For Illustration Friday: Canned
For Illustration Friday: Canned
I worked over 70 hours last week while my children were in North Carolina for Camp Cousins. Everyone is back now, the book is at the printers and I was given yesterday and today off to recuperate, but I can’t seem to. I still feel exhausted and rather cranky. I haven’t done anything on my to-do-list except take Sophie for her before-school check-up and as that involved holding her down for 3 shots to the leg that wasn’t very motivating either. I feel oh so very blah. I’ve read 2 books on Christian mediation so far this summer and I have started a third that is broader in scope, more about meditation in general, and less aligned with any one religion. I am fascinated with the idea of being able to quiet the mind, of reaching a place where all you can feel is God and that He is Love, and the peace that the practice is told to bring. After years of meditation Easwaran says…
“I can tell my mind what to do… [and] it obeys. If a craving should arise for something my body does not need, I smile and say politely, “Please leave,” and it leaves. If something big tries to move in – say, an angry thought – I don’t bandy words; I say plainly, “Out!” It goes immediately. “
“If you begin to slide into a depression, you simply change your mind – you have learned how – and restore your equanimity and cheerfulness. You can now think what you want to think, and every relationship, everything you do, benefits enormously.”
I feel like I’m on the verge of discovering a way to greatly enhance my spiritual maturity or of sliding down a slippery slope of new-age self-help guru-craziness that will result in quite the opposite. Well, perhaps that a slightly over-dramatic way of putting it. I honestly don’t think that learning to quiet my mind is going to make my loose my Christian faith. However the tension between confessing Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and having respect for the wisdom of other world religions is very real for me. My mind tends to go in a liberal direction even as my lifestyle gets more and more conservative as the years go by.
(I read a fascinating passage in the book The Tipping Point either last night or this morning about heavy smokers and their personality traits. I think I could make a convincing argument that the “tipping point” in my change from the person I was in the mid to late 90’s to the person I am today was quitting smoking. If I ever get to the point where I can tell my mind what to do and it obeys I will have myself write an essay, or blog, or whatever about just that.)
Anyway, the essence of what I think I sat down to write about is that the idea of being able to actually tell my mind to let go of something and have it obey, to be able to decide that I am just not going to feel “blah” anymore and then get on with my day is absolutely captivating. It almost sounds like a supernatural power to me. I am worried that in seeking to explore how I might get to that point I could be distracted and “forsake my first love.” I need to remember that my focus should not be just learning to better manage my mind, but to do so in order to better love the Lord my God and my neighbors as well.
Ok, so I have just put on Lincoln Brewster’s “Love the Lord” and read the back on my book and noticed a quote from Henri Nouwen saying, “This book has helped me a great deal.” I feel much less blah already. 🙂
I have another set of 30 magnets on a display, packed up and ready to ship out to Carolina Beach, North Carolina as soon as I can get myself up to the post office. Of course as busy as we are in the office there’s a good chance I won’t have time to do that for a couple days. I’m very close to missing “the season” at Carolina Beach, but there’s nothing much I can do about that at this point.
I have another 30 magnets that have no display built for them yet. I need to decide if I want to try and have them ready to send to Boone with Sebastian when he goes to pick up the kids next week, or if I should just photograph them individually and put them up on Etsy and see if any movement happens. I’m all out of the magnets I put in the bottle tops and before I invest in ordering another roll of them it would be nice to actually sell a few.
Oooo, my sweet husband just called and said he was going to the post office for me. Yeah! Magnets on the move.
So I’m having a rather funny feeling this morning. There are several different things going on that could be the cause of it, the largest of which would be that in about 8 hours I will be taking my kids to North Carolina where I will be leaving them for a week. It’s not the first time I’ve been without them, and though it may be the longest time without them it’s not a lot longer than previous times. I’m not really sure while I’m nervous. And I really don’t have time to sit here and ponder over it. I have tons of work to do before I leave here at 3 and there’s really no reason to be spending time with the blog at all. Next week when I have the house to myself while the kids are off at Camp Cousins and Sebastian is at work, that is when I should write. I’ll be back then.
I wrote about an hour or so ago about feeling weird and all I let myself express was my concern about sending the kids off to Camp Cousins. But the other things I feel weird about keep rolling about in my head. I think perhaps I should just acknowledge them real quick like and then I can really focus on all that I have to do.
So, my hair has been falling out for a while now and I’ve had a complete check-up and my levels of everything were perfectly fine. I’ve started taking a multi-vitamin and extra supplements of B-12 (which has helped my energy, thank you very much) but I have noticed a whole lot of improvement when I shampoo. I have tried not to let it bother me much. My hair grows fast and if it does completely fall out I can finally have that Sinead O’Conner style I was never brave enough to try in high school. But this morning I French braided my hair and when I held up the hand mirror to see how the back looked I saw a big blank patch on the side of my head. Ok, maybe not big, but definitely blank and it made my stomach drop a bit just to see it. I think I have it covered now, and it’s really not that big of a deal, but then again, it kinda is.
Another thing I’m aware of this morning is a shift in myself of a less obvious kind, and I actually don’t think it’s a new one. I think the shift took place quite a long time ago I was just especially made aware of it this week. I get annoyed at the lady who keeps my kids sometimes, but not annoyed enough to change my child care arrangements for the summer. Wednesday morning I wasn’t especially please by how some things went. When I came back to the office rather than coming straight back to my seat and getting back to work I went up front and dramatically shared the issue with about 5 people at once. They made all the right sympathetic noises and told me how right I was and then I went back to my desk. Again, not that big of deal. I got to vent, got a little attention, and went on with my day. But there is a certain feeling one gets when addressing a group, when everyone is paying attention and nodding and agreeing, or being shocked or whatever. There is sort of a high to it that I guess I had forgotten about. I think I used to be addicted to it. In fact, I think I could even go so far as to say that a fair number of the “craziest” things I did back in the day were not so much for the pleasure in the moment of doing them, but for the pleasure of the drama of re-telling them.
I think this may have come up so strongly in my head last night and this morning because I decided to go ahead and let my “friends” know I have this blog. I think there’s a danger of me wanting to have something dramatic and interesting to share and feeling like I need to go out and create it. I hope I can resist.
And since loosing my job because I spend too much time typing on a blog is a drama I surely wish to avoid I really am going to stop now.
Oh, and I guess I should mention that I just figured out that I had the time stamp set for UTC instead of EST so this morning’s musing seem all out of order but that’s ok. 🙂
“There was one this one semester. It may be for the best that everything about it is so foggy.”
This was a pen and ink sketch that I brought into photoshop and altered it a bit. It still feels more like a pen and ink than digital to me, but I put it under “mixed media” to cover by bases. Is there a line an image crosses after being scanned in decides it’s media?
The art of praying, as we grow, is really the art of learning to waste time gracefully—to be simply the clay in the hands of the potter. This may sound easy—too easy to be true—but it is really the most difficult thing we ever learn to do…. This is the real reason why so few of us ever come, in this life, to the full experience of God’s love for us.
– Thomas H. Green “When the Well Runs Dry”
Yesterday itunes offered the audio book version of “The Alchemist” as a free download. Paulo Coelho is not my favorite but he is usually pretty interesting. I listened to the whole thing yesterday while I was working and I really enjoyed it. Listening to a story makes my day fly by and as long as I’m not doing translating work it doesn’t distract me from making ads. The book stayed in my head all evening and obviously I’m still thinking about it this morning. At one point the Alchemist tells the boy, “There is only one way to learn–through action.” That seems to be the repeating theme for me these days. I must stop just thinking about the things I want to do and go ahead and do them. If I keep waiting till I know what I’m doing to get started I will never get started. This is not a new or profound thought but for some reason it is one that gives me a great deal of trouble.