Quiet Minds

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Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.

[Robert Louis Stevenson]

And here I thought January was going to be such a boring month.  Now I want it to end for a whole different myriad of reasons.

I really miss my complacent quiet mind that didn’t involve itself much in world politics and all the fussing and fighting my friend.  It’s been MIA for almost two weeks now, off somewhere being frightened and perplexed I guess.  The clock during a thunderstorm is beginning to feel like a ticking time bomb.  It seriously needs to yell and scream at somebody.  Reading the news is like watching a friend self destruct and having no idea what you could possibly say to them or do to make things better.  Worried that they’ll destroy you and everything around them in the process.

This is life, though, isn’t it?  Never meant to be easy.  There will always be ignorance and fear and hate right along side all the understanding, compassion and love.  I always thought I knew which one would win in the end.  And then a white Christian male murders people in a mosque.  And the victims are the ones he calls terrorists.  There’s a special place in hell for the perpetrators of such senseless violence, right next to the ones who incite it.

Amidst the shared grief and despair there’s always something we can be grateful for, right?  How long is your list?  I hope it’s longer than mine.

  1. Humour.  Satire.  Political cartoons.  Protest signs.  Because if you don’t laugh you might start to cry and never stop.
  2. People with functioning brains saying intelligent things.  They are a delightful contrast to the ones who believe thinking isn’t really all that important.
  3. Protesters and reporters and journalists who refuse to sit down and shut up.
  4. Social media, freedom of speech, freedom of the press.  The right to ask questions and get truthful answers.  All things that could be taken away from us.  In this day and age.  It boggles the mind. Do I believe everything I hear or read?  Of course not. There is progressively more bullshit to sift through these days, but there is also thoughtful, actually factually backed-up information.  There are insightful gems.  These are well worth the time it takes to find them, and have helped to restore my wavering faith in the basic goodness of humanity.
  5. The love and compassion that’s out there and has always been out there despite all the misguided evil efforts to destroy it.  I am so very thankful that all the rampant stupidity and hate has not lured all of us into stupidly and rampantly hating back.  It is so very tempting to add to the chaos instead of the calm.

Here’s something we can all hang on to.  These mortal men (yes, take heart, one day they will die just like the rest of us) who have had power gifted to them can have that power taken away. They are not Gods. Some of them are not even that smart. Some of them are probably certifiably insane. They can be stopped.  And I know there are good people ceaselessly working on stopping them before going to hell is the least of their worries because they will have all of us living with them in some version of it right here.

Am I taking all this too seriously?  I don’t know.  But better to err on this side of the fence than to regret not getting it before it’s too late to change the downward spiral we’re all being sucked into.

So do not let them beat you down and wear you out and make you want to give up. Never doubt that therein lies the method to their madness in their gleeful rush to keep their so-called promises, one after another after another, so you can’t wrap your head around how little forethought or concern for legality or unhappy consequences has been taken into account before they’re slamming the next thing down on the table.  And the shit that happens after that is SO not their fault.  Wow.  They are counting on everyone to become overwhelmed to the point of weary acceptance, not knowing what is legal and what is truth or which way is up.  Too busy fighting with each other to notice or care any more what’s really going on.  And away they go.

Resist and keep resisting the things you know in your heart to be wrong.  Because to do otherwise is unthinkable.

Sorry I’m not my usual flippant frivolous self these days.  I’m just not ready yet for the world to end.

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More Please

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What would you like more of this year?  Here’s  my list.

  1. peaceful sound sleep
  2. great coffee
  3. good books
  4. amazing sunrises
  5. gorgeous sunsets
  6. smiles
  7. creativity
  8. writing ideas
  9. positive thoughts
  10. laughter
  11. daydreaming
  12. fun
  13. love
  14. gratefulness
  15. magic
  16. healing
  17. random acts of kindness
  18. crazy (the good kind)
  19. sunshine
  20. joy

Gotta get going on this one.  Starting with coffee.  Wish me luck.

Sharing My World 62

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Share Your World 2016 Week 38

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

I only hug back select people who get all weird and decide to hug me first. And by select people I mean close family and possibly extended family and maybe a friend or two but at the moment nobody in particular comes to mind. Random stranger hugging makes me extremely uncomfortable.  So I suppose that makes me a certified non hugger.  I prefer to comfort you and tell you I love you from across the room.

What is your least favorite Candy?

My current sugar phobia has me sworn off all things sweet and empty-caloried.  Most of it was pretty easy to give up, but perhaps especially toffee, or anything thick and chewy and capable of sucking the fillings out of your teeth.  I do miss milk chocolate, but I found some gluten free fudge bars that satisfy that craving when I’m weak enough to give in to it.  I won’t tell you how often that is because some things are private.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

Family get-togethers with minimal hugging.  Sitting alone binge watching something on Netflix. Playing iPad games. Rearranging furniture.  Creating something, even if it’s basically useless.  Or maybe the useless part is what makes it fun.  Reading a good book.  Finding nothing but junk in the mail box, because junk is not bills.  Well, I’m pretty easily entertained, hey?

It’s also fun to be kind in a random spontaneous way when you’re out and about with a smile or a polite gesture or a helping hand.  Just don’t ruin it with hugging.  Gah.

List of Favorite Smells: What smells do you love? Whether it’s vanilla scented candles or the smell of coffee in the morning or the smell of a fresh spring rain…make a list of all the things you love for a little aromatherapy.

1.  Baby powder

2.  Sun tan lotion

3.  Cranberry Mandarin candles

4.  Clean sheets and towels dried on a clothes line on a sunny windy day.

5.  Cloves

The urge to write “coffee brewing” five times was strong.  I hope you appreciate this effort.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful to be breathing.  I look forward to keeping that going for awhile. Oh!  And Swiss Chalet!!  W is going to pick up some of that later.   Yay!  Roasted chicken is a pretty decent smell too.

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Sharing My World 56

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Haha! Just messing with you.  I know it’s Thursday. Happy early April Fools Day. Unless the world ends before tomorrow, then the joke is on me.

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2016 WEEK 13

Are you left or right-handed?

I am right-handed but I like to practice doing things with my left hand just in case the right one ever wears out or goes missing.  This is a sign of a great worrier, thinking up obscure and unlikely events and preparing for them.  Or worrying because I’m not prepared for them at all.

If you had only one TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

We do have only one TV.  It is in the basement.  I like it there, away from the rest of the house where I can’t hear it.  Most commercials  (and all advertising) drive me nuts.  I am near-sighted and don’t like wearing my glasses, and I don’t hear well.  So I watch TV shows up close on my iPad, with subtitles.  If there was no television in the house I don’t think I’d miss it much.

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

Yes I have!  It was twenty years ago and I walked 15 kilometres for the Children’s Miracle Network, or some such similar worthy cause.  The details are fuzzy after all this time, but I definitely recall the 15 km part vividly.  The choices were to do 5, 7, or 15.  When we got to the 7 km point my coworker (who was the one who decided to do the damned walk in the first place) wanted to stop, but I said what the hell, we’ve come this far, let’s do the whole thing.  Our second mistake was sitting on the ground and taking our shoes off to eat a snack when we made it to the end.  We couldn’t get our shoes back on and we couldn’t get up.  We found it hysterically funny that we might have to crawl to the parking lot and drive home in sock feet.  Physical exhaustion does weird things to your sense of humour.

It didn’t come to that, but there’s a reason I’ve never attempted such a long trek since.  It took days for my muscles to recover.  And there’s a reason why sane people do a lot of training beforehand.  I get it now.

Complete this sentence: Love is… .

Love is hard work and rarely perfect, but worth it anyway.  I don’t think I’ve ever used a bible quote here before, but I quite like this one.

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Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I have chosen four colours for my house and not one of them is yellow!  Well, okay, one of them sort of is but it’s called coconut milk so it doesn’t count.  The back entrance is small and poorly lit and needs serious lightening up.  Coconut milk should work.  I’m grateful that we’ve made a start with white ceiling and trim paint too.  Maybe we’ll need sunglasses back there after this.  Instead of a flashlight.

My medical procedures continue (blah) but I’m grateful this last CT scan on Tuesday was at our new local hospital.  What a great place!  Even though it took three people five tries to find a vein for the contrast dye, I’m impressed with the facility.  It’s a ten minute drive from home and beats the hassle of going into the city.  Had my three-month blood work done today and had to explain my bruises but got poked only once this time.  Little things like this make me curiously happy.

As for next week, who knows?  I have lots to keep me busy, but ever fewer excuses to ignore the art room.  Back to that soon I hope.  Meanwhile, this old house continues to endure its facelift.

Yay for April!

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Words From Somewhere

A long time ago I read this passage in a novel.  Then I read it again.  Have you ever come across someone else’s simple little story and been deeply affected by it or felt so connected to the feelings portrayed that the whole thing could just as easily be your own?

I marked the page these words were on and kept coming back to them. Then I typed the passage and printed it and put it in my keepsakes box.  Every time I come across it I read it again and marvel at how much I like it and then I return it to the box.

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After all this time I don’t know who wrote it or what book it came out of. If you recognize it I will happily share the source.

Funny how a random little snippet from a fictional life seemed like something worth saving, and how it never loses its charm for me.

And that’s my Saturday blurb of randomness for this week!  Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Edited to add- it is from The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg….thanks oregana