Saturday, February 05, 2011

Quote of the Day

Name Withheld:  Every atheist I know thinks they're superior to anyone who is not an atheist.

I don't think I'm superior.  Oh . . . well, maybe to some people but I don't think I think I'm superior to anyone just because they believe differently from me.  This was said to me at a dinner party and I didn't say anything.  I didn't really know what to say to this but I guess I should have leaned forward and said, "Golly, until you said that I didn't think I was superior to you but now I do so I guess you're right."

In context, however, I didn't "self-identify" and the conversation was about anti-Semitism and how I couldn't read Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion because of what I read early on in the book.  From there it went to discussing the "new atheists" and the attitude that some atheists have where anyone who believes in anything supernatural, especially God, is a fool or a superstitious fool but a fool nonetheless.

And it was to this which the person at the party made the sweeping generalization that all atheists feel they are superior and judge theists.

You simply gotta love the irony, don't you?

Pathetic and False

I am not doing a good job keeping up with anything.  The weather isn’t helping and three deaths, none of which affects me or mine directly, in one week is a bit overwhelming.  I am reaching out to one person as best I can from a distance.  The two other deaths are more associates than friends but pausing to express sympathy and extend a kind word . . .

It occurs to me that it is “worse” for my mother who is dealing with 3 hospitalizations and a cancer diagnosis in her life.  Again, not her own directly but the health issues of others, Rob obviously included in this list.

We both seem to be surrounded and overwhelmed, me and my mother.

I’ve written two condolence cards and sent twice as many sympathy emails in less than a week.

Image from this Website
It’s times like these, I want to cut off all my hair.  Seriously.  The urge to shave my head occasionally strikes with an irresistible force but I also know it’s cold and I’d regret it.  So I ponder cutting my hair short, pixie cut short.  I wish I could believe I’d look super cute and terribly chic were I to do so.  Instead, I am convinced I’d look like a boy and probably hate it.

I also know that the worst thing I could do when I’m surrounded by sadness and the stress of other people’s grief is wearing me down, getting any haircut would probably result in my looking in the mirror and saying, “I hate my new haircut.”  Of course I’d hate it even if it’s cute because, when I’m carrying around this sort of self-indulgent misery I’m bound to hate everything about myself.

And seriously, I haven’t lost anyone.  I am not mourning a death so much as bearing witness to the grief of other people.  Consoling one person who is hurting and another person who is grieving and reaching out in cards and emails to still others.

The weather outside reflects the world around me and fuels my emotions.  There is a literary term for this, pathetic fallacy.

That is how I feel–pathetic and false.  I could say so much more but at a certain point I am merely expressing anger about things that I cannot change and really what I should do is cry.  Only, I don’t have time to cry so, in the grand tradition of pathetic fallacy, I let the sky weep for me.

PS:  No comments allowed for this post because I really don't want nor need any sympathy.  I'm doing a fine job feeling sorry for myself.  Tomorrow I'll post something to which you can comment, if you are so inclined, or ignore.  But really, the last thing I need is anyone feeling sorry for me when there is so much real suffering out there to be soothed.  I just wanted to share this because I know others probably deal with these silly pity-parties and I wanted to put my thoughts into words.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 5

Anne of Avonlea

. . . I don’t want her to be like other people.  There are too many other people around as it is. (264)

I think the reason I chose this quote from what Davy says about Anne for so many obvious reasons.  I don't want anyone I know to be like "other people" and I don't understand why anyone wants to try to be like "other people" and, yet, I know more people do try and fail and try again.  I say just surrender to yourself and don't forget to breathe.  It's so much easier!

Younger By the Day

In a patriarchal culture, mature women threaten the status quo.  We think for ourselves.  We don’t believe everything we’re told.  We realize that consumerism is not the key to happiness and we have the audacity to say so.  We like the truth and we’re willing to sort through a litany of lies to get to it.  (41)

Garland of Love

You never really lose anybody you have loved.  No matter what may separate you–time, distance, the relationships that preceded or may follow this one, even death–the love you shared and the soul you encountered through that love is yours forever in your heart, in who you are, in how you love.  (January 30)

Sometimes part of the grief we experience when there is a loss--when a relationship ends for whatever reason--we think it is because we are trying to hold onto the love we think we've lost.  The truth is, the grief connects us with the past but the love is always with us.  And it is okay to hold onto the past so long as it heals the presence and we know when it is time to let go.

Simple Abundance

Joyful simplicities nourish body and soul by engaging our senses.  They teach us how to live in the present moment.  Life comes together when we seek out the Sublime in the ordinary.  (January 31)

Breaking the Silence

When I became a caregiver to my mother, I found poetry writing a powerful tool to help transcend the burden of caregiving.  (xix)

. . . I’m often asked ‘How do you help people write poetry who claim never to have written anything except grocery lists?’  It is possible if one believes as I do, that there is a poet in each of us who wants to be heard.  (xxi-xxii)

I'm reading this book for the newsletter and am collecting quotes that may appear in the future newsletter.  I initially thought I wouldn't share them here but then I thought I should.  

Death’s Door

In fact, just as we’ve relegated the dying to social margins (hospitals, nursing homes, hospices), so too we’ve sequestered death’s twins–grief and mourning–because they all too often constitute unnerving, in some cases, indeed, embarrassing reminders of the death whose ugly materiality we not only want to hide but also seek to flee (247)

[I]t’s ultimately the mourner who is embarrassed by her own suffering, encumbered with a weight of woe that fences her around with shame and blocks or mutes her speech.  (255)

Insecure at Last

We are able to cross and dissolve all kinds of borders if we are willing to go to the political, emotional, and spiritual places we most fear and resist . . . . I am proposing that we can reconceive the dream.  That we can consider wht would happen if security were not the point of our existence.  That we find freedom, aliveness, and power not from what contains, locates, or protects us but from what dissolves, reveals, and expands us.  (xix-xx)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Love With No Expectations

True love begins

The other day I was asked "How did you and Rob make it work?"  I asked my mother the same thing about her marriage, "How did you make it work?"  I thought I knew the answer and what we both discussed, me and my mother, confirmed what I thought.

No expectations.

Oh, except that the relationship will end.  Expect and end.  Either one or both of you end the relationship or, even where there is a lifelong commitment, one of you dies.  All relationships end.  Always.  Inevitably.  And with that expectation in place, the rest is a piece of cake.  I mean, what's the worst that can happen between then and now?  

If you're lucky, there are flowers and chocolates in between.  If you're very lucky neither of you ends up with a debilitating condition that results in one of you wiping the ass of the other and wiping vomit from chins and hair.  And if you're luckier than most, you'll die together, in some freak accident, without pain and suffering.  

But let's face it, most of us are lucky to just fall in love and the worst that can happen?  Well, you already know it's going to end, no matter how perfect it is today, so maybe the key is simply to be here in this moment, not making plans for next month or next year or a lifetime.  

See?   Love.  Piece of cake.  

Image from

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Anything Above 5mph is a Challenge

We long ago recognized that windy and snowy and sleety and haily (?) days all aggravated my vertigo. We also knew wind would affect how I feel, sometimes even more so than the above but, typically, most of the aforementioned weather conditions come with wind so it was hard to say where my line of demarcation is. Now we know. Anything above 5mph is going to make me feel dizzier than others.

The following gives you an idea of how I will be feeling for the rest of the week.  First cross of the days where there is any rain (1, 4, 5, 8) and then any day the wind is higher than 5mph (1-3, 5, 8, 9).  Right now it looks like I'll be "okay" on the 6th and 7th.  However, if I have to deal with more than a few days of bad weather, it takes me at least one day to recover from it which means . . . I might feel as good as it gets on the 7th.

Of course, weather being what it is, we can't really count on much of this being true except:  over 5mph and anything slightly inclement will mean I am feeling miserable.

And yes, for those who do not have vertigo or who are living with vertigo, "suffer from" vertigo, experience vertigo, and wondering if it is normal to feel worse when the weather is less than lovely, the answer is yes.

Let me reiterate:
Is it normal for someone with vertigo to feel worse when the weather is bad?
Yes, from my experience and from what I've heard from others, it is quite normal.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Progress Thus Far

The progress on the list, thus far, seems more like regress than anything else.  Instead of reducing the number of things, they have increased and my email inbox, which was down to 416 is back up to 438.

I know there's a reason for this and a "good" one.  Family friends are experiencing some pain.  My mother and her friend have known one another for nearly 50+ years and my friend and I have known one another since my birth and her sister and I for over 40 years.  So this if family friends with a solid and resounding emphasis on the family.  I can't tell if how I feel is due to not sleeping well, the weather, or simply the deep sadness that surrounds us all right now.

I only know that I am reminded how important it is for people to be present even when words cannot possibly make a difference.

Reiki Links for January

Qualities of Reiki - Elaine Grundy: looking for Urban Enlightenment

"Due to the recent recession and job loss, a lot of people are feeling the effects of stress. Those suffering from anxiety or related complaints such as insomnia, migraines, constipation or back pain, could benefit from reiki. Patients dealing with more severe conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, can also benefit, Warriner says."

"As for the issues of pain, the Crouses said the use of Reiki helped. Reiki is an alternative medicine technique that transfers healing energy through the laying of hands. Crouse is a Reiki master. It’s what Crouse said helped him know his wife was going into labour before she did."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly To Do List

This is where I left things off on my January To-Do List:

Call Kristen
Call Rebecca

Send urgent email re. conference reschedule
Conference call (rescheduled) Thursday (20th) (re-reschedule this as well)
Update blog 2x
Update wellbeing blog 2x
Take Rob to hospital (unnecessary *whew*)
Get email inbox under 200 unread (currently 429)
Write Patrick (re 2010)
Write Mary Emily (re gift)
Write Larry & Momma (re book)
Write Evi (re package)
Write Patrice (re newsletter)
Write Greg (re holidays)
Create mid-month note
Conference call Wednesday (19th)(reschedule this call)
Conference call Thursday
Put away holiday decorations (started but not yet finished)
Update well-being blog (2x)
Update journal (2x)
Begin newsletter
Laundry (of course, this is never ending but for one brief shining moment, there was no dirty clothing in the hamper)
Scrub kitchen floor
Organize shelves in guest room
Organize shelves in great room
Read Death's Door (page 204)
Reschedule today's conference call for next week

I am understandably unhappy about completing so little and yet I know, in context, there are reasons why.  Rob's going to the hospital, his being sick a few days before and recuperating for several days afterwards, added up to over a week's worth of lost time and productivity.  Also, the stress of it all was bound to cause me to need a mental slow down manifesting in my losing my priorities.

Time to pull it together, however.

Here is the revised list and, for now, I'll try to post a new list weekly.  It may be something that I decide to maintain longer than a few weeks or I may drop it altogether after only a few weeks.  So here is the current list of things to do.  This is the list you will see to your left (until I change the template, I guess) and which I will update as I go along.  Hopefully you'll see progress and plenty of strikeouts.

Work Related
Call Rebecca
Sign up for online course and begin working at it
Organize desk and desktop
Organize file
Sort through basekt

Conference Related
Conference call 3 February @8
Reschedule workshop committee conference call
Reschedule ejournal committee conference call
Read grant writing book
Complete newsletter template
Create preview newsletter and send to John and Angela

Get email inbox under 200 unread (currently 418)
Write Patrick (re 2010)
Write Mary Emily (re gift)
Write Larry & Momma (re book)
Write Evi (re package)
Write Saila
Write Greg (re holidays)

Organize shelves in guest room
Organize shelves in great room
Holiday decorations in attic
Scrub kitchen floor

Reiki meditation 5x per week
Strength training 3x per week
Update well-being blog (2x)
Update journal (2x)
Read Death's Door

Megan Cutter in town 6 February
Plan V-Day playdate with Bibi
Call Love

Anne of Avonlea
Death’s Door
The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need
Anne of the Island
Gone With the Wind
A Voice of Her Own
Breaking Silence
Last Days of Babylon

EDIT  Almost immediately I thought of something I needed to add to the list so, for future reference, anything I add to the list after posting this "official list" will be preceded by an asterisk (*).