Grey Areas

“Here’s the thing about anxiety: you learn to cope. It becomes bearable.
But no one asks about the in-betweens, about the mortifying gray areas, the moments in which time stands still and you are staring your broken pieces in the face. The moments you pull yourself back up, never really knowing how you managed to do so on your own yet again. The exhausting, excruciating, gray areas.
You are stronger after each battle. But always carry the fear of the next.
Still, we cling to hope, the only thing that pushes us to seek the light in the midst of darkness.”

Words by Hela

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Too Close At Hand To Be Seen Whole

“When a single tree fills your lens, the rest of the forest takes on a degree of abstraction.”

I wonder if the rule applies to people as well. Relationships in particular. I’m talking about blood ties, familiarity, trust, good old fashioned love and general blindness towards the object of affection. When you are completely taken by a strong attachment to a person and lost the ability to see the big picture and refuse to hear any second opinion. I wonder also if I’ve been in a similar situation but didn’t know or refused to know. Sober as I am I would say I don’t think so but who knows…

How about you?

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3 Types of Women

The first kind acts like you’re a feed trough and she is the pony. Everything you got is fine with her as long as you’ve got it. Of course, anytime you can do better is aces with her, but she will expect you to stay at that level or higher. The deal with this kind of women is you don’t go back. Once you get up to steaks and onions rings, the peanut butter and hotdogs are gone for good. So there’s a strain on you, right away from the start. Unless there is food in that trough, and the food is at least as good as it was the last time, the pony is going out the door. She’ll tell you she loves you but she’s leaving anyhow because self-respect means more to her than love. What you thought you had with her wasn’t what you thought it was, at all. You thought it was love, or trust, or a good time, or something like that, but all along it was only about her self-respect.

Now, the second kind is like the first, only the part about self-respect is now all about status and possessions. Women like this don’t really have brains, they have mental cash registers. Marry one of them and you’re so far up shit creek you not only don’t have a paddle, you don’t have a boat. You’re up to your neck, dog paddling to keep your head above the floating crap. You might as well join the army because all day long you’re basically following orders.

There is a third kind of woman but she is extremely hard to find. Which you might or might not care to do, because this kind of woman will mixmaster your brains a lot faster than those other two. The vast majority of the women men will encounter throughout their lives will fall into the first two categories, but once in a blue moon, the third kind will cross their path.

The first kind sticks with you as long as the going is good, and the second kind winds up appointing herself president of the corporation of you. They both take all they can get with both hands, only the second kind of woman is upfront about it because she’s after more than you got right from the start. Now, the third kind of woman could not care less how much money you got in the bank, and she doesn’t give a shit about what kind of car you drive, and that’s what makes her so damn dangerous. 

This is a woman who can think around corners and see you coming before you get there. She’s always one step ahead. You’re not sure where she’s from, but you know for damn sure it’s not around here. There are things about her that are different. Plus, she’s so far ahead you’ll never catch up. And believe me, she doesn’t want you to catch up. Because if you do, the fun is all over. Her whole game is to keep you guessing. She wants you up on your toes, with your eyes and your mouth wide open. 

See, these women are not interested in the stuff the first two are. They don’t want to get in your wallet, they want to get into your head. And once they get in there, they send down roots, they throw out grappling hooks, they do everything they can to make sure you can’t get them out.

Remember when I said they don’t care about jewelry and houses and whatever else money can buy? They want something else instead, and that something is you. They want you. Inside and out, but especially in. They don’t really want you out in the world, where you can mess around with your friends, they want you in their world, which is a place you never dreamed of before you got there.

The point is, either way, you are gonna think a lot about this kind of woman. You’re going to say “The sky’s a nice blue today, ‘ and she will say, “Oh, blue is just blue.” Even though yesterday the sky was red. for all you know, the sky there in her world is red all the livelong day, and up is down, and all the rivers run upstream.

Anyway, the point is, there are three types of women and you better watch out for them.

~ excerpt from Lost boy Lost girl

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Do you believe me?

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” 
― Edgar Allan Poe

If you are a constant visitor to my site, you probably know by now that my favorite authors are King, Poe, and Lovecraft. I read Straub-master of literary horror they say- once in a while and you know what the funny thing is, I am not a fan of anything horror. I find horror movies funny and whenever I read the works of those writers I have mentioned above, I failed to see anything horror in their writings. There is nothing ghastly frightening morbid or shocking in there as far as I’m concerned.

If I’m not a fan of horror and don’t prefer macabre tales you might wonder why I read them. The explanation is simple enough: because they write so well. And they write easy to understand phrases devoid of flowery words, and when it comes to King, I admire the way he can make ordinary whatever into something extraordinary. And Lovecraft can convey feelings and emotions so strong you can almost taste it. So does Poe. And that’s why I love them and not because I am fond of gristly and gory. It just happened that they write horror stories.

Do you believe me?

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The One. The one. Is there a One?

And if there is how will I know? And what if I’m wrong? And what if there’s really two or three or…

We, humans, complicate things so. There are many animals who mate for life and don’t lose sleep trying to figure out if their mate is the only one. Wolves for example. And coyotes, those wild, wild nocturnal maniacs—yes, they have it all figured out.

Owls, beavers, eagles, swans, cranes, pigeons, hawks, ospreys, geese and some apes are a few more. My guess is that they don’t spend 10 minutes asking themselves if they have made the right choice or if something better awaits them right around the next corner.

They just know.

For years I have seen articles that describe in great detail how to know if our beloved is the one. I have read articles and books that strongly suggest that if I answer, “No” to any of their questions I might be in the wrong relationship. Books that ask hundreds of questions and no matter how you answer them you put the book down feeling like you just ate rotten fish and wondering what you ever saw in this person you love anyway.

We talk to friends and therapists and priests and experts. We take quizzes online and haunt the self-help aisles in bookstores and libraries. We look for “signs” and ask question after question.

Does she make you feel…?

Does he say…?

Does he have…?

Does she give you…?

Can he read your mind?

Do you speak the same love language?

And oh my God, what do you mean he forgot your birthday?

It really is so much more simple than all of that and it all boils down to two very simple questions.

1. Do I love this person?

Not, is this person hot or sexy or fun; not, do I enjoy this person; not, are we compatible; not, is it a good idea— but, do I really and truly love this person? Would I give them half of my paycheck, the last bite, my car or…a kidney? Is it that kind of love?

If the answer is yes then you’re already more than halfway there. Real love is the motivation for growth and understanding and compassion. Real love drives us to be better people who rise above petty difficulties and fleeting emotions. People who do whatever it takes to nurture what we hold dear, kidney donation or not.

2. Are both my life and my partner’s life better because of our relationship?

Sit back, put your feet up, close your eyes, imagine your life without your beloved and ask yourself: How would I live without this person? How would I feel? How would I spend my time? Would I feel full? Would I feel empty? Would I sleep well or would I lie awake longing?

Who would I confide in? Who would I spend my time with? Who would lift me up when I am down? Who would be my rock? Is my love my best friend? What would I do on Saturday night or Tuesday afternoon or every day for the rest of my life if this person disappeared from my world?

A thousand questions could follow and we should be mindful of how we would answer them but not get too caught up in the details. We need to keep it simple. We need to put aside all secondary emotions like envy, put aside fear and attachment and know that no matter what happens we will survive. With a pure, courageous, open heart we need to ask the simple question: How would my life be without this person I call my love?

I’m not suggesting that we settle for an unhealthy relationship, nor am I suggesting that there is necessarily only one one. I am saying that we complicate things with mountains of questions which can create doubt and confusion. Sometimes the answer is obvious if we simplify. If we can take a step back and answer these two questions honestly and fearlessly I believe the answer as to whether we should be with our chosen one, or not, will be obvious. If we really and truly-give-up-a-kidney-kind of love our partner and we recognize that our lives are better as a team then with a little attention and a lot of commitment everything else will fall into place.

Relephant via Elephant Journal

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Untangling My Chopsticks

“As my grandmother discovered long ago, the Japanese excel in cultivating nature. Their gardens come in numerous styles, including paradise gardens, dry-landscape gardens, stroll gardens, and tea gardens. Although each type has its own goal, tray all share the same principle: nature is manipulated to create a miniature symbolic landscape.
A paradise garden is meant to evoke the Buddhist paradise through the use of water dotted with stone “islands.” Dry-landscape gardens, usually tucked away in Zen temples, use dry pebbles and stones to create minimalist views for quiet contemplation. Stroll gardens offer changing scenes with every step, a pool of carp here, a mossy trail there, and a small bridge to link them both, while a tea garden provides a serene path to take you from the external world to the spiritual one of the teahouse.”

― Victoria Abbott Riccardi

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Rolling With The Punches

On the 15th of June while sightseeing over the border I had a bad fall and fractured my spine (L-1) An ambulance was called and I found myself immobilized in an Emergency room undergoing a series of tests which involved X-ray, CT scan, and MRI scan. The test results showed a piece of my vertebrae which looks like a wedge of a pizza cleanly separated from the main part, they called it a stable fracture. For the first time in my life I experienced how it was to have a catheter inside me which took them too long to insert because apparently, I have an almost nonexistent urethra. Which reminded me of the paramedic in the ambulance who had to administer an intranasal delivery of morphine after failing to locate any of my veins. Speaking of morphine, that was another first time for me. Never had them before. Now I have two kinds, extended-release morphine, and the usual short-acting opioid plus other things to lighten the overall burden that comes with the condition.

For someone who is as active and energetic and wanderer as me, lying in bed for weeks in one position is deadly not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. For somebody who is always been independent and proud, being totally dependent on another person for everything including personal hygiene is murder for the soul. I’m ashamed.

I am ashamed and angry with myself for allowing this to happen. A split second of stupidity and error of judgment from my part resulted in this. What I was thinking? 

If there is something positive that I would carry with me from this accident is the truth that I have to admit the fact that like it or not, I am not anymore who I used to be. A lesson learned the hard way but it had to happen or otherwise, I will be forever deluding myself that I’m still that person from years ago who knew no bounds, daring and fearless. 

Doctors said I’m lucky. It could have been worse. In any other circumstances, I could be paralyzed or dead. The way I fell they suspected a worst-case scenario. I should have not landed where I landed but with some curious twist of fate, I was saved from the life of being forever wheelchair-bound. 

But something will never change no matter what, that is my quest for independence and freedom.

I ditched the morphine in the first week and wrestle with pain. I prefer that over addiction and constipation. I was advised not to take the stairs and don’t do challenging work yet but I can’t lie there doing nothing. Besides, our home office is upstairs now since we have converted the downstairs bureau into my bedroom. And there are so many things to do in the garden. I was cooking already the first day because in order to have palatable nutrition I have to cook. I can do a lot of things standing including eradicating climbing plants totally and pruning the roses but sitting is too painful and bending is a big no-no. I cry at night from the pain and my body is in a constant battle with exhaustion but I’m still standing. I don’t dare to take a shower alone and laying in the bath is not yet for the near future but I’m still mobile and I’m glad for that. Pain or no pain.

I will be more careful in the future knowing what I know now. But I doubt what happened will change me as a person. I am who I am.

I will not be able to blog often for a month or two. Another blow to my already shaky constitution watching things that matter to me being taken away one by one but I don’t want to dwell on that for the moment. It’s not good for my healing process. I want to concentrate on getting better so I can catch up fast.

I hope to find you there when the time comes.

Take care all of you and till then.

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Eating Light

“There is a bench in the back of my garden shaded by Virginia creeper, climbing roses, and a white pine where I sit early in the morning and watch the action. Light blue bells of a dwarf campanula drift over the rock garden just before my eyes. Behind it, a three-foot stand of aconite is flowering now, each dark blue cowl-like corolla bowed for worship or intrigue: thus its common name, monkshood. Next to the aconite, black madonna lilies with their seductive Easter scent are just coming into bloom. At the back of the garden, a hollow log, used in its glory days for a base to split kindling, now spills white cascade petunias and lobelia. 

I can’t get enough of watching the bees and trying to imagine how they experience the abundance of, say, a blue campanula blossom, the dizzy light pulsing, every fiber of being immersed in the flower. …

Last night, after a day in the garden, I asked Robin to explain (again) photosynthesis to me. I can’t take in this business of _eating light_ and turning it into stem and thorn and flower…

I would not call this meditation, sitting in the back garden. Maybe I would call it eating light.

I’m going to sit here every day the sun shines and eat this light. Hung in the bell of desire.” 

― Mary Rose O’Reilley

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