netpositive: (frenchy)
A conversation at dinner last night
reminded me to write things down
when I'm thinking of them.
Or of you.

This will go through revisions,
hopefully many.
But for now it's a starting point.


    I see you.

    In every flower that blooms --
    tree that leaves --
    bee that buzzes --
    wasp that stings.

    I see you in the ice on frozen driveways,
    and the water flowing in Winters Run,
    and the steam rising from cow manure
    dropped in a cold Jarrettsville dawn.

    In pine trees, and weeping willows, and crabapples.

    I hear you in the chatter of chickens and
    the chewing of cows, in political discourse
    and private confessions, and in everyone's
    laughter.

    I hear you in groups, in tete-a-tetes, and
    in silence.

    You are there every time I darn a sock, or
    change my oil, or go to work, or do my taxes,
    or come home, or listen to music, or read a book.
    Right there -- and generally adding your opinion!
    (We don't always agree, but it always has value.)

    I touch you in flannel and in velvet,
    in rusted steel and the fur of animals,
    in fuzzy sweaters and cotton/polyester,
    in the rocks of the field
    and the bones of my hands.

    I taste you in overcooked roast beef
    and fresh asparagus, in white rice
    and red spices -- cinnamon, paprika,
    and catsup.

    I smell you in fresh-cut wood
    and in turpentine, in new-mown grass
    and in bales of straw, in summer's air
    and autumn's fall.

    (Oh, can't forget lemon-scented Pledge.
    Otherwise, I hate lemon -- just about
    as much as you seem to love it.)

    And best of all, in all my senses,
    I can perceive you in others'
    hearts and minds.

    Whatever you eventually reincarnate as, be it
    Buddha or beetle, I know one thing for sure.

    Your spirit, is gonna cause some mischief.


To poets everywhere, even ones I don't like.
And for the one I love above all others.
netpositive: (frenchy)
I hate going to the vet so much, my family has asked
the lady who I would probably like if she wasn't a vet
to come by and see me in an hour or so. So my catfriend
Reggie the Balinista is gonna steal Mom's password and
put this message from me in her journal, for Mom to see
my last words whenever she misses me in the future.


So, What Is Mom Like? [cut for sad] )
netpositive: (frenchy)
She was an old lady even when she was young.

She was born cranky, and she always wanted to be an only cat. But she got used to us over time (if still barely tolerating the other cats) and slowly she figured out it was all right for her to get on our beds, and to enjoy petting.

Her favorite meal was chicken. Though turkey, beef, salmon, lamb vindaloo, etc. were all okay with her too. As was gooshy food of all types. As were crunchy treats. But her favorite was chicken.

*pause*

I regret to inform you that the Dowager Empress Skye has taken her leave now, in search of new socks to slay.

Her last meal was chicken.
netpositive: (Default)
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that?
We must have perseverance and above all confidence
in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted
for something and that this thing must be attained.

-Marie Curie
    Heard recently? rain.
    Seen recently? rainbows.
    Smelled recently? cinnamon plum tea.
    Tasted recently? spiced chai latte.
    Done recently? danced ecstatically.
    Felt recently? myself.

    To do yet:
    Go outside for lunch.
    Live the rest of the week.
    Reflect. Channel. Transmute. Try.
    Time to write. Fiction.
    Look forward.

    Thank you, Tamar Amidon.

... have a good time, but not at someone else's expense.
tamidon

Just about a year ago.
netpositive: (firehand)
Dearly beloved,
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life...

-Prince
    Know what you can stand.
    Work on what you have trouble standing.
    Avoid what you can't stand.
    If you can.

    Write it out. Write it down.

If u don't like the world you're living in
Take a look around u
At least u got friends--

    Some things to be grateful for today:
  • Sunshine
  • Blue sky
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Radishes
  • Tea
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Sleeping kitties
  • Petting sleeping kitties
  • Helping someone out virtually
  • Clouds
  • Rain
  • A bright yellow rain slicker
  • Backpack with everything in it
  • A body that (mostly) works
  • Quiet local coffee shop (w/electricity, w/out Internet)
  • Iced chai
  • Some work to do
  • An iPod with bright orange skin
  • Some work getting done
  • Sleeping kitties waking up
  • Waking kitties being petted
  • Things to look forward to

Are we gonna let de-elevator
Bring us down?
Oh, no, let's go--!

    Thank you, Chris Benoit.

    No, not so much for the past few days,
    though I have learned much about you,
    myself, and others during them. ::(
    But thank you for those many years that
    you *were* a good person to other people.

    What happened this past weekend should not
    take those good times away from anyone else.
    It just will make us all the sadder that they,
    and you, are gone for good, and so horribly.

    I don't know what happened to you, Wild Pegasus.
    Maybe no one ever really will know "the truth".
    But I can guess, I can imagine, and I even suspect
    I would understand at least some of it. Not condone;
    but there but for the grace of something, could go I.

We're all excited
But we don't know why
Maybe it's cuz
We're all gonna die

And when we do (When we do)
What's it all 4 (What's it all 4)
U better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

Tell me, are we gonna let de-elevator bring us down?
Oh, no, let's go--!
netpositive: (frenchy)
That's me in the corner,
That's me in the spotlight, I'm
Losing my religion

-R.E.M.
    I already knew, but it was also the very first thing
    I heard on the radio as I got into the car.

    Driving home tonight was about as creepy a trip
    as I've ever taken. Lights were all too bright,
    cars were far too close. I had to turn the radio
    down twice, and then completely off.

    It seemed like people were driving worse than usual.
    Then I noticed the 14th Street Bridge goes over water.
    I'm so used to going over it, it seldom registers now,
    but it did tonight. And the disabled cars, with people
    standing so close to traffic doing 50+ mph. And planes
    flying low overhead. And... and...

    And my chest is hurting because I'm still breathing,
    but barely, head and heart both arguing with lungs
    and intestines. Long pauses between short breaths, and
    a painful pit in the bottom of my stomach, telling me:
    "And someday, you know, that will be you. Someday."

    No, it's not me. Not yet. I'm still alive, for now.
    But you never know, do you. Who, what, where, when.

    So often, I don't know how you other people do it.
    How do you live daily with the terror that someday,
    you'll die? Feeling that there is no one standing
    between you and eternity? Worrying there is never
    enough time, and seeing what you've already wasted?
    Knowing that whenever life stops -- then you lose?

    I hate being so afraid of death, what feels like
    all the time. Sometimes I feel like it goes away.
    I go days, weeks, months without dwelling on it.

    And then something happens, to bring it all back.

    Or worse. And yes, this is about me, but it's also
    me thinking about death and anger and grief and loss
    and how you handle it. And me mourning the tragedy of
    someone I met in person for a brief moment years ago,
    but whose work I have admired for over two decades.

    No, I don't want to be just waiting here for death.
    Yes, I do want to live. And I don't want to die.
    But sometimes, I find myself losing the way.
    And so often, I'm so scared.


R.I.P.
Daniel Benoit, 2000-2007
Nancy Daus Benoit, 1964-2007
Chris Benoit, 1967-2007
netpositive: (firehand)
I understand very well being scared of the future.
Fighter jets and fire engines don't make me feel safer.
Just more scared. But that Rumi, he never said life was safe.
    It's actually very easy to be miserable,
    because nothing is ever going to be perfect
    in an less than perfect world. Be different.
    Do the difficult. Don't add to the misery.

    Be glad when times are good.
    When times are not so good,
    be glad you were so lucky, and
    try to make your own luck again.

    "And smale foweles maken melodye"

    Good memories are doubly precious
    - once in the creating,
    and again in the remembering.
    I wish I had a better memory.

    Life can sure be like an oyster. Hard shell;
    lots of squishy bits whose edibility is much
    a matter of personal taste; irritations; rarely,
    a pearl. So, how do I get this thing open again?

    "That slepen al the nyght with open ye"

    Of course, there's always something profound
    from the Beatles. In this case: "The love you make
    is equal to the love you take."

    "(So priketh hem nature in hir corages)"

    Don't wanna run with the big boys, buy bigger toys.
    Babies or marriage, they ain't the issue here.
    I'm not against either. I just want my own future.
    To write, to dance, to breathe, to float, to fly.
    To be strong, to be comforted, to be, to see. I.

    "Thanne longen folk to go on pilgrimages"

    Because a pilgrim has
    a clear path,
    a destination, and
    a plan to return to grace.
Deadlines and dollar signs
A cup of kindness and I'll be fine
Gonna patch up all those holes and tears you see
Don't worry 'bout me

-Patty Larkin
netpositive: (firehand)
Every now and then we manage to take a tiny,
unconscious, clumsy step ever closer to the edge,
stumbling toward ecstasy without really knowing
or understanding that we're doing so.

Mark Morford
    And then again, some of us are trying to do it
    deliberately, through willful spiritual practice...

    Daily reminder: It's okay to be assertive. Really.

    Breathe more. Breathe louder. Breathe all the way.

    Try opening the skylights.

    Thank you, Brian May.
Si non dominaris, inquit, filiola,
iniuriam te accipere existimas?

-the Emperor Tiberius, to Agrippina
netpositive: (iconnerific)
...because it's breaking.
-The Tin Woodsman

Frenchy's kidney disease just... accelerated.

helpless feelings of loss )
Accroches-toi a ton reve
Accroches-toi a ton reve
Quand tu vois ton bateau partir
Quand tu sents -- ton coeur se briser
Accroches-toi a ton reve.

-ELO
netpositive: (iconnerific)
    My best girl friend from college is dead.

    I remember us laughing at the X-rated movie nights
    run then by UMBC Student Government, because in
    those days the Maryland Censor Board was still in
    operation and their idea of X-rated would barely
    raise an eyebrow at 8 PM today, much less midnight.

    I remember the night I held her while she cried
    her heart out, because the jerk who was using her,
    had dumped her. [And how horrible I felt because
    I'd predicted it would happen, almost to the exact
    hour.] How angry I was that she went back with him
    later on and let him take advantage of her some more.
    I never hid my feelings about _him_ if she asked, but
    if it made her happy, then I tried to support _her_.

    I remember her: flirting, smoking, playing bridge,
    wearing skirts, and managing (most) other people well.

    I tried to tell her many things. I know I didn't always
    make sense to her (and I didn't always make sense to me,
    especially back in those days) but again, she was loyal.

    I was there when they broke up again, for good, and I
    tried to let her know how worthwhile she was in herself.

    I was maid of honor at her first wedding, to someone
    I'd once lived with for 4 years, and still cared for.
    I was so glad they had "found" each other at last.
    I thought they would be good together... and for a
    time, I think they were. But we all have our flaws,
    and under too much pressure lives may change shape.
    Sometimes they turn into something new and better.
    But sometimes they just turn, like curdling milk.

    We lost touch after the divorce. Different people,
    different lives - so often we'd had little in common
    but memories, and loyalty. I worried that I would
    remind her too much of a past she finally needed to
    cut herself free from. I felt I had nothing more I
    could give her - nothing I hadn't already given her
    when we were different people, in different lives.

    Apparently, she had just recently remarried. :(

    Oh Sandy, I'm sorry this had to happen to you now.
    You were such a smart and talented woman. I always
    felt you deserved more and better out of life than
    sometimes you got.

    Including, maybe, your best friend from college.
netpositive: (firehand)
Just for today I will know my own spirit,
and take hold of all my own personal power.
Tomorrow will come. Today already is.
    Why do I not -
    Why do I knot -
    Y do I knot -
    How do I untie?

    Breathe, oh, breathe, oh, breathe.
    Breathe when you're asleep.
    Breathe when you're awake.
    Breathe as though your heart is breaking.
    Breathe as though your love is waking.
    Step up into the light and cast a shadow;
    step up into a shadow and remember the dark.
    Breathe with each step, and breathe between.

    I close my eyes and I can see so much, my
    dreams filled with details, but no faces.
    Yet I know you all, the quick and the dead.
    And you know me too -
    well, only if you care to.
I choose to move through difficulties,
disappointments and apparent defeat
by using them to move forward and
develop all my qualities. My final success
will be even greater than I imagined.
netpositive: (firehand)
Just remember that those things that get attention flourish.
-Victoria Moran
    Breathe, eat, drink, think.
    Work, dance, home, sleep.

    No, I don't mind more learning, but
    I'd like more living along with it.

    Image and text behind cut )

    I'm not invisible -- but you still have to look.
Our duty is not to see through one another,
but to see one another.

-Leonard Sweet
netpositive: (firehand)
Out to the west there's a trail that leads somewhere
And a call of the wild that takes some people there...

-Joe Jackson
    There is never time to do it right -- but
    there is never time to do it over, either.

    Don't blindly assume -- ask others what they want first.

    2 steps forward, 1 step back -- is still 1 step forward.

    "That which doesn't kill you, wakes you up."
    -Wu Jackson
image behind cut )
    "It's hard to shepherd if you don't have any sheep."
    -Sara Mason

    Live each day as if it is your first and last --
    but please don't let that stop you from thinking ahead.

    If you walk without rhythm, you'll never learn.

    Thank you, Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, and Cher.
Sometimes I think we should be sending out an SOS...
But mostly I just think of all the things I can't wait to see --

-Joe Jackson

When taking part in an interactive broadcast,
viewers need signals to let them know they have been
successful in their task. The feeling of being
involved in the program and the interest in the
outcome of the story can be reinforced by praise.
You need to know you have been successful, so
you can be confident in continuing to enjoy
the rest of the program.

PRAISE, from Design Patterns for i-Media
netpositive: (iconnerific)
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.


images and text behind cut )
I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.
Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home.

-Rumi
netpositive: (window)
Begin to consider what you can do
just this week, just today, just this hour.
How small do you need to make the time frame
in order to feel positive? Don't worry about
details; focus on just one baby step. What can
you accomplish in the next five minutes?

Move your body; narrow your focus; take action.
    Some things that happen in a weekend:

    Carry-out Cincinnati chili with sour cream.
    A glass of amaretto w/peach schnapps.
    Watching part of a favorite videotape.
    Get solid sleep. Emergency laundry time.
    See a brace of films by Orson Welles.
    Greeting some old friends in passing.
    Review new search engine documentation.
    Steam is rising off the Potomac River.
    Out dancing to a rare appearance by a
    traditional big band at Glen Echo -
    go through three shirts, two towels,
    lots of trips to the water fountain, and
    a life-saving bottle of berry Gatorade.
    Meet up late-night with an Oreo milkshake.
    Sun-dry sheets while walking to Courthouse
    for some iced chai. Continue with laundry.
    Plan for an hour of yard work (with water).
    Work on summary documents for presentation
    on the e-gov standards usability testing.
    Color hair. Get ready for this busy week of
    training + work + home + life. Pet cats.

    Let's take July one step at a time.
Fear comes with the territory.
Stop thinking that fear must vanish
before you can start a project. Fear
is part of life. You'll hear it when
you're perched on your growing edge.
Tilt your head to listen -- and then
press on. Demystify the fear by saying,
'There's the same old fear sitting on my shoulder.
I'll just go about my business.'

from _Stress Reduction for Busy People_
netpositive: (iconnerific)
Without an unobstructed route
Energy cannot flow.

-Deng Ming-Dao
    Sometimes one has to rest.
    Enjoy your sleep. Let your body go,
    let your mind wander,
    let your spirit soar.
    Recharge what has been drained from you.
    Recall the taste of your favorite juice.
    Dream a little dream of love.
You may feel like dwelling on
your limits or your fears. Don't do it.
A perfect prescription for a squandered,
unfulfilled life is to accommodate
self-defeating feelings while undercutting
your finest, most productive ones.

-Marsha Sinetar
netpositive: (Default)
I appreciate my jealous feelings -
they point out areas I need to work on
within myself and my life.

    I am learning about what I want
    and also what I don't want. I support
    those I care for in triumphs and trials.

    I am learning about what else I need.
    I hunger, and I thirst. See that clearly.

    And I'm still here. That's something.

Make some time for play and don't worry
what other people think.
netpositive: (Default)
What I have to say is valuable
to others.

What I have to say is most valuable
to myself.
    A complete stranger once
    threatened to kill me. I looked
    out upon the void, and I said:
    "Go ahead."

    A former friend, going down, once
    threatened to kill those people
    I cared for most. I shook silently,
    for weeks, fearing the sound of alarm.

    It's when you love,
    and what you love most,
    that makes you vulnerable.

Hurt and pain come as part of life.
No one is exempt from it.
But that is no reason not to love.
Suffering accompanies life -
but love is affirmation.

-Deng Ming-Dao

I learn from the past, and then let go of it.

I learn from the present, and embrace it.

I learn from the future, and find myself in it.

I accept that I cannot be all things to all people.

I am someone who can try new things, take risks, and
make mistakes. I believe others will accept that in me.
I accept that in myself, and I learn from each attempt.

I am finding my own voice.
netpositive: (stojko)
If nothing else, you can always serve as a bad example.
-cliche
    My mother had a very difficult life, you see.

    One of eleven farm kids, born into a family
    where men were valued more highly than women,
    and intelligence was viewed with suspicion.

    My dad grew up in the same small town, attended
    the same church, etc., and as he talked about my
    mother's family, I could hear how my mother might
    have - unconsciously - absorbed early on how to use
    illness as a tactic to gain attention, or caring.

    My dad once described to me what she was like when
    they first married: "she was always 'nervous', but
    also hard-working, intelligent, and very creative.
    I thought I could help her."

    11 years of marriage and several miscarriages and
    stillbirths later, I fought through to being alive.

    But when I was 2, our family lost a second baby
    who would have been my brother, Adrian Randall.
    There would be no more attempts after that one.
    Just as well, perhaps. *shrug* I don't recall it
    myself, but the death of my brother on the table
    during blood transfusions was one of the earliest
    family stories I knew. But not the saddest.

    You see, as I grew up, my mother became a child.

    In 1972, my mother was diagnosed as having bipolar
    disorder. Her illness was never really affectable
    or controllable by therapy, medications, or even
    electroshock. Her depressive episodes were frequent
    and severe enough to require hospitalization. Oh,
    I don't doubt part of it _was_ a chemical problem.
    Some medicines came tantalizingly close to working.
    But over time it became clear her illness could be
    a way of trying to get attention or control others.
    So by the end, my mother's only real "relationships"
    were with caretakers - doctors, nurses, companions.
    She had no capacity to care for husband, or daughter.

    I was lucky that my dad loved me, and he did the best
    he could to help me develop into the person I am today,
    and to keep me from being trapped in my mother's life.

    I am lucky in my family and friends, in my many talents
    and skills, in my own strength, in my ability to cope.

    I am very lucky that I am able to live the life that I do,
    and that I am able to take care of myself as necessary.

    I am grateful for all these gifts, and I use them wisely.

I am learning that my own needs are also important.

I am learning that it's all right to ask for what I need from others.

I am learning that connections with other people can be healthy ones.

I am learning that I have great capacity for compassion, but even greater capacity for caring and sharing.
netpositive: (stojko)
    One of my passions: taking, and
    storing, hundreds of pictures of
    The World's Most Photogenic Cat.
    Every batch has a new expression.
    Or two. Or three. Or more!

    Stojko 1

    Stojko 2

    Stojko 3


    But every now and then, there's an absolute miracle.

    Sato

    What Particle Accelerator, indeed.

    In late 1999, I lost both my cats to
    cancer, less than 2 months between their deaths.

    In late 1999, these were feral kittens,
    born under a dumpster, trapped by a vet,
    looking for someone to socialize them...

    In early 2004, one wakes me up frantically
    and vibratically, with his expressive paws
    kneading my leg and rustling the bedclothes.

    In early 2004, one gloms onto my legs as I
    sit and type, or indents thousands of tiny
    scratches on my left shoulder as I hold her.

    Yes, I still miss George and Shen T'ien, every day.

    And I'm grateful for Stojko and Sato, every day.

You are a miracle.

I am a miracle.

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