T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

Parked outside my therapist’s office, I watched another therapist attempt to parallel park. When you grow up on a rural reservation, you only have to park parallel to the earth, so I was impressed as she parked skillfully in a very narrow space. But I guess it wasn’t quite parallel enough, so she pulled out of the space and tried again. And again. I thought she parked well, but she thought otherwise. She parked, pulled out, parked, pulled out, parked, and pulled out for at least ten minutes. Finally, she parked in a way that pleased her. Or maybe she just abandoned the effort. But as she stepped out of her car and walked toward her office, I thought, “Damn, I want that one to be my therapist.”

~ Sherman Alexie, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir


Portrait: Sherman Alexie

Count down…

funny-psychology-doubt.jpg


Source: Peteski

Walking Cross-Town. Just make it stop.

Commotion.

Upstairs.

Comey. Russia. Fake News. Senate investigations. ObamaCare. Republicans, Democrats (Rodney: Can’t we just get along?) Hearings. More Hearings. More hearings. Trump. Leaks. Lies. Spin. Frenzy. Russians. Spies. Kushner. Back channels. Flynn. Covfefe. NATO. Kabul suicide blast, 90 dead, 400 wounded, Afghan capital mourns, anger swirls. Hate. Portland Train stabbings. Climate change. North Korea. Saber rattling. Cruise Missiles.  Guns. Missouri man kills 8, suicide by cop was his intention. Manchester. Hillary, blame. Tiger Woods DUI. Kathy Griffin fake Trump severed head (Funny, really?).  Extra policing in Chicago on Memorial Day, violence down, 6 killed, 44 wounded. Ohio sues Opioid drugmakers for unleashing drug epidemic. Yellowstone, rare white female wolf shot illegally. Ivory, elephant poachers run rampant. (Will Man purge them all?)

Is there no place, where I can sit undisturbed?


Photo: via zsazsabellagio.com. Related Posts: Commuting

(Early) Saturday Morning

paul-schneggenburger-sleep

The mind cannot fall asleep as long as it watches itself. Only when the mind moves unwatched and becomes absorbed in images that tug it as it were to one side does self-consciousness dissolve and sleep with its healing, brilliantly detailed fictions pour in upon the jittery spirit. Falling asleep is a study in trust. Likewise, religion tries to put us at ease with the world. Being human cannot be borne alone. We need other presences. We need soft night noises – a mother speaking downstairs. We need the little clicks and sighs of a sustaining otherness. We need the gods.

– John Updike, Self-Consciousness: Memoirs

 


Notes: Quote – Thank you Whiskey River.  Photo: Paul Maria Schneggenburger with his long exposure photography with series titled “Sleep of the Beloved” (via beautifuldecay.com)

Saturday Morning

sleep-dream-jpg

What I see in dreams
makes me breathe
shallow
like golden trout
floating just beneath
the skin of water
warmed by
late autumn’s
ticklish light

~ M.J. Iuppa, opening lines to “Something Brief, But Bright,” Small Worlds Floating: Poems

 


Notes: Art Source: mennyfox55. Poem Source: Memory’s Landscape

Happy? Now? What about how? And Now?

ruth-whippman-america-the-anxious

At the playground, the mantra of mellow parenting is “I don’t care, as long as he’s happy.” Whippman notices after a while that her reflexively sardonic British brain is suddenly looping around a new set of questions: Am I happy? Right at this moment? What about now? And now? Am I happy enough? As happy as everyone else? What about Meghan? Is she happier than me?

Tuning into this alien internal monologue reveals her grand thesis about America: The problem with our quest for happiness is that, apparently, it’s making us miserable. After some idle Googling, her suspicions are confirmed. Various clever studies by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, show that “paradoxically, the more people valued and were encouraged to value happiness as a separate life goal, the less happy they were.” When it comes to emotional temperament, America is the clumsy suitor of nations. We yearn and obsess and plot new elaborate strategies as the object of our desire shrinks ever farther away. It’s a little embarrassing.

~ Hanna Rosin, Why Are Americans So Anxious?, Book review of “America the Anxious. How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks” by Ruth Whippman.

Sunday Morning

human-body-woman-beautiful

To be on the level with the dust of the earth,

this is the mysterious virtue.

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own (1934)

 


Notes:

  • Inspired by another passage by Marion Milner:

I thought: this ‘inner fact’ – is it really so mystical? Isn’t it just the astonishing fact of being alive – but felt from the inside not looked at from the outside – and relating oneself to whatever it is?

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own

Saturday Morning

cat-stretch-fall-autumn

Complete relaxing never happened all at once. I found that it was a matter of at least five or ten minutes before the body would reach a profound repose. So I made a rule for myself, that as long as I felt an impulse to get up or turn over, then I had not lain long enough, but as soon as I felt I had never wanted to move again, then it was all right to get up at once. But I usually did not, I lay still for a little longer, lay still, while all the cells of my body came alive, like parched earth after rain. And then I discovered the most fitting end to my rest – a long cat-like stretch, which leaves one so at peace with the world, smooth and shining like wet sands, that it is worth indulging in deliberately, even when not prompted by a natural impulse.

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own (First Published, 1934)

 


Notes:

T.G.I.F.: the chatter of blind effortful thought

balloon-tgif-let-go

People had often told me to ‘let go’ more, to give myself up to music or impulse, or rest, and I had always thought it meant a passive plunging in to the oblivion of my blind thought. But always, when given its head, my blind thought had carried me away into hot, fussy anxieties or long-winded scheming for things it wanted, some plan or another which would not let me rest. And this state had spread from my mind to my body, so that my muscles were always taut with the effort to get what I wanted. Now, however, when I had at last learnt the restraining act which was real ‘letting go’, the chatter of blind effortful thought dwindled from an exhausting distraction to the far-away twitter of sparrows high up in the eaves.

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own (First Published, 1934)

 


Notes:

This is your brain. This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?

patty-maher-ceremony-of-waiting

A mind fed on words such as heaven, earth, dew, essence, cinnabar, moonlight, stillness, jade, pearl, cedar, and winter plum is likely to have a serenity not to be found in minds ringing with the vocabulary of the present age–computer, tractor, jumbo jet, speedball, pop, dollar, liquidation, napalm, overkill! Who would thrill at the prospect of rocketing to the moon in a billion-dollar spacecraft if he knew how to summon a shimmering gold and scarlet dragon at any time of the day or night and soar among the stars?

John Blofeld, What Words Does Your Mind Feed on? “Taoism: The Road to Immortality” (Shambhala, August 8, 2000)

 


Notes:

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