I was forced to think about loss of life actively yesterday, not just in passing news or a circle of people I used to be part of. Repeating that I am someone who cares quite a bit about many things, there’s a certain apathy that I employ to cope with constant pain in this world. Multiple instances of loss of life were thrust into my main focus and my heart just aches. It physically hurts in my chest.
For those that don’t know,
Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as kintsukuroi (金繕い, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquerdusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-etechnique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise
Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin….Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. …The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself.
Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics
Getting last minute approval to leave your windowless office job early on a Friday feels oh so lovely, like you’re getting away with something as you step into the sun, removing your facemask. I’m sitting on the slab of cement cherished as my patio. Partially shaded, but with the warmth soaking into my legs from the rock, covered by my skirt. A loud crunch/pop sound breaks the songs of crickets as I open a cold can of V8 juice. I’m trying to have more vegetables in my diet and I already treated myself to a creamy nitro cold brew, laced with salted caramel this morning. Normally I don’t spring for nitro but it truly had a different flavor, richer and darker than the regular.
It’s the perfect day as far as weather goes. A cool clear, morning growing from the low seventies to the low eighties with a breeze shushing through the leaves of the trees. Come to think of it, it’s probably frogs, not crickets I’ve been hearing, since it’s not yet evening. Either way, I’m not worried. Normally I would be, thinking about my never ending list of things to do and accomplish but I’m happy, at peace just existing for a change.
Whatever kind of week you’re coming out of, I hope that you’re able to experience peace in the ordinary beauty of life.
Hello friends and strangers, I must apologize for my extended absence. Life has been complicated lately. I know, when is it not. Battling burnout at my job, taking a wonderful trip from which I had to return, exhaustion and getting sick, focusing on my immediate space instead of the cerebral, and quite frankly, lack of wonder and inspiration in my everyday life; these are the things I blame for my lack of posting.
My eating and sleeping have been most impacted. Vivid dreams leave me tired and confused when I wake up. Interest in food or the energy to make it are in short supply.
This morning though, staying home to stream church instead of exposing people to whatever my body is fighting, I found that pocket of contentment. Nothing is perfect. I dropped my beautiful cheese toast face down on the rabbit-fur-covered rug. My stomach is still upset, but I was able to enjoy sitting on the ground by the windows, soaking up the sun indoors, since the smoke from Canada has impacted air quality. The black berries and crisp pickle slices, that escaped the fall, were refreshing and Clove convinced me to hand over some of the fur-covered toast, allowing me to fit in a few smoothings of her velvety soft fluff. No, things are far from perfect but, life can still be good.
I was taught to smile at everyone. You never know what kind of day they are having, what they are going through, or the impact a simple smile could have.
I still smile at almost everyone. If I can make even a small difference that way, it’s worth it.
Looking in the mirror today, tired, I smiled at myself. Then realized, I don’t remember the last time I genuinely smiled at me; not a pose for a picture, not customer service, not a reaction to someone or something else but instead extending that kindness inward.
Self love, worth, and identity are lifelong struggles for a lot of people on varying levels, whether it’s body issues, awkwardness, trauma or circumstances. I don’t have everyday solid advice, since humans are very complex with varying situations.
But, can you do me a favor, dear friends and strangers? Can you smile at yourself like you would a stranger, friend, or family member? Please be kind to yourselves.
The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.
A breeze keeps blowing my loose strands of hair into my face and if I tilt my head just right, I can see a threading of web reflecting light through the blades of grass. The smell of someone grilling and the sound of birdsong mix now with the quiet clack of the keyboard. I am somehow in a different life but it is my own.
I haven’t read an actual book in maybe, over a year. Someone was kind enough to send me one off of my Amazon wishlist, suggested by my mentor. It’s so beautiful outside today again, after most of the week being rain and snow. Going on a walk is suggested but the mentally tired bug bit me earlier today and was not shaken. Resting outside, reading for the first time in forever, carding my fingers through the velveteen fur of my rabbit, has melted the work day away.
It’s not just any book either. It’s not an escape (which I am constantly seeking) or a cover up. It requests that I face reality and ask myself hard questions.
we need to figure out where we are before we plot a course forward
Bob Goff – Dream Big
I am urged to open my eyes, take a clear look at everything I think about myself and why, sort through my desires and ambitions as if doing an internal spring cleaning, and truly put in the work to make my life what I long for it to be.
No more doing what merely occupies, entertains, and numbs us?
Bob Goff – Dream Big
Can you be honest with yourself? How difficult is it for you? As the light fades into evening and the breeze becomes chilled, I will go back inside but take these questions with me.
From only three chapters into the book, I already highly suggest it. Have you heard of it? Read it? Dream Big by Bob Goff
I wrote the excerpt below, about nine years ago. I did not own a piano. I did not have my own place to live.
Someday, in my made up future, I will wake up to the birds singing and the sunlight streaming through my window. Smiling, I will slip out from between my covers and stretch, fingers towards the ceiling, before walking into the kitchen. I will make myself a delicious, healthy, breakfast and eat it outside in the morning air. After putting the dishes away, getting dressed, and pulling my hair back, I will go and sit down at my deep, black, grand piano and let all of my thoughts and feelings flow out of my fingertips until they echo in the air. Maybe I will laugh, a smile on my face. Maybe I will cry, tears escaping with each note. And after I’m done, and there is nothing left to be said, I will close that gorgeous piano back up. I will close the doors to the room where the emotions still hover thick in the air, and I will step into the breathtaking sunshine. Eyes closed, I will listen, waiting for your response.
Reading this poem now, I can see that my dream for my future has pretty much become true. There are no doors to close my piano into it’s own room because I live in a (wonderful) studio apartment. There was no chance that I could purchase my bucket-list instrument, but my grandmother willed me hers.
This was a reminder I needed.
I hope you enjoyed a peek into some of my very old writing.
I often find myself wishing for “back when things were simple” or “the good ol’ days” but when I really think about it, I can’t tell exactly when that was. Was it last year? (No, not 2020. We don’t count 2020 as last year yet.) Was it the year that I moved out of my parents house, completely on my own to a different state? Was it my time in college, or highschool? Maybe it was when we lived in what we thought was our dream house, when the internet still went skeerrrrrrrreeeeeeeeee, or I would play for hours outside by myself.
When I think of these times generally, most of them don’t strike me as the best time in my life. I know all of the struggles and the shadows on the other side of the bright spots that can reflect as “the best”. Has anyone out there mastered the perspective of seeing the past and the present for what they actually are in relation to each other?
The past sure feels like simpler times when my hippocampus lazily floats a memory to my neo-cortex, packaged up so prettily in nostalgia and sunshine. Yes, I went on a tangent and looked up which parts of the brain are responsible for memory. Brains are super interesting. I could go on a multitude of rabbit trails about brains but I digress.
I’m not sure what to do with this information. I try to frame my present as a good time and fight against the skewed image that the past was the best time of my life. A lot of it wasn’t. Part of the reason for this site is to bring that good, that simpler time into my present. I have so many ideas I want to explore but am not quite sure how to get there. My next blurb should (hopefully) be something more in that realm of things I’m passionate about.
Thank you for reading this post of ramblings. It is not nearly what I consider good content but I told myself that I would work through and towards my future here, on this site and this is part of it.
May we find the simple things in our days, the good in our times.