Sunday, March 26, 2017

Paschal Wreath

I am not crafty at all. Yet, for some mysterious reason, I decided that I should make a decoration for the front door for this Easter season. Here is my effort. It is a bit humble, but not too bad overall. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Way It Is

Herself speaks.

Why are all the little things so... annoying?

Inability to speak a language well enough to haggle at a garage sale.
Absence of replacement toilet paper rolls in the ladies' room.
The slow driver who does not use turn signals.
A roll of tape that refuses to start cleanly.
Chewing noises.

These infinitesimal items -- oftentimes tolerable -- sometimes become less ignorable.
They chafe.
Irritation grows.

Why is this?

Sometimes, we hold a small, yet deep-rooted, anger inside. It is a seed that sprouts in the mulch of injustices and unkindnesses that have been bestowed upon us. It is watered by our righteousness in How Things Should Be. It is warmed by our unspoken and unmet hopes and desires. When we are thwarted or disappointed -- that kernel grows. When we are lonely or heartsick -- it grows. When we are wronged -- oh, how it grows.

Our senses are heightened by the presence of that internal anger. Sometimes, its verdant growth casts a shadow over all else: and then the minuscule grievances that might otherwise be not worth mentioning, seem to stand out in stark relief. We are weighed down by the anger within, and so, we lash out at the petty annoyances. They seem to be clear examples of All That Is Wrong With The World.

Anger is a tricky emotion. It is one of the very few that (as society tells us) Men are legitimately allowed to show. Women, on the other hand, must not show their anger: our job is to placate, to mollify, to dismiss, excuse, smooth over, forgive, forget -- and anger has no place there. Someday I will dissect the Male and Female of Anger.

Today, though, the question is: what to do with our anger?

For anger that is based in How We Want Things To Be, the solution appears to be:

Acknowledge that This Is The Way It Is.

Generally speaking, we cannot change the ways of the world.
Specifically speaking, we cannot change other people.
Wanting, expecting, or hoping otherwise is folly.

(This, we know -- yet it is eternally human to Hope, despite all odds.)

If we let go of What Is Not, we can accept what Is.

Acceptance is the first step to letting go of Anger.

It is the hardest step, too.

This is
The way
It is

Friday, March 24, 2017

Listen to the Wind

If you listen to the wind very carefully, you'll be able to hear me whisper my love for you. ― Andrew Davidson

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Enjoy the Silence

An old hit from Depeche Mode -- Enjoy the Silence -- is enjoying a resurgence, thanks to a remix/cover version by KI Theory that is apparently being used in a trailer for a movie, Ghost in the Shell. (I know nothing about Ghost in the Shell. I am an old person.)

Nevertheless, I do like the cover. Take a listen. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Venus and Mars and Empathy

Herself speaks.

Here's an interesting article: Stress Undermines Empathic Abilities in Men But Increases Them In Women. The article summarizes:

Stressed males tend to become more self-centered and less able to distinguish their own emotions and intentions from those of other people. For women the exact opposite is true... [s]tressed women, however, become more 'prosocial'....


Sometimes, I think that men and women are not so different. Other times, I suspect that they are nearly different species in their thoughts, motivations and actions. The truth no doubt lies somewhere between the two poles.

I do not spend much time with other women. My offspring are grown, and so there is no young-mother camaraderie at the playground; I have traditionally worked in male-dominated fields, and so my peers and colleagues have more often tended to be men. I am not particularly interested in stereotypical "girly" activities such as shopping or hair/makeup/clothing styling, or even yoga or drinking wine, and so have not had much opportunity to meet and interact with other women over such bonding pastimes.

In truth, I do not necessarily feel as though I am 'missing' such female companionship. While I might occasionally be lonely for company, the company I would like is person-specific, and not generally gender-based.

Perhaps the crux of the matter lies in the degree of empathy I already use on a daily basis: there is a set group of people to whom I am empathetic and with whom I concern myself. There is only so much Me, and there are days -- many days -- when I think that I cannot take on another person, cannot spare any additional empathy because there is none left.

Would that be different if I knew more women? Perhaps if I had a more consistent wellspring of comfort and empathy for myself, I could draw strength from it, and could in turn nurture more people. It seems that other women might provide such a source. I cannot imagine having such a wellspring, though -- I may have done without it for so long, that it seems a foreign concept at the moment.

Right now, self-preservation requires that I limit use of my resources, lest I give too much of myself away and crumble.

I am the rock.