Sometimes I Just Bake Cookies…

MUSING BUT NOT AMUSING?

I have been imagining all the things that I could do now that I am no longer responsible for anyone else.

I still have my crossing guard job and within the three hours a day I am occasionally responsible for getting people (I wish more children walked to school) safely across the street.

Some adults think it is hilarious that I am crossing them. “I feel like a kid again!”  Some think it’s annoying.  I scold them when they are too impatient for the light to change and head out ahead of me on the red. I don’t tell them I have years of looking after people who were either looking forward to being independent, or looking back on the loss of it and so no stink eye of the type one might expect from a teenage is going to thwart me…

I didn’t look after kids or my mother for the approval I would gain.  That was good too because being a caregiver is really hard and often criticized by those who have never been one but know a lot about it from watching television. Although it was nice when  appreciation was expressed, it came, less often than it would in a television sitcom but more often than I probably remember.  (And I am sorry for this, truly.)

I just like knowing what needs to be done and then doing it.  It feels good. There, I said it.  I am not a self sacrificing saint or anything like it. I am just a person lacking in imagination.  Maybe. Maybe that is it.

So while I would like to sell everything and go and stand on the front lines of some injustice, other than getting hurt I don’t think I can contribute much; Or finish the two books I started to write when I was younger and smarter and able to drink more than one cup of coffee a day without a gastro-disaster; or finally finish that enormous painting I started (what was I thinking?) that is facing the wall as if the painting was ashamed and not me, it kills my back to stand and paint; Or try to learn to speak French, something that I found easier when I was still drinking wine, *sigh*.   None of these things will likely happen.

The anniversary of my mother’s death is rapidly approaching and I promised myself I would give myself a year before making any major decisions.

I am no longer responsible for anyone else. I come home exhausted and eat one of the frozen meals I made on the weekend and then do some hand sewing while some really violent Netflix show plays. It is the only way I can watch some of these programs.  If I actually look at the screen too often,  OMG, PTSD.

So I bake cookies when I am unsure, maybe I’ll manage a trip to see my Old Teacher over the holidays, bounce my grandson on my knee. And follow my favourite blogs, those that make the world still seem a place full hope and beauty and adventure, and good will for all.

 

We can make a habit of compassion

Things are so weird right now but maybe it’s good that it’s all out in the open so we can see how ugly racism, sexism and entitled criminality are, but that said, violence in television is over the top and I don’t see people cringing, rather they are getting desensitized to it. Will we become desensitized to the sort of ignorant thuggism that is taking over all our public forums? I hope not. I am 60 this year and tired. I feel like “wake me up when they come for me, or not“, which is bad, really bad. I keep reminding myself, Hitler ran for office more than once before he got in power. Persistant thuggism can overwhelm considered intellect and endeavoured compassion, as history has shown us over and over. We must confront it. We must shake off our reasonable desire for comfort and confront it and we must confront it over and over with the same persistance as ignorance.
How we confront it is part of waking up to our own lives. If we find we are hating the person who perhaps took the parking space we wanted or the seat on the subway or the last donut or whatever, we need to see hate for what it is, it is thuggism, maybe in its infancy but it contains the potential that we see rampant in the world. Instead, if we recognize our annoyance for what it is, arising entirely within our expectations and probably, the person we might choose to direct this annoyance at (please try not to call it hate) is completely unaware of any of this, or at best thinking themselves lucky, if we see how this reaction arises in ourselves we can make choices about our response.  Is this the circumstance that requires us to speak up?  Probably not.
But when we have a reaction to someone doing harm, speaking of harm being done, promoting hate, we can see our fear, fear that it might be directed at us, but we can make a choice. Thuggism is a lack of choice.  Being awake is constant choice.  Are we ready to respond not with anger with knowledge and understanding? 
We are essentially fragile, all of us, and dependant on each other and anger is familiar to us though how some are expressing it and what they believe are their reasons for their anger are not acceptable to us.
This is what it is.  It is uncomfortable.  Whereas hate can feel good.  It is a paradox huh, that something that can feel good can be the cause of so much bad in the world?
The alarm clock has rung and we are awake. Now what?  Me? I think I will have breakfast.
“This meal arises from the labour of all beings,
may I be grateful.”

I am not going to say I laughed my head off…

I have an overdue library book.  Unfortunately I can’t find it.  I couldn’t even remember what the name of it was.  I usually just scoop up three or four paper backs at a time at random; it is the only way for me to overcome a bias that ends with me reading the same type of books (and even the same book) over and over and never EXPANDING MY MIND.

I asked the librarian what the name of the book I seem to have lost is, get this, it’s title is:

LOST AND FOUND IN PRAGUE.

Is that  funny?  Should I move to Prague?  Besides now having literally fallen on my face, this new phase of my life is seeming all too literal!

Metaphorically speaking…NOT!

 

I am a Tablet Illiterate.

Lovely Rachel gave me a tablet.  I am taking careful care of it.  I sewed a quilted bag for it and I keep it charged but I really haven’t got a clue what to do with it.  These days it is a glorified alarm clock.  I am afraid to take it out with me.  325893_300

I spend an hour every morning on the desktop computer reading and writing. I have my special keyboard that supports my wrists, my special seat that keeps my spine erect,  I have a small work area with scraps of paper piled up, yes, I take jot notes with a PEN.  But the real environment is in my mind, a reflective place with little stimulus and a lot of concentration.

The whole idea of taking a computer on the road with me seems too bizarre to fathom.  Yet I see people everywhere focused on screens of various sizes. They are working, playing games and conversing.  I have no criticism for the lack of involvement humans show their fellow man because of these devices, for I don’t believe it to be true.  Human beings have many ways of ignoring each other, and many supposed  reasons for doing so, this is just a new one for some… but what interests me is how do they do it? 

I can barely “walk and chew gum”.

A Poem A Day, Day Twenty-Two

Coast

There are the beaches of our youth where we mark impossible feats
in the fine, cool and forgiving sand,
that we toss up in cartwheels,
pile up in castles
and push under us like lovers.
We build and destroy and build again.
We shine with the dusty glimmer of eons
clinging to our skins.

As adults
we trace our progression,
planning vacations along the shoreline
full of long meandering walks.
We tell the mythologies of our friendships
and the genealogy of our families
to anyone who will listen.

Older, we watch the sky nervously.
We go inside during thunderstorms.
We have a dog to bark at the sea foam.
We realize how hard the coast can be.

Before we die, eccentric and wild-eyed
we climb the cliffs and leave the warning:
“WE LOST EVERYTHING HERE.”
Until we are too tired to visit graveyards anymore.

When we are very, very old
and we know we are adrift,
we lay under the enormous sky,
our tiny raft rattling far out at sea.
The hours become days and the days seem like nothing.
The flashing light on the dimpled surface of the water beckons us.

The Coast with all its details:
The granular bits of the oldest stone worn down by the constant beating of the ocean,
The trees that were old when the oldest prophets walked,
The rivers spilling out the rain that fell on mountains
far away and too mighty to live on,
all fade as the coast becomes a whisper.

We slip into the swell,
carried away by the welcoming sea.

I have been working this poem like it was bread dough for years. (And that metaphor for writing poetry I borrowed from Dr. Lisa Dickson who writes much better than I.) I still don’t know if it’s ready to be baked! But here it is for you, another poem.

bikerider

photo from flickr.com

This says it all!!!

 

I do most of my shopping with my bike (for three seasons at least). I am not a racer, a thrill seeker or a fitness buff, I am just a middle aged woman, who doesn’t want a car.

I choke at the exhaust, groan at the congestion (most with only one person per car) and sigh at the cost of maintaining roads, parking lots and the cost in medical bills due to car accidents and sometimes fear for my safety because I live in a car culture!

I am not a “cyclist”. I am a HUMAN BEING going from point A to point B on a bike.