Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How am I supposed to be Zen when a mysterious poo is sitting in my garden of enlightenment?

I cannot take credit for the subject title, it's a line uttered by Eddie Izzard in his role as a psychology professor on the now-cancelled United States of Tara.  (By the way, good one to catch...only lasted 3 seasons but it was amusing.)

In the show, Eddie the professor has a little zen garden on his desk, similar to the one pictured right.

He's not able to listen to or concentrate on Tara (played by the remarkable Toni Colette, with whom I've been enamored since her Muriel's Wedding days), as she's explaining why she needs an extension on her exam.  All because of a poo nugget that has mysteriously appeared in his zen garden (aka garden of enlightenment).  

So he storms around, trying to figure out how the culprit got away with the heinous crime.  And he belligerently asks "How am I supposed to be Zen when a mysterious poo is sitting in my Garden of Enlightenment?"

Now, the scene is hilarious in and of itself, not the least due in part to the genius of Eddie Izzard and his classic timing.  His natural British accent gives the essence of posh while the subject matter is definitely not.  (Try it yourself...find a Brit or someone who can do the accent and have them say "poo".  I don't usually respond to scat humor but it's pretty dang funny.)

The scene and the comedy aside, however, and the underlying (obvious?) message resonated quite strongly with me.  How many times have I tried to get myself to a certain place mentally or physically and found that something not only stops me, but causes me to focus on that rather than the people and things around me that need attention.  Or in a broader sense, how many times do we as "enlightened" creatures bog ourselves down in trivialities that really don't matter in the big scheme (garden) of things.  And we use so much time and energy either managing around or raging against the object of our hostility that we burn out before we can achieve our goal.  It's a source of constant amazement to me when people around me get so wrapped up in negative behaviours that thwart their own purpose.

But I don't linger too much on them, for the simple reason that I can find many more examples of negative responses in my own patterns that need my attention.   I have many goals that I'd love to reach, tons of projects that I'd like to finish.  And yet I too get overwhelmed by the little things - things that should just be ignored for the most part.  And yet, I don't.  Too much focus on "poo" rather than pouring my resources into my own personal enlightenment.

And that's not really acceptable.  I like to think of myself as a person who is conscious of the potential in myself and not afraid to work through the tough stuff to achieve it.  (Geez, I've dealt with plenty of crap [sic] in my time and I know my own strength.)  So why is it so easy to get distracted from the goal line?  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Old Friendships Are New Again

I've been pondering relationships in general and friendships in particular the last while.

I'm not sure if this is because over the last few months I've been reconnecting with people who were important to me during my wayward (!) youth, or if I'm approaching some sort of mid-life crisis.  However, since I refuse to believe I'm anywhere close to mid-life (denial RULES), I'm going to go with the reconnecting.

Without delving into my history too much, many of the ties I had 20+ years ago have basically been severed.  Parents deceased, sister estranged, other family a distance away after moving, school friends drifted.   I know that's relatively normal (we all know how time flies and other such handy catch-phrases), and the friends I've made over the last few years have been amazing and wonderful (yes, I do mean YOU!).  I've been adopted into my husband's family, and by several other families I've met as well.  Since it boils down to choices I've made that created my current reality, I didn't particularly think I was missing anything...truly, I'm the happiest I've been in memory.  Although to be fair, since I'm over 40, that really isn't saying much...most days memory consists of trying to make sure I'm wearing pants when I leave the house.

Until I reconnected.  I didn't even realize there had been something missing until it was filled.  Bonds that had been created when we were all at very impressionable ages, the ones that help shape how we relate to each other and the world around us.  Those people are cemented with those experiences just as surely as I lived through them.  People I was close to, who know *that* me - the me that is the basis for who I have become.  The me that wasn't touched by the experiences of my 20's or my 30's.    

Okay maybe I'm the only one with a split personality.  ;)

But the point I'm making is that these people come in and out of my life and they bring me myself again.  They remind me of who I started as, and still am really, deep down, when I forget.  They remind me of the dreams, the plans, and the "what-ifs".  They're the "comfortable pair of shoes" (sooo stolen) that slip on and the years melt away as if they were nothing.  (Oh yes, given the chance, I'd so put my feet on you!!!  BWAHAHA!  But you love the Pammie germs, you know you do!)

And I feel the gap disappear.  It's not that I don't like myself now.  It's not that I'm unhappy.  It's just that the small empty part of me gets filled.  I hope that in return I complete some little part of them, or in some way make things a little brighter than they were.  It's the least I can do for the blessing they continually give me.

Because I truly think it's important to know that you have meaning.  That even after so many years, and so much distance, we're all still here.  Ourselves.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I'd love to say that inspiration has struck, but it's more like it has crept in, nestled behind my ear and started whispering sweet nothings to me.  Although that's a bit of a misnomer, since they're not sweet and certainly not nothing.  Between us we've conjured a prologue scene of medieval torturous proportions.  And that's all I'm saying about specifics for now.  

Needless to say, with a whole three hours of sleep under my belt and a less-than-riveting workload today, it's a tad challenging not to just immerse myself in my own head and let it flow.  Of course, that's also the beauty of composing in my head...no one has to know what the wheels are turning.

So inspiration this time started with a dinner date out with friends last week.  Two sentences from someone whose opinion I trust and who has always been unfailingly supportive and I'm off and mentally running.  (Thank you again, Lady!  :)  )

For the last few days, amidst catching up episodes of Battlestar Galactica (yup, I finally caved on that) and calming the felines from the noise of the fireworks, my brain has been churning the pieces.  Threads from random thoughts have cast on and are beginning to weave.

I just hope that it will yield a complete project this time.  Fingers crossed!