Three Quotes: The End

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“The sky both exists and doesn’t exist. It has substance and at the same time doesn’t. And we merely accept that vast expanse and drink it in.”
― Haruki Murakami

Please feel free to take up the challenge of Three Quotes in Three Days.  Thanks again to Laura Bruno Lilly for passing this challenge along to me.

How do you like the blues in that sky?  Is that not a vast expanse worth drinking in?  This is a phone photo taken in the spring through the front window of my car (don’t worry, I was parked).  At first I couldn’t figure out why the top of the sky was such a vivid blue until I remembered with a forehead smack and an eye roll that there’s a blue tint at the top of my windshield.  So there you go, a secret filter photo.  If great photographers are not supposed to reveal their secrets, that’s why I’m not one of them.

Our weather has been up and down and all over the place this week.  The sunny cheery blue sky suddenly grows menacing and dark, the wind comes up and the thunder grumbles and rolls.  Rain falls in buckets or fine mists, but in such short bursts that if you turn away you might miss it.  Then the sun comes back out to say “just kidding” until it’s warm enough again to turn the fans back on.  Rewind and repeat.  About four times a day.

I’ve been using this unpredictable weather as an excuse for not walking to the grocery store which is only a couple of blocks from my house because I would not like to get caught in the rain and struck by lightning.  Even though I am out of coffee cream, which is pretty strong motivation.  And driving there would be the height of slothful lackadaisicalness.  Yes, that is a real word.  It means unwillingness to get off your butt.  Or out of your car to take a normal photo.

Hope your Wednesday is wonderful in a lackadaisical laid back way.  I’ve had fun matching pictures to quotes!  You should try it.

Winter Weather Jots

For those of you who don’t already know it, this month is officially Just Jot it January, or JusJoJan.  See, I have the sign to prove it.  You can even click on it for the link.

imageIt is also cold outside, and I have proof of that too because I took a screen shot.

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My new weather network app informed me this clear sunny Sunday morning that the temperature outside was -34 C, feels like -43 C.  So it’s gotten considerably better since then, right?  Except that the early dark always makes me feel colder.

I got rid of my old weather app because it always showed me a pretty rural landscape which appeared to have inclement weather happening somewhere in front of it, or off to the side with little actual effect on the blue sky and green grass.  There was also a big bold and annoying sign hanging in the sky telling me how lovely the premium features of this app would prove to be if only I would decide to purchase the upgrade.  So I deleted it instead.

I live with a weatherman, and the app is just a heads up, so that when he stands in front of me looking out the window to inform me that it’s snowing, I can say I already knew that.  Today of all days he decided he had to get out of the house and do something.  So all by myself I have had to figure out that it’s snowing heavily in B.C. and there is dangerous freezing rain in the Maritime provinces and Newfoundland has some crazy winds going on.

It’s a very good day for all sane Canadians to stay inside and read a good book I think.  This thought brings us all the way back around in a circle to the first prompt theme for JusJoJan which happens to be Reading.  See how I did that?  But, back to the jotting part, the rules state that we can also jot down random thoughts and share them.

Being currently in a very share-y mood and a chronic haver of random thoughts, I decided to go through my list of the puzzling things I have on my notebook phone app.  Little pieces of paper can go missing or be thrown away.  These, on the other hand, tend to accumulate and defy deletion.

1.  dates, rice flour, coconut, espresso powder? (I think the question mark indicates that I feared not being able to find such a thing because it might not exist)

2.  sit in the fridge for 10 minutes (recipe instructions that cracked me up)

3.  4:20 pick up time 23rd (I believe that was about a bus on holidays.  You don’t want to miss a holiday bus.)

4.  Appt at 1, be there 15 min early, allow for traffic and parkade and bicycle accidents (Good advice I guess)

5.  A little mini list of my grandchildren and each of their birthdays.  (I remember doing this one, because I got tired of being asked their ages and having to be vague about it.  Bad grandma.)

6.  Scrubber Vileda (because brand names are hard to remember)

7.  A long and involved recipe for  Lebkuchen  (although I’m not even sure what that is)

8.  Sorry, I was busy expanding my inner bliss in to the universe. (Always put you excuses in writing)

9.  Glop is a valid scrabble word (Who knew?  Probably every scrabble player but me)

10.  De-calcify pineal gland (what?)

There’s  more than ten, but you probably don’t care what my cell phone bill amounts are.  Or the prices of organic produce.  Frankly, neither do I, once the moment has passed.

Well, that’s entirely enough jotting for one day.  There will be a new prompt on the 10th.  I’m sure I will be able to flub my way through that one too.  Or glop.  I could also glop.  Maybe I should jot that down.

Art du Jour 23

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This was interesting to do because the paper is textured. And blue.  Her face is completely made up by me.  Sometimes it’s fun to just start drawing with no model or photo and see who you end up with.  In this case it appears to be a ballerina who stayed out in the cold just a tad too long.

Speaking of weather, which we weren’t, but we are now, our snow is melting!  Water is running down the driveway.  So I can’t go out, because what if it suddenly freezes and I slip on the ice and fall down and kill myself?  I can use the weather as an excuse for pretty much any scenario.

In other unrelated news, today I started organizing my pantry cupboard because I’m sick of trying to find things while other things hit me in the face.  All I wanted to do was make note of the baking supplies I have so that I don’t duplicate them.  Then I reorganized another cupboard and the fridge and finally the fridge freezer.  For just two people, we have a hell of a pile of food.  I probably have enough raisins to last me for the rest of my life.

So now I’m all prepared to go shopping, and for once, the list of things I don’t need is longer than the list of things I do for the things I want to make.  Like butter tarts totally loaded with raisins.  Whether you like them that way or not.  What else can you do with a ton of raisins?  I’m open to suggestions.  As long as they aren’t too complicated.

Hope your Thursday is going well and that you’re happy and warm wherever you may be.  Not like the blue Christmas fairy up there with her frozen eyeballs.

Good Morning Sunshine

The latest incarnation of the paint room aka art studio, in which I have spent hours moving things around and minutes actually working on stuff.

The latest incarnation of the paint room aka art studio, in which I have spent hours moving things around and minutes actually working on stuff.

There isn’t a lot of sunshine yet today, but that’s okay.  We’re having gorgeous autumn weather into the last ten days of September.  Six work shifts to go.  I know countdowns are bad, and a form of wishing your life away while you wait for something to end or begin or happen but I’m doing it anyway.  Anticipation is half the fun, right?

On my second last working Wednesday, all alone between six and eight with no appointments and no customers and no real ambition, I decided to write down all the things I will miss about work when I’m finally done with it on the last day of this month.  I took a sheet of paper out of the printer, got one of my three erasable pens out of my pocket (there must always be three) and sat down to write a list.  Things I will miss.  Ten minutes crawled by.  Everything I thought of was something I actually wouldn’t miss at all.  In fact I knew I would be beside myself with relief and happiness to never have to deal with that shit again.  So then I divided the paper in two and on the second half started a list of things I will NOT miss.  I filled up that side and the entire back with such a pile of work related crap it put me in a totally pissy mood.  I should not be left alone on Wednesday nights.  I’ve always said that, but no one listens.

While this process was all very cathartic, I won’t be sharing my list of negativity from hell.  Going over it once was enough.  Indisputable proof that it’s time to walk away.

W is coming home today.  He’s been in Ontario at the island closing things up for the winter.  He’s bringing my water-color paint supplies home with him.  I can’t remember why I thought it was a good idea to leave them there, but now I’ll have fewer excuses for stifling my creative urges as I amass all my tools and gather ideas and look up art classes.  Plan projects, get organized, have another cup of coffee, read some blogs, play some candy crush, make a pot of soup…..

Is it a little sad that procrastination is my favourite thing in the world?   (Except for reading for hours and watching bizarre things on Netflix.  I never put those things off.)   If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I’ve been headed in that direction forever.  I do entire blog posts in my head in the middle of the night on my brilliant blog where I discuss brilliant things.  Then dawn breaks and work looms and Netflix sends me a notice that some dumb thing I’ve been watching has new episodes.  So the brilliance is put on hold.  Or forgotten.

Well, it’s an interesting theory/excuse, hey?

No, I’m not really buying it either.  But my point is (YES!  I have a POINT!) work will no longer loom.  Huge chunks of stress will dissolve right before my eyes.  I will have to find something completely different to get all pissy about.  I will answer more prompts and accept more challenges.  Or at the very least, drum up the courage to share my artistic creative genius.  You people are all really nice and will humor me on that one, right?  Thank you, I knew I could count on you.

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Ten days.  Six shifts.  Gorgeous fall weather.  Paint supplies en route to home.  Oh yeah, and W too.

Life is good and about to get better.

The Way It Seems To Me

Qualia

Qualia (Photo credit: RalphJB)

Prompts for the Promptless:  Qualia (single form, quale) is a term that refers to the individual, conscious, subjective elements of experiences. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived redness of an evening sky.  In other words, qualia refers to “the way things seem to us”.

I’ve been procrastinating and avoiding this subject because I like to think I’m perfectly normal.  Who isn’t reluctant to admit the possibility of some sort of inner weirdness.  But I suppose if I never admit it, I’ll never know if there are other people out there who experience the same thing.  I have made vague references to it in conversations, or given out random hints, but the reaction is always confusion and skepticism, and then we just talk about the weather.

I’ve already admitted elsewhere that I think of spider webs when I spritz my perfume.  My honey yogurt soap to me smells exactly like the beach, although when I’m at the beach I never think of that particular soap.  Large bodies of water make me want to stop breathing.  I have to remind myself to inhale and exhale and stay calm and think about something else. My moods are associated with colors.  When I’m happy I’m yellow.  Green is super charged.  Pink is perfectly lazy.

All of that is curious enough I suppose, but there’s something else I’ve felt several times in my life.  I will tell you about one of my quale experiences, and then you can look all confused and skeptical and go check out the weather channel.

At some kind of Christmas party or dance (I don’t remember exactly what it was)  many years ago, W and I were saying goodnight to my brother-in-law and his wife when I was suddenly hit by a thunder-clap of doom.  There was no noise, but it was deafening.  I was knocked off my feet, but I didn’t fall over.  The feeling was black and overpowering, like a severe electric shock with no physical pain. It lasted only seconds and then it was gone.   I hugged my brother-in-law a little too hard, and held on to him a little too long, knowing that something really bad was going to happen to him, although I couldn’t have said what that might be.  I remember telling him I’d see him again because those felt like magic words to ward off some terrible disaster.  He laughed and said of course we’d see each other again, we were all going to be at his parents house the next day.I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

I felt like crying, and sat in stunned silence on the drive home, thinking they might be involved in a car crash, or their house would burn to the ground, or they’d be abducted by aliens.  I also thought that quite possibly I’d had way too much to drink and was being completely ridiculous.  But I did tell W about my bad feeling, almost like a premonition, that something awful was going to happen to his brother.  Then I reminded him of that a few months later when his brothers headaches had become unbearable, and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Now here’s the strangest part, if that’s not strange enough for you.  When we got the phone call with this sad news, I felt almost euphoric.  That was the bad thing that was going to happen, but it wasn’t that bad after all.  The surgery would go well, and he would be fine.  I knew this.  I kept saying, amidst all the worry and the sadness, he’s going to be okay.  And he was, for a lot of years after that.

This was not the first or last time for me, having this bizarre experience, but I don’t think it can be called an ability when I really have no control over it.  The feelings are always extreme.  I don’t know where the crazy joy or the devastating sadness comes from, but when it happens I think those few seconds will kill me, but I don’t die.  Or haven’t yet anyway.  It has made me try to put up a sort of invisible shield around myself when I’m with people so that if they are sending out bad vibes I won’t get them.  It has made me stay away from places I should have been where I might have given comfort because to me, ignorance of the bad things is equivalent to bliss.  It has made me try hard not to feel anything too deeply, or get too involved, or be too empathetic.  But inevitably this avoidance seems to build up to my quale, my personal internal sonic boom, the explosion that shatters me and no one sees me break.

This was all so hard to admit, because, like I said, I prefer to have people think I’m normal with normal quirks and eccentricities, with qualia that might be considered a little out to lunch but not psychotic or insane.  I don’t tell anyone any more when I have the gloom and doom experience because I don’t understand where it comes from or what it might portend.  It could be nothing.  I always hope it’s nothing.

So what’s the weather like where you are?  May your whole day be nothing but shades of pink and yellow.