Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Be impeccable with your word.  I'm pretty good with that, most of the time.  The occasional impetuous curse, complaint or judgement slips out, but I've gotten better about guarding my mouth.  I have had no luck in guarding my thoughts; if the command was to be impeccable with your thoughts, I'd be sunk. My brain is like an anthill that some bully boy has kicked open. It writhes with random, uncontrollable thoughts. I'm working toward  a sense order, peace, impeccability in my thoughts, but I won't achieve that in this lifetime. Right now, I'm just trying to acknowledge the chaos, recognize the negative, damaging thoughts when they pop up and learn to gently let them go. Today, for instance, I walked into the office to find scattered messes everywhere. Some of my colleagues spread a project out across the office and didn't clean it up at the end of the day. My irritation was followed by judgement; if I left out a mess like that, believe me I would hear about it from the bosses. But I recognized those thoughts as ungenerous and counterproductive and let them go.  What do I care? I hid in my little corner and turned my back on their crap.   

These guardian thoughts adds yet another layer of thought to the already crowded field in my brain.  It's getting pretty tight up in there; something is bound to blow.

As for guarding my heart? Not in this lifetime. The best I can hope for is to learn how to better control the outward manifestation of the inner chaos.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Four Agreements

Another season passes and the center shifts.  People come and go, people who were important to me, people I loved and trusted, up and gone before my eyes.  It hurts. It leaves a hole.

I recently came across New Age author Don Miquel Ruiz's Four Agreements: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t take anything personally. Do your best.

Or, with my editorial emphasis added - 

*Be impeccable with my word. Don't talk shit.
*Don’t make assumptions. Question reality.
*Don't take things personally.  It ain't about me. 
*Do your best, whatever the fuck that is. 

I like that they are perfectly balanced between prescriptions and proscriptions, two things that you should do, two things that you should not do. Most of the Ten Commandments are proscriptions: Do not worship other gods, do not take God's name in vain, do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie, do not covet you neighbor's wife or your neighbors good's.  So many thou shalt nots!  The only two commandments that are prescriptions are a) keep the Sabbath holy and b) honor your mother and father. No hints on how one should honor one's parents, nor are there any suggestions for how one refrains from coveting. The heart wants what it wants, right? As long as I don't act on it, why should God care?

I like the Four Agreements if for no other reason than there are significantly fewer of them. You would think that would make them easier to follow, but not necessarily. I struggle with the proscription against taking things personally.  When someone I love cuts me out of his or her life, it's hard not to take that personally. I'm not talking about casual friendships fading away, I'm talking about people I trusted completely dropping me like a used tissue.  If you've ever had a lover leave you with no warning and no explanation, you know the feeling I'm talking about.  My brain whips wildly from one hypothesis to another, trying to make sense, trying to figure out what I did or didn't do.  I am not what you would call a "process person," I'm a solutions-oriented gal. I want to figure out what I did wrong and fix it so things can go back to the way they were.  But, of course, they can't; nothing is ever as it was.  You can never cross the same river twice.

I have to keep reminding myself that I cannot fix something that is not about me. It is just that person's particular fucked up scene, his or her own private Idaho.

I can't make you love me and I shouldn't take that personally, but I do. That desperate desire to love and be loved back is my particular fucked up scene, my own private Idaho.

I opened my heart to you and you broke it asunder.  It will not heal until I close the door. And so my friend, I close my heart to you.   

I gotta quit making friends with people who have personality disorders.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


If the success of a marriage was contingent on a shared, or at least similar, taste in movies, Sequoia and I would have broken up a long time ago. The boy loves horror and monsters. If it has some kind of alien creature or genetic mutation that racks up a significant body count, he’s in.  Extra points if there’s a screaming loud vehicle chase, be it car or space ship.  And of course, explosions; there must be explosions.  Examples of the genre: Alien, Predator, Alien Vs. Predator. You get the drift.

As you can guess, I’m not a fan. I’m more of a costume drama kind of gal. That said, I do love sci-fi, especially the end-of-the-world, post-apocalyptic variety.  Sequoia also enjoys the apocalypse, particularly if it includes flesh eating zombies. I don't mind the occasional zombie, but I'm more interested in doomsday scenarios. What happens when the world falls apart? How does it all break down? Then what?  

Religion developed in response to death, the great unknowable. A woman is alive, now she’s dead. How does that happen? Where did she go? What lies on the other side of that divide?  Each religion has its answer. Not only do they have an answer for how we die individually, each religion proselytizes a vision for how the world dies collectively.

The end of the world scenarios that I find so compelling, be they sci-fi or sacred, are just metaphors for my own death.  They help me to cope with reality; "Yeah, maybe I'm gonna die, but the whole world is gonna die, so..."  Death is the inevitable end of the world for each individual, unless something lies beyond. Each major religion each claims to “know” the “truth” of what lies beyond. Whether it’s the Day of Judgment, the Second Coming or an endless cycle of death and rebirth, they claim it as a knowable truth. A fanatic is someone who is so sure he knows what will happen after he dies that he is willing to die for that belief. Ironic, no?

Dunno why I’m thinking such thoughts tonight. Maybe because it has been a good summer but, like all summers, it is coming to an end. Autumn is coming on and I'm glad. The wheel of the year is turning, as it did before I was here, as it will after I am gone.  The end of the world comes for all of us, sooner or later.