Prescribed

I believe in kindness.

Also in mischief.

Also in singing, especially

when singing is

not neccessarily prescribed.

Mary Oliver

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Too Short

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

John Burroughs

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Ritual

I have been thinking about the word RITUAL a lot lately, especially in contrast to habit. I have many habits. Here are my dailies: One – Work out every morning Monday – Friday. Two – Walk Juniper every morning and most afternoons. Add an evening walk for most of summer-like weather. Three – Sauna upon return from first walk. Four – two lattes, very, very hot lattes. Homemade cashew or almond milk.

After coffee, I am literally all over the place. Some days, I eat right away, others no. Some days, I bathe; some days, I blog; some days, I read; some days, I watch a show (or a hundred). Some days, I eat very healthy, others definitely not. I should also add that since Weight Watchers, I weigh myself every Monday morning. I want to be within my healthy range. Before WW, my doctor told me I was five pounds from overweight for my size, which was not fun to hear. I consider myself to be maintaining if I am within two pounds of goal. It creeped up to five last Monday because, surprise (!), my eating habits are wildly unpredictable. I am inconsistent on the vegetable intake, love sweets and Cheeto-type snacks, and pizza, oh and not counting every calorie every day. It gets tedious.

So last week, as Greg is in a similar boat (go figure, since we share most meals!), we went back to counting calories (via Cronometer – which is awesome and I’m not being paid to say so!) and am down 2.2 pounds. I think this will be the way of it from here on out. Habitually weigh in on Monday, maintain the exercise schedule, sort of watch the weight until it gets to five pounds, then restrict. It feels reasonable. Doable.

Now for the ritual part. I have, for many years, craved ritual in a BIG way. I feel the empty space where it ought to be. As yet, I have not found anything that resonates. My Dad has read the bible every day of my life. I have tried. Greg has tried with me. It is simply not for us. I do not like the message or the language, especially how it is filled with negativity. A lot of people meditate, but again, I try (a couple times a week, at least) and find my mind wanders far too often about every. little. thing. I know letting go of this is the point, but it’s been years, and I clearly need something different. For me, I believe it needs to be an ACT. A movement, a drawing, a watching, a reading?

In Pittsburgh, we tried a “Not Church” group of secular humanists. It sounded so good on paper! Fun people gathering in community to further knowledge about themselves and the known universe! But, but, but, all they talked about was church and Christianity and how this was not that. What?! At least we tried.

So, HI! This is me searching for that Goldilocks THING. My mind remains open to possibilities.

Best Hat

Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. It’s like boats. You keep your motor on, so you can steer with the current. And when you hear the sound of the waterfall coming nearer and nearer, tidy up the boat, put on your best tie and hat, and smoke a cigar right up till the moment you go over. That’s a triumph.

Ray Bradbury

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Do you know about kintsuge? Also known as Golden Joinery, it is the practice of fixing damaged pottery by adding gold to the repair. This enhances the broken bits and becomes part of the history of the object. I have known about it for a while but never had occasion to put it to use.

My Mom bought me this tray for Christmas. A New Mexico license plate?! So cool. It sits, with pride of place on our kitchen counter, a nice spot for fruit. I clumsily dropped an ice pack on it, and it snapped in two. Instead of searching for another or tossing it, I immediately thought of kintsuge and bought a kit. My repair, being my first, is FAR from expert or even terribly pretty, but I like it! Which, I believe, speaks loudest to the purpose of the practice.

Our broken bits can be made whole again, beautiful and useful, too! We need only believe them to be and willingly make the effort.

Of course, this got me thinking about how I have the opportunity to make my life this way, too. I used to feel a lot of shame around patterns I allowed to repeat over and over. Women came into my life, and I put aside my needs and feelings to make them feel loved and appreciated. That I was a friend they could count on. I’d drop anything for them. Give anything to them. Keep quiet about their negativity, insults, and slights.

I didn’t see it as me being a doormat. Until. I felt the first cracks in my being and knew I could do something about them. I stood up to them. The ways were mostly small, the glue filling the tiniest of fissures. A flimsy, yet valiant, first effort. Definitely no gold.

I experienced the seams holding and was emboldened. More and more, I uttered yes to me and no to them. I also started seeing the behavior more quickly in new relationships and ended them the moment I felt a fracture, even the tiniest of one. It leaves me with very few close friends, but I don’t see it as a negative. I am sprinkling gold about and enjoying the shimmer, the promise of all the history, of all that I was and now am. It is far from perfect but pretty grand.

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