Addendum To Last Night’s Post

Thinking about how tiny we are in the universe, how much we don’t matter is depressing, or revelatory, or both, or neither, but sitting here with a fire going, watching a TV show, looking around at the house I’m in, the land we live on, the trees, the flowers, the garden, and human creativity, it’s also true that we’re a hidden gem in the universe.

We’re sadly gluttons for our own doom so much of the time, but there are other souls doing what they can to remedy the mistakes we make, to help rather than hurt, being compassionate rather than callous, and giving life meaning through creativity, service, and love.

We are like the Whos of Whoville, and maybe there is a Horton to hear us – a larger concerned entity fighting for us, regardless of how insignificant we appear.

As Horton says: “a person’s a person no matter how small”

We matter as a collective.

We know how real we are, even if our time here is really quite small.  Dr. Suess, I am not, though I like him a lot. I’ve been through the bracken, I’ve heard the great Kraken.  I’ve been to the place called Hither and Yon, and I’ve seen many things that made me not want to go on.  And on, I did go, though the weather was foul, on I did go through winds that would howl.  I was afraid, yes it’s true, more afraid than most – I hope it doesn’t happen to you.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

Pissed Off, Yet Accepting…

David Bowie died and left more space than any other celebrity I didn’t know except Robin Williams.

I’m both pissed off and accepting.  I have to be, it happened. One, a death from cancer, which more and more people die from in our toxic world, and the other, suicide – when from the outside looking in – seemed incomprehensible.  I understand depression.  I understand substance abuse, and the ridiculousness life plays on all of us, but didn’t Robin Williams have resources I lacked?  Was David Bowie doing all he could to cure his cancer?  The answer, of course, is, probably, and, none of my business, but they both influenced my life radically.

David Bowie was the unpredictable, brilliant musician, whom I only recently learned was never comfortable on stage.  Robin Williams may have never felt comfortable in his own skin, or maybe he was having a crisis, or who knows what his mental state was in order to off himself, but it’s doable is what I learned.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2014/aug/12/robin-williams-suicide-and-depression-are-not-selfish

If things get too real, you can just go.  Just go.  We can off ourselves so easily, yet our survival mechanisms scream that we shouldn’t do it.  So many people overcome that biological directive.  I wonder if there is a god, if it hears the pain.  If it cares, if it really does punish those who take their own lives, because who would kill themselves as a lark? What is there to punish?

It takes a lot to overcome the desire to live.  I know.  I’ve never mustered that kind of resolve, and I wonder if it matters?

I once followed a faith that basically said ‘woe to you’ if you stop following it, or believing it, and that all your good works ‘are for naught’, unless you are a true believer, and do those good works in ‘god’s’ name.

I wonder though.  There are billions of people on earth, and our earth is so incredibly infinitesimal in the universe that it seems ridiculous that some ‘god-man’ has marked us out specially for Its revelation, when you can’t even pick us out from the Milky Way, never mind the entire universe!

Surely there is another race on another planet in another galaxy that has it more together than we do.  And what, exactly, are we marked out for?  What spiritual or godly ambition are we destined for?

We are smaller than atoms, in a universal perspective.  All hail the galaxy rather than our puny little planet lost amongst the puny stars in our puny galactic neighborhood.

All I believe is that, sanctioned by a ‘god’ or not, I like being kind.  I want to be a safe person, a helper, in an often frightening world.  Your children are safe with me.  You are safe with me.

It’s astounding that I’m better than some ‘god’, but there you go. All hail to me?

Being a light is better, to me, than adding to the darkness.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

Selling Elvis

My S.O. has a velvet Elvis he’d like to sell.  His mother brought it home from donations to their church tag sale.  She thought being musicians we’d like it, and it is the King of Rock -n- Roll, but we’d rather see the painting go to an appreciative home.

Photo by Jerri Higgins

Photo by Jerri Higgins

Photo by Jerri Higgins

Photo by Jerri Higgins

The velvet Elvis craze began in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, and Mexican kitsch artist David Ortiz was prolific not only with Elvis paintings, but also known for clowns, and animals, on velvet, usually in a decorative wood frame.

Many other kitsch artists in Tijuana copied Ortiz, and there was a glut of ‘VElvis’ paintings, which have become collectibles today.

Every time I pass by the painting, I remember how adored Elvis was when I was a kid, and I never understood his appeal until I was older.  I enjoyed films like, Jail House Rock, and I was in a staged version of, King Creole, several years ago with, Travis LeDoyt, an uncanny Elvis tribute artist, who tours around the world bringing mostly Elvis’ early career to audiences young and young-at-heart alike.

Regardless of how much VElvis’ are disparaged by ‘serious’ art critics, they have endured, and increased in value, even if only for sentimental, kitsch, and niche collectors.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

Picture Perfect Day

January afternoon, looking northerly:

Photo by Jerri Higgins

Photo by Jerri Higgins

Afternoon Sky Late January 2016

Photo by Jerri Higgins

Photo by Jerri Higgins

Photo by Jerri Higgins

The colors of the camera don’t do life justice.  Subtle grays blending into blue,  with a smoky water-color appearance.

Nature wins again.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

Worthy Goal?

Hey WordPressers,

I’d love to have 1,000 fellow bloggers following me this year, and if there’s something that you’d like me to write about that would interest you enough for a follow, please comment in this post.

Why 1,000?  Because 1,000 feels like success.  If I don’t reach that, I’ve not found something interesting enough to blog about, or I’m not interesting enough, and I get that.

I’ll cry for a while, but I’ll be over it eventually.

Maybe.

If you have suggestions on how to have a more successful blog, please let me know that too.

Comments are only open for a week or whatever WordPress’ cut off is because when I’ve left comments open indefinitely, I got a LOT of spam.

Thank you so much, and if I can help you meet a blogging goal, let me know!

Cheers.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

Songbird Sings

This winter is easier than last, but the chill and fierce wind still keeps me indoors.  I was part of a songwriting group last winter given by Robin Lane, called A Woman’s Voice, through her non-profit: Songbird Sings.  We met for several weeks of songwriting and recording at The Salasin (Women’s Resource) Center, in Greenfield, MA.

We started meeting around this time last year, and what helped as much as songwriting was the wonderful and resilient women who participated.

Sharon Brody from WBUR.org came to Robin’s recording space last summer to interview those of us who wished to, and to talk about Songbird Sings, and how we were helping heal some of our trauma through song writing, and through connecting with other survivors/”thrivers”.

In an interview with Robin, several participants, and myself, some of my song, February Day, plays after I speak, and in the background.

I seem to write best, and most often, in a group, and hope to continue song writing, as well as blogging, fiction, and non-fiction writing.  Snippets of two of my older songs, Listen To Me, Rock of Gibraltar, and our collaborative song, Free Your Power, can be heard on the CD Baby site: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/robinlane.

So much work lies ahead to realize my dreams, and being a singer-songwriter leads more to lots of gigs in lots of coffee-shops, bars, and out of the way places, than to vaunted halls of music, but at least I’m trying, and that trying keeps my hope – and so far me – alive.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

Body Positive

I never really thought much about my body except for the flaws I saw and felt – or the flaws others ascribed to me, or worse, that I assumed they ascribed to me by ways others (mostly men) have responded to me, but that may have had little to do with me.

I had decided I wanted to live several years ago, coming from the brink of suicide – and I wish I could say from that resolution on it’s been clear skies and calm seas – but what has stayed with me are many overt and subtle ways I treat myself, and my desire toward self-care and love.

I’m of two minds here, as I sip my delicious mocha (made by me with left-over brewed coffee from this morning, high quality hot chocolate mix, dry powered-milk, and close to a tablespoon of half and half.)  I understand that the sugar is not good for me, but the drink warms my insides, warms my hands as I hold the mug, enlivens my senses through touch, feel, taste, and enticing scent, along with the four Trader Joe’s, Triple Ginger Snaps, and a quarter cup of unsalted cashews…

What is the measure between how much shit am I putting in my body, vs. how much the satisfaction increase my happiness?  I feel I’m snacking fairly healthy – understanding I’m likely eating GMO wheat, and refined sugar, along with the maligned dairy products of the half and half, powdered non-fat-milk, and the butter in the cookies.

I’m more conscientious about what I eat – and I’ve always been careful – and I try to find non-GMO products, but even organics can have GMOs in them if the seeds were GMO but grown organically.

Balancing mental/emotional well-being with best-practices for physical well-being, especially being impoverished, is a tough job.  This time of year (cold winter) I love comfort food, and my body would like a thicker layer of fat as nature intended, thank you very much, so my habits are a constant challenge between healthy eating and feeling consoled through food.

Paying mindful attention to my body is a great help in feeling better.  I usually just towel off after a shower, put on lotion, brush my teeth, get dressed, and go, but being mindful about this ‘chunked’ process has had some positive effects.

It’s silly to anthropomorphize my limbs, relating to them as though they have a separate life without me, or maybe just feeling like I need to appreciate all that still works well in my body, but as our largest organ, I notice how often I’ve taken my relatively sound, healthy, skin and my limbs for granted, and this new mindfulness toward my body’s individual parts leaves me feeling more connected to myself, and with less pain.

That could be the drugs, though.  Hmmm.

Kidding!

I do PT exercises for chronic pain, and that does alleviate about 80 – 90% of my daily pain, but when depression kicks in it’s tough to engage in what’s good for me.  I always feel better when I’ve exercised, so it’s worth pushing through my Eeyore persona to channel Tigger.

If you start trying body mindfulness, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.  Cheers!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

To Write Or Not To Write

I’m supposed to be writing.  I know, I am writing, but I’m supposed to be working on one of the project’s that I’ve tried to complete for the last decade or so.  Maybe I don’t really want to write.  Maybe I just want to want to write?  I mean, thinking is easier than doing, right?  Except, it’s not, really.  It’s just as painful to avoid as it is to confront – at least in this instance.

Am I afraid I’ll be found a fraud?  Out of ideas?  Stupid, incompetent, poser?

I’m all that.  I’m just me, trying to figure out a way to make my time on this spinning living planet work for me.

I thought I wanted fame, and I am sooooo glad I never got it.  Fame is crap – unless you get rich by having fame, and then it’s not the fame, it’s the wealth.  For some, it’s the fame.  Egomania.

Of course I’m ego-driven.  I wouldn’t be writing if I didn’t think I had something worthwhile to say – even if it’s just worthy to me.  I also get inspiration, edification, joy, and connection from other people’s writing, art, and other creativity, and it’s satisfying to get positive feedback – or even neutral feedback.  Negative feedback sucks, but then I have to step back and ask why I got that kind of comment.  Was I offensive?  Are they reacting from their fear?  What’s my responsibility to them – or them to me?

We owe each other nothing, which makes connection all the more beautiful.

Often, I write to survive.  Just getting something out is therapeutic, especially when I feel the nothingness crowding in.

Some things are far too personal to share except to skirt around the edges, and other instances have found me kicking up all the muck and slinging it around on the page, hoping that someone will relate – that someone will tell me their story too – that someone else’s noise will quiet mine.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

Dark Times

Two friends have died in the last month.  Two people who were making the most of their lives, really enjoying all the moments they could, living with gusto and positivity.

They both left behind teen-aged children, significant others, and a wealth of friends.

I sat at one friend’s memorial while dozens recounted how kind, generous, fun, and mischievous he was, and what a loss it was to not have his presence here anymore.

It’s not about what comes after this.  There is nothing we can do about what’s beyond here, if anything, except to live to the best of our capacity, and believe that if there is a creator, we are accepted.

I will soon attend the services for my other friend, more like family, really, and that is a shock not yet sunk in for he passed away last night.

Being in top health doesn’t guarantee a longer life – but it sure makes being here easier. Health adds to our ability to tend to each other and to tend to the world.  Being our best helps, but being a light regardless of anything else going on matters the most.

The stories of how much people’s lives were touched by just one being is astounding to witness.

Who will eulogize me, and what will they say?  Who will be around to witness my passing, to send me off – if anything exists beyond here – with a brighter soul than I had before I left?

I hope stories shared will create laughter and joy.  I hope I have been kind enough to warrant a group of disparate individuals coming together to celebrate that I was here, and that I mattered.

Steve – you were fun, hilarious, kind, increased my joy immensely, and I’m sad to no longer have an ’80’s karaoke pal, and you are greatly missed by your family, and the wealth of friends and acquaintances left behind who honor your memory.

Dave – you also were fun, funny, kind, a wonderful athlete with a zest for life, and your presence will be dearly missed, especially by your wife and children, your extended family, and the hundreds of friends who’ve already been attesting to your influence, and meaning to them, and to all of us.

If we continue in any sentient form, I hope you are both at peace, surrounded by love, and by those gone before you, but you will long be remembered and celebrated here, and I’m glad I knew you.

Death is tough whenever it comes, for those remaining, but it’s especially tough around the holidays, when it seems that anything but good cheer is out-of-place.  It’s also hard to lose friends and family in winter when the bleak land and low light deepens our darkness.

We will love and comfort each other, and remember their best with as joyful a heart as we can muster.

Peace be with you.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current