the past is present

 

rising moon

 

“…the nature of perfection is always mutating. What constitutes
enlightenment today will always be different tomorrow.
Even if you’re
 fortunate and wise enough to score a sliver
of “enlightenment,” it’s not a static treasure that becomes
your 
indestructible, everlasting possession. Rather, it remains
a mercurial
knack that must be continually re-earned.”

~ Rob Brezsny, Free Will Astrology

The other day I wrote about all of the different voices that arise when blogging. I forgot to add a voice. My mutant voice. The ever-changing one.

As I had mentioned before, the blogs I like to read are homey and friendly, where the writers are brave enough to share their honest emotions. They write about what they love through cooking, their creativity, their family life. And it comes from their heart. You can feel it. That’s when it hit me: I have the hardest time doing this.

About ten years ago I started to post random thoughts on the blogging site Xanga. In those days, I wore my humor like an overcoat. On top of three other layers of coats. When I took one off, I immediately felt a chilling breeze and I would quickly slip on the heavy layer again.

My main voice was sarcastic, snarky, and glib – towards others and myself. Sort of a more aggressive, on-steroids version of my current writing. I’d get comments here and there after I wrote these types of posts. Occasionally, my heart would write what it wanted to write*, but people didn’t respond to those posts. My learned Pavlovian response?: stop doing what you’re doing. people don’t like it. do something to gain favor. must perform.

My humor, such as it is, is my best weapon against invaders. But I’ve also employed it to connect to some of the most curmudgeonly people and the shyest of shys. It diffuses situations. It helps me shrug off the things I really don’t need to worry about. And, I have to say, I do like making people laugh. Still, I don’t want to hide in it.

Gah. It’s a bit painful to read some of my old stuff. Granted, I think some of it is hilarious (I do say so myself), but I led with my humor so much, you couldn’t see me. But that was the point. I didn’t want to be seen, at least, not my real self.

Witnessing a past You certainly can inform the present You.

What I want to do, what I really want to do, is start from the heart and go from there. (With a few non-sequiters thrown in for good measure. I can hardly stop this as I can my sense of what is funny.) I tried way back when with one of my old Xanga posts that I’ve added below. Ironically, I was reflecting on a past Me, much like I am now. Reading it made me feel a bit sad for both of the girls who didn’t feel safe continuing down that road. It’s not too late though, you know? Never too late to wander down a new path or even revisit an old, overgrown one. The kind of path that takes you back yet propels you forward at the same time. Because, deep down, you know you have to cut through that overgrown tangle of weeds to see yourself more clearly.

So, I take my own shyest of shys and share my younger self, sharing my even younger self. Taking a coat off…

[the post below is unedited. it’s awfully difficult to post it without wanting to tweak it over and over again like i usually do. there. another coat off.]

As I was cleaning/clearing my desk at home, I found a journal I had written in four years ago and starting reading a few of the entries.  I was struck by one of the comments I made:  “So I’m sitting in the back of the car, looking at the Big Dipper…and just feeling like giving myself over to it…I saw myself swimming in the ladle…These are things one can only do in silence, in the quiet space of one’s own thoughts.”  This may not seem like much, but I think I used to give in to my imagination more, I remembered my dreams more, I took a moment in the moment.  Don’t you think we spend enough time during our day making sense of things, getting things done, and using the left side of our brain?

We weren’t living in L.A. at the time I wrote that entry – we were living in a place where we could drive a few miles and be in the country, where I could stare out the window and see truly blue skies and green rolling hills, where you could gaze up and see a million stars at night.  There were creeks and cows and trees and vineyards.  When there is beauty and peace around me, it reminds me that there is more to life than just navigating it – I actually FEEL life.  I had a glimpse of it this morning while on my walk.  It was a beautiful morning in L.A. – rare blue skies and puffy white clouds – but I was bombarded by those things I mentioned in my previous post.  If Mother Nature was attempting to give me a peace offering this morning, L.A. just took it away by its very nature. (9/26/05)

Our voices are ever-changing. That’s the beauty of writing. It moves with us wherever we go.

*this reminds me of Woody Allen saying “the heart wants what the heart wants” to explain his affair with his now-wife. I am happy, very happy to find out that it was Emily Dickinson who first said in writing, “The heart wants what it wants…

I Blog, Therefore I… (aka I Blog, Therefore I Hear Voices)

…Am…

…who am I?

I just started a blog workshop run by Susannah Conway called “Blogging from the Heart“. It’s caused me to think about my own voice. When I hear it, it sounds nasally, low, calm (though I’ve been told it can sound like I’m depressed) and bright and full of bubbles (overcompensating for those that think I’m depressed)!! My perception of my own voice – vocally and writtenly – is that who I really am? I feel like it’s one of those cases where I am too close to myself, therefore it’s difficult to see myself. No matter how I try, I can’t look down and see my own chin. But I know it’s there.

The blogs I like to revisit are the ones that are homey, welcoming, friendly, honest, and heartfelt. I want to write this way. But I continually want to make jokes. With a side dish of old-man humor. I find it very difficult to stop this way of writing. George Burns keeps knocking down my door.

In no discernible order, I tend to write with a/an:

unconfident voice – hi. no, not hi. i’m not here.
uncertain voice – where am i? who am i? where am i going? do i have to make a choice?
loving life voice – helloooo!!! look at your beautiful/handsome self! isn’t it all wonderful?
sure voice – i can do this. you can do this. we’re going to get there. we’re here, right now.
old-man humor/Fozzie Bear voice – waka waka, nudge, wink, didya hear the one about the…
philosophical voice – be. trust. faith. heart. it is what it is, so make room for it.

That’s a sampling. I have many voices like everyone else. If you only have one voice, it would surprise me. Again, you would be the kind of person I would like to tag and study. I’m joking (again), but not really. People fascinate me. I like hearing and learning about their process, how they make their choices, what makes them who they are.

I love it. I love people.

Now leave me alone.

Sometimes the grumpy voice likes to get the last word.

Now go out and be who you be and do what you do.

That’s the marriage of my grammar-goes-wild and philosophical voices. They don’t appreciate grumpy voice.

I never know how to end these things.

Perhaps it’s best to be pulled off the stage and –

 

Lost and (Waiting to be) Found

To quote James Joyce, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” Oh? I’m on day two of trying to figure out how to redirect my old blog to this one. I haven’t discovered anything except that I have an incredible talent for getting lost. I told you the cybernetherworld would swirl me up. I’ve tried so many steps – I don’t even remember what I’ve done anymore. And then I discovered that it can take a few days for the redirect to take place. I’ll know in a few days?? I feel like I just found out that my microwave dinner is going to take three minutes to cook.  Three minutes?!? That’s an eternity!

I was ready for a little makeover. HumblePie just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I feel some big changes in the air, so I thought I could use a new coat of paint and a newer alias. I feel refreshed. Same me inside, but a little more inspired. Ready to say yes.

I’ve been known to ramble, so I’ll cut you a break this time. If, for some reason, you miss my ramblings, take a look at my ‘About’ page where I reveal more than you ever wanted to know.

Blogging on a Runner’s High

Victory!!

Today was the first day I actually felt good while running.  I mean really good.  My body didn’t argue with me, the weather was beautiful, my mind strong.  And I felt happy.

Not every day is or will be like this, but I realized that it’s important to know this feeling, to know what it is that makes you feel good so that you can more easily recognize what feels off or wrong.

On a different note, today I learned that I can look at visitor stats for my blog.  Granted, not many people go to my blog, but I was shocked to see that a few people outside of the U.S. have visited.  So I have to give a shout out to:

United Kingdom
Australia
Canada
Belgium
Poland
Kenya

Of course, this doesn’t mean anyone actually read anything I wrote.  They could have accidentally gone to a post, thought “What the #!%*?” and immediately clicked their heels and disappeared.  But that’s okay.  I mean, someone in Kenya looked at my blog.  For real?  Thank you, Kenya!!  I love you!!  In fact, I love all of you!!

I think I’m still on my runner’s high…

The Training Begins

I heard that you should have some kind of unifying theme when you start a blog.  So, upon hearing that advice, I froze, which usually happens when faced with an infinite number of choices: Paralysis indecisionatus.  I’m pretty sure that’s Latin for “spineless behavior of the brain”.

I didn’t want this blog to saddle me with a specific identity.   But if I have no theme…no clarity of purpose…well, maybe that is my theme.

The pressure to not suck at writing made me run away from my own blog, even before I had posted one word.  Believe me, I thought about just posting:  hi.  i’m here.  the end.  But I couldn’t even commit to five measly little words.

Months later, here I am again, convinced I’m going to delete everything I’ve just typed out.  Obviously, I haven’t yet, but I did come back and make some edits…yes, I’m one of those.  But seriously, the blog police aren’t going to pull me over for writing without a theme (will they?) and besides, who the hell is even going to read this?  I’m barely reading this myself.

Don’t think.  Stop procrastinating.  Just start typing.

I am going to train to run a 5K.

I’m very organized.  I had my feet, gait and balance analyzed at a local running store and I bought a new pair of Sauconys and socks that will prevent blisters.  I found an 8-week training program that seemed very reasonable for a yo-yo exerciser like myself.  I’ve run/walked a few other 5Ks in the last three years, so I’m not a total couch potato.  I can do this.

First day of training (yesterday): Run five minutes, walk one minute.  Do this five times.  I can do this.

I discovered that I couldn’t do it.  Not all of it.  I ran two cycles and started wheezing.  My nose started running.  My thighs suddenly filled with cement.  And then I was hit with terrible cramps.  No, not leg cramps.

I walked the rest of the way home, feeling defeated.  I realized that I needed to train before I started my real training and I didn’t have any extra days to add to my program.  It was the perfect chance to convince myself to stop this silly training.  My fallback position.

At some point, you/I/whomever has to say to themselves, no, I’m not going to quit.  I’m not going to stop myself before I even start.  I’m not going to give up on myself.  So what if I don’t run the entire 5K?  There are worse things to happen in this world than not meeting that particular goal.  More importantly, what I’m really trying to do is motivate myself to make exercise a habit.  I’ve never been able to do so.

As a matter of fact, I should make writing a habit, too.  I like it, even though I rarely make sense and am self-conscious about what I write and – oh.  I’m doing it again.

Stop your self-trash talk and go immediately to www.oprah.com (another pep talk – Oprah cares).