Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Google+ Followers

Friday, February 28, 2014

Seeing

Almost nothing need be said when you have eyes.
~ Tarjei Vesaas
- - - - -
I took this photo in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  It is visibly beautiful and it is serene and calm and quiet and wonderful.  I think this is a decent photo, but it does not do justice to actually seeing and being there.
 
I think that is true more often than not.  While I love photography, I know that it is a representation of a thing seen or something experienced or a person.  It is not the sum total of the place or the moment or the individual.
 
I do think that photos can be more powerful than words sometimes.  Maybe even often.
 
A couple of examples...  I was going through my notes for possible blogs and I came across this, "Saw a crow chase a squirrel."  "Saw a biker crash into a guy eating ice cream."  In this case, the words do not do justice to the events as they happened.  A picture would be better.  But maybe I didn't use enough words.  If I could use 1,001 words, I could always come up with something worth more than a picture.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Road

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.
~ Joseph Joubert
- - - - -
I love country roads.  I like to see what you see when you are on them.  The animals.  The plants in the ditches.  The crops in the fields.  The sky looks bigger to me on thesekinds of roads.  Even when man intrudes (as he did in making the road and planting the poles for the power lines or the road signs), it still seems vacant and uninhabited.  Maybe even uninhibited.  Some days.
And I think about walking these roads.  Feeling the gravel under my feet and hearing the sounds around me.  Feeling the air and the sun and wind.  Being in that place.  Fully in that moment.
And then I slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a skunk family crossing the road and - wow - am I glad I'm not walking.  And then I drive away.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gate

There's always the hyena of morality at the garden gate,
and the real wolf at the end of the street.
~ David Herbert
- - - - -

You know, a hyena is bad enough, but a hyena of morality.  Sheesh. Hyenas are born with their eyes open (literally) so they're watching us from the beginning, I guess.  And why is there a hyena at a garden gate?  They're carnivores.

A few months ago I was at my parents' house and Kirk was there.  Mom or Dad made some comment about digging up something in the garden.  Kirk freaked.  He said he was leaving and he couldn't participate in the conversation.  He even said, "Seriously!  I can't be here right now!" so I knew he was serious.  Because he said, "Seriously!" and he said it in a most serious sort of way.

Does that make Kirk the hyena at the garden gate?  If he had left, would he be the wolf down the road?  I don't know.  If he was, I hope the road wasn't "Wall Street" because then he'd be the Wolf of Wall Street and I hated that movie.

Anyway, somehow the subject got changed.  I don't know what is buried in my parents' backyard.  And I'm fine with that. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Loyalty

We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea,
and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.
~ G. K. Chesterton
- - - - -
Loyalty can come from a place of love and caring and concern for the shared experience or common good.  One is loyal be s/he is invested and wants the best for a person or a group.  The other is just as if not more important than the individual.  This type of loyalty focuses on the happiness of others which returns happiness to the self.  Loyalty based on love. 

Loyalty can also come from duty or obligation which may or may not have to do with love.  Loyalty comes from the French word for legal.  This type of loyalty is about expectation and obligation - even if it is self-imposed.  It may or may not have anything to do with love or caring.  It could, I suppose, have to do with caring about one's own reputation or the opinions of others, but I'm not sure I'd call that love.  I'm not saying it is bad or good.  Just another way of looking at the word.

And maybe loyalty based on obligation can become an act of love.  And maybe loyalty based on love can become more obligatory than caring.  There are lots of ways of looking at it.  Customer loyalty is not the same as the loyalty of one's pet. 

Loyalty can also come from a birthright and inherited title.  No.  Wait.  That's royalty.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Knowledge

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did.  I said I didn't know.
~ Mark Twain
- - - - -
 
I agree that knowledge is power.  We all know some things.  Some of us know a lot about a little, some of us know a little about a lot.  Some of us know things that no one woould suspect we know.  Some people know more than they share, others know less than you'd expect.
 
My point is, everyone carries some knowledge.  Some memories.  And we need to respect that.  There is a lot we can learn from the knowledge of others - if we are open to it.  If we listen without thinking about what we will say next.  If we focus on the other person instead of on ourselves.
 
If I use myself as an example, I don't pretend to know everything.  I just - no, wait.  I do.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

TV

So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
go throw your TV set away.
And in its place you can install,
a lovely bookcase on the wall.
~ Roald Dahl
- - - - -

It's nice to have someone to say good night to.  I think that is what we learned from the Waltons.  Well, those of us who watched the Waltons.  Well, those of YOU who watched the Waltons.  I don't think I ever saw a whole episode.

But my point is - remember how they used to say goodnight to one another?  I think that's nice and good and supportive and loving.

I think they could have been a tad more creative.  Or maybe if the people saying goodnight had been cast differently…

"Good night Elizabeth Montgomery."
"Good Night Mama Cass Elliott"
"Good Night Daddy Longlegs."
"Good night Elton Johnboy."
"Good night David Ben-Gurion."
"Good night Jim Bob Marley."

That is a show I would watch.  Well, at least an episode or two.

(pause)

We both know that I wouldn't watch that show.

Now "The Matthew Brady Bunch" I WOULD watch.  Because I like photography.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Trails

As time passes, we all get better at blazing a trail through the thicket of advice.
~ Margot Bennett
- - - - -

Which is more important to you - the trail ahead or the path behind?  When you answer that question, you might learn a lot about yourself.  You might learn if you value history or potential more.  If you learn from the past or dream about the future.  Whether what you can never experience again is more scary or what you don't know lies ahead is more scary. Basically, do you like aheads more or behinds more?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Falling

Life is not orderly.  No matter how we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, drop a jar of applesauce.
~ Natalie Goldberg
- - - - -
I don't know if I believe in falling in love.  Water falls.  Toddlers fall down.  Leaves fall.  Snow falls.  Actually all of these things are because of gravity.  Gravity is an indisputable truth, right?  It just is.  We can't control it - not really.  We can defy it, but it exists and eventually it will come back into play even if we hop or jump on a trampoline or ride on a rollercoaster.  Gravity is not a choice.

Love, on the other hand, is it an invisible force?  Something that just is whether we understand it or not?  Do we make it happen or does it happen to us?  The American Heritage Dictionary defines gravity as: "The natural force of attraction exerted by a celestial body, such as Earth, upon objects at or near its surface, tending to draw them toward the center of the body."

Edit this slightly and you get: The natural force of attraction exerted by a body upon another body near it, tending to draw the second body toward the first body.

I don't know that you fall into love.  I'm not convinced that love and gravity are all that similar.  I do think that gravity and lust are a lot alike.  Maybe you fall into lust. 

I'm pretty sure you work into love.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

100%

Words, like nature, half reveal and half conceal the soul within.
~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson
- - - - -
 
I do not agree with people who say you should give 100% to everything you do.  You can't.  Or you can then only do one thing.  I guess maybe that works for some people.  Tennis pros.  Show dog trainers.  Competitive weight lifters.  Teachers.
 
And maybe it's okay to give 100% in any given moment.  Maybe that is what people mean when they say that.  Give 100% when you're playing tennis.  Give 100% when you're showing that cocker spaniel.  Give 100% on the deadlift.  Give 100% in the classroom.
 
But you have to have some % left for the rest of your life.  No.  I am not the boss of you.  You need to do what works for you.  I need some % left for the rest of my life.  I give my best when I am teaching.  I give my best when I am creating.  I give my best in the relationships closest to me.  Is it 100%?  I don't think so.
 
And don't even get me started on giving 110%.  I am no math savant, but I know that isn't possible. 
 
I actually think that relationships are best when they are balanced with other things.  Just like work.  Or hobbies.  But I guess we learn that from trial and error.
 
We make meaning from the experiences we have.  Those are the only experiences that hold meaning for us, I would think.
 
A while ago Leslie was talking with David about someone - I honestly don't remember whom.  Anyway, they were talking about relationships or dating or something.  And they were talking about one individual and his or her take on relationships.
 
Leslie asked, "How many long-term relationships has [whoever it was - like I said, I forget] been in?"
 
David's response:  "I think half of one."
 
Brilliant.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Following

Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face or what's behind it?
~ Pablo Picasso
- - - - -

My friend Suzy wrote something the other day about how there are a lot of assholes in the world.  Some days A LOT, some days just some.  (I'm paraphrasing.  That's not how she said it).

She's right.  There are a lot of assholes in the world doing a lot of rotten things.  I don't know why they do the wrong things, and I don't know how they find peace in themselves when they do the wrong things.  But they're here and they do and it's the way it is.

Some days I feel - like Suzy - that they are all around me.  Even on good days, though…  on good days when I feel like most people are good and are trying to do the best they know how…  even on those days I feel like there's always at least one asshole following me around.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Shopping

We're rapidly approaching a world composed entirely of jail and shopping.
~ Douglas Coupland
- - - - -

I don't love shopping.  I do love getting great gifts for people, but I'd rather do that online.  First of all, you can find better stuff.  Second of all, you don't have to be "helped" by staff.  Third of all, you don't have to wear socially acceptable attire to do that.

That said, I do like some shops.  I like little stores that have interesting things or interesting people.  I like places with found items or repurposed items.  I like creative stores with creative products and people.

I also like a store that has what I need and I know where to find it so I can get in and out.  Especially if it is a crowded store.  

Know who hates shopping more than I do?  Well, I imagine a lot of people do.  There are a LOT of people on planet earth and I don't pretend at the very top of the "I hate shopping" list.  Or at the very bottom of the "I love shopping" list.  Why do they even have both of those lists?  It's confusing.

Anyway, back to my question…  Know who hates shopping more than I do?  Leslie.  We recently went to Ikea to get some shelves and she had intense gastrointestinal issues.  I don't know why - the people, the place, the consumerism?  I have no ikea why she was so sick.  (see what I did there?)

I have a friend - I think it was Julie - who used to have the same thing happen to her when she went into fabric stores.  And it used to happen to me when I would smell really old books.

So if there was a mass-produced / some-assembly-required furniture, fabric and ancient bookstore, I doubt the three of us would shop there.  I'm not sure who would shop there.  Probably the staff for HGTV shows.  And BookTV.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Presentations

Some people rehearse to a point where they're robotic, and they sound like they have memorized their presentation and didn't take it to the next level. Going from sounding memorized and canned to sounding natural is a lot of work.
~ Nancy Duarte
- - - - -
 
I used to be very afraid of presenting.  It didn't matter if it was a small group or a large group.  I would get incredibly anxious for days ahead of time. 
 
I still get nervous right before I have to present.  I think that nerves are okay, though.  I am not really afraid of presenting, however.  Usually, when I'm asked to talk about something, I am confident that I know at least a little something about the topic. 
 
I like to prepare and to come up with creative ways of sharing information or engaging audiences.  Sometimes my approaches fail pretty miserably.  Most times not, but certainly enough times they do to keep me on my toes and a little on edge.
 
Occasionally, I am asked to do something at the very last minute.  In those cases I don't know a lot about the context or the audience.  Sometimes I might not even know a whole lot about what they want me to discuss.
 
I call those "Guess Lectures."
 
Sometimes those are when I do my best work.  I'm not sure what exactly I mean by that.  You might say, "It means you're incredible, Michelle."  Or you might say, "It means you're awesome, Michelle."  Or you might say, "You're just phenomenal, Michelle."
 
You might not say those things.

But I really wish you would.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Contemplation

Midlife is the time to let go of an over-dominant ego 
and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.
~ C. G. Jung
- - - - -

I think that as we get older we are bound to be more reflective.  We slow down so our thoughts slow down.  We have more to reflect upon.  We have lived some of a life.  We notice nature.  We notice art.  We are more forgiving than we might have been in the past.

Interestingly enough Isis was the patroness of nature and was friend of sinners, artists and the downtrodden.

I wonder why more people don't have a midlife Isis instead of a midlife crisis.

Maybe because they don't want to wear a throne on their heads like she did.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Decisions

Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are better than the orders they've been given.
~ Orson Scott Card
- - - - - -

It amazes me how some people like to make decisions without consulting and collaborating and gathering information.  I'm definitely not just talking about soldiers and military leaders here.  People assume they know best.  Some of us confuse position in the hierarchy with expertise or title with practical knowledge in given situations.  

I remember someone - maybe one of my brothers?  somebody...  anyway - was offered a job managing a movie theatre.  Whoever it was hadn't worked in a movie theatre before.  The person said that s/he would only take the job if s/he could spend time making popcorn and selling tickets and cleaning theaters.  The person said that s/he couldn't effectively manage the team of employees if s/he didn't know what their jobs entailed.

I wish it had been me who had said that.  I wish I was wise enough to have thought of it.

Also, I wish I could have worked in a movie theatre.  I would have liked to run the films.  And boss people around.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sutra

To be whole.  To be complete.  Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.
~ Terry Tempest Williams
- - - - -

I found out the other day that the word "sutra" means "thread."  It is also used to refer to the sermons of the Buddha.  However, it originated from sanskrit meaning "thread."

I like that.  I believe that we are all connected.  What we do has an impact on others and by extension what we do today affects us in the future - in a moment or an hour or a week or someday.  Similarly, what others do affects us.  We can't control what others do, though.  We can only control what we do and, as I said, what we do comes back to affect us. 

I might write a book about how our actions connect us to ourselves - like a thread wrapping back upon us.  I think I will call it The Karma Sutra.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Names

(photo by complete stranger wandering in the woods)

What I want to call you is actually a hell of a lot more unprintable than your name.
~ Cassandra Clare
- - - - -

Leslie and I have some pretty interesting conversations.  Conversations about education, life, the arts, etc.  Of course, sometimes they are deeper than other times.  I think that's okay, though.  I think it's good to have conversations not only about deep and important topics, but about diverse topics - including things that aren't particularly deep or important.  I also like that we converse in lots of different ways - with a variety of tones and creative language and innovative approaches.

Like the other night we had a pretty interesting conversation...

Leslie:  You're a weirdo wolfie.
Me:  You're bad at name-calling.
Leslie:  It's what I used to call Andrea.  It made her cry.  I don't know why it doesn't work on you.
Me:  Because I'm not four?
Leslie:  You act like it.
Me:  Shut up!!

(pause)

It isn't one of the most sophisticated conversations we have ever had.  I'll grant you that.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Helpful

Flowers make people better, happier and more helpful; 
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
~ Luther Burbank
- - - - -

I like it when I can be helpful.  It makes me feel good to make the goings on of others a little easier in the going.  I don't like to be helpful in an intrusive, hands-on, bossy kind of way.  Mainly because I don't think that is particularly helpful.

You know what I like even more than being helpful?  When people help me.  I don't always expect it, but sometimes I hope for help.  Even if I don't ask for it.  Sometimes I ask for it and I get no help whatsoever.  That annoys me.

Like the other night…  I texted Leslie to ask her why I had the song "The Yellow Rose of Texas" in my head.  She wrote back that she didn't know why.  That wasn't helpful and it stayed stuck in my head.

Then the song "All the Way Down" by Etta James came on my iTunes.  That was helpful in getting the other song out of my head.  Do I appreciate Etta James more than Leslie?  No.  I just appreciate Etta James in a different way than I appreciate Leslie.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Patience

Have patience.  All things are difficult before they become easy.
~ Saadi
- - - - -

I love this quote.  It is very true.  I don't always have patience, though.  If I would slow down sometimes the end result would be better than when I rush.  Which is why I try not to leave things until the last minute.  Well, in my work I try not to.  I kind of like not having a plan in my personal life.  It's more spontaneous that way.

But still, it would be good if I would take moment now and then to think before I act.  Certainly to think before I speak.  And maybe even to wait before I think.  Yes.  I think if I would wait before thinking, then I would not just react to things, but would be clearer-minded an prepared to think.

Like yesterday's blog post.  It was about the Olympics and I joked that Leslie could sell programs there.  Then I said I appreciated her being patient with me.

What was I thinking?!

Clearly, if I had taken a moment, instead of appreciating her being patient, I would have said - given it was the Olympics - that she was a "good sport."

Dang it!  I hate it when that happens.  I want everything correct the first time.  Right now!  NOW!  Daddy, I want a squirrel NOW!

(pause)

That was my Veruca Salt impersonation.  I sound just like her when I type.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Stories

Games lubricate the body and the mind.
~ Benjamin Franklin
- - - - -
There is a lot of stuff about the Olympics now.  I believe that to be mainly because the Olympics are happening right now.  And - for whatever reason - we talk more about things when they are happening than when they aren't.
There is a lot about human - particuarly LGBTQ - rights issues.  There is a lot about the accommodations and the facilities and the safety of some of the event sites and the security of the Olympics as a whole.
And as they unfold, there will be the human interest stories.  Either we love them or else the media loves giving them to us.  I guess the events can't stand alone with a sense of care or knowledge about the athletes.  Which is kind of nice.  It would be nice if we exercised that in our daily lives.  That we took time to learn others' stories before cheering for or against them.  Or working with or against them.  Or encouraging (or not) them.
But we all know that this doesn't start with the Olympics.  It starts a long time BEFORE the Olympics.  We start to build energy around certain athletes.  How "we" choose whom to care about and cheer for and learn about, I'm not sure.  It's a mystery to me.  But we are selective.
The other day Leslie and I were discussing this.  Well, it was probably actually a while ago, since it was about the Olympic trials.
Leslie:  There is a 50 year old woman at the Olympic speed skating trials.
Me:  Trials?  She won't make it.
Leslie:  But still!  I mean...  Can you imagine me doing something at the Olympics?
(pause.  long pause, actually)
Me:  Maybe selling programs.
Thankfully, Leslie is very patient with me.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Surprises

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.
~ Mae West
- - - - -

I like surprises.  Not the kind that make your heart stop.  And I won't say, "I don't like bad surprises," because there is no such thing as a bad surprise.  That is why they're called surPRIZES.  It might not be spelled that way, but that's what they mean.  They don't mean "surSHITSTORMS."  That's different.

I wonder if there is a rainbow after a shitstorm.  I bet it's not a very pretty one.  Or maybe it is pretty because the storm has passed.

(pause)

No.  I bet a rainbow after a shitstorm is in sepia.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Callings


And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. 
And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
- - - - -

I think that quote is amazing.  I concur.  We lose a lot when we don't call things as they are.  We know - in our heart of hearts or our souls or our minds' eyes (whatever you want to call it) - when we have squandered something.  Sometimes we hesitate to acknowledge that.  To name something lost or false, but we do ourselves a disservice if we aren't accurate in our assessments and reflections.  And we trap ourselves in patterns of lost days and false truths.

I think - for whatever reason - people struggle more with calling things the way they are now than maybe they did in the past.  I don't know if it's that we don't take the time or we are all conditioned not to see ourselves as we really are or what it is.

I think our music reflects this, too.  In 1980 Blondie told us simply, "Call Me."  Direct.  To the point.  No hemming or hawing.  A short 22 years later, Carly Rae Jepsen was afraid to have things called.  Or at least she waffled on it.  Remember?  She did tell us to call her.  Sort of.  She said, "Call Me...  Maybe." 
 
This post could certainly have been more timely since "Call Me Maybe" is two years old or something now.  Call me...  tardy.

Friday, February 7, 2014

L




Until it is kindled by a spirit as flamingly alive as the one which gave it birth, a book is dead to us.  Words divested of their magic are but dead hieroglyphs.
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 
- - - - -

My favorite word starting with L used to be "lexicology."  Which is both interesting and ironic.  Or neither.  Depends on your disposition, I guess.

Now my favorite word starting with L is "Leslie."

I actually don't have a favorite word that start with L, but if I did it would be "Leslie."

Or maybe "libidinist."

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Talking



 
A thousand cups of wine do not suffice when true friends meet,
but half a sentence is too much when there is no meeting of minds.
~ Chinese Proverb
- - - - -
 
I like meeting people who are different.  Well, I don't really actually like meeting people all that much.  I don't  think I make a good first impression.  People don't always get my humor.  I DO, however, make a very good third impression. 
 
Anyway, I like it when you meet someone who is very different from you - like a reindeer and an elf, or an elf and an elf who wants to be a dentist, or a reindeer and a guy who is "DIGGING FOR GOOOOLD!"  I also like that Rudolph TV special.
 
But I digress.
 
My point is that we can often find common ground through communication.  Too bad it's not called "commonication."  That would be awesome.
 
But I digress.  Again.
 
What I mean is that it is important to talk to one another.  And to listen to one another.
 
Like the other day when Sally (who had lost her voice, but got her voice back again for a minute) said, "Well, the problem right now is that I start talking and I'm never sure when the sentence is going to end."
 
I assured her, "That isn't just a problem right now.  I've felt that way about you starting sentences lots of times."
 
She laughed.  Or at least I think she laughed.  She had lost her voice again.
 
And, for the record, I'm not saying whether Sally would be Rudolph and me Hermey or vice versa.  Because I don't really see either of us as either of them.  I think of Sally as more of a Burl Ives singing snowman type.  Think about it.  If you knew Sally, you'd agree.  Wise troubadour rolling around giving advice.  And in the role of narrator - "noticing and commenting," even.
 
I wonder if I called her right now if she'd answer the phone.  If she did, I wonder if I would be able to hear her.  And if she fell in the woods, would she make a sound?
 
But I digress.  A third time.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thoughts

We become what we think about.
~ Earl Nightingale
- - - - -
 
I am not off to such a good start today.  It snowed and blowed (I know it's not grammatically correct, but it works rhythmically and rhymically - well it did work rhythmically before this paranthetical comment) and there was a drift about 18 inches high just on my half of  the driveway.  I shoveled and got cold.
 
On a positive note, a guy with a snow blade came and helped me finish.
 
On my way in to work, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and tired.  It honestly might have more to do with the weather than anything else.  It has been a long cold winter.  I knew it was going to be.  At least I suspected it according to the Farmer's Almanac.  Still, it's been rough.
 
I was also frustrated that I hadn't posted a blog today.  Then I found this quote - intentionally trying to cheer and motivation and inspiration to myself.  And I agree with the quote.  I used a photo of bridge because I love bridges.  They represent things and people to me.  I like to try and bridge ideas and individuals and intentions to create good and new things.
 
I don't know that I THINK about bridges a lot.  I do when I see them.  I don't always walk around with thoughts of bridges in my head, though.  I probably think about writing more than anything else.  Things I need to write mostly - for work, for fun, for future goals.  So, maybe I will eventually become a writer.  I'd like that.

I know some other people who I think may become bicycles, bills, babies, Batman, fame, power and tacos.
 
You know who you are.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Language

silence is the language of god, all else is poor imitation.
~ Rumi
- - - - -

I always hoped that I would be amazingly talented at something without even trying.  That's the American way, I suppose.  I thought maybe I would be freakishly brilliant at math, but that wasn't it.  I thought maybe I'd discover something related to astronomy.  That hasn't been the case.  I thought maybe I'd figure out a way to convey some idea related to social justice so that everyone would go, "Oh.  That makes sense.  Let's not hate about that anymore."

Nope.

There are moments, though…  when I'm typing - often when I'm tired - and I think that maybe I might be typing fluently in some other language.  I even can kind of tell what the words mean - even though it is not a language I have ever spoken before.  I try to figure out if it's Portuguese or Tibetan.  I look at the words and try to figure out where they might have originated.

Then I  realize that I had my fingers on the wrong keys on the keyboard.

I guess the language I type when I type like that is just slightly off key.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Boot

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

~ Terry Pratchett

- - - - -

I read somewhere that ranchers and farmers sometimes put boots or shoes on fence posts to let people know they are home.  Others use them to keep the posts from rotting away in the weather.  Smart.  I think the post here is metal, though.

And, wait, maybe it's not so smart.  Someone could come along and steal the farmer's shoes and he can't really chase after them very well without his shoes.  Especially if he has to run across gravel or sand burs or water.

I bet shoe theft is why a lot of farmers have guns.  That and wolves and bears and track meets.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Unexpected

Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected.
The unexpected can take you out.  But the unexpected can also take you over
and change your life.  Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.
~ Ron Hall
- - - - -

Unexpected things are fun sometimes.  Often.  Usually.  

But then we try to make unexpected things expected.  We try to explain away the unexpected so that it can fit our expectations.  Ironic, right?  Like putting a round peg in a square hole.  Maybe it's just not supposed to fit.

A recent example is when I  opened one of my Mary Chapin Carpenter CDs and found "MTV Party to Go 6" as well as the MCC CD.  

What's crazy is I was able to make a circle fit in a square because that round CD went right back into the square CD case when I was done.  I didn't expect that.

(pause)

Actually, I did.  I mean, it had come out of that case and the case is made to hold CDs.  

This ended up not being such a good post on the unexpected.  Which is unexpected given the title of the post, right?  

(pause)

See how it all works out?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Self

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange
that self might prove to be.
~ May Sarton
- - - - -

I like to be by myself sometimes.  Other times, I like to be with people.  Well, some people.  I usually never want to be around chaotic mobs of people.  I know some of you like that, but not me so much.  I mean, I'm fine watching a chaotic mob from a distance through a telescope with all the lights off in my house so no one can see me, but I don't need to be in the middle of that crazy weirdness.

It is difficult sometimes, though, when someone you really want to be with isn't around.  It could be a partner or a friend or a child or an inmate pen pal.  Distance can be a challenge.

For example, this conversation from last night…

Leslie:  I just like to be with you.

Me:  Me, too.

Leslie:  You like to be with you?

Me:  I do.  It's the best.