Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Dostoevsky Conundrum

Any idiot can survive a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that grinds one down...

Beep, beep, went the camera capturing images of my teeth. On the monitor in full living color, cracks and chips encircled the filling at the center of the molar. We'd been keeping watch on it for a while, and finally the time for a crown had arrived. Feh.
I drove home in the rain and a cloud of self-pity. Double feh. Tried to use rational-emotive therapy on myself, reminding myself that it's an inconvenience, not a tragedy. It would be better if I didn't need this done, but that's the way it is. Triple feh.
After self medicating with chocolate, I checked my email. A message from a friend whose mother has inoperable pancreatic cancer acted as God's foot in my butt. Crowns are no one's idea of a good time, but compared to concurrent courses of radiation and chemotherapy, hey, I'll take it.
I'm looking at two hours to get the tooth prepped and the temporary crown popped into place, then a followup for molar 3.0 to be installed. I can load my iPod with soothing music and take it with. I'll be able to enjoy a bowl of soup or some pasta when the Novocaine runs its course. My friend's mom? I'll live, but will she?
What is it in the human psyche that enables us to endure the toughest stuff life deals out with grace and dignity, yet we--I, anyway--hit the ground and roll behind the love seat in the fetal position over minor speed bumps? The good and wise Mr. D. had it right. The crises, and that which we perceive as such, activate our inner troops. The daily routine lulls them into a nap. Maybe we need to find other ways to keep them alert than tragedy.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Soundtrack

The first spring Saturday took me and my tea mug into the yard. I settled into the dusty green lawn chair, grateful for the sky, happy for the warmth. Orion dragged his tie-out line through the still-brown grass, making it rustle as the wind will when it gets some length.
Robins sang an anthem to the sun. It sounded like the avian equivalent "Ode to Joy."
The Spouse brought one of the tractors to life with a sputter, a welcome sound after its winter nap inside a tarp den. Its engine settled into its customary growl as he rode it around the yard in a victory lap over the interminable cold.

Friday Journal Class, Either a Bit Late or a Bit Early

I was teaching a live class to the most dangerous demographic group of all: seniors. Why? In many cases, they have no reasons to keep secrets, and have nothing left to lose.
Your assignment: go write something with that much abandon in your own journal.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Journal Class for 3/13

Maybe you've been envious of a famous person who seems to have it all.
Maybe not.
Members of the latter group are few and far between. The rest of us have all wished for the apparently fabulous wealth or clothes or to have a body that vaguely resembles some entertainer's.
But let's turn the question around. Pick a celebrity you've gazed at with green eyes. Why should he or she be jealous of you? Think about it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


They've been showing up pretty frequently in my dreams, these ships of the desert. Pretty nice, a little stubborn, but not prone to outrageous behavior unless mistreated. Did you know that camels
  • can drink up to 30 gallons of water in ten minutes?
  • were introduced to western Australia in the 1800's by the British army and that many of their descendants run wild there today?
  • are considered a health food because their meat has no fat and no cholesterol, and that they are kept as dairy animals in some parts of the world? Acquired taste aside?
  • there are 160 words for "camel" in Arabic?
  • an adventure company in California uses them as pack animals on camping trips?
You can find some of the most interesting things on line. For a fun quiz and more about camels than you thought there was to know, please go to
for more information.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Journal Class: Dreams 101

Today, let us speak of dreams. Some feel that they are random electrical glitches shot through the brain during sleep. Others, present company included, believe that they are messages from the soul/unconscious/subconscious making themselves known to the conscious mind. When decoded, they provide rich soil for personal growth.
New to this? No problem. Start by setting the intention to remember your dreams. As you go to bed, just say to yourself, "I will sleep deeply and well tonight and remember my dreams in the morning." Then when you wake up, write down everything that you can recall.
Now, to decode the dream, either free associate about the symbols, or use dialoging to find out what they mean. Dialoging is where you have a conversation of paper with the symbol. Ask it what you need to know. When you feel ready, write the response. Go back and forth until you feel finished.
Next, if possible, engage in some activity to acknowledge the message. Even something as simple as plugging in a destination in a travel dream will let your unconscious know that you've received the message. Be creative, but honor the dream.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Need to Act in Your Own Best Interest

About two weeks ago, I quit a women's health issue forum. The site advocates completely a completely natural approach to issues peculiar to ladies at the Certain Age mark. While I applaud and respect the good and wise women who run it, I didn't appreciate being told to try a combination of herbs for my own particular set of issues that had stopped working a long time ago. I weighed the risks of doing nothing, working with the herbs again, of using bioidentical hormones derived from yams and soy. I chose the third option. My posting of my decision in the forum drew accusations of trying to postpone the inevitable, of preventing myself from growing into wholeness, and a report detailing risks and questioning the efficacy of the treatment.
Hmm. With the creme, slight risk of intensified issues when I go off it; slight risk of reproductive cancers. Without it, losing whole days weeping uncontrolably; feeling spacy to the point where I was a danger to myself and others while driving. It's kind of hard to let your growth processes do what they must if you're dead or in jail.
I glanced at the report. I thought of a friend who'd passed on last fall. I don't know what, if anything, she'd used during her menopausal transition. Her choice didn't prevent the cancer from rooting in her uterus and eventually going into her brain.
I thought of another friend who'd hit the wall with herbs, experiencing hot flashes that parlayed into panic attacks. She went on very low doses and now gets through her days without haveing to change clothes several times because she's sweat through them. No sign of anything except vibrant health from her.
Holding those thought in mind, I deleted the report and kept going forward.