Good Things in Unexpected Packages

BlickPixel on PixabayI know people who seem perpetually positive and upbeat.  I’ve known them for years. They’ve been dealt some rough hands in life, so it isn’t that they’re simply Pollyanna’s.

Despite dark events casting shadows their way, they continue to show up with an attitude that fearlessly affirms the “rightness” of life; of their life, just as it is.  When they face bad shit and say things will be ok, I’m convinced they believe things will be ok. If they’re feeling any doubt or uncertainty, I don’t feel it.

Which has me wondering: do they get “down”? Do they feel doubt?

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Decapitated Heads

17_Seb Car-2On our walk tonight, Bubba and I were strolling past the Leland Street Country club when we came upon one of our town’s mobile art installations: a car parked on the shoulder.

Bubba and I glanced at it as we walked by.

“I don’t think my mother would approve of that,” Bubba said. “I’m not sure I approve of it either.”

Bubba’s mother, a woman of Catholic faith who attended Mass daily while she lived and who believed the Catholic way was the way, was 1950’s white, middle-class proper. The Last Supper was probably ok; weird car art…not so much.

“Plus,” he continued, “it’s kind of creepy.”

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Blogging as a Spiritual Workout

16_Provoke_Blog Spiritual-croppedThe world is awash in words. Words meant to inspire, encourage love, espouse hate. Words intended to inform or designed to deceive. Words unrestricted by paper shortages; digitally unlimited.

Bloggers number in the hundreds of millions. Social media allows us to reach out and touch others. How far our reach goes depends on whether or not what we have to say resonates for others and how good our marketing is.

I’ve joined that blogging world. Twice.

I started my first blog, Pursuing Podcasts, last year. It was about podcasts. About other peoples’ work and thoughts. It continues to exist, albeit lightly used.

My second blog, Walk the Goats, I started on March 1, 2018. This year. Fifteen days ago. Walk the Goats is about my thoughts, thoughts from my inner landscape.

I write about things Bubba and I talk about: relationship stuff; “divine” versus “relative” selves; internal “characters” who show up to deliver their lines and take their positions when they hear their cues. I write about things I think about and want to share, including observations on personal growth and life and aging and random other stuff.

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The Judge Shows up in the Bathroom

10_QC CharacterHow is it I have character-epiphanies in and around bathrooms?

My Quality Control character stepped up when a lock in a wheelchair-accessible stall was mounted in a stupid place [more here].

My Judge character showed up in a different bathroom setting. This time I wasn’t alone.

I was in an office building that had a bathroom for its tenants and guests. It was accessible only with a key and contained a toilet, sink and some shelves; no stalls.  Once you went in, you manually locked the door with a sliding door lock, preventing anyone else with a key from coming in.

Needing to go to the bathroom, I got a key, went to the hallway, and tried to enter the bathroom. The knob turned but the door wouldn’t budge. I tapped lightly and heard a woman’s voice from within respond, “occupied!”

I stepped back a couple of steps to avoid hovering. As I retreated, I heard the sound of another voice; a man’s voice. “Huh?” a voice in my head sputtered.

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Which Character is Gonna Appear?

12_Which CharacterDriving the country roads of Sonoma County is a joy, regardless of the weather. It calls to me, and the mystery of a shrouded day brings particular pleasure. On one recent outing, the clouds were low in the sky, some stuck on the treetops. The road was damp; it meandered. Trees curved over it like a cathedral ceiling. The autumn leaves had succumbed to the winds and to age and were scattered along the roadside and in the woods.

A dirt road—likely a driveway—appeared on my left, curving like a shadowy “S” away from the main road, before disappearing into the woods. I glanced over and noticed an old, large oak had fallen across the drive, blocking access.

My first thought was that life can block our way, as quickly and solidly as that tree blocked the drive, preventing any car from passing by as long as the tree was there.

How we respond to those moments fascinates me.

My own response falls into two parts. One involves practical, “external-landscape” factors; the other involves more emotional, “inner-landscape” factors.

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“Scared to Write” Character

9_Wonder-3I want to share my writing with Bubba. And what I want from him is supportive enthusiasm that I’m writing. I don’t want suggestions for how I might write something different or better.

It’s not because I think my work is brilliant and doesn’t need editing.

It’s because writing and sharing my work scares the living daylights out of me.

And in that place of fear, anything that discourages me feeds the fear. And stops the writing.

Which is why I’m looking for swords of light that encourage the what of what I’m doing–writing–rather than the skill with which I do it.

The thing is, when I share my writing with Bubba, I’m also sharing it with his mother, Jan.

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