netpositive: (Default)

I realized then that I who thought I had complete control
of my life, had control of only three things: my thought, my mind –
the images that these thoughts created – and the action that derived
from it. So here I was wallowing in a vortex of emotions and depression
and what have you, with the enormity of the situation, wanting to go to
a place of healing, health and happiness. I wanted to go from where I was
to where I wanted to be, for which I needed something. I needed something
that would pull me out of all this. So I dried my tears, and I declared to
the world at large... I said, "X is only one page in my life, and I will not
allow this page to impact the rest of my life."

I also declared to the world at large that I would ride it out, and
I would not allow X to ride me. But to go from where I was to where I
wanted to be, I needed something. I needed an anchor, an image, a peg
to peg this process on, so that I could go from there. And I found that
in my dance, my dance, my strength, my energy, my passion, my very life breath.


-Ananda Shankar Jayant, TED video
    Feet? Check. Hands? Check. Brain? Check.

    Will the real me please stand up? Oh, there you are...

    I think. But I feel the Big Cat Blues.

Imagine a lion walking around affirming – I’m king of the jungle,
I’m king of the jungle. And yet this is exactly what people are doing
with positive affirmations most of the time. The lion’s very nature is
that it is a lion. Being king of the jungle is mostly an idea.

Fortunately lions are not as confused as human beings. Lions mostly
walk around being lions without suffering from being disconnected from
themselves and having a bunch of ideas about who or what they should be.

The most affirming experience we humans can have is to land in
our true nature. A moment of perceiving the real is more powerful
than a lifetime of words. Well intentioned, but misguided efforts
at positive affirmations would be better spent in learning how to
settle down and allow what is truly real in us arise into consciousness.

The world is abundant. Life is on our side. We are awesome and wonderful.
It’s the true state of affairs. If we can’t see it, then the more productive
course of action is to explore – why not. Trying to convince ourselves that
the sky is blue when, in fact, the sky is blue – is crazy behavior.

As the saying goes – the only way out is through. Explore the deficiencies,
the hidden beliefs. Open them up to the light of awareness. The truth will
set us free. The false dissolves. Only the real remains.


John, in Open Secrets
    Do you ride the lion, or does it ride you?

    I need more words, more music, more dance, my voice.

    I want to go to the end of my world -- my jungle.

    I would like to walk around being a lion, and
    not worrying about being king or not.

    I intend to stretch.
netpositive: (bluebells)
So in between the B/W Parkway and West Park Drive,
there's this moment in time and space:


Empty space in your head next day
Memories have come and they have gone
Open your eyes can't get back to sleep
Though it's the earliest crack of dawn
There's a nagging something
You can't quite put your finger on...

-Tracy McDonnell
    Do I feel better because I take the vitamins,
    or do I take the vitamins because I feel better?
    Or maybe the vitamins take me.
    Whatever. Just take the vitamins.

    Easy games can provide a sense of accomplishment.
    It may seem like a "false" sense because the game
    is not "real". But you, and your play, are as real as.

    Try asking for what you want. It's hard to hear nos,
    but at least you're speaking for yourself when you do.

    More honey than vinegar. But vinegar can bring the tart.

    Let's face the music -- and dance.

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together
to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather
teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
netpositive: (Default)
A rendered transliteration of the Middle English original.
For those of you not conversant with ME, þ ~= some kind of th.


Sumer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wode nu.
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteþ after lomb,
Lhouþ after calue cu,
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke verteþ.
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes þu cuccu.
ne swik þu naver nu!
Sing cuccu nu, Sing cuccu!

    Sing me, sing you, sing cuccu too...

    The world goes swift around
    On an axis that shifts instant;
    Sometimes it seems sound
    that only change is constant.

    Dreams are hard to share
    Being so personal a metaphor;
    For our needs that need care
    Are the why that dreams are for.

    Your time is not anyone else's,
    So allot your hours as you may.
    Call it a virtue to be selfish --
    If that new self meets others halfway.

    Longings deferred be not longings denied,
    Long distances need not estrange --
    A walk on your path can be tried,
    But only my own can I change.

    Groweth sed, and bloweth med,
    and springst the world anew.
    Spring and summer are coming, she said:
    In season, let our own selves come true.

Life is all about timing...
the unreachable becomes reachable,
the unavailable become available,
the unattainable... attainable.
Have the patience, wait it out.
It's all about timing.

-Stacey Charter

Back to work.
netpositive: (firehand)
We can talk all night, We can talk all day
We can play charades when there is nothing to say
You turn me on to the idea of growing old

The Features
    Assimilate your information.

    Do the thing you are meant to be doing.
    Yours. Not anyone else's -- not your mother's,
    your best friend's, or the President's.
    Your thing. Right now, and tomorrow too.

    Write first. Worry later. Or not at all.
For those of us who are too headstrong to learn from
human beings, lessons will duly arrive in the guise of
Situations, Dreams, and other Self-Generative Activities.

Antero Alli, in _Angel Tech_ (1st ed.)
    It's only the future.

    Don't forget to breathe.

    (And if you need to dream, try sleeping.)

    Thank you, Sondra Venable.
Do you remember
Standing on the shore,
Head in the clouds,
Your pockets filled with dreams
Bound for glory
On the seven seas of life,
But, the ocean is deeper than it seems

Baby, baby, baby, baby,
You'll find that you're the only one
Can sail your ship across the sky

Whitesnake
netpositive: (frenchy)
Right Where You Are Sitting Now
-title of a book by Robert Anton Wilson
    I don't like being told what to do.

    Who do you think you are?

    But if I don't put it on my to do list,
    it may not get done.

    I don't like telling people what I want.

    Does it matter?

    But if I don't say anything, no one can know
    if I want connection.

    I don't like talking about myself.

    What if you find me narrow, or boring?

    What if I tell you too much? Is that worse?


    But if I don't share, what does that say?

    Sunshine in the backyard. How fleeting it is.
    The softness of belly fur on a burrowing nose.
    I now own two necklaces and a jeweled hair clip,
    but I'd trade them all to get my only ring back.
    Music makes me feel better, you can't even imagine.

    And I don't want to be too old to dance. Please.

"Becoming an Inner Environmentalist."

... Visualize your inner environment.
Is it cluttered with the debris of
old pain, impossible expectations, or
devaluing assumptions? Is it polluted
by the stench of resentment, envy, or
self-condemnation? If so, begin to
take out the trash! In your mind's eye,
dispose of unwanted and outdated
emotional rubbish in ways that feel
most freeing to you, even to the point
of tearing down and rebuilding the
entire garage if that seems to be the
right thing to do.

-Sue Patton Thoele
netpositive: (iconnerific)
[in telling how the wildlife
are coming back to his family's
farm, now returned to nature]
The pumas are back! You know,
one puma tells another.

Sebastiao Salgado
    I see the future.

    It is an orange warning cone,
    yellow caution tape,
    a white sawhorse,
    and a tree with fall leaves falling
    against an indifferent sky.

    Nonetheless, at least I see the future.
To Gandalf, the far-off memories of
a journey long before were now of little help,
but even in the gloom
and despite all the windings of the road
he knew whither he wished to go,
and he did not falter as long as there was
a path that led towards his goal.
netpositive: (Default)
It's hard to look up when the rain is falling.
-Mrumma proverbGod turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites, so that you
will have two wings to fly with, not one.

-Rumi
netpositive: (firehand)
Inevitably, Cosmic Forces get involved.
You know how it goes.

-Top 10, issue #2
    Personal, positive, present tense.
    Visual, auditory, emotional.

    While walking to the Metro this morning,
    I get a small stone stuck inside my shoe,
    small enough to rattle around while walking.

    With all the construction going on, both housing
    and commercial, there's lots of rubble around.


    This isn't as much a problem during the summer,
    as it's easy enough to knock a stone out of sandals.
    But now it's fall, and I'm wearing my sneakers,
    and it's the 2nd block of a 7-block walk,
    and I'm already running late.

    Don't have time to stop. Fix it when I get to Metro.

    At block 4, there's a traffic light at two major streets.
    Pedestrian crossing is complicated by both having medians,
    the street junction not even being close to perpendicular,
    normal traffic flow dictating left- *and* right-turn arrows,
    and unending construction on the Edmund Fitzgerald building
    image behind cut )
    (aka Clarendon 1021) continually blocking the cattycorner sidewalk.

    Crossing, not quite fast enough, get stranded on the median.

    Well, if I have to stand still for a few seconds anyway...

    Take right shoe off - shake - shake - shake -
    the left turn arrow shuts off -
    quick, have to finish crossing -
    with one stocking foot, shoe in hand.

    And when I put my shoe back on,
    there's a small stone inside it.

    Grr.

    I *think* it was a different stone - felt smaller, lighter,
    less pointy. But still annoying. Still a stone in the shoe.

    Finally shake it out on the upper escalator at the Metro.

    (so if on the way home I find that escalator broken...)

    A lot of one's life is like that. Of course one still has to try
    to overcome the obstacles, and reduce or remove annoyances.
    Struggling at work. Living at home. Or longing for the taste
    of grape juice in a world dominated by apple - orange - lemon.

    But sometimes, one just has to wait, until the right time
    to shake the stone completely, entirely, out of one's shoe.
Time goes, you say? Ah, no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.

-Henry Austin Dobson
netpositive: (firehand)
Stretch within your limits.
If you can't move your arm,
lift your fingers. Never devalue what is
currently possible for you to do.

-from _Stress Reduction for Busy People_
    Take a deep breath.
    Move when you need to.
    Stand still when you have to.
    Start moving again when you can.
    Act with high intention and
    purposeful awareness. Embody.
    images behind cut )
I savor every moment given me.
I plan for the future, but
I live for the now. I open myself
to the gifts the Universe holds for me
and value all my connection to the divine.

What beautiful teeth this animal has.
netpositive: (iconnerific)
Using the light, being dark,
Being the world,
You perfect harmony
And return to the Way.

-Tao Te Ching, "Becoming"

    I'm feeling more isolated than usual here at work.

    Internal teams and projects have been reorganized.
    And we're about to start a major additional effort
    without what seem to be adequate resources, and
    with what seems to be rather, er, belated planning.

    Even without being paranoid about some "nuances"
    or outcomes of choices being made - or not made -
    I feel uncomfortable with the current direction.

    I don't disagree with the basic concept, but
    I'm worried right now about our ability to execute
    everything well and on time - if we can at all.

    A number of my coworkers are very good people.
    Smart, hard-working, some offbeat senses of humor.
    They have made it bearable to be working in the midst
    of our normal state of blind chaos. But it feels like
    my efforts to help promote visibility or organize chaos
    have not borne any of the fruit I had hoped for yet -
    if they will at all. I know I've gotten a lot of credit
    for trying... but where do I trade in that credit now?

    And as the year fails, I am now looking for some sense of
    finished accomplishments, or of continued progress.

    I keep coming back to this quote that struck a chord,
    from the training sessions I attended last week:

    Automating chaos leads to faster chaos.
    -Dorothy Graham

    Where am I? Where do I go from here? How do I get there?

image behind cut )

I choose to stay grounded, and observe
my situation with compassion and detachment.
netpositive: (firehand)
Be with those who help your being.
Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.

-Rumi

Looking up, at the sun, the moon, the clouds, the stars.
Looking forward, into the wind, the rain, and the darkness.
Looking out, for myself, and for others.
Looking around, just to see what I can see.

And looking at your eyes, hoping they see: me.

images and text behind cut )

Self-conscious, uncertain
I'm showered with the dust
The spirit enters into me,
And I submit to trust.

(Smash the radio
No outside voices here
Smash the watch
Cannot tear the day to shreds
Smash the camera
Cannot steal away the spirits
The rhythm is around me
The rhythm has control
The rhythm is inside me
The rhythm has my soul...)

-Peter Gabriel
netpositive: (Default)
My dad has lived almost all of his lifetime
in a 10 mile area of Harford County, MD.

The house of my childhood and teenage years,
and the house of my paternal grandparents,
are both tenths of a mile of where he's now
building a long-awaited retirement house.

But I don't miss either of those places at all
when I go back to visit with him nowadays.

What I miss is the Bel Air Bowl, which was
the first real refuge I had during the worst
years of late grade school (5th-7th) and the
slow spiraling downward of my mother's illness.

Scene of my first crush (my best girlfriend's
younger brother); my first being asked out on
a "date"*; and some of the early dates with my
first two serious boyfriends, during my senior
year of high school, before I left town for college,
and for good.

And of course the best girlfriend mentioned above,
Debbie Narvell, plus several other good friends
from juniors leagues who gave me Friday evenings
and Saturday mornings I could look forward to,
when sometimes there was little else positive
in my life.

So, if you see a lump in my throat when I find out
they've turned the location into an auction service
and a Gold's Gym, or if you see me watching the PBA
with a mixed air of longing and belonging, you see
what that small-town bowling alley meant to me.

*I was stood up, by someone whom I wasn't that interested in,
but who had absolutely *pestered* me to go out with him. So I saw the
original _Rocky_ by myself, because I had already bought the ticket
and couldn't get in touch with my parents to pick me up at the mall.
netpositive: (firehand)
If you are irritated by every rub,
how shall your mirror be polished?

-Rumi
    If it looks like a duck,
    water runs off its feathers.
    If it sounds like water,
    rivers flow downhill, over rocks.
    If it feels like a rock,
    jewels and glass both reflect light.
    If it acts like a reflection,
    polish it and see what lies within.
    Sometimes you can only see your own image
    by looking into the still waters of another.
    The flaws in your own glass are too close.
    Ruffled feathers may need to be smoothed down
    before one goes swimming -- or flying.

    A week in the life - a view of the soul.
    A lot of meetings going on. Some are productive,
    some clearly still rehearsals for breakthroughs.
    Digging through steamed crabs for the sweet meat,
    and the guts.
    Learning to draw, to doodle, with both hands.
    A sampler of Spanish cheeses, glasses of sangria.
    Walking home hot-blooded in the pouring rain.

    I appreciate my rewards, no matter how small.
    I appreciate the goodwill of my good friends.
    The gift of time is far greater than it looks.

    Pictures behind cut )

When you list the things you want
out of life for yourself and for humanity,
you can’t help but focus your attention on
spiritual matters. It’s a reminder of your core
values -- what you really believe is important.

Rabbi Max Weiman

A goal is a dream with a deadline. But do
dream first. Then worry about the details.
netpositive: (Default)
Dealt with an unexpectedly difficult
meeting this morning, took some good
pictures, worked some on scheduling
and finances. Oh, and killed flies.
I'm afraid that I may have to give up my
Libertarian Discordian Taoist Union card
because of the last item. If flies want
to live, they really need to follow a
different path... one other than mine.

Trying to look up: pictures behind cut... )

And so what if I do write epic poetry at times?
That is for me to do, and you to wonder about.

"The sages may pronounce all [stress] to be
the folly of humanity. They are undoubtedly
right, but the words of the sages are too lofty
when we are scrounging in the dust for our
survival. Many of us must face these pressures,
at least for the moment. Even if we would like
a way out of this madness, we will not be able
to forsake society all at once."

Deng Ming-Dao
netpositive: (Default)
This idea came via Dave Hogg,
who got it in turn from dmmaus.

Rules:

  1. Start just outside your front door.

  2. Take 100 steps.

  3. Take a photo of whatever looks interesting.

  4. Take another 100 steps, take another photo.

  5. Repeat until you have walked at least 1000 steps, more if you wish.

  6. Post photos with comments.


Tips:
* Try to mix it up a bit. Streetscapes, landscapes, interiors, candid portraits, close ups, etc.
* Bend the rules if you want.

I often mention my walk to work
in the mornings in my LJ, so I hope
this view of some of the things I see
may be an interesting window for you
into a part of my time and space...
Links to pictures, captions, and explanations... )
netpositive: (Default)
A good daily exercise for soul loss would be
to stare at something in creation until it
begins to stare back.

Edward Hays in The Ladder
    Here's looking at you, kid.

    I am the lion stalking along the path.
    I am the tiger lurking in the cave.
    I am the cheetah posing on the hill.
    I am the bobcat baring its teeth.
    I am the housecat curled up on the bed.
    I am the serval disappearing into the undergrowth.

    I am the oak to lean upon.
    I am the cherry to bear fruit.
    I am the willow to weep under.
    I am the maple to climb up into.
    I am the spruce to survive winter.
    I am the dogwood to blossom forth.

    I am a half-finished building with harsh work lights.
    I am an old orange tractor in a newly cut pasture.
    I am a textured cubicle wall above a litebrite carpet.
    I am a nearby bookstore filled with French cafe music.
    I am ground drenched by rain, grass ruffled by wind.
    I am the terror of falling, and the transport of flying.

    I look at you looking at me.
    I find I become more than myself
    when I can share with you.
As long as you derive inner help
and comfort from anything,
keep it.

-Mahatma Gandhi
netpositive: (Default)
Just for today
I will respect both
my own and others' boundaries.
    Walking to the Metro this morning,
    the hard March west wind freezing face and hands,
    gusts forming construction dust into shotgun blasts.
    Good thing I tend to wear glasses on Fridays.

    Sometimes you give so much light to me.
    More often, you simply help me to see it -
    what is new found, what was already there.
    I look in, look out, look around, look up,
    adjust the viewfinder, check my exposure.

    It's okay to use a tripod to steady things
    when the winds are wild and strong,
    when the light is difficult or weak.
    Whatever gets you through the night - or day -
    yes, it's alright. Don't discard what is working
    for you just because someone else doesn't get it.
    Should I throw away my glasses, so I can't see at all?

    Overexposed, incandescence may burn into the eyes.
    Underexposed, fine details are likely to be lost.
    Yet each can be used to achieve a desired result.
    Two points joined create a line; many pixels, an image.
    If we could connect the dots together, what results then?

    Let me be a coat of comfort to wrap yourself in,
    a blanket of security against the cold and the dark,
    a hint of an outline of a ghost of a presence espied nearby.

    It takes so little for me to give you so little, you see.
Just for today
I will balance others' needs
with mine.
netpositive: (stojko)
Ain't it good to be alive.
-Patty Larkin
    Walking to the Metro this morning
    hearing the windy jingle of cable straps
    accompanied by the droning of power saws
    and a rhythmic power drill - jangle thump clang.

    Hearing music in unexpected places,
    from unexpected sources. The laugh
    in a friend's voice late at night -
    rich and throaty, full of potential.

    Making music happens in unexpected ways,
    with unexpected instruments. Full life,
    animated colors ghosting on the retinae,
    black olives and goat cheese on the tongue,
    warm air falling onto the back of the neck,
    a little black cat rustling the comforter.

    Looking up at the indeterminate sky.
    Fretful February, making no promises.
    But underground springs still run hot.
I may be a goddess.
But I'm still only human.
I may be a queen.
But I remove my heavy crown.
I may be a leader.
But I lay my burdens down.
I may be a warrior.
But I drop my weapons and armor.
I may be strong.
But I am willing to be helped.
I may be quiet.
But I'm quite capable of making a lot of noise.
I may reach the sky.
But my feet are on the ground.
I may have a planet.
But I could share it sometimes.
I may be spiritual.
But I do feel joy in the body.
I may be human.
But I'm animal too.
netpositive: (Default)
    Walking home today in the commercial construction zone
    that is Clarendon, Virgina, I peered around through my
    flurrying hair, puzzled for a moment as to where those
    wind chimes might be.

    Gusty winds were whipping the D rings on many strap ends
    against the bare concrete of a half-finished building.

    ... and the sky was blue with silver-edged clouds scurrying.



No matter who is right or who is wrong,
what can I do to make a difference?
How can I take this negative thing,
and make something positive of it?
Part of being spiritual is becoming
conscious of habitual behaviors
and changing them if they are counterproductive.

-adapted from Susan Page's writings on
Spiritual Partnership

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