Monday, March 5, 2012

What Is

The sky was throwing a fit this morning. It was huffing around, throwing big fat tears every which way. This is March in this part of the country. It's a manic-depressive drama queen. One day bright and shiny and kind of warm, inviting everyone out of hibernation and into their yards; the next all storming or sulking or giving the cold shoulder. Sometimes all of that on the same day. It's a time of year for dressing in layers and then peeling them off, one by one, or adding them back on as the sky stalks around changing its mood. It is useless to get upset about it. There's no changing what is.

These are the thoughts that attend me like handmaidens this morning as the Hooligan and I get ready to go about our day. We safely deposited the jBird at school, where she will doubtless encounter many exciting things. She is always encountering exciting things. It is part of her nature to do that. The Hooligan and I have less exciting things in store for us today. But we are less exciting people, most of the time. Our excitement is the slow burn variety. The kind that quietly enjoys what there is to do. There are errands and necessities. There are things that must be done. It is useless to get upset about these things. There's no changing what is.

I spent a weekend disconnected from screens and sign-ins and electronically charged pastimes. In a quiet fit of rebellion I ignored this space and all that it entails. It was refreshing as rain. I spent time with friends that I can hug. I played and rested and read and reveled in the flesh and blood of my life. There comes a point where the ideas in my head grow stale, like so many leftovers in the fridge. I can almost always think of something to write. I cannot always think of something I need to write. There's a difference. Sometimes it's the equivalent of reheating some old soup I found and sniffed for freshness and joylessly consuming it because it's there and fuel is needed. Sometimes it's the discovery of odds and ends that come together in something new and exciting and delicious. But sometimes I pull the lids off of things and gag, leaving me no choice but to get out, out, out, away and seek new stores for my pantry shelves. It is useless to get upset about these things. There's no changing what is.

Outside, March is making up her mind. Will she storm and rage or will she coddle us with gentle breezes? Inside, I'm making up my lists. Lists of things to eat, things to do, things to dream, things to write. Will I be distracted and put off by the things that take doing to live this life? Or will I embrace them with purpose and simple appreciation? Sometimes I am like March - an alternately raging, storming, smiling drama queen. Sometimes I am like my jBird - a dancing flame, excited to lick up the world. Sometimes I am like my Hooligan - given to quiet obsessions and solitary delight, oblivious to the raging around me. Most of the time I am like me - a combustible combination of the three. It is useless to get upset about such things. There's no changing what is.

But there is preparation - the layers of protection we put on or remove as needed; there is perspective - the possibility of good in all things; and there is contemplation - the slow burn of intentional satisfaction, contentment, enjoyment. There's always acceptance of what is. 

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful meditation, especially the lovely imagery in your first paragraph. I find that I am also turning my attention back toward what is (or trying to!). It must be in the air. Also, I'm embarrassed, but I don't know where you live! Where are you, Tangled Lou?

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    1. I am in Seattle. Spring makes me jumpy and anticipatory, so I try very, very hard to harness the hamster and try to teach it to simply be. It's an effort, though.

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  2. Hi! Hey, I left you a little something on my blog :)

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  3. That's beautiful Tangled. You tangled and untangled in this post and I could relate to your subject matter very much at the moment as the wilds are calling me away from the plugs.

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    1. Thank you, thank you! It is necessary to sanity to remove the plugs every now and then. For me, anyway!

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  4. Especially loved the phrase 'Friends I can hug'.

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    1. Thank you! I liked that one, too! :)

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  5. Spring in Chicago is the Psycho PTA mom who ruins my life. I need to know if I can put away the snow boots or not. Bring me summer! That is my season of love. xoxo Mar

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    1. I used to live 3 hours from Chicago and that is a very apt description of the spring in that area. She is so bossy there. Intimidating and confusing! Fortunately, she's a little gentler here, and with not as meticulous a manicure.
      The spring makes me nervous with all the transition, but oddly, the fall is my power season.

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  6. 'things I need to write' Sometimes I have to remind myself that the world will not stop turning if I don't post something.
    'there is perspective- the possibility of good in all things' That is the truest perspective of all.

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    1. I have the same problem, so I force myself not to post, focus the writing energy elsewhere. It's pretty easy to get wrapped up in the whole blog world thing. I don't much like to get wrapped up in things except hugs and warm blankets, so when I find myself getting entangled, I forcibly step back and take stock.
      As for perspective, I would agree. It is a challenge to find the good sometimes, but those times seem to make it all the more worth it.

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  7. You are an incredible writer...Thanks!

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  8. TangledLou!
    I am finding that many of us folks who participated in NaBloPoMo have gotten to this point, and it's a really healthy reset. I truly think that thinking about posting something every day (which I absolutely loved) also brings a sort of obsession with the world within the interwebz. I think everyone I've gotten close to (from afar) from those blog-a-day exercises felt a need to disconnect, all around the same time.

    I read some advice recently that pertained specifically to blogging and social media, but could apply many places in life:

    "Be proactive instead of reactive. Think of this is in terms of getting organized & getting things done. Instead of hanging out on twitter & facebook first thing in the morning, get to work! Wasting time being apart of someone else's conversation doesn't help you with starting your own. You will have more to show for your hard work if you're actually working."

    I read this a few weeks ago (at a wonderful blog called Shutterbean), and it really stuck with me. You'll have a lot more "content" if you're actually living. Ain't it the truth! xoxo

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    1. That's a great quote and you're right, it could apply to so many aspects of life. In Stephen King's book, "On Writing" that I reviewed a while back, he said a similar thing about writing. He said to get out and take a walk, go to the dentist, whatever it takes to live your life, to energize your writing. You don't have to do profound things to get inspired, but you do have to do something.

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  9. Of course, you expressed this so beautifully, as always. I am finding myself thinking: Ohhhhhhhhh...EVERYone has gotten to this point. Silly me. I thought it was just the two of us. It was sort of cozy and friendly and intimate that way, but now I see that we are part of a larger pattern of blogging burn-out. That is friendly in a different sort of way.

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    1. I'm a little relieved that it's not terribly isolated to us. I was beginning to wonder if I was just a slacker and a bad influence on you!

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  10. Yesterday, I came thisclose to not posting, but finally couldn't not post. I think I seriously need to see a doctor. Seriously.

    (It's a combination of having challenged myself to daily posting so now I'm just seeing how high I can actually get that posts-in-a-row number to go and of being afraid if I skip a day it will be all too easy to skip the next ten.)

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    1. I worry about the skipping the next ten sometimes. Fortunately, the Chief Lou is on board with all of this and is quite adept at the gentle reminders. He's seen me start so many things over the years and lose interest in them, but he knows how important writing is to me. (I realize that makes me sound a little bit needy and weak, but I don't really care. What are partners for?)

      It's funny, because whenever I think about not posting, I think about you and all the days that you've had so much else going on and still managed to post and then usually I dig around in my navel until I find something.

      This little techno-break for me was less about blogging, but more about disconnecting from the online world entirely and reassessing my goals with the blog and whatnot.

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  11. What is is what it be. And stuff. This is awesome, as always. Eventually, I'm going to just stop commenting because I can't say anything other than "this is awesome, you're awesome, wow."

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