Keep it simple, silly

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The pedestal on Rumor Mill Rd

There is a run-down old mill on this road, sinking slowly into the stream that trickles by it, lapping its doors at floodtime. The mill has two guardians: two brothers who share the same name as the mill. Every day they walk up and down the road, passing by it regularly. Some people around here think they’re a little crazy, but there’s nothing like a stroll to while away a day. They are my teachers.

My teachers come in as many forms as I witness crossing my path. Every one of them teaches me something of the spectrum of sanity. I have one dear friend, for example, who put me on a pedestal when I first entered E’s life, calling me a hero in admiring tones. Unfortunately, the ground here is wet and soft, so pedestals don’t tend to stay upright for long. When I first met this friend of mine, she left the door open to topple this pedestal, and I have been so kind as to give her the tools to do it.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the push. A pedestal is an uncomfortable place to sit, and the perspective is hardly flattering either, what with her looking up my nostrils and all.

Now we’re back on the same level, which you might imagine would be ideal. And in many ways it is. The only thing though, is that when someone puts another on a pedestal, it is usually because they think they need somebody to look up to, and this is a fairly solid indication that they don’t think too much of themselves. So now here I find myself eye-to-eye with someone experiencing a good deal of self-contempt. Instead of nasal hairs, now she sees herself, and that’s pretty tough on the poor girl.

This is where the rumours start. If I feel bad about myself, I could easily succumb to the insane logic that making someone else look worse will make me look good. The problem with this thinking, of course, is that I would only be attacking myself: it’s me I’m seeing in you, so by attempting to make you look bad, I’m actually making me look bad. If this doesn’t make sense, consider that everything is wave motion and a wave is the representation of a circle: it’s all circular. Another word for this is ‘karma’, but that term has earned itself so many misconceptions these days that it’s probably best not to use it in this context. Let’s just stick with ‘circular.’

So yes, my dear friend, in doing her best, has started a chain of rumours that has no option but to turn around and bite her on the butt. I would so love to share this with her, to give her the opportunity to stop the cycle before it gets out of hand, and it is clear that is not my place right now.

And none of this matters. What matters to me is that there is someone in my life who has enough concern to remind me in every way she can where my work still lies. What matters to me is that I know I have someone to count on.

This is my thank you note to you, sweet friend. Thank you for sharing. After all, to give is to have, and you have given me plenty. Just think, all of it is yours!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007



Holy - Of God, therefore invulnerable.

Wholly - Proportion of anything that is 'of God'.

Holey - Method of obtaining emptiness; vulnerability. Means of seeing holiness.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Is this a tag? Heidi has asked me to share with her a list entitled ‘And most of all, today I love...’ Here it is.

The sun glaring through the window into my eyes, reflecting my face on the monitor.

The ice on the trees.

The broken tree limbs on the ground.


The way things all come together.


The warmth on my face and the chill on my back.

The hum of the computer.


No power at home until maybe tomorrow.

Watching the fire.

Not watching the TV.

All the things I don’t need. And that would be everything.


And I can see how I could be expected to say E and L and Y and my family and theirs, and it all seems so redundant.

PS: One more: writing this.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Ice pics

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Celebration time

I was asked to write about how I celebrate life. This is what came:

I am looking out a window at the ice sticking to the needles of a pine tree. Frosting. Beyond the tree, mist settles over the barn and through the forest behind it. I have been hearing people talking of this and calling it ‘bad weather’. And here I sit wondering what good weather could be.

I come from a town that is hot and sunny at the moment. Somebody asked me today which weather I preferred: that of my oasis home then or this mountain home now. I don’t know, to me they’re both the same.

Recently I’ve taken to ‘forgetting’ my coat and walking around with my arms extended so my hands catch the full sensation of the cold. It’s such an amazing experience feeling them stiffen like food in a freezer. While the extremities numb, the joints send weather alerts to my brain.

A month ago I was in Florida hearing people complain about the heat. I love that people move to Florida to escape the cold and then turn up their air-conditioners so they don’t experience the heat. I love the heat, the way it pushes in at me from every direction like the garbage compacter in Star Wars, slowing my stride and giving my body permission to sweat.

I find life to be so much easier to enjoy when I love whatever it throws at me. At times like this, I don’t celebrate life, it celebrates me. It courses through me, a stream through an empty net, and I wait to catch what it offers up.

The more I live choicelessly, the more I have to celebrate. Every moment becomes its own experience as life directs me in its ingenious production. I once thought I was the director, but life proved far more qualified.

So I celebrate life by letting it be. I celebrate life by getting out of its way: I no longer stand before the tsunami with my arms waving like a manic traffic cop, now I turn around and surf the wave or drown in its abundance.

It’s such a beautiful way to die.

Monday, February 05, 2007

School's in!

Three of my four brothers, from left to right: M,D & N, on their first day at their new school. Good looks must run in the family!

Friday, February 02, 2007

What's in a name?

I was once given an exercise to name everything I saw without judging it. Just the name. For instance, I would not call that a beautiful tree or this a smelly sock. Just ‘tree’, ‘sock’, etc. After spending some time doing this, I found that it was often difficult to name what I saw: is that a chain link fence? wire? or am I looking at the gaps between the wire? At this point I found it easier just to call everything I saw, ‘God’.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not religious. I don’t go to church, I’ve never read the Bible, and I probably believe less now than I did when that word carried a big charge for me. God to me meant religion, and religion meant the opiate of the masses; it meant war and politics; it meant believing in the improbable, blind faith. Now God to me simply means everything. You, me, this, that: all of it. There is no my God and your God because my God includes your God, whatever that may be. And if you don’t have a God, it includes that too. There is no right or wrong with this God, no good or bad, no judgement. There is only this. And this, and this, and this.

I’ve been doing this exercise again recently, and I am finding the same peace in it as I found then. I am seeing through it that there is no real distinction between things: this hand, this pen, that sky and that barn are all essentially the same thing. It is only my perception that would tell me different. And I refuse to be a hostage to my perception, for I am determined to see.