May 25, 2010
Anticipation, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 21
I’ve always been baffled by the chorus of Carly Simon’s hit, “Anticipation.”
The verses make strong sense; but not the repeated refrain:
"Anticipation, Anticipation / Is making me late / Is keeping me waiting"
Anticipation doesn’t keep us waiting; waiting is what leads to anticipation, or dread.
The difference being one is a joyful wait and the other is stress induced.
Not to be too picky, but how could anticipation make us late? It’s been my experience that anticipation drives us to move forward, especially in the case of trying to be sure we make it to the airport in time.
I suppose there is a sort-of-related, very minor, plot line duplicity. Anticipation almost forces us to fore see obstacles, and can, in its favor, be credited for early terminal and gate arrivals due to hopeful avoidance of dreaded delays in long lines.
Yet, our lives follow an exactly opposite pattern. We commonly delay; in fear of the end. An inevitable event, death most commonly remains viewed with dread. Only the most secure, the most rooted, the few true believers, face death with unabashed anticipation.
But, I worry that too much of an intense focus on the future results in missing the “now.”
And, I worry that too much foretelling dread results in missing the “now.”
All time is scientifically and solidly non-retrievable. Not observing the present is a costly mistake.
How is it possible remove the anticipation or dread from our lives?
Simply by giving our worries to GOD; HE has asked for them, and expects them.
Ms. Simon wrote:
“And tomorrow we might not be together: I'm no prophet, I don't know nature’s way
So I'll try to see into your eyes right now: And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days.”
Let’s work alongside HIM to create better circumstances.
Let’s live in the present and love in the now.
In this issue: Carly Simon, Definitions of Anticipation, Heinz
Now Posted: New Orleans, October 2009, Levees and Shirts
May 18, 2010
The Dandelion Effect, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 20
Even if you prefer pristinely pampered lawns, you have to appreciate the amazing and delicate beauty of a mature dandelion. The strongest stalwart weed becomes a fragile flower… most beautiful as it is about to disintegrate. Transforming into delicate architecture, the structural nature is completely at the potentially destroying mercy of even the slightest whispering breezes.
Saturday night on the porch, kept company by April and May rescued black labs, Gary a rescued gray kitten, Fluffy a friendly old blackish-brownish barn cat, a human friend, a glass of wine, and an unusual sunset view. Low western clouds blocked out the majority of the show, but a glorious pink-orange peeked in around them and settled on the northern horizon.
So there we were, two good friends a little into dusk, sipping Pentemere sweet apple wine, contentedly watching happily adjusted 3-year old puppies run random but strangely organized figure eights, getting swatted by kitty clawed paws and tiger-striped tails.
There’s usually not much evening traffic out there in the middle of Britton’s fields but one of those infrequent, fast moving cars came barreling down the quiet road, quickly dismissing our peaceful and only partial isolation.
I missed it the first time. Wouldn’t have even known about it unless my friend had questioned, “Did you see the dandelions glow?” It wasn’t the reserved sunset streaks that cause the dandelion effect; car headlights cut across the pre-barn fields dotted with patiently waiting flocks of clocks.
I paid more attention the next time I spotted a car on the horizon. As it swished past, I saw the fluffy weeds in an entirely new light. Halogen light hit wispy white filaments. At first the glow shattered, then echoed a few long seconds within the seemingly suspended, floating orbs.
Once the moment and the vehicle had passed, a ripple of forced air flowed through the grass. I can’t say for sure, but I imagine there must have been at least a few less flower-heads. Not exactly going out in a blaze of glory, but hosting a brief shining moment, we were lucky enough to share.
So, yes, dandelions are weeds. And, yes, they are surprisingly strong rooted.
And, yes, they eventually turn from golden petals into gorgeous seedling tufts of luminescent withering threads - undoubtedly one of GOD’s most intricate designs. Strong enough to hold themselves together until the right moment sweeps over them, riding on GOD’s well-placed wind to where they will have the opportunity to grow again. So, maybe falling apart isn’t so bad when you are letting go under GOD’s command. Maybe falling apart is the only way there is to truly give away pieces of ourselves to HIM and to others.
In this issue: Dandelions, Lawns, Top 10 Reasons Why People Move, Possibilities & Opportunities
Now posted: New Orleans, October 2009, Fitting It All In
May 11, 2010
Time to turn a few things around, grow out of my rooted space.
Allow my eyes another view, retrieve the heart displaced.
Carry it forward when I go, to help outgrow the scars.
I'll keep the sun and memories, follow guiding stars.
Classified, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 19
I’m buzz tired.
I’ve committed to another northerly move. A slight 40 miles above my present coordinates, the relocation will and has already sparked changes. First, there’s the short categorical list of things to do. Second, there’s the partially detailed but still generalized by-room list. Third, there’s the flow sheet step-by-step tiny-tasks to do on a daily basis. Within eight weeks I hope to be organized to the point of merely directing short-traveled numerically labeled boxes to their new room assignments.
I’m looking forward to paring down and selling off extraneous items.
Baker’s rack, miscellaneous duplicate tools, game table, full size bed, library bookcase, dual twin king sized bed, sofa, treadmill, entertainment center, surround sound system, TV, dining room table, wardrobe, laser printer, washer, dryer, patio set, deep fryer, display shelf, 10 gallon pickle crock, corner desk, antique dry sink with copper insert, burl wood bedside table, fax machine, antique dishes, fondue set, reading table with lamp, small round coffee table, 2 wood based lamps, lots of kitchen items, cookbooks, and whatever else I come across that falls into my newly revised “unnecessary” classification.
I’m looking forward to the semi-urban setting; only classified that way because there isn’t a convenience store directly below my apartment. Yes, I still moon some things about Manhattan. There are, however, stores, restaurants and even an entire shopping mall within walking or short driving distance. I will have a 3-mile commute, which I don’t have to drive if I don’t feel like it – a free MBlue bus stop is a short walk away. The apartment comes with a decent multi-equipped work-out facility, large heated pool, hot tub, tanning bed, and a perpetual coffee station sometimes equipped with freshly baked cookies, as well. The affordably rentable club house comes with a baby grand piano, a flat screen wall TV, and a street-vendor size popcorn popper on wheels.
Although, classifiable as amenities, when moving from a house to an apartment, what these things really add up to is additional living space; square footage I don’t have to maintain!
I’m looking forward to getting back to my youth inspired hippie-chick days with a twist of middle-aged semi-responsibility that I’m only slightly sorry about. Being semi-responsible does have some semi-advantages. I’d considered explaining that this week, but changed my mind. Sorry – that’s classified… at least for now.
In this issue: Playing to your strengths, classified, amenities, Craig's List, Body Clock
Now posted: New Orleans 2009, Space & Aspirations and Poetry 2010, Time To
May 04, 2010
Monotonous/Mountainous, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 18
How do we end up fixated on one mountainous point?
How do we end up monotonously moving toward it?
We’ve learned by fearsome rote: had it drilled into our way-back-when very young minds that we need to get somewhere. We’ve come to believe that our happiness is directly related to the conquering motto: “Climb every mountain!” Rather sadly, the simple enjoyment of circling now cries out to our over-fixated conscience “woeful inadequacy!”
For me climbing mountains is about the perpetual monotony of placing one foot in front of the other. There never seems to be a good place to rest – it’s not so easy to sleep on a steep inclines. It doesn’t matter if you relax your toe-grip or your brain; you’re bound to end up sliding.
In my opinion, cloverleafs at least hold some minimal challenges – signaling, merging, accelerating; all while moving forward.
Carousels are different – those are the rides we take knowing they go nowhere but not really caring. Personally, I love the happy the rhythm of repetitiveness, the sweet soundtrack, and the perpetual wind in my hair.
So, I’d like to know.
Who says we have to scale mountains? Why can’t we simply (and probably more efficiently) just go around them?
Who says the summit is the goal? Maybe it’s really the fresh water lake at the foot of the other side.
Who says we have to keep moving forward? Why can’t we be pleased with where we are?
Why is routine comforting to some and appalling to others?
We know the mountainous fixed rules: we live by them, we embrace them, even if there is no joy found there.
Of course I’m not recommending anarchy, bucking the system, or complete hermitage.
But I think it’s ok, and super healthy, to once in a while just ask, “Why?”
In this issue: Climb Ev'ry Mountain, The Emotional Eating Beast, John Burroughs, Monotonous & Mountainous
Now Posted: New Orleans, October 2009, One Week to Go & Humor, That's Random, Thursday Diet Desperation
May 03, 2010
Thursday Diet Desperation
7:50 am: I'm Thursday morning tired. Even an expensive cup of dark cherry mocha iced java hasn’t jolted me awake.
I can’t keep my eyes open. I decide to take action knowing for certain that I’ve never fallen asleep while eating.
7:55 am: Baked or regular chips?
7:56 am: Baked or regular chips?
7:57 am: Coworker rounds the corner into the kitchen, observes me pondering and advises, “Don’t do it!”
7:58 am: Regular chips.
7:59 am: Where are my chips? I saw them fall. Coworker asks, “Stuck?” "Nope. They fell, but I can’t find them."
8:00 am: We peer into the black abyss of vending darkness. They’re sitting there on some sort of ledge attached to the swinging flap. I stick my hand in under the swinging flap and can teasingly feel one slippery corner of the bag.
8:04 am: Coworker and I have both been trying for 4 minutes to free the chips.
8:05 am: Coworker gives up, pours coffee and abandons me. Nurse arrives and tries her helping hand.
8:06 am: Nurse gives up, grabs coffee, and abandons me.
I pull on my bull-dog mentality McGyver cap, determined to be resourceful. Retrieving a pair of metal-toothed ice tongs from the kitchen utensil drawer, I attempt to grab the chips with them. The bag budges a little, but all I really manage to do is slide the bag from one side of the ledge to the other. By this time I am kneeling on the floor, arm halfway into the machine, tongs still stubbornly clamped on the bag of chips. Ingeniously, I decide to jar the bag off it's perch by repeatedly banging the flap open and shut.
8:07 am: Computer guru comes in. Looks the situation over, pours coffee, and pauses on his way out. With typical early morning dry IT humor, and a bit of a twinkle in his eye, he shake shis head and inquires: “Have you tried rebooting?”
I shoot him a look that I hope silently projects how lucky he is that the hand holding the toothy tongs is attached to the arm that is still halfway into the machine.
8:08 am: I grab more firmly with the tongs, accidentally puncturing the bag, letting the air out. I slam the flap a few more times and my deflated bag of chips finally falls off the ledge, into the bin.
8:10 am: I notice that the chip bag in nearly flat. I pat it gently and instinctively know: all the golden chips are now only casserole topping worthy. I grab my coffee and a spoon and head for my office.
8:11 am: My boss is sitting in my office waiting for me. She eyes me inquisitively as I arrive with a crumpled, deflated, torn bag of chips and a spoon. “Breakfast?” she asks. “Yes,” I sigh.
8:15 am: After morning briefing, I cut open the top of the bag and confirm that the chips are pretty much pulverized. Still, I am not deterred. I grab the spoon and dig in.
I wanted the chips. I struggled for the chips, I paid for the chips.
I’m gonna darn well eat the chips!
Halfway through the bag I realize I’m on revenge autopilot, and not doing myself any favors.
I glance at my Weight Watcher’s Log Book - purposefully positioned to discourage this kind of dramatic and drastic desperate behavior. I put down the spoon, and reluctantly pencil in ½ of the points value for the crummy bag of crumbled chips. I throw the remaining other half into my waste basket.
OK. I figure I’ve at least done some good stretching, bending and reaching exercises in this morning, but I’m not about to credit myself with exercise points for that.
Nah, I’ll just credit myself exercise points for all the extra typing this experience has resulted in.