Gratitude Sunday: This Very Now

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “Meanwhile time flies; it flies never to be regained.” Virgil

Sunday Haiku
Clouds obscure morning
sun, afternoon clears, lighting
bright robust roses.

Sunday Musings
Time is an odd thing. You can’t hold onto it. It passes whether you want it to or not, moment into moment, day into night into day. When you are in the present moment time can feel like forever, or it can feel like it’s gone in the blink of an eye. We spend time together or alone. We save time by bundling errands, or we fool ourselves with clock games twice a year as if we can withdraw it from a bank to use another time.

We remember times past and we imagine times in the future. As we age time becomes strangely fluid, as if the years coexist side by side, and when we put our minds to it we ask each other, “Was that ’76 or ’77 when we did that?” and we have to remember other events that took place near the event we are focusing on to remember what time it all took place.

Often as not, we apply judgments to those past events when, of course, in reality there are no re-dos. And we apply this curious language to past events that have no possibility of being changed now. We should have done this instead of what we did. We could have done that but we didn’t. What would have happened if we had done it another way?

It’s a long process but I am trying to re-train my brain in how I think about things. I am a fabulous over-thinker, the best over-thinker, I can over-think anybody. There are times I want to shut off the brain and not think, especially to stop over-thinking. Over-thinking usually applies to re-living past events and trying to improve the story. I want to stop that, to remember the story is the story, the memory is the memory. The story can be embellished or changed but that’s not what happened.

Here’s the thing. That story is in the past. Can’t be changed. Sometimes the story just needs to be complete. As is. Done. Over. Finito. The End.

Shouldas, and wouldas, and couldas are all fantasies. They don’t change the story.

Whether that story was good or bad, whether we made the right or wrong choice, whatever the consequences which may very well have been beyond our control, the story took place in its own time and space. We may have learned something from the story. Or not. We may be able to apply what we learned to a future event. Or not.

I recently got to spend time with a friend from my childhood, and another day with my sister. I say I “got to” because I do so little, constrained by tightly budgeted finances. These were carefully planned for events. I’ve learned from past events to manage my travel anxiety I make a list of what I need to take for personal comforts, pack the list with check offs, take the list with me, and then check the list again when returning. Sometimes I am able to pack the list in my head if it’s only a day trip. Other times it’s pen to paper, and the paper then tucked into my wallet or a pocket.

Then I have to stop thinking about the upcoming event or the thinking turns to dread. I play through all the what-if scenarios. I’ve learned what-if scenarios are fine if you are visualizing for success in some situation like a job interview or a court appearance, but what-if-ing for jury service or a fun event is a waste of time. The event will fall out as it does when it is happening. No manner of what-if-ing will provide any control over the situation as it is happening. I’m teaching myself to shut off the what-ifs that weigh so much before the fact, focus on the moment of the day, and then when the event begins be willing to go with the flow even when/if it’s a bit uncomfortable. In both cases, the events with my friend and my sister were lovely, time well and gratefully spent.

What-if-ing is as counter-productive as woulda, shoulda, couldas. Remembering both are mind tricks helps. Remembering the past can’t be changed helps. Remembering the future can be fluid, unpredictable, or beyond our control helps. Sometimes what happens to us comes out of the blue and blindsides us.

The key is to remain in the moment. Be in this very now. This one right here, where you can hear your eyelids blinking. Feel your fingers hitting the keyboard. Breathe the fresh air through the open door, your lungs inflating, deflating, the sound of your breathing annoying to your ears. Feel the effort of swallowing, and consciously stop grinding your teeth. Stretch your shoulders back, arms wide open when your shoulder and neck cramps from leaning over a lukewarm keyboard. Note the movement of thoughts as they progress like bubbles from the back of the brain to the front where the synapses send nerve signals down your fingers to convert them into words on a screen.

This is all harder when you feel every tiny bit of it and harder still when the feelings dissociate between mind and body. The thoughts jump and jolt before they compile and comply into some sort of order. The fingers dysgraphically translate the thoughts through keyboard to screen, occasionally as far as paper. The obsequious coherence of words somehow prevail upon the page, a creative miracle of brain and muscle cells.

Hard does not mean not doable. Hard means it’s hard. It takes work or practice or repetition. So, it’s hard, so what? Take time and do it, learn it, plan it, experience it, repeat it. Hard takes time and the only real time we have is the gift we know as now, the present.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Pink rose with critter visitor. Enchanting soft sagey green and brown bark top of the poppy seed pod. Muted greens, burgundies, and blues in this perennial bed, like a river of plants. Vivid orange and red day lilies. The soft fuzzy beige of this little weed. Happy yellow nasturtiums.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} A Serious Man (2009, rated R), a dark comedy by the award winning Coen brothers. One of those movies where I’m not sure I got the point other than the weird humor. * Aquaman (2018, rated PG – 13) with Jason Momoa in the title role. Fun, over the top DC Comics presentation, with lots of flash, flare, and color. I’d love to know the science of how they can breath both water and air (yes, I know it’s a movie), but this is as much science fiction as it is fantasy. Even if the science is wrong, or we eventually learn a way to make this happen, the imaginative conjecture is fun to contemplate. Plus if Atlantean technology is so advanced why do they still destroy with explosives and blowing things up? The answer is for cinematic effect, but I could imagine sonar dispersals and disintegrations, or given enough time I might imagine other ways to destroy without explosives, like trained sea life with brain implantations programmed for destruction or forced volcanic eruptions. Give me more time; I’ll come up with more.

Currently ReadingI Know Who You Are (2019, fiction) by Alice Feeney (British author), a murder mystery with an unreliable narrator, and an interesting twist of the clues in the end. * Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (2017, African-American feminism) by Brittney Cooper (American author, associate professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University). I’m a woman of generational poverty who has experienced limited mobility, both social and financial, whose access to learning is through reading and vicariously experiencing the lives and worlds of others through their memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, and other stories. It’s a constricted experience, controlled by the environment of words rather than lived experience, but it is what it is. Ms Cooper is sharing the intimate journey of her path in this world, of a world where white and black are not likely to become gray. Her world and view has been different than mine, delightfully unique, and I am admiring her eloquent skill in sharing her words and her world.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Getting a small patch of weeding done.
  • Spending a day with my sister doing our annual Quilt Barn Tour in honor of our master quilter mom’s passing.
  • A couple of pictures sister found of times past, one of the hubster and I when we were still young together more than 40 years ago.
  • Air just warm enough for open doors. Air sans scented laundry stuff.
  • Being gifted new technology (a used Kindle Fire!) to increase my learning curve and connection to the electronic world.
  • Making progress with my salsa dance. Step by step.
  • My own homemade tzatziki. Much better than the tub I bought at farmers market.
  • Baking soda for getting the smell of cucumber out of the fridge.
  • Learning to let the cucumber set on the counter to drain out instead of in the fridge.
  • Fresh Oregon cherries.
  • Fresh Oregon strawberries.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Education, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Psychology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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