Saturday, June 09, 2007

In Which I Finish A Book on Julian of Norwich

Yesterday was uneventful. Rob had a gig and Rei and Marc were all working so I had the luxury of being home alone most of the day. In other words, I enjoyed silence. Lots of silence. Late in the day I discovered a website (I suppose much the way Columbus discovered America given that it was here and populated and all but I digress). On this website you can go to the download center and watch yoga classes for free! I watched a beginning yoga class and was very pleased with what I saw. I then watched a kundalini one and that one was more intense. I am not sure that I could do some of it because of my vertigo but I can say with confidence that the workout would definitely result in some sweating. I was surprised that there were no warning to the person watching re the breath work that they were doing.

They update a new class daily which bumps the last class on this list off the archives. I haven't figured out how to download a class but maybe that is just as well. My computer would get horribly cluttered. What is nice is that they have beginning level classes as well as intermediate and it looks like they try to mix up what will be uploaded to the archives so as to have a good mix of levels. I will be trying this website on for size on those days when I feel a need to do a little more yoga. (Today . . . tight hamstrings . . . ouch!)

This morning I finished reading Journeying with Julian as part of my exploration of Catholicism. This was an easy choice for me because I had the book on my shelf and I love Julian of Norwich's writings. This book was okay. I probably only (mostly?) found it interesting because of my own admiration for Julian. Had I not been interested in her, I think this book would have bored me before I even reached the author's discussion of Julian's theology. About half of the book is given over to historical information meant to contextualize the time in which Julian was writing. Perhaps this didn't interest me because I was already very familiar with the time. I don't know that his focusing so much on the politics, Black Death, etc., would have interested someone who was not aware of these things already. Perhaps if it had all been new(s) to me then I would have been more patient. As it was, I kept waiting for him to get to where he discussed Julian's mystical experience.

In other words, I would recommend this book only if you have already read and enjoyed Julian of Norwich's Revelations. Next on my reading list is a book on Mary and then I am off to Spain with Teresa of Avila and her Interior Castle.

Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one--himself.-Dhammapada, 8, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Friday, June 08, 2007

In Which I Really Could Be Knocked Over By a Feather

You will hear me occasionally allude to my vertigo. In November, I woke up on a Tuesday a little dizzy. This was not unusual or even remarkable. I occasionally had, what I called, equilibrium days. However, the next morning I woke up unable to focus on anything, the room was spinning, and I almost fell into the wall trying to walk to the bathroom

Six months later I can move quite easily around my own home. Like a person who suddenly wakes up blind (does this even happen?), I have learned how to maneuver around my territory with ease. I occasionally bump into things, knock things over, pour hot water on my hand holding the cup (I no longer hold the cup while pouring), and I definitely do not trust myself handling a sharp knife (so I ask others to chop and dice things for me) . . . but I am better than I was six months ago.

The other day when Rob and I were going to my physical therapy appointment, I noticed a small fluffy seed on the ground. I bent over (slowly, carefully) to pick it up and when I stood, holding the seed fluff in my left hand, I tossed it into the air saying, "Be free!"

I then fell into the car. I lost my balance because I was tossing a piece of fluff into the air. For the rest of the day, Rob teased me about this saying I'd better be careful, a fluffy seed might come and knock me down.

Har de har har.

Angelina Dives into Think Tank

by Sarah HallFri, 8 Jun 2007 09:46:33 AM PDT

Angelina Jolie is one step closer to her posthumous goal of being remembered as something other than an actress.

The Oscar-winning humanitarian has been officially approved for membership in the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank that counts former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and journalists Diane Sawyer and Tom Brokaw among its ranks.

Jolie was nominated to join CFR earlier this year in recognition of her work as a United Nations goodwill ambassador, a post she's held since 2001.

"Angelina Jolie is accomplished in her field and has demonstrated serious interest in issues such as Darfur, international education and refugees," CFR Vice President of Communications Lisa Shields told People magazine. "As such, her profile fits very well with other young professionals we've selected as the next generation of foreign policy leaders."

The honor represents a personal victory for the mother-of-four, who recently told Esquire magazine that she wants her legacy to reflect her philanthropic as opposed to onscreen endeavors.

"When I die, do I want to be remembered as an actress? No." she said. "I recently had a column published in a newspaper and at the end it didn't say I was an actress. It said that I was a UN goodwill ambassador--that's all. And I was really proud."

The actress isn't the only member of the Jolie-Pitt clan determined to make a difference.

Her partner, Brad Pitt and his Ocean's Thirteen cronies, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Jerry Weintraub, made a $750,000 donation to Oxfam America this week through Not On Our Watch, an organization they founded to raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

In Which I Get to Say “I Told You So”
Rob is getting a large tattoo on his back. Yesterday he went in for the second stage of the piece and, because of the location, I am responsible for much of the ointment and lotion application. Aftercare is very important in the final appearance of a tattoo and I am as committed to his healing as he himself. This morning I looked at it and went “Oh no!” because there was a lot of flaking. Flaking is normal but there was more than I think there should have been.
Me: I think you should use the ointment instead of the lotion. Rob: It’s day two and on day two you start using lotion. Me: You got the tattoo at noon yesterday. It hasn’t been twenty-four hours yet. I think you should use the ointment.
At Rob’s insistence I put the lotion on (insert Silence of the Lambs joke here) and he went out to have his morning cigarette. A few moments later Rob comes back in.
Rob: It’s burning. Me: (looking up from my book) What? Rob: The lotion is burning. I need to take it off.
Rob goes to take a shower and we put ointment on the tattoo. Just as I said we ought to do.
Me: I guess next time you’ll listen to me. Rob: (says nothing) Me: I can see it now. (Pretending to be Rob.) “Oh shit. It’s burning. I need to finish my cigarette first. Rob: I didn’t finish it. Me: Really? Rob: (muttering) I tried to though. Me: Ha!
To be fair, we had another conversation.
Rob: I have an MP3 player you can use. (Joe has borrowed my IPod indefinitely.) Me: Really? And will you actually show me how to use it or just mock me with new toys I can’t actually use? Rob: It’s not my fault you can’t use the PDA. Me: I can use it. I just can’t use it with the keyboard. Rob: Well, all we have to do is (he starts rambling technically about something involving uploading software, connection something to the computer, then something more about something else). Me: Blah blah blah blah blah. Rob: I know. I got technical on you. Me: When you talk like that it’s like a Peanuts cartoon and you are the adult talking. Wuh wuh wuh wuh wuh.
Sadly, this is what Rob has to put up with when dealing with me because I just tune things out. I am notorious for saying, “I was using the thingy but then something happened and now it won’t work.” Ummm . . . okay. Even I have to admit, how the hell do you fix the thingy when you don’t know what something is? Your guess is as good as mine and it’s probably my fault the thingy still isn’t working.
"Surreal hope" means having faith in a future opportunity that at first appears in an out-of-context situation. Say, for example, that you have an unsettling initial exposure to a stranger whom you will eventually realize is an important ally. Maybe when you see this person for the first time, he or she is looking dazed and disheveled on a street corner with tear stains on the cheek, having just broken up with a lover. And maybe you feel a strange attraction to this weirdo despite his or her unflattering appearance. Having surreal hope, in this instance, would mean that you'd refrain from being dismissive and judgmental, but would instead entertain the possibility that your fascination might portend an interesting link under more favorable circumstances at a later date.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In Which I Finish a Book and My Son, Marc, Has a Very Bad Day

For the next six months I am reading various Catholic books and, of course, the Catholic Bible.  I begain with the book, The Way of a Pilgrim because I had first read about it in Franny and Zooey by J D Salinger and I was curious about this book. I think I read Salinger's work nearly ten years ago (possibly more) so my curiosity was obviously not insistent.

I wasn't overly impressed. The entire book was rather typical, even predictable. I have, however, begun saying the Jesus Prayer as I am falling asleep. It seems a small attempt at connecting with the importance of the message of the text itself. I had hoped that the book would have inspired me more, perhaps to start using my rosary, but I am not quite there yet.

Amazingly enough, Rob has agreed to take me to mass one of these days. We just need to decide when and where. He was raised Catholic but does not practice. Still, he knows more about it than I do.

Oddly, earlier this year I went to New Jersey where my mother surprisingly told me that she is reading a Catholic Bible. (If you knew my mother you would better understand why this was so surprising for me.)

So this is how I ended up finally reading The Way of a Pilgrim and a Pilgrim Continues His Way as translated by R M French.

And my son Marc text messaged me this morning to tell me that he had lost his wallet. I had hoped he would find it before he came home from taking his finals (two today) but that was not the case. So he canceled his atm card and his credit card and is now replacing his driver's license, etc. But before he left to get his license handled the neighbors, while backing out, hit his car leaving a significant mark in the side of his vehicle.

He is not having a good day. I am trying to decide if we should have pizza or if I should see what cake baking possibilities I have in the cabinet. He deserves a treat and it seems like so small a gesture on my part to do something special for him under the circumstances. Sending him an e-card of encouragemnt and an invitation to have me do some Reiki on him seems insufficient.

When children grow up, it is not only that they get so much bigger but that you, as their mother, become so much smaller.

Monday, June 04, 2007

In Which Rob is Sick and I am Awake

It is just after 4am as I start to type this. Rob is very sick. I wish I could do something to make him feel better now . . . mostly because I am selfish and want sleep. And I also think it is unfair that the one who doesn't have any extra weight to lose is the one in the bathroom throwing up while I am sitting here happily digested the too much food I ate the night before.

See how selfish I become when I haven't had enough sleep?

Anyway, that is why I am awake, deleting old blog entries and starting this over. A new blog in a new home. We'll see how this goes. Lately I feel cursed. Well, not so much lately . . . more like after a while you see this pattern of inevitability because history does indeed repeat itself when you don't learn from the past. And I am finally getting the picture which is why I am giving up and myself over to something new. I won't go into details. We'll just see how it goes. In the meantime, I should probably take advantage of this silence (interrupted only by the sounds of Rob throwing up in the bathroom) and get some reading done.

Today Rob and I did manage to start our herb garden. I took a picture of it. We have tomatoes, sage, parsley, basil, and lavender. I am very excited but a little anxious. I have never had much success with plants and am convinced that they commit suicide as soon as they see I am the person taking them home.

If you ever hate a plant, give it to me. I have managed to successfully kill every plant that comes into my possession, including a cactus.

So we shall see how this experiment in gardening ends up. I am conservatively optimistic.

Adopting an attitude of universal responsibility is essentially a personal matter. The real test of compassion is not what we say in abstract discussions but how we conduct ourselves in daily life.-His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "Imagine All the People"

Aries Horoscope

June is bustin' out all over and you may be too, on Monday. You may not be able to contain your exuberance and optimism, and really why should you? It's not your fault if you encounter some people along the way who aren't feeling as happy and peppy as you are. You have every right to bop around with a glow inside you. Your positive outlook should continue throughout the week and your emotions may become more fiery, thanks to the Moon. You might have a strong tendency to run over any opposition that comes your way.