Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Trust In Me (A Landmark Diner Discussion)

Tonight I had that opportunity to be reminded of a lot of things that I value (thanks, friend!).
Things I value:

Authenticity. Coupled with tact and love, always, but still... speak my truth without fear.

Faith in God. Trust in God that as long as I am doing what I think, to the best of my knowledge, He wants me to do, all will ultimately be well.

I am a Spiritual Being. Yes, I have goals and needs here on the material plane, but ultimately I am responsible only to my Higher Power. At my reckoning, God isn't going to ask how much money I made or how steady that income was, He is going to want to know how I tried to live according to His Will. Also, regardless of what happens to my relationships here, I will see the people I am tied to in the next world, where all will be love for eternity.

While approval and good opinions from others are nice, if I truly believe something about myself, no one else's opinion can shake that. For example, I know that I am a woman. You can tell me as many times with as much force as you want that I am male, but that's not going to change my knowledge that I am female. Suppose I believed that about other things? Suppose I truly KNEW that I am a trustworthy person... no matter how many people made up some belief that I am not, it wouldn't shake my self knowledge. Or supposing I know that I am a good person, a responsible person, a loved person... etc etc.

Trust in my process. Refer to my post about the labyrinth for more details but I'll recap here. Sometimes it looks like I am headed away from my goal that goal being the ultimate goal of Godliness), sometimes towards, sometimes just circling around it. In reality though, in the larger picture, every step I take, trusting in myself and my God, I am getting closer and closer to my goal.

The relationships that I value most can take a battering, if that's what it comes down to, and come out better on the other side.

Staying close to God and my spiritual self through
     reading the Holy Writings
     discussing my thoughts and feelings on the topic

Believing in myself and my process as well as others and their process through
     self affirmations and collecting evidence to support those affirmations
     staying close to God
     authenticity, especially in being transparent with my concerns regarding my relationships

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh. Gherkin. I Also Do Not Like The Word Gherkin.

Words I Dislike for No Particular Reason

I don't know why I dislike these words. I just do. There are other words I don't like because of their meanings or something. These are the ones I just plain don't like, for no reason I am aware of.

slacks (slack or slacker are ok, but not great)
preparatory (prep is ok)
fructose (when pronounced with a short u. I don't mind it with a long u.)
plow (especially when spelled "plough")

I'm sure there's more, but I'm tired of remembering them now.

Total B*tch Fest

If you object to foul language, irrational ranting, or plain old bitchiness, do not read this post.

1. NO I will not help you be comfortable with killing yourself. What kind of selfish piece of shit person asks that of someone else? Fucktard, I hope you DO find a way!

2. Being honest and authentic doesn't mean you have the right to be tactless. "I'm just honest" is not a excuse to go around hurting people's feeling and being a general asshole. So shut the fuck up with your honesty crap. I don't buy it.

3. I AM TRYING!!! I still fuck up and I am still not what I want to be but GODDAMMIT AT LEAST I TRY so who the fuck are you to judge me?

4. I may not do things the way you do, but that doesn't mean I do them wrong.

5. I may not know all the things you do, but that still doesn't mean I'm wrong.

6. I may in fact be wrong, but that doesn't mean you should be an ass about it.

7. MY LANDLADY SUCKS MONKEY BALLS!!! The god damn washer/dryer is broken again, halfway through washing my now-soaking wet bedding which I am vainly trying to dry inside. My door still has a huge gap that lets in cold air and bugs, my windows still don't open, my kitchen drawer is still broken, and my living room still doesn't heat properly. AND THAT'S JUST THE CURRENT SHIT!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Great Things Part 3

My brother's greens/swiss chard dish

Having a whole day to do nothing, after a string of really busy days

Not having cat fur all over my furniture and clothes

Getting together with like-minded people to study and discuss spiritual concepts from a personal point of view

Warm baths

A warm bed


Instead of getting frustrated, get fascinated.
Doesn't that sound like a funner, easier way to solve a problem? Instead of "AAAARGH how do I make it STOP???" its so much more pleasant to go with "Huh. I wonder which ways I can come up to help this situation along" and then really delve into the situation. Kind of how we ask children to do. For example:
Kid: whine whine fuss cry "I can't reach this book" whine fuss
Me: Hmm. That book is a little high, isn't it. I wonder how you could reach it?
Me and Kid: Think of solutions together including a step stool, me lifting the kid, the kid learning to fly, the kid scaling the book shelves.
Me: So which of those do you want try?
Kid: I want to fly!
Me: OK! Go ahead!
Me and Kid: fun times pretending to fly
And eventually the book gets gotten

Man, thats such a better script than everyone just getting frustrated! So what I want to do is apply that philosophy to myself. When I get irritated, think "Huh. Interesting. So what are some ways I could solve this? *think of a few, no matter how realistic* OK, so which do I want to try first? *probably choosing most realistic one first*" And then either "YAY, I SOLVED IT!" or "Hmm, that one didn't work, which other idea do I want to try" and so on and so forth. All in a genuine attitude of learning and exploration. And nonjudgement.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Great Things Part 2

Going straight from a hot bath into pajamas into bed, all with a good book.

Alligators. Either seeing them in the wild, or cute stuffed ones with backpacks.

Going to a dear friend's house you don't see all that often and staying way too late because you're having such a good time you don't even notice

momdor by ryran.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I just read a book that is the story of K2. K2that's the second tallest mountain in the world. It's much further north, has totally unpredictable weather, and is generally a much more dangerous and rigorous climb that Everest. In fact, on Everest, for every 19 people that reach the top, one person dies. On K2, that ratio is 4 people on the top to one death. Crazy. In 2008 at least 290 people reached the top of Everest while only 18 sumitted on K2. The guy who wrote the book (K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain) is one of the people who has stood on the top of K2. Awesome.
So right, enough with the book report. Here's some quotes nd thoughts I took from the book.

- "Climbing is all about freedom.... The mountains are all about going ther eto do what you want to do. That's why I'll never tell anyone else how to climb. All I can say is, This is how I prefer to do it.
Wouldn't it be awesome if people took this approach to life in general a little more often!

 - "Crevasses don't care if you're a pro or not."
Amen. No matter how brilliant or beyond something I think I am, I hope I never forget that I am human and flawed and prone to being wrong, just like everyone else.

-  "Paula [the author's wife] has always insisted, 'Don't call me from the summit. Call me when you get back to camp.' She knows from experience that standing on the summit doesn't mean that you've climbed the mountain."
Yeah. Another lesson I hope I never forget. It ain't over til it's well and truly finished, no matter how much you want it to be or how good it feels to reach a goal.

- "'...wherever I go, anything is possible.'"
That was a quote from the diary another climber kept on K2. The diarist was quoting his climbing partner. (Kurt Diemberger quoting Julie Tullis, if you're interested. Julie was one of the people who died on K2 during a summer rife with K2 fatalities in 1986).
I like the wonder in this quote. And the hope. Where ever I am, what ever I am, who ever I am, every moment is full of every possibility.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rumi's Reed Flute

The Reed Flute's Song
by Rumi

Listen to the story told by the reed,
of being separated.

"Since I was cut from the reedbed,
I have made this crying sound.

Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say.

Anyone pulled from a source
longs to go back.

At any gathering I am there,
mingling in the laughing and grieving,

a friend to each, but few
will hear the secrets hidden

within the notes. No ears for that.
Body flowing out of spirit,

spirit up from body: no concealing
that mixing. But it's not given us

to see the soul. The reed flute
is fire, not wind. Be that empty."

Hear the love fire tangled
in the reed notes, as bewilderment

melts into wine. The reed is a friend
to all who want the fabric torn

and drawn away. The reed is hurt
and salve combining. Intimacy

and longing for intimacy, one
song. A disastrous surrender

and a fine love, together. The one
who secretly hears this is senseless.

A tongue has one customer, the ear.
A sugarcane flute has such effect

because it was able to make sugar
in the reedbed. The sound it makes

is for everyone. Days full of wanting,
let them go by without worrying

that they do. Stay where you are
inside such a pure, hollow note.

Every thirst gets satisfied except
that of these fish, the mystics,

who swim a vast ocean of grace
still somehow longing for it!

No one lives in that without
being nourished every day.

But if someone doesn't want to hear
the song of the reed flute,

it's best to cut conversation
short, say good-bye, and leave.

Friday, December 4, 2009


The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. It is the storm within which endangers him, not the storm without. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great Things Pt 1

I've decided to start a regular post called "Great Things." Its about those moments and things in life that are free and amazing at the same time.

  • When you take that first sip of tea and realise you've gotten the honey-to-tea ratio just right, so the tea is sweet enough but there's no honey after taste.

  • When you wake up with a really warm belly and realize that it's because a cat is curled up purring on you.

  • Reading a good book that someone you love has also recently read and enjoyed, so you get to discuss it and bond over it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Baby Rant

People. People, people, people.
If you are going to have a baby, EDUCATE YOURSELF. Do not blindly trust the medical professionals who are trained to see pregnancy and birth and even those first few months of life as a medical emergency rather than the totally natural and joyful events that they are. Read about formula versus breastfeeding, about vaccines, about your body's changes and theirs. Consider parenting techniques and discuss them with your child's other caregivers.
A baby is not a furless cat. A baby is a human being just like you, who deserves the very best. If you don't educate yourself, you won't even know what the best is, much less how to give it to them.
Do this as a service to yourself and your child, as well as out of respect for those of us who were denied the opportunity to do it ourselves. Please.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I will refuse

Go to school. Sit still. No talking until the clock strikes. Strikes three and you're out.

Get a job. What pays well? Get it, earn it, press the buttons. Have to earn big. Have to afford a car, phone, cable, internet, a palace to call home. Have to. Have to...


I will refuse.

I do not exist because I own.

I am me!

Not a house, a car, or any other possession.

I live not to consume but create.

--Cameron Tomele (an amazing professional acrobat and apparently poet!)


Just a list of things I am thankful for, to honor the day (Well, the yesterday. Close enough.)
  • The internet: how it keeps me so easily in touch with people I care about.
  • Being close to my brother and his family (physically and emotionally!)
  • Learning to be comfortable being me
  • Learning how to take care of my body
  • My dad is healing
  • The wonderful people who are watching over me from the next world
  • Reconnecting with old friends
  • Being able to dance
  • Support from people I love, even when things seem strange or inconvenient
  • Getting massages! And all the things in my life that make that possible.
  • Creativity (mine and others')
  • Sunshine
  • Love
  • Being able to help other people
  • Books
  • Finding great professional supports (therapist, doctor, etc)
Anyway, there's loads more... but that's all for now. I list 5 things I'm grateful for every night before bed. An attitude of gratitude helps me keep positive!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Goodbye, Renaissance

Well, the Carolina Renaissance Festival is over for the year. It was generally pretty groovy. I met some great people. I intend to stay with the group I was dancing with (the same group I danced with like 12 years ago) and do the Festival again next year.
It was a lot harder, physically, than it was when I was 20ish though! Emotionally, it was a lot easier. I'm way better at setting boundaries and trusting my instincts about who and what and where to stay away from. I set some good personal boundaries too, about not doing things I'm not comfortable doing (like singing a kind of suggestive song).
So, all in all, it was a positive experience. I'll be posting some pictures on flickr soonish, but here are a few to tide you over.




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Baha'i People versus The Baha'i Faith

So, I've done a pretty good job in my life in divorcing the people who are Baha'is from the principals and holiness of the Baha'i Faith. To me that's pretty important. The religion itself can be perfect and amazing even if I don't always get along with every one who is a Baha'i. And it doesn't sully the glory and truth of the Faith if I encounter Baha'is who I feel aren't living up to it very well. Or heck, even when I don't live up to it very well. The Faith is separate from its very human and fallible practitioners for me.
But I wonder if I've separate it too much? It's not very important to me to attend a lot of the community events. Tonight is a Holy Day celebration that I'm opting not to go to. Not because I have other plans or anything... I just don't really feel like going. I'd rather do some kind of solo commemoration.
I do know that in the Writings it talks a lot about community and how its important to have one and participate in one. I just... meh. Part of that is, I haven't really bonded to many Baha'is here since I got back. Which I know is at least 50% my fault, and maybe more. I'm not reaching out and trying. But... I don't really feel like others are either... But I've always had a kind of weird sense of socialness so maybe they are and I just don't get it. I dunno.
For now, I've decided to make getting to Feast a priority and not worry about other activities if they don't draw me. We'll see where it goes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

One Year

We had a commemoration for the first anniversary of my mom's passing last night. There was a program, a slideshow, some great desserts and fellowship. I think this is probably the end of formal commemorations. Which is kind of sad, but kind of a relief. More later. (I tried to post the program here but it came out looking really weird. I'll try that again alter too.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rodney Gordon III

Something like 12 years ago I met a 17 year old kid online, Rodney. He was in a really tough situation and we talked a lot. We were close. A few years later (I think, I'm bad with timing) I helped him and his wife get together. I loved him, he was a great friend.
Then there was a period of several years where we didn't talk much. I had computer troubles, he was busy setting up his new life; I dunno, we drifted apart. At first it hurt a bit, but I got used to it.
And then it got strange, for me. It seemed like he wanted us to be close again, automatically, as if no time had passed. I didn't know how to do that. I was a very different person and I assumed he was too. I think that created some friction. Well, definitely there was friction, and I am guessing a lot of it stemmed from that. I felt like he assumed he knew me, and assumed that I had obligations to him.
I was visiting another friend in his city, and didn't make plans to meet him. I know that hurt him a lot, but at the time I just really wanted to spend time with my other friend and I was uncomfortable with this old friend. I think, honestly, that he reacted pretty poorly. And almost immediately I did wish that I had scheduled a time to meet him. But I didn't.
Since then, our relationship has been... rocky. He, I think, felt that I didn't appreciate him enough, that I didn't try hard enough to connect. And I felt that he was trying too hard. His anger and hurt came out in ways that increased my anger and hurt. We were cordial, but never close again. I didn't want to be close again.
Last night, he died. It was sudden and unexpected. And I don't know how I feel.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

semicolons can be useful

...since I posted, so I thought I'd do an update.
I've been working as a Morris dancer at the Carolina Rennaisance Festival. There's videos on youtube. I'm in numbers 1, 2, 4 and 7 of that series. The sound is a little behind the picture and they are kinda blurry, but I promise that's me in the blue and green skirts, green bodice, and white cap. I'm pretty impressed with myself being outgoing and interactive with patrons while still doing pretty well at taking care of myself. It's every saturday and Sunday through November 22. Today (its a Sunday), though, I am sick. I think I actually started getting sick on Tuesday or Wednesday, when I woke up a little sniffly. Yesterday the cold and damp finally made the sickness win, I guess. At least its a reasonable and regular kind of sick, not a depressed and overwhelmed kind of sick, but I'm still kinda disappointed. Trying to be ok with where I'm at, but gosh I hate letting people down.
For the most part I'm doing pretty well with that "being ok with where I am" thing. There were a few days when I was pretyt low energy, but I just thought "ok well, I am what I am" and tried to enjoy reading and watching videos online. It went pretty well, with just a few moments of "aaargh, get up and DO something!"
Part of why I've been a little down is, I think, the upcoming anniversary of my mom's death. She died October 30 of last year. I'm thinking about her a lot since October started; I can't believe its been a whole year! On the 30th we will be having a memorial service kind of thing at my brother's house; some prayers, a slideshow, and dessert/coffee/tea. Earlier in the day I will probably put some flowers on her grave and offer some prayers there as well. I'm trying not to wonder if its "reasonable" to be feeling down and sad for an entire month and just, once again, be where I am.
I guess that's the theme for me lately; being nonjudgmental of myself. (And also apparently, looking over this post, using semi-colons).

Friday, October 9, 2009

No Impact Man

Quotes from the book No Impact Man by Colin Beavan (highly recommended).

When did taking care of ourselves become something so unimportant that it should be got out of the way rather than savored and enjoyed? When did cooking and nourishing my family become and untenable chore? What is more important that I'm supposed to do instead?

...I see that when I get what I want, my want does not go away, it just turns to the next thing. In some ways, it's incorrect to say, "I want this" or "I want that." It's more correct to just say "I want," in the same way that we say "I ache." ... I noticed that what we wanted on the surface -- the minibike or the "normal" ranch house -- were just proxies for what we really wanted" to fit in. We wanted to be loved. We wanted to not feel what we imagined everyone else didn't feel -- insecurity. We wanted to feel accepted. So, here's the big question: If we want to demonstrate out membership in the human race, if we want to fit in, where on earth did the idea come from that we have to do it by having or aspiring to have exactly what everyone else has, by eating what everyone else eats, by drinking what everyone else drinks?

At what age did I start thinking that where I was going was more important that (sic) where I already was? When was it I began to believe that the most important thing about what I was doing was getting it over with? Knowing how to live is not something we have to teach children. Knowing how to live is something we have to be careful ot to take away from them.

I'd rather be the kind of nut who tries something than the kind of nut who, knowing what could happen to the world, doesn't.

If the pleasures we seek are not permanent, then how important are they?

Environmentalism is not about the environment. It is about people. It is about a vision for a better life -- for people.

It's terrible and it's wonderful, but it's true: we're all in the same boat. That's the consolation. It's not just me who's scared and lonely and worried and isn't sure how to help myself. We don't know how to help ourselves, but there is one thing we do know how to do. We know how to help eachother.

Random Things That Amuse Me, Because Maybe They Will Amuse You Too