Prepared to grieve

16 04 2018

williamshakespeare1The tragedy of the Humboldt hockey players bus crash and the loss of all those sweet boys was and is truly horrible. I feel for parents and friends and other teams and everyone involved. Especially the driver that survived…images-26

But while this is happening, and we respond by doing things like putting hockey sticks outside doors, wearing team shirts, etc., I can’t help but think that at this moment, we are all prepped for grief, standing on the edge of weeping, hanging onto the unstated hope that the US government and people will not send the world into war.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like living in this constant state of tension, waiting for that deadly tweet from an insane man who doesn’t think the rest of the government has any role. What will keep he-who-shall-not-be-named from setting up a fake situation with Russia or Korea and sending off those “very smart” bombs he is so proud of? Especially if his stock goes down, or that infamous tape is released?

1bvnzs(Aside: his childish hatred of the Democrats is insane. Who does things like pee on a mattress just because the Obamas slept there? What is in this man’s head?)

As a Canadian, I’m not directly involved in the loss of democracy below the border, but it and the hateful rhetoric that allowed the fascist oligarchs to take over is slipping through the permeable membrane between our countries. H-W-M-N-B-N and the GOP have made it okay to promote racism and stupidity and flash anger over rational thought. That’s tempting for anyone who is frustrated by the status quo. Simple sound bytes and lack of discussion are easier, clearer, than complicated explanations and balanced approaches.vx7jcsh

 

 

So everyone I speak to seems to have an undercurrent of tension these days. A little high pitched note under their speech, a slight twitch to their eyes. We joke – but there’s a tone under the humour, like things are changing in ways we don’t like to this may be the last time the winter is like this, the spring comes like this, fall slips in like this.

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I imagine it felt like this before WW1. I’m reading Barbara Tuchman’s excellent “The Guns of August” about this lead time and it sounds terribly, awfully familiar. People taking offense at nothing, anger over things that are said, a sense of chaos and loss of control. Evil people consolidating power and denying existing governmental rules, backroom deals and the lust for money.

It almost feels like something must happen to let off the tension.

Let’s hope it’s impeachment and not world destruction.

 

And meanwhile, we watch in the darkness, sensing the storm coming, unable to stop it. We giggle, nervously, clutch at entertainment and the solace of hygge, wrapping ourselves in wooly cocoons. But when something awful happens, we scream out, prepared as we are to weep.

Practicing. Preparing. For the big one?

Thank heavens for the young, the hopeful and perhaps a wee bit ignorant. Everyone says everyone must study history. True. But we must do so without engendering the cynicism many of us have tangled so close to our chests. Because cynicism crushes hope, and only in hope can we achieve any change.

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Freaking Out!

25 06 2014

Gawd. I am losing it, and so, apparently, is the rest of the world. Everyone is fighting one another, my sodding firstFH9J-born is still not speaking to me with extreme prejudice, journalists are being kidnapped and women everywhere are being killed and raped and abused and by golly jinkums, I am just about ready to lose it and go postal on the entire place. And don’t get me started on the mess that is this Canadian government, else I shall shoot coffee out of my nose and burn you with the effluent.

It’s hard being cheerful in such a world. I find it almost impossible. Why just the other day I thought, quite seriously, about driving my car into a tree. What’s it all FOR, anyway? We don’t seem to be progressing, we dwell in hatred and anger and the urge (ever larger) to cling to the almighty penny rather than share a wee bit with anyone else.

What the hell is wrong with us all.

Oh yeah, and I’m writing crap. For my course. Which means I will have to send it to someone I respect and feel her frustration and watch the edits mount up online. Which of course is the worst thing of all the above…

Just kidding. The world sucketh anon. But if it weren’t for people like Helen Humphreys and Roald Dahl and Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett and Stella Gibbons and Bronwyn Wallace and Norton Juster and A.A.Milne and Edward Gorey and Jose Saramago and Donna Morrissey and PG Wodehouse and Nancy Mitford and Kermit, it would sucketh more, much much more.

And so off I toil, in the hope that somewhere in all this random verbiage, a flicker of magic may occur that makes some of this soul-sucking world make sense, even for a moment.

 





Hope, or living present while giving presents

8 06 2014

-hope-15908It’s been a week. Shootings in Canada, Women hung for living, flogged for breathing, elections going to the right-wing, just a whole bunch of despair-inducing news. So I dither, and distract myself. Drink wine. Laugh too loud. Read the inter webs.

There are only a few wonderful blogs I follow religiously and read every day –  a favourite is Brain Pickings, and after months of finding gems on it, I’ve decided to support it as a subscription. Well worth it.

Today’s posting was on Happiness, and its fleeting nature. Feeling the teensiest bit blue (as I always do of a Sunday afternoon/evening), it spoke to me.

First, a bit from Kierkegaard, about how hope and memory damage happiness –

Consider first the hoping individual. When, as a hoping individual (and of course to that extent unhappy), he is not present to himself, he becomes unhappy in a stricter sense… But if he cannot become present to himself in hope, but loses his hope, hopes again, and so on, then he is absent from himself not just in the present but also in the future, and we have a type of the unhappy…

Similarly if we consider the remembering individual. If he finds himself present in the past, strictly he is not unhappy; but if he cannot do that but remains constantly absent from himself in a past, then we have a form of the unhappy…

Unhappy individuals who hope never have the same pain as those who remember. Hoping individuals always have a more gratifying disappointment. The unhappiest one will always, therefore, be found among the unhappy rememberers.

Whew. It reminds me a bit of Pema Chodron’s exhortation to “Abandon Hope” as then you will not suffer hurt or loss. I’ve always been a Anne of Green Gables gal, though – I’d rather feel the ups and downs of hope and disappointment, the swells of love and hurt, of joy and embarrassment. I can be blue, but I can also be screaming bright yellow. The contrast is nice for me, at least. Maybe I prefer that gratifying disappointment…but I must say, if I hear of one more woman being killed by some radical religious zealot, I am going to explode with grief and anger and horror and hatred.

A more cheerful outlook from Anna Quindlen… (highlights mine)

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond and a stand of pines

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you…

Get a life in which you are generous...And realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted. 

All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.

Maybe a trip to the beach is in order, to remind me that there are good things, and good people, in the world. To be present, and grateful.

I’ve been lucky to meet a few people who are generous without thinking about it, who give and appreciate and enjoy and love. They are as the stars in the sky, they lighten my life with their beauty.

One day I hope (there’s that word again) to be like them. Right now I’m in a morass of hoping people will just behave like decent human beings. Or animals.





Relax, and feel the cosmos breathing you…

28 03 2013

291944_231992753521741_230435437010806_543226_885758423_nAndrew Weil, MD, is a fellow who simply brims with good health and joy and gosh, even his beard seems almost rudely alive. He’s a medical doctor with all sorts of additional training in naturopathy and yoga and non-western medical practices. I’ve read a few of his books in my time and he also seems to have a healthy dose of common sense and humour about himself.
This morning I spent with Dr. Weil and his book Breathing from Audible.com. The second chapter is full of breathing exercises and relaxation breathing, the first chapter tells you why they are so important.
I woke up this morning feeling sore in all my bones, aching with MS and filled with a cold from the pool where I swim. I’m packing to move, and I am grieving for a friend who is having a terrible time. So I was cheery to the max, let me tell you. Sometimes it is fortunate I sleep alone.
So I turned on Andrew, and breathed.
And was healed.
The breathing techniques alone were worth the expense of the book and the time. Hearing Andrew breathe along beside me and envisioning his outrageously healthy self doing these exercises was also wonderful. The techniques were useful and I’ve parked one involving timed breathing for the next time I feel an urge to eat tons of chocolate or send a hateful email or beep my horn.
But the bit that left me weeping was an exercise in pretending you we’re not breathing yourself, that the universe was inflating you down to your toes and then gently sucking the air out of you, only to inflate you again.
Andrew says, “feel the cosmos breathe you.”
Okay, I have to admit that sounds pretty new age flaky stuff, but to tell you the truth, it was a wonderful release, so much so I found myself weeping tears of joy and opening my mouth wide to take in the blessing.
We believe we are in charge of so much, we try to control so much. I can’t even enjoy swimming anymore because I am always wanting to make sure everyone has a lane to swim in! It’s insane.
The thought of letting the cosmos take me, rest on my lips like a lover, and breathe for me, was impossible to describe.
And left me with a profound, encompassing sense of gratitude. About everything.
Thank you, Dr. Weil, and your health and common sense and good cheer and open-minded ness that also is capable of critical thought (at one point, he takes time to explain why we are to rest the tips of our tongues on the roof of our mouth while breathing, talking about various energy circles, only to say, “I have no idea how this is applicable to what we know about human physiology, but since these guys have been doing it for years and found a benefit to it, why not bow to their greater wisdom. Can’t hurt…”(paraphrasing))
(I always taught this in prenatal class as a way to ensure your mouths didn’t get dry when doing breathing exercises…)
The book- highly recommended. Get it on audio and listen to Andrew breathe. You’ll be better for it.

Or go to his website and check out the exercises he recommends. For free.





Hmm. Sunday afternoons might not be a good thing, after all.

5 12 2011

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2011/02/20/our-dream/

Sometimes a posting comes along at the right time. I’m feeling a bit frustrated, writing-wise, and having trouble deciding if going to the Erma Bombeck conference would be a good thing or just an extra expense  (would probably block out my chance of seeing Newfoundland this summer). My dreams of being published are slipping a bit, and I’m feeling a bit bleu as another contest goes by with no prize for DA.

And then I read this blog entry by Paulo Coelho and it sounds so right. I’ve been at home on disability for three years, almost, now. Yeah, I am home on DISABILITY, so that implies I am perhaps not as capable of work as some. However, it is all too easy to let everything slip and just ease along, thinking in grey wooly patches or sunny warm corners or along the tune of something by Brahms or Debussy. It’s comfy. It doesn’t push you.

It’s hard always being a self-starter, when days spin out ahead of you in what seems like endless numbers, and you have a disease that makes you tired and all that. It’s so so easy to put things off til tomorrow, so hard to commit to anything as life meanders along.

You have the excuse, after all. I’m sick, you can tell others. I can’t possibly be expected to…whatever.

This is like death under a thousand featherbeds, gradually smothering until your life is nothing but sleeping, eating, breathing.

Like Coelho says, it’s important not to let that happen. It’s important to keep our dreams front and centre, to keep working towards them.

Right?








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