Photo: The California Tortoiseshell Butterfly – Nymphalis californica
Photo: The California Tortoiseshell Butterfly – Nymphalis californica
There is always a struggle in a writer’s mind about just what to write about. We want our posts to be meaningful in some way, although the definition of meaningful may vary from day-to-day. And lately, I’ve taken a little rest from writing. It’s not because I don’t have stories to tell, it’s just trying to decide which I want to tell, and how I want to tell them, and if they’re relevant, and would a reader enjoy them?
Those are big questions, and I don’t have any answers for any of them this morning. But I need to write.
It’s sort of an addiction and I’m in withdrawals.
Back in early November, I had settled into what I thought was a pretty decent routine. Reading, walking, hiking, meditating, and exploring my hobby of photography. That routine came crashing down when the house I was living in became contaminated and I had to make a hasty retreat.*
My patterns are still in a state of disruption.
Writing has become a bit secondary to solving the housing problem. But I did finish a series, at the invitation and encouragement of my blogging friend George,** about marriage and divorce. And that too left my head spinning a bit. I was, after all, revisiting some very painful memories. Basically, these memories, as well as the present situation, all involved a theme in common – the loss of home.
And I mean “home” in the more intangible sense of that word.
Not just a place to stay, but a feeling. A feeling of sanctuary. Of warmth. Of love.
Loss of “home” is not the same as moving out of a place we’ve “occupied.” It’s abandoning a sense of security, of integration, of sentiment. A home is where there is a heart connection. It becomes part of you. An extension.
Usually, this extension of ourselves is tied up with another individual or a family. It’s a communal nature. What makes a “house” a “home” is not the decor. Not the pictures hanging on the wall, or the color scheme of the bathroom fixtures. It’s an amalgamation of the feelings of warmth and protection and mutual love.
Quite an introduction there, I guess.
Intro to what? You know how I like to switch gears. 🙂
I was visiting a friend this past weekend and we had tea, did some meditation, and a little bit of guided writing. It’s an interesting way to spend a few hours.
Setting an intention to engage in mindful activities.
So, the writing exercise was basically a prompt, and we saw what we could come up with in ten minutes. I don’t think we could have been more ying-yang.
We’re already nine days into the new year and I realize I haven’t posted anything yet. True, things have been busy. Crazy busy. But that’s no excuse. After all, my mind is constantly churning out thoughts I seem to have no control over.
Spewing and spewing more words, phrases, ideas, and concepts than I can wrap my head around. Nonstop. Mass internal confusion. The collision of thoughts like sub-atomic particles ricocheting around in a super collider.
Condensation trails in a cloud chamber.
It’s no wonder it’s tough to think and write cohesively.
What is that voice in our heads constantly telling us how the world is? And I don’t mean that voice from the subconscious that warns us when we need it most – that’s our gut talking. That’s intuition. That’s something entirely different.
Fear, desire. Lightness and dark. The polar opposites are said to be interrelated.
But that doesn’t seem to match our perceptions of reality. I mean, do people fearing some awful event actually have a secret or subconscious desire for that event to happen? Self-flagellation??
I’m not really sure.
There is a growing body of literature talking about our power to manifest the things we want in life. And I’m not sure how much credence to put in that line of thought. This mystical power if activated improperly, by a negative focus, would rain terror down upon us. And that seems to negate the concept of free will, or our ability to say “no thanks.” “I don’t wish to be struck by lightning.”
From some of my prior writings, you know how I love buzz words. Especially in the employee-employer context that I see so often in the management literature.
I’m not really sure what motivates people to “rebrand” and try to stake original claim to concepts that have been around forever, more or less. And I’m also not seeing any of this “elevated thought” being put into actual practice by all of the “influencers” and so-called “thought leaders.” In fact, I see the old traditional, industrial-age, top-down, hierarchical, my-way-or-the-highway management structure still thriving.
And regardless of all the hype about worker retention, the words of my past managers still ring in my head that “attrition is our friend.” In other words, if you were one of the creative ones, the ones that offered innovative thoughts and solutions, that in anyway questioned authority and the old “we’ve always done it that way” mentality, well then, you needed to be driven out of the organization, not retained. You were a threat to management.
In fact, if you were innovative, you were considered a direct and lethal threat to the management team that was busy (barely) trying to justify their own existence. They didn’t want any smart folks replacing their glacial-moving, accomplish-as-little-as-is-necessary, paper-pushing to retain their Herman Miller “Cosm chair” complete with “auto-harmonic tilt, intercept suspension, and flexible frame” working “together to give them the feeling of weightlessness.” 🙂
So, with that slightly cynical and sarcastic, yet realistic, intro, here are today’s buzzwords. And there was a cluster of them today. “Unbossing,” “servant leaders,” “knowledge workers,” and “compassionate directness.”
And now that the laughter has subsided . . .
Time is slipping away, and as we approach the end of another year it’s time for people to engage in reflection, projection, and resolution.
Some are already referring to this as being the end of a decade. And they’re glad for it, calling it one big dumpster fire.
To others, it’s the end of another year of tumultuous political machinations. Or perhaps, a role call of all those who died, famous and infamous, loved and unloved.
Others find victimization, trauma, sadness, and are truly heartbroken.
And to others still, it has been just another amalgamation of meaningless seconds ticking away on the clock of the Universe.
Well I hit one of those milestones today. I now have 1000 followers! And while the stats and numbers aren’t overly important, I do appreciate everyone who visits and pauses to read or comment.
I really enjoy being part of the WordPress community.
I’ve found the people here to be positive, intelligent, and ready to engage in an exchange of ideas that doesn’t match the other social media platforms – in short, people are civil here. People are artists here. People are wordsmiths here. People are poets here. People share their stories here.
And I can’t get enough of good stories to read.
My last post was a bit short. And it really only listed out some research findings. Although it was interesting research about the power of positive relationships. And it did include some fun terms like “micro-aggressions,” “micro-experiences,” and “positive alacrity.”
I had to look up that last word “alacrity,” and it means “promptness in response, cheerful readiness.”
One could say that I didn’t put a lot creative effort into that post, or mockingly, and fairly, say that “I phoned it in.”
But sometimes shorter and simpler is better. The acronym I used for this was “KISS.” I used it as “keep it short and simple.” In law school, it stood for “keep it simple stupid.” That’s kind of interesting because one might think that highly educated folks, like lawyers, might not mind long and detailed analyses. It goes with the territory.
But people are pressed for time. And maybe that time is not well spent on “legal briefs” or social media?
I really do like studies. Even the ones where we think there are obvious conclusions, as if we didn’t need any documentation.
“Everybody knows that!”
But us humans do like to research. To authenticate, substantiate, certify, justify, confirm, establish, corroborate, prove, support, validate. Whatever word you want to use.
We like confirmation and quantification.
So, while I’m not overly surprised, I do find it intriguing that the research bears out that modern medicine has very little to do with our overall health – only about ten to twenty percent at best. A full eighty percent or more is determined by our relationships. At least that is what a seventy-five-year study conducted by the Harvard Medical School concluded.
By Harold Stearley at https://earthwalkingworld.wordpress.com
I have to tell you, I’ve not been feeling well. The living situation is draining me right now so I can’t seem to get very fired up about writing. So, I thought, why not just add a pic to your photo journal today? But then I also found a reminder about a word I wanted to write about.
I couldn’t remember why I wanted to write about this word. I know it wasn’t solely from its basic definition. I had some application or twist I wanted to highlight. To play around with.
While staring at the blank screen, I either remembered or thought of a new one. 🙂
Today, you get both, the image and the word.
Photo: A Bluebell somewhere in Wyoming.