30 November, 2007

Cleaning My Mental House

What comes with cleaning my house and seeing past the mess, is a look at myself. I am always hoping to mature with wisdom and grace. This will provide a better example to those around us. I still feel I have too much anger in my life, over what happened to me and how society treats gays. It is always good to look at how you see the world and relate to it. Knowing that it is a whole lot easier to change your mind than the world in general. So it leads me back to wanting to examine myself and how I think. I applied for a ten day meditation, where there is no contact with each other, phone and net. You wake up at 4 am and start to meditate, and end at 9pm with any questions with the teacher. It sounds hard, but mostly when you consider you are examining yourself and how you think. It is my assumption that I will probably be upset for about the first four days when I try to settle my mind and abandon any idea of a clock and outcome. You get to see, I hope, what life really is…a dream.

25 November, 2007

Seeing Through the Mess

A holiday brought down time where I could spend some time on weeding out old stuff and deep cleaning my house. Now, that I am on a roll editing my things I am hooked on it. I will do this in phases, so I can give away or sell my old things. I even packed up some artist samples to send back to him that he sent to me 15 years ago for my work at the time. I joked with him in email it will be like seeing an old friend. I could have sold his samples because he well known, but I think it would bring me bad karma as they sent to me for me to consider using him. It is also amazing how even the spammers go on vacation, as I had such little spam this past weekend. Combined with very few calls I could just obsess on getting this started, by loudly playing new music and going through old boxes. I had a lot to give friends that consists of old photos of them I took, and odds and ends. Funny, that I have been keeping up with this over the years, but when busy it piles up. It felt good to give things away, and lose my attachment to them. It is so hard not to think that we are our things and collections. I look at my art on my walls and ask myself would I still be me without all this that I worked hard to collect. In short, yes.

23 November, 2007

Future Seeing

I have been thinking and want to explore my feeling that in almost every instance when I am doing something, I can already foresee it’s end. It is almost like I am very conscience of future outcomes. I have seen, and not always concretely some future things happening in my life. Even the time when driven to the hospital for my close call with death, I had such a premonition that I told my friend before leaving her car. Of course with most things we are not taught how to explore and implement these feelings. But I want to first take a look at my simple feeling of everything being so temporary, often at the expense of the moment. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy, but deep down I am already seeing it over. There was one thing that sticks out in my memory where this did not happen. It was when I traveled to Cambodia to a hard to get to ancient temple, where after hiking to the main temple, I was blessed by a Monk. Afterward, I was in mental peace, perhaps he prayed to release me from my negative Karma. I sat looking at the view of a huge valley from this unique site, knowing something did happen. Maybe this is caused by real awareness that life on earth is so short. Now if I was really self-aware I could foresee any bad outcomes from saying or doing the wrong thing and avoid them. I will try to work towards this.
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19 November, 2007

Finding Clarity

Never to be one to lay down and rest I saw a couple of South Asian films. One was a fun Bollywood film that kept me occupied for nearly 4 hours, even though it was a camp and silly. The one that made its mark was Sankara, a beautiful, slow, Buddhist film from Sri Lanka. It was the kind of slow that one desires when life seems too fast and hectic. It allows you to discover the subtleties of life through a simple story. I find when life moves too fast you feel unable to make clear, thought out and felt decisions. We seem to be much more happy fussing with simple unimportant aspects of life, rather than examining how we think. We can just be lazy, dissatisfied and complain making us feel like we are making decisions. I am trying to quit doing this by being deliberate and changing how I go about seeing problems and difficult decisions. Most importantly I am trying to stop attempting to change others, but instead looking at why I feel like I need to. Looking for that new age of enlightenment about clarity. This will not happen overnight.

14 November, 2007

Forced Relaxation

I went 100 to zero fast when in the midst of working hard, my knee and hip went south for vacation. Now, this is my stroke side and I kind of drag it along or unknowingly contract the muscle. To explain this, in my first year post hospital, I would find looking in a mirror that my left shoulder was lifted up close to my ear. I was trying to get sense it by tensing it up, but that never worked. Having little or no feedback from my entire left side leaving me to use my past memory of it. So, when it hurts on my dead side it means serious trouble. In the meantime have been becoming more aware of much we waste here the past couple of weeks. Hearing in the news about Atlanta’s water problem, I feel stupid using fresh drinkable water to wash food off a plate. I have tried to reduce my trash and even am using half the size garbage can this year over last year. It means declining all bags and looking to not buy over packaged items. I can see easily why most Americans don’t worry about all the waste, because it actually takes awareness non-stop. If we just saw our trash dumps, that alone, would help us to change. People scream if they miss trash pick-up for a month now, but I remember a time when we just used to burn it. Sounds so crazy now with all the plastic, but this happens in most third world countries. I am hoping to spin an idea out of my concern when I am not working with a client, and I’ll look at this as a small vacation packing my bags to join my left side out in limboland.

07 November, 2007

Reflecting on Conditions

While I am busy, often alone, I am usually deep in thought. Then to top it all off, my computer would not restart. Long, story short, I got it fixed, and I used my Buddhist teachings on patience to force myself to at least pretend that I am calm. A shift in awareness of how we react to problems we encounter. We will never be free from problems, only free from how we perceive them. I acted patient and understanding all while thinking in my head I could be disaster to lose most of my photos and work. Waiting for almost four hours with no appointment. It made the whole process better, and in fact, the man at the Apple store were nice enough to do it free. I made sure I thanked him personally at least twice directly.
I was reflecting on the fact that I lived in an accepting society I would be a bit better off and even more successful. While growing up gay, I would have been less likely to have spent 10 plus years trying to undo the pain I endured in school and adolescence. I felt deep down that I was less than everyone else and it played on who I was at that time. I would have more able to focus on my future and plan even better if I did not get challenged about who I am. This might even sound bitter, but we have to take what we are given and run with it. I have made the best out of extraordinary conditions from being gay to now being disabled. I have learned from my mistakes, and have made the effort to make others lives being gay easier through protest and awareness so that now there is far more acceptance. Having now turned to helping others who are in a similar state whether being poor or disenfranchised, I now feel lucky. I still look at my life with reflection and with an end goal of making the difference and feeling like I contributed to a kinder world.

02 November, 2007

Similar as Different

I revisited the interconnected idea of people while helping my Mom get her house ready for rent. Instead of letting me decide what to keep or give away, she spent a lot of time going through things she did not have will power to go through. Unable to weed things out she left 7 years ago when she remarried and moved away. Consequently this only heightened her anxiety and her ability to make sound rational decisions. So you might ask how this relates to the idea that we don’t operate in vacuum? Well, because we share the same gene pool. How she felt affects me and my ability to help her. She would buzz around unable to focus on one thing and it would only make it harder for me with a brain injury. She has never understood aphasia and how multiple inputs and chaos affects me. But I have to rise to the occasion, and have some understanding of her. We are connected. So I made sure I had eaten, and saw her late today bringing gifts of wine and treats to allow us all sit around and let go of the day. Things happen a lot of the time at their own rate. I can do things alone after she leaves, which for me is much easier. And so we ended this night acknowledging we as similar as different. And use what we have in common to brighten a dark day.
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