Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Dog's Life

I've been pet sitting for a couple that's on vacation this past week. I have a lot of fun with their two tiny dogs, who are full of energy and personality (contrary to the pic above - my camera is not fast enough to catch them in action). They make me laugh hysterically every night when we play (I mean seriously, could that tail GO any faster?), then they curl up on the couch and melt my heart with their snuggling. I'm grateful for this quality time with my canine friends because it reminds me that life is more than what bills I owe or how much work I have left to do.

The tail waggers are all about the treats and the petting and the constant anticipation that anything I might be fiddling with up on that counter MUST be something for them to eat. I mean what else is a human's purpose in life if not to feed them? They're positive today is the day they're getting that plate. "What? You're taking that to the CAT? For real? DOG has three letters too - maybe you misread the package! Look again - no wait, ok, I'll follow you. Put the plate down tho. Like now. Ok, let me try to jump up and eat it while it's still in your hand. Is this a game? I'm right here! Why are you still walking? Just put the plate down. No, right here - I'm right here! Oh man... that cat gets all the good stuff." ::scratching and whining at the door ensues::

Dogs are just so present all the time. Now is the only moment on their clock. When you walk out of their sight - even if you're just taking out the trash - they think you've left forever. They cry and pout, then give you the most joyous greeting when you return: "Oh thank God you're back! We thought you were a goner. That door is surely a black hole, or worse - the vet! Did you escape the vet? We're SO happy to see you we will cover you in dog kisses anywhere that skin in showing! And thank you for forgetting NOT to wear flip flops again because we're SURE your toes need our spit between them." Where else can you get unconditional love like that?

I don't have TV because I rarely watched it back in NJ, so I figured why bother even hooking it up here. I haven't missed it, but while I'm with the dogs, it's nice to zone out and flip through channels. Besides, it's impossible to read a book with them on the couch because they are aware of the handicap it creates, and the ratio of two tongues against one hand. The daschund has incredibly good aim and likes french kisses. BLECH.

Tonight I landed on an old black and white movie starring Katherine Hepburn: Little Women. I remember reading the book by Louisa May Alcott when I was young. You could never get my nose OUT of a book back then. I don't remember reading too many of the "classics," but this was one of them. I even collected the Madame Alexander dolls of the characters (the only dolls I could ever tolerate) - in fact, I still have them in a box in the garage. I was amazed that as the story line played out on the screen, I could clearly remember the sets and characters my imagination created back then. How cool is the brain to retain all that for so long? Ok, not THAT long (Jimmy!).

The movie also made me think about that fairy tale I'm trying to manifest. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but whether it was Hollywood or the era itself, it seems to me that men were more gentlemanly back then. That's what I'm looking for. Chivalrous, respectful, and somewhat innocent in their romantic pursuits (or at least they were able to keep things in check during an entire courtship) and they were good sports if they were refused. Ladies were graceful and elegant, with good manners, good posture (of course, who DOESN'T have good posture in a corset?!), and proper speech. Even though the acting was comically bad, the blocking made you wonder if this was the director's first time out, and there were no special effects, there is a certain charm to those old movies that I think more people desire in their daily lives than will admit. Maybe they don't realize that civility is the ingredient that's missing.

What kind of jaded society have we become that we are too lazy to enunciate, too impatient to walk slowly into a new relationship, and too presumptuous to properly introduce one another and take the time to learn who we are? I contend that these are simply bad habits we've fallen into, and we are lazy as well so we don't change them. Most people know how they should act, they just don't bother.

I know not ALL people are like that, but generally in Generations X and Y the tendency towards these traits, along with a sense of community, is deteriorating. I feel like some old biddie when I worry what the following generations will be like, and how this effects our happiness as a Whole. Just lock me up in a retirement home now. Perhaps we can't live in an ideal world because everyone's idea of perfect is different (or maybe we DO live in an ideal world since the Universe works without fault), but I still feel there are some things that everyone would agree could improve.

After I came home I sat on the balcony in the papasan chair awhile, conversing with the moon. It's beautiful and full tonight, glowing so bright it cleared the sky of stars except for the outer reaches of the horizon. In my head I listed out all the good things in my life, and imagined dancing with the man of my dreams. Silly? Maybe. It's true though. He would have the grace of Fred Astaire, the charm of Charlie Chaplin, a dash of the rogue Humphrey Bogart's characters embodied, and the humor of Dane Cook because c'mon - I don't live in that era afterall!

I'm too tired now to really know where I'm going with this so I guess I'll end it here. The things I told the moon I am thankful for were:

  • The balls to move to San Diego
  • New friends
  • Always having enough
  • The ocean only 15 miles away
  • New beginnings

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Quirk of the Network

This morning I woke up about 10am. I lay there thinking for awhile – or rather, trying not to think and not succeeding - then I woke up again at 11:30. Then “I” had a two-hour board meeting with Ego since meditating was putting me to sleep. Is being entertained by your own thoughts for literally hours at a time normal?

Ego aired all its grievances, protests, arguments, and drama in the matter of Me vs. The Recent Past, and “I” listened intently, but the only response “I” could come up with to each diatribe was a big fat “WHATEVER.” When Ego finally ran out of things to bitch about, “I” asked, “Are we done now?” And I think we are.

Perspective is so valuable but easily lost in the pockets of our brain. Sometimes I wonder if Ego even steals it and hides it on purpose.

After that I picked up the Tolle book (New Earth) that I still haven’t finished (it’s taking me months to read because I keep reading other things in between) and damn if the next three chapters weren’t all about exactly what I just did. Well it’s always nice to have validation.

As Jason suggested to the audience last night, we spend too much time in our minds. I know it's true, I even knew it the past few days, but sometimes it's hard to step outside your own drama. Like looking for the doorknob in the dark. I will stop worrying about being cool and just go have fun.

So, um… moving on…

The Beginner's Mind

Last night I went to the runes to try to make some sense of where I'm at. I pulled Inguz, which is actually one of my favorites not only because of the description but also because it looks cool. The book says this about it:

This Rune is akin to the moon, the intuitive part of our nature, with its urge toward harmonizing and adjusting in the sphere of personal relationships. Inguz embodies the need to share, the yearning to be desired, a search after similarities.

The completion of beginnings is what Inguz requires. It may mark a time of joyous deliverance, of new life, a new path. A Rune of great power, drawing it means that you now have the strength to achieve completion, resolution, from which comes a new beginning. Above all, completion is crucial here. It may be timely that you complete some project now; if so, make that your first priority. Perhaps a difficult state of mind can be resolved, clarified, turned around. The appearance of this Rune indicates that you must fertilize the ground for your own deliverance.

Inguz signals your emergence from a closed, chrysalis state. All things change and we cannot live permanently amid obstructions. As you resolve and clear away the old, you will experience a release from tension and uncertainty.

You may be required to free yourself from a rut, habit, or relationship; from some deep cultural pattern, some activity that was quite proper to the self you are leaving behind. The period at or just before birth is often a dangerous one. Movement involves danger, yet movement that is timely leads out of danger. Now it is time to enter the delivery room.

Another of the Cycle Runes, Inguz counsels preparation. Being centered and grounded, freeing yourself from all unwanted influences, and seeing the humor, you are indeed prepared to open yourself to the Will of Heaven, and can await your deliverance with calm certainty.

As always, the runes are spot on. How do they do that? Freaky shit. (That song by Pilot is running through my head... Oh oh oh it's magic... you know... never believe it's not so...)

I saw Jason Mraz play at Morongo Casino in Cabazon tonight. He always puts on an entertaining gig, but I got the idea this may have been a "practice" show for his upcoming weeks in Europe. He's recently been on vacation for three weeks, so I wouldn't be surprised if they needed something small to get back in the groove (small in his case = about 2000 people!). I'll never get tired of hearing the man sing, but I had a hard time staying present tonight. I dunno if it was because my seat was farther back than normal, or maybe I was just spoiled since I got to see him last weekend in the more intimate setting of Mueller College when his friend Bushwalla played with Dawn Mitschele.

They did have a couple surprises: they reworked Clockwatching from the Mr. A-Z CD (very interesting with a reggae beat), and he had the gospel group, Voices of Prayz, with him. Not sure if they'll be on the whole tour, but it was great hearing Live High with the proper choir behind it. I wasn't crazy about the other Jesus-y gospel tune they covered, but then I've never been a big fan of anything related to church. He covered the Steely Dan song Peg in the encore, which was way cool. I'd seen a YouTube version of it from another show, but hearing it live was much better. He still has the Grooveline Horns with him too. Those guys are so awesome - they add a new dimension to the show. In the dictionary next to "groovy" you'll find their picture. I dunno how they manage to fit so many people on stage, but it looks fantastic and I even heard people behind me as I was walking out saying, "That was worth every fucking penny!" That totally made me smile.

Between the show tonight and reading the description for Inguz, it made me think about Jason's tattoo that says "beginner." Shortly after getting the tat, he posted a pic of it on his blog and explained his thoughts about the zen saying The beginner's mind is a beautiful place to come from. That phrase has stuck with me, especially since moving to San Diego and having to find everything for the first time in a new city. I got curious about when his first post on blogspot was because I know it's been a long time. A quick search revealed it was almost a year ago today (9/11 actually) that he moved his blog to these waters. And oddly, his first post was the very one I was thinking about. I hadn't remembered that. :)

So a beginner I am as well - pure potential - and I will keep in mind that it's a beautiful place to come from, even if it's feeling kinda crappy right now.

...just when the caterpillar thought life was over, it turned into a Butterfly.

From my backyard