Wednesday, April 13, 2005

More about breathing

Actually, breathing through each day isn't such a bad way to operate, I guess.

After all, in all that meditation I studied a few years ago, it's all about breath: noting the breath in, noting the breath out. Focusing on the here and now. I use it often still, to calm myself, to focus, to pay attention to where I am, to get in touch with my body.

Paying attention to what is here is hard, y'know? The mind wants to go off into stuff you gotta do, where you need to be, what you gotta do, instead of just being where you are and experiencing that.

I was at the cowboy poetry readings tonight, watching the cowboys read and recite their various stories, watching the crowd react to the familiar ranch words. I'm an urban cowgirl, I guess, and I've never roped a calf nor expect to, but I've wrangled more than a few stubborn folks and animals in my time, and I think that's my story in the making....

There was a man sitting in front of me, older, with white silky hair, much like my dad's. If I squinted a little, I could see Daddy sitting there, soaking up the stories-- he loved to listen, but he also loved to perform and tell. I miss him.

So my mind wandered a bit to stories Daddy used to tell, and how much he enjoyed an audience. One of the poets read The Cremation of Sam McGee, a poem I've enjoyed for years, and one which I think Daddy read to me many years ago. So for a little while tonight, I held my father's hand while he told me stories again. Okay, I had to squint to see him. But he was there.

I think storytelling may be a way I can direct some of my passions and meet some creative needs. And we'll explore that in coming months, seeking some opportunities.

Meanwhile, I'll breathe through the day. Through the moments, one at a time, and be where I am.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Living our lives

According to the AP, Terri Schiavo "... showed us how to live. She showed us the gift of life and how we should share it." Her sister has said she "... "shown the world what perseverance and determination are all about."

Oh please.

This woman's primary achievement was to be in a persistant vegetative state since she was 26 years old. SHE hasn't shown us much of anything. She hadn't had TIME to live very much! Her family, on the other hand, has shown us why it is so important to leave a living will and advance directives.

If Terri is a role model for how to live life, then lemme outta here now.

I don't think most people even begin to understand how to live their lives fully until they've got considerably more age than 26 years. The 20s are about *ME* (just like the teens and childhood), at least as far as I can remember, and from what I see today. If you're lucky enough to have kids, there are about 18 years (per kid) where most of your energies go to THEM (that is if you're really raising them right -- it just takes so much time and energy and work!) That takes most of us into the 40s, although I have a couple of friends who are in their 40s with small children, bless them.

And then there are the 50s. By this time, with the mistakes and the bruises and the ups and downs you've come through already, you may be able to determine just who you really are and what you really want and how you really need to be living. I don't know what the 60s, 70s, 80s, and onward may bring, but I'm hoping for more insight. Not that I think I've done too badly.

I just have a problem according dead people the 'wonderful person' status. Not everyone who dies is a wonderful person who shows 'us how to live.' Not everyone who is alive is really alive, either (some of them are just breathing through the days, living the same day year after year).

I'm sorry Terri didn't get to live more of her life. I'm sorry her parents devoted the last 15 years to trying to bring her back to real life, and not to living it themselves. Who knows if they'll be able to find it again?

I want to make the most of each day, not just breathe through it.