Friday, January 10, 2014

Weekly Quotes 2014 #1

Charmed Thirds

. . . I don't have the vocabulary for speaking the language of senseless loss.  (100)

We define ourselves by the stories we tell others. (164)

We help others only as much as they let us. (224)

It's easier to think you know it all when you don't know anything at all.  (345)

God Revised

To say we are the presence of God in this world is not a metaphor.  WE are the face of God in this world, and God’s voice and hands. . . . God is dependent upon us. The active agency of the divine life emerges through our choices and our actions.  (88)

[M]en general view themselves as a success when they stand at the top of the world, while women generally view themselves as a success when they stand at the center of the world.  One perspective is about distinction; the other is about relation.  (109)

Religious sampling . . . certainly adds a patina of spirituality to life, but the question is to what those various spiritual parts, repurposed from diverse religious traditions, add up.  (115)

The ultimate test of a religious belief is what emerges from the lives of people who believe it.  (118)

The point of religious belief is not simply to affirm that something is true.  It is to make yourself a better person and your world a better place.  (119)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses.  The more you look the more you see.  (171)

The idea that the majority of students attend a university for an education independent of the degree and grades is a little hypocrisy everyone is happier not to expose.  Occasionally some students do arrive for an education but rote and the mechanical nature of the institution soon converts them to a less idealistic attitude.  (174)

Such students . . . would go to his first class, get his first assignment and probably do it out of habit.  He might go to his second and third as well.  But eventually the novelty of the course would wear off and, because his academic life was not his only life, the pressure of other obligations or desires would create circumstances where he just would not be able to get an assignment in.  (174-175)

The whole idea of individual creativity and expression in the classroom was really basically opposed to the whole idea of the University.  (180)

Mental reflection is so much more interesting than TV it’s a shame more people don’t switch over to it.  They probably think what they hear is unimportant but it never is.  (183)

The War of Art

If we think of ourselves as a corporation, it gives us a healthy distance on ourselves.  We’re less subjective.  We don’t take blows as personally.  We’re more cold-blooded; we can price our wares realistically.  Sometimes, as Joe Blow himself, I’m too mild-mannered to go out and sell.  But as Joe Blow, Inc., I can pimp the hell out of myself.  I’m not me anymore.  I’m Me, Inc.  (98)

Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.  (108)

We’re all creative.  We all have the same psyche.  The same everyday miracles are happening in all our heads day by day, minute by minute.  (127)

We know that if we embrace our ideals, we must prove worthy of them.  That scares the hell out of us.  (143)

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention or the part on the part of the actor.  It’s a gift to the world and every being in it.  Don’t cheat us of your contribution.  Give us what you’ve got. (165)

Come August, Come Freedom

Do not mistake politics for principles.  (149)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

From the Physical to the Philosophical--A Weekly Update

Join me on Joy's Book Blog.

Finally, I risked a little exercise. 

Since Holly joined our home, things have been disrupted and trying to get her to fall into our routine, such as it is, has been a challenge.  I didn’t dare try to do my morning yoga while I needed to watch her in case she decided to have an accident when she couldn’t get my attention to go outside.  And although we have taken her out for a walk, I wasn’t sure she would be patient with me if I tried to do one of my walking DVDs. 

But yesterday I felt she had been here long enough for me to take a chance.  After all, if Holly is ever going to get used to our daily routine then we have to get back into the habit ourselves.  She was wonderful.  She seemed to follow Snowdoll’s example by lying where she could watch the silly human bouncing around while still staying out of the way.

And I’ve been doing abs in the down time between our first morning walk outside and her getting up for the day.  I’ll risk more in a week, easing us both into the newness of things.  I’m appalled and surprised by how quickly I feel I’ve lost muscle mass and cardio conditioning just because the past few weeks have been chaotic.

I also implemented the dietary changes yesterday.  We had a delayed New Year’s Eve dinner (Rob was working and then we took turns being sick.)  I didn’t see any point in trying to change our menu for the sake of my new nutritional goals.  I can’t say much about my progress where that’s concerned at this point because I obviously haven’t been doing it for very long but I’m patting myself on the back for at least beginning.

The goal for this week is to simply continue doing a walking DVD every day so that Holly gets used to the idea that sometimes I will turn on the television and do strange things in front of it.  Maybe next week I’ll try to use my yoga mat.  Or maybe I’ll just wait another week.  Regardless, things are falling into place.  Maybe it didn’t all magically happen on the first day of the New Year but I did say that part of my focus for this year would be on Acceptance.  Accepting that Holly is not ready for me to block out an hour or more for exercising is part of this because we accepted Holly into our home, into our hearts, and that is all a part of the whole of our lives at this time.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

New Year's Day Do Over

Today is my New Year’s Day Do Over. 

That’s right.  I’m five days into the new year and I have to have a do over.  I blame Holly.  She isn’t sure what she wants to do in the morning. Some days she goes right back to bed after I take her and Snowdoll out for the morning.  Sometimes she will surprise me and go back without disturbing Rob.  Other mornings, she insists on being amused or she will bother Rob because someone is going to play with her, dammit. 

Rob and I talked about it this week and agreed that nobody is going to take Holly until she is fully housebroken and parasite free.  She would also need a family with someone home full-time, at least initially, because of her separation anxiety, which is unlike anything either of us has ever seen before.  So okay, she’s good with children and she plays well with Snowdoll but does that translate to finding her a home easily?  Nope.  It translates into it taking a while before there will be a home that will open its heart to her. 

Who wouldn't fall in love
with this face?  
In the meantime, what would we be doing?  We’d be falling in love.  We already were, after all.  Watching her play with Snowdoll, the way she boops her on the head, is apparently endlessly amusing.  It is isn’t endlessly so, suffice it to say that here we are two weeks later still delighted by it.  Unlike when we introduced Snowdoll into our home, there has been no fighting between the two dogs.  No need to define who is the alpha and only minor moments of jealousy. 

My favorite moment from this week was when Rob and I were standing in the kitchen, hugging one another (yes, we still do things like this over thirteen years later), and Holly walked in, saw us, and did a double take, then stood there staring, trying to understand what it was, exactly, the two of us were doing.  She was completely befuddled. 

But I digress. 

Snowdoll, in the meantime,
is taking it all in stride.
Holly hasn’t quite fallen into the flow of our life and Rob and I haven’t been able to exercise or do anything much besides some housework as we have to keep a close eye on everything she does.  And even when we do that’s no guarantee she’ll not get into mischief.  Case in point—our Christmas tree is already down.  Why?  Well, I can only assume that this one ornament was taunting her.  She saw it and pounced.  We were able to keep the tree from toppling and we said “no” but I think the ornament’s taunting was somehow louder than our collective voice because she pounced again and down came the tree.  Worse than that, she broke it.  She broke the tree.  And even that did not earn her a time out or a harsh reprimand.  She was pretty surprised by the outcome.  I don’t think her pouncing on something had ever resulted in quite so dramatic a situation, and she stepped back to observe what might happen next. 

Holly requires a lot of patience and I really do hope she starts settling down into our routine this week because I’d like to get some more things done than I did last week.  Like what?  Well, I have a book review to write.   And I want to organize my office.  I have thank you notes to write and a planner to put into place.  So many different little things to do that are more easily done when I don’t have to hover over every move she makes to make sure she doesn’t make a wrong move (or bowel movement, as the case may be) in the house.

Today she’s been here fourteen days and I can’t imagine how we ever thought we’d merely foster her for a while.