Check Your Head…at the Edge

Decided I needed to have a conversation with my 25 year old self. OK fine. So someone reminded me I needed to do that. Doesn’t matter. What does matter? That I do it. WTF. Surefire tipoff I needed that conversation? Age was waving to me from the sidelines – woo-hoo! Gi-r-l…eee! Lookee here! Come on o-ver. Got something to show-ow you! (channel Vince Vaughn in Be Cool)

3 hours later, post conversation….

I love this song. 25 year old me doesn’t have to remind present day me that I still get off on the same music even if I am listening to it 30 years later. It’s all relative, right? I will even go so far as to say songs like this one make time travel real. As real as you and me buttercup. Real as you and me.

How did this particular song make it’s way to this post? Thanks for asking. I had Friday off (remember my office was moving to MD? Friday was moving day) and was returning from picking up obligatory food items at the grocery store. The ones necessary for sustaining this life form in progress and this was the first song out of the speakers as I turned the key. (fyi as a btw – clarks are in a constant, neverending “process of becoming”, “evolving”. clarks struggle their entire lives on a quest to become that which we think we need/want to be. except HELLO! we never will/can be. like everyone else.)

Where was I? Oh. The Conversation. Music. Time Travel. Yesterday, Saturday. It snowed pretty much all day. Started around 9, maybe 10 am. Went to at least 7. Stopped looking. Then we were gonna get the mix = ice, rain later, into the night. Where does 25 year old me come in?

She came in to remind me that as long as I’m breathing, I’m alive and therefore not dead. She reminded me of the one thing worse than being dead (in spite of knowing there have been times when that actually didn’t seem so bad) and that was being “old”.  Do not misunderstand me when I use this term. I don’t use it in strict chronological terms. There is a connotation some of you recognize.

I’ve known people old before their time. 30 somethings in fact. Kinda sad. Sad from my perspective. But let’s get back to my ramble….yesterday was a perfect day for books (Friday, I picked up 4 I’d had on order at the library. Yay! I even found 3 movies to check out. Dbl yay. To make this extra special, futuristically speaking, I hadn’t yet heard about the impending weather event.

Yesterday, as soon as I woke up I felt it. The soothing allure of beckoning escape. Within books and sleep and staying in my jammies (if I still wore jammies lol) Nothing wrong with that right?

Except there kinda was. So I got dressed and walked across the street from the apt. complex to where I park the car. I retrieved the scraper/brush, brushed the snow off the car and then reached in for my boots and umbrella. I carried them back to the apartment, switched out the sneakers for the rubber boots, grabbed my umbrella and went for a walk. In the snow. It was going to be warmer today. A high of 21. Why not be outside?!

The walk seemed a tad slower. The big rubber boots (bought in Fl after the 1st of the 4 hurricanes in ’04) were a little heavy. No nevermind. I had on 3 pairs of socks and those boots were going to take me where I wanted to go Miss Sinatra! I couldn’t stand to think that if this was my last day on the planet (yes, I know it wouldn’t matter ‘cuz I’d be dead already but indulge me, ok?) then at least I was out of doors, non-confined (non self-confined), the little bit of my face that was exposed, being chilled. Alright, very chilled as a result of the wind picking up but dammit! it felt good. Felt good.

Counter says lots o words so let’s get this done. Thankfuls: It’s not only music that can stop/suspend time. It’s also the weather. I can create a bubble of anything when there’s a perfectly good excuse for staying indoors.

TF: the #1000 Speak movement. I enjoyed bandying about reading different posts, discovering new blogs. It’s good to venture out of the neighborhood every now and again.

TF: a warm place to lay my head. Still.

TF: health insurance. Yes, Ivy! I’m thankful for it. I’ve needed it recently and in spite of being denied my appeal from a screening that by all accounts was covered 100% under my policy but was only partailly paid, I’m still grateful to be participating.

TF: that it’s going to be in the 40’s today before the plunge back to the ice age.

TF: for all of my senses, my body in the physical shape it’s in because I can still do all that I’ve always enjoyed. I simply have to do it. Action. Today. Right here, right now. (thanks be to Jesus Jones. hey, it’s Sunday, isn’t it?)

TF: for Lizzi for starting the Ten Things of Thankful BlogHop.

TF: the Wakefield Doctrine Blog. Without it I wouldn’t have come to know so many wonderful and inspiring people. Among them, other clarks whom I can identify with, support and commiserate with at any time.

TF: the ability to still believe.

TF: another day. The first. The last.

You? Get on up. Listen to music, do something to get you on your feet (figuratively or literally). Participate.

 

 

 

Don’t Simply Walk the Edge of Compassion. Walk Over and Into It!

Compassion. What is it? How does it manifest? Of what value is compassion?

According to this website: “Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.”

Old time Merriam Webster’s definition of compassion is: “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”

We get it. Compassion is about feeling. Feeling strongly enough to act. Let’s face it, we and the majority of folks in our day to day life are busy with, well….our day to day lives! Not saying this is a bad thing. It’s just that sometimes the “busy” in our lives blinds us. And before we know it an automatic reply starts forming: “I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m too busy today. Maybe tomorrow?”

As you can probably guess, I’m talking about the smaller acts of compassion. Don’t get me wrong! I’m not implying compassion can be rated or graded.  As a person who believes in the “little things”, I believe that a singular, small gesture has the potential to impact a person on a huge scale. We don’t always recognize this. Especially, when we get “busy”.

My hope today is that the small gesture of over #1000 Voices posting about Compassion today might have a HUGE, cumulative effect. I’m imagining this act as gently shaking a vast community of folks across the globe into awareness. That it will remind us all to stop each day. Turn “busy” to off and look up, around, beside from where each of us stands. To make the effort, to take the time to breathe in awareness. The awarenes of what’s going on around us.

“Say what?! I do that.” Yeah, sure you do. Easy to turn on the TV and be “aware” of global conditions. Sure. Nothing wrong with that. Today, I’m talking about awareness of the seemingly little things right in front of our noses. Everyday. There is always opportunity for compassion. But let’s face it. We’re not always present. Life. Gets. Busy. With. Stuff. To do.

Why not begin with the smaller, little things? Open a door for an elderly person, speak to them kindly. Hell, speak to everyone kindly. Listen, actually listen to a child when they seem to want to talk about something difficult. Be aware, be present. Let’s think outside of our own selves. Try and imagine what it feels when/to: (so many examples!) and then imagine our own self and what we would want at that moment of vulnerability or inconvenience or trouble or desperation or lonliness.

Every small act, every little thing we do that is self less, that helps another in ways we may never know, has the potential to snowball into a massive, rippling wave of goodness. Yes, good and wonderful things very often come in small packages.

So what do you say? Let’s all become a little bit more aware of our selves and others. Let’s make the time, take the time and remember to act without reservation. It has the power to change lives.

1000Speak

Edge-stically Speaking, Today was a Washout. Or Not

3:58 pm. Imaginary stop watch set. Let’s see how fast I can get this written and published.

‘K. Alarm went off this morning at usual 4:15 am. 4:30 – I’m out of bed. Dare I look outside? Did we get a ton of snow? Decided, I’d stick to the schedule. Out to the kitchen, coffee machine set, hit go.

For a few minutes, I floated upon a wave of stoical responsibility. clarklike female that I am, I considered pretended I might be going in to work today. I called the office manager who told me she was not going in, nor were 2 other people and possibly the managing attorney. Hm. Made sense. It took me 2 hours to get home from work last night. The end of that commute? Let’s just say there were a couple of hairy moments involving a few very steep, 3 lanes each way, hills. Who needs to see the lane markers when you’re sliding on a highway? LOL

Alright. So what seems to be my problem? Why so opposed to a day off? What is this saying about me? Why did I feel a little guilty calling in this morning to say I may or may not be coming in to work? I think I’d better re-examin ‘em. Which is to say, look at how responsibility manifests in the world of a clark. Yeah, I’m thinkin’ it’s fucked up.

Positives? Sure. Plenty. It turned out to be a sunny day. Cold but sunny. I got a good dose of exercise in the wee hours. I shoveled for about 1 1/2 hours. Hint: if you don’t have to park on the street don’t! Trucks plow. Cars get buried…..and I kept thinking – I don’t live in the Northeast. Thank goodness!

It’s an Edge-u-cation…Awards and Such.

A couple of weeks ago Lizzi Rogers, the Considerering Queen of all things sparkly-twinkly nominated me for a Sistahood Blogging Award. It really made me feel good. And I had every intention of responding in kind. And nominating others and answering and sharing and such. And! The draft sits almost completed in the dashboard.  Why?

Then! I was reading the always delightfully written The Meaning of Me by, newly to the FB, Lisa L. (psst… reading – if you want to call it a “habit”, autombile – more control…how sad I was the day my older sister got married – there’s a family famous pic of 8 yr. old Girlie cryin’ her eyes out as her older sister left for her honeymoon) and discovered she also nominated me. Man, I was feeling great. Warm and fuzzy like.

Surely, as I reflect on my week I may count these 2 events. I so wanted to write the “acceptance” posts. I so wanted to read so many, many posts written by Zoe Ivy and Lizzy and Jen and Joy and Lisa, Christine, Dyanne…. No writing, no reading. It’s been all work and no play. 

Lizzi and Lisa. You guys. My first thanks.

Next comes my little men. 5 & 10. I stopped by their house on the way back from work last weekend. We spent some time playing football, playing with Legos, some nintendo and watching a tiny bit of Cars 2. At some point 5 asks “Aunt Denise? Can you spend the night?” Yeah, that’s a thank you:)

No snow. Man, that should count for all 10 Thank You’s!

I don’t normally share in the certain personal stuff. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, my biopsy came back negative. Thank. You.

Hey, I got this. We’re up to #6. Which is…I’m thankful my co-worker received and accepted a job offer. I was so happy for May. She deserved the opportunity. Although I do not know her well, I know she is very intelligent, creative, and most deserving of this opportunity. I wish her well. I’ll miss her.

In spite of dragging my feet, I’m extremely thankful to be co-writing a story over at the Secessionist Rag. I’m “up” for next chapter. I know what it is I want to write, just not sure of how to write it lol.

You know, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have the internet and computers. It should be a re-cycled “Thank you” on the circuit. Just think! What would life be like without computers and access to all our new friends we’ve made because of technology? Yeah. Technology is my #8.

Music. I can’t ever not be thankful for music in my life, daily. It’s what keeps me going, what keeps me sane. It bolsters my mood, makes me smile, gives me joy, expresses for me that which I cannot express my own damn self. Sometimes:)

Another day.

Be present. Be good. Do not let fear dominate. Today. It is both the first day and the last day. It is the only day.

It’s Wonderful, Edgy Wonderful

Today I seriously contemplated that maybe I had some grade A form of ADHD of the working adult kind, only without the hyperactivity. I went into work today, Saturday, so that Monday wouldn’t be so screaming busy. Being that the forecast is iffy, I didn’t want to take a chance of going in late Monday because of frozen things falling from the sky and then being caught in a mess o deadlines. The drop dead ones.

Any way, I was paying special attention at how the music in my head was extra hard to stop. Always I have some melody on repeat throughout the day. Sometimes 1 or 2, other times it might be 3 or 4 doing the loopty doo thing in my haid. Lately, it’s been the melody and 1 line from the Ramone’s Pet Semetary. (No. “I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetary”!)

I had trouble focusing today. The music, from my head, (not a radio or phone), was very distracting. Lately, I’ve been thinking I need to try this meditation thing. For real. Calm the brains – OK, like right there! When I wrote “brains” I immediately thought about the band the Bad Brains.1 Geez, will it ever stop?! Honestly, I hope it never does:)

So what’s we got here tonight? Ah yes. A little Ten Tings of Tankful:

1) My musical “bad brain”. Music never leaves me. It may distract me when it’s playing in my head but otherwise? Lifeblood people. Life. Blood.

2) More followers on Twitter. Even though I don’t know how to “work” the Twitter. I use it to tweet folks blog posts and such. But I don’t understand the process. Really. One day someone should explain it to me:)

3) CyndotaLoca. You all know her as Cynthia Calhoun of Pictimilitude fame. She be a clark of extraordinary proportions. Yes, yes, that is redundant, I know, but she be moving forward. Important for my people. To be mindful of moving forward. Engaging the world….

4. Took a dry run to the new office last Sunday. Only 40 minutes from where I presently live compared to the 1 hr+ I presently drive. I’m mindful that was Sunday traffic, but still. The new commute hopefully will be better shorter.

5) Very thankful we did not get as much snow as the people up North!

6) A little more reading done. I’m about 180 pages into Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card. Gee. At this rate I’ll get through the next 2 books in this trilogy in oh, another 8 months? Thank goodness you can renew books at least 3 times!

7) The BoSR/SBoR. I too (thanks Clark for giving up the Chapter in the Book) will cite Chap. 60 sec 14.5 (2 free Items)

Therefore, I’m allowed to go straight to

10) Another day.

In the spirit of full disclosure (“cuz that’s what I decided 5 minutes ago, that this year was gonna be about“), Johnny M. was in my head today at work too! Why? How? What does it mean? …whoah, wait a darned minute! Who remembers the X-Files episode? It just hit me. It was Home (The Peacocks). Now, instead of thinking of being a kid and hearing it on the radio, I’m thinking of Mulder and Scully and….damn.

1. Spontaneous serendipiocity? Bad Brains was first named Mind Power. They changed the band name to Bad Brains after the Ramone’s song Bad Brain. I never knew that. Until now.

Longing at The Edge. Comfort at….The Edge.

How apropo. At 7:32 am, the only light barely 2 feet front my face. It’s coming from my laptop. A white, empty page beckoning me. Challenging me to write the words that stumbled out of bed, forcing me to walk them into life.

It’s dark in the bedroom. Red curtains drawn, door closed. Quiet. I don’t even know if it snowed overnight. My electronic writing machine, my modern version of blue pen and yellow legal pad is balanced atop my upper thighs, lower stomach. It’s bed slouch. And I’m into it. For as long as I can make it last.

I awakened from a very deep sleep (not all that common for this Girlie) a little before 5. Surely, the Sandman miscalculated. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he did it intentionally. Anyone else suffer a forced OD from the keeper of the night? lol

I’d been dreaming and I struggled my body awake. Rolling the covers back and me on my side, I felt it. Felt the manifestation of today’s post title.

Tell me, who’s all into dreams and their “meanings”? Who figures out their own dreams? Who has friends always asking, “hey, I had this weird dream last night, tell me what you think it means.” I’ve enjoyed being “dream analyst” to the people in my life. It’s often an innocent way to help another “see” a different angle. On life, relationships….armchair anyone?

The longer I try and set this up, the farther the essence of my dream. Less the word formations that were at the ready immediately upon my waking. So intent was I this morning that I wrote this without benefit of caffeine. That, my friends should illicit a chorus of “wows”. I don’t do anything without first ingesting coffee. What I affectionately call the go-go juice.

LongingandComfort. Combined, they were. In my dream. Representation. Symbolism. Challenge. The typical main characters. Not all dreams are heavy duty, dramatic and meaningful. Not all dreams are silly cottoncandy fluff either. Sometimes dreams encapsulate simple messages in the familiar. You know what they say don’t you about big things coming in small packages?

Let me try to set up the dream snippet “cuz you know how dreams can be – a jumbalaya of events, people and places. Characters: me (as me), Man as himself, house (total representation) and dog (only one).

DreamScene: looking out a patio type door and seeing a black dog lying on his side. I get Man’s attention – come look. We cast our gaze upon a black dog sleeping peacefully on the side of the house. And we smile.

I realize now that there aren’t any words or word formations that can adequately convey what I felt waking from my dream. No way to describe the sense of longing for a life I once had. Not literally the life. You can’t ever go back….it was what was represented in that life. Of that life.

When life crashes and you get to walk away? Don’t focus on the crash. Focus on the fact you got to walk away. Not everyone does. Not everyone can. There are people all around us in our day to day lives crashing in some form or another. We may not be privy to every detail but then, we don’t need to know every detail. We can still be of value.

Listen. Have patience. Do when another can’t. Be mindful that small gestures in your life may be monumental in someone else’s.1  

There’s an event coming up soon, February 20, 2015. Mabye you’ve been hearing the buzz roar. It’s called #1000Speak, the 1000 Voices for Compassion. Check it out here or why not ask Lizzi. Follow the sign….

Lizzi Rogers1. This, as footnote, is in no way meant to diminish the place the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop occupies in my world.  1) You. Yeah, as corny as it sounds, it’s you. Let me echo Lizzi’s sentiments today by saying everyone who reads my words, whether you comment or not are real. You have an impact on me, my life. And it thrills me to no end. 2) Achieving a less indulgent disposition. No, I take that back. It’s more being able to stop myself easier, quicker, in indulging in the bad stuff, the dark stuff. The failures, misgivings and fuckups in life. And with that comes 3) Seeing (most of the time) that life is chock full of fun and success and accomplishment and enjoyment. I simply have to reach for it. 4) Naturally, I use the Wakefield Doctrine as the tool by which to do this. No, the Doctrine isn’t magic. That’s up to me:) but it gives me something more people should have. A glimpse into the personal reality of those around me/us. 5) A posse. Yup, I got me a lunchtime walking posse. Strength in numbers. Strength not only in physical terms but socially. Humans by nature are social. As a clark, I need to remember this lol. 6) Weight. Surpassed 110lbs. 7) Finally getting the address of our new office location! 8) Because of 7, a more localized area to search for housing. 9) Stumbling upon the Annoying Orange. Weirds me out, but makes me laugh:) 10) Another day.

 

 

 

A Steak Is Not a Steak. An Edge-y Perspective

Last night, I made the mistake of turning over the styrofoam package of the chuck blade steak-lettes I’d just bought. This, mere moments before retrieveing my tiny steak-lette from the tiny frying pan and placing it next to (what a coincidence), a tiny sweet potato. lol Damn! If I wasn’t having a proper dinner even if I did eat standing up.

In the spirit of full disclosure,  the last time I ate red meat was….holy shit! I can’t remember! And that, my friends, is one of the reasons I stopped into the grocery store. It had become abundantly clear yesterday afternoon that I was suffering from a severe case of the “stupids” with just a tiny bit of residual moronitude. Answer? Meat!

It’s true. If you’ve ever cut back substantially (deliberately or not), on protein, especially in the form of red meat or even tuna fish, you know about the “dullness”. Let’s just say the cogs in cognitive functioning begin to s-l-o-w down. You start getting dumb people. Simple as that.

This may not be news to you but it sure was to this Girlie….here’s what it said on the bottom of that styrofoam package:

Born: USA
Raised: USA
Harvested: USA

This. Totally. (did I say “totally?!”) Freaked. Me. Out. First of all, who the hell reads the back of meat packages?! I mean, what in Sam Hill possessed me to flip it over?!  In the words of Cartman,”dammit!”, if that didn’t kill my appetite. I better start feeling smart, real soon……

Let me begin the return to a “smarter” place in the world by sharing some thankfuls. I know there are some. There always are….

1) Stay with me on this one Frank…remembering to remember the things I remembered I forgot.

2) Thankful the preciptation that began this week was NOTHING like that which began the week prior. Snow flurries at best. Hurray!

3) A week at work that wasn’t totally deadline driven crazy. Deadlines were there, just not the  “quick Denis, turn the valve!”.

4) Speaking of work. Having folks walk with me at lunch. I walked several times this week and let me tell you it was not warm. I have special thanks for my work partner in crime who bundled up with me yesterday to brave the cold and wind. Invigorating!!

5) Opportunity. There is always opportunity, every day, populating the space around us. The key is first being able to recognize it, second step is embracing it. Embracing opportunity in spite of fear, in spite of the lack of confidence.

6) Decent traffic for this week’s commute. Although I must admit that last night, for the brief bit of highway approaching and passing the exits on and off for Dulles airport….thought I was driving in a scene from Death Race.

7) the Wakefield Doctrine. Haven’t mentioned it lately in these thankful posts but I surely am. Thankful for having a life tool that gives me what I need to live better. Not always easier. But better.

8) A computer and access to the internet. Yeah, everyone thinks this is one of those “really? a thankful?” Yes. I feel lucky to have both. In fact, it is critical, crucial I have both. Why? (see #9)

9) I’m thankful for being able to have access to people, and they me, via the internet. There is so much going on! There is so much to do! There is so much potential! There is so much self challenge! Isn’t it great?!

10) This, another day.

Enjoy this day, the only day. Be present. Be good.