• deeply moving, silent, still

    Brain Silence

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    “The brain never sleeps.” That’s what one neurologist said to me during a break at an event I attended several years ago. I listened, nodding and smiling when appropriate, but, all the while, I was thinking, “This is news?”

    It’s too obvious to me that my brain never sleeps. But it does go silent on occasion. I’m having one of those ‘occasions’, right now–brain silence.

    It may be because I finally am going to get a verdict on something that’s been hanging over my head since December, something that could completely change my life. It could be that it’s just a ‘time-out’ after months upon months of often frenetically-paced ‘doing’.

    It could be that I’m fed up, too–fed up with fellow-citizens, national and global, who seem bent on self-destruction, a self-destruction that was completely foreseeable as a consequence since I was in high school.

    I’m not sure why my brain has gone silent, but it’s an interesting experience. I’ve had this happen a few times, mostly just before I’ve had huge perception shifts, not when some life-changing event occurred. During those times in the past, I was more robot than human, I think…just doing by rote the day-to-day ‘have-to’s, not-thinking. And I’m good–very good–at not-thinking. But this feels different. Not ominous. Rather, it feels like what is to follow is inevitable…immutable.

    It’s strange.

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  • deeply moving, silent, still

    It’s the Possibilities

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    One of the questions I’ve asked most in my life, from the time I could first form the word, is ‘why’? Drove my mom nuts. Drove my bad teachers nuts. Gave my good teachers a thrill, and they delighted in spurring on my curiosity. I was reading adult newspapers at three years of age…and comprehending them. I was doing algebra before third grade, quadratic equations and calculus by fourth. I read the Encyclopedia Britannica from Vol 1 through the addenda the company sent each and every year. I explored…and I’m still exploring. I’m still asking ‘why’.

    For me, it’s not the answer that’s most important. It’s the question and where that question leads…to other questions. It’s the potential possibilities inherent in those questions that most intrigue me.

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  • deeply moving, silent, still

    De-cluttering Mind and Life

    I abhor clutter and disorganization, yet, while in the midst of a project it looks as if there’s nothing but. I move from concept to creating the necessary elements of the project which stack up in seemingly chaotic piles.  Then, once I have all the piles of necessary elements created, I put them together. From concept to clutter and seeming chaos comes order and a completed project, the detritus neatly swept away.

    So why would there be a hoard of clutter over in this corner and that? Projects abandoned is the reason, but the pieces retain an intrinsic value and could contribute to a different project.

    Several months ago I dumped all the corners of clutter, organizing what could be and discarding the rest. Now, in the midst of the first of the year cycle of “to-do’s”, I’m also deciding what to de-clutter from life and mind. So far, that includes any activities and events which are not productive for my well-being and peace of mind, which alter my desired state of being, which deviate me from my lifeway choices.

    Removing these means changing life protocols and removing myself from certain circles. The protocols are easy. The circles, which are comprised of people, tend to be a bit more difficult, because the people who create those circles don’t believe me when I say ‘goodbye’.

  • deeply moving, silent, still,  martial artist,  semi-pro,  the personal side

    Focused on My Art

    Since my injury in a car accident last year effectively ended my ability to teach martial arts to anyone less than at least a black belt who owns the necessary discipline and self-control, I’ve had the freedom to pursue my own art without a thought to “the next lesson.” It’s wonderful–the freedom to go full out…now that the doctors have released me to do so.  I’m still working my way back, but it’s so freeing to be able to concentrate fully on my own center, my own essence, my own art. And the sword–I’ve picked that back up, too, though not when there’s anyone about.  Today, dwelling in movement in moment, there came that unity of self with environment that I so thrill to–an awareness in self stillness where all sound and movement, my own and nature’s, blend and unify–the sound and movement of the grasses as the wind rustles each blade in chorused unison, my own movement and inner being completely harmonized within. An absolute self immersion within Way. I look forward to more and deeper stillness of being–deeply moving, silent, still–and I look forward without ever again having to give thought to student needs. I think teaching sacrifices too much. Better to be and do.

  • deeply moving, silent, still,  the personal side

    A Quarter Inch of Joy

    I was out watering my ever-bearing strawberries, and, in the process, knocked a tiny black creature — a quarter inch long little black wasp — into the rain cistern. Reaching down with a gentle finger, I scooped her out and put her on my t-shirt sleeve before finishing my task while keeping an occasional eye on her revival progress.

    It took her about two minutes of rubbing herself on the soft cotton material of my shirt sleeve, then another three or so of “tidying” before she considered herself “presentable” to the world again.  Watching, I was captivated by the meticulous attention she paid to every part of herself — her antenna, her thorax, her legs, her head, her wings.  She was not hasty; she attended every detail in a thorough, methodical, and almost leisurely, never panicked fashion.  Her lack of fear, her sense of “safe”, brought me a great measure of joy — that the small creatures around me know that I will never intentionally swat, hit, squash, or harm them.  It brings me a greater measure of joy to watch these wonderful living things go about their daily business in peace and harmony with every other creature who shares their life journey.

    Be kind. The life you save could very well brighten your own well-being.

  • deeply moving, silent, still,  martial artist,  semi-pro,  the personal side

    This morning’s practice was bitter in bare feet.

    It’s twenty-four degrees outside, and my bare feet suffered this morning during practice.  It was good for me, but it definitely made me appreciate putting shoes on to work against an opponent in the second half of my morning regime.  Wow.  Good thing I didn’t look at the temperature before I started.  I would have whimpered and probably chickened out and donned shoes at the onset.  Good for me, though, that I did it, and had a very impeccable (in my triple dragon sash husband’s opinion) session.

    Of other interest, we came upon another video of a Tai Chi practitioner who does some very fluid and excellent work.  My only complaint is that he tends to jerk his head aside when an attack enters.  I think he must have been hit hard somewhere young in his training, and the body memory is affecting that reaction.  He also seems to work too hard several places against an opponent. Otherwise, he’s very, very good.  See it here if the embedded video doesn’t work for you: https://youtu.be/93wy9FBFP24

    Meanwhile, here is the video itself:

  • deeply moving, silent, still,  off the cuff,  the personal side,  you gotta love life

    The Power to Help.

    I have two ants safely harbored in a peanut butter jar, a piece of screen keeping them inside.  They came here inside my husband’s lunchbox from the construction site.  Of course, they didn’t come on purpose.  They weren’t particularly interested in visiting places far, far away.  They were after goodies and got hijacked by the lid being closed and zippered shut.  So home they came…surviving what had to be a very dangerous and uncomfortable trip, jostled between empty lunch containers, locked inside a plastic and nylon environment in 100 degree heat. 

    So hubs opens lunch box to dump his containers into the sink and does the old, “Ants! Oh, great.”

    Now, I have a “thing” about ants.  It’s the one creature…en masse…which will send me screaming off in a frothing panic. (I was bitten by red ants when I was a child and have never quite recovered from the experience.)  But I also have a “thing” about life and its being precious.  I have a “thing” which demands me respect all life…and non-life.  And, me, a human, has the power to help.  And that’s what it comes down to, doesn’t it?  If I have the power to help, doesn’t that obligate me to help where I can, when I can?  I think so.  Caring matters.  If one doesn’t care, if things don’t matter, what’s the point?

    So back to the story.

    So, lid open, one of the two ants trapped inside started perambulating around in a bit of a frenzy.  One got outside the box and disappeared.  The other was just doing laps inside. 

    I see all manner of containers, but everything is plastic or styrofoam — death to insects put inside because they are saturated with things like pesticides or made using formaldehyde. (Nice to think that our food comes in these things, right?) Quickly, I grab the clean, empty, glass peanut butter jar, wondering where the “outside” ant went off to, and how I would be able to find her to get her safely inside the jar for the return trip home tomorrow.  Ah!  There she is!  I manage to get her to walk inside the jar.  Now for the other one.  She’s not so easy, but, with the help of a piece of paper towel, she’s induced to take a ride inside safety.

    Screen lid anchored in place, and they are ready to roll, no longer “lost ants,” but simply on an adventure and ready for the return trip home.

    I used my power to help. 

    BELATED ANT UPDATE:

    Yes, they made it safely back to their ant homes.  Hubs was very conscientious about getting them back to exactly where he ate lunch the day before.  And he watched them as they made tracks out of the jar and onto “familiar ground.”  They immediately ran into more ants, did the “feeler thing,” as he called it, then made tracks, following other ants headed to a “known ant home.” 

    I really like the construction crew.  They are very conscientious.  All of them.  And that’s as it should be since the two owners, Hubs and partner, are both eco-minded.  If the crew wasn’t, I guess they wouldn’t be crew very long, right?

    Oh, and, I failed to mention, I put a bit of water on aforementioned paper towel the morning of transport back home, and both ants made quite an elaborate show of drinking.  Those were some thirsty ants.  They must have snacked on some of hubby’s favorite Triscuits!