monday, June 27, 2005

end of a day..

"The appearance of things change according to the emotions and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves." ~Kahlil Gilbran

"The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." ~Marcel Proust

"What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are." C. S. Lewis

I didn't start any new projects today.. but I did manage to read a little, study a little and get the laundry completely finished for the week- No magic in laundry exactly, but a great deal of satisfaction in finished piles of folded clean clothes... and depending on 'where one is standing', a little beauty in those piles.

Wandering around, the nature of perception seemed to be one of the things my eyes keyed in upon where ever I looked.. perception, authenticity, attitude and a stray thought that many of my favorite blogs are from people in my age category, were things on my mind. ... sleep beckons... nay, forcefully calls my name..

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 125

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Useless:: when I'm really tired (but just before useless kicks in, occasionally amusing to some)
  2. Radiant:: happiness and joy that pours out of one's being, warming those nearby
  3. W:: Shrub
  4. Unpaid:: work
  5. Geek:: label right alongside nerds and science types, used to describe some of my favorite people
  6. Unfaithful:: "It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy." (from "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer)
  7. Reboot:: wish there was a reboot button for just about everything.. ... nah, on second thought, not really.
  8. No!:: A favorite word of many; "I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!!" " (from "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer)
  9. Squad:: Mod.. except I don't think I watched that show, so why is it that it is the first thing that comes to mind? followed by Death Squad, Army Squad, and of all things, cheerleading squads.
  10. Fetish:: Zuni
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Friday, June 24, 2005

"Secret unrest"

"Our heart glows, and secret unrest gnaws at the root of our being. Dealing with the unconscious has become a question of life for us." ~Carl Gustav Jung

I had an all too brief but interesting discussion with my professor Thursday night after class when I asked her to suggest some Jung books or additional places to look for a sort of semi-definitive list of archetypes (in conjunction with a personal project I want to pursue). It turned into a mini discussion about Jung and the unconscious because she was currently reading a very tiny volume of his, from which she read a passage out loud. I neglected to write down the title and should have, because the subject was more fascinating stuff. But with the handiness of email, I will have it soon.

The passage she read concerned what to me is the very heart of the problem in trying to bring the unconscious to consciousness. Every layer we peel back is a reflection of what others have said, suggested, taught us are parts of ourselves. Can we find and know a core being- a core self, soul, spirit? If everything, even those under-layers are all a reflection of all the influences on us from day one, is the core discoverable, knowable? Won't our subjective selves- and all those lifelong influences- also still be the interpreter?

As a tiny aside: I lean towards the cognitive behavioral theories and practical applications (with a heavy dose of Adler, Rogers, and Maslow, along with cultural sensitivity) as being the most useful for living day to day and for much of the work I might want to do with others, but my age and love of puzzles push me towards the philosophical, analytical and spiritual soul seeking side of things and towards Jung.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

"no mistakes, no coincidences"

"Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from." ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I've been going through my various things from Kubler-Ross and other grief counseling notes, found the above and thought it was worth sharing.

Successful days

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." ~Orison Sweet Marden

"Personal satisfaction is the most important ingredient of success." ~Denis Waitley

Wednesday is a long day for me. I have a bit of trouble with changing schedules from the late afternoon/evening one which makes up most of my week, to a day that begins with an early out the door- such as my Wednesday schedule.

But it was a successful day. Among the clients of this day is one who a year or so ago when I started seeing her (and for the past several years), almost never left the interior of her community home except for medical appointments via Access or community van. The 'not leaving home' problem was compounded by many things, including physical, psychiatric and a mild developmental disability along with a lack of trust in other people.

For the past many weeks we have often (6 out of 8 of my visits) gone by bus to a local mall where we purchase a few things, eat lunch and window shop for a few hours. It is exhausting to me, because people generally have to drag me to a mall to go shopping. When I must purchase something, I prefer small local shops minus crowds or shopping online. But this activity is something I enjoy with this client because it is such a major change for her..

She is taking small steps in expanding her world and someday maybe the range will enlarge as she grows more comfortable riding the bus and going places.

So I count this as a successful day for me, and I think she would count it as a happy and successful day for her too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

a little nudge...

There is an infinite amount of sadness, darkness and ugliness in the world right now and it is far too easy to get sucked down where it is all that can be seen and felt.. or at least it is sometimes for me.

But as trite as it may sound- when I look, there is also an infinite amount of joy and beauty.

I think I need a little nudge now and then to nourish my spirit and soul... to really notice the beauty and joy.

summer's here...

The Summer Solstice came with heat today and mostly clear skies which allowed our temps to rocket... I was out driving in the late afternoon. I don't remember how I managed all those years without AC in the car.

When I came out this evening from seeing clients and headed up Topanga Canyon, the full moon was low in the sky. One of those tricks of the atmosphere made it appear as a very huge round ball of strangely hued yellow hanging just above the mountains towards the south (much larger than I have seen in a very long time). I wish I had a camera that would have handled some pictures, it was beautiful enough to want to save.

I felt an urge to be in some wonderful high mountain clearing- dancing to celebrate.

Found a few pictures of the pacific moon on Flickr, but none that really capture what I saw... this one was pretty, though.

this one and this one have something approaching the color...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Coming home

"We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character"
~Henry David Thoreau

I've places to be this afternoon, and no time to really be blogging. There are tons of thoughts about recent conversations that are waiting to be finished. They will wait a little longer.

(click photo to enlarge)(*better image quality here?)
This is near the end of my freeway journey home from locations east; shot last Friday. Coming over the top of this last 'hill', my heart is lighter seeing this view. A few miles earlier as I start the climb into this section of the foothills, I always begin to feel much better- no matter how I had been feeling before. Posted by Hello

Farrell Eaves and his "magic camera"

Farrell Eaves and his "magic camera" Posted by Hello

Seems Mr. Eaves dropped his Nikon Coolpix into a pond. After multiple efforts the lens and viewfinder seemed to have cleared of condensation, but the pics he can take now are unusual to say the least. More pics at the story link... probably wouldn't be a good idea to try this at home. ;-)

hmmm.. wouldn't changing the saturation levels in photo editing software, produce something similar?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Tangled Threads; Spinning Wheels

I wondered, far and wide,
long and short, twists
this tangled threads puzzle.
Ah, but no matter;
does not affect the 'to be done'
or was.

And now?


Hampster running in a wheel stops in some moments, then continues on.


I want to step outside the wheel and watch it spin, not do the spinning.


Unconscious Mutterings Week 124

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Domesticated:: animal, cat; tamed anything..
  2. Cask:: wine
  3. Wayne:: Newton
  4. Insidious:: gradual almost unnoticed decline...
  5. Cool!:: a favorite slang word
  6. Dishwasher:: like having one over not having one if I must live a city life, but have dealt with both.
  7. Little house:: on the prarie.. I would like a little house, near ocean cliffs and mountain foothills at the edge of a large forest.. and no neighbors for a few miles..
  8. Stepford:: Wives
  9. Hung:: ummm... staying g-rated ;-) - pictures, clothes on the line, stockings at Christmas
  10. Falling:: dreams
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Time out

"Muddy water, let stand - becomes clear" ~ Lao Tzu

There are still thoughts swirling around, tumbling and getting lost in too many different spirals (still "Windmills" ;-) ).

The "muddy water" analogy works for a solution. I think I will let the water settle a while.

And once again I'm too tired to write (and there are no close to finished things in my file to use instead)..

I did a lot of mindless things in some moments this week.. among them was deleting a blog post accidentally, mailing a father's day card without a stamp (which i remembered doing almost exactly 24 hours later), forgetting which day it was when I had just written the day and the date moments before, walking into countless rooms in the house and not remembering why I was there.. and other similar goofs. All of them demonstrating I realized a while ago, that I was not paying attention to singular things, but going through many of them by rote. It suggests that this is an area that needs some work.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


I had just finished looking at recent quake activity (and thinking that there seemed to be an increase all around with microquakes) when we had a rather nice little shake.. rattled and shook everything fairly well, and lasted a few seconds longer than I expected, but not long... in the few seconds range... one of those things that feels like ten seconds or more, but was probably half or less.

nah, I didn't move from my chair but I did look around to make sure nothing was going to fall on me... Now I'm off to search for the epicenter and if there's time, to fill out a shake questionaire.

(and to play the guessing game we southern californian's do, it was about a 4 or 5 if it was a ways away ... smaller if it was closer... Sierra Madre fault? .. it seemed to come from the southeast.. or maybe from the other direction and it was the San Gabriel?)... easy enough to check my guesses.

later edits:
5.3 on the southern San Andreas near Yucaipa... long ways away -east and south... well I had the rough magnitude and my initial impression of from what direction correct.. ;-) of course I hedged my bet with the "or maybe from the San Gabriel"

I am not at all certain I like the look of the maps right now.. see my "Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh-My" post for links... can't drag and drop in Blogger's editor.. will reopen later with WBloggar.

3:32 pm: They may be downgrading the size of the quake to a 4.9 and hedging on the location to an offshoot of the San Andreas. Once sensitized, I begin to feel some shaking in the category of microquakes; also easier to feel if one is upstairs.. We have had a few aftershocks which is a normal sequence of events.
..Added some USGS Earthquake map links below hitmaps in the sidebar..

Windmills, Circles and exhausted

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind ...
(from The Windmills of Your Mind written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman)
I had a few things that have been whirling around in my head... and thanks to a comment by Derek from Why Zen, I have "Windmills of My Mind"**  as the musical backdrop part of the time... actually for a few days now.

I am too exhausted (a possible subject for another time) to really think and write a blog post, so why am I? Because the habit is useful and pleasurable to me. It is part of my little daily routine, though the time varies- Read a little news, a little wandering of links to education, science, philosophy, and psychology sites, read a little from a few favorite bloggers, let all the writer's thoughts sink in and meld with my own in all directions, let my thoughts drift where the wind blows, then write a little something that might take off with a mind of its own... or rather my mind coherently taking off to somewhere as opposed to rambling on and on (which this is quickly in danger of doing).

Hmm... where was I? Oh, yes, why would I write a blog post when I was too exhausted to think, when it would appear that I was only "adding to the noise"? The answer is to share a little of me, to do a bit of a brain dump, to communicate with someone, or else to have the illusion that I did, and to do this even if it fails. .. and maybe sometimes, just maybe, share with someone else that people come in all ways and moments, and that it is ok to be less than best, to even be less than one's best -- it doesn't mean one has to be silent and hide the less than perfect spots. It is a lesson I wish I had known better when I was younger or hadn't been quite so afraid of at times.

**(except I am hearing a woman's voice, not Sting; Dusty Springfield? Petula Clark? Maureen McGovern? someone else?)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

file under geology, seismology and plate tectonics

Last night's earthquake was on the Juan de Fuca plate and was a strike-slip fault movement rather than a thrust or other type.

The LA Times story is here. Kate Hutton said that "the tsunami warning came from the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Network in Palmer, Alaska, and was issued as a precaution.

"I'm not sure about their thinking, but probably the reason they issued it is because it's so close to shore," she said. "There was no time. They didn't take any chances."

This little bit in the story struck me as interesting (probably because it is something I have been paying attention to for a while though hadn't read any recently published research):

"Tuesday's quake interested seismologists studying so-called trigger earthquakes because it came after several significant quakes struck in recent days. On Sunday, a 5.2 magnitude quake hit 20 miles south of Palm Springs in Anza. On Monday night, a 7.8 magnitude quake hit Chile, killing at least 11 people. On Tuesday morning, a magnitude 6.8 quake struck the Aleutian Islands, both preceded and followed by smaller quakes. [insert by me: so was Sunday's quake as near as I can tell, according to their data listed.]

"One of the things that is very exciting in seismology now is trigger earthquakes," Hutton said. "The seismic waves shake loose earthquakes in neighboring areas, or not-so-neighboring areas."

Hutton said, however, that given its relatively small size, it was unlikely the Anza quake was a true trigger."

One fault moves and all the others have to readjust - over a large scale and for months and sometimes years afterwards. I don't know what constitutes a "true trigger", but even small quakes in the 3 and 4 magnitude range, can set off the chain of 'readjusting'.


"Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations." ~Alfred Adler

"We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us" ~Virginia Satir

"It is one of the commonest of mistakes is to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." C. W. Leadbeater

Change the meaning- reframe the thought to an alternate version, and you change the perception and the emotion it evokes....
I've known this most of my life... and sometimes I still forget.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh-My

"We learn geology the morning after the earthquake" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm digging deep into scrambled brains here..

Earthquakes and Tsunami Warning
Wow.. A first ever in my memory, a little while ago -- A tsunami warning for the California coastline down to Mexico coming from the emergency preparedness system. Of course, I am too far inland and too high up for a tsunami to be of immediate concern (though I have some acquaintances in those beach communities scattered up and down the coast), but it was a surprise. There was a 7.0 mag. quake in the ocean near Northern California around 7:50 p.m. Strangely, I can find brief mention of the quake but no news stories to link. AP is running a story, but the link is not permanent. No doubt, there will be some later.

This is a map of Recent Earthquake Activity in California-Nevada with the various quakes and fault lines shown. (later edit: should you click on an earthquake, you will be taken to a map which when mousing over the dot or lines, shows the location of that quake and the exact fault line.)

I don't usually go to the above map to check on various earthquake activity (preferring this one (and the Southern CA one linked on this page), but of more concern to me than a tsunami (as devastating and horrific as that might be for beach communities), are what fault lines and zones were moving. I wanted to look at the areas involved in the two largest most recent earthquakes (Sunday June 12, 2005, 5.2 mag. in Southern California)... Either or both of them look an awful lot like either end of the San Andreas to me (I haven't looked at the 7.0 in detail, but the 5.2 also had what appear to be foreshocks).. but I suspect they are considered to be located on other fault lines.

A look around a map of the Rim of Fire in the Pacific (with the most recent quakes plotted) might be interesting about now too.

Bureaucracy, Circles and Murphy

"Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible" ~Javier Pascual Salcedo

"Bureaucracy" Everybody stands in a circle. The first person to do anything loses." ~Anonymous

I am off in a little while (or that is the plan) to the other side of town to turn in paperwork and then back home to spend the majority of the rest of the day on the telephone to see if I can move any of those circles at Kaiser.

Remember what I said about Murphy visiting this week? My reserved parking space is unavailable today as half of the driveways and parking places are closed for repaving until Wednesday at 7 a.m. when the other half will be closed. I didn't find out about this until last night because I don't generally go to the mailboxes where the notices are posted. But it sounds like it ought to work right?

We have a two car garage, one reserved space and 3 cars. Many of our neighbors are in a similar situation but only some pay for reserved spaces, instead parking in the visitor spots and a few outside the gates in the even more limited public parking. If last time is any example, several of my neighbors will ignore that reserved spaces are still reserved spaces even if there is only a sign and no paint.

Chaos will reign supreme for a week and everyone will play musical chairs with vehicles without the laughter (folks are often terribly serious and territorial about space and vehicles). It becomes an interesting study of human behavior, mine included. ;-)

Book meme

I can't find the text of the post I put up last night and accidentally deleted this morning. So this is a rewrite, but hopefully close to the same. (I will go back and put in the rest of the links later; gosh is is frustrating to have something fully written and posted! that was slightly better than this and to do something dumb to delete it!)
Andy tagged me along with some others, so here goes:

Total number of books I've owned: Thousands.... probably at least a thousand at this moment, many sadly in boxes in the garage, the rest on shelves, cabinets, closets, tables, corners everywhere..

Last book I bought: ummm... (not including textbooks) that might be Michael Crichton's State Of Fearor The Da Vinci Codeby Dan Brown - they were purchased at the same time.

Last book I read: (not counting textbooks)- The Da Vinci Code (right after I read State of Fear)

Five books that mean a lot to me: This is a tough, tough question as there are many more than five:
  • As A Man Thinketh by James Allen; I've written about this one a few times and included quotes. The full version is online now. My grandmother gave it to me in my pre-teens I think. It is a tiny little leather bound, gilt title and page edges with a printed (I think it's printed rather than actually signed) signature and picture inside.
  • To Have or to Be?by Erich Fromm was assigned in an Intro to teaching class way back in 1970 (along with Teaching As a Subversive Activity)by Neil Postman, and the book prompted an increase of thoughts in all directions.
  • Stranger in a Strange Landby Robert A. Heinlein- one of the many sci-fi books that I love; I might have chosen an Asimov book, except those are boxed out in the garage and I can't remember specific titles... but both those authors have things that were thought provoking in directions way beyond the stories. Choosing just one or the other would be difficult.
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends : Poems and Drawingsby Shel Silverstein which I read to my son and was a favorite for us both (and isn't necessarily a children's book of verse either, by the way). We also enjoyed A Light in the Attic and The Giving Treeby Silverstein.
  • The Little Engine That Couldby Watty Piper, was a very early childhood favorite. This was one I made my mother read over and over and over (parents will know the stage). The philosophy is one that I thought about and tried to adopt early- 'you can, if you think you can'.
These are from earlier periods in my life but there are so many more including much more recent works of fiction, philosophy, science that have changed my thoughts and perceptions about life and living.

Which five bloggers am I passing this to? Damn... lots of people have already done this and I can't remember who has and who hasn't...

Kara at Space Tramp
Brian at theyeti's Ironically Wrangled Writing From the Frozen Tundra who has declined
Fran at Sacred ordinary
Garnet at Glittering Muse
and Whiskey River who I've never seen do a meme, but am really curious about what the answers might be... ;-) (later edit: Whiskey River very politely and thoughtfully declined)

As Andy said "No obligation - feel free to take it or leave it just as you please."

Monday, June 13, 2005

so much unsaid...

"One of the deepest truths about the cry of the human heart is that it is so often muted, so often a cry that is never uttered. To be sure, there are needs and feelings that we express quite openly; lying deeper are emotions we share only with loved ones, and deeper still the things we tell no one. We die with much unsaid. It is strange that members of a species renowned for communicative gifts should leave unexpressed some of their deepest yearnings, their smoldering resentments, their worries and secret hopes, their longings to serve a higher purpose." ~John W. Gardner
As so often is the case, I stumbled upon this while looking for something else, but this actually expressed something else that has been on my mind.

oh, and I decided that there is no sense in worrying; Murphy seems to have taken up residence here for a while, so I ought to just deal with it. ;-)

Sunday, June 12, 2005


"The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision." ~Helen Keller

"Those things that nature denied to human sight, she revealed to the eyes of the soul." ~Ovid

Those quotes only have to do with the rest of this, in that they are related to sight...

I hesitate to tell this, but it is one of the things that is on my mind today. I woke with the vision in my right eye as if someone had smeared vasoline all over it- and it scared me. It continued through the day and makes walking around, reading or any of the number of activities that I normally engage in, rather difficult. Closing that eye only seems to make things even more odd and troubling.

I will have to see a medical someone about it next week, but Monday is a day where I must be many places- and at opposite ends of the city, of course. Murphy definitely visits here regularly.

Unconscious Mutterings Week 123

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Wally:: Cleaver (Leave It To Beaver)
  2. Phantom:: of the Opera; THE Phantom - 'The Ghost Who Walks'- rather liked Billy Zane in the movie
  3. Slippery:: slope, a frequently used logical fallacy; politician's seem to use it to their advantage, right along side many others
  4. Fungus::Some are quite beautiful to see
  5. Slot:: money hungry machines; the infamous "put tab a into slot b and..."
  6. Type:: keyboard by touch; kind, sort, personality traits
  7. Discharge:: released- as in from the army
  8. "We need to talk”:: uh, oh.
  9. On the spot:: hot seat, confession time
  10. Liquid::Dreams
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


"If life is just a stage, then we are all running around ad-libbing, with absolutely no clue what the plot is. Maybe that's why we don't know whether it's a comedy or tragedy." ~Bill Watterson

There are moments when I realize that I am searching for something, without knowing what it is or even having a clue about where to look. In some moments, it feels as if there is a huge piece of something missing from my life; in others it does not feel so huge, but rather something vague and nagging around the edges. Those vague moments are the ones that are more difficult to deal with and I feel as if there is something that I should or need to be doing about it.

More than once over the years I have written in private journals about that feeling- the general sense of searching and/or missing something that seems to have a need to be found. I had decided it was different things at different moments, but I think now that none of those were correct and that it has been the same thing- whatever that might be.

In some past moments, I have set off in a direction that I thought would offer up a clue or settle the feeling. Other times I have deliberately chosen to do something drastic to change the focus. Other times I have simply "sat" with the feeling and let it come and grow and finally dissipate. But it returns.

I hesitate this moment to use the "is that all there is?" question as the thing that is troubling me, because it doesn't really suit the way I think about life and living. But were I to probe deeper still, it wouldn't surprise me to find that the question was somehow a part of things.

I still don't know. And I still have the feeling and I think perhaps it is driving me somewhere. There is something else that I should do, something else I need to find, and/or something else that needs to be a part of whatever time I have left.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Friday seems to be full of places I need to be and things to do and I am out of time for more wandering around blogs, for now anyway...
...but I had to pass along this quoted from the end of a post by Daisy (the photo and the rest of the post are worth the visit, too) at Animatedstardust :

""Welcome chaos as the mother of growth""
This is a perspective that I would like to keep in mind on those hours/days/weeks that need it. thoughts swirl around her post and the perspective...

"The Important Thing"

I really liked this:
The Important Thing

is to give with abandon
and when you are the most naked, so that your hunger
turns into fields of gleaming fruit trees
and your frail and aging body
harbors a spirit that dwarfs mountains,
so that your giving is a path
towards endless vistas like the dying man
telling his art student
during her very last visit, "If only
I had a few pears I could paint."
She thought it was to assuage
her grief, yet when he died, the pears
began to bloom on her canvases
with the quivering of new flesh, the sad
flames of sunset, the translucence
of tears. Like the woman in a Hungarian
prison whose birthday gift
to her cell mate was a rose made
out of toilet paper, a flower that survived
her execution. The important thing
is to give, randomly
and out of poverty, not knowing
whether the heart's pale shoots
will create leaves or perish.

-Margeurite Bouvard
via "Making Stuff"

mud and fog

"More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity" ~Francois Gautier

I am still searching much of the time I think...

I am not sure where that last post came from exactly. I have said/written similar things at different times which are probably in bits and pieces in the archives, but while reflecting later on what I was really thinking about and why the words came tumbling out that way in that particular moment, the thought came that I wish that certain things didn't really matter to me in quite the same way....

Change the way I think about them of course, is the answer. But I know it both is and isn't that simple.

The truth is that while I actually have discovered a huge number of the "lenses" I use to view the world, where they came from and dealt with some of the questions of if I wanted to choose some of them or not, I have not been successful in changing them all at will. There are some that are stubborn and sticky little devils, that I think should be different, and some of those are still the first I find under certain circumstances. And I am always discovering new ones that I wasn't aware existed. Perception is a tricky thing- simple and complex layers all at once.

The problem with not having a single 'anchoring' philosophy, rather several bits and pieces that seem to be right and truthful for me, is that there is no single place to look when I am seeking answers. And so I don't always find a definitive way to interpret me to me.

And why do I need to interpret me to me? Because until I can see and understand my reactions really clearly most of the time, I can't begin to see someone else clearly. And seeing someone else clearly, knowing my own lenses and trying to put those aside to see through the lenses someone else is using, is what every psych/counseling professor will tell a student is the first step towards becoming a good counselor. It isn't enough to be accepting, although that is a huge start (Rogers is still right, but as generally taught, incomplete). But the place i am looking for involves empathy, switching perception and being able to see from someone else's lenses as well as apply my own knowledge, intuition and thought to their best worldview which always will still be only my perception of their worldview. But it is easier to sort out which is me and which is more or less theirs, if I at least can know which of my own lenses that might interfere.

I know that I don't need to know "THE" answers in part because I don't believe there are any single set of them that are universally "right" and everyone needs to find their own, but I do need to know as many of my own ways of being, thinking and seeing as possible.

Oh and this is just another muddied up thought process that found its way into a post. I don't know why I try to put these things down when I know my head is still partially stuck behind that dense fog.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Perception and clarity

"Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all live lives in differing degrees of clarity- and to confuse more, those degrees individually are different on different days.

The standards one uses to judge a life (self or others) are also individual. Culture, subcultures, parents, language, sociological groups are just some of the various lenses that we use, along with or side by side with emotion - the ultimate lens perhaps. Labels, patterns and sorting are apparently something that the human brain is pre-disposed to use to make sense of surroundings and events. Certainly knowing something about which lenses we are using to identify things is important.

Using a label and seeing a pattern does not make a thing universally true, only true with certainty for an individual and possibly only in that moment. We see what we think we see; we feel what we think we feel; we attract that which we think we will attract and our lives are what we think they are. Sometimes a single label change will miraculously change an entire perception.

Meaning is chosen, not contained within an event or even an action. We can agree that we are seeing a similar reality and even agree on a general interpretation of an event and further even judge the event with similar lenses, but always- it is chosen. It doesn't even matter if we know or not- our reality, our lives, our perceptions are learned and chosen. The nice little corollary of that is that we can change them- any and all of them- once we have even a slight handle on that view of reality. We are responsible for the lives we live and our happiness and meaning is chosen.

Living or seeing mediocrity is a choice too.

We are not trapped unless we think we are. And before someone says "yes, but" --we choose those things/people that matter and we do what we need to do to make sure that those things/people that matter get priority. Being unhappy because one's priorities force one to act on and from within disliked choices, suggests that perhaps one ought to reexamine the priorities chosen and why.

Complaining about something, but being unwilling to take any action in an attempt to change it seems fruitless but human, and I am as guilty as others. Of course that's only my perception- all of this is only my perception, through my own individual lenses, including emotional ones.

Which reminds me of a silly little Joe Walsh song "Life's been good to me so far" -and the line: "I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."

I don't know what I am looking for today or where I was going with this, but I hope I know when I find it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"Time is tonic"

"Wise are they who have learned these truths:
   Trouble is temporary. Time is tonic. Tribulation is a test tube."

~William Arthur Ward

and sometimes sleep cures all... which is what I am hoping works tonight.

"The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are"
~C.S. Lewis

I wandered around a little bit to some of the various folks in my blogroll tonight. Everyone it seemed, had something that was worthy of further thought or a link to follow. Thank goodness I have the nifty little scrapbook extension  for Firefox. I can drag and drop permalinks into various created files, make notes for select passages, and save what I am thinking or where the thoughts take me until (if ever) they are ready for something more than notes.

There is something completely disorienting to a day, to wake with a migraine. Long after the pounding, throbbing, pulsating, 'every motion, noise, light creating their own additional waves', nausea, and moaning had been coaxed into a back corner of my head, I was still subdued and working with less than half my normal awareness. I felt as if I were trapped in the middle of a dense fog, where even up close the outlines of the world were indistinct. But there were places to be, people to see, things to do...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


"Like a Russian doll nesting ever smaller dolls inside of it, I house an infinity of selves." ~Daphne Merkin. via Silken Threads

I can relate to that quote...

There are several quotes at Whiskey River that caught my eye and provoked bits of thought and writing in my offline journal.... none of those written thoughts are ready now if ever for prime time.

And Andy at Older and Growing links to a post that was amusing and horribly familiar, with so many different points that I can relate to... too many that struck me to write about or snip out only one.

Who was it that said "getting old isn't for sissies"?

As always, the visible portion of the iceberg (or the doll to bring it back to the title) is only a small portion of what is the whole....

the length and width..

3 that haunt me always:

"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." ~Diane Ackerman (quoted in a Newsweek interview)

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. Henry David Thororeau (of course from "Walden"; Where I lived and What I lived For)

... "'What do you fear, lady?' he asked. 'A cage' she said. 'To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.'" ~J.R.R. Tolkien, Eowyn to Aragorn, excerpted from "The Return of the King".

authentic, aware, real, unafraid of being a full me in all the contradictions, unafraid of failure and setback, useful, purposeful, without resignation to the status quo, to learn and grow and seek more of me and give back what I can along the way... to overcome whatever holds me back from being me and doing what is important as I might define it in any given moment- These are some of the things that matter to me as much as connection. I didn't say I was there, only that they are things I strive for... idealistic for certain, practical where appropriate, realist where it seems to fit, action taker when it suits a purpose, seeker of logic and knowledge for knowledge's sake, dreamer in all the rest...

oh, and to "never take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway" (unknown author).

And now to sleep, to rise early and hopefully "affect the quality of the day" (also Thororeau)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Always balance

"Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness." ~May Sarton

I am pretty sure I haven't worked out that balance yet. I seem to find tiny moments of play and pure foolishness, but there are times where I can't find the kind of discipline and order my inner critic believes is necessary... and some days that are full of discipline with only tiny respite... That would seem to suggest I am heading in the right direction if I can silence that critic.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


I've stumbled on this blog a couple of times and found it amusing, so if you need a smile or three check out Blighty Blog.
The June 5 entry: Brits, so smart we're boring, has this little snippet I grabbed: "Blighty's chest is full with pride today on discovering that a global survey puts Britain top in intelligence, Norfolk notwithstanding. However, it's not all good news. Being clever-clogs means ...".

Back to final exam short essays.. no, not finished yet; shoulda, coulda, woulda... will eventually, in between the laundry and other distractions... probably when I run out of things that I can procrastinate with and still feel like I am "doing something"...

"Work is love made visible"

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you break bread with indifference, you bake bitter bread that feeds but half a man's hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night."
~ Kahlil Gibran

Unconscious Mutterings Week 122

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Exhibit:: shown, visible; NOAA exhibit
  2. Evolution:: a process of change; Berkeley exhibit: Theory, History, more..
  3. Loser:: doomed to fail
  4. Hypnotic:: Optical Illusions at Archimedes' Lab plus other interesting things to wander through
  5. Unlikely:: many things are unlikely, but I prefer to think in possibles when I can
  6. Interrupt::ed often
  7. Ambivalent::graphically
  8. Rise and fall:: everything changes
  9. Indian:: sovereignty
  10. Prophecy:: divining the future
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Friday, June 03, 2005

A day off and...

"The joy of life is made up of obscure and seemingly mundane victories that gives us our own small satisfactions." ~Billy Joel

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Yesterday was a good and very satisfying day, but it is over, done, fading memory. Today, the to-do list is in my head nagging for attention. So far I have resisted for this is supposed to be my one day off from all but truly personal (as opposed to home keeping, family, school or client) things.

It was my plan (ten or twelve weeks ago or so) to use this day through the spring and summer as a breathing space, taking time for a little weekly wander in the local mountains or places a couple of hours away, trying to find a particular northward rocky beach I once walked which is covered in ocean/sand polished moonstone and jade, visiting my sister for an afternoon or three, working on organizing my personal space and room which will be my own to shut myself behind closed door and have alone time when I wish, and other similar pursuits. Reading, thinking and just "being" were in there as some of the essential ways to spend Friday's in pursuit of losing some of the self imposed tension and stress of the past couple of years.

I have found though, that through a combination of events- one: I am not usually alone (husband unexpectedly through a downturn in business, has Friday's off most of the time through the summer now, and in which I can see shades of what his retirement might be like for me- not a picture which I wish to contemplate, but must be faced); and two: I am so tired by week's end, that I simply want to read for pleasure and relax without going anywhere and without talking to anyone; and three: there are always odds and ends of things to do for clients that seem to have no other hour in the week to fit. I think this last is an illusion, because there surely is another spot in the week where if I were more organized and 'wheel to the grindstone' about the odd moments, I could fit in these minor phone calls and tasks.

Today I have the alone time and zero ambition to get in my car to drive to anywhere- even five minutes for that mountain peace and calmness. I also have zero ambition to be deep and thoughtful. I think I will attempt to finalize my camera purchase (in the works since January) and then read something entirely frivolous the rest of the day until the take home final exam of short essay answers and journal essay of emotional impressions from the last few classes, bothers me so much that I can't ignore it any longer-- maybe by about ten pm. ;-)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Two for thought

"The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them" ~Stephen King

"I dreamed a thousand new paths. . . I woke and walked my old one." (Chinese proverb)

Sleep and dreaming is where I ought to be.... where I can express the things I cannot say in words.. and where my body will gain the strength to walk the old path tomorrow and pretend there are no elephants  there .. or perhaps I will heed the wisdom and walk a new one....

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Better Brains?

New 11 Steps to a Better Brain

Opening paragraph: "It doesn't matter how brainy you are or how much education you've had - you can still improve and expand your mind. Boosting your mental faculties doesn't have to mean studying hard or becoming a reclusive book worm. There are lots of tricks, techniques and habits, as well as changes to your lifestyle, diet and behaviour that can help you flex your grey matter and get the best out of your brain cells. And here are 11 of them."

It does start out with "Smart Drugs"; some of which sound interesting... though I have some mixed feelings about some of that.. Back a few years ago, I started using things like Ginko Biloba and Ginseng, for energy and a mental boost with no apparent bad side effects and some noticed (placebo effect?) improvements when I am tired or having a meno-fog/ senior moment sort of day. Something targeted more to the actual neurotransmitters involved would seem a better way to go. (I know I saw a blogger I like, write something about all of this recently, but can't remember who or where- ;-D ; Future Pundit maybe? )

At any rate the article only begins there, it goes on to suggest some things that I have heard before in other places. All in all, it is an interesting group of suggestions.