Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An Unexpected Moment of Peace

Part of the after-dinner routine is to take our doggie, Willow, out for a bathroom break and a bit of exercise. There's a park behind our development with an open, grassy field, which makes for a perfect site for off-leash fun. There weren't any soccer or softball practices tonight, and so Willow and I went to that empty field so she could run unfettered -- and run she did.

Willow was tired after several sprints after a good throwing stick, chasing it up and down the field; and so we came to a pause next to the stick after she found it. Willow lay down in the cool grass and commenced an easy, contented gnawing on the stick. I stood there for a moment looking at her and, after noticing a brief but intense flicker of distracted, hurried anxiety from within -- an automatic "we have to get going!" response -- I decided to sit right down in the grass next to her.

In an instant, and all of a sudden, my world changed.

I noticed -- no, I saw -- the trees that ring the field. I saw their branches waving gently in the breeze. I saw the clear, muted blue of the evening sky above us. I felt the soft, cool grass underneath, and noticed how comfortable I felt sitting there on it. I felt it in my hands, and gently tugged on a handful of it -- not so hard as to pull it out, but rather to feel its strength and vitality. I breathed. I blinked.

I noticed I was more or less facing one particular tree across the field. I took in its green deciduous leaves. I traced the space between it and myself. A metaphor occurred to me. An affirmation arose. The tree could be a destination. It is my intention to remain awake and alive for each step of my walk across the field to that tree. Once there, I will acknowledge my journey and my arrival. I will then choose another destination and proceed; or, absent that immediate transition, I will sit at the foot of my new station and wait for a destination to occur to me.

I laughed easily and quietly.

Willow lay there, absorbed in her gnawing conquest of the throwing stick. I gave her a few pats on the back, and gently combed out some loose fur with my hands. I watched it flutter away in the breeze.

For those moments, I was there. I was real, and the world was real.

We stood up. I gathered the stick, and clipped her leash back onto her collar. We started our walk back home across the field. I found another stick. Willow convinced me to throw it to her a few times. I stashed the sticks in a place where we could easily find them again. For next time. We came home.

Goodnight, and thank you for reading.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Grateful Today For...

It's amazing to me how easy it is to slip into a "blah" mindset. All too often, I get wrapped up in the trials and tribulations of day to day life until they're all I see, i.e., until my struggles of the moment are the only thing I really notice in my life.

Perspective is so important, and it's always refreshing for me to -- proverbially speaking -- wade back into that pond. It's comforting to remember the fact that my problems are temporary; and it's humbling to remember that we all have our own problems -- and that many folks' problems are far more dire than my own.

That line of thinking is not intended to be self-effacing. My life is the only one I have, and my problems necessarily affect me. Still, the statement above is a great reminder that I have much in my life for which to be grateful, even if these things aren't readily apparent.

I have a mind, after all, and can think. So here goes nothing: here's what I'm grateful for today.

-My job. I have a fascinating, challenging job that often puts me in contact with all sorts of interesting people.
-My job (again). I earn a steady income, which enables me to take care of my basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing, as well as a number of additional needs/wants.
-This Chromebook, and the Internet. It is only during the past 20 or so years that human beings, en masse, have had means to instantly broadcast their thoughts, ideas, and opinions for all the world to see. I find that exercise deeply satisfying, and I do not wish to take it for granted; thus, I am grateful.
-My tattoos. They remind me that there is more to me than meets the eye, which is a reminder I need to give myself periodically.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Today, I am grateful for:

-Indoor plumbing
-Shelter from the elements
-My car
-A livelihood
-Having access to this technology, i.e., the ability to share my thoughts with the world (easily, and for free!)
-This t-shirt (my friend gave it to me)
-Being awake to see the early morning sunshine