Archives for posts with tag: observations

Music blows by; wind sounds in my ears. Trees invite an instant tranquility and grounding that is inexplicable–take the trees away, take the patches of grass, the white umbrellas, tables, and chairs; leave only concrete and the scape feels far different. 

While Hubby is inside one of the stores, I take in the different people–there a couple holding hands; there two women walking their bikes, one with a basket for her obedient Shih Tzu. Cute babies, little girls in their summer dresses. 

I feel at peace in this moment. Hubby nearby, the trees, a napkin to catch my thoughts. 

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As I walked back from lunch, waiting at the stop light, an orange butterfly flew past me, made a loop back; as I watched this gentle creature breeze by, I became lighter; I felt a flutter inside of me as I soaked in the sun; the light changing from red to green, my gait reflected the lightness of butterfly wings.

Yesterday was the first day of my night course. I needed a science course and an introductory geology course fit into my schedule. I would have preferred an online class. There was one being offered, but it started later in the semester, which would mean a condensed workload, and when I read reviews for that teacher, it didn’t sound like it would be a pleasant experience, so I chose to stick with the full term, sitting in class for three hours each night. I’ve had to give myself pep talks and asked hubby to do the same if he saw me wanting to quit. I only need this one class; that is incentive enough.

On my way to school, I drove past the field of sunflowers; and though it wasn’t windy, I imagined them bobbing their happy heads; I wanted to be in the field, join those sunflowers and fill my soul with their glee.

When I had previewed the textbook before class, the topics themselves were of interest to me. I love the earth, so why was I apprehensive about the class? I had also found the instructor’s website and had a sneak peek at his approach and grading. My apprehension increased slightly, but I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could do it. I would have to learn the vocabulary and get used to viewing the earth in a scientific way.

I have to say that when I got to class, once the instructor started setting up, I felt a little more at ease. He said hello to a few familiar students from his past classes and a general hello to all of us sitting there, as we waited for the clock to strike 6 o’clock.

Some interesting tidbits that I noted:

-Although this course is going to be very difficult, which he emphasized, I think I’m going to be fine. I will put the work in that I need in order to succeed.

-We won’t be writing essays. We have homework questions every week. When someone asked, the instructor replied that no, he does not want complete sentences. He prefers bullet points.

-Email works best. Even better, if we ask yes or no questions and put them in the subject line, so he can respond quickly. A tip: The shorter emails will likely be answered first.

-He does, in fact, believe there are stupid question, so he had a slide with those questions pertaining to some class logistics, and said he wanted to get them out of the way so as not to embarrass anyone. I gave a chuckle. I disagree, but he has a sense of humor; and I surely love that in a human, and especially in a teacher.

-He has a passion for his subject. He has a day job in his field, so he teaches part-time. He tells us he’s passionate. More importantly, it shows.

-Ironically, as a person who studies earthquakes, he did not feel the most recent one we had a few days ago.

Even though I only need this one class for the goal at hand, I will still continue to take classes here and there. I’m really looking forward to what we’re going to learn in class. I like the teacher’s approach, he’s entertaining, knowledgable, passionate.

Maybe since I’ve mostly been taking online classes with the exception of a live class last semester, most of the classes have been English courses or a business and/or accounting course here and there. But something that stood out yesterday was that we do a lot of “unpacking” of terms. My philosophy instructor from last semester also used this term when we came to concepts that, well, we needed to unpack. It’s probably something that I’m only picking up on now because of the nature of both of these courses.

100 degree days are behind us for now. I can’t believe how much cooler it is now. Walking back to my car after class, I was surprised at how mild the weather was. The nice thing about taking a night class is that I’ll see the moon each night after class. By the time I’m home from work, I’m inside for the remainder of the day, and I miss out on the lovely moon, moon child that I am. Last night it was a crescent moon, seemingly hanging from a low branch in the sky.

I feel like I’m on a roulette wheel with my thoughts and writing. The ball spins and spins, like my mind, creating possibilities, memories, recalling memories, creating new memories, recording observations, but with this wheel, the numbers become placeholders for words and thoughts; each one an entry point into a place of exploration. Only, these many spinning possibilities keep spinning; the wheel becomes stuck with possibilities.

This morning, as the wheel turned, a book was my entry point. Just reading a couple of pages was enough for that slight shift, just enough to awaken a sort of luck to awaken my writing muscles a little bit further, flexing them in a way that sent a message that you will write these two words down and make a sketch and you will come back to this later and you will post this to your blog journal.

Entry point. Those two little words led me to a roulette wheel and what I was actually reading had nothing to do with anything, but something in that particular moment in time clicked.

And now many hours later, as I enjoy my lunch break, taking spoonfuls of delicious food, then returning to my notebook to continue with the morning spark, I am on that wheel; my entry point is right there–right here; always there.

Writing is good for the soul.

Writing and posting to my blog journal is good for my soul.

Even when something ails me, I need to push through it. Pushing through can only bring my body’s equilibrium back to a place of balance. These things I know, yet countless times, the words stay in a certain limbo, like the bouncing ball that can’t find its place, slips into the slot and out again, finally settling on a random place on the wheel.

And is it really so random?

Wasn’t it supposed to happen at this exact time and place? Or perhaps it had enough time commingling, jetting this way and that–when, the moment you look away, there it appears: A sense of order, of opening and closing–a pulse of life that cannot be contained, a sense of spinning, that spins and spins and spins until it can spin no more and must find a place to land, but only when the self disappears into the background.

And then before your eyes, it slips into the lucky number, the words fall into place, the entry point of many open up and you walk right in, tentative at first, then you reach the end; and you know the wheel will be there, always there when you’re ready, only you won’t know when you’re ready, but something deep inside of you that is outside of yourself will know and you will be there to answer.

Being in the post office affords me a certain stillness. There’s usually a short line. At the main post office, however, the lines are long and you could wait a good 15 minutes before your turn. I always like to look around, observe the people, the notecard sets on the wall, the postal clerks. I have yet to see a speedy postal clerk. They all move at their own slow pace, like they have all day, chit chatting with each other.

The good thing is I don’t usually go to the post office in a rush; otherwise, I just might find myself annoyed. But the great thing about seeing people go so slow and calm is that it reminds you that life doesn’t have to be a rush. If you go too fast you can miss out on many simple and beautiful moments; they’ll slip by like sand streaming quickly through an hour glass and before you’ve had time to look up, times up–little kernels of sand are gone and where did they go?

Whenever I’m in the post office, I wonder what it would be like to work there. I think I’d like it. I’d like helping people figure out how to fill out the forms for shipping their goods, I’d like to smile and offer them a pleasant experience at my window. I don’t know…maybe there are other reasons I can see myself there–or I sort-of want to see myself there. In part I think it goes back to my childhood, but that’s a post for another day.

For now, I like the association that I have of the post office: A calmness and sense of slowing down. And the thing is I find myself at the post office a little more now, since I often need stamps–and the reason I need stamps is yet another post for another day, that I’ve been churning around in my head because I can’t decide my angle, where my point of entry is. That’s the fun thing about writing: There really are so many modes, so many containers, and ways to begin; and at the same time, sometimes there’s so much that it can be hard to decide what to include. I’ll jot down small bits as starting points in my Notes App to get something down, and when I have my mind set, I will come back to the notes and maybe use some parts or use them as a reminder or a starting point. It’s like keeping these jottings on a writing back burner, simmering away.

**

About the photo: Recently we took a trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea and I took a photo of the P.O. Boxes on a Sunday when no one was around. Well, one gentleman was coming around the corner, as you can see. I couldn’t believe how old these boxes were. It was great. I have a P.O. box locally and it has a key. These look like they unlock by combination. I should have taken more photos and close ups…next time.

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Tonight on our way home from dinner, we stopped at Target because hubby needed to get something. I didn’t need anything, so I moseyed on over to the books–just looking. I was about to turn toward the picture books just for fun to see what’s out there and what I saw filled me with such a tender feeling.

Little girl, three or four
with daddy
sitting on the
bottom shelf of
the children’s section,
both reading their own books.
She turns a page, engrossed.
Daddy switches from reading on his iPad to
taking a photo of his darling little girl reading her book,
then both
side by side again.

**

This made me think of another precious moment that I witnessed back in May. I was walking past the park on a lunch break and I saw a little girl with beautiful dark chocolate skin. She was with her father and younger brother. She was running, and as she ran her braids swung back and forth. I watched as she chased the yellow butterfly, running and running and giggling–a part of me was running along by her side. That was the highlight of that May day.

One of the tasks that I enjoy doing at work is putting together the agenda for our bi-monthly team meetings where we also choose a place to eat. I add clip art to spruce up the blank page and try to come up with an interesting “activity” for each meeting. It could be anything from naming our favorite childhood game to working through a short list of anagrams. It mustn’t take up too much time, just something to lighten things up, to inform, or entertain. Our past meeting, I was short for time and had collected a few bits of trivia to share from the back of past daily calendar pages. I also shared a quote from my new daily calendar: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”

As we entered the Vietnamese restaurant and taken to our seats, I immediately noticed the plants nearby and commented on how nice they looked. There was a collection of several green leafed plants on top of an area that had been built as a short wall that was wide enough to accommodate a half-dozen plants. A skylight illuminated their foliage and their space. When we sat, my boss said that he thought the plants looked gloomy. I was a bit surprised and asked him why he thought so. He wasn’t able to say.

We placed our orders and I handed an agenda to the boss and T. The boss read the quote first and then said, “Is this another one of those depressing sayings?”

The quote was: “When you are wishing you were somewhere else, it’s almost as though you are one step removed from life rather than actually being in it, open to life exactly as it is.”

I told him that I thought the quote was somewhat uplifting and asked if he really thought it was depressing. He gave me a look to say yes. He then moved on to the trivia and said, oh, this will be better, not depressing. I told him the trivia should be much more positive for his tastes and shouldn’t make him feel depressed at all. He did like it, and I added a few more bits about it that I had read on Wikipedia.

We waited for our meals and drank tea and water. I noticed that the boss turned back to look at the plants. I asked him if he knew what it was that made him think they looked gloomy. He turned back again. He looked perplexed, like he was searching for something that had no answer. I suggested that maybe it was the beige wall they sat upon. He asked me what I thought; what was my view of the plants? I told him that when I looked at those plants standing straight and tall that they made me feel happy and that they looked happy and healthy. He agreed that they looked healthy, but that didn’t change the fact that they also appeared gloomy to him.

I completely accepted his view. I was just so fascinated that in this one instance, there were two totally different examples of how we saw something so differently. Of course if we were in an art gallery, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. So why did it surprise me now?

He joked in a half-serious way that maybe his eyesight was going. I said his eyes were probably just fine.

Our meals arrived and we continued talking about other things. As I sipped my tea, I too stole glances at the plants, contemplating the different views, but also admiring their beauty.