Resplendent is splendid’s cousin, right?

Welcome to another wind down Travellers,

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week in between a lot of working, cleaning, talking, moving, writing, driving, cooking, walking dogs, listening to music, listening to strange stories from various people and (deep sigh) here we are.

At the last sunset of the week. Or the first sunset, however you wanna see it.

Since it’s Sunday, you know why I’m here, or let’s assume you do, just for arguments sake…before I show you the simple splendid moments of my life, I hope you have been noticing your own. I’m gonna keep hoping you do, don’t think I’m not!! Whether you write it down, or take a snap with your phone or just mentally memorize it.

Just be with it. Witness it. Witness, as in stand there and observe and feel with all your self.

Something that makes you think, “THIS is GOOD” when it’s happening.

Give yourself time with things…

I would also like to add a little commentary here. I often see people meme-ing on apps about happiness being a state of mind, or how much I love myself or just this general idea that feels like we are being sold something that says happiness and self-love are like butterflies you can catch and be able to keep somehow. Like a constancy we can attain. Like you should want those above all the other emotions or feelings.

Did these people forget that butterflies will die in captivity? Nothing is constant in this life. Nothing can be white knuckled into existence.

Holding on too tight is called strangulation.

I just want to make sure that we understand each other here, and let’s assume we do. I’m not here to tell you life is meant to be happy all the time or to chase happiness all the time or that you should make yourself happy in order to love yourself. (Everyone nod your head.)

I come here every Sunday to say, Look at this, there is something good and it’s not perfect or forever, but it’s enough.

It’s enough.

When was the last time you thought “This small thing is enough.”?

Good and happy and love are all not forever, but the point is to learn that they are enough in their transcendental nature. Our lives are not cages to lock away things, our lives are doorways that are meant to be inhabited and ultimately passed through.

Now lemme show you some magic…

I really liked this sunrise, don’t remember what day it was. It wasn’t the skies or some magnificent display of colors. What caught me was the way the sunlight was passing through the trees in my front yard. They were luminous. Translucent like stained glass. You could the veins in the leaves. It was like they were glowing from within. I feel like we all forget that around us, at all the times, are these giant living creatures called trees. And sometimes they really look alive…or ethereal.
Yep. Another tree. No, I’m not about to launch into some environmental lecture. Don’t worry…I’ve learned that people either have reverence for this planet or they don’t…but… THIS is my tree that my hammock is under. THIS is my view from lying on my back, swaying gently in the early evening. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating, a hundred times. Every time I lay here, I marvel at it all. Hammock time could change the course of the human race. Less tv, less cell phones, less filler, more awe. If you get two people in a hammock, great conversation or silence can be found. Just looking at this photo feels like a massive decompression in my body and soul.
My crack garden produced it’s first crack strawberry. I know he’s a little rough looking, but don’t be fooled. For those that are new here, I’m not talking about narcotics, but rather these few rather determined little plants that are growing in the crack between two concrete slabs on my patio. They just spontaneously erupted from nothing, but seem to be thriving with serious vigor. Growing out of nothing, feels like an anthem for human life right now, doesn’t it? And that sad little worn out looking berry was not even a half inch around, BUT damn, he was packed with flavor! All the flavors of the summer to come.
Decided to try something other than a pineapple this week and got a cantaloupe. The smell this melon gives off is so distinct, isn’t it? It’s like summer sugar. And there is something really interesting about the way it feels when your teeth penetrate the flesh. Like a specific kind of resistance that melons have, don’t they?

I was balling this in the early evening, sunlight flooding in the kitchen window and I thought the carved rind seemed artful. Like a meloncomb? And I remember my Grandma Biv always had balled fruits in her refrigerator for me as a kid. And I loved that stupid melon baller so much I bought one as an adult. Don’t use it often, but when I do, I remember her kitchens. And melon balls. The Tupperware dishes they were stored in. And her.

This is a lot of good right here. The kind of good that wells up in your eyes when you remember, know what I mean? And what a beautiful color the flesh is…
I know, more food right? Wait, lemme explain…I was coming home from work Monday night, wondering what am I gonna eat, like what do I even have to eat at home? Which is silly, I just went to grocer two days before, do you know that silly notion? Yea, so I used some canned tomato soup, tiny mozzarella balls and grilled chicken I had on hand and voila!! But really the reason this was good was that bread in the background. Dave used to make that for me, but I’ve found I can make it own my now.

And in that moment I thought, “I can make it on my own now.” Not to dismiss him, but we are nearing 8 months since he ended his life and I think something has begun to shift. I think a part of me, maybe a small part will always be mad at him, but I feel like he is with me, rooting for me. I feel that all the way through me.

Someday I will fully forgive him. For smashing my heart. Twice.

I will.

See that, good isn’t all happiness. But it’s still good.

Other worth mentioning moments…

I’m going to two concerts. I LOVE concerts as much as traveling. It’s a whole story that I won’t go into. I don’t like to jinx things, so let’s just dog ear that page and we’ll come back to it. One of them is a band he loves and the other is the Foo Fighters. I have to say I’ve always had immense love for Dave Grohl as an artist, but having now survived the suicide of someone integral to my own life, I have a whole new level of respect for him. Getting back up from Curt Cobain’s death was a feat, wasn’t it?

I’ve noticed this scent wafting through my backyard in the mornings and the evenings. And it took me a moment to figure it out. It’s my honeysuckle that some random bee gifted me on my fence line years ago. Actually, it’s a small honeysuckle jungle now, AND in the warm air, lying in a hammock, it’s heaven. I catch Lou smelling them sometimes. There are few things in life more delightful than watching your dog smell flowers!

Speaking of flowers, when we were walking home this morning there is this tree. (I know, a tree, AGAIN, I didn’t mean to do this, it’s not a theme! I can’t choose the goodness, for goodness sakes! Maybe I’m channeling the Lorax?) I have no idea what this tree is, but it’s funny looking and HUGE. It looks like lily pads on a tree. In groups. And the flowers look like tiny iris relatives, maybe? But the thing that really caught me was the way the flowers were falling from it’s branches this morning. It was like a soft rain of fauna and I stood in the street and watched as they floated to the ground. There was a blanket of white frothy flowers all around. Actually the three of us stood in the middle of the street and just watched for minutes. It was like something in a movie. Only real. And then we came home.

As I said early on, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and writing this week, so you might want to prepare yourself for possibly multiple blog posts from me? We’ll see what happens….BUT meanwhile, keep your eyes, ears, noses, fingers and mouths open for good things.

Okay, maybe don’t walk around with your mouth hanging agape, or getting handsy, but you know what I meant, let’s assume you did, for arguments sake..

And now, I’d like to leave you with a quote, since I mentioned happiness earlier…this one always makes me giggle when I hear it…it goes a little something like this:

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it’s been running through the streets trying to find you.”

Now tell me, what does happiness look like when you read those words?

What do you see in your mind?

What is looking for you?

Think about it…

I’ll be seeing you!

Sumptuous aka Splendiferous

Good evening Travellers,

It’s a holiday weekend here in America. Memorial Day is for remembering those who died in service to our country. All of my family members survived their service, at least in body. I had a great uncle who was in Pearl Harbor and lost friends aboard the Arizona. He was forever changed from that event.

I always feel like no matter how well films are made about wars, we cannot imagine what it is like in reality. Humans, at least in America, are not often hunted by each other. And I’m pretty sure that’s what war is, us hunting each other down and doing our worst.

If you are reading this and you or a member of your family has or is in our military service, allow me to extend my deepest gratitude. Perhaps we should take a breath here for those who can no longer do the same.

I think we forget each day that life is built on life. Nothing is free here. There is a price. By here, I mean this entire world.

Oooooh, that was an unintentionally serious start for something sumptuous or splendid, wasn’t it?

It’s funny how that happens in conversations, sometimes they just sort of veer off the road. I pretend I saw a metaphorical deer and had to swerve and then I get right back on it..

Like this…

Are you ready for something good? Like the little things that quietly assure that life is indeed still filled with little pockets of goodness.

Let’s talk about it…Ready?

I painted my toe nails the color of the sun!! Because there is no sun here.

Actually I was looking at my feet thinking about how far they have carried me in this life. They are in pretty damn good shape considering the mileage I put on them in the gym and everywhere else.

I think about mobility everyday. And when I go into a studio to move, I think about how grateful I am to be able to do as such. Just gratitude for being able to work out. Just moving and sweating and persevering and doing the hard stuff. And I encourage anyone out there who is struggling to work out, try reframing it as the privilege you have, the privilege to move in a body, even if your body isn’t perfect!!

My grandfather, whom I have mentioned before, had MS and he was in a wheel chair in his 40s. I think of him almost everyday in my gym. And I think about how fortunate I am and I’m not gonna waste it. He wouldn’t want me to.
While I’m ranting about feet and mobility, let’s have some more, because why not? Am I right? Seriously both of my cats perch on the corners of tables like this ALL THE TIME…RIGHT ON THE EDGE. It fascinates me. What is this about? Just tables. Only tables. I have no idea why, does anyone know why? These are the things that happen and make me smile at how oddly weird life is in the littlest of ways…and look at her little paws, so delicate and agile. And dangerous, she has serious claws…
THE RAIN THE RAIN THE RAIN…will it ever stop? We do not know, we do not know… however one early evening last week, the sun came out while it was raining and I love that…the way the sunlight breaks through the rain drops, there is something about the combination of those elements that feel like warmth in my soul. This is the rain you want to remember in your next life. It’s the rain you wanna walk in, dance in and if you are lucky kiss some other fabulous human in…
Two good things happens when it’s unseasonably cooler and raining, bubble baths and unexpected cravings for soup. And when I have chicken noodle soup, I must have saltine crackers with butter. REAL BUTTER, not the plastic crap. It’s something I learned in childhood and have loved my whole life. So simple. I think the memory is a little anchor that reminds me of a time when I had far fewer worries in life. Like I said, simpler. Food can carry so much meaning for us without even trying, can’t it?

I watched a movie again last night that I hadn’t seen in years, Elizabethtown. It’s a Cameron Crow movie and I’m not sure if it’s a great movie, but there is something great about it. And there is something great about watching a movie like that when it’s been awhile. And the soundtrack is to die for, so let’s just all take a moment and listen to these two tracks: Ryan Adams and The Temptations. Because it’ll be good for you…trust me.

I had dinner with one of dearest friends which is always a wonderful thing. I believe we have been friends for over 15 years, maybe? Good grief we are old! She is one of my favorite accomplices that I have had in this life and sometimes she reads this, so thank you!! I’m so glad we still have each other and would never have guessed when we first met that either of us would be here in our lives, would you? And isn’t that kind of wonderful?

And after our dinner, a friend of mine, we are gonna call him a friend, it’s too much to explain right now…to discuss that would be one of those metaphorical deer that we veered off the road to avoid…anyways I stood in the parking lot talking to him in the rain for 45 minutes, so that was good too. He’s one of those rare people I always enjoy talking to for hours on end. He’s the guy in the hammock I mentioned before

Ramona and Faline were sitting together on the couch watching the aforementioned movie with me…by together, I mean touching each other in the most uncomfortable way. Like they were trying so hard to not acknowledge their discomfort, I could see them each thinking, “It’s fine. This is fine. I’m fine. She’s touching me, but I’m fine. It’s fine.” I laughed so hard because they continued doing it even though neither could looked remotely alright with it. For an entire hour! It felt like a very human behavior, know what I mean?

I hope that you have had some good sprinkled into your past week and if not, open yourself.

That’s one of my best pieces of advice in this world: Be open. Stay open.

I say it to myself with some frequency, which means all the time.

Because I am difficult and don’t always listen to myself.

You cannot receive or give if you are not open. Open is scary, but it’s where awareness lives. It’s where hope lives.

Know what I mean?

I said something similar the past two Sundays, so this makes it the third time, which they say is a charm. Why is that? I don’t know. Baseball has three strikes, is that a coincidence?? I do not know….

I’m assuming it’s that same committee that decides all the other things…right?

Seriously, I need to get on that committee…

See, DEER!!

But YOU, I know YOU need to keep yourself open. Front and center. Gaze and mind. Watch for the good. Think ant sized, not rhino.

I’ll be seeing you…

An intermission of Awe

Good morning Travellers,

It’s been a spell. I’ve been trying to figure out how I’d like to return to this space after this absence. At first I was buzzing along during this pandemic and then a rather momentous anniversary arrived and I retreated into myself. There was an unexpected tidal of emotions that I wasn’t prepared for and needed time to process…unexpected emotions are a pain in the ass, aren’t they? But that’s a different post for another time…

Today let’s talk about how the world remains filled with wonder despite everything. Beauty never truly abandons it’s post, no matter how awful the circumstances.

Continue reading “An intermission of Awe”

Augury

Happy morning Travellers,

Today is Thursday for those of you keeping score at home…

Yesterday evening, I planted what I am referring as Phase 2 of my garden. I did my initial early planting, then last night filled it in with more veggies and flowers and lastly will plant some succulents. That is Phase 3. Those are not in stock yet at my local nursery.

And I’m sure by now you are thinking, “yea, yea, garden, blah blah blah, fabulous blah blah blah, happy happy joy joy stupid f*cking bunnies,” BUT really it IS that awesome. Gardening is just SO GOOD. As I was standing in front of my rather humble garden last night, I said out loud to my dog Lou, “THIS is the most wonderful time of the year!!” Not Christmas. Not for me. Right now.

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V.A.C. #8- Make a list, check it more than twice

Good morning Travellers,

Oh, it is cold. So very cold suddenly…I awoke this morning bookended by pussy cats, that’s one on the left and one on the right, snuggled up to me in such a manner that I couldn’t have adjusted for my own comfort if I wanted to…but I find Joy in such moments, don’t you?

I think most of us awake in the mornings during the winter with dread, we dread going out into the bitter cold. And this time of year, there are so many things to do that require us to trudge through ice, sleet, snow, and near blizzard temperatures in order to be Merry. And what we all think is, AARGHhhhhhhh, enough!! Right? So I have a little exercise for you…

Continue reading “V.A.C. #8- Make a list, check it more than twice”