“Once it’s done with you, it’s done with you.”

Cleaning yesterday. Shopping today. Hit up a million stores including Bed Bath and Beyond.

There was a little glitch at the check out. No SKU on one item, so the manager had to be called.

The woman checking me out was NOT going with the flow. No. she. was. not.  She was pissy. Was she was having a bad day? I don’t know. It seemed like a pretty minor problem to me.

Finally, everything was resolved, I swiped my credit card and the screen said to hand the card to the clerk and swipe again.

“No!” she barked. “You’re done. Don’t touch that screen! Once it’s done with you, it’s done with you.”

She meant the machine. The MACHINE was done with me. So why did I think she meant that SHE was done with me?

All day long G and I kept saying to each other: “Once it’s done with you, it’s DONE with you!

And then we would crack up.

 

Cleaning, blah

I spent all day cleaning: mopping, cleaning out cabinets, doing dishes, organizing.

At the end of 5 hours, there was still a lot to do.

Cleaning is the act of rolling a boulder up a mountain, getting to the top, then watching it roll back down.

Cleaning is never done. It is like eating. You push away from the Thanksgiving table believing you will never eat again, only to wake up the next day ravenous.

Today I took before and after pictures, and it appeared so little got done, considering how long I was at it.

I think:  Do daily maintenance cleaning! That way it won’t get so out of hand.

But do I?

Nope.

Maintenance cleaning takes discipline, and I don’t have it for cleaning like I do for meditation or blogging or writing.

If I did, I wouldn’t have spent this whole Saturday cleaning.

Blah.

I Hear You

I used to be uncomfortable whenever there was a lull in a conversation. I used to jump in and fill it with ANYTHING rather than just let any silence be there.

I am noticing that I am a lot more comfortable with silence now.

I am learning how powerful it is.

When someone stops talking and I don’t jump right in with a response, but instead just let there be a gap of nothing for awhile, weird shit happens.

Either the other person gets really quiet and seems to listen to the startling echo of what they just said.

OR:

They rush right in and stuff the uncomfortable gap with a wad of verbal padding.

I used to be a verbal padder. Now I am becoming more of an echo appreciator.

Today I found myself telling a friend about this blog, and how I have been  blogging since Ash Wednesday and have kept it going, daily, up to this point, and today is my 100th consecutive post.

As I was talking, he was eating, and seemed more absorbed in his food than my narrative. I got the feeling my story was tiresome to him, but I felt powerless to stop it now that I had started it. I needed it to end, yet I prattled on, wondering why I had even started down this path.

I wanted so desperately to stop, mid-sentence, and  let the whole narrative die, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself.

When I finally finished, I wanted some silence to happen. But it didn’t.

Instead, he jumped right in, changed the subject, and flew off in another direction.

Some conversations could really benefit from air traffic control.

 

Tending Things

We tend gardens. And children. And some of us tend to the sick.

Today I tended to my bills, my accounts, my business. I watered the plants, switched the pictures around on the walls, dusted the sills, folded all the blankets and lined them up neatly on the rack.

I tended my meditation practice, and my yoga practice.

I tended my students, and then, afterwards, my friendships.

To tend things is to watch over them, to protect them (when possible), to keep them from harm.

To tend is to pay attention, to mind, to watch.

To tend is to be human, and kind, and appreciative.

Today I tended things.

“Have You Always Been This Way?”

I assumed (and hoped) he meant friendly, open, interested, and together.

He stopped me as I was walking Boomer on campus. He wanted to know how big this place was.

He said he had been lured off the highway to come and explore. He just couldn’t get over how beautiful this area was.

He was driving from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg. He stopped in Bath to ride his bike for a few hours. He wasn’t in a big hurry. He was listening to Eckhart Tolle CDs as he drove.

He asked me what I did here (in Mansfield) and I told him. We talked about a whole number of things, he sitting in his car, me, dealing with Boomer who wanted to WALK, GODDAMIT!

The conversation was simple and easy and light and friendly. I felt a real sympatico connection with this fellow just passing through, stopping to check out this crazy little college in the middle of nowhere.

Earlier in the evening I had the polar opposite experience. I found myself trying to find some common ground with an extremely tense person who thoughts boinged  from thing to thing like a pinball.

I wondered to myself: Have you always been this way? meaning: tense, overly talkative, guarded and defensive?

 

When the “accidental tourist” man asked me if I have always been this way we had just had 20 minutes of an easy-breezy, open-hearted, back and forth dialogue about the environment and yoga and his children and mine and India and travel.

It was fun, and both of us said so as we said goodbye.

I think a lot about “vibe” and I am supersensitive to the vibe of all the beings I encounter in a day. I always hope my vibe comes across clear and strong and positive and amped.

To his question, “No, I haven’t always been this way.”

But I’ve been this way for quite a while, at least as long, or longer than I’ve been any other way.

And that thought made me feel happy tonight as Boomer and I traversed the rest of campus on our walk this gentle May evening.

Namaste, Brian. I really enjoyed our conversation.

 

I Dream In Cursive

Before we left for Sanibel I said I was looking forward to being warm, reading and writing with a pen. I brought a fresh Moleskine and my fountain pen with me, but I wasn’t so sure there would be the time or the inclination to pen write.

I love writing with a pen though. I love the smoothness of it, that tactile hand/eye thing it requires, the ease of it. I feel more rooted when I write than when I type. And even though my handwriting has devolved into this horrible cat scratch where I slur my letters almost beyond legibility, cursive is still my native tongue.

I think more clearly when I write with a pen. I dream in longhand, not in keyboard. I have ink in my blood, not key strokes.

I can tell instantly what my mood was when I penned something.  I can tell by the sheer lexigraphical look of a page if I was hot on the trail of an idea, or slowly hammering one out.

I can tell if my thinking was slow and deliberate that day, or riffing all over the place just by looking at my handwriting.

I so want to love the keyboard, though. It makes life infinitely editable, legible, save-able and archivable.  But for me, the keyboard will always remain my “second language.” I will never be as fluent typing as I am writing in cursive.

On vacation I did write with my fountain pen. And today I took up with it again. I scribbled, cat-scratched, mind-slawed, and word-vomited myself to a more discursive place and found a distinctive tone.

“Just go,” I told myself.  “Write. Write like an artist paints. Find a new door into this closed project. Find the right color. Write your way in.”

 

 

Real Bloggers Blog in Airports

This is my second attempt at posting today. The first was 3 hours ago in the Charlottle airport, and now I am trying again at Gate F22 in Philly. This gate has, no lie, 10 seats, so I am parked in Gate 21 which has 20 seats.

We have left the land of palm trees and are returning to the land of pine trees. It’s better this way. We aren’t Florida people. No diversity, no energy, not too friendly. Nice tropical climate though, with a sort of Hemingway-esque dry tortuga feel. The nature preserve was great, drinking gin and tonics and eating wonderful shrimp was great, reading and writing and reconnecting was great.

And now home to a Liver and Bile cleanse, lots of yoga, laundry, and Boomer. 

I am reluctant to write a whole lot more in the event that this post doesn’t go through. 

See you back in the land of pine trees.