Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Seasonal Foolosophy

Gratefully borrowed from
And what is this within me that requires tending, the weeding of the gardening,
the pot of soup that needs stirring?
The recurring thought, "I need mending."
What is this unrequited love, 
this lonely sorrow so deep that if 
I were ever to step to the edge
of its steep blackness and peer down
I fear I would teeter and fall forever?

And yet, yet there is this yearning, this curiosity that dares the leap of faith,
the great jump into the unknown knowing, somehow knowing without understanding, that wings will lift me up to fuller heights.

That the loft of a divine breath will send me soaring.

And perhaps not, perhaps this is all the stuff of childhood fairy tales, of happily ever afters, of great expectations, flights of fantasy, Christmas Eve anticipations.
It takes year after fear, recurrent let downs, frequent set backs, sensing, experiencing that none of it matters, that only these things are none such, non-sense.

Because really what it all comes down to is this, exactly this,
this breath,
this moment,
this this with only the utmost respect for exactly what it,
in all its infinite myriad of beingness,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

One For The Boomers!!

Okay, let's give credit where credit is due.  Perhaps, one of the greatest retro fashion statements from the boomers is the "stretchy jean".  Oh how self serving is this perfect garment that fits round bodies that were once not. Or, in my case, the ever-round body.  

Image shamelessly borrowed from
I remember the torture of watching my friends squeeze their lithe bodies into freshly washed Levis. Jeans which somehow shrunk a whole size or two smaller in the dryer. We were clever back then though, either put the jeans on slightly damp or once you have the jeans up over your thighs and butt, lay down on the bed, hold your breath and wrestle the zipper shut.  A few deep knee bends and you're ready to rock and roll. Mind you, squatting too frequently could cause baggy knees. Another requirement of the cooly groovy attired was to peek over your shoulder and check the length of the pants, flood pants could completely outcast. And always the big question, "Do these jeans make my butt look big?" 

I don't know if as a teenager in my $5 a pair Levis and my $5 a pair North Star running shoes would I ever consider wearing a stretchy jean.  I'm sure it would've been so square. Now a jean with a little elastic in it makes me smile. Enough elastic to hold in the bulgy bits and still let me breath with ease. 

And that is a great advancement fellow boomers!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Pondering

How many times does it take bumping up against that same old thing?  Skinning a knee on a past trip up or bruising a shin on an old memory.  How often do we settle into habit patterns that wound self and other?  What does it take to shake off this same-old-same and wake up with a different response, a different perspective of the world and each other?  

Perhaps, it begins with first admitting that, "I have been disillusioned." Through conditioning and learnings familial, social and cultural I have been treading the path of familiarity even if this path is one of suffering and struggle. Maybe I need to move away from the mores of tribe and see what's before my very eyes. 

Shining of the light of awareness on what has been so long accepted as the way it is without questioning, without a closer look can herald a fresh beginning. Neither wrong nor right, it is simply noticing that what may once have worked no longer serves. 

Then willingness may step in. I am willing to see I may have not been seeing clearly. I am willing to, at the very least, look through beginner's eyes. Willingly, I can offer patience, kindness and compassion to self and others. This journey is the learning. Each step, each breath the opportunity for a fresh beginning.  

"Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning," so said Desmond Tutu. With forgiveness we give ourselves and others the permission to let grievances melt and the heart to soften. There is none among us who has not made a mistake. The salve of forgiveness heals while bitterness only hardens the heart.  

Can we look at all this through the eyes of gratitude?  All this, everything has brought me to this point in time. Every bit, the tough and the tender, is fertilizer to grow and nurture a life well lived and well loved. 

These thoughts/steps are not a prescription for curing all that ails. I don't even ask that you believe what I've offered here.  I put them out as a possible new view approach for when unhappiness, discontent, sadness, anxiety, depression are more prevalent in life then the simple joy of being alive and meeting all of life's ups and downs with an open heart and a fresh eye. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thanks For All This

".... happiness is an inside job," a nice, oft-quoted, aphorism, a pointer if you will. I remind myself that every pointer has two ends. Maybe not two pointy ends and maybe not so clearly delineated in direction, inner or outer, self or other.  What comes with seeking happiness inwardly is that there most assuredly will be a bumping up against that which, in a dualistic way of thinking, would be called not-happiness. We may have discovered that striving for happiness outside self may manifest as an addiction to approval, praise, drugs (add your own) or getting bigger, better faster stuff.  But alas, still none of this provides ever-lasting happiness. 

In walking the middle way, we begin to become friendly with the nature of impermanence. Realizing that everything comes and everything goes, we experience no thing is permanent. When we open our eyes to what is,  tangible and experiential evidence presents every day in every way. Outwardly, we see and feel how our bodies change, inwardly we know how happiness 24/7 is just not the truth. Yet, and this is a big yet, at any given time there exists the possibility for any truth absolute and relative to co-exist. 

Perhaps in co-existing with both shadow and light we can cultivate a practice that supports "the investigation of the fundamental activity of self." And then we can heartily and honestly proclaim gratitude and exclaim.  "Thanks for all this."

A short story: 

One day I was walking in downtown Prince Rupert. Ahead of me was a child of young age, say 4 or 5, with her Mom.  I don't know what they were talking about or what prompted the child's reaching her arms skyward with a jubilant exclamation, "Look at me God, I'm alive." 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

This Practice

Yes, this practice of zazen, seated meditation, has its challenges.  The chattering monkey mind. The not so limber body sitting straight and steady. The ever bubbling up emotions. However, when the rubber of the practice meets the road of this experience, this moment, this response, as it is, this is the meeting place.

As Rumi penned,
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense."

It doesn't make sense, we can never be prepared for what may happen because the experience of being human is that we truly don't know.  We can only bask in its fullness and respond to its senselessness, the senseless beauty and the senseless horror with what is appropriate in the moment.
And that is the practice.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It is So

It's not that any "thing" is ordinary or extraordinary; it is only perception that makes it so. 

Here, the crash of an old, yellow "Brown Betty" tea pot laced in fine cracks, wrinkles, tea wisdom, crashes to the kitchen floor in a hundred possibilities of waking up. 

Here too, the recycling truck outside my doors beyond the gate and up the driveway opens up and accepts the leftovers, two weeks worth of packaging and then with a gulp and roar moves on. 

And here, the whirlwind, whizzing blur of hummingbird wings, compact, aerodynamic body with long beak sips a sugary offering on grey, dampish autumn day. 

Before now, when young, I used to "try" and look at "things" from a different point of view. Lying with head over the edge of the bed, getting up high and looking down, squinting, tilting head from side to side, one eye open, sensing that all was not as it appeared. 

Ahhh, look outside, the hummingbird has settled, resting on the perch of the red feeder, its beak dipped into the nectar. No questions asked. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Coming Full Circle

Memorized in flesh; etched in bone.
When does a sad heart turn to stone.
Whispered yearnings, unspoken fears.
Clever weeps its angry tears
Voices speak yet ears don't hear. 

--ON this go round
This day on earth
Sad beginnings

A backass birth. 

There is a time for letting go. 
Winter's heart, cold, hard like frozen snow
Bitter, breaks and does not know 
With spring's tentative revealing 
Warm salve of light begins the healing.

When an arrow strikes the mark
Ignites the flame that wisdom starts
Love overflows and soon reveals
This is where ALL this heals. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Now what?!

Now what?!

I've deFaced myself (deactivated my Facebook account) for now. That "for now" is a little bit of a safety net. I am hoping I will bolster the courage to cut the cord completely.  I'm not against technology or a Luddite. I am enthralled how my devices can communicate. I positively adore their usefulness and, at the same time, realize the great capacity for distraction. I savor the word processing program Pages. I delight in clicking, hovering, using mouse, keyboard, all the tools of the trade. 

Somehow though, something is lost. Perhaps that sense of intimacy. At times, I forget how to write by hand, certainly my hand writing muscles have atrophied. But oh how I savour something handwritten. Among my most cherished written possessions, a letter written from baby me by my mom to my young first time father, a letter from my Dad to me, and a beautiful, long birthday letter on Gumby letterhead paper from my dear sister, still kept in the bedside drawer. I cherish the printings and early writings of my children.

On the other hand, how astounding that we can change fonts, add colour, pictures, symbols to create, personalize, a written project, letter, report, what-have-you into a unique expression.  And blogs! Web-logs, a diary, journal, travelogue that, if we so wish, can be shared with others. 

Alas, I have many beautiful paper diaries started with enthusiasm or, as is a tendency, written in pencil or not written in at all. As if pen on paper is too permanent, too close to the heart. 

Let me unpack, tease out the main reason why I am attempting to break the Facebook addiction. Yet, I'm still very capable of distracting myself from present moment.  However, the pondering is perhaps in the quality of the distraction. If it somehow enhances life for self or others can it still be labelled a distraction? Or does it even matter? All I know now is that has been a number of days since the deactivation.  I'm okay without Facebook.  I'm savouring time often wasted on triviality. I'm still finding distractions. Best of all, I've rekindled passions. This one. 

*Thanks to M.C. Escher & Wikipedia for the image. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Distraction Attraction

I have been pondering this, why am I so attracted to being distracted from what is right before my very eyes? Like salmon spawning upstream, I have let myself be swept along in the collective consciousness of distraction. I am minimizing what I am experiencing, how I view the world is not as meaningful as how others see it  

Instead of taking shared wisdom with as is said, a grain of salt,  I am swayed more by the status of others, those deemed successful, the shakers and movers, celebrities and the comings and goings, contrived, exaggerated, opinionated on Facebook (read here social media). In other words, I have lost touch with the “real” world and am mesmerized by a world that is filtered through another’s vision or belief. 

Please, don’t get me wrong here.  There is a lot of value from hearing, seeing other’s impressions of this every changing existence. The problem, as I see it, is when we stop trusting our own experiences, our innate wisdom of body, mind and soul because of a feeling of wrongness or less than or of being swayed by a standard that is set elsewhere.  

I am also more and more aware that this tendency is also how we can be manipulated by the Bigs. This lack of confidence is a gold mine for Big Politics, Big Media, Big Business, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Fashion, Big Money, add your own. When our belief systems and opinions of self are so malleable by what is presented as trending or the way it is we become pawns to a greater agenda. An agenda where who we are matters less than feeding our insecurities with a need for more distraction, be it food, more stuff, fast stuff, expensive stuff, the latest stuff. The need for this stuff helps to feed with our energy and attention the agenda of the Bigs, to get Bigger.  All this stuffing distracts us from what really matters, this present moment, the experience of all of this with all of us, all sentient beings, a unified consciousness of harmony and co-existence. 

Which leads me to, in a very round about way, what has compelled me to  write this, this will be my last visit on Facebook for a while. (Kudos to friends and family who have taken a fast from other “habits” Facebook included.) Although I will continue to ponder on this blog, the Pigasus Project, my association with Facebook will take a hiatus. For how long, I don’t know.  If you would like to continue reading the Pig, join this site. I will focus closer to home, writing, yoga, zen, to my own healing. Perhaps, this will be of benefit to others.  If you would like to get in touch through other means and you don’t know my e-mail address, private message me through Facebook.  I will keep the account open until this evening. 

Gasho. Nine bows. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014


3:00 A.M.

Still sitting; sitting still.
Present, there really only is the inescapable now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On This Day Of Remembering

War is a messy business.  Yet, still I honour the sincerity that men and women of past present laid their lives down on the lines. We still hold the naive belief that war will bring peace. I also honour those who have given their lives, both literally and figuratively, for peace. We all know what happens when we let our beliefs define and divide us. Let us collectively, in a spirit of celebrating all life, come together and seek solutions.

I offer this from what I call the "Olden Days Words"

The War Chronicles

My heart weeps.
I bought myself a rose yesterday.
I am reminded of an old reprint, my mother’s, called “The Weeping Rose”
Its head bending down from the vase,
A few petals fallen.
Soon my rose will suffer the same fate.
Age and time will take its toll.

A mother’s head is bent over,
Her child is dying.
Petals falling.
She weeps like there is no tomorrow.
Her child dies because someone from somewhere else is
Liberating her country.
She is not asking for liberation.
She is only asking for the life of her child.
Those who have never wept for a dying child
Say it is the price of freedom.
I ask you if she were asked to choose lives of her family to pay the price
Who would she choose?

My heart weeps.
I resolve to keep my rose
Until all its petals have fallen.

Monday, November 10, 2014

All Ways A Letting Go

Lighten the load.  Widen the footstep.  Step out beyond the usual comfort zone. Sometimes going back to go forward.  Sitting in meditation, this morning the discomfort of this churned in belly.  I sat with it. Breathe in. Breathe out, one. Breathe in. Breathe out, two. I listen to my gut. I tremble both in fear and excitement. It is time.  I feel this deep to the very core. Time to move away from the same old used to be. 

This sameness of the past five-six-seven years ~ the years of building a safety net at first comforting now enmesh me, feel constrictive and unyielding. The false sense of security begins to strangle like a safety line slowly tightening. Tentatively emerging from a cocoon, not yet sure of wing span or ability to fly but with the sense of leap or fly, I must. 

A cycle comes to an end, another slowly, indiscernable at first like the tail of yin or yang, growing to finally emerge into it’s own fullness. 

I am reminded of a verse from Lorin Roche’s “The Radiant Sutras”.

Enter these turning points,
Where the rhythms of life transform
Into each other.
Breath flows in, filling, filling,
            Then surrenders to flow out again.
In this moment, drink eternity.
Breath flows out, emptying, emptying,
Offering itself to infinity.
Cherishing these moments,

Mind dissolves into heart,
Heart dissolves into space,
Body becomes a shimmering field
Pulsating between fullness and emptiness.

And here, now. As I fondle the possessions, the memories, some loved, some weathered beyond recognition, one by one, turn them over in my hand/mind. This to pass on, this to keep, this to trash. Let go.  Over and over again, I am reminded, it is always a letting go. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Year Of Change

As Charles Dickens penned, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."

Yes, all this and more.  And yet more to come. All ways, the best of times, all ways the worst of times; all ways something in the middle.  The middle way, the path that I have, at times, reluctantly set foot on. The path that in my heart, I feel/know/intuit is the only road. This way beckons me to look at what is present before me, now. This path invites me to engage with what is in this very instant as no other. Not to turn away from past as passed.  Indeed it is gone, but to forget what was learned is folly as well.  Nor to never turn to the future for brief glimpses of what may be is to grope around in the dark when the light switch is within reach.

I reach backward for the hands of elders and the wise who
have gone before me. I look forward to the fresh vision of youth and seers alike. Now, I live here, open eyed, open hearted, open to all this.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Pigger Playing

There it is again!  Small mind. An attention seeking little person, waving its arms, jumping up and down and shouting "me, me, look at me, I have something to say, I know that."

Let's not completely demonize little mind, it handles the day-to-day, work-a-day concerns like shopping and that red light up there and what to pay the babysitter.  All these small things are both important and they have their place. 

It seems to me, little mind is mostly concerned with that which is associated with the basics, to survive and thrive, (beyond immediate fight, flight and freeze). It makes the decisions about how to nourish the body (or not), how to care for the body (or not), what to do about emotion and sensations (or not). Sometimes it can get stuck in a rut of bad habits where we feel we don't have choice; where we feel the "or nots" are the ones in control.   

Small mind can be very, very sticky (and tricky) it may have us believing that "our thoughts, words inside our heads; images, pictures inside our heads; and sensations, inside our bodies"* are real. They are not, they are just thoughts, just images, and just sensations. Important yes, but not the absolute truth only, just one version of the truth. 

When you (I, we) wake up to the understanding that whatever version of truth you abide by is a product of culture, religion, upbringing, sex, environment, so it goes. The wild card is a matter of perception. Perception is like a filter, the red filter colours our world red, whatever that means to us. Red could mean love or anger, that is the perception. How you perceive the world is your choice; how you respond to your perceptions with voice and action (or not) is also your choice. Once you realize that you perceive the world through your conditioning, upbringing, life experiences and so forth, you have choice.  You have choice because you are aware of your perceptions. 

Perhaps this is one shade of big mind. And what is this big mind? It is simply an invitation (in human terms) to be with what is, to experience that which is already occurring naturally in every possible form of expression all ways what ever, where ever, when ever. Why? Because it is. It is an awareness of reality that transcends the personal. 

It is, as Rumi expresses on emotions in the inspirational "The Guest House" "an expected visitor". He encourages to "Welcome and entertain them all!" It is not the what that is happening but the acceptance of it because it is happening. 

In this moment of openness you can not guess what you're being opened up for. It is also more then these emotions that cause us to e-mote and make motion, it is all this beyond all grasping and rejecting, without beginning and end. The very nature of this so-called "big mind" is that words can not describe nor compare. It is the impersonal happening personally.  It is as if mind is a sky with all manner of weather coming and going. No matter how we, in these meat suits feel or think about it, the sky and the weather goes on and on and on. 

Any feeble attempt to describe it is merely a description, just a finger pointing at the moon. Or in my puny (read punny) sense of humour, a pigger pointing at the moon. 

*"The Happiness Trap" by Dr Russ Harris

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yoga Practice; Yoga Play

Seriously, folks. Life is serious enough with our work-a-day worries, concerns of future tough stuff or scary ghosts in the closet. There is no reason why time on our mat in yoga practice needs to be the same. 
Yes, we can be committed, dedicated, devoted to our practice.  Bring all those attributes and with a quality of play, awaken the divine.   That sense of play, in sanskrit, Lila acknowledges the cosmic play, this, all of this, whirling and dancing in all possible permutations. The exquisite perfection of play is when we forget who we pretend to be and who we truly are begins to stir. Yoga stirs the pot; play stirs the soul. Yoga as play beckons us to let go, invites us to take the practice less seriously. Divine play awakens when the asanas practice us. 

Seriousness as firmness is brittle and easily broken. In play, we explore flexibility, our body is free to move, emotions free to express themselves and spirit free to soar.  When we laugh, when we take all of this less seriously we open up to the possibility of just settling into the moment as it is. 

And then, accepting this as it is, the veils of illusion lift, and we remember. From the wisdom of Mufasa in "The Lion King". "You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life." 

Yes, no matter what the practice we can never step out of this circle of birth, life and death. We are it. It is encoded in our DNA; it is the energy that we are; it is the whole in one.

This is not a description of how or even if you should practice yoga. For me, play helps me to move deeper in awareness of this intimate connection with source. Play invites me to relax into the experience of unification moving beyond oneness as “just an idea”. Don’t believe me. Try it yourself! Fall out of a balance laughing, chuckle quietly at the seriousness of you and look to the children (you are one).

Let yoga (asanas, meditation, way of life)  be play instead of a means to an end. Because there is no end. We are all all ways intimately dancing in this circle of life. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Write on...

Since way back when, as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer.  I don’t really ever recall thinking I want to be  a writer.  It’s just something I innately knew and actually did.  As I think back, it was not so much of a calling as a listening. I intuited, I listened and then described the ideas and thoughts with words which then were arranged into sentences and other vehicles of penned (yes back then we used pens or pencils) expression. Sometimes it was styled as poetry; other times prose. It struck me that this was prosetry. 

At this time I wasn't even writing to amuse or impart wisdom. I was just playing; this was wordplay. As I grew older it became word working. Then I would add my own not very kind words, “I’m not a good enough writer,” “I don’t know enough to publish a book.” “I don’t have enough life experience to give what I write value.” I am now listening to the poisonous self-criticism that stopped me from being/doing many things because it came with an “I’m not good enough,” clause. 

As sure as I was of being a writer, I also was sure I didn’t want to be a teacher. Teaching was the profession and, for some, a vocation of many of my relatives.  For whatever reason, I did not want to follow in that track.  Maybe my not good enough voice was sabotaging what I really was good enough at, teaching. 

I laugh at this other me, this younger naive me, I laugh with compassion, from a wiser me who knows that all steps on the journey have brought me to the perfect place, exactly where I am. I know now that writing is teaching. 

I think/feel perhaps I may catch this trick of light that we call life, just out of the corner of my eye. But the moment I turn to focus on it, that’s not what it is at all. It’s far greater, far more mysterious, far more wonderful then I could ever word. And that is good enough for me.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Other Things

Can you recollect the last time your mind was not present but somewhere else? Telltale signs are the blank, glazed look in the eyes. The eyes may be looking forward but gaze is beyond what’s right in front. The only thing present is the body. This is not unusual in our busy work-a-day world; no matter what the day and age, concerns elsewhere can draw us away from here now. The thoughts can be filled with excitement and expectation or of stress and concern and any other possibility. 
I’ve been reading and practicing from a book called “The Happiness Trap” by Dr Russ Harris. The cover also reads: “How to Stop Struggling and Start Living ~ A guide to ACT, the mindfulness-based program for reducing stress, overcoming fear, and creating a rich and meaningful life.”

“Wow, those are rather large claims for a mindfulness-based program,” my skeptic side notes, before I’d even cracked the spine. 

Upon reading the first couple of paragraphs of the foreword, I was hooked in.  Oddly enough in this book the hooking in of the mind, thoughts or images, the understanding of how the mind hooks in and what we can do about it, are the basic gems of inspiration in this book. 

We are offered exercises to recognize when we are being hooked in. This hooking in is referred to as fusing. “In ACT, we use the term “fusion” to mean that a thought and the thing it refers to ~ the story and the event ~ become stuck together, as one. Thus, we react to words about a lemon as if a lemon is actually present; we react to words in a crime novel as if someone really is about to be murdered; we react to words like ‘I’m useless’ as if we actually are useless; and we react to words like ‘I’m going to fail’ as if failure is a foregone conclusion.”

We don’t necessarily fuse with all other things. The mind may simply note the thought and then file it away to be examined later. In this chapter called “The Great Storyteller” we are introduced to the power thoughts, we believe, have over us. Then without so much of a breath we are given the opportunity to examine our beliefs and practice ways to change them, if necessary.  The basic criteria, in this book, for the reason to change is if the thought(s) are unkind and/or not useful. 

This is not a quick read, nor does the author encourage it.  He constantly reminds us to put the book down and think about it and practice the very useful exercises. Dr. Harris reiterates that if an exercise confounds or just doesn't serve don't use it.  I am not hestitant to say that “The Happiness Trap” offers some very essential tools for life. I would even go so far as to say this book is the toolbox. 

Sorry, “other things” carried me away from this blog on other things. Unfortunately, when we fuse with “other things”, particularly when they’re scary or unpleasant, we inadvertantly deny ourselves a quality of life that inspires us to act in the moment, whatever arises in it. This is neither wrong nor is it definitive, it’s life practice, not life perfect. Or perhaps life perfectly unfolding in it's perfectly imperfect way.  Whatever. 

In joy. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Short Cautionary Tale

It was very unusual, perhaps even highly suspicious, that she would leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Submersed in hot water and soapy bubbles, they were a joy to behold.  After a night’s sitting they were gross.  The bubbles were lame, perhaps a thin skim of oil grime ringed the sink or some inedibles floated on the top.   

The only time she would put off this most pleasing of pleasures would be for a half hour or so while she let them soak as she tooth brush scrubbed the bathroom, tub, toilet, sink and all. Yes, unusual was putting it mildly. 

Washing dishes was number one on her list of relaxing past times. Her reasoning; it got the dishes clean, warmed her hands up and offered a sensory cornucopia of enjoyment. She hesitated to include it on  her favorite lists on PhaseBook because someone out their might think she was a loser. While doing the dishes she would occasionally sing “Only losers do their laundry on a Saturday night”, which, in fact, was her favourite night to do laundry. But it would be strange to post that or the dishes doing thing or the fact that she bought dish washing liquid by the case every couple of months or that an evening of good clean fun meant just that, cleaning.

For her weird might be if anyone every found out the number and variety of dish washing implements she had.  Aside from an assortment of old toothbrushes, she had the small mop like thing, the long handled brush, the brush attached to a hollow handle which you loaded with soap, different scrub brushes for different occasions, of course, the obligatory plastic scrubber for Teflon, and the Brillo pads and the steel wool for the really stubborn stuff. It goes without saying that she had a few of those hand knitted dish cloths, regular dish cloths, bar mops and even, for an emergency sink overflow, chamois’. 

She took pride in being a purist, no gloves, just bare hands. And then her after dishes secret, the very sensual application of the vanilla heavy duty multi-purpose hand lotion on her reddened, raisin wrinkled hands. Because, as everybody knows dishes should only be washed in the hottest of waters.  Which brings us to back to the oddness of her not completing the dish washing tasks before the dishes had time to cool down. 

That as it may, she was dismayed, disconcerted and not a little disgruntled to see the dish washing chore had been missed.  For those of you who are not squeamish to reach a bare hand into a sink full of dirty dishes submersed in slimy cold water read on.  If you are squeamish you may want to find something else to do. 

Fair warning.  Onward.

She held her breath immersed her bare hand into that cold cesspool of cleaning gone wrong and searched around for the strainer. (It’s called a plunger/stopper in the bathroom.) She fished around. She moved some dishes. She shuffled some cutlery. And then she screamed. Something grabbed her pinkie finger. 

That was the last something she had ever expected to happen in her kitchen sink. It held on as she thrashed her hand around in the water trying to knock it off on cups, glasses, the cheese grater or a pot lid. There was only one thing to do. She reached in with the other hand, grabbed the thing and her pinkie finger and squeezed.  Her eyes were squinched shut, she couldn’t look, not even a peak. Then she felt a gelatinous substance ooze out over her fingers and a thin stream of bubbles surfaced. A delicate stream of red followed, then subsided, then one last bubble which popped and discharged a mildly foul odor. 

Red lights flashed in her mind’s eye. She imagined a label and it read, in dark bold letters with a skull and cross bone symbol;  Caution; something unusual.

As she pulled her hands out of the water something once alive hung limply between her fingers. It was attached to a stunning tail that shimmered and shone with an iridescence greater then that of the most prized Siamese fighting fish tail. She was astonished to see the fine squished features of something almost humanoid. She could feel a tear squeeze from the corner of her right eye and trickle down her cheek. What a little fighter! Her heart was touched by this limp little form and its brave yet futile attempt to fight for life.  To examine a little closer, she turned over the tail. Without warning, it bit her. With no hesitation, she squished the thing between both hands, tossed it in the toilet and flushed. 

In big, black marker letters she wrote a sign and posted it by the sink, just in case another one of these somethings found its way into a forgotten sink of dirty dishes. 

Caution: no tail left unturned. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thinks and Beliefs

The bumper sticker reads,  "Don’t believe everything your mind thinks." Well it got me to pondering.  I thought the reverse is just as important if not more so.  Don’t think everything your mind believes.  Then I thought about how I could put this belief into words.  Thinking  about beliefs morphs into talking passionately about beliefs which as we well know can make one sound rather pompously self-righteous.  There may even be a tendency for the holier-then-thou to talk the talk but not walk the walk. 
Fervent, sanctimonious beliefs may result in giving “should” advise to others.  Most people don’t like to be should on.  And of course, as soon as beliefs are made known we may also realize that those beliefs aren’t actually true all of the time or may only be relevant occasionally. 
So you might well ask, what’s wrong with having beliefs or values? The answer to that is nothing. I believe (ah ha gotcha) that a belief is valuable when you live it. The usefulness of a belief is in knowing when to stick to it or simply realizing that to stop a belief from becoming a dogma we must be flexible.  There is no  one-size-fits all response for each and every happening in life.  Let me retract that. The only one-size-fits all response is “I don’t know.” 
We may have the basics of how to behave appropriately. (In Zen Buddhism, we call it skillful means.) As no-thing in life is static, fixed or permanent how we respond to anything deeply depends on what is required in the moment.  

There is no training in the world that can equip you with the answer or answers to everything. Douglas Adams author of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” took a stab at it when he wrote. ”The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.”

As far as I’m concerned that answer is as good as it gets.

So it goes. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I've Been Thinking

~~~ Well, I’ve been pondering. Not that I wasn't until this point.  It’s just my mind has been filled with anxiety and fear. For this moment, I am truly experientially realizing that they're just words, just thoughts. 
Occasionally I do forget, and as my children say, I get panic fingers. My mind races.  I think I can fix what's happening or predict the future. The difference is that now I realize that things are tough. Yes. And also there is much to be grateful for.
To start with I can be grateful for the realization  that all  I can do is  be right here, right now; with each breath I can anchor myself to the present moment.  
I’ve just recently learned that when a family member is in recovery the whole family is in recovery. Perhaps this process of recovery begins this way.
The first step to  recovery (of any kind whether it’s anxiety, self-depracation or substance use) or self-improvement and change is to recognize and own the problem.This may be start with the observation of a friend or counsellor or a personal revelation. 
The second step is, possibly through counselling, to find out when and how the problem arose. Not to dote on the past but to give it true recognition, understanding and forgiveness. 
The third step is to realize that while there was a good reason for the behaviour in the past, in the present it may no longer serve. 
The fourth step on this path of self awareness is to put it into action, through self-compassion, thoughts, words and deeds.
That’s what I’m doing, a recovering anxiety. (Really that’s how it felt, that anxiety was my identity.)

So it goes.  That’s all for now.  I can’t guarantee I’ll write the next Pigasus post soon but I can say, I will return.