Category Archives: Om Mani Padme Hum

Don’t believe what I think

I saw a yellow bumper sticker the other morning. It said, in friendly blue lettering:

“You don’t have to believe everything you think”

I don’t have any tattoos, but I might consider permanently inking that phrase across my forearm.

I like thinking. I do a lot of it. Usually too much, although, periodically, not enough. There have been plenty of times when thinking has served me well. Believing certain things that I think, on the other hand, has been the source of a lot of pain.

When you frequently sit in rooms where family members of alcoholics and addicts are struggling with their particular realities, the pitfalls of believing everything you think become much more vivid. We think we can help people, even if those people haven’t shown any interest in, or have even responded angrily to, our offers to help. We think our marriages, our childhoods, our children, our children’s teachers, our jobs, our coworkers, our lives are supposed to be as we imagined – what we thought they should be – instead of what they are.

I thought that marriage meant that I was supposed to feel loved by another person and that it was understood that such an endeavor is worth the work and times of discomfort that likely takes. I thought I was supposed to have more than one child. I thought that having a child would motivate the other person to be a better person, because that is undoubtedly what it did for me. I thought that respect would mean the same thing to the other person as it does to me. I thought our idea of a “good person” would be the same.  I thought that love would mean the same thing to the other person as it means to me.  I thought.

When these are the kinds of things that you think, and what you think is not your life, or even close to your life, life gets ouchy.

A year ago, I sat in a counselor’s office, and she said something that confounded me:

“Addiction can be your greatest teacher.”

At first, that pissed me off.  Addiction is a sneaky, mean, lying, controlling bastard. Addiction is a villain and I am a moral, loving, hard-working, good girl. Addiction messes I up everything I was supposed to have and enjoy in this life. Or so I thought.

I essentially let go of drinking years ago in support of another person. Or so I thought.  I’m not an alcoholic, so it wasn’t hard.  When I miss it, I have a nice glass of wine. It can be months before I want another glass.

My decision had little or no bearing on the other person’s path of recovery. But my quitting has taught me that I prefer a life of rarely drinking. I’ve learned that I prefer the feeling of being in my body, the challenge of overcoming my own shyness without liquid help (probably the biggest reason I ever drank in social settings to begin with) and the rewards of settling into my difficult feelings instead of trying to control them. Addicts and I have this in common, we just go about it differently. I’ve tried to intellectualize my feelings into neat compartments while an addict may be more inclined to escape from or obliterate feelings with substances.

Living within spitting distance of addiction has forced me to try and look at people more openly and compassionately as they are instead of what I think they should be, beginning with myself.  I am smart about things I never wanted to be smart about, and more aware of how naïve I am about most things. That makes me so common, so wonderfully human, so fundamentally like everyone I meet, addicts included. It has cracked my universe wide open.

I am a moral, loving, hard-working, good girl. And addiction really is a sneaky, mean, lying, controlling bastard that has tried, more than once, to convince me that everyone is really a sneaky, mean, lying bastard at heart, including me. He hunts for our weaknesses and exploits them, grinds into them until feeling itself just hurts, he fuels our cynicism and erodes our faith in anything or anyone. The more persecuted and victimized an addict feels, the more the addiction can thrive. That’s how addiction gets all of us – addicts and the people who love them – to do his bidding.

The moment I stopped thinking of addiction as a dictator or persecutor or something unilaterally “bad” and started looking at the weaknesses it has exposed in me was the moment I felt something new  – maybe a genuine self-respect – begin to take root. When I change the word addiction to death, to job loss, to illness, to bad government, I find the same thing applies.

If I hadn’t been exposed to addiction, I might have cruised through life thinking that it was possible to manage or change other people according to the way I think things should be. What a gift it has been to try and dump that kind of thinking and focus on what I can change, like the way I respond to difficult times and situations, instead.

At least that’s how I’m thinking about things today.

Listen to “Thinking” by Steve Forbert

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Rabbit, Rabbit, Year of the Rabbit

Last February, I was nervous about what the Year of the Tiger might have in store for me. Truthfully, I could not have imagined the half of it.

Tigers are fierce, with teeth and jaws powerful enough to shear away the toughest of hides. They can shred what you think you know, rendering it unrecognizable. (I just finished reading a long book about predators to my son last night. The tiger and its long teeth grace the cover, so I’m well in touch with the food chain today.)

I wanted that big cat in my corner to protect me from fire, thieves and ghosts.

But he didn’t, which made certain days, certain weeks, feel impossible to get through.

Or he did. He brought me so much closer to all of my fears, fundamentally shifting the way I respond to the things that scald old hurts, the unknowable and the unknown. He shook me by the neck to get me to realize certain things are possible, like the ability to be in the middle of a bad day or moment, surrender to it, then take it in a different direction.

The embrace of the rabbit, while iron this time around, is said to be much softer. I can’t help but hope that is so, but the tiger has definitely made me reluctant to get comfortable, and I think that’s handy.

This is the first day of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. The things we do on this and the coming days is said to reflect what we will do for the rest of the year. I’m trying to be faithful and hopeful today. I did my Dharma practice. I went to the gym.  I’m writing. I’m helping out at with a project at my son’s school. I’m working on the seventh step in Al-Anon. I’m thinking about distant solar systems and extra-long words. I’m making some plans for work and friendships. I’m enjoying my child as much as ever. I’m praying for people I care about who are facing difficulties — in my life, in Egypt and the habitable zones of the stars that Kepler is watching. I’m trying to take my time with things, like walking across all of these icy sidewalks.

I hope you do something that you love today.

Happy New Year.

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Washing away

I was all set to do laundry on New Year’s Day. The baskets were loaded, the darks picked clean of stray white socks. Then I happened upon the superstition that if you do the wash on the first of the year, you may “wash away a loved one” in the process. I slow-cooked my pork and sauerkraut and waited for January 2.

Five people I knew passed in 2010. One man held me as a baby. One death ushered me into 40. Three more friends, acquaintances, members of my extended community, were gone in a grim flipbook of months or moments.

I make weekly visits to a woman who put her hand over my heart and lifted me last year, who has comforted me with Kleenex and new community and wise words like “go home and read everything you can about acceptance.” Now she is on a twisting journey through metastasized stage four pancreatic cancer and even when I see her under the auspices of showing up to help her, it’s me who gets the help.

I take her food stamp card out to pick up sockeye salmon, orange juice and grits. I walk her granddaughter into a doctor’s office where I am met with a raft of love and prayers and good wishes to take back to the little apartment she so loves because it is surrounded by trees and the walls are increasingly papered with get well cards. I learn how little a person can have and still give and give and light up the lives of other people. I relearn the importance of waking up early, holding my son’s face in my hands and telling him how grateful I am that his face is the first one I laid eyes on in 2011. As much as I want to shed the chaos and pain of the past year’s trail of loss, I also want to stay here, present in what it’s given me, for as long as I am.

I’m learning more than I ever imagined at my age about many ways that people get sick. About many ways that people die. About Jedi nutrition tricks, magical thinking and cold, dark, depressed spaces. I’m stretched thin along the hair’s distance between life and death, between health and a hard diagnosis.

In the days before 2010 expired, I found out there are other people I care about who are now doing their own dances with cancer. After learning her own fate, one gave me a strong symbol of her faith for Christmas, a bit of protection, a message that in the midst of fracturing family, certain things are not lost.  I’m wondering if it’s time to lose a few inches of hair again and offer it to cancer.

I couldn’t do the laundry on New Year’s Day. But not exactly because I am afraid of losing another person. I know that I will, and whether that happens in 2011 or 2021 is not in my hands. But there is not one thing, not one person, not one stain from the experiences of this (or any) tour around the sun that I want to see cleansed from my life.

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Gimme Shelter

I like faith.

Religion is full of thistles and barbs and egos making strange decisions in the name of morality. It’s full of rules and politics that seem arbitrary; a sticky web cast over a crowd that gets tangled under your armpits when you try to develop your own relationship with God, the universe, a three-chord pop song or a tree stump.

But faith is something else. I believe in it. I believed in it before I had any idea what my faith was in.

I remember reading Black Elk Speaks in college and being confounded by the conversion of an 19th century Oglala, Lakota Medicine Man to Catholicism. My classmates and I debated over whether he became a champion of a European religion of his own free will, or under threat of our violent tendencies. Surely it was the will of the translator, not the man.

“I think he states it pretty simply,” the professor chimed in once we’d exhausted the discussion. “He watched Catholic people worshipping, and marveled at the peace it brought them. He wanted that for himself and his people.”

We, the privileged students of a private institution of higher learning, satiated with Howard Zinn and Ronald Takaki, were anxious to believe that such a shift in faith could only be a product of oppression. That assumption, I came to realize, is itself a kind of prejudice or -ism, and not one necessarily advocated by the historians I was reading, who were really about setting the record straight and pushing students like us to make sure we questioned the legends we’d been raised with.

But something about that professor’s insight resonated with me. Faith in action looks and feels very different than religion or dogma in action. I feel we are right, even morally obligated, to question the political stances of religious institutions. But personal faith is something else.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with people whose beliefs about the nature of the universe and the hows and whys of being human couldn’t be more different from my own. But we share the recognition that we can be spiritual together when we leave religion at the door.

For six years, I have been sitting through dharma talks, saying mantras, reading and learning about Buddhism, volunteering for my local center, even trying to see motherhood as a form of practice. But I didn’t think I had committed. I have said here before that I’m not a real Buddhist because I hadn’t taken the Refuge Vow.

It turns out I was. I just decided to formalize it a couple of months back, when I finally took my vow and received the name Karma Dawa Palmo from a teacher that I dearly love.

The Dalai Lama has said  that “All major religions carry the same messages. Messages of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. I have Muslim friends, Christian friends. All have these same values.”

Oddly enough, being around people who sometimes mention other religions by name, even in the rooms where the rules state that they aren’t supposed to, has helped me get to a place where I could make an outward commitment to my own. I find myself able to be close to people who are endeavoring to live a Christlike life as I try to work to awaken my Buddha nature.

I’ve come to realize that part of the reason Buddhism feels right to me has to do with the things it shares with Christianity, even though the differences are often what brings Westerners like myself to explore it. We share a path of faith.

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New

I wish I could say that I came into this year, this decade, with rosy optimism and a warm blanket. I tried. I did yoga. I took a hot shower and sang along with Irma Thomas to expand my cold-ravaged lungs. I took a cinematic ride through the universe with my boy and remembered our teeny-tininess, but when midnight came I was just agitated, unsettled, unreasonably angry.

But it’s the first Monday of the year, and even though my son and I argued on the way to school in the car today, even though my chest is still sore, I don’t feel rested and the cold outside is far too bitter, I feel strangely unburdened and optimistic. I want to clean up and put things in order. I want to make appointments and to-do lists. I want to roast vegetables and cut fruit and find a place to run inside. I want to listen to depressing music until I feel light again.

I hope your first Monday is pleasantly complicated, that your sinuses are clear and that ushering in this new decade feels like watching the sun rise.

Happy new year.

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It’s my 500th post! Let’s talk about death…

“Why are these big rocks covering them?” he asked me, as though someone had put the gravestone there to hold my grandparents under the earth.

“They help you and I to find the place where their bodies are buried,” I told him.

“Where are they? Have they turned to dust yet? Why can’t I see them?”

My last grandmother died a year before Declan was born. My grandfather five years before that. He knows them from pictures and stories.

“They’re buried six feet below here. Inside of a casket – a big wooden box with… pillows.”

“But why can’t I see them?”

“Most people don’t like to be remembered the way they look when they’re dead and turning into dust — they want to be remembered the way they looked when they were alive, like they look in the pictures we have.”

When I went to a parent education session about sex, death and lying in early spring of this year, the teachers warned me that age 4 is when these issues come calling. Don’t offer him a bunch of information about it, they suggested. But when the questions come, be honest and answer them. If you make stuff up because you don’t want to worry or upset them, they’ll eventually find out. Better to be with them through the hard feelings instead of thinking we need to protect them from them. Better to be compassionate and someone they can trust.

It took Dec all of a month after turning four before the questions began this summer. We had big tears before bedtime for two weeks in a row when the thought of my ill stepfather (Dec calls him grandfafa), dying left him breathless. And the questions… Does it hurt when you die? When will grandfafa die? Will I have to die when grandfafa dies?

For weeks, it continued to emerge at all hours. We’d be talking about kids at play camp in the car, then I’d hear his throat suddenly start to tighten and he’d ask me “why does everything have to die? I don’t want anyone to die, I don’t want things to change.”

I was afraid that science was going to be our foil as the intransigence of these biological truths hit him. I was afraid of the day when his knowledge of black holes and colliding galaxies and dark matter began to merge with an understanding of mortality. How overwhelming to be four and have such a sense of the vastness and forces of space, which often make Earth’s Mother Nature look as ferocious as a gnat.

For a few weeks, that fear felt justified. He was scared about the sun, because he knows it will expand in 4.6 billion years and likely incinerate the Earth, but it was hard to convince him what a long time from now that really is. He came up with complicated methods to save the earth from burning. I tried, gingerly, to explain that we, and no one that we now know will be here when that happens. He worried that the sun could become a black hole until a nice physics student told him it wasn’t big enough to do that. And somewhere in that barrage of constant questions and explanations, he finally drew his own tear-filled conclusion that he will die, too.

But science has actually been our savior though this process. I took the box with my dog Samson’s ashes from the china cabinet and let him examine them, tried to help him understand how much I loved my dog and that I knew it didn’t hurt when he burned because he was dead. We’ve talked about all of the things that dust has helped create – planets, moons, dinosaurs, us. We talk about perennial and annual flowers and how things regenerate. Our cat brought us a dead mouse the other day and I buried it in the yard. For days afterwards he asked me, “is it turning to dust yet?”

We explained heaven and reincarnation as ideas that some people believe in. We told him that death is one of those things that no one understands for certain. He seems to find the greatest comfort in some of the scientific certainties about what happens to a body or a flower or a star, which I honestly didn’t see coming.

He likes to die dramatically, repeatedly on the playground, preferably in slow motion. And we are still constantly addressing questions about what dies, how it dies, how long it takes it to die. I’m sure we’ll be in this process for a long time. But I’m so much more hopeful and less afraid about his capacity to emotionally process these things now.

Last night we were talking about what he dreams his life might be like when he’s older. Do you want to dance? Sell tomatoes? Be a dog doctor? Teach kids? Study the stars? Paint pictures?
(I try not to make a career in science a foregone conclusion. I want him to be comfortable choosing whatever he wants to be.)

Becoming a daddy keeps coming up first on his list.

“Someday, when I die, I’ll be a grandfather, and then I will turn to dust,” he told me. “It’s all part of my journey to become part of everything in the universe.”

Declan= MC2

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A place to be silent

I’m really not a good Buddhist, or technically even actually a Buddhist. I have sung the Refuge prayer in spirit dozens of times but never taken it in formal ceremony. I really don’t have any meditation practice other than a long history with yoga, childhood theater classes that taught me a lot about visualization and a propensity to chant Om Mani Padme Hum while I fold the laundry.

Right around the time that I got pregnant, I started spending time at a Tibetan Buddhist center (Kagyu tradition). This was partly because I had written about an extensive exhibition of Buddhist meditational art called The Circle of Bliss, went to hear Robert Thurman speak and caught the desire to know more. It was also partly because of the gratitude that I felt for an AA meeting held at a local temple that did – and still does, just by the fact it exists – help some people who need that program but feel put off by it because it can seem so Christian-centric. Twelve-steppers aren’t supposed to promote whichever “higher power” they believe in, but I hear that it can be hard to find a meeting where Jesus isn’t name-checked. And that can be a major obstacle for people with religious baggage.

But mostly it was because as soon as I began to tell people I was pregnant, these questions of faith started to come up. What would I raise my child to believe? It was suggested that this was something that I needed to answer as soon as I could. It was also suggested that I had to pick something because wishy-washy in-betweenyness would inflict moral ambiguity on my child. I was raised Christian (baptized Episcopalian but confirmed Presbyterian) but open to all kinds of possibilities. Once, during the Shirley MacLaine vein of the 1980s, my dad told me that a transchanneler told him that he and I were sisters in a past life in the Southern U.S. and that we were very good friends then indeed. He also went to a stark and classic New England Episcopal church regularly. And he had my astrological charts done when I was born.

My best friend’s father was a born-again minister and try as I may to heal my mosquito bites by uttering a lot of Amens and Praise the Lords and Hallelujahs and trying to open my heart during one of his faith-healing Bible studies I could not get it to work. But my Presbyterian confirmation as a 14-year-old followed a year of questioning and analysis at a church that had me go and sit through Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox mass and African American Baptist services so that I might have a decent idea about how diverse Christianity really is. I loved that my minister wasn’t afraid to give sermons about the Cold War or racism or abortion (there was, and still is, a NARAL chapter in that church). I was asked to become a deacon, but that minister left and I lost my closeness to the church and the faith. I am just more comfortable in faith when I’m invited by its envoys to question it.

I’m not the kind of Christian girl who ran screaming from her church thinking that having no religion would make me intellectually superior or that Eastern religions would have all of the answers. When I started going to Dharma talks and public talks by Buddhist teachers, mostly what I found was a way of thinking about the world that is much more Christ-like, as I understand it, than what I find in a lot of churches now. To try and see my worst enemy with the compassion of 10,000 mothers, to dedicate my actions to the benefit of all beings – these things have the spirit I think of when I think of Jesus. And here in the west, anyway, we have the luxury of contemplating Buddha without watching him turn into a political football. Jesus, on the other hand, gets punted and kicked and used for touchdowns and spiked in Washington DC all the time. Most Christian organizations and a lot of self-professed Christians make me feel alienated from the faith. Still, there is no question that I will raise my son to understand that Christianity is part of his heritage and give him the opportunity to explore it as a faith if he so chooses.

Meanwhile, there really isn’t a space for kids in the Buddhist center that I visit. They’ve been kind enough to put speakers in the basement that have enabled me and a handful of other parents to listen to dharma talks while our little ones babble around us and we all worry that they’ll be too loud. But the most popular event there every week is Shi’nay (a silent) meditation, and people – including some parents trying to get that hour of silence – don’t want that kid noise adding to the roars from the nearby freeway and the barking dog neighbors, even if it’s just creeping through the floorboards of the temple from our subterranean space.

A very good yoga teacher of mine taught me that quiet meditation is something you work to do amidst the clamor – that you can’t control your environment, but you can learn to control your response to an environment. I try to stem my resentment that childcare of any form never felt like a consideration at the center. When I’m there, I generally want my son with me. I can’t let go of my expectations that kids are part of the spiritual package. I’m not comfortable being there when it seems he’s not welcome or might raise hackles if he acts as what he is – a child – without feeling like he might be resented for it. So I’ve never sat Shi’nay. And I’ve never felt like I could fully embrace the practice. It seems like many Westerners come into Buddhism in such a solitary way, or in ways that so firmly reject anything that reminds them of their Judeo-Christian upbringing, that a Sangha (community) can feel like it’s being built out of pebbles instead of bricks.

So a couple of weeks ago, when a friend of mine who is deeply involved with Zen Buddhism came to town, I went to a Zen meditation with her. I had no preconceived notions about taking Declan because the group is very small and rents a room in a church, and while there are several differences between Shi’nay and Zen meditation, there are thin
gs that are the same. During that 5o minutes of silence I employed just about every way to clear my mind that I know. I turned numbers into clouds and blew them away. I saw their outlines in the sand and brought in waves to clear them. I burned them as sticks, I wiped them off like chalk, I flicked them off the table like peas. (I guess I used numbers because someone there told me to count to eight to clear my mind.) And I understood something new about the benefits of finding silence, but I found Zen’s coolness a little less cozy than Tibetan Buddhism.

And so, much as in the days when my dad and I were a couple of southern belles, I find myself returning to the laundry.

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Juice

A good friend visited from out of town this week. At one point she asked if I remembered a time when she lived in town and was going through a painful relationship split.

“You let me come to your house and just be there and you made me juice,” she said, and put her hand on my shoulder. “It was so nourishing. I always remember that when I think of you. That juice was amazing.”

I forget sometimes, in the middle of loving a child whose demands are mostly joyful but many, in the middle of thin and precarious economic times, that I have had the space in my heart and life to do things like open my home and make juice for a friend. We’ve lived a few hundred miles apart for a few years now, but she has somehow managed to appear at the exact moment that I needed support within that time more than once.

My juicer is currently buried in a kitchen cabinet, somewhere behind Tupperware containers and sippy cups and old Comfest mugs. I’m thinking that I need to grab some carrots and apples and ginger and pull it out again, to join a CSA to help ensure a summer of raw nourishment, to sow some karmic seeds.

I can’t believe it’s nearly June again.

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Imperfectionism

As I was cleaning on New Year’s Day, an old cookie fortune flittered out of a pile of papers onto the floor. “You’re a perfectionist,” it said, in deceptively friendly typeface. “Don’t spoil it.” I think I saved it because it is obviously the most annoying fortune ever.

If you looked at my house, my car, my fingernails, my life – “perfectionist” is probably one of the last things that would come to mind. Unless, maybe, you know something about perfectionism.

In action, perfectionism doesn’t really look like “a place for everything and everything in its place,” although I suppose that it might for some people. It has more to do with deluding yourself that it’s possible for everything in life to be perfect — you, your environment, your career, your relationships — and punishing yourself or paralyzing yourself when it isn’t.

In my life, this has manifested in simple ways, like letting my desk or the kitchen sink or a room go to mayhem before I put them back in order, because I won’t do anything until I think I have set aside enough time to do everything. (Thich Nhat Hanh’s Miracle of Mindfulness, motherhood and the Flylady* have helped bring me miles past where I used to be on this.) Or sadder ways – I don’t want to go out as often, because I’m not the skinny minnie I once was or because I think people won’t accept me because I talk and think too much about being a mommy. Or I don’t invite people over unless I know their perception of “disaster area” is similar to my own. Or worse.

Writing has always been a space where I’ve felt willing and able to do battle with perfectionism. And I think that it is one place where I’ve managed to whip it more often than it’s whipped me. About a year ago, a friend joked and called me “the great, glorious she-hack” while we were talking, then immediately worried that he might have offended me. Maybe it was because we were in the basement of a Buddhist temple at the time (where ego is often more in check), but I felt, and assured him, that I wasn’t. “I think I might put that on my business card,” I joked.

I think I’ve learned to rein it into something useful in writing and research – a sort of meticulousness or attention to detail that I usually give to the story first and the writing second. Mistakes happen, you cop to them and you write again. But that has been a long, weird and sometimes painful process. I’ve had editors change things for seemingly no other reason than to have done something. I’ve had copy editors edit mistakes into my work and survived the embarrassment.** And I’ve lived with the demands of writing for the space allotted, not necessarily to the story, for much of my career.

If I let perfectionism control my writing, I would never have been able to make a dime doing it without tearing all of my hair out. I would have had to go into academic writing, where there is more editorial control, or become a weekend novelist who made her money in landscaping or as a circus clown. Instead, I have become the “great glorious she-hack.” It’s not on my business card, but it is one of the titles I give myself on my rotating email signatures. If I could make my expectations of life more like my expectations of writing, I think I’d be a healthier person.

My spider senses are up about this because I’m beginning to see signs of perfectionism in my son. Many skills come to him easily, and some of the ones that don’t can give him emotional vertigo. Before the holiday, one of his teachers told me that perfectionism is common in oldest (check!) or only children, who often compare themselves more to adults than to other children. And the two things she told me I could do to help him were to praise the process when he worked hard on learning something and to model failure for him.

As grating as that cookie fortune was, it was fortuitous that it fell down n front of me on the one day when I’m usually consumed by contemplating resolutions and consuming good luck food. And this year, I was feeling like a failure because I was in a terrible, fatigued mental space that did not lend itself well to reflection.

It helped me resolve to not have resolutions this year, because the very nature of resolutions predisposes me to failing – or not accomplishing as much as I would like to – in an ungraceful or unforgiving way. Aspirations, on the other hand, are less quantifiable and forgiving. I can advance a psychic millimeter or a light year – all that matters is that I advance. Or move on if I do not or cannot, because that would be an advancement too.

And so I am figuring out a few aspirations for myself, some of which I will share here in the next few days, or weeks, or seasons. Feel free to join me if you’re so inclined. I’d love for us to help each other to not be so hard on ourselves.

——–
* The Flylady’s prose is a more than a touch precious, but her ideas about managing domestic life in the face of perfectionism are sound. My Christmas tree hasn’t come down yet, but my sink is very shiny. I currently like being in 75 percent of my house, and that’s not so bad.

** Note to editors I work with who read this blog: These things have not happened with anyone I’m currently writing for. Seriously.

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Mantras

“The darkness doesn’t hurt anybody. It’s just a little bit famous.”

“I want to dance in Saturn’s rings.”

“Don’t forget to focus!”

“You are the dark side of the moon.”

“You are just a clock.”

“You are a scientific FACT.”

“Silly makes you a man.”

“I was born in the bulge.”

“I’m having a metamorphosis!”

“I am terrible of the dark.”

“I am just trying to get to the end of the dark.”

“Earth is a good boy.”

“Jupiter doesn’t make any sense.”

“Your hair is like a book.”

“I’m the human that was born in the puzzle of modern physics.”

“If you have a problem, you can talk to me. If you have a bigger problem, talk to the tree.”

“Saturn has rings.”

“Galaxies fade away, all stars merge.”

“Just the right speed, just the right angle!”

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