Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Husker Du

Hi, friends

I awoke at 2:30 a.m. and at 5:30, I'm still wide-awake. And. On a blogswarm. After that Anger post, I need me some loud music. I just realized that for many years now, it's been early morning commutes to work and other places when I've most enjoyed my music loud.

Having all this time to think and blog and stuff...(forgive me but sleep deprivation gives me a slight manic high. grinning here), I realized - hey, it is early morning now, isn't it? Time to travel with some Husker Du.


P.S. In the wake (ahemmm) of current blog frenzy, please scroll down for more very recent, sleepless, pointless posts. ;-)

Young Bob Mould

Older Bob Mould

On Anger

I used to have a lot of anger problems. A lot of it had to do with depression, which for me, caused irritability and angry outbursts. I'm not so prone to anger any more but I continue to think about anger and its potential to creep up on me and interfere with my new-found (relative) freedom from it.

I think one reason for the abatement of anger in my life is that I'm in a very good relationship: one where I can be myself and still feel I deserve the love and attention I get, even when I'm far from perfect. Another reason is the maturation process. In terms of feeling peace and acceptance, getting older agrees with me.

Where I continue to struggle is in my reactions to people when they express anger, especially when it seems misplaced and misguided. To me. If I see little reason in the anger and negativity beyond that which I can change; even in myself, I then feel a strong need to eschew that person and cut them out of my life; at least to an extent that is possible. I've done that with a relative; with whom I have to stay somewhat in touch but with whom I no longer engage in bitter struggles with myself over. The other came more recently. I decided that what I'd gained from the relationship was so old and stagnant, that it didn't merit the time and attention I would need to give the person to try to understand their anger and negativity. I've asked myself if this was selfish. And I'm still trying to answer that question.

One of the things I've discovered in attempting to answer that question is that the anger displayed toward me personally by others, which goes beyond what I can do myself to turn it around, just causes me to become angry back. It's all too much a reminder of how angry and defensive I can become in the face of what I consider to be unfounded anger on the part of others. That isn't to say that anger hasn't been directed at me personally in the recent past which has gone ignored. It has and sometimes with just cause. In those cases, where I value and love the person, I'm working on seeing their point of view on what makes them angry at me and I try to change that, if I can. Sometimes it takes several conversations and strong emotions and a lot of work. But it's worth it, for the other person and for me.

But I have to admit that otherwise, I avoid angry, negative, defensive people whenever possible. I wonder if I'm depriving myself of lessons potentially learned or if I'm preserving my energies for those struggles that are really worth it.

We all become angry, frustrated, irritable and defensive at times. Mostly toward the ones we love and care about the most. I understand that and I'm trying to learn from it. Is it selfish of me to avoid those other, peripheral angry people? Or is this protective mechanism a good thing for me.? I have tended to conclude the latter most of the time. But I go back and forth. Avoiding the angry has worked for me. I admit that it's worked for me because I honestly lack the emotional energy to take it on. If it's one thing about depression that has stayed with me and no amount of peace or happiness or medication can take away, it's a limited amount of emotional energy. I don't mean the happy kind, as I'm sure you might guess. I mean the negative, complex, exhausting kind. Again, it's the people I love I try to save this emotional energy for. Even then, sometimes it's difficult to rise to the occasion as well as I'd like to. Sometimes I even fail miserably. I'm working on it.

I'm mostly concerned about how unavoidable, peripheral people affect my attitude toward anger and toward myself. For example, at work. I work with one person on my team who presents a lot of challenges for me. I can't avoid her, so how do I deal, right? She doesn't overtly express anger but instead engages in what some would and have called passive-aggresive actions. I have tried to ignore them, I have tried to talk to her about it (without referring to her as such) and have gotten nowhere. It causes me to worry about my own responses,which are mostly directed inward. I have so little to go on as to why I cause this person to be so angry with me, as she refuses to be forthcoming about anything that I can change. I can only guess and say it's her problem but it doesn't make the situation any easier on a day-to-day basis. It sucks so much energy out of me to deal with her. And deal I must - as in, next week when school starts again.

What role does anger play in the quest for self-awareness and inner peace? What do my reactions to anger say about me? How do I avoid defining my life as a series of emotional struggles? Or should I just accept it as such; both personally and as part of the human condition?

I have more questions than answers, as usual. Though I have far more of a clue than I did years ago in even asking these questions. For that I'm grateful.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Peace Tree

Being unable to write anything substantive lately, I posted two videos on autism at The Peace Tree. I hope you can make it over. You should especially read this post while you're over there and also the comments, which are excellent.

Peace, my friends.

Happy Anniversary DCup and Mathman

I just went over to Politits, one of my favorite blogs, authored by the adorable and witty DCup, to discover an anniversary post. She and her husband have been married twenty years today. You'll love the post, as she's an incredibly entertaining and talented writer. Please go on over and give this spirited couple a congratulations!

Like the We Are The World Japanese impersonators, there are simply no words. Except that it isn't one bit funny.

It warms my heart to know that Cindy McCain loves her private plane. Now there's a first lady I can relate to! :-/ Let's hope not.

I saw this at Enriched Geranium first and other places since, but I had to put it here as well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We Are The World Impersonators

There are simply no just have to watch it.

Gampo Abbey

Nova Scotia, Part II

We left Meat Cove and drove to the eastern shore of Cape Breton to find Gampo Abbey, a Tibetan Buddhist community and retreat. We arrived on a Saturday, not knowing that they're only open to visitors Monday through Friday, but we looked around this beautiful, peaceful place and walked The Path of Enlightenment. Thanks to Susan for the tip on Gampo Abbey.

On the path, we came upon these two young monks, blowing their horns into the wind. I wonder of the specific purpose of this. I so loved getting a glimpse of this ritual but I tried to keep my distance.

I hope you enjoyed the walk

Monday, August 18, 2008

Destination Meat Cove

Nova Scotia Part I

Our destination was Cape Breton. So after stopping along the way in Maine and New Brunswick, we arrived here at Meat Cove and parked our little trailer.

Finally erupting into the only truly sunny day we experienced in our four days' visit to Meat Cove.

Ending with a dinner of oysters and a bottle of white wine (boyb) on the deck of a little seafood shack, right across from our campsite.
Could life get any better?

I Kick Ass?

Well, what do you know? Someone out there thinks I kick ass! I've always secretly wanted to be thought of as kick ass. Thank you, Steve of Color Sweet Tooth, for fluffing up my ego - such as it is. ;-)

Seriously, what's most fun about this award is, firstly, that it came from Steve of Color Sweet Tooth, whom it did not take me long to begin to admire. He's a wonderful artist, writes lovingly about fatherhood and marriage and is just one of those people that I felt an instant kinship with. Please check out his beautiful and I mean beautiful blog and art gallery featuring his work for sale.

Okay. So this is how it works:

Do you know any bloggers that kick ass?

Maybe they’ve got incredible, original content. Or they’re overflowing with creativity. Is it someone that helps you become a better blogger? Or a bloggy friend you know you can count on? Or maybe it’s someone who simply inspires you to be a better person… or someone else who sends you to the floor, laughing your ass off.

Whatever the reason may be, I’m sure you know at least a couple of bloggers that kick ass. Well… why not tell ‘em so?

The rules to this are as follows:

1) Choose five other bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"
2) Let them know that they have received an award.
3) Link back to both the person who awarded you and also to
4) Visit the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky and leave a comment.

Bobbie of Almost There: This wonderful lady, in her 70's, is an inspiration to me. I hope that when I'm that age that I'm half as bright, spirited, open-minded and creative as she is. Bobbie's photos are a reflection of her keen eye for nature and her writing demonstrates a person who has lived, loved and learned much. I'm pleased and proud to call her my friend.

I know, I know...I'm unabashedly sappy but it brings my heart such joy, so don't make fun a' me!

Dianne of Forks Off The Moment: when I first went to her blog, it was via comments she left at Bobbie's. Her comments drew me because of how kind and warm she is. I was doubly struck by the fact that in addition to being so kind, she is also incredibly bright, articulate and living her life fully and creatively. I have benefited from Dianne's good judgment and wisdom recently when I asked for her advise on a particularly sensitive situation. Our friendship, though limited to blogging, is one I value highly and one which makes me feel especially grateful.

Betmo of Life's Journey: I "met" her through comments at A Poetic Justice and Peace Tree - the latter for which she is a contributing blogger. Betmo writes and works unflaggingly for awareness of human rights issues, peace and justice and the environment. She is one of my heroes of the blogosphere in that she is willing to tell the truth, even when it hits too hard for a lot of us to take.

Homeyra at Forever Under Construction: this blogger from Iran is a relentless advocate not only for peace in the Middle East but also for showing the rich cultural, religious and social heritage of the area via her blog. I've many times learned something new or seen profound images on her blog. Homey is also a lovely woman, which comes across in her response to comments, her writing and her email communication. I feel lucky to know Homey in many ways,not the least of which is that it puts a human "face" on an area of the world that our U.S. government has tried to make the enemy.

Kate Morningstar at The Morning Star Chronicles. This lovely, spiritual woman writes about life's transformations, her faith, her healing and her soul. What I love the most about Kate's posts is the sense I have of her emotions - tremendous joy as well as the sorrow that comes with being being a sensitive, feeling human being. Kate does a series on Canadian cultural icons that I've really enjoyed reading. I love all things Canadian and Kate is one of them!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just Rolled In

Hey, kids!

We'rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr back and none the less for wear from the long drive. The house didn't burn down but the lawn is knee-high. The kids are pissed because I didn't leave them enough money for groceries and considering how they're starved and weak, I'm surprised that the house is so tidy. Aaaaah, maybe that's why the kitchen is so clean! I should starve them more often. ;-)

We had a great time in Nova Scotia but it's good to be home. I'll post some photos one of these days.

I hope you've all been well. I look forward to catching up with you all.


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