You might be wondering where I've been...if indeed you noticed I haven't been blogging of late. I guess you could say I have been lost in a vortex of paradoxical thinking. Probably easier to describe it as a creative block. I've allowed other priorities swirl around me much like a tempest in the proverbial teapot. It is all very distracting and very comforting at the same time. I say distracting, because it keeps me from doing what I think I really want to be doing. I say comforting because it justifies not doing those things I say I love. It is so easy to just blame others for my inability to do what I want to do. Heaven forbid I should just say no to some things, drop some other things and focus on my alleged priorities. I say alleged because if they truly were my priorities, wouldn't I be doing them?
And so the vortex swirls.
Maybe this is not clear to you, but I do know what I mean. I really do. And at the risk of being called a whiner, I really am torn. I want to be a good guy. I want to do good in the world. So how do I convince myself that what I want to do, brings about good? Is it really a conundrum, or could it be more likely an excuse?
I say the latter is probably true.
So there you have it.
I have always wanted to follow my muse, to be a "creative". I have some talent in writing, in creating photo images and creating a warm and welcoming environment. I enjoy doing these things. When I do them, it feels like play. And perhaps there is the rub. Play is not part of the Puritan Ethic with which I was raised. But by now, I should be over that. Should being the operative and very judgemental word. And I have come close many times. And in those periods, I have felt very much alive.
Then I take what Julia Cameron (Artist's Way) calls a creative u-turn. A creative u-turn is what one does when he or she is experiencing his or her creative nature. It scares them. A creative u-turn is when you back away or avoid the next step in your creative journey. Fear they say is the reason. I suppose it is. What have I to be afraid of? Lord knows. I just need to grab the wheel again and steer myself in the right direction.
And so I will
Starting in February I will start blogging again. (Actually this may count as the start date).
I will do my Morning Pages -- the daily practice of writing three pages upon rising as a sort of mind dump, taming the monkey mind, etc.
I will take an Artist's Date --- a date with myself to do something personally inspiringly fun and insightful...a trip to a museum, a movie, a walk in the park. Once a week. These are done alone. They are a date with my artist self.
I am going to be accountable to myself. And to you if you so inclined to hold me such. I will try not be be testy. LOL. I just want get it together...again...and find out what I was meant to do.
As so the journey re-starts again.
Much of my life I've fantasized being part of someone's "in" crowd. You know, one of the "cool" kids. Someone in the "know", someone who was envied by nerds and outsiders. It seemed to me I was always on the outside looking in. I didn't belong with those I thought were bright, slick, attractive or witty and fun to be around. Their conversations seemed deep. Their activities seemed fun and adventurous.
I don't worry about being "cool" so much any more. Other than realizing I'm much too old and much too worried about being safe and secure to ever achieve such a goal, it just doesn't seem to be important any more.
I am me.
Yes, I am me and that is okay with me. I finally have a pretty firm grasp on who I am and where I belong and where I am going with the rest of my life. Oh, I won't say there aren't times I wish I could run with the pack. There are still time I wish I had taken more chances along the way, exercised more risks, been a thrillseeker and in general had more fun. But I don't live there any more. I live where I am these days.
And that's a good place to be.
I think its okay to be a little boring, a little on the sidelines, a little uninspiring. Actually, I have found a way to contribute to the lives of others while enhancing my own. I work on doing those things that bring me joy like going to movies and plays, taking photographic safaris or writing my thoughts down in blogs or essays. Gardening is therapuetic and rewarding. I've been "nesting" too be re-creating my personal space in my home. Here's the one I've wrestled with all my life: being a "nice guy". I now know it's okay to be a nice guy. Nice guys finish last they say. Pish tosh. (If I were a "cool hip and happenin' guy, you know I would use one of those expletives that are flying around everywhere these days). I have realized there is no need to be in the race. There is no competition in living your own life. I won't say I don't sometimes compare myself to those I consider more successful or accomplished than I. But the bottom line is I am who I am supposed to be. And as I said before, that's okay with me.
So rather than pursue being part of the in crowd, maybe I will just continue to fantasize and observe. No harm in that. But at the proverbial end of the day, being the best me I can be is the best thing I can do.
Fill in the blank. ______. What? You don't know what to fill it in with. There, now you have my dilemma. Sometimes it is very difficult to "fill in the blank" when the blank is a blank page. Which this was. Until I filled it in. And now its not. But what does it say? Is this just words taking up space? Not really. It really says something. It says something about blankness, about filling in the empty space. It is more than just filling in the blank. No prompt necessary. Fill in the blank. _______.
I think you got it.
I confess. I didn't know what color the robes the Dalai Lama wears were. I really didn even know what the robes he wears are called: robes. Duh. I guess it is all filed under "Duh." But it is interesting to know that the Dalai Lama wears a specific color robe (maroon) that because of the saffron dye used, comes out golden. And the answer I found to the question of this blog is cited below. It comes from Wikianswers.com. I honestly don't know how reliable this cited site is, but it rings true and should be easy enough to verify. But this blog is not really about the color of the Dalai Lama's robes. No, its really about how our minds drift from time to time and begin to wonder about things of no consequence, like the color of the DL's robes, interesting as the reason may be. And what about the last sentence about the blue piping of the vest: "The story of the blue piping in interesting." Well? Why? It doesn't say. And it doesn't really matter.
I guess what I am saying curiosity can take you down many roads you never thought you would go. It can detour you from you goals, though. There are many paths and paths to be forged in the forests of life. What color is are the DL's robes? Maroon. Weren't you paying attention?
The Dalai Lama said "Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace." In this case it might be my behavior that might destroy your inner peace. But come on. It should take much more than my asking this sidebar type question that should destroy your inner peace. I am sure the DL would say as I do, get over it. Laugh. It is the best medicine.
"His Holiness wears the color of saffron. As a raw plant, saffron is maroon in color, so most of His Holiness' robes are maroon (typical of all Tibetan Buddhist monastics.) When saffron is used as a dye, the color comes out golden, and therefore some of the robes are also golden in color. So from a western perspective, His Holiness and all Tibetan Buddhist monastics wear primarily maroon with some golden cloth. There is also blue piping around the edges of the tongak (vest.) The story of the blue piping is interesting."
Today is the Day of Epiphany on the Christian calendar. Most celebrate it as the day the three kings arrived at the manger, no matter it was probably a couple years later and not twelve days. It is the day after the end of the twelve days of Christmas, in some circles a period called Christmastide. This would explain why for many it used to be tradition to put the Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve for that is when the celebration should have actually began. Now we get our trees up (if we have them) in early December. And the preparations for Christmas begin even earlier. Stores begin selling their Christmas wares as early as August. But the real Christmas time is now.
I love that Christmas song I Wonder as I Wander (see video below). I really had never heard it until the last few years and it only took true meaning for me in the past couple years. It is an Appalacian hymn. I can truly feel that sense of wondering as whoever first penned the song wandering "out under the sky." That was and still is an evolving epiphany for me. We come into this world naked and dependent. We have within us the ability to be and do whatever we want. Jesus is said to have "come for to die for poor ordinary onery (ordinary?) people." Jesus recognized he was the Son of God. He taught us that we too, are the children of God.
Epiphany. Christmastide. The time is now. And Christmas can come everyday if we let it be so. That is indeed an awakening.