SYW (Share Your World) for 1/22/18

The questions posed by Cee Neuner in this innovative challenge:

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

 

My Answers:

List 2 things you have to be happy about? 

  1. I am so happy that James is home. He’s been in this 2 weeks here and 2 weeks gone cycle. It is a little hard on us because we both do really well being alone so there is a big adjustment on both ends of his travel: when he leaves, remembering the comfort of solitude, and when he returns, adjusting again to the joys of sharing the everyday life again.

IMG_0251

2. I am relieved and blissed out (oh, it is too a word!!) that my 17 year old “Heart-Cat” is still alive since I was told back in October he might only have days to live. He definitely has kidney disease and has lost a ton of weight, but he is still here and as ornery as ever.

Well, maybe not. This is a cat who, for 17 years, has let no one pet him but me. And even that never included him being on my lap…but these days, he accepts pets from everyone and will sit on my lap for a whole hour if I let him.

IMG_0873

IMG_0874

 

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

I have been a “rock hound” since I was a small child. My Dad, in his quiet genius, got us a rock polisher. We would find rocks on the beaches and from the mountains and everywhere in between. Then we would wait…literally for months. Opening that polisher was a miracle every time. I learned so much from that experience, especially about delayed gratification and memory and anchoring experiences. I could write a book about all the lessons from this amazing, covert teacher. (Oh wait, I AM writing that book. My Dad is who taught me about choosing perspectives.)

Early in my therapy practice, I learned that some clients really needed concrete reminders of the things they were leaning, so, being my father’s daughter, I gave them Quartz, Lapis, Hematite or Amethyst hearts….and over the years, hundreds of polished rocks.

And, I have a basket of what’s left of a really old collection of pieces of polished petrified wood, from long before it was illegal. Not exactly rocks, but in my mind they qualify as “gems”.  (There is a great story there, too long for today’s post but this has reminded me to write about it.)

IMG_1072IMG_1077

 

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

Oh I am definitely a hugger. You might even say I have hugged for a living for more than 40 years.

I’ll just let that sit there and see if you have any questions.

 

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

David Letterman’s new Netflix show, called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. His first interview was with President Barack Obama. I laughed and I cried, and I longed for more of the intelligence, humor, depth and light these two men bring.

What a waste……..

 

041514 sywbanner

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/14846827/posts/1741990336

Sound of Silence for WPC 1/17/18

Silence

I love my son…more than anything else…in the way only the single mother of an only child can understand.

He and his sons live with me now. They are here to help me out.

I imagined his moving in with me would enhance our relationship…we are both old enough to be true friends now. He is 45. I am 69. I thought we would talk all the time, every day!

But his life as a single Dad is packed!

So it is loudly silent around here sometimes.

Music has always been a bond for us and one day, when I had almost become dissatisfied with his silence, he sat me down to share a music video with me. He told me the first time through I should be very patient, keep my eyes closed, and wait for it.

I did.

By the second run through, we were holding hands and crying, both so f-ing moved by this amazing performance.

You may well have heard it before. I have even posted about it before but if you haven’t, treat yourself to a listen, with an open mind and heart (and your volume cranked up!!!)

Ironic to be posting a song when the theme this week is silence, but how could I not share it?

Here is “Sound of Silence” by Disturbed.

Remember, don’t judge, just wait for it….It is everything BUT Silence!

Finally!! Daily word prompt from WP

Finally

I’ll write this post when Mr. Badfish returns to his Blogging Cafe…..

Here’s one of my favorites!

2 THONGS DON’T MAKE IT WHITE

 

Happy New Year and Cyber hugs and kisses,

 

from my Cats to your Fish

 

 

PS Mr Fish? I tried the paper clippy looking thing to “link” but I don’t know if it worked???

Oh and the photo above is your Christmas present this year.

PS Again

I literally hit publish and then wandered over to Badfish’s blog and there he was!! He had just published also and it is a great post!!

10 Fun Facts of 2017: Year in Review

Finally!! Daily word prompt from WP

Welcome back, Mr Fish.

(Hey, I think it worked this time!)

Communal-Daily Prompt from WP, uh, don’t get me started!

Communal

(disclaimer: wordpress keeps freezing on me and then I lose entire posts because it also does not save drafts for me. This is a late night re-creation of a post I wrote earlier today…and I think the original was a lot better.)

This word is my preferred way of living, by far, and not just because I came of age in the 1960’s when that was all the rage. I did live in actual communes in my late teens and early twenties, and I thrived in that setting!

But really, I was kind of raised that way in the first place.

My Mom was a single working mother and was so well-loved by all of my friends, they all called her “Mom”. At several points in my young life, there were many other kids (besides our three) who either lived with us or crashed on the living room floor in sleeping bags….this latter category often as a short respite from their own broken and painful homes. During my highschool years (before I prematurely left home myself) a few times, my Mom would even find one of her extra “kids’  passed out on our front lawn. She would nurse them back to sobriety and eventually send them to their real homes to try to work things out.

And my mother also had other single-mom friends who would be around (or not), kids in tow (or not). My tiny childhood home, when my Dad was out of the picture, was delightfully unpredictable and often filled with additional people, bringing a variety of interactions, activities, and support. There was always someone to talk to.

When I became a young single mother myself, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to open up my home to other young women in similar boats….the more, the merrier after all. That expanded to renting rooms to students from a very close-by college. And before I knew it, many years of this lifestyle flew by, and I had lived with so many people and kids and animals, I almost lost count. I wrote a post all about it for my friend Badfish. You can read about it here:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/06/13/__trashed-7/

One of my favorite experiences of communal living was on a Once-in-a-Lifetime (which turned out to be twice) extended trip to the South Pacific. Me and my six closest people, as well as a crew of four, lived together on a 95 foot yacht called the Tau, for well over a month. We sailed down around and explored the Southern Lau Islands (Fiji).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lau_Islands

We lived on the TAU (in Fijian, it means friend) and though it was a beautiful and spacious ocean going craft, it could be crowded, so we had to develop some communal living rules to live by (like honoring the silence above deck during sunrise and sunset… Oh, and flushing only 3 squares of T.P. at a time or incurring the wrath of our Captain!)

Now, in these later years of my life, I think my version of Communal Living would be more like some of the wonderful Co-Housing communities born in the greater Seattle area this last 20 years or so. But I currently have a houseful of people I dearly love (my partner, my son and two grandsons, and a long-time family friend…oh and three cats) And we will live together communally in this rustic old house, for as long as the current economy will allow.

I have some very close people in my life-my adopted sister, my son, and my best friend-(all introverts) who cringe at my chosen lifestyle, but they can’t be surprised. Co-Housing and Communal Living is in my my history, my blood, maybe even my genes.

Though I am not a Mormon, my great, great grandfather was Brigham young. If you have come across his history, you know that at least 16 of those 55 wives, lived in row houses close to the Salt Lake City Temple.

And you just know they lived communally.

 

IMG_4703
Anyone know where the weed trimmer is?

IMG_4772

IMG_4707
Whose turn is to PAINT?

Veteran’s Day 11/11/17

I guess every generation has its war. For mine, it was Vietnam.

I was so angry about that war and I could not have told you why………other than my well-intentioned, but naive Flower Child commitment to nonviolence.

Even though I could not have justified it with any political understanding, I marched and protested and wrote passionate letters and participated in every way I could think of…believing with my whole being that we could actually stop the war.

Though I lost my innocence back then, as well as many friends, I never lost my belief in pacifism.

It took going to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC some time in the early 1980’s for me to finally be able to make room in my black and white thinking about the Vietnam war. I had never even considered how many of those names on the Wall represented men and women who chose, out of honor and deep-held passions of their own, to fight for our country.

I was still biased, and so angry on that trip. I made pencil etchings of 17 names, “brothers” from my childhood, that had served in Vietnam…but did not make it back home. Each one of them had been drafted.

Now, this print of Lee Teter’s Vietnam Reflections War Memorial Poster sits in the most prominent position in my office/Group Room. Everyone who comes to me for therapy is greeted by this powerful image. Such a small homage to all those we lost, in that war, as well as because of that war.

Vietnam Wall Painting

We didn’t know back then what we know now. So many of us would do it all differently…

especially the welcoming home part….

This is one of my favorite videos ever.

 

I ask for forgiveness for not knowing this back then.

And I dedicate this post, with deep gratitude for their service, to the following people I am blessed to have had in my life. Most, but not all, served during the Vietnam War.

Colonel Louis Ford (Tad)-United States Air Force

Thomas Alvin Bessey-National Guard Mounted Cavalry

Jean McMaster Bessey- US Navy WAVES

Captain Brian Lee Ford-US Air Force

James Fletcher-US Army

Jimmy Schack

Mary Paananen

David Taylor

Joe LaFayette

Eddie Leachman

Ari Cowan

Bret Burkholder

Vince Horan

Saralee Blum

Jim Sorensen

Ron Holst

Michael Adams

Dale Beuning

Colonel James Kowalski

Kirk Boettcher

Mriana Williams

Richard Hartman

James Malone

Shawn Dennis

Colonel James Sampson

Steve Dryden

Don Ulmer

Lou Chirillo

Dave Bartholomew

Jason Bogar

Colonel Bill Head

Captain Roy Gurd

Jerry and Jennifer Niehaus

(I know I am leaving out some names…so sorry)

PS Sorry I could not get WordPress to work yesterday so this post is a day late…