Tag Archives: silence

Sharing My World 68

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Share Your World March 27 

(But first some missed questions from last week….)

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I think 40 is a pretty good age to be.  It’s somewhere in the middle of your life after you’re over the trauma involved in being a kid, you’ve gotten pretty good at functioning as an adult, and there’s still so much to do with your life and so many good things to come.  You know, as long as you don’t get hit by a bus or eaten by spiders.

However, I can believe all I want that I’m in my forties until I look in a mirror and go, ‘whoa’, that can’t be right.  It’s funny when some musician or celebrity I’ve known about since I was a teenager is celebrating a birthday and I think it’s shocking how old they are.  Because if i stop to think about it for a minute, I have to admit I’m around that same age myself.  And then I realize we’re both still looking relatively good for being such old farts.

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?

The umbrellas are in a basket above the coat rack at the back door.  Even though they are very handy, this does not mean that I will remember to grab one on the way out.  Those things are going to look brand new forever.

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending quiet time alone?

Quiet time alone.  I don’t even know what that other thing means.

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend have in common.

  1. Coffee first thing in the morning.
  2. We are each responsible for our own laundry.
  3. Family comes first.  Well, right after coffee and laundry of course.

Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?

My middle name is Mae because it sounds good with my first name, like Ellie Mae and Daisy Mae.  But it’s neither of those, thank gawd.  My dads eldest sister was May, my maternal grandmothers nick name was Mae, and I was born in the month of May.  There really was no escaping it, was there?

Music or silence while working?

Definitely silence.  The more silent the better.  I am very easily distracted.  Being distracted makes me irritable.  So shut up and let me drink my coffee before you try to talk to me.  Haha, sorry, I’m still on the things in common with your spouse question.

If you had a special place for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronics, people or animals), what would they be?

We had a garage sale and then made several big donations to Goodwill.  So any potential most special possessions are now someone else’s problem.  It’s very freeing to get over attachments to things.  Plus it frees up a lot of storage space.  You know, for all those things that aren’t special.  Okay, the real answer is my top dresser drawer.  I don’t even know what all is in there anymore.

The Never List: What are things you know you never will do?

  1.  I will never stop being surprised and dismayed when people die.  We are all in our forties so it’s just bizarre when it happens.
  2. I will never voluntarily sky dive, deep-sea dive, springboard dive or bungee dive.
  3. I will never again be responsible for a pet.  With me these things tend not to end well.  However, as I say this, I am thinking about the video I watched of shelter dogs on a bus being distributed to their new owners and their forever homes and it made me cry and really really want a dog.  For about half an hour until I calmed down and got over it, as little stray dogs everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief.

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

I’m grateful for the witches around the world who have twice now performed their binding spell on the big DT to thwart his and his cohorts efforts to do harm.  Looks to me like it’s working.  We all have to do whatever we do best.

I’m looking forward to April and the REAL start of Spring around here.  Which sometimes isn’t until May actually, but I’ll settle for the snow going away as a good omen.

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Sharing My World 25

Share Your World – 2015 Week #14

What type of music relaxes you the most or do you prefer silence?

Sometimes I think there’s no such thing as relaxing music.  For me it is never in the background, no matter how soft and sweet.  It feels intrusive.  It gets in my head and interferes with everything else.  I hope that proves that there are actually a few things in there.  I especially don’t like music playing when I’m on hold on the phone or loudly blaring at me when I’m shopping.  Or when the next door neighbors’ son starts his car in the morning. That kid cannot possibly have much left of his ear drums. Recorded water sounds (rainfall, waterfalls, waves) and weird and random nature noises just make me nervous.  A harp makes me feel sad.  Piano music grates on my nerves because I used to play piano and I am constantly listening for mistakes.  Even the sound of somebody humming annoys the hell out of me.

Okay.  I guess the answer here is that I prefer silence.  Or white noise, like a monotonous fan, which filters out everything else.  I will probably be the happiest old deaf person you have ever seen.

Show us a two of your favorites photographs.  Explain why they are your favorite.   If you are not a photographer, think of a two favorite scenes in your life and tell us about them.

Two of my favourite things are my adult children who both have families of their own now, although I still often think of them like this:

popsicle kids

The best place to enjoy a drippy popsicle is wherever the juicy stains are least likely to be noticed.

paint your brother

I apologize if the sight of this furniture damaged some of your brain cells.  If colour made noise, this couch would probably give you a migraine.  It came with the government housing in the late 1970’s in Inuvik, N.W.T.  It was not my fault.  My daughter painting my son was also not my fault.

What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever)

It doesn’t matter what we’re celebrating or where or why,  just being with family is what’s important.  As long as they don’t have their music turned up too loud.

If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself?  Or if you are younger than 25 what words of wisdom would you like to tell yourself at age 50?

When I was 25 I could not imagine ever being 50. Now that I’m well past 50 I can’t for the life of me remember what I was up to at the age of 18.  Maybe I would just tell that girl to enjoy the music, because one day she’s going to kind of hate it.  I would also let her know her kids are going to one day paint each other for no apparent reason other than finding it funny.  She should laugh too. There can never be too much laughter in your life.

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

I love Netflix when they send me notifications that some crazy thing I watched for 15 minutes 5 years ago has new episodes.  Because how would I know that otherwise?  I love that I can take time off from writing or painting or thinking and sit down and watch six episodes in a row of whatever I want, putting off what I actually should be doing for another time when I might feel like getting it done.

I don’t know what I’m looking forward to other than putting something on a really beautiful background I painted. I promise I will post it soon.  I don’t know why I’m taking so long to decide on something.  Maybe I’m afraid of ruining it. Maybe procrastination is just my all time favourite thing ever.  I can almost hear my 18-year-old self yelling at me from my past to get the hell off my ass and get some things accomplished before there are no years or months or days left.  Sorry, my fan is on high and I can’t understand you.  Netflix sends me an email.  Maybe try that in a couple of decades.

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Sharing My World 10

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Share Your World Week 46

On a vacation what would you require in any place that you sleep? 

A real bed with a real mattress which is a little less solid than concrete.  My back aches after sleeping on a too-soft surface, but when we were in Greece there was one place we stayed with beds so hard my hips and shoulders went numb and I had to keep turning one way and then the other to get the feeling back in them.  With my firm bed I like a soft pillow or no pillow at all.  I also like quiet.  And a night-light helps in an unfamiliar place, so that using the bathroom doesn’t involve breaking any bones or stubbing any toes or falling off any balconies in the middle of the night.  All of those things are much worse when they happen in the dark.

Music or silence while working?

Silence please.  Ever had one of those stupid days where you get distracted by absolutely everything? These last two have been high on my list of occasions when I’ve been mostly out to lunch.  I don’t actually have such a list, but if I did it would be a long one.  Follow me around for a few minutes.  I decide to change the sheets on the bed (which incidentally has the best bamboo chiropractic mattress ever), then gather up the laundry and take it downstairs, remember I have to photo copy an invoice on W’s printer down there because mine isn’t working, come back up to get it and decide it’s time for another cup of coffee, see that my favourite cup shelf is empty so start the dishwasher, notice the stove top looks disgusting and clean and shine it up,  then while looking for clean sheets remember the coffee I didn’t make,  put the invoice on the kitchen table so I’ll remember to take it downstairs with me the next time I go down there….and on it goes.  Music just adds to the confusion.  I don’t know where my powers of concentration have gone.  Maybe on vacation.  I also can’t remember how I ever got anything done around here when I was working 4 days out of 7.

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain?

Everything I ever wanted would include a library, so I would bring all my books with me.  I’m counting that as one thing.  Thing two would be photo albums and framed pictures of family and boxes of treasures and memorabilia and I would sneak all my artwork into that category.  And finally, my grandmas rocking chair.  And probably that alien giraffe carving because seriously, how could I possibly leave him behind?  And all my electronic stuff.  Three is a pretty limiting number.  I like thirty-three better.

What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?

Ox cart.  I don’t have to ride in one to know that.  I like things that go fast and get me to where I’m going in the least amount of time possible.  So that means W can’t be driving them.

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

Yesterday was my last follow-up with the specialist who walked into the room with a big smile on his face.  Once again they found nothing unusual and no reason to investigate further.  So he said, why don’t we just forget about it?  If anything else comes up I have his card and he will happily see me again.  But he sees no reason to continue with the poking and prodding anymore.  Best news ever.  Carry on as if I’m normal.  I can do that.

I’m looking forward to no more TV issues next week and for ever after for the rest of my life because last night we went out and bought a new one.  Now we have a new TV, a new digital box, and a new remote.  The TV is a SMART one.  Smartest thing we’ve purchased in a long time.  I’m not looking forward so much to paying the credit card bill, but not having W distract me from whatever I’m doing (or have forgotten I’m doing) to rant and rave about what the TV is up to now and telling me I have to come downstairs and figure out how to fix it – that’s got to be worth every penny.   And then some.  We can watch Netflix and You-Tube and all kinds of stuff on this one.  Told you it was smart.

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Meditate

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Cin’s Feb Challenge  ” It’s a bit of self-love, inner child, and just all around fun things…..If you want to participate then all you have to do is read on and follow in any way you wish.”

The best challenges to me are such open-ended ones with easy rules, or no rules at all.  Cin’s blog, Witchy Rambles, is one I stumbled upon in my typically random manner of stumbling upon things, and I’ve been a follower of her lovely, peaceful and inspiring posts ever since.  She is one of this worlds beautiful people.  I am happy to rise to her February challenge.

So what does it mean to me when I hear the word meditate?

I used to believe it meant serious contemplation, hard thinking, reflection on the past, intent for the future.  Sit down, close your eyes, ponder, ruminate and contrive.  And that’s why I never wanted to be bothered with it.  All that stuff can give you a colossal headache.  Often all that thinking doesn’t solve anything anyway, it just adds fuel to an already blazing fire.

Now in this much more mature and wise stage of my life I know meditation can mean the complete opposite of concentration.  It’s a wonderful and freeing ‘letting go’ of all the mind blather that makes you the crazy person you were never meant to be.

I am certainly not an expert on this subject, but I think I’ve been practicing emptying my head my entire life.  I can sit still without moving or speaking or fidgeting, taking laziness to a whole new level.  To an outside observer (like some of my school teachers long ago and now my family, friends and co-workers) it probably looks like I am either totally focused on something drastically important or in some kind of a trance-like daydream.  The truth is, if someone asks me during one of these episodes ‘what are you thinking’ I would have to say I’m not thinking about anything at all.

Yeah, kind of scary, I know.

Maybe this is something I should have taught my kids, but since no one taught it to me, I simply assumed it was a normal thing to be able to dump the noise and confusion and all the bad things around you for a few minutes until you can gather up the energy you need to face them again.  Now I don’t wait to be pushed to the edge where I’m forced to get myself behind all the nonsense that’s cluttering up my world so that I won’t break down under the pressure of it all.  I actually do this on purpose with clear intent as a preventative measure.

I think there are as many meditative methods and processes as there are yoga positions, but for whatever it’s worth, here’s mine.

1.  Arrange yourself in a comfortable, stable posture, legs crossed, fingers touching – feel relaxed but not so relaxed that you nod off and fall over.  Meditation is like a conscious form of sleep.  Emphasis on staying conscious.

2.  Be perfectly still – stop inner and outer chatter – relax, relax, relax.

3.  Breathe, and observe the breath without consciously forcing yourself to breathe.  Only witness your normal breathing. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, relax, relax, relax.  Did I already say relax?  Really, you need to relax.

4.  Empty your mind of thoughts, questions, images, emotions and everything else.  When you do this you open yourself to receive cosmic energy, a drop of spirituality, some healing life force, inner peace.

5.  flow with it,  be with it…… let everything go….for as long as you can.  The real world will intrude soon enough to jolt you and your mind back into it.

Simple, right?  If you keep practicing this, you will end up relaxed, happy, healthy, stress free, with a calmed and tranquil mind, having a better memory, higher understanding, better interpersonal relationships, and a better life.  Has all this happened to me?

Well, who knows, really.  Like I said, I am no expert, but I do believe without my zoned out times my life would be a much less enjoyable experience.

So what does ‘meditate’ mean to you?  Am I completely out to lunch?  If I am, I like it – to me it’s a good life-nurturing kind of lunch to be out to.

Happy Times a Million

How would you give away a million dollars? I would divide it by five and put it into trust funds for my five grandchildren for when they turn – I don’t know – twenty five?  By that age they should all have some idea of where their lives are headed and there would be no other stipulations except for that magic birthday.  As if I’d ever have that much money to give away – but it’s a lovely dream.

When was the last time you asked yourself “What was I thinking?” Let’s see, when was the last time I talked to W?  After all these years and years and years you’d think there’d be no surprises, but there are still surprises.  I thought I’d understand him eventually.  What WAS I thinking?  Good question.  My head was empty and in the clouds.  He made me laugh.  I still think he’s quite funny, but in a markedly different way.

Are there any news stories you’re sick of hearing about?  Nope.  Because I don’t listen to the news.  It’s always bad.  And half of it probably isn’t even true.  If anyone tries to discuss what’s going on in the world with me, they’ll find out fairly quickly that I have very little to contribute to the conversation.  I’m not saying I’m proud of that or that I don’t care.  But in lots of cases, ignorance IS bliss.

What type of music do you listen to most?  I like jazz, and the blues, and easy listening.  And silence.  Silence is my all time favourite.

Share a memory about the house in which you grew up. It was a yellow brick farmhouse, a hundred years old.  There were five bedrooms upstairs and two staircases, one front and one back.  The main floor had a small extra room we called the den. It had two verandas, a bath and a half, an attached garage and a built on “back kitchen”, plus a big cellar area and a furnace room.  We had a laundry room, a big kitchen, a living room and a huge dining room that eventually got divided in half to make another bedroom and a sewing room.  I was six when we moved there and to me it felt as big as a castle.  It shrunk as I got older.  Our laneway had stone gate posts and was lined with maple trees and there was a circular driveway between the house and the barn.  We also had a two story shed with a chicken house on one side.  The lawns were huge.  We had a lily pond and a cold spring pond, lots of wide open fields and a woodlot big enough to get lost in.  Every summer, all summer long, we had aunts and uncles and cousins who came to stay.  I had no idea while I lived there that it was just about the best place on earth for a child to grow up.

Can you cook?  Not like my mother could, but sometimes I come close.  I’m certainly good at huge quantities. When I first started cooking for two I made enough mashed potatoes to feed a small army and then discovered that W didn’t like leftovers.  It didn’t take long for him to learn to love them, once he found out he might otherwise starve to death during that long period of time between gargantuan feasts.

Name one thing, big or small, that you could change about your life to be happier.  I’m trying to imagine why I would want to be any happier.  If you’re too damned happy people think there’s something wrong with you.  I’m content.  Most of the time I feel peaceful and serene and blessed and loved.  Of course there are minor annoyances, but they simply serve to keep things real.  I can’t think of anything, big or small, that I would change.  Such a lack of ambition and aspirations is truly mind boggling, isn’t it?  But I like my boggled mind.

How often do you get the chance to leave town for a trip?  This is not the Hotel California.  I can leave anytime I want.  If I run out of holidays I take time off without pay.  Unless of course everyone else at work is doing the same thing, in which case I’m actually of some use to have around, holding down the fort, or whatever my job description is.  Blowing up the fort.  No, I’m pretty sure that’s not it.  I’m going to go east in a couple of months to see my siblings and their families.  I am now the relative from afar who comes to stay.

I overheard a bit of a conversation once, between one of my grandaughters and her little friend.

GD: Is your grandma rich? 

F: No, she’s not.  Is your grandma rich? 

GD: Nope, but it doesn’t matter, she gets me whatever I want anyway. 

So if I had that million dollars to give away all at once, would it make that much of a difference to our happiness or to how rich our lives already are?  Maybe not.  (But if anyone wants me to actually put that theory to the test, I wouldn’t say no. Just because I’m happy doesn’t mean I’m also stupid.)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  And Happy Eleventh Birthday to Kenzie, our beautiful million dollar valentine girl.

Things That Break

When dawn breaks, morning has broken;

Night falls, but it never breaks.

Coffee breaks are the very best breaks.

You can take a break, give a guy a break.
Break it to me gently.
Break a leg.
Break a horse.
Break the connection.
Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.
But don’t break in, and don’t break out.

I’ve broken up
I’ve broken down
A heart
A promise
The silence
But never a spirit
Or any bones.

How expensive,
When you add up all that shattered china?
The pieces are worth nothing.

That’s why it’s impossible
To put a dollar value
On a broken dream.

Favorite Sounds

Grandma! Hi Grandma! Guess what Grandma!

Are you staying here for a long long time? I have to tell you something! I need to show you some stuff! Are you going to be here all the way to Christmas? Do you promise? I can’t get my seat belt on! I need help with my boots! And my zippa!

Today we went on a fee-wod twip! We saw a play! And after that we went to Booger King! No, not Booger, BOOGA! Are you going to watch me play hockey? Do you play hockey anymore? How come girls didn’t play hockey when you were a little girl? When you were a little girl was your name still grandma?

Read a story! Tuck me in! Come and snuggle with me! Will you be here in the morning?

Well, that’s a considerably condensed version of yesterdays beautiful sounds. Give me a few more days of ‘grandma grandma grandma grandma!’ and the combination of four little voices all clamoring for attention probably won’t be my ABSOLUTE favorite anymore.

I do love the sounds of silence. But also the rumble of thunder, the call of the loons, rain on the roof, wind chimes, birdsong, the chattering of squirrels and tree frogs, and a train whistle in the distance.

Still none of those, and nothing else that I know of, can compare to the delightful music of a child’s laughter.

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