Just Sit

I usually get up at 4 a.m. so I can do my creative projects and some physical exercise before going to work.  But every once in a while, I just sit.

That’s right.  Just sit.

Hands wrapped around a big mug of tea, the cat in my lap, I will stay put until it is time to get ready for work.  That is 3 hours of sit.  I am amazed at how fast that goes by!

And how necessary it is.

How wonderful to disengage.  Sometimes it is inspiring.  Sometimes I get new ideas.  Most of the time I just rest.  Three hours of not expecting anything, planning anything, trying to figure stuff out, worrying, ruminating, processing information.  Rushing.

Nice also to have 3 hours where I am silent.  Seldom do I speak a word, not even to cat.  Likewise, it is good not to listen either.  The next 8 to 10 hours at work are filled with non-stop chatter, where I must communicate clearly and listen intently.

In the early morning hours, not much activity in the world outside my doors.  Birds may be singing to the sunrise, or rain pattering on my window.  Sometimes the howl of wind.  No cars, voices, vehicles, sirens, telephones, people and the like – yet.

Most weekends and holidays in summer I spend hours of sit outside.  Next door is a splendid park, complete with thundering waterfall.  In these surroundings if I sit still long enough, nature gets curious about or bored with me and reveals herself.  Creatures appear and check me out or resume their daily business.  Nature is calm and soothing yet brimming with life and activity.  A still-busyness. Work is noisy, demanding and always, always busy.  No still there.

So now as I just sit and let the world carry on without me, my cat stretches full length down to my ankles and yawns.  The clock is telling me the hour has come.  Already ten minutes past the hour.  Think I’ll just sit a bit more . . .

There Is Still Hope

A beautiful antique Singer sewing machine came up for sale while I was scrolling mindlessly through items on my cell phone a few days ago.  It was exactly like the one my Mother used, and was in immaculate condition.  This set in motion a longing in me to have it, but at $450 and with too small of an apartment I could only gaze at the picture and sigh.

This gave me pause for thought.  As I get older I pine more for the past which causes quite a bit of frustration.  I see items all the time I had as a young girl and that time of my life was a whole lot better than my adulthood.

But I was thinking.  I am very very fortunate to have had all those lovely things at one time in my life.  Although I cannot have them now, I once did have them.  Also, all the things I wish I could do, I once did.  I long to re-experience them, but it is not that I never had them.  So I am very grateful.  I know what it is like to have, and now to want.  Others never have and only ever experience want.

I came from an upper middle class family that afforded us many nice things and experiences.  So for almost 20 years of my life I had those things.  My frustration lies in not being able to go back.  My childhood was a dream time, full of fantasy and creativity.  My adult life, for the most part, sucks shit, and seems to lack the same zeal, and certainly, the appeal.

However, seeing things from the perspective of gratitude for what once was, is helpful.  There is still time to grab hold of some of the past, should my fortunes change and money materialize.  The challenge is to create a better today, and a more hopeful future.  So while I am fortunate to have a generous past to look back at, I may have a more generous future waiting for me.  There is still hope.

Some Mystery Left

Warm summer nights would find a younger version of myself out in the backyard, alone, gazing at the stars.  For hours in mosquito laden nights I would ponder the universe.  My parents, perhaps to satisfy my curiosity, but more likely to keep me close to home and a little less itchy, bought me a telescope, a long white metal tube on a tripod.  Now the night skies were accessible in the comfort of my mosquito free bedroom, and also afforded year round viewing.

When I first saw a magnified moon it frightened me.  Awesome!!  Such a beautiful landscape.  Pristine.

Mom brought me home from a camping trip to watch the lunar landing on TV.  I cried that night.  I was sad the moon bore the footprints of man and was no longer so mysterious.

The Science and Technology Museum offered an astronomy course when I was in my late teens, which I attended every night.  Sometimes there were 4 or 5 of us, but most of the time, it was just me.  We were entertained with documentaries on the universe, solar system and the like until the skies were dark enough for viewing.  Shivering equally from cold and awe, I saw Saturn for the first time through a 15 inch refracting telescope.

I briefly joined the local astronomy club, but they had a strict policy that you could not believe in God and be an astronomer at the same time.  Hmmm.

My engineer Dad harboured a secret desire to work for NASA and I happily accompanied him to Florida to tour the facilities.  It was an overwhelming experience.  Sadly my Dad never applied to work there.  Imagine what might have been.

Along came the series Cosmos and I devoured it all.  Carl Sagan’s unhurried personal tour of the universe and science gave me time to think about what he said.  When a record album of the music of Cosmos was offered by PBS television for a donation, I was glued to the phone.  So for $20, I got the record, and for a few minutes, to talk to the President of PBS.  I still have that record today.  I revisited Cosmos just last month and it has not lost its appeal for me.

Nowadays I am lucky to see one star besides the moon in our bright city skies, so my telescope is covered over and collecting dust.  But there is plenty of viewing on the internet.  The universe is largely untouched.  Some mystery is left.

No Prizes for Mankind

No Nobel Prize for literature this year?  Well, doesn’t that speak volumes on how far our society has deteriorated.

Life, and all we know of  is like a graph of oscillating functions.  There are peaks and then . . . well, currently we are in the trough where all the pigs eat.

I am hopeful that such upheavals mean we are on the upswing.  Although the peaks are pretty bad also.

In humankind we are all too human.  We need more kind.

Money, power and sex have ruled our societies long enough.  It is time for new ways of being.  However, I am doubtful we can change.  There is a threshold we can so easily cross, which shrinks what little brain we actually use, giving us tunnel vision.  That tunnel vision is greed.

Our leaders are elected solely for their talent in acquiring money, irrespective of the methods.  Their only purpose for being in power is to get more money for themselves.  They are barely given a slap on the wrist for their gross mistreatment of virtually everyone.  Where would you and I be if we behaved so badly?

The uber rich receive awards for creating jobs (yet treat their employees as slaves).  The result is they have so much money they don’t know what to do with it (say what?!).  Some of these arrogant snobs could end world poverty, but launch rockets into space instead (the ultimate phallic symbol) claiming this will help and even save mankind.  Puhleese.

No prizes for mankind this year.

But guess what?  I want to be rich!  Because I want to retire and do the things I love all day.  I don’t want to launch rockets, or have slaves or run countries.  Money is freedom to me.  I want to live well, and live quietly.

Even with my loud voice!