What I see from here

I'm not sure what this blog is going to be about. It may be about something really silly, or about a recipe, or something that pisses me off, or about something I read or something I think about. I just don't know, because, well, that's how my mind works. What it will be is stuff that occurs to me whether I'm in my apartment in Portland, Oregon or driving around from one place to another, or sitting in a meeting letting my mind wander because the meeting is boring and/or stupid. So, our commonality is that neither of us knows what it will be about. But, hey, stick around for the ride, put on your seatbelt, and we'll see what happens. Oh, and p.s. there may be curse words. Deal. Peace ya'all.

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

January 27, 2015

Breathing in and out

My brother-in-law dying was my first real experience with the loss of someone I loved. I didn't get grief, how it felt, and how it changed people. My sister, in trying to explain it to me, quoted this line from Sleepless in Seattle. It's Sam Baldwin's answer to the radio phone doctor when she asks him what he's going to do: "Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning...breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while."

It's hard, living with loss. One day we mere mortals may figure that out.  In the meantime, we'll just keep breathing in and out. Like water we find our level. Until then we hope we regain a piece of what we were before.

Carina Round - For Everything A Reason

January 25, 2015

Smiling, not happy

I watched Lucy last night and it started me thinking about things, primarily how we use so little of our brains, and what we could do if we focused on, as they said "being" instead of "having."  If humans chose to evolve further, to use our brains for good instead of anger, judgment, destruction, hate, power, and greed, imagine the world we could inhabit. But that's not what this post is about... Well, it is sort of I guess....

Today I was cleaning out my Google Drive photos and happened upon some pictures. At the time when I looked at or took those photos (not just me, but photos from others as well), I was thinking "So happy. Everyone is so happy."  That was at the time the present, and the only story I knew was the one I was in at that moment, or that I was seeing with my limited capacity brain. Today when I look at those photos, they are the past. Today I know the story. When I look at those photos now, I know that in some cases the person in them was having some problems, was lying to someone, was planning something unknown that would hurt someone, was angry with the person they were sitting or standing next to, or was/is just an unhappy person. When I look at those photos now, knowing that back story, what is clear is that although they were smiling for the camera, they were not happy.  When the camera was pointed at them and the photographer said "smile!!" that's exactly what they did. They curved their mouth into the symbol for happy, but inside, not so much.

If we all had that extra usage - just another 5% or 10% - we would be able to see through that facade and know the story in that present moment. The question I ask is: do we not - as small-time brain users - have the capacity to see past the happy symbol, or do we have the capacity and simply choose not to see something that may require conversation and/or effort?

So here's the thing that occurs to me as I continue to think about Lucy and life and photos and humans: let's try to stretch our brains just a little. Even though we likely won't get to 15%, we can in fact use our brains along with our hearts and instincts. We can look deeper, look into their eyes, listen to the words they tell us, and understand at least a smidgen of their truth. Perhaps in so doing we can  rise above our limitations and become more sensitive, kinder, gentler, less judgmental people. We can ask ourselves why on earth we turn our backs on people - especially those we purport to love. We can look at our parents, friends, and family members and choose not to be pissed off at someone because they disagree with us (or we with them), or because they exercised their free will and did something different than us. We can stop tormenting people we know and love with a need to control or dominate. And we can, maybe, apply that to the broader population: to our communities, to our villages, our nation, those in countries we may never visit but who could use our support and love instead of the blind eye we choose to turn.

Am I great at this? I won't pretend I am. But I do try to limit my angst and anger (well, except that whole breakup thing, but that was covered elsewhere), and I certainly try not to direct it toward my family members. Why? Short of them doing something really horrible to me or another human (and I'm not talking about hurting someone's feelings and having slip-ups where you hurt someone unintentionally, I'm talking about just in general being a shitty, horrible, harmful human), it is entirely unnecessary for me to get angry with them, or to judge them, take sides with or against them, or to stop talking to them.  I really do not need to contribute to being a part of a photo where people are simply smiling and not really happy.  I'm not perfect, but expanding my capacity to stay away from this is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, and I'm willing to give it a shot.

So I've got that going for me...

P!nk - Try