Buddhism · Cooking · Great Quotes · Painting · Small Joys

In Between the Trees

“A desire arises in the mind. It is satisfied immediately another comes. In the interval which separates two desires a perfect calm reigns in the mind. It is at this moment freed from all thought, love or hate. ” Swami Sivananda

http://vidushini.blogspot.com/ or http:www.madhubani.co.in

I watch a finch and a female cardinal trying to dig the last bits of black oil sunflower seeds out of the feeders.  I am out and need to get more.  I do have a suet cake left so I put that out for them.  It will probably melt in this heat but it has seeds in it.  I also watch a grackle try to climb the shepherd’s hook and then slide down the slick metal pole despite its grasping claws and a beak that is trying to grab too.  I put down my book, and just notice the space between the trunks of two trees, it is so green and the contrast of the dark trunks draws my eye, my mind, my heart to it.  It has a profundity of feeling that catches me.  I remember something my art teacher in high school said about noticing not just the objects, but that which is between the objects.  I think now with my grown up brain that was a very Zen comment coming from a Mormon.  I breath and try not to think of anything, just my breath and I feel suddenly like this time in my life is like a space between objects.  I relish the time with my book, the lazy nap in the chair, the time to write, to make art, to walk and bike.  It feels good somehow to just do these quiet things that I like best and not have to be running off somewhere on an errand, or answering a text, or even having to get up to cook for someone when I am quite satisfied with my bowl of macaroni salad and a bowl of soy ice cream.    I had a big salad and some Bing cherries for lunch and another bowl of mac salad for breakfast.  (using Plus pasta (high protein and fiber) green peas, celery, scallions, eggs and tuna it is a very nutritious high protein breakfast).  So I feel actually quite full and satisfied.

I feel sometimes, and only sometimes, like I could really live this kind of quiet life, with visits from friends and family.  But sometimes, and only sometimes, I still want a lover.  Just not one who will steal these moments away from me.

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Buddhism · Great Quotes · Musings · Treasure

I am a humble vessel.

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”  Joseph Campbell

Blackbeard's Anchor

I sit in the morning sun coffee in hand.  There are bumblebees buzzing outside my open window.  Birds are singing and making that small noise that I always think is the sound of birds with babies in the nest, not the song of mating but the song of contentment.  I feel as though I am an egg and my bird mother is sitting on me, I feel warm and restless, something is about to happen.  A transition.  I can feel it.  I hear it in the cardinals cheeping outside my window, in the call of the kildeer, in the small sticks on the ground that look like a running man.  My phone rings and as I do every time I see the name I am startled or amazed or in wonder.  I love that spontaneity.  I am fresh from the Farmer’s Market my honey and maple syrup stowed away, and new sheets on the line.  I can tell you the next morning that the purple 1200 count Egyptian Cotton was worth the 17 dollars.  I tried sheep’s milk cheese and I am sorry the more I eat dairy the more I realize I don’t have IBS at all, I am simply allergic to dairy products.  I go to the park and walk on the very muddy trails.  My ex husbands stalker female has now taken to invading my space here too.  I feel a catty sense of pleasure as I think of her little white poodle splattered in mud and trying to climb those rocky cliffs.  Poor dog.  What is she thinking other than to continue to harass me, and what purpose does it serve but to hurt me?  She is, I decide, a cruel person.   But I have to ask it, with a small tear in my eye.  Why is she always in my space, even when I never saw her before, in all the years I was married I never saw her in public, now it is constant, dozens of times.  It is so cruel. Why can she not leave me alone.  I have not done anything to deserve her constant invasion into my personal life.  I tell myself to let it go, it is her pathos not mine.  I could use advice on this.  I do not let it ruin my day but I let it soak in, ferment, waiting to see what fine brew will come of it.

I watch Joseph Campbell on Netflix, taking notes.  His philosophies of the internal and external, of the hero’s journey of mysticism.  Later I look back at my notes and turn page after page.  Astonished by the sheer volume of the pages.  That sense of being completely involved in the task at hand.  The story that has been eddying in my mind for so many years popping to life in the small notebook my cousins scrapbooked for me when they heard of my marriage ending.  I have written poems and prayers and notes to pay my bills and doodled away in it and now the meaty substance of the story is swirling into a material object.  I don’t expect to get published or  critiqued or even read.  But I know the story will be something that will have a deep meaning to me, an excavation of my imagination.  An deep sea dive into my philosophical meanderings I am rife with its possibility.  I am an egg waiting to hatch.  I am a barnacle encrusted anchor about to be raised, my holy spirit about to be set free.

I watch a movie by ideal physicist Amit Goswami.  I realize in the morning that he is considered a crackpot by true scientific physicists but I find important meaning in his words.  Some of the things he says make absolute sense to me.  And I cannot shake it.  One thing he says that speaks to me so strongly is something about a gate.  There it is again the gate recurring theme.  It says that the bodhisattva has reached a point of standing at the gate, so focused on love that they want to make sure that all others have passed through the gate before they themselves have entered a state of eternal peace or nirvana.  This notion of the rapture, of heaven on earth is one that all people will reach a state of collective consciousness in which all peoples will be filled with love, and will approach life with this notion of love as the framework for all action.  Love as a framework for all action for all thought.  I think of my ego filled idea that I am somehow a guardian of a gate.  I think of myself as an egg in a nest, I think of myself as potentiality building.  And then in a heartbeat I think of how I am wishing ill on this woman who cannot seem to tear herself from my life.  I am no boddhisatva.  I am but a humble vessel a little bit cracked.

I wait, sitting cross legged back against the stone edifice waiting for the line to dwindle.  Right now it seems there is not much of a push for the open and ornamental wrought iron, though the bailey is full of milling bodhisattvas.  There are skirmishes taking place as people battle for the bits of gold that are left along the road side.  Some have huge piles that they guard with assiduity, other sit in their rags hands outstretched and pitiful.  I watch.  Thinking.  Making notes.  Drawing pictures.  Singing.  Chanting.  Reading.  And walking the long perimeter that has no corners, just stretches endlessly in either direction.  I am bound.  I am free.  I will fly.  I will fall.  I am a treasure.  I am but a rusted anchor.

Artists · Birds · Great Quotes · Yoga

Flying Away

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”  Arundhati Roy

The Bird of Faith by Amberineswirlsofdust at Deviant Art
 Helene Deroubaix

I ate strawberry shortcake for breakfast with homemade scones.  It was delicious.  I know I eat weird stuff for breakfast sometimes, but strawberries and a biscuit doesn’t seem too odd to me.  At work one of my Karen students comes in.  I call her Little Clown.  She could also have the nickname Mother Hen but she does that with the other students, with me she is Little Clown.  Yesterday I gave her a blanket my Mom had sewed for a friend’s baby a couple years ago, it has been in my closet since then.  It wasn’t what I wanted so I asked my Mom to make something a little nicer, but then here I had this small blanket.  I knew that Little Clown’s mother had just had a baby so I gave it to her.  She gave me a note, sealed in an old utility company envelope, inside drawn and written on the back of some junk mail was a picture of me and a picture of her with her little brother.  It said.  Dear Ms. Gregory (Der, Ms.  Rgrgy) I love you.  My family we are your family.  (Me fam we fam).  Dude really, little tear.  I join the kids in the ESL classroom they are having a little party for all the work they did with testing last week.  I go in and all the kids are so sweet, oh please sit down.  Have some strawberries, look there is a plate there for you.  I help pass out the food and have class in just a moment, so I have to go.  As I leave I blow kisses, they each blow a kiss to me in turn waiting for me to blow one  back.

Later the kindergarteners come in and ask for Cheekzilla.  I tell them he has gone to the beach, that he was wearing a bikini with cupcakes on it, he had sunscreen and a straw hat, and a lunch bag full of cheeks and pink lemonade.  That he was wearing a pair of flip flops this big (big foot sized).  They sat eyes wide as I told the story.  The believed every word.

Seriously I love my job some days.

I get home and run my daughter to the bank, stopping to buy her and the dog ice cream.  I get a soy iced caramel mocha.  I look back at the dog while my daughter is driving and I see this glassy eyed half asleep look, he can barely sit, his front legs collapsing under him.  What is wrong buddy I say before I realized he is completely stoned on painkillers.  Yesterday he had dental surgery and a lumpectomy.  I teased my daughter that when she stepped on the brakes it shouldn’t be like she was trying to squash a cockroach.  She giggled and then cracked up, I love the way her whole face crinkles up into a hundred dimples and creases when I get her to laugh like this.

I went to yoga for the first time since January.  I wasn’t even recognized by one of the regulars, my hair is so different.  Wow was I stiff, my hamstrings were so tight, which is not tight compared to the average person mind you.  I can bend over and touch my hands flat on the floor, usually.  It was good to be there tonight it was a small group.  Dick was in good spirits today and between my friend Sarah and I we were teasing him so much.  I love how he laughs when I tease him too.  He mock complained at one point threatening to expel me, but Sarah defended me saying that teasing was a sign of affection, which Dick and I have discussed on numerous occasions.  I also did what I believe is called King Pigeon.  Pigeon with a back bend and taking your back foot in hand.  I had to use a strap for my foot, but it was really a lovely pose.  Once home I rode my bike for 4.5 miles.  Then walked stitches in the belly boy for a half mile.  Would have gone the other half but it was starting to lightning into the light rain, so I decided against it.

There is no insight for me today to share with the world.  Sometimes life is about the everyday, this day was a good one.

Uncategorized

Uh Mom, I think I have a virus….

Have you ever encountered “Malware Protection”?  It is a horrible computer virus that prevents any connection to the internet, thus prohibiting downloading of any anti viral software.  I tried to download the software to my computer and then transfer via thumbdrive to my daughter’s computer.  Nope.  Couldn’t do that either for two reasons, one is that my Windows 2000, yes I did say stegosaurus, was so hopelessly outdated that I could not access any software for her Windows Vista operating system. The second reason is that the Malware virus she had blocked any uploads to her computer from an external thumbdrive, ugh.  After four yes four hours on the phone with the good people at Stopzilla, an anti virus software that I LOVE, I got the virus off her computer.  My only complaint was the one Indian guy who, after I had been disconnected from the phone and called back, made the mistake of trying to sell me another service, ah listen can we please just get on with fixing this computer, I am not buying anything else, so, just connect me to someone who can help me.  He apologized and asked me was I crying (almost but more like trying not to curse at him) and told me it was okay and he would help me, just be patient.  It wasn’t patronizing, I think he genuinely concerned that he had upset me.  Then we tried to connect to the internet wirelessly and were not able to.  Tried again the next day and then realized that the virus appears to have fried the wireless router also.

My old computer was actually at one time my ex husbands work computer.  And I rarely used it when we were together, if he was home he was on it most of the time.  I just wasn’t in the habit of using it, now of course I rarely bother with the television most of my information and media is computer generated.  I have slowly gone through my life and removed any painful reminders of my ex.  Seems the only thing I cannot seem to shake is his girlfriend (my daughter thinks she is stalking me) and the constant reminders on the computer.  It was actually emotionally painful, as though it was my only interaction with him was to see his title and ownership of this or that, the car, the computer files, the wireless router, the whatever.  Particularly considering I basically was the one paying for most of it.

I guess to make a long story short I bought a small efficient laptop that is silver with textured and swirling racing stripes and a new sleek and sexy wireless router. Yes I said sleek and sexy.  It is very sexy rarr! Now when I log in with my NOOK, I see my name, not his, also the files on the new computer everything will be completely and utterly in my name.  He is not associated with it in any way.  It feels like a freedom.  But wow what a mess I found when I started unplugging everything!  Power strips plugged into power strips, a mess of wires that was outrageous.  I realized that by unplugging all the various little things he had patched here and there that my electric bill will undoubtedly go down probably 20-25 bucks a month.  I am still not done with cleaning up and organizing my little workroom, sewing room, office, but already it feels better in here, cleaner, roomier.  It was 87 degrees today and this room is quite comfortable, typically with the computer and all the flashing and power on accessories this room was like a sweat shop on days like today.  I reduced THREE overloaded power strips down to two, one of which is just for the sewing machine and a lamp.  The other power strip actually has outlets to spare!

I held onto this thing, this old dinosaur of the computer because I thought I needed it, because I didn’t think I could get this new thing, because I thought I would just make do with what I had, but when I finally replaced it, I found that what had been there was a hot mess, cobbled together in a fashion that was irresponsible, expensive.  What is left behind is a cleaner, more workable place to express my creativity.  I took this problem and made it into something better.

So much better.

Cooking · Healthy Eating · Nature · New York State Parks · Small Joys · Treasure

and uh erm

I am so into where I am and what I am doing; standing tall and happy, hand on one hip surveying the land. I have written about this so many times it should be old news.  My phone rings and after a few brief words I am returning to the parking lot.  I bend a corner and there he is photographing a buttercup, and bearing a begged water bottle.  We turn back around and walk the way I have just come from. He asks you have your map, don’t need one I say like the  back of my hand.  We do the Long Trail Extension, and keep walking past the end of trail signs and into turkey territory, he informs me of this in a soft voice.  I am subtly impressed that he knows this part of the trail and I do not.  We bend around under the power wires and then catch up the official trail where I had answered the phone. I say look there it is by that stump there and then lead him down the trail to the other entrance to the long power wire scar.  On the trail he talks softly about looking for animals, and after a few minutes makes a soft whistling noise with his mouth that I know instinctively means come here.  I go and there is a small red newt.  He picks it up and tries to take a photo but his hand is too close so I take the delicate baby in my hands, where it rests quietly until the photo is taken.  When we are out in the long desolate byway he points down to the swamp where two deer are walking in the grass, then I see a fawn.    Then we see and hear a male and female cardinal, the male on a dead branch brilliant scarlet against the bright blue sky.  Gorgeous.  I find myself loving this quality in him of sighting the animals, calling attention to them and photographing them.  I have walked for two and a half hours, down the long steps and back up, what would typically be my usual 40 minute trek through the tougher trails and then back around again.   I feel a strange sense of being so comfortable with this companion.  I hug him tightly and he hugs back.  Promising more time spent together.  I couldn’t ask for more, I couldn’t ask for one single thing more.

Dinner:  one vidalia onion, one yellow pepper, three cloves of garlic and two small stalks of celery sauted in olive oil til tender.  A couple chicken breasts sauted til done.  Salt.  Add a small jar of sofrito, a few dashes of salt and a small can of fire roasted tomato then one cup of white rice, mix stirring for a minute or so.  Then add two and a half cups of water, two tablespoons green olives and two nearly ripe plantains (yellow not brown). Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer twenty minutes.  Arroz con pollo a la la pajarita.  Latin fusion with a Meggy twist.  Delicious.  I ate it for breakfast and lunch today too.  🙂

Musings

And now for something completely different…..

I am in a weird place, I find it hard to put words to it, find it hard to name it, but it is not my usual place at all.  It feels almost like that point in the giving birth process, this point of transition.  I am struggling with some of the things that people tell single women, the “if you give up it will happen”, thing. So should I pretend to give up so it will happen?  So if I give up and it doesn’t happen what then?  Oh honey you need to learn to love yourself?  Really what makes you think I don’t love myself.  I have a lot to offer, I am of good character, am attractive, intelligent and have a good job, do you see something I don’t?  Yes I need to lose about 40 pounds. Oh no you don’t honey you are juicy, you are hot.  Yes but listen I do need to lose 40 pounds (apparently acknowledging that you need to lose weight is admission of not being in love with yourself).  As I guess is saying I am pretty, and attractive but I am not beautiful (because I am a pretty good judge of beauty and I know I am not.  Its okay with me that I am not beautiful.  I do have a drop dead gorgeous smile and beautiful eyes.)  BUT you ARE beautiful.  Okay I guess being honest with myself is another way of admitting I am not in love with myself.  Ack.  I run circles around myself. But the fact is that the guy I really like, is making it pretty clear he doesn’t really like me I wish people would just bust out and say it.  I for one and confused by the signals and as shy as a kid around him so I have to throw my hands up, and the prospects elsewhere are slim to none, so what is a girl to do? This girl is cranky.

I am tired of it all to be honest.  I am tired of dwelling on these issue, I am tired of looking, I am tired of waiting, I am tired of knowing I have so much to offer and not really getting any offers.  I scream and curse and plead, and whine, and yet nothing.  NO THING is changing.  I give up.  I am walking away.  But I have a plan.

They say if you are going to do something just do it, don’t tell people or it will ruin your chance to do it.  Where on earth do people come up with these stupid things anyway?  I don’t know, and I hate them.  You should be fined every time you say shit like this to people.  Grr.

I have started walking to fill the place where this stuff jumps in to my brain.  Yesterday I pulled the bike out of the shed and rode it around the neighborhood.  I need a new bike.  I was going to buy a kayak, but between the roof rack, the life vest, and the boat I think it is too much for me this year.  Note to self, save better!  Okay but now I have money set aside for something.  I research bikes, I know what I need, and where I will ride it.  I need to get out more, I need to fill the empty places.  TV doesn’t do it for me, and frankly that 40 pounds will not lose itself (nor from experience will exercise and eating right but oh well, I can try).

The other truth is I have noticed that my blood pressure has been up a bit, puffy fingers and feet particularly in the morning, a little more exercise cannot be a bad thing.

There is more.  I cook the quinoa that has been in my freezer for months.  I warm it up for breakfast with vanilla soy milk and maple syrup.  Lovely.  I eat my hummus and veggies for lunch.  I get home do I want mac and cheese from a box, yeah no not really, I love whole fresh slow food, why am I not eating more of it.  Why am I not doing what I know my body thrives on?  What of my blog I think, what will I write about if it isn’t this daily angst and troubles of my mind and heart.

I would rather write nothing I guess than keep whipping my own backside.  I have had enough.

The sun is shining, the air is warm, the breeze is glorious, I find myself wondering what Clark Reservation is like right now.  I think I need to hunt down my boots.  And maybe start shopping for street sneakers, and a bike.  I cannot sit here any longer wishing because the truth is what I wish for, may never come.

Uncategorized

My daughter’s natural father…

So I don’t write much about this part of my life, but here is what I will say.  Some people you have a lot in common with but you don’t get along so great, some people you haven’t much in common with and you do get along great.  My daughter’s father and I have so very much in common, problem we don’t get along so great.  It is ultimately because we are both very much idealists, and very stubborn, and both very mouthy, uh meaning we say what we mean and we mean what we say.   Anyway, in my own way I love him very dearly.  He is a writer.  A very good one, and I just thought I would pass along his new blog.

http://www.notyouraveragebiker.blogspot.com/

Check it.