I don’t often write movie reviews. Actually I’ve never written one. This isn’t a review. Last night the mister was stepping out to a book reading at Turning the Tide Bookstore on Arthur Manual’s book Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call. A worthy event but I’ve had enough serious and heavy stuff. I went to the movies instead, a rare occasion nowadays for me. It was a good practice to step out on my own and in the evening. I wonder if it’s a sign of aging that I like to huddle at home once the sun sets. I vow to step out more if it proved to be a success.
The movie I chose was The Hero, starring Sam Elliot. I checked out the trailer. Seemed interesting and engaging. Starts at 7:05 pm. Length 90 minutes. Seems pretty good to me. I would get home at a decent time approximately same time as the guy.
Sam Elliot was good to look at, even at 73. He was himself, charming, deep voiced, silver haired and moustached. Not every part of the story hinged together well. It was so much like real life. I didn’t try to understand it. There was romance, the May – December kind but no heated sex scenes. There was none of that wham bang thank you ma’am. No violence. No fast car crashes. But there was Folger’s coffee the next morning.
I did scratch my head at the end wondering is this all? It ended with the same scene as it began. But all in all I did enjoy myself. I stepped out of my everyday evening and was entertained with a gentler story and humour. Though the hero was dying of cancer, there was no dramatic or traumatic death scenes. He didn’t ride off in the sunset either. Sam Elliot was the movie as stated by the review on rogerebert.com.“Elliott could sell us anything, or course—barbecue sauce, whatever—just by showing up and being his formidable, glorious self. But he could use some meatier material.”
So here I am, in my new/old .com space. I have more space but what do I have to say? The sky is overcast. The air smell of smoke. We are burning up on our West Coast while they are drowning in Texas. Then there’s the monsoon in India, killing over 1,000 people. But we don’t get much coverage of that. It’s still on the other side of the world. Texas isn’t within our vision range either but it’s in our livingroom every evening. So many terrible things are in our livingroom these evenings. If we don’t watch the news, does not knowing/seeing change anything?
The winds are blowing, bringing more smoke from the forest fires. Our planet and we are between a rock and hard place, I would say. What can we do? What can I do besides hope? Hope is an inert noun. We can hope, want and yearn all we want, but without action it is nothing. It’s just like the song says:
Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ Plannin’ and dreamin’ each night of his charms That won’t get you into his arms So if you’re lookin’ to find love you can share All you gotta do is hold him and kiss him and love him And show him that you care
So then, how do we show that we care about this world of ours? Where can we start? Try reading Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnson. I have the book. Now I need to READ it. Really I do. The need comes up more frequently now. Reminding me to read, to do. At least I recognize it. I see the picture. I see the need. I’m talking about it. And we are bringing some hope for a greener life in the rainwater we catch for the garden, in the growing of our vegetables in the summer and in the solar power we’re catching with the panels. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things. But it is a start. Where are you at? How are you coping?
We are such creatures of habit. Any little change takes so much effort. At least it is so for me. I don’t agonize but I do fret and hesitate too much over small things. I’m happy to report my hesitation period is shorter and shorter. My finger pushed the UPGRADE bottom on my tapping space and I’ve come into my own. I am now standing tall – onethousandandtwo.com without leaning on .wordpress. However, you can still access my space that way.
Why upgrade? I ran out of media space. I’ve done well on the free plan since 2012. I started with one photo per blog. Then the photos multiplied. I’m a woman who sees life in snapshots and words. They give me much pleasure. The media content grew and grew. I’ve ran out of free space. So here I am today – happy as a clam for pushing that button. Well, not quite that happy after learning I have added space but limited. The before free space counted as a part of upgrade. The space does not renew every year though payment does. There is always a catch, isn’t there? However, there is interactive online help. I will make use of that to learn. Already I’m learning to deal with disappointment and to ask before and not after the fact. But from the tech help, I also learn about Dropbox , It probably costs. There are no free rides. Time for a coffee before I can go on.
I’m back from my coffee break and having a peak at dropbox. I will be patient and take my time. I have trouble with focusing. No need for added stress. I will practice being more judicious with media content here. It’s another learning opportunity. I’m still happy that I’ve pushed UPGRADE. No buyer’s regret.
Sunday morning. The first time in a long while the sun came out at 6:30. It makes such a difference to my well being. But as we all know, not all days are sunny. I have to/want live well in all weather. I have to be like the postman – deliver no matter sun or cloud/rain. Nowadays they have little cars to drive around their areas with shorter distances to walk. I will have to be innovative on my foul weather days.
I can get a start on difficult things in the mornings. I have more energy then. I had designated Saturday as my HOUSE DAY – to clean and organize. I was good on my word. I tackled the most necessary, the fridge. The reality is that everything always takes longer than you think. I knew that ahead of time. I was not surprised that it took all morning to clean and organize just the freezer compartment. I was surprised that it held so much. There were freezer-bitten chicken breast and a buffalo burger, numerous bags of sunberries, dried grapes and other fruits and veggies. I paid the price for mindlessly throwing stuff in for a year. The rest of the fridge had to wait until after lunch. It’s looking good now. I wonder how long the result will last.
Here’s what I know for sure. Things take longer than I anticipate. I don’t like housework. I’m not good at it. I’m slow, a tortoise. I lack energy and concentration. I have too many foul weather days. What to do?
I’m taking a big breath, slowing my thoughts, learning to be patient. Though the sun is shining, I’m feeling yucky, my stomach upset, cramping and twisting. I’m feeling it all the way up to my head. I’m having a lot of sympathies for people with chronic colitis problems. How do they manage? Lesson number 1 for me – don’t eat fruit with my breakfast. Have it later in the morning. Simple. Let’s see how that works. Pay attention to what happens.
The thing for me to do, since I’m slow anyways, is to be like the tortoise – slow AND steady at it. I have to tend regularly, not once a year. That’s it for today. I’ve used up my attention span. Feeling a bit frazzled. I’m getting better though. I’m focusing to edit my words so they make sense. My head spins faster than I can type. I.am.thinking.and typing.in.sync.more.
I’m not very good at prioritizing and making lists. I try to do it all in my head. It doesn’t really work all that well any more. My attention span and memory were nothing to brag about. Now, they’re even worse. It is almost 5 pm and I’m breathless thinking about stuff to do. The list is a mess, a jumble in my head. Oh, corrections! I do get the bills paid on time. It’s the housework that causes me grief. I do go on about it, don’t I? I think it’s because I’m no good at it and I avoid it. I should sing a different tune. I’m even annoying myself.
I have a plan as I sit here tap, tapping away. I am going to dedicate Saturday as HOUSE DAY. It was on Saturdays that I had to do the dusting when I was a kid. We lived in a little rented house back of the cafe with an outdoor toilet. We had a potbelly wood/coal stove. The linoleum was peeling and we had no running water. The water man came with his truck every week and filled our water tank. Life was different. I didn’t know what to think. I was eight years old and had just immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong.
I do digress but sometimes it’s good to look back to see how far we’ve travelled. I’m looking way, way back. I’m probably practicing procrastination and avoidance. Oh, I’ll just indulge today. Tomorrow is Saturday and I’ll do my housework. I’m good on my word once I’ve said it.
You know what? I had not one word of English when I started Grade 1 in Canada. I remember my teacher’s name was Miss Woodall. She had long reddish hair and wore sweater sets with pleated skirts, the style of the day. She was very kind but kept me in at recess. That was so that I could work on my English. I remember having a hard time pronoucing ‘roof ‘. The word stuck to the roof of my mouth. I couldn’t quite get it out.
Enough digressing! Time’s flying and the dog needs walking yet, plus a myriad of other things. You know what I mean. I’m not very smooth or coherent with my words today. My mind is like a dryer drum spinning and spinning.
It’s another log- rolling out of bed, achy and crusty-eyed morning. Almost 7 and it is dark. The sun has not risen. Still, I am a happy camper. I’m minus that yucky, sense of dread in the body feeling. Have you ever had it? Sometimes I wake with it for whatever reason. I do not chase it. I let it be. It is a feeling to be felt like any other. That is it.
Though achy, stiff and plodding, I am full of joie de vivre inside. I am excited by too many ideas. My mind is splintered in all directions. I had to stop its thoughts and take some slow deep breaths. Waiting for kettle to boil, I stand erect, aligning all my chakras one on top of another. I close my eyes, my mind is cleared. I see the white light going through the center of my head all the way down to my toes. I’ve cleared the clutter. I’ve emptied my mind. My pathways are swept clean. The day begins.
The sun has come out. It is another beautiful August morning. A little cool and windy, but perfect nevertheless. There’s soup to be made, garden to tend, harvest to reap, art to be made….What is on for your day?
I surely struggle with consistency and energy. I suppose you do, too. It’s always good to have company. It’s my words I’m struggling with now. But I’ve come to my space. The keyboard is on my lap, my cup of tea nearby. Across the back alley, the roofers are tap, tap,tapping with their hammers. They sound like woodpeckers. A crow caws nearby.
It’s a perfect August day. The sun shining. The petunias and nasturiums nodding their heads in the breeze. I shall just sit here and not worry so much about accomplishing and doing. It is trying that I can’t quite get my shit together. But really, what does that mean anyways? Oh brother, Sheba is next to me. She’s just let go some of her metal-melting farts. Phew!
I’m feeling like hell in the mornings, waking with aching in every possible joint – down to the toes. I just know that autumn is in the air even if I didn’t know what month it is. Changes are coming. Changes are here. Some of it’s scary. A lot of it is frightening – neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Donald Trump, neighbours… The list is long. It’s good to ventilate, even if it is just listing. At least I’ve identified some of the things nagging at me. I’m not just whistling in the dark.
I have pushed my way through the wet paper bag. I’ve broken free. Despite my fatigue, I’ve trimmed off the dead raspberry canes, gathered up some other garden wastes and deposited them all in the Green Bin. The City truck has kindly come by. I’ve dumped a bag of peat moss in the front flower bed. I hope that will give the petunias there a much needed boost.
The hammering is getting more insistent – and annoying. It’s not conducive to my tapping any more. It’s giving me a headache. It’s a sign to close shop. I think I work best in short spurts. I just need to have more spurts in a day.
I’m in my apres- lunch malaise. It is after 3 pm. No time to tarry as they say. I’m in this space, tapping the keyboard, talking with my fingers, singing my songs. I hear Killing Me Softly with His Song in my head. I’ll try not to use killing words. I’m not about pain and despair. I hate suffering. I rather walk on the sunny side of the street. And you know what? I missed the solar eclipse today. I was in total sunshine. There was not not even a hint of a shadow. That’s new for me. Sometimes all I feel are clouds.
I’m trying to know myself in my life – to detach myself and really observe my place in the world and in my life. It is difficult to take out the personal feelings, all the me, myself and I, and look at myself as somebody else. Who am I? How am I? What are my values? How do I behave. How do I treat other people? Am I as honourable, fair, loving as I thought of myself? It’s a hard exercise to do. I think it’s well worth the effort. It would test my true grit.
Byron Katie’s The Work has been a great resource for me. I ask myself these four questions about any given situation:
Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
Who would you be without the thought?
Learning to be has been a very slow process. Life surely is a journey and not a destination. When you get there, you find that there is no there. What I can say is that I am becoming a more content person with less anger, turmoil and depression. I hesitate to use the word happy because what is happy? What I know for sure is I love learning and changing. I love pursuing excellence.
It’s Saturday morning. Cloudy and breezy upon wakening. I had toast with cherry jam. Thought I would treat myself royally today. Sheba is not the only queen in the house. I can sit here forever with my tea, my book and my thoughts. Sometimes it’s not so good to stay in my head long. It is full of paranoia and false stories. The sun is out. I must not tarry. I shall gather the forementioned queen. we can saunter down to our community garden and see how it is doing. Perhaps I can gather some greens for lunch. Be back in awhile.
I’m back. It’s more than awhile. It’s noon. I’ll try not to think of time slipping away but time well spent and enjoyed. It was. I killed several birds with one stone. Sheba and I had a mindful walk to the community garden. We took time to smell the flowers and chew some grass. It was quite wonderful that our footsteps and heartbeats were synchronized. We walked as one together and in rhythm. We got exercised. Home now with our harvest. Happy and pooped. For Sheba, it’s literal. I can sit now with my coffee and keyboard for awhile. Then lunch. What more could I ask for?
I know. There’s a whole world out there. There’s Folk Fest. There’s this. There’s that. I almost could feel the urge to do, to join, to be part of everything. When I had, I didn’t feel any more of. part. belonging. happier. satisfied. When I had been in the midst of it all, I was still searching. Where is it? What is it? Is this it? That’s all? Now, I tried to accept that I will get this feeling of need or craving for ‘the more, the thing that will make me happy ever after’. There’s no such thing. There’s no such place.
There is no point in trying to fill that longing space within or searching for happiness. I know it’s our human nature, this yearning for more. Instead, I will try to fill my stomach and appetite. I will get to know myself better in my life, my likes, dislikes, values, what works, what doesn’t. I will make it my adventure. It’s a continual journey. It requires me getting up, dressing up and showing up. I do every day. I love that slogan/ act. I love tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard, I love making index card art, I love, I love… What do you love?
August days can be perfect days. August days can be trying days. Clouds and sun chased each other all day, each determined to outshine and out shadow the other. They have been playing havoc with my mind and mood for the last couple of days. Charlotteville and now Barcelona add their drama to the mix.
How do you tackle these days, whether they be in summer, spring, winter or fall? I haven’t had to deal with them for quite awhile. My year of doing different must be making a difference. Even though I’m not feeling terrific, I am feeling a sense of accomplishment. I still have desires and purpose. I am feeling annoyed I got tripped up though. But then I am human. There are no perfection in this journey.
What I can and will do is to sit with my feelings and tap out my words. They are but physical discomforts. I will feel them, observe and let them be. I will carry on with this experience a little slower and with more attention. In the past, my first instinct was to rid these feelings as fast and as soon as possible. It didn’t really work. It has to bide its own sweet time. It demands to be acknowledged and felt.
This is what I am doing – acknowledging and feeling with every tap, tap. I have turned off the television, silencing the reporting of our human horror drama we are living in. We are in tumultuous times. We can hear a pin as soon as it’s dropped. The world is at our back door. We can no longer ignore anything.
But life is still sweet. The sun rises and sets as always. There’s the total solar eclipse to look forward to on August 17th. I’m breathing in and out, getting up, dressing up and showing up. Sometimes I fake it till I make it. But my fakes are getting better and better. I could do with less verbalizing. It usually doesn’t help much. Sometimes it makes me feel worse. It happens. That happens. But I feel pretty good about my accomplishments today. Painting and baking are good things to do on a day like today.