Heart

Good evening Travellers,

It’s Sunday eve, but this week I’m going to deviate from my usual offering of something splendid to just say a few things, I hope you won’t mind…let’s assume for arguments sake, that you won’t…

I’d like to take a few moments of appreciation here… just a few…

For the miraculous machine that dwells within us all

The thing that started to beat long before your lungs knew what air was

Long before your tongue found words or tastes or teeth

Or your eyes and ears were filled with the innumerable sensations that we take for granted each day

Or your tiny fingers and toes touched this Earth.

Your heart.

It’s a great word, right? Heart…I mean just say it out loud, your heart, my heart…

It’s a word that sounds like it’s loved, it’s got a gentle smile on it and a deeply resonating warmth.

It sounds tender. Like it wants to be deeply held.

I’m talking about the literal thing right now. That sinewy, blood filled muscle of an organ.

At one time, it was so tiny, you might even say miniscule. Beating inside your mom’s belly.

Smaller than the tip of your thumb. And now it’s the size of your fist.

Your heart that beats without fail every single second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade of your mortal life.

Have you ever taken a moment in absolute stillness and placed your hands on that pulsing and just felt it.

When you lie in bed tonight or perhaps when you awake in the morning, just take a moment and place your palms on your chest till you locate it and feel it.

The rhythm that is all yours, just yours.

That’s your life, right there, under your hands. Nestled in your chest.

It’s an odd looking organ, isn’t it? Hard to believe that thing, a thing that looks like it does is driving you forward.

Obviously in symphony with your brain and lungs and blood, but it’s the thing that is pumping life through your body

And when it ceases to do that, we are pronounced dead.

When I think about reasons to live well, I often think of my heart. And wanting to care for it.

Because I think about it’s location in the human body. It’s surrounded and protected by skin, muscle and bone.

Cradled in the center of our chest, in a place it can be defended and protected.

It’s as if it’s anatomical location shows us that it is precious.

It is worthy of your utmost care…

We often talk about heart break. We deeply hurt and say we are heart broken.

Of course this is figurative right?

A metaphor perhaps.

I have often said that Dave broke my heart and then his suicide smashed it into a million pieces, but that’s not entirely true, as my heart continues to beat ever so faithfully in my chest. Right now, as I type…there is no hesitation.

Someone hurt my heart recently from disappointment, but my organ itself feels fine, it’s somewhere else in my body…

Can you really die from heart break? Do our emotions break the muscles or the valves or the stymie the blood flow?

Why did we decide to call it heart break?

Who was the first person that used that phrase?

Doesn’t emotion come from the brain and nervous system? Or perhaps the soul if you are into that sort of thing.

Why don’t we call it brain break? Or say our nerves are deeply uncomfortable? Or say we are emotionally sick.

Just think if there was no such phrase as heart break.

There would be no Shakespeare, or songs, or movies or hell, just all kinds of things would require an entirely different vernacular.

Perhaps the heart is the great hall monitor of our human body. Slowing the blood down, or speeding it up. Trying to keep us in line where we belong.

It doesn’t seem to be breakable, but yet we believe it is…

And we all take it for granted too, don’t we? This life, our heart.

Because it is in fact your one ever present diligent companion.

Someone close to me has heart problems. He’s 85 and has both a defibrillator and a pace maker. He’s now taking medicine to help strengthen the muscles because they are beginning to get tired. As one expects to happen eventually.

I was thinking at their house the other night, or rather marveling how far that heart has travelled. How many beats it has drummed out in his lifetime, how many times his wife more than likely listened to it with her ear on his chest in their youth, and the fact that he made four other hearts in his children that will beat after he is gone.

It’s the kind of thing to marvel at and just think about for a few minutes…

This life is a marvel, just in case you have forgotten…it’s right there in your chest.

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…

Splendid

Good Sunday to you Travellers,

I thought before I hit some heavy topics this week, I’d come back for something I think is always important. The thing that balances us, saves us, floats us along and creates buoyancy in our souls.

The tiny little life boats that we need in our life.

IN FACT, I want to challenge you in the next week to take a mental tally of all the little things that made you smile or warmed your heart or made you laugh out loud. These things that are the bread and butter of life. Everyone has them and in times like these, they become all the sweeter.

Let’s begin with a small victory of mine, THIS SONG. If you open it as a second link, you can listen while you read this, which would be lovely. Or if you would rather, just promise promise promise to listen to it after you are done reading my words.

This song was the closest thing to “our song” that Dave and I ever had. After the divorce, I had to put it away, which is fucking criminal, because Sade is easily one of the greatest singers of the past 30 years. It just made my heart hurt so much to hear it then.

But now, now that he’s gone. Gone gone, it’s like a link to something good that once was and will forever be. I remember telling him when this song was playing when we were first dating, that he was a gift to me. And no matter how the story has ended, it still remains true.

No matter how much pain his suicide has caused, the memory is still as it was.

The best part though is the end, when she introduces her band. There is just so much love and warmth and comradery in her words. It’s just the best. Listen. You’ll see what I mean…

Ok, and the fact that virtually no one is holding a cell phone is this video. I have secretly hoped that this viral pandemic would bring us all back to the value of being present in reality. Nothing is better than the real, even in pain. It’s real. Reality is still the sexiest filter.

Three things this week that I can’t show you, but want to mention in terms of just being sweetness.

First. A good friend came over and hung out in my hammock Monday night. We talked for about four hours, and he’s one of those people who is on a path to change his life and I feel lucky when he gives me glimpses into who he is. And he also enjoys things like hanging out in hammocks under big trees, so it was awesome.

Second. Last year we met a stranger when we were walking in the early morning hours. The best kind of stranger. The ones you say hello to and exchange a few kind words and then reencounter occasionally. The kind that feel reassuring in a way I can’t put into words.

This one is a man who I’m guessing is probably in his 80s, possibly over 85, he’s pretty spritely. He has a walking stick. He jokingly asked if I was walking the dogs, or were they walking me. We may have encountered him half a dozen times last year. Tuesday morning, I saw him walking our way, and he said the same thing. And there is a sort of happiness in seeing older people thriving and surviving that is different than seeing my peers or younger people. It always make me smile. It makes me less afraid of aging.

Third. Lou has a hot spot, which if you’ve had a dog you probably know what that it. The part that really made me giggle was when I gently wiped the spot, and then dried it before we put the ointment on it. I said to her, “Now bend your elbow and hold that there so it dries.” AND SHE DID. I don’t know if Lou is just extra smart or extra perceptive. I don’t know if it’s the dog in me or the human in her, but she just does these things. And it’s the best in a very distinct way.

Now, lemme show you some things:

It’s called Tatsoi. It’s a veggie for salads. I’ve never had it before or even heard of it till this year. I bought it on a whim and a recommendation from a new nursery I went to. It reminds me of Bok Choy in it’s texture and taste. And it’s just lovely. Trying new things is the best.
So this is Charlie’s new thing, the lazy leg hang in the air, just don’t care. It’s whatever lies beyond fully relaxed and it makes me smile so big. I can’t help but feel at times that he may be more comfortable with only one front leg instead of two. Because he can move in so many ways that four legged cats can’t…
The last chocolate chip cookie. I’ve written a few posts on here, but THIS ONE has always stayed with me. Read it. My words about how I was lucky to have me for my cookie baking abilities after my divorce. It was the first time I ever thought such a thing about myself. In my whole life. But this photo is actually about the smell. I’ve been smelling my food alot lately before I take a bite, especially sweet things. Homemade things. People seem to just inhale food in this day and age, I say take it slow. Stop and smell the cookies. This bag smelled like heaven.
LILACS. Do I need to say more? Speaking of using your nose wisely. Lilacs are the quintessential smell of warmer days to come. The floral gatekeepers of summer. They look like teeny little purple parasols, just barely opened. And the scent is BIG, WAFTING and just says WELCOME.
I have a terrorist squirrel in my midst. He has twice destroyed and consumed my baby chard. I guess it could be a girl, like a mean girl squirrel. But this squirrel has met it’s match! I got this flower yesterday to plant in the hole that little demon made, and I made myself laugh when I saw it in the sink like this…I thought wouldn’t that be wonderous to have flowers growing up from your drain. Just randomly. I know it’s not practical, but it would be grand.

I’m sure you have these little strange moments too. I can’t imagine we are not all equally gifted each day, but you have to be present and pay attention.

Go pay attention to your life. Look. Feel. Roll these things around in your mind, or put them in your mental pocket.

This is how we survive.

And lastly, I just want to send some kind of hope to those of you who are in India. I’m not sure if the news is accurate, but it’s heartbreaking watching from afar to what’s happening. We feel your fear as we have felt it too. God speed to your safety, recovery and whatever world lies beyond this for all of us.

The learning curve

Good morning Travellers,

I awoke this morning to THIS outside:

I’m not sure how the rest of the world is going, but here in Kansas, we no longer have seasons apparently. We just have the day we are going to have, without rhyme or reason. Snow in April. You’re welcome.

This little glitch however goes very nicely with something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, learning.

When we are young, our lives are charted by learning milestones. First it’s about our movement. You learn to roll over on your belly, you learn to pull your knees under you to crawl, you learn to sit upright, you learn to reach out to something higher than you to leverage yourself into standing, you learn to fall down and get up. Fall down and get up. Over and over again. After you walk and fall down enough, you will learn to run. Ride a bike maybe. Swimming. Climbing on things. Hopscotch. Jump rope. Throwing a ball. Catching that ball. Running faster and jumping. Dancing. Chasing other kids.

Scholastically we learn about going to school, time, what day it is, words, how to spell, how to do math, how to read, meeting other kids and the realm of socialization opens to us. We learn what we like and what we don’t. What we are good at and what is difficult for us. We learn to keep going or quit.

We learn to brush our teeth, then we lose them and grow new ones. Most of us sort of enjoy that part.

We learn about naps, snacks, bedtime stories. And as we grow up we have birthdays that we excitedly celebrate with fun parties.

We are learning. And that continues with some expectation until college. Then in early adulthood we learn to be on our own, get a job, find a mate, have some kids, buy a house and then well, then what happens?

THEN WHAT HAPPENS.

I’ve felt very strongly for the last five years or so that the fulfillment you are seeking in adulthood has everything to do with mirroring your childhood. Hear me out…

Everyday you are learning, if you so choose. That snow in that photo is teaching one of the oldest lessons in the book: Adversity breeds survival. While I have moved my little garden containers into the garage to protect them and tarped the remaining larger containers, the rest of nature has to fend for itself. And it will. You can complain about the snow or revel in the fact that the natural world will carry on. Adaptation is learning. And it is a marvel to watch and learn.

I’ve spent the last 6 months revisiting my training methodology and what service I really want to offer clients. And learning is the center piece. Not how you look or will look. I’ll talk more about that more in depth another time, but what I want to say is this…

At the heart of our beings is our nervous system and this life is about learning to master it. Your nervous system is your hard wiring AND IT CAN BE CHANGED. It can be expanded and strengthened. Learning a new behavior creates a new neural pathway. Learning new movement creates new neural muscular pathways. It’s a challenge because our repetitive behaviors are like muddy ruts that we have traveled so much that we are stuck in them. Doing something new is like paving a road that has never existed.

You can learn. And learning tastes like a kind of satisfaction that I think most of us have forgotten in our youth.

Remember what it felt like to ride that bike for the first time? And then what it felt like to ride when the training wheels came off? Or what it felt like to read as a child? Maybe like me, you learned to play an instrument. I played piano and at 5, I thought those pedals on the floor were going to make something serious happen when I could finally reach them. That was exciting to learn.

And I remember learning the hard things too. Injuries from sports, broken hearts from boys, friends who weren’t your friends after all, and all the times I did things that I wasn’t proud of either.

We were learning, good and bad. And we expected it then, so why don’t we expect it now?

What would happen if you created benchmarks in your own life for learning?

What if everyday you look for learning especially in the craptastic stuff?

What if you used therapy as a way to learn to create a better life?

What if you learn to be more of something like compassionate or a better cook or a new hobby or working out or eating well or read a new book?

Just think about all the things you could learn today.

New skills, or just everyday lessons. Like with the snow outside my door. If you are dating, try hard to figure out what are you learning. If you are married, learn something new about your spouse. If you have kids, good grief, there’s a fountain of learning. Same with pets. Dog and cats are far more complex than they are given credit. And old dogs CAN learn new tricks. They are wired just like us.

But mostly learn about you. YOU. Do you know you? Do you know how wonderous your body is and this life?

Who are you?

I recently learned that not only is a tonsillectomy as an adult a horrifying surgery, because one of my closest friends had it done. FYI they BURN your tonsils out. But I learned that I actually am a person who gladly takes care of her friends even when it’s inconvenient. And I’m grateful for it. For her. And for learning this is a part of myself that I think I forgot or maybe I’m a better person than I’ve led myself to believe.

Necessity is the mother of all invention. And we invent through learning and learning creates invention.

Learning is what I feel life is about. If you can learn to take any situation that meets you and examine it for the lesson you’d be surprised how it changes. Learn to embrace hardship. That’s a big one. THAT IS A BIG ONE. Hardships have ALOT of lessons you may or may not like, but it’s still learning.

Learning will change your life. And it will change who you are with the people around you.

Consider my words. Look for learning today. Everyday.

All learning is important.

Limited Magic

Happy Friday Travellers,

I’m still struggling to figure out where to begin talking about Dave’s suicide and my feelings about it in a way that will hopefully be helpful and insightful versus just a lot of loud words scrambled around on the page.

I do not under any circumstances wish for my words to resemble Shakespeare’s line from MacBeth “Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” Because right now, that’s where I’m at. And in the moments, where my thoughts and feelings have felt organized in a more eloquent way I’ve been nowhere near pen and paper or keyboard. But I know it’s coming..

Until then, perhaps a more intriguing and lighter dish befitting a Friday morning…

I was thinking this morning about how the conditions were not quite right for a walk. Abit too cold, it was 39 degrees and abit soppy wet from all the rain, which would prevent us from walking our usual route. In case you didn’t know, dogs are creatures of habit, just like us. And when I deviate from the regular path, it seems to cause abit of a dust up.

This got me to thinking though about how many elements have to come together or into fruition to create really great moments in life. You know what I mean, those moments where you stop and take notice of something particularly exquisite. And think, remember this...The times when life is fully realized for the gift it is.

Maybe it’s A particularly delicious fruit. A really transcendent emotion. A kiss. A first embrace. THE first cry of your baby. THE first time you meet someone. A conversation on a phone late at night. THE way the sunlight sneaks through and shines. THE stars in the sky. THE weather on a particular day/night. THAT sunrise. THAT sunset. A look in the eyes of someone you love. ONE act of kindness or compassion or curiosity satisfied. A moment of realization.

Just ONE moment where it’s magic. And it is magic, don’t sell it short, because most of life is mundane and practical and required living. For these moments to occur, everything aligns, all the senses and your soul. And like magic, it’s gone almost as quickly as you realize it’s here.

And we cannot control it or force it or replicate it, that’s why it’s magic.

These things don’t happen often, not the REALLY REALLY good ones.

I’m not even sure if other people can see these things or it’s just me. But I hope you do.

Dave always said he couldn’t.

And I’m not saying they are always joy-filled, but rather life-filled. They feel full in every sense. Full of the gravity of being human. Full of my life. They make life really real.

And I feel somewhat certain that these things belong to this place, Earth and wherever we go next, I don’t think these exist, not like we sense them here.

And I just so happen to have few in photos, so I’m just gonna roll them out now.

Since you aren’t me, you really can’t feel what they meant to me, but just know that what I am showing you is magic.

REAL MAGIC.

You do believe in magic still, right??

Life’s little luxuries

Buenos Dias Travellers,

Yesterday afternoon around 3:45 pm, I laid down on my bed. Alone. So quiet. Just laid there. On my back with the windows open. Eyes closed. The weight of my body sinking into the mattress. There was just a whisper of a breeze and the sunlight slinking in the spaces between the curtain panels. The dogs were lying on the floor breathing in a slow rhythm that kept time with the whirl of the ceiling fan. Outside there was an orchestra of birds, some singing, some pecking, some tweeting, and a distant dog barking. It was like the world was lying down for a nap.

It was absolutely luscious in every way. The kind of moment we attempt to replicate again and never quite capture.

Continue reading “Life’s little luxuries”

V.A.C. #2- Put it in writing

Good morning Travellers,

Behind the little door for day #2 would be a tiny little drawing of you writing in a card. What kind of cards you ask? Holiday greeting cards…WAIT, don’t leave, hear me out..

It feels to me like our human world is slowly being stripped of all it’s tactile experiences in favor of digital ones. For example, I know the art of penmanship is something of the days of yore and people choose emails and texting as their primary  form of “written”communication. CDs, cassette tapes, and vinyl records, have largely been replaced by ITunes or downloads. We shop online without touching the clothes before we buy them or talking to other people in a shop. We forgo movie theaters to sit on our own couches at home and watch movies. Even DVD rentals are falling under the tires of streaming service giants. We are literally losing our sense of touch & decreasing our real life human interaction. What becomes of humans who no longer touch anything but flat screens?! What becomes of us when we no longer interact in a three dimensional world?

Today, after work or whatever errands your days requires, I’d like you to go to anywhere that sells boxed greeting cards and find your favorite ones and buy a box. I think my box of 16 cards cost $7 plus tax. They came from Target. Then you’ll also need stamps. You remember stamps? We used to have to lick those things…again, a change in our tactile experiences.

Option #2 is making your own cards, if that’s on your menu, do that instead. The messenger isn’t as important as the message here.

Now make a list of the people who you really appreciate in your life this year. We’re not sending obligation cards to your aunt you never see, or form letters. These are for people sitting front row to your life, not the high balcony spectators. And you don’t need to feel guilt for anyone not being on your list, this isn’t a contest, this is about sharing your sincerest appreciation and gratitude. AND lastly, set one card off to the side…

I have tell you  that I have received cards/letters over the years of my life that I’ve saved simply for the words someone sent just for me. It’s preserved kindness, and there is an energy in penning letters versus typing them on a keyboard. When you hold writing from another person in your hands, it’s a kind of magic, someone touched this and wrote this…and the words are there for all of time, just for you to see whenever you like…

For each person on your list, write a very specific message of why you appreciate them and their presence in your life. Give it some real thought, use as many words as you need to, take your time, maybe do 3-4 cards an evening, it’s only the 3rd of December!! But do mail them by the 12th…

I think this time of year can really cause people to reflect more on what they don’t have versus what we do have. I spent a great deal of time agonizing on Christmases for the family I didn’t have or the overwhelming sadness I felt. Worrying about gifts, buying and receiving in somewhat equal measure. In truth, it’s quite possible that the best gifts we have in our lives are each other. When I look at my four fur kids each day I think there’s nothing money could buy that’s better than them. And yea, I adopted them so technically they were a purchase, but really I see that more like adopting a child. Children & fur kids are not things or possessions, they are fellow Travellers.

I think looking outside ourselves for the blessings in our life is HUGE for our overall health. I think taking time for others is also good for us. Your mental health and physical health are so very deeply intertwined and it’s important to take care of both during the holidays. And oddly, I find that expressing kind words to other people makes you feel good inside too. I think humans were actually meant to be a kinder species than our current form, don’t you? Which brings me to that card you set aside…

I’ve never actually done this before and I’m not one of those hippy hippy love yourself gurus, BUT I think it behooves us to show ourselves some gratitude as well. SO, inside that last card, write a note to yourself, whatever you want, BUT it has to be kind and full of gratitude. Something you’ve done for yourself this year that made a HUGE difference in your life. EVEN IF IT’S ONLY ONE THING. TRUST ME, YOU’VE DONE AT LEAST ONE GOOD THING FOR YOURSELF THIS YEAR….write it down and then read it out loud to yourself, put it in it’s envelope and pack it away in your Christmas decorations. Over the course of a year, you’re going to forget that note just like I forget certain cute ornaments and next year, you’ll find it again… I think that written words preserve time in a way unlike any other art from. And the hardest lesson I’m still working on learning is to get on my own team. All of life changes but we will always be with ourselves…

Happy writing Travellers…and how about this morning’s sunrise with a Christmas tune

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