deep

today goes deep

I let it

when someone says “You are too emotional.”

it means “I am not comfortable with your emotions.”

it is them not me
I could care less
what they think
what they feel
whether they are comfortable with my emotions
they will be on my shit list
until they learn

I am comfortable with my emotions

today goes deep

I let all the darkness rise
grief
anger
disillusionment
humiliation

and my small child

is wild
with joy

this day is yours
small child

I am with you today
all day
you I the Beloved

no shoulds today
no list
nothing that you do not want to do

food
music
warmth
church
beach walk

I will not clean
I will not pay bills
I will not sit with fools
who say I am too emotional

we can laugh
or cry
or rage

would you like to smash a plate?

no
says small child

food
warmth
outdoors
birds
deer
music of the spheres

here
dear one

we go deep

ease

Feeling ease. Is that a virtue or a vice? What makes you feel at ease or relax or stretch langourously? Boa cat is enjoying spring sun through the window and warm fur on warm velvet.

For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, last year I chose envy. This year ease and rest and letting the muscles warm and stretch in the sun. I wish for some ease for all the children in the world, in frightening places or with frightening people, for some time of rest and warmth and safety and ease….

I am supposed to be at letter G today…. I will have to stop lying in the sun and get moving….it’s cloudy today anyhow.

J is for joy

J is for joy.

Do you feel joy sometimes? Are you joyous? Joyful?

From Webster 1913: The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.

From dictionary.com: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.

I took the photograph two weekends ago. My daughter was racing, category 2 mountain bike race, three laps, four miles each. I was walking the course backwards with a friend. We had to be alert and step off the path every time a rider was coming. There were around 100 riders in category 2, all ages, men and women. We stopped to take photographs and cheer for everyone and especially our team!

A rider on the first lap had an asthma attack from all the pollen, and we walked him back out. I walked the bike while he concentrated on breathing. We stopped again to take pictures and then he could ride out. I walked on, listening for bikes, and there were trillium along the path….

I don’t think I can feel joy unless I also admit grief and all of the other feelings. It’s like weather, emotions come and go and may or may not feel like they make sense. If we refuse a feeling, it just seems to get stronger and rather panicky and keep bothering us…. until we treat it like the guest in Rumi’s poem.

Grief comes, and can be sweeping our mind clean for a new joy.

F for fine

F is for fine.

There is more than one fine. Dictionary.com lists 18 definitions for the adjective fine.
1. of superior or best quality; of high or highest grade:
fine wine.
2. choice, excellent, or admirable:
a fine painting.
3. consisting of minute particles:
fine sand; a fine purée.
4. very thin or slender:
fine thread.

There is the social fine. “How are you?” someone asks. I am terrible at replying with a breezy “Fine!” Often I am feeling something other than fine. When they ask, I stop and check how I am feeling. Sometimes I try to answer “Fine!” when I know that they are asking with a social politeness and they have no interest in a precise answer. But on March 29, I answered “Grumpy.” When the person looked surprised, I said, “My sister died four years ago today.”

5. keen or sharp, as a tool:
Is the knife fine enough to carve well?
6. delicate in texture; filmy:
fine cotton fabric.
7. delicately fashioned:
fine tracery.
8. highly skilled or accomplished:
a fine musician.

Yesterday morning after I wrote E for Envy, I DID feel fine. I was satisfied with my writing, I am on vacation and the day before I had bought a used outboard for the sailboat. The old outboard has broken down over and over and I am tired of it. I was reading other interesting blogs and enjoying them, writing from all over the world. How wonderful!

9.trained to the maximum degree, as an athlete.
10.characterized by or affecting refinement or elegance:
a fine lady.
11.polished or refined:
fine manners.
12.affectedly ornate or elegant:
A style so fine repels the average reader.

In the afternoon my daughter and I took the boat out. New (used) motor, started on one pull once I remembered to turn the kill switch away from kill, and we edged out of our slip and marina. My daughter is on the sailing team now, so I took the picture while she captained. Such a sunny and blue sky day, so fine!

F

13. delicate or subtle:
a fine distinction.
14. bright and clear:
a fine day; fine skin.
15. healthy; well:
In spite of his recent illness, he looks fine.
16. showy or smart; elegant in appearance:
a bird of fine plumage.

I have a friend who answers “How are you?” a bit differently. His reply is “Flawless!” That is an interesting feeling and interesting answer….

17. good-looking or handsome:
a fine young man.
18. (of a precious metal or its alloy) free from impurities or containing a large amount of pure metal:
fine gold; Sterling silver is 92.5 percent fine.

So the next time someone asks how you are and you say “Fine!”, which fine do you mean? There are so many choices!

A is for Avarice

Welcome to 7 Sins and friends, where each letter will be one of the rich diversity of emotions that we experience.

I choose avarice first because two of the sins start with G, so avarice will stand in for greed. The meaning is not the same, but they are related.

Avarice: insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth.

Greed: excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.

So they are related. Have you felt avaricious or greedy? I am always greedy for books, I love books. I have a fence with a community library now, to try to free more books from my clutches, back to other people, but I still have more books than bookshelves.

atoza

When I was in fourth grade, I won a summer library reading contest. The books were chosen from a list. The newspaper sent a reporter to take a picture. He started piling books on a table in front of me. I objected! He was piling up different books from the ones I’d read! He explained that it didn’t matter, it was just a picture…. I didn’t really approve but I let him take the picture with the wrong books.

Avarice makes me think of our present election and the people running. We seem to admire people who build great wealth for themselves, but don’t we admire those people who do brilliant things for the world and for other people more? What do you think? And what do you feel?

The photo is George White’s father: this George White. This is my mother’s mother’s father’s father. He and his wife raised a Congregationalist missionary, George White,  who witnessed the Armenian genocide in Turkey in the 1910s. My grandmother wept reading the romance Lorna Doone at age 16 as they left Turkey, not knowing that they were fleeing the country.

 

 

7 Sins and friends

My blogging from A to Z this year is titled 7 sins and friends….. sins? I am thinking about emotions and how many our culture says are bad or that we should not feel. Men are encouraged to be strong and silent and women are encouraged to be nice. “Feel good all the time!” says our culture. But we can’t, won’t, don’t.

People say, “Try not to feel that way.” Now when someone says that to me, I think, that is a feeling that they are not comfortable with, but I am comfortable with it, enough to express it. We label feelings with value judgements. Happy is a good feeling, anger is terrible, but really it is all neurological information. It is part of our system for exploring the world, just as touch and taste and sight and hearing help us explore the world. Imagine if we could not feel fear: a toddler walking off a cliff because they have no idea to be afraid. And without pain, we would not pull our finger back from being burned. If we can’t grieve, we can’t truly love.

I sat down yesterday and made a list of emotions and feelings, from A to Z, and I have more than one for each. I will only choose one for each letter, at least that is the current plan, but think of the richness and complexity of human feeling. Why don’t we celebrate it instead of excoriating it? And doesn’t every human have the full spectrum of feelings? We may not be comfortable with a feeling or have a name for it, but I think we all have all of them.

The photo is from Halloween, 2005, dressed up for church.

Armour Suit II

Yesterday I had the massage that I have once every two weeks.

We talk first about muscles and illness and emotions. He is thinking that if we forget how to use certain muscles and put them in the “armor suit” then that is where our body will store toxins. After all, we aren’t using those muscles. Good storage place. And then that in turn is where illness or cancer could pop up.

I am talking about emotions: that the US culture seems to see certain emotions as “negative”. Anger, fear, grief. I asked my son what he thinks emotion is. His reply: “Chemicals?” I think emotions are neurological information. Information just as much as what our eyes see, our ears hear. If we label some emotions as “bad”, how can a child protect herself from a predator, from abuse, from a charming addict? If girls are supposed to be “nice” all the time, they have to suppress any “bad” emotions. Why would we suppress neurological information? And both my massage person and I think that stuffed emotions go into the armor suit. So toxins from the outside and toxins from the inside…. no wonder we get sick.

In the massage I am paying attention to each muscle, asking them to relax, rather then focusing on my breathing. I am also thinking that I am not sure my back is broad enough to carry what I want to carry, between work and family. I am asking the Beloved about that, sort of…. and then I have the sensation that my back is very broad. Enormous. Very very strong. I have small hips and an enormously strong back. I am 5’4″ and 130 pounds. Yet in this sensate dream, my back is as wide and strong as my friend who is 6’4″ and 220 pounds.

It’s not momentary. It goes on for thirty minutes or more. My latissimus dorsi are tight and sore, punching muscles. We talk about how we would both like to see grade school children taught to activate the slow twitch muscles, to loosen and drop the armor suit. Most of the physical education and sports are fast twitch. “Not synchronized swimming,” I say. The first formal move they are taught is to float on their back, legs straight. Hands controlling position. They slowly bend one knee and then straighten that leg up, and equally slowly lower and straighten it. This is called the ballet leg. My daughter started synchro at age 7 and had to do that at the meet. They were scored on the Olympic scoring from the start: the beginners scored in the 3 range.

“No,” he says, “synchronized swimming must use slow twitch. But that and Tai Chi are the only ones I can think of, and maybe some dance.” He says that I need to learn to release that energy: the wanting to punch, wanting to kick, instead of storing it in my muscles…. I have a heavy bag. I will make time.

I am silent, exploring the map of my back, strong and broad enough to carry much more than I thought….

This is our synchronized swimming team at our small local pool, doing the yearly show, in 2010. The five girls are in a routine and just starting a ballet leg in time to the music….