netpositive: (firehand)
We, so tired of all the darkness in our lives...
    Some years ago, I realized that the concept of
    “noblesse oblige” was strongly ingrained in me
    almost to the point of deformation of character,
    traits and abilities. That in some way one (I)
    is always required to do the “highest” duty one can –
    that one must devote oneself to the most complicated,
    abstract, mentally-intensive work one is capable of
    performing – because there are many people who can't
    do that kind of thing, and it's unfair of one to not
    live up to one's potential when others can't do it.

    So I felt like I was not supposed to – or more like,
    allowed – to do things that “just anyone could do”.
    Or anything that might be the only thing someone
    else could do – that I couldn't take anyone else's
    job away from them.

    Of course, there's a lot of definitional questions of
    what that would involve (or exclude). Mostly it seems
    to involve concrete thinking (anyone can read or write
    simple things, add numbers together...) or practical/
    household skills (anyone can clean a room or polish
    furniture or dig a hole...) or physical techniques
    (anyone can do rudimentary sewing to repair clothes,
    or paint a wall, or drive a car, etc.).

    So there are many things I'm not supposed to waste my
    time learning, much less doing, because I am “too smart”
    for that.


We are young but getting old before our time...
    I was pondering this because my dad, specifically, is a
    very “handy” type of person (he worked as a machinist
    mate in the Navy, and then was a mechanic in the Martin
    airplane factory before he went into teaching). Yet
    while I helped him with several home and/or car repair
    projects, I don't feel like I ever learned much in the
    way of actual, systematic repair skills or techniques
    from him – i.e. how to analyze a concrete problem and
    then either troubleshoot or resolve it.

    Did I ask my dad to teach me? No, but I'm wondering if
    that was a subtler version of my “don't bother someone
    if they are busy” fear. Could he have taught me that way,
    those things? I have no idea, though the times I watched
    him as a teacher or heard him tell stories, I know he's
    very emphatic and intent on teaching people things that
    are applicable to their lives.

    Either it just didn't dawn on him that he could (or should)
    teach me those type of things (but certainly he did share
    other things with me) – or maybe he tried to and I didn't
    have the capacity to learn that kind of thing (though I
    do like to solve things systematically) – or maybe, as I
    perceive it right now, the expectation was that I should
    be learning the highest-level abstract things I possibly
    could so that I could aspire to bigger and better things
    than being a janitor or repairman or farmer or factory worker.

    Similarly, my mother went to college and became a teacher
    because she was intelligent, and that was an intellectual job
    that was acceptable for women back in the 50s, not to mention
    the fact that my father was doing the same thing and she wanted
    to be with him.... but she didn't like teaching, it wasn't a
    good fit for her personality. The rest of her jobs went
    “backwards” from that – from basic office/clerical tasks in
    my grade school, to being a meat cutter/cashier at the local
    grocery store, to her last attempt to work as an expert/
    salesperson in a craft store... where my own perception is
    that she panicked at the added responsibility, began to feel
    like she had failed/was about to fail, and got sick in order
    to quit.

    Which goes back to, I'm not supposed to take someone else's job.
    I'm not allowed to do simple work or tasks. I feel like I have
    to do what other people expect me to do, or need me to do because
    they can't. That I am trapped into doing intellectual work, or
    thinking academic thoughts, all the time, and forever.

    I fear that if I take any time off – or if I stop doing this
    type of work for any reason – I'll be perceived as quitting,
    or irresponsible, or failing my potential and not fulfilling
    (others') expectations. (Also that if I then try to go back
    to doing it, I will have lost all ability for it. I already
    have a lot of that fear just in the fact that I've done little
    explicit user-centered design or testing in the last year.)

    I don't know that I would want to stop doing it completely and
    permanently – I am good at it and there is some value in it –
    but I've been in some version of the “information sciences”
    field for over 25 years (if you count my library assistant/
    grad school years, it's been 26 years where this has been my
    career path) and am now feeling quite a bit exhausted by both
    the constant change, challenge and pressure of having to learn
    new things to “keep up with the field”, and the parallel feeling
    that actually both the problems and solutions just keep getting
    recycled rather than actually resolved.

We'll leave the TV and the radio behind...
    At this point in the formal essay-writing process, the
    expectation is: having discussed the fundamental issue,
    one should now propose realistic ideas or suggestions
    to resolve the problem and not play “yes, but...” with
    the reading audience. However, I don't feel able to
    find solutions or possibilities that aren't radically
    drastic and thus perceived to be unrealistic since people
    don't dramatically change all at once – if they think
    they do, it tends to be a “Flitcraft moment” where they
    move out of their pattern briefly but eventually lapse
    back into the same type of existence they ran away from
    previously. Because as Buckaroo Banzai and all the Buddhas
    say, “Wherever you go in life, there you are.”

Don't you wonder what we'll find
Stepping out tonight--

    I don't feel like I can stay the same.

    But I don't feel like I'm allowed to change, either.

    And there's damn little fruit juice in this bottle....

We'll be there in just a while...
If you follow me
netpositive: (Default)
Stress is what you feel when you have
to handle more than you are used to.

-WebMd
    I did not dream last night.

    Ssy, have you seen me recently?
    I'm not exactly lost,
    but I don't feel very found.

    I want to sleep long enough to dream.

    I'd like to be present in the moment.

    I need to get by.

    Right now.

    Breathe.

    Walk away.

Your goal should never be to avoid mistakes at all costs
and seek control. Your goal should be to strengthen your
perseverance by effectively dealing with the situation
when things go awry.

-a random article on Perseverance
netpositive: (Default)
I dreamed this morning that I was dodging fireballs
shaped like ghostly freight trains, in a basement
I know quite well.

We opened a casement window to escape. People got out,
but the piano was destroyed. I was in no danger, but.

Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th is a subconscious...
But these past few weeks, been entirely too literal.

How do you get the goose out of the bottle?

How do you get out?
netpositive: (firehand)
Don't know where I am.
Only matters where I've been and
How I'm going on.

-me, on the road this morning
    Have been pondering "communities vs. individuals" a lot.
    Connection vs. disconnection. Can you have both?
    How do you balance the social and the solitary?

    Feel like I'm looking for a practical spirituality
    and not finding it. I believe in immanence... but
    right now I'm not sure it believes in me.

    People are hard. Groups of people are harder.

    Am I crazy? Is it me? Is it you?
The kind of spirituality I value is one
in which you get great joy out of contributing
to life, not just sitting and meditating,
although meditation is certainly valuable.
But from the meditation, from the resulting
consciousness, I would like to see people
in action creating the world that they want
to live in.

-Marshall Rosenberg
netpositive: (bloodylane)
Have you heard of "conjugating adjectives" in English?

I'm thrifty; you're frugal; he's cheap.
I'm assertive; you're aggressive; she's pushy.


This postholder is possibly about declining nouns.

One person's rescue is another person's escape.
Someone's dream job may be someone else's nightmare.


Sometimes, you do the right thing -- and it doesn't work.
From a particular reference point, looking up may only mean
straight ahead, but it's still a change in point of view.

Trying to reframe this... but it's not easy.

Don't take it personally. Try giving it away instead.

Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man's war

I dreamed last night. Then I woke up and remembered it.

Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th is a pattern you can walk.
But first you have to find your feet. Then you have to move.
netpositive: (Default)
Been feeling a lot more like myself lately.

A lot of me. And then some.

Kinda nice.

Meat and salt, and juice for me.

A pair of roller skates, and a brand new key.
Perhaps I have the universe. Or maybe it has me.
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)
There's a message in the wind that blows...
-Cher

I struggle with change and I grow very slowly.

But I will grow past this.

Please connect me with the divine. Please.
I know it's out there. There's a world out there.

Please connect me now.
netpositive: (Default)
[Part of this was originally posted private on 9/30/2008.
Updated 12/1/2009 as closure for Black November 2009.]


The message for me in what you've said is that
ACTION is always better than inaction, a lesson that
for some reason I have had to relearn again and again.

It goes like this: You must take a step in the direction
that you think is right, because you will otherwise never
know what that step might reveal. Whether that step reveals
the error in your thinking, the missing enabler, the proof
you've sought, the beauty or ugliness you never imagined,
the nature of resistance, or nothing particularly meaningful,
it is worth the effort to pull back the curtain, because
it will expand your knowledge and guide you.

Linda from Deerfield
    Step, step, step.

    If your foot lands in mud, pull it up, shake it off.
    Go on.

    If your other foot lands in shit, pull it up, shake it off.
    Go on.
Take the first step in faith.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase,
just take the first step.

–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
netpositive: (firehand)
... circumstances indicate that the path
to your destination twists and turns in a
bewildering way. Your insight, however,
can penetrate and make sense of confusion.

-definition, juxtaposition from Tarot.com
    Go to the bathroom first.
    Then drink deep from your mystical cup.
    Pry your ghost loose from its shell,
    and find a right space for your words.

    Point out the middle path, and
    reconcile the polarities. Bring
    creativity and flexibility to
    the way you go about your way
    in the world. Move slowly and
    deliberately if change is required.

    Don't be too proud to ask for someone's
    help. Sometimes you do get it.

    What kinds of negative messages,
    self-doubt or paranoid fantasies
    descend upon you from time to time?
    Don't let them undermine your ability
    to be who you are and to contribute.
    Examine them and give them each a name,
    and identify them as separate from you
    (imagining them as little demons can help).
    This will increase your dominion over them.

    Turn the page. Write the next line.
    Take my foot off the brake already!

    A path is traversed one step at a time.
    A navigator can help you find the way.
    Is it a lantern, or only an hourglass?

    Simon says: take a baby step, baby.
Why must we dream in metaphors?
Try to hold on to something we couldn't understand.

Seal
netpositive: (iconnerific)
Go, PowerCat, go!
    Walking home from work last evening,
    I walked into the wind.

    Walking to work this morning,
    I walked into the wind.

    I feel on the verge of uplift --
    but the wind is always in front,
    and I don't know how to sail.
    Or remember, yet, how to fly.
A man traveling through the darkness
is yet traveling. The disciple is learning
when he does not know that he is learning,
and as a result he may well chafe. In winter,
Rumi reminds him, a tree is collecting nutriment.
People may think that it is idle, because they
do not see anything happening. But in spring
they see the buds. Now, they think, it is working.
There is a time for collecting, and a time for
releasing. This brings the subject back to
the teaching: "Enlightenment must come little
by little—otherwise it would overwhelm."

Idries Shah
    I realize that I am very lucky.
    It is a measure of my own 'success'
    that I have room to look for more.

    Sitting out in the sun to read, it helps.
    And the scent of hyacinths, in the market.
    On the verge of something I feel, I can't see.

    I try to savor today, yet can't help but ask:
    is it tomorrow yet?
Discipline is remembering what you want.
bmindful affirmations
netpositive: (firehand)
You reach a point where you can either
do something or be somebody.

-Major John Boyd
    How do you free yourself, even momentarily,
    from being somebody in order to do something
    instead (or as well)?

    Looking to do something with a meaningful
    connection, not as defined by anyone else
    save this silly goose trying to dissolve
    her bottle.
Sometimes when we are generous in small,
barely detectable ways it can change
someone else's life forever.

Margaret Cho
    Working on recycling or disposing of more.
    Trying to take less in.
    Been Freecycling a few things.
    (Even some books.)

    Back to studying language CDs in the car.
    Revised a year-old short story.
    Trying to eat less.
    (Or at least less junk.)

    Reading around the occult world a bit, more
    as an interested tourist than a participant
    (for the time being).

    Need sleep.
    And dreams.
I got into a friendly argument with a colleague about
“appropriate” uses for churches. It started with an
observation he made about how St. Bart’s in Midtown
over-advertises its cafe - and why does a church have
a cafe anyway? He advocates separation of uses, and
deplored as an example, the proposal to turn a church
into a nightclub. I believe instead that churches are
gathering places - in a whole host of different ways,
whether they are cafes, nursery schools, night clubs,
or anything else....

Much of our disagreement was wrapped up in our conception
of these places and activity that is or is not perceived as
illicit. I don’t thinking [sic] drinking and dancing or
listening to music late at night, say at a night club, is
such an illicit activity that needs physical separation from
the observance of spirituality.

_This Place Is..._
    Not sure if there is any combination
    of community and spirituality out there
    which would apply to me.

    Dancing comes closest at the moment, but
    I'm not sure anyone else finds in it
    what I do.

    Many of my friends have found some community,
    but I'm not too sure that I belong.
    (If I even should.)

    I guess. I guess I'm just not sure. If I were...

    Soul ISO: immanence, rather than transcendence.
Time is the dominant parameter. The pilot who
goes through the [Observe Orient Decide Act] cycle
in the shortest time prevails because his opponent
responds to actions that have already changed.

-Harry Hillaker
netpositive: (frenchy)
The tragedy in life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.

– Benjamin Mays
    One can do things without having a goal, but
    then there's no good way to measure progress.

    The last couple of years have been both personally and
    professionally difficult, but useful. I learned that
    things happen, and you deal with them, and move on.

    And sadly there *were* a lot of positive things
    that I never wrote about, mostly because it takes me
    such a long time to write anything -- and then often
    by the time I figured things out, the urgency to write
    had passed.

    I am always very happy about good things that happen to
    other people. My friend noire has a new book coming out,
    as does ctan. Whuffle and halleyscomet are about to have
    their first child. Other people are graduating, marrying,
    getting new jobs, studying abroad, moving on, moving out.

    Where am I right now?

    I'll try to talk more about good things as I go along.
    But I know I'm not perfect. And I don't want to crow,
    or make other people envious. I work hard -- but I also
    know I'm very lucky. And I'm grateful for those of you
    who have supported me in good times and in tough ones.

Remember not only to say the right thing
in the right place, but far more difficult still,
to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

-Ben Franklin
netpositive: (iconnerific)
Shucks, folks, I'm speechless.
-Lion
    For those of you whom I haven't had
    much chance to talk to very recently,
    and even for many of those I have:

    As of Nov. 28, 2005, I enter a new world.

    I will be an independent contractor
    in my chosen field of user-centered
    analysis, design, and testing. I have
    a chance to operate as a consultant
    with Human Factors International, and
    I am (fearfully) looking forward to it.

    Thanks to those who listened so much
    when I could talk.
    Thanks to those who asked, "What's up,"
    even when I couldn't say.
    Thanks to those who offered good advice
    or provided bad examples.
    I have a whole lot to catch up on.
    Catch me soon.

    I'd rather be good than lucky -- but
    dreaming doesn't always have to hurt.
    The future is still under construction.
    All I can say is, I'll do my best.
How do you get the first olivepicker out of the bottle?

1. Unscrew the lid.
2. Show her some olives.
3. Wait for her to pick her way out.

-me
netpositive: (firehand)
Please tell why, do we build castles in the sky,
Oh tell me why, all the castles way up high--

Ian Van Dahl
    Is dreaming just a butterfly, or
    just a sticky grey cocoon we spin and break open?

    If I dream of being in Kansas City, and
    not being able to find the rental car
    that I need to return to the airport
    so that I can get back home --

    (crows and chickadees chattering in the trees
    and one lone goose, laden, honking north)


    if I dream of lying side by side on the grass
    with my favorite collaborator at work, gazing
    up at the stars but knowing now (in hindsight)
    they'll never let us build that ship together --

    (a thousand seagulls clustered cold on a wire T,
    with heavy mists coming in from the south river)


    if I dream of Wodehousian young men in spats,
    dancing in line, twirling gold and silver pocketwatches --

    (the younger cardinal just bounced off a branch
    sending a yellowed maple leaf to the bare ground,
    as the soft eastern rays start to be cut off)


    if I dream of being with my back to the wall --

    (I never got to sit still in the side yard
    all spring or summer long. And this one time
    I'm trying to, well, even here I can't sit for
    an hour without being disturbed by a life
    that I didn't ask for. That isn't mine.)


    I know who the wide-eyed boy at the dance
    with the smile and bright copper hair was.
    And I also have some suspicions of that
    wary would-be mentor with the biker tattoos.

    But why Kansas City?


    Dear Tir-na Nog'th, aka Unconscious,

    Sorry there's so much on (y)our plate(s)
    right now -- hazards of spatial dislocation.
    Could you please tell me the color of the car
    next time? You know I'm looking hard for it.

    Forever yours in Amber,
    Conscious
... the circumstances of your life
reveal who you are, not
what has happened to you.

Circumstances do not make you
unless you think yourself down to them.

Iyanla Vanzant
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: (iconnerific)
Lion: All right. I'll go in there
for Dorothy - Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch -
guards or no guards - I'll tear 'em apart.
Ohhh! I may not come out alive but I'm going in there.
There's only one thing I want you fellas to do...
Tin Man and Scarecrow: What's that?
Lion: Talk me out of it.


Last weekend, while the mice were away:
text behind cut )
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man: Courage!
Lion: You can say that again!
netpositive: (Default)
You, the butterfly -
I, Chuang-Tzu's
dreaming heart.

-Coleman Barks
    The heat in the air has broken, so
    the breeze is cooler than my body.
    Sweat from my hair as I walk home -
    no, wait, the very first drops of rain.
    New leaves on top of the oaks and hollies
    rustle and ripple under falling droplets.
    The shift in scent, from flora to aqua,
    is cool water after downing heady wine.

    Last night, I dreamed a common theme.
    I was chased through a city, the same
    one where I've often been during sleep.
    It has narrow, yellow-tinted streets,
    and Asian figures flicker on billboards as
    I direct a sports car smartly to safety,
    wrists straining to hold a turning wheel.
    I open the door into a sunny schoolroom,
    where several faces look up to greet me
    and congratulate me on finding a path
    to escape.

    Tonight, I lie in bed, drunk with life,
    somewhere between dream and real.
netpositive: (Default)
I experience love very deeply, and grow
richer because of this every day.
    Spring. It's here, but it's not here.
    It's so close to me and yet so far away.
    If I could just reach out and touch it.
    I wish you could see me now.

    Buds breaking painfully open lead to blossoms on branches.
    Today saw a cardinal, heard a bluejay, starlings galore.
    The evidence of my body tells me the daffodils don't lie.
    I wish you could know me now.

    Working, playing, dancing, flying, falling, drowning.
    We all have our dead leaves, and the worms underneath.
    I want to give what I can and yet still be all I am.
    I wish you were here now.

I deserve to be loved by myself and others.
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

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