Driving I-95 S. With The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

car-drive-night-lights

4:35 am. Wednesday.
It’s leaden, and anchored behind the eyes. Throbbing.
I squeeze them tight. And exhale.
No. Not today. No. 
I grab the Tylenol.

71° F.
The flirty British Lady on Waze calls out Let’s Go!
39 miles. 42 minutes.
Skies clear.  Roads dry.  Traffic light.
Manhattan bound.

Cockpit is lit with the soft glow of fluorescents.
It’s dark but for the tail lights from hulking semis.
Speed lane is clear.

I adjust my right foot on the accelerator. Flying on cotton.
It’s silent but for the soft hum of the engine and the faint spinning rotation of the Goodyears.
The A/C streams in at maximum comfort level.
Sir, you’re in First Class today. Our cruising altitude will be 39,000 feet and we’ll be flying 500 mph.  
I loosen my tie.
And grab my water bottle. [Read more…]

Uhtceare

uhtceare-word-definition-anxiety-worry


Source: this isn’t happiness

Saturday Morning

woman-rest-white-eye-lash

What in your life is calling you,
When all the noise is silenced,
The meetings adjourned…
The lists laid aside,
And the Wild Iris blooms
By itself
In the dark forest…
What still pulls on your soul?

~ Rumi ((1207 – 1273)


Credits: Image Source: Mennyfox55. Poem: Your Eyes Blaze Out

A Murmur. Yes, Maybe.

big-red-hair-wind

For once
the mocking, predictable voice
inside my head that says “No way”
is silent.
In fact, I think I can just barely make out
some other, quieter voice, whispering,
“Maybe.”

― Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment


Photograph: Anka Zhuravleva (“Ginger“)

 

 

Lightly child, lightly

portrait-back-woman

But most hearts say,
I want, I want, I want, I want.
My heart is more duplicitous,
though no twin as I once thought.
It says, I want, I don’t want, I want,
and then a pause.
It forces me to listen…

— Margaret Atwood, from Selected Poems II: 1976 – 1986 


Credits:

  • Image Source: Jenna McElroy (via Journal of a Nobody)
  • Quote Source: Paper Ghosts
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

that hot itch of indignation

olena kassian drawings dressing 1, 36- x 36-

In this era of information overload and PC, authenticity is a beacon which cuts through the din.  Here’s Sandy Wyatt with an excerpt from her wonderful post titled The Hot Itch:

The daze turned to anger before I left the parking lot.  Are we in the Middle Ages, I fumed.  What was next?  Burning at the stake?  Dousing?…I met with my meditation group later in the day and felt righteous satisfaction in their outrage as I told the story.  It’s a hot itch, indignation.  It gets under the skin and festers. So, as we sat together in silence, I took a step back from what I was feeling.  I called up the part of me that observes my thrashing around with gentle curiosity.  What happened? I saw that I’m not as tolerant as I like to believe.  What does it matter anyway?  I tried to look a little deeper. My ego hates to be misunderstood.  It hates to be dismissed or categorized.  And it really hates to be discredited.  I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked to regain some functioning in the world.  Proud. Ah … If I could nudge my ego aside, there might even be A Teaching Moment. Coming home from meditation with my friends, I turned up the music and sang down the highway.  The ego is a stubborn little cuss.  Mine can be paranoid and hysterical if the mood is right.  Anything can offend it, and it defends itself with teeth and claws.  But, like a mediocre poker player, it has a tell—that hot itch of indignation.  When I feel that under my skin, I know it’s time to back up and look again.

I’m glad for that signal, and I’m glad I know what to do with it.

Thanks, Ego-Girl.  Keep raging.

~ Sandy Sue Wyatt, The Hot Itch


Drawing: Olena Kassian

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

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Source: chikita banana

Lightly child, lightly

dress-wind-breeze-white

Lightly, lightly, very lightly
A very light wind passes,
And it goes away just as lightly,
And I don’t know what I’m thinking,
Nor do I wish to know.

~ Fernando Pessoa, from section XIII of “The Keeper of Sheep,” A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems


Credits:

  • Image Source: Mary Parker (via eikadan)
  • Quote Source: the distance between two doors
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Man Deconstructed. Is it any wonder? Come on Ladies…

olena kassian drawings rising, detail 2, 36- x 29-

Jessica Bennett, A Master’s Degree in … Masculinity?:

Michael Kimmel stood in front of a classroom in bluejeans and a blazer with a pen to a whiteboard. “What does it mean,” the 64-year-old sociology professor asked the group, most of them undergraduates, “to be a good man?”

The students looked puzzled.

“Let’s say it was said at your funeral, ‘He was a good man,’ ” Dr. Kimmel explained. “What does that mean to you?”

“Caring,” a male student in the front said.

“Putting other’s needs before yours,” another young man said.

“Honest,” a third said.

Dr. Kimmel listed each term under the heading Good Man, then turned back to the group. “Now,” he said, “tell me what it means to be a real man.”

This time, the students reacted more quickly.

“Take charge; be authoritative,” said James, a sophomore.

“Take risks,” said Amanda, a sociology graduate student.

“It means suppressing any kind of weakness,” another offered.

“I think for me being a real man meant talk like a man,” said a young man who’d grown up in Turkey. “Walk like a man. Never cry.”

Dr. Kimmel had been taking notes. “Now you’re in the wheelhouse,” he said, excitedly. He pointed to the Good Man list on the left side of the board, then to the Real Man list he’d added to the right. “Look at the disparity. I think American men are confused about what it means to be a man.”

Read full post here: A Master’s Degree in … Masculinity?


Notes: Drawing by Olena Kassian @ olenakassian.com

Do the work

mindy-kaling

She looked about fifteen, and not only out of place in that crowd but also a little young to be asking a question in front of such a big audience. I think she felt it, too, because I could see from the stage that she was shaking. After a moment of nervous silence, she asked, “Mindy, where do you get your confidence? Because I feel like I used to have it when I was younger but now I don’t.”

Context is so important. If this question had been asked by a white man, I might actually have been offended, because the subtext of it would have been completely different. When an adult white man asks me “Where do you get your confidence?” the tacit assumption behind it is: “Because you don’t look like a person who should have any confidence. You’re not white, you’re not a man, and you’re not thin or conventionally attractive. How were you able to overlook these obvious shortcomings to feel confident?” […]

For the record, I, like everyone else, have had moments when I felt unattractive and stupid and unskilled. When I started at The Office, I had zero confidence. Whenever Greg Daniels came into the room to talk to our small group of writers, I was so nervous that I would raise and lower my chair involuntarily, like a tic. Finally, weeks in, writer Mike Schur put his hand on my arm and said, gently, “You have to stop.” Years later I realized that the way I had felt during those first few months was correct. I didn’t deserve to be confident yet. I happen to believe that no one inherently deserves anything, except basic human rights. […]

Confidence is just entitlement. Entitlement has gotten a bad rap because it’s used almost exclusively for the useless children of the rich, reality TV stars, and Conrad Hilton Jr., who gets kicked off an airplane for smoking pot in the lavatory and calling people peasants or whatever. But entitlement in and of itself isn’t so bad. Entitlement is simply the belief that you deserve something. Which is great. The hard part is, you’d better make sure you deserve it. So, how did I make sure that I deserved it?

To answer that, I would like to quote from the Twitter bio of one of my favorite people, Kevin Hart. It reads: My name is Kevin Hart and I WORK HARD!!! That pretty much sums me up!!! Everybody Wants To Be Famous But Nobody Wants To Do The Work!

People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That’s a mistake. I know I sound like some dour older spinster chambermaid on Downton Abbey who has never felt a man’s touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don’t understand how you could have self-confidence if you don’t do the work.

I work a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I feel like I must have been watching TV as a kid and that cartoon parable about the industrious ants and the lazy grasshopper came on at a vital moment when my soft little brain was hardening, and the moral of it was imprinted on me. The result of which is that I’m usually hyper-prepared for whatever I set my mind to do, which makes me feel deserving of attention and professional success, when that’s what I’m seeking.

~ Mindy Kaling, Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence


Notes: