What's your favorite cereal?
organic rolled oatmeal
Is there a bus stop near your house?
indeed there is, in all the places I stay except the beach. I ride it a lot in Chicago.
Do you prefer red wine or white wine?
dry rose from Provence
What's the last airport you were at? Why were you there?
Charlotte (CLT) coming home from California, and a very nice employee helped me find my car (running late when I first got there so forgot to note parking place in my phone....)
Who do you live with?
husband, cat--Columbia; husband only (usually)--Chicago; sister, BIL, my cat, their dog, and whoever--beach; son, partner, granddaughter, their cats--California.
Do you read reddit? If so, how often and what subreddits do you like?
Occasionally if there's something I want to talk about that no one on any other site is interested in, but it's not very satisfying.
Have you recently broken up with a significant other or even just a friend?
broke up with a prison a couple of years ago (though still visit others); rightly, it turns out (that guy who used the drone was there)
What's the weather like today? Is it nice enough to go outside?
really hot and humid, as usual, and no outside in the middle of the day if possible, but hoping for some rain to cool it down
Do you know anyone who's had a baby recently?
son's partner's brother's wife...son's partner's sister is due soon
Have you used a pen or pencil today? What did you write down?
What does your last text message say and who is it from?
reminder to call Senators about healthcare vote, from Daily Action
Can you count how many times you've seen your favourite film?
probably five or six, but there are lots of them.
When was the last time you ate marshmallows?
the last time I had somemores, and when was that? or maybe it was hot chocolate...
Do you listen to any podcasts? How do you listen to them?
when I'm working out. I like Lovecraft stories and To the Best of Our Knowledge, and use my phone.
How old will you be in the year 2030?
88, if I'm around then.
How often does the kettle in your house get used?
at least twice a day
Does your skin bruise easily? Do you have any bruises right now? What from?
no, one fading, probably from kayak paddle
What was the last thing you spent $150 or more on?
refinishing an antique table that people had made water rings on
Do you prefer yes or no questions or more open-ended questions?
depends on the question!
What brand of toilet paper do you usually buy?
Publix 100% recycled
If I knocked on your door right now, would you be acceptably dressed?
by my standards, but probably not everyone's (old shorts and tanktop)
Why did you leave your last job?
retired, if we're talking paid work, but I'm still a volunteer at various things
What color were the last socks you wore?
white, with running shoes (no socks after March down here, otherwise)
Are you studying currently? What level of education and what do you study?
Studying Buddhism always, and the actions of politicians, and human oddness, and the beauty of the natural world, and whatever I'm trying to write about--refugees, just now. I have a Ph.D. in linguistics, but don't do serious scholarly work with that anymore
Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and left without paying?
no! would not do that.
What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
a dinosaur trying to do Warrior Three asana (video...)
What's your favorite scent of air freshener?
I so much dislike any kind and never use it.
How many weddings have you ever been to?
many, many --can't recall
Do you know anyone named Nora?
I had a friend in school, but she was Norah
Are your hands and feet in good condition or could you do with a mani-pedi?
They're a mess in various ways, including a blue polish on my toes that needs to go
When was the last time you played a board game? What did you play?
Last week--my family plays all the time. I think the last one was about growing wine--Viticulture, a variant of Tuscany, maybe?
How old were you when you first became sexually active? (consensual sex act)
15--isn't that a good age? Depends on what you mean by the term, though.
Have you ever been to a festival for beer or other type of alcohol?
no, unless you count Octoberfest in Chicago
Do you own a record player and/or vinyls?
yes, but never use them. The vinyls are old and scratched.
When was the last time you went out for drinks?
I think Bill and I went to a bar sometime last fall?
Have you ever been to a strip club?
no, not that I remember. I went to dinner with a porn king in SF in the 60's, but didn't get involved in his activities!
What's your favorite kind of smoothie?
something with mango and bananas--other stuff varies
Do you know anyone with a 'virtue name'? (Google it)
I've had students with names like that, and Hindu friend named Anahata (heart)
Would you ever wear real authentic leather?
i try to avoid when possible, but my most recent shoes are..
Have you taken out the trash today?
big plans for when it cools down a bit later
How often do you wear make-up?
pretty much never, and same for jewelry
What's your opinion on The Simpsons?
funny, but I watch only if someone else turns them on or they're still on when I tune in for something else
Do you prefer horizontal or vertical stripes?
I'm very tolerant of both
What's your favorite brand of deodorant/antiperspirant?
Do you know anyone who has been through a divorce?
me and lots of other people
If you had the money, would you take taxis everywhere instead of driving?
In Chicago and SF, yes (Lyft, actually, though in Chicago it's so easy to hail a cab right there and not wait). Other places it would be too complicated.
Have you ever done a juice cleanse?
no--don't quite get the point, with all that sugar in juice. I've done colonoscopy prep, but don't think that's what you're asking
Do you have any friends who you can't decide if they're attractive or not?
don't know what my friends think about their own attractiveness, but they mostly seem very at home in themselves at this point
Is the inside of your fridge clean right now or does it need a clean out?
Needs to be cleaned out! Too many condiments pushed to the back.
When was the last time you washed the dishes?
I always put everything in the dishwasher and run it when full. Bill's not here, so not full yet this week.
Are there any magazines that you read on a regular basis?
New Yorker - Harper's--Tricycle
Do you have to pay for parking in most places in the town/city you live in?
All the cities downtown, but not the beach
What's the first thing you tend to do when you have a headache?
Take an ibuprofen if it's bad enough, otherwise ignore it
Tell me about your responsibilities at work.
I can't imagine you want to hear. I edit loans for Kiva, discuss Buddhism and meditation in prison, coordinate communications for the Buddhist group, rent a beach house (phone calls, contracts, etc). Today I sent a mass email for the beach house rental, and Saturday I helped lay pavers at our retreat center. It varies!
What's your favorite style/cut of underwear?
all cotton, even over elastic, bikini cut panties, and underwire bra (preferably Warner's)
Can you hear lots of traffic from your house? Does it bother you?
Sadly, I can hear the interstate from my deck here. Other places, no.
Have you ever had proper Canadian poutine with the squeaky cheese?
Yes, in Montreal and Quebec, and I loved it! The best had lamb gravy, but it was all good.
Do your parents know how to operate smartphones and/or computers?
My mother was learning to use a computer in her 90's but she died in 2001, so no smart phones. My father died in 1983, so neither for him. My kids were just starting to play with a TI keyboard then, but it didn't interest my father at the time.
How old are your parents, anyway?
My mother was 90 and my father 78 when they died, long ago
Are you allergic to anything? What do you have to do to prevent them?
not sure what, probably mold, and I take Zyrtec
What song is stuck in your head at the moment?
none! don't make me think of one!
Do you hate it when people try really hard, or do you kinda like it?
depends on who and what and when
What's your boss' first name? Do you call him/her by that name?
no boss, and that's how I like it, but when I had them, I usually called them by their first names--not the college presidents, but anyone below that
When was the last time you wore a uniform of any kind? What color was it?
I wore a waitress (that's what we were then) uniform back in 1966--black skirt and white blouse and white laced leather laced shoes, like nurses used to wear. So ugly.
Do you complete a survey before taking this one? Will you take one after?
Is this a survey?
Have you ever lost enough weight to drop a dress size?
yes, and gained it back (several times...)
What's your favorite kind of bread?
homemade with lots of grains and things
When was the last time you got pizza? What toppings did you get?
last night, with anchovies
Do you own Monopoly? Is it the original or a special version?
I think there's part of a set at the beach, the original.
What was the last thing you said out loud?
thanks, and bye, to telephone solicitor.
You have to choose one: cats or dogs?
cats, but I do like dogs, just not quite as much. But then I don't have a dog right now.
Would someone being either a cat or dog person effect you dating them?
dating probably is not ever going to be something I do again, but I don't think I'd get on with a person who didn't like animals.
How do you travel to and from work?
Mostly by computer and phone, but I do drive to prisons
Do you primarily use cash or card for your purchases? Why?
Card when possible (need miles!)
Have you ever been to a stadium concert?
several, but my favorite was listening to Paul McCartney from the street outside the stadium (outdoor football arena) and dancing in the street
Ironically, this was going on while the evil bill was being passed. I've used my new-found energy today to call senators and write to others about calling theirs. What if I had this with no access to a doctor? What if I had a job and young children and no way to cure this?
And in fact there is writing that needs to be done, but it doesn't wave its hand and text me at midnight, so too easy to keep tending to that other stuff instead.
I hope all's well with all of you!
What do leggings say? How about bright colors in hair? A denim jacket? Jewelry? Cosmetics?
I remembered my father taking me out into the ocean, over and over. You've got to jump the waves, he kept saying, lifting me up, until finally one day I caught the crest and flew all alone.
So many good things lately. Best was a kayak paddle in a swamp near Charleston--a perfect bright clear day, no bugs, no leaves, just dark water and silver trees that rose high and slender but spread at the bottoms, like a whole ballroom full of elegant ladies in trumpet skirts. And my friend's son, a naturalist/historian, knew so many fascinating things about the inland rice culture that had been there, hundreds of years ago, the enslaved people who dug the mud and harvested the rice, the rich Yankees who came down to shoot the birds, the way the different trees, cypress and tupelo, maple and gum, adapt to rising and falling water.
A walk on the beach next morning with my friends, a huge wide beach full of dogs! They can be off-lead before ten, so everyone takes them then. Now dogs know joy, when they're free to tun on a beach with other dogs! I'd love to have just a minute of that ecstasy.
A demonstration against he-who-must-not-be-named. We were relegated to a Free Speech Zone, a mile and a half away from where he actually got off the plane (this is what democracy looks like!), but we got to shake our signs at him as he flew over, and that was very gratifying, even if he didn't bother to look out the window of his plane.
A good writing session, giving me a little hope that this book could yet gel into something resembling a book. Anyway, a good time digging deeper into characters I'd let get by too easily.
And now, a new episode of This Is Us. And then I'm very happy to be able to turn to the last of The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman, which I suspect some of you would like--the first of a series (yay) about a Library that collects books from all dimensions, and the very astute and brave young Librarian who tracks them down, with the assistance of very interesting men, women, and other...beings.
So how to work with attachment? I'm taking lessons from what I've read about working with negative emotions, oddly enough. The first thing is to become aware of the problems of attachment, the inevitable problems it causes for me and others. I can remember relationships long ago that were messed up because I was clingy and needy. I can remember the feeling that I wouldn't exist if the person I was attached to left me. It made me insatiable and made them trapped. And that can go on not just in romantic relationships but in families. I think we've all known or read about the mother who kept her children too close...Attachment is not the same as love or joy, because when I'm attached, I want to hold a person or place or object or event too close, so close i suffocate the object of my attachment and myself. It can only lead to suffering.
But, as with anger, knowing that a feeling is problematic is not the same as not feeling it. I can't get rid of it just by pretending I don't feel it. Just as suppressed anger comes out in spite of all my efforts to keep the lid on it, so will attachment reach out its tentacles if I try to deal with it by denying it.
I have to face my feeling, bring it into the daylight of my full attention. I have to let myself experience with that hopeless desire feels like, the longing to hold on to a child who will grow up, a friend who will move away, a flower that will fall off the branch, a body that will get older and die. I have to see how much I want to hold on, how impossible it is to hold on, and how much it hurts to let go. I really have to let myself face that clinging and that pain. And then I can let go.
Anyway, this is how I'm trying to work with attachment.
I thought about either putting thoughts like these behind a cut or creating a "spiritual thoughts" filter, and both are still possibilities. For now, I'll just keep writing, but if anyone doesn't like reading these thoughts, let me know and I'll choose a way of keeping them limited to people who want to read them.
Anyway, back to the good day yesterday, being with a group of friends working on a project. So beautiful to be outside in the warm sunny day, so good to be with people I'd known a long time and new people, such good food, so good to have a feeling of accomplishment. Thinking of the day still makes me feel good--but not sad that it ended, and not craving to do the very same thing again next weekend. So maybe I'm not attached to that. But I also remember when there was a chance that I could never do that again, and I didn't want to let it go. Right on the edge, there.
"He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise"
Thanks, William Blake.
Today's joy: Followed from yesterday's--several hours at my book club discussing The Tsar of Love and Techno. We're all very good friends who taught English together for 20 years and more at a community college, so we had a lot to say about the connections and themes and people and ideas in the book. And then we spent at least an hour talking about death--the kind of death we'd like to have and the deaths we've tended. That sounds unjoyful, I know, but it was very rich and not sad, even if some of the memories were. There's something very comforting and liberating about that kind of conversation with people whom you love and who have good insights, kind of like what Wordsworth said about the power of poetry being "emotion recollected in tranquility.”
But just to remember, here's a list of online tai chi for beginner sites. Might want to use them while traveling.
I'm sure reading other people's dreams is about as fascinating as watching ice melt, but it's been a long time since I remembered a dream so vividly or understood it so little, and I wanted to write it down while I remembered it. And it was mostly a very joyful dream, even if very strange. IRL, old flame has been living with a man all these years, and I've been twice married. Didn't expect to have memories like that return.
And yesterday a friend and I went to a local black history festival with the intention of seeing some African dance that yet another friend was doing. We had the time wrong and missed her performance (not a joy), but did get to hear some incredible gospel and saw two very darling sets of kids doing dances--the special joy was the little guys in black pants, shirts, and tail coats, accessorized by hipster hats, white gloves, and bow ties with electric lights in them. They could dance! Midway through, they took off the tailcoats to reveal bright gold suspenders. I tried to get pictures, but I was too far away. They were awesome, though.