Neon fish in the aquarium at Joey’s
Last night we dined at Joey’s Seafood Restaurant in Houghton. As we ordered our fish tacos & jambalaya & tilapia a fella offered us a sealed envelope. Upon paying, we must present the envelope to our waitress and see what we won. 10% off? 20%? 50% Oh-my-goodness, how about 100%?
Jeanette, our Scottish-born waitress, says she’s missed us since our last visit at Joey’s. Where have we been? We asked her what days she worked. We divined how we might have missed one another. Tomorrow was her birthday, she confessed, and told us how she’d spend the day. I shouldn’t tell you–but it involved casinos.
I wanted to say–Jeannette, you give us a winner and I’ll pray for a winner for you.
But I didn’t.
Later, she reverentially opened the envelope to determine our winnings.
Lately, oh so lately, I’ve been able to sit with my own uncomfortable inner places much longer without turning away.
Because of this, I can stay with a good friend on the telephone for 78 minutes and resonate with her pain. I will not shirk or abandon her. I will stay with her in that dark underworld of suffering and regret and perhaps eventual grudging acceptance without turning too quickly toward the positive, the optimism, the la-de-da where it all feels okey-dokey.
Oh how I’ve sometimes turned toward optimism way too quickly in my life, grabbing hold of it like a snowshoe, begging it to keep me safe and navigating through deep drifts.
Others embrace the negative too quickly, resisting, fighting fervently against the way the present moment refuses to meet their expectations, digging their boots deep in snowbanks, paralyzing all ability to propel forward.
Lately, oh so lately, I just allow it all to exist, you and you and you, pain and joy and delight and death, negative and positive, the whole compost of it, the whole turning of the seasons.
Many of us live our wild & precious lives burdened down under a heavy weight of “should”.
Instead of celebrating who we are–can there ever be a more perfect you?–we second-guess and third-guess and quadruple-guess our actions. We think ourselves crazy with expectations. We focus on what doesn’t seem to work in our lives, judging ourselves unworthy. We monitor our every thought, feeling, sentence and paragraph and conjure how we might succeed in becoming the perfect person, the should-less being, the enlightened one.
Worse yet, we often peer for approval from friends, from relatives, from society. We want them to declare us acceptable. So many of us ache to be liked and fear saying something–anything–to upset the apple cart.
Yet we do. We upset the cart and apples spill everywhere, no matter how nice we attempt to be.
Through the deck window before dawn this morning
We awoke to another eight, ten, twelve inches of snow. Who knows without a ruler?
I offered to warm up and brush off Barry’s car before he left for work. (He does the same for me many days.)
It’s zero degrees (-17 C) again, supposedly dropping throughout the day. I am blogging solely for entertainment purposes, aiming to ward off Cabin Fever.
Circle of life
I shouldn’t be here today.
I should be listening to testimony from a jury box, attempting to determine the guilt or innocence of a fellow man. Said man is presumed innocent until proven guilty, sayeth the law.
Fortunately or unfortunately–I shall not be determining this. Along with a dozen or so others yours truly was ousted, sent packing, shown the courtroom door. After intense questioning and 2 1/2 hours of jury panel seating yesterday morning, I’m a free woman once again.
I agonize over the thought of declaring someone guilty or innocent. Too many cases exist of wrong decisions. However (before anyone gets started with the opposite viewpoint) I am also glad to live in a society where–hopefully, sometimes–a panel of ordinary folks can assist in coming to a fair verdict.
As for tossing someone in prison without attempting to heal a dark heart, well, that’s a topic for another day.
Since I have to go to work today–no “fun” in the jury box permitted–I am going to issue a judgment.
Against this winter.
Guilty of being too hard, too long (OK, that’s biased, since it’s only January), too cold, too snowy.
Let’s walk to the mailbox, shall we?
Barry is plowing snow today, thank goodness, for last night the tractor stopped dead as he plowed the twelve inches of new snow on the driveway. It simply stopped cold, done, finis.
He plotted repair scenarios all night in his sleep, but this morning–lo and behold, another miracle!, the tractor revved once again. Ice in the gas line, he thinks. (I will correct this diagnosis later, just in case non-mechanical me is completely in error.)
1. First of all, relax. You don’t have to DO anything on another snow day. The Universe gives you permission to relax and lie on the couch all day–in your pajamas–if you so desire. Breathe in, breathe out. Simply BE. That isn’t so hard, is it?
2. Watch the snow fall. Snow descends from the sky in such fascinating different ways. As previously discussed, when the wind is a’blowin’, snow sometimes falls down and then ascends up. Sometimes it scatters sideways. This morning, cuddled beneath the white comforter in my jammies, it seems the flakes fall tenderly. Can you imagine tender snow drifting downward?