Tag Archives: natural

Sharing My World 50

Coffee Wars Front Runner in Action
Coffee Wars Front Runner in Action

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2016 WEEK 7

What are you a “natural” at doing?

If natural abilities show up in childhood with a minimum of encouragement, perhaps mine was related to music.  I never had much of a singing voice (my sister got all the talent there) but I had an ear for music and perfect pitch and could sight-read pieces and play them on the piano with ease.  In teachers college when I finally showed up to try out for the special music class they asked me what in the world I’d been waiting for.  Not much ever came of all that talent.  I haven’t touched a piano in years.  I get supremely annoyed if someone sings off-key or hits a bad note.  I like to listen to classical music and jazz once in a blue moon, and sometimes switch the sat radio to tunes from the 1940’s  They’re so bad they’re good.

Now I’m a natural at making soup.  It’s a much more useful ability.  My mom must have passed on to me part of her talent for throwing a bunch of stuff together without a measuring cup in sight and ending up with something delicious.  No recipe, difficult to duplicate, always a surprise.  Edible music to warm your soul on a cold winters day.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

The house you need/want/prefer is constantly changing as your life and circumstances change.  As much as I have always loved the idea of living in a six-story castle with turrets and ballrooms, I’m afraid all those stone staircases and drafty halls would kill me now, never mind the responsibility of servants and groundskeepers and film makers wanting to use it for a movie set.  A grand old three-story mansion with an attic would probably do me in as well.  I’m too old for haunted spaces and fireplaces with dead birds stuck in the chimneys and entire rooms made in to dusty old libraries.  I’ve also given up my dream of having a cathedral ceiling with windows everywhere and a cozy artists loft.  Even our three bedroom bungalow is feeling too big for the two of us these days.  I’m ready for something smaller with no stairs anywhere, not even up to the front door.  Flat as a pancake and easy to clean.  Sturdy shelves for my books and a corner for my art supplies and a kitchen almost too small to turn around in, but big enough for soup.

What was your favorite subject in school?

You might expect me to say art, but I didn’t love it because it was so structured then, with too many rules and often disappointing results.  I did love English, or Language Arts, and composition.  I hated how we were made to do book reports though, dissecting everything to death.  It was like explaining a joke until it was no longer funny.  In high school I thoroughly enjoyed Latin.  That was like having a love affair with words.

Complete this sentence: If only the rain..

…..would soak the world with joy and wash away all the pain and hurt and hate.  And maybe sweep some obnoxious mouthy morons down a sewer grate.

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

It is getting easier every day to know what I can and cannot eat to keep my diabetic readings stable.  Last night we dined out.  I had Chicken Parmesan, sweet potato fries and five ounces of Merlot.  Perfect.  Except for the blatant absence of vegetables.  But sometimes I make a meal of nothing but vegetables, so it all evens out.

We have packages of coffee, both beans and ground, that we are trying half heartedly to use up by brewing a pot of coffee in the morning.  It’s coffee brewer vs. Tassimo, and Tassimo is sneaking in a lot of wins.  It’s just so much easier than measuring out water and scoops of coffee and having the coffee sit there and get stale and then poured down the sink and spilling the filter full of wet grounds on its way to the little green compost bin.  Life is just so hard when you have nothing of consequence to do with yourself.

There is this one thing though.  W has asked me to do one of my collage pictures with a fishing theme.  He wants to hang it up at camp, although where exactly is a mystery because the walls are already covered with photo boards and other fishy things.  I said ‘what if you hate it?’ and he said ‘I’ll hang it up anyway’.

I’m grateful he has shown an interest in my work, other than to ask me what the hell I’m planning to do with all this shit.  So that’s my next project.  When we move to our tiny little pancake house we will be having one hell of a garage sale.

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Sharing My World 14

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Share Your World – 2015 Week #1

How do you get rid of pesky phone calls from telemarketers?

By saying as many completely stupid things as it takes.

What are you a “natural” at doing?

Saying completely stupid things.

How often do you get a haircut?

I don’t like to admit this and I certainly don’t brag about it,  but most of the time I cut my hair myself.  It’s only hair, and it’s a pretty simple cut.  I’m familiar with its licks and quirks and how it grows.  It has to be left a little longer on the top where it’s thin and grows slowly,  and thinned out like crazy in the back where its thick and grows fast.  Some hair dressers get this.  Others get it backwards and then wonder why I have a mullet in a couple of weeks.   I have a different definition of a “trim” than they do and it does not include words like “scalping” or “buzz cut”.  I can trim other people’s hair, so why not my own?  I have excellent hair cutting scissors and a trimmer with different attachments.  I do the back with the help of a mirror.  Eventually my trimmed up locks get to the point where a professional needs to deal with them.  Hey, I pay them good money, they should have to work for it, right?

Since I no longer go to work or have to do something with my hair in a hurry every day,  I have been letting it dry naturally and wave and curl and do whatever it wants.  So far, no small children have been traumatized (as far as I know.)

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

If you were expecting it might be “saying completely stupid things to telemarketers” you would be wrong. That’s not fun for either one of us, really.   But spending time with family, where the stupid things you’ve said can be repeated and laughed at – that’s fun.   My artwork is fun.  So is blogging and reading and playing word games and staying at home and relaxing.  I’m not very high maintenance, I guess.

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

I am grateful for a quiet New Years Eve, a warm and cozy house that keeps out the bitter cold, new movies on Netflix and my charcoal pencils.  It’s been lovely to watch the magpies coming and going in the big black spruce tree across the road, and to catch a glimpse of the white jack rabbit making fresh footprints in the snow.

I don’t know what I’m looking forward to.  Certainly not calls from telemarketers.  By now they probably have our number on their lost causes list anyway.

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Action Without Action

Lao Tzu, traditionally the author of the Tao T...
Lao Tzu, traditionally the author of the Tao Te Ching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prompts for the Promptless:  Wu Wei

Wu wei, or non-doing, is a Taoist practice involving letting one’s action follow the simple and spontaneous course of nature rather than interfering with the harmonious working of universal law by imposing arbitrary and artificial forms.  In other words, it is the action of non-action.

“As the planets revolve around the sun, they “do” this revolving, but without “doing” it. As trees grow, they simply grow without trying to grow. Thus knowing how and when to act is not knowledge in the sense that one would think, “now I should do this,” but rather just doing it, doing the natural thing. The goal of spiritual practice for the human being is, according to Laozi, the attainment of this natural way of behaving.” – Wikipedia

I don’t know about your world, but mine is full of workaholics who have forgotten how to relax.  They get anxious and restless if they’re not doing something.  When they have problems they try to fix them by getting to their root to make the changes that will resolve them.  Sometimes there is no solution, and that makes them crazy.

They want rules and guidelines and proper methods of doing things and strict adherence to the rules.  They probably wrote a book of rules that tells us how to follow the rules.  They feel perfectly justified in throwing a fit when someone else has a different stupid rule that doesn’t agree with their much superior ones.  They rarely take the time to consider how they actually feel about anything because they’re just too busy doing what they think they’re supposed to be doing and they’ve got deadlines to meet and a schedule to keep and fun is something they’ve put on hold.

These people believe that everyone exists as a separate being, full of power and might, and thus able to exercise wilful control over everything that happens to them.  The strong survive, and the winner takes all.  I suppose they believe this is normal, natural behaviour.  They may say they are looking for peace and harmony and balance, but their forceful and unnatural methods aren’t working out so well.

Wu wei refers to the cultivation of a state of being in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the ebb and flow of the cycles of the natural world we are a part of, where we are connected to every other living thing.  It is a kind of “going with the flow” that is characterized by great ease, so that without even trying we’re able to respond perfectly to whatever situation arises.  It doesn’t mean wandering around aimlessly, or being lazy or passive or inert (although that sounds pretty good to me too.)  It means listening to the intelligence of our bodies and our emotions as well as our brains, not swimming against the current or going against the grain.  It means being spontaneous and natural and doing things simply because we feel like doing them and because they feel right.  It means being kind and helpful and loving until we don’t remember how to be any other way.

There will always be problems to solve and issues to deal with and conflicts to resolve.  I think I’ve been practicing some version of Wu wei without even knowing it,  because I’ve always found the best thing to do initially when faced with a problem is nothing.  Leave things alone.  Let the natural process take its course. Unless it’s an urgent life or death situation, in which case I guess I could probably drum up the ambition to dial 911.  Thinking

But if I’m confused and stressed about a nagging problem and don’t know what to do, I don’t do anything.  I wait, I watch, I see what happens next.  This doesn’t mean the problem is ignored or that I’m pretending I’m not aware of it,  it means I’m giving the situation a time out until I can think more clearly about it and make a decision I can act on and not regret, without making things worse in the meantime.   Many problems can be solved by time alone.  Lots of times things will fall into place on their own.

So slow down.  Be patient.  Relax.  A little non action may be good for the soul.  Sit still awhile, and just be.