Web Camel Transport 5

Oohs and Aahs

Saturday February 6. 2016

Who wouldn’t happiness include in such an un-doctored juncture of mind and snow heavy trees–suddenly lit by golden caps of sun in the late afternoon. A small palette of colors, a short window until New England dark descends, and a surprising view challenge Megan and me to grab her camera and capture such ephemera in ‘oohs and aahs’ for lack of more explicit words.

Early this morning, even the relatively drab appearance of the sky cannot quash some anticipatory spark as each hint of sun delights.

To apprehend with a gossamer mind might illuminate what’s been previously unthinkable–living in the shadow of assumed impossibility. And to have close to hand a quirky hammer for nailing the unusual thought to an open-ended wall for further contemplation.

Attention, attention, I cannot think of a greater gift one being can offer to another but an undivided beam of warm and curious attention. But we are sitting, these days, at tables whose place settings include, not only forks and knives, but phones and IPADS, for the main meal. Our faces, like sunken moons, live in their borrowed light.

Happiness is unplugged, unfettered, free and in-the-face, before and after the followers and unfollowers, the friends and unfriends, the glued and unglued have documented their moments in coffee spoons or shot glasses or Instagrams.

The ludic inventiveness of mind, so so happy, and reflected in these complex toys and applications, becomes dulled by the overuse of these contrivances. As if inventiveness might erase the need for itself because of its inventions. But that is a drab thought. Not a happy one.

The camel stretches, awaiting marching orders on this mostly uncharted terrain of happiness. Such vast sands of possibility juxtaposed against the trackless snow of this New England morning.

Guest saddle: Upon what or whom do you lavish your attention? What grows in the beam of it?


Web Camel Transport 4

Jahk = -Jahk:  A Bad Math

Friday February 5, 2016

Jahk = -Jahk

A terrible equation, Jahk has his math facts mixed up. He walks around in a perpetually negative mindset and worse, he forces it on others without recognizing the impact. Jihl, typically a +Jihl, whether she cleans out a linen closet or solves a knotty business problem at work, leaves a room of neutral Dihks and Jayhns a bit more buoyant and lighthearted than when she entered. But by the water cooler –Jahk +Jihl = -Jahk/-Jihl.

It takes Jihl a few hours to let the negative energy imparted to her by Jahk filter through her so she can release it innocuously into the surrounding environment.

A ton of negative human energy weighs nothing on a scale and is unseen by the human eye, yet it can sink a spirit, a nation, a planet, and cause conflicts on microscopic and macroscopic levels. A ton of camel sh#t would be easier to clean up than a ton of human negativity.

If you are happily mindful you may be able to greet your own or others’ negativity as easily as in Rumi’s poem, The Guest House: “The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.” The happy narrator has already alchemized their purposes to gold, to light, to forerunners of future delight.

In Florence Scovel Shinn’s book, The Game of Life, written in the 1950’s, she says something like, “Every failure is a link in the chain of your success.”

Minus Jahk has a minus mindset. In contrast, Jihl lives simply and is without a fancy car, a big house, a significant other. To her those simple “minus” facts of her life have no power to define her energetic output.

Guest saddle:  Do you put a minus or a plus at the beginning of yourself, at the interface between you and others, you and your world?  Do you buoy others or weight them down with your presence?  Who lightens or lifts you?  What weighs you down in a choppy sea?

Web Camel Transport 3

The Mouth of Fear

Thursday February 4, 2016

Anyone’s most off-putting threshold is fear: Fear of the tigers facing you in the savanna with their hungry maws and powerful legs, or of the spectral tigers known as: Failure, Reject, Ignorant, Presumptuous, Ridiculous, Worthless. . .

But when we are Lili’s age we simply chew on tiger tail. The world is food or not-food; worthy of mouthing for taste, texture, shape, and the momentary satiation of endless curiosity. For a lucky baby the world has not exposed her tigers yet, but the pack of tigers bide their time, waiting to take over the world of oysters and pearls.

Guest saddle:  Who are your tigers?  Who would you be and what would you do if you could move past them, or if they swirled around fast enough to turn into butter?

Web Camel Transport 2

Spoonful by Spoonful

Wednesday February 3, 2016

I read of a man who digested glass. I heard an NPR story one time about a woman who remembered her life day by day and hour by hour. It reminds me of ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. Eliot, these lines:

“In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;”

What is it she remembers, this woman with a documentary mind? The smells of Thanksgiving? The sadness of Uncle Ricky’s untimely departure from the planet? Or that they had mushroom gravy in 1961 at exactly 2:30 as they sat by the wintry window in Lexington when she was an age you can count on two hands, just once?

Memory is identity’s strand of silk, and the pearls its nacreous stories. I remember eating plastic pearls when I was eight and knew they were not meant to be eaten. Maybe I was eating stories. Maybe I’m making up this story. There is a mirage ahead.
Imagination doesn’t live in the body though the brain feeds it. Imagination gloriously underestimates the time it takes to do things because it’s all wild stallions leaping out of  earth-time’s corral.

Guest saddle:  What parts of your life are measured?  What imagined?

Web Camel Transport 1


Tuesday February 2, 2016

4 AM: I say ‘Happy Birthday Me,’ in a whisper, but definitely out loud, not subvocally.  At 5:40 AM the phone alarm’s coaxing tones sound. “Happy Birthday Me!” I say one more time, a bit louder. Shimmery, like silver strands in a beaded purse, I shimmy in the thought that this is to be my year of happiness. I will make it happ(y)en every day.

Any kind of happiness will do: the cheesy sentimental kind, the recreational, superficial sort we call ‘fun,’ the meaningful variety derived from using myself well and expressing my signature strengths, and finally the bigger-than-me kind where those silver strands envelop others who need a little radiance.

All day buoyancy lifts me on waves of ebullience and through valleys of depletion. I seek only what is readily available to me for time, for food, for movement.

The fur of the old camel hardly shows where I have been sitting as he plods across the deserts and desserts of time.

Guest saddle:  What have you made happ(y)en today?