Friday, November 30, 2012

Raining pigs and puppies

I wanted to say that, rather than " Cats and Dogs " because that has become so much of a cliché. The roads are slick and filled with unraked leaves that serve as little slip pads wherever you go. Normally, this weather would find me depressed and forlorn. That was my Modus operandi. Anything to fortify a particular foul mood.But hey ! I've changed! I now realize that everything goes back to my perspective.EVERYTHING.

Last night, I had a show at the public library. When the show was over I was carting my belongings back to my car and the CART that I had resting on the sidewalk, rolled off and over into the street. It was pouring rain and my inventory was all over the place. I took this opportunity to shout many expletives at the top of my lungs.

Luckily, only one person was within earshot and they kept walking. I grudgingly picked up all my supplies and noticed that I had broken one of my display tables ( more expletives came out ). When I finally drove off, having packed the car haphazardly the song "Feeling Groovy" came on the radio. I shouted " I am not feeling f*#&@ing groovy G -dammit !" Then I took a spot check inventory, and apologized to my higher power. I also realized how hard I am on myself for "being stupid".

Whether or not that previous statement is true is of no consequence. I was just absent-minded in where I placed the cart. I began the slow process of self forgiveness which is so necessary for my recovery. This is all part of my daily spiritual program. As I write this, I invite God into my daily affairs to build and work with me. If this sounds sanctimonious, I'm sorry, because I know that I am no saint. In fact, my life has been about coming to terms with my inner demons.It would be nice to have my character defects become assets, but I have yet to see anyone who has been able to have their quick temperament produce anything of lasting value.

Am I grateful for my temper? That's a tough one to answer. As I yelled, the crow in the picture flew away.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Meditation Challenge

I have meditated sporadically over the years. I always gain a lot of serenity, peace and clarity when I do. I can even recall my first attempt. It was in 1967 and I had ridden my bike up to Mt. Davidson in San Francisco. The exercise was quite aerobic because the hills were huge getting up to the top of this hill. When I reached the top I was able to see Forest Hills and Portola drive from a particular vantage point. I found a grassy knoll and laid my bike down. I think I even got in the Lotus position. Slowly I closed my eyes and began to breathe slowly. I must have been there for around 20 minutes to a half hour. The fog was rolling in and I began to get cold.

Riding down the hills back to my home in St.Francis Woods, I had the Beatles tune, " The Fool on the Hill" playing in my head. The Sergent Pepper Album had been out for some time and this song made me think of where I had just been. It also made me think about Jesus and how "The eyes in his head see the world spinning round." It left me with a melancholy, yet hopeful feeling that I will never forget.

Later, I began reading books by George Leonard who wrote about the inner life of Sports, and how transforming that experience can be for people. I began running seriously after that. Different meditation techniques were used like something called,"Soft eyes" where I would intentionally soften my focus to allow a more restful attitude to inhabit my being. This helped me with my emotional states throughout my teens and twenties.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

My apartment is filled with the fragrance of the stinking rose. I have put one large potato in my sauce pan while I mash the other. I have to do this one step at a time because I only have one pan deep enough for the potato. It's fine. This is how I work. Then when ready, I mash it up and add the dill pickle juice, apple cider vinegar, pepper, mayo and salt. Later, I will mash in the garlic to put it over the top. YUM !

I have become known for my garlic mashed potatoes, Especially during the holidays. It is my signature dish if you will. Today is Thanksgiving and I was going to celebrate it with my nephew Ian and the rest of my family at his house in Oakland. As it turns out, I won't be attending because my friend Veda who was also invited is now living in Sacramento with her sister.The drive would just be too long. I love my family and I wish them well, but I have to look after myself in these matters.

My nephew will be moving to Seattle soon and I hope that I will be able to see him before the big move.I am certain that he has friends there, because that is where he attended college. Seattle is fairly close to my other sister who lives in Portland, and a niece who is also living in Oregon.It will be a good move for him and his family and now I have another reason to head north during the summer.

As for now, I have made the potatoes and will sit here an eat them myself if no one else does.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vuja dey

Today is Monday, Veteran's Day. The weather this past week has been noticeably colder. I've been wearing a fleece vest and flannel shirt most days, and long johns and a ski cap to bed most nights. Thankfully, I haven't gotten a cold. Lately, I have been pondering life's mysteries. Like for instance, How it is possible to love someone and not really "like" them. Another one that causes me to ponder is how our bodies and minds can react to an idea whether or not it has any basis in reality ( i.e. An imagined experience or actual experience not being differentiated ). It has been said that if you experience it, it is the truth... but the same thing believed is a lie. In other words, we are able to have "non-experienced" experiences ! ( I think that alcoholics would call this a blackout ). Anyway, if it seems like Ground hog day all over again, perhaps you are having a non-experienced experience. Like what the French may call a "Vuja dey".