catelin: (Default)
([personal profile] catelin Feb. 22nd, 2009 08:05 am)
Spring and fall have always been the big mile markers for my life, reminding me to look around and pay closer attention to the journey--both toward and away from possible destinations. One of you posted recently about things you have learned about yourself...I cannot recall whether it was within a time frame or not. Mine is not, but I wanted to document some of the things I've pondered lately, about myself and other things, before I forget them again.


  • People are strong and fragile. We don't get to know which until after the fact. We can endure all sorts of physical catastrophes and survive--or not. I've seen people come out of the other side of beatings, bullets, and car crashes while others die from the flu. I can't figure out the difference. I don't think it's all part of any grand scheme where some of us are doomed from the beginning and others are born lottery winners. I sense that it's so much more complicated than that, without really understanding it at all.



  • There is such a thing as evil and it is very real. I used to not believe this at all. I used to think that what we called evil had explanation and history to be found in other problems. I believed it was a name for all the multiple symptoms of the issues of wo/man. I was half-right. I do think that evil has explanation and history, but I am quite certain that it exists on its own and works itself into the cracks and crevices of our world wherever it can. It is opportunistic and exploitative. It can also be fought and even beaten sometimes.



  • Water is more important that we can ever comprehend. Drought is ugly. It's here with a vengeance. The lake is drying up and just to the northeast, cows are dying in herds because there is nothing on the ground for them to eat or drink. It has made me feel ashamed for the arrogance with which we live, taking so much and assuming that there will always be more. There has been no planting this spring, just maintenance of what is already here and composting for next year. I pray for rain every day. It will come when it comes, but this has been a dry and terrible lesson for us all.



  • Moving through to the other side of bad things is vital. Life can be brutal. That brutality can come in big whacks to our pee-pees or it can seep into us through numb routine. Either way, I think the trick is to be joyful--even if it is the smallest, most secret tendril of joy--every day. For me, the more open my expressions of gratitude, the better I feel. Pass on your joy, pass on your sense of luck.



  • Being nice to people makes us feel good. It may sound silly, but it's true. Being nice to people makes us feel better than acting like assholes. I'm still trying to figure out if it makes me feel better to be nice to assholes...so far the answer is a resounding no, but I'm always open to reconsidering my position.



  • Connection with the people we love is what it's all about. Love one another. That ain't no bullshit.



Not any earth-shattering revelations, but still things that I want to remind myself of here and there. This year still seems so much a recovery from last year that it's hard to see it on its own, with its own character and shape. The year without difficulty that I keep waiting for does not exist, but every year has been good and this year is good too. I keep learning and relearning. That process never ends. Thank goodness.

From: [identity profile] sheenabizarre.livejournal.com


good post, nonetheless!
i agree with all of it, but thankfully have NOT experienced a drought.
: (
i hope that it pours fierce & mighty. it makes me feel bad for constantly cursing the rains of Ireland.
ext_53723: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catelin.livejournal.com


Thanks! Yeah, the rain seems obstinate this year...overstaying its welcome in some places and not bother to show up at all in others.

From: [identity profile] occidentalys.livejournal.com


That brutality...can seep into us through numb routine.

I needed to read this after a long, unproductive night in the lab. Thank you. There is more joy than we'd like to see.

I have also been thinking about luck, survival, natural gifts. I feel fortunate. We do have so much even when we feel like beggars.
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From: [identity profile] catelin.livejournal.com


Thank you for letting me know you were here. Seeing your comment here took me to your journal and a wonderful post about trees by Hesse. It was precisely what I needed to read at the perfect time! So yay for that! : )

From: [identity profile] quiet-life.livejournal.com


you make wise observations with much grace.
so many points i agree with, and need especially to keep in practice in order to climb up top past anxieties.
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From: [identity profile] catelin.livejournal.com


Oh, anxiety...it's a motherfucker, no? I've had what seemed more than my share this year, but I crawled through it with a dogged determination that my fear would NOT be what shaped my world. I still stumble here and there, but mostly I shake my fist at the air and move on.

From: [identity profile] susanstinson.livejournal.com


I love it when you write. I wonder about evil. I am wildly grateful, and, right, getting out the other side. So important.
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From: [identity profile] catelin.livejournal.com


Wildly grateful! That is such a perfect, beautiful description of what I strive to be. Yes!

From: [identity profile] kythsharrie.livejournal.com


... I...

I'm humbled.

Thank you.

You've put into words things I've struggled to grasp.
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From: [identity profile] catelin.livejournal.com


I'm glad to have written something that spoke to you. Thanks for letting me know.

From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_moggy_/


Thank you for reminding me of these things. I too am recovering from last year. It was the worst year of my life but I am grateful for the lessons I have learned from it.
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From: [identity profile] catelin.livejournal.com


The last year seemed so rough for so many people that it's almost beyond coincidence. The best we can take from it are the lessons. Here's to a better year for the both of us!

From: [identity profile] thepetey.livejournal.com


The only way to feel better about being nice to assholes is the sense of superiority you get from BEING nice to an asshole. For a start anyway. Feeling better about being nice to an asshole will eventually evolve into the sense that you are doing the right things regardless of whether the other person is an asshole or not (not that I'm close to reaching that point - but I believe it)

Also, the right thing is sometimes being an even bigger asshole to an asshole.
ext_53723: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catelin.livejournal.com


Haha! This was perfect and cracked me up! I really love the way you put things!

From: [identity profile] thepetey.livejournal.com


The right thing just isn't always the nice thing.
Sometimes people need a spanking.

From: [identity profile] chachachana.livejournal.com


I love it when you write, Cate. And I've often thought the same sentiment as your friend above, "You make wise observations with such grace."

The last year seemed so rough for so many people that it's almost beyond coincidence.

so it wasn't just me? i think last year was the worst year of my life. (leaving nicaragua) and it's not over yet. i'm sorry you had a brutal year, too, c.

Moving through to the other side of bad things is vital. Life can be brutal. That brutality can come in big whacks to our pee-pees or it can seep into us through numb routine. Either way, I think the trick is to be joyful--even if it is the smallest, most secret tendril of joy--every day. For me, the more open my expressions of gratitude, the better I feel. Pass on your joy...

of all, this was my favorite. it's true on a personal level, and i also see That brutality can ... seep into us through numb routine. as the U.S. public's apathy toward our economic foreign policy, among other things.

excellent, excellent post. thank you for sharing!


From: [identity profile] raindog.livejournal.com


Floods and droughts...oof. We're dwelling on opposite ends of the same spectrum this past year, a spectrum that wreaks so much havoc as a direct result of human arrogance.

As for joy...these days mine seems to ramble the pasture on four legs, or my daughter's room on two.

Hug for my dear old friend, whose LJ I visit not just to catch up on her news, but to savor her writing.
.

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