Friday, July 3, 2015

7ToF: only worry in the world, is the tide gonna reach my chair

1. Last week was the unplanned vacation, but next week is the planned one. We're headed to the Carolina coast for a week at the beach with Dean's dad and siblings. We do this every year (although the location is new this year) and it's always fun--Dean's family is great. So no posts from me next week.

2. I put myself on the waiting list for several books at our library's ebook site. I've been waiting for some of them for months. Then FOUR of them became available practically all at once (actually, five, but I cancelled one because I do have one or two things I have to do besides sit and read). Since we only get a two week loan on ebooks, I had to read like mad to get through them all.

By the time I was done, I was tired of reading. That has never happened to me before in my life. I've read until I could hardly hold my eyes open and I've read until my hands and arms were numb from holding the book up, but I've never been tired of reading before.

3. Since on average I read a couple of hours a day, it left me with some time to kill. Did I use it wisely, to complete household tasks that have been piling up? Well, maybe a few. But mostly I watched movies: Avengers 2 at the theater one afternoon, Jurassic World one evening with Dean and MadMax, and Monsters University on Amazon Prime while I was folding laundry the next afternoon. All three were fun. By then I was ready to start reading again. :-)

4. A freelance editing job for a local business fell in my lap this week. If I like them and they like me, there's a possibility that it will turn into something long-term. OMG, I might actually earn some money.

5. We inherited more chickens from a friend of a friend of a friend, so now we have eight--the most we've ever had. The new ones are a year old. They've only been here for two days, so they're not laying yet, presumably because they're traumatized from the move. Five of them are black astrolorps, the same kind we've had for awhile now. Then there are two Rhode Island Reds and what we think is a Wyandotte. Here's a picture of some of them hiding behind the coop:

They're beautiful, aren't they?

6. So a couple more thoughts on meditation, which I can tell bores most of you to tears, but it's what I've been thinking about--skip to #7 if you want. I left out a couple of quotations that I meant to put in. "Meditation is a chance to feel what you're feeling": in the name of being polite or socially acceptable or whatever, I often push away emotions I don't want to deal with at the moment. Meditation gives you a chance to process that stuff. Next--believe it or not, Hugh Jackman practices meditation and he said in an interview I read a couple of years ago "Meditation is sitting in the presence of God" or something like that, which reminded me of all the verses in the Old Testament about waiting on God. My soul wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from him (Ps 62.5). They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings like eagles (Is 40.31). 

And finally, I wanted to mention that I often don't like meditation while I'm doing it. I get frustrated, or I feel stupid for how bad I am at it, how rarely I am able to maintain that calm distance between my inner self and my monkey mind. It's not until later in the day that I will suddenly realize that I have more inner resources and a better perspective because I took that 3/5/20 minute break. So, that's all. I promise I'm done with that for awhile now.

Random peaceful summer scene
7. The reading report, from all that reading: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (3 stars out of 5): beautifully written story of a book restoration expert who gets the chance of a lifetime to work on an ancient Jewish manuscript. Fascinating stories of the history of the book are mixed in with scenes from the book expert's life. Great read but it fell apart for me in the last third. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (4 stars): I'm late to the party on this one, I think everyone has already read it. Pulitzer Prize-winning book tracing the history of a couple of people who end up living through the siege of St. Malo at the end of WWII. The Liar by Nora Roberts (2 stars): the latest from the grand dame of romance novels. If you're not a Nora fan, this one won't change your mind. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (4 stars). Strange, fantasy/fable about a middle aged man who returns to the home of his youth and recovers a surreal set of memories. Its great value is the reminder that childhood is not always the carefree, innocent time our culture wants to believe--and that is not a bad thing. The stresses and worries of childhood make us who we are. I thought about giving it five stars--it is that beautifully written--but I was pretty sure I wouldn't think about it again after I finished it (one of the signs of a truly great book imo is that you think about it for days afterwards), and that has been true. Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann (4 stars). Former Navy Seal Ian Dunn is released early from prison (where he is serving time for a crime he didn't commit) to solve a problem the feds are having. Not great literature, but as a summer page-turner, it is just about perfect. There's a baby who is always conveniently asleep--more of a prop than a real baby--and there's way too much dialog (but you can skim over that). Other than that, it is a great read.

There. I did this whole thing without complaining about the weather, are you proud? I've complained about it so much I'm starting to feel a little guilty. Suffice it to say that it has been cooler in the Carolinas than it has been here. Have a great week and I will post pictures when I get back.


dreag said...

Now you have me going back to my youth and singing camp songs: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait." Okay, now I hope you can't get it out of your head. My dog is not impressed with my singing, but she's so afraid of the premature fireworks she doesn't dare leave my side. That's all for now.

Julie said...

Sorry, my fault for not getting here sooner to comment..... no, your meditation posts do NOT bore me. Opposite. They fascinate me. You and I, we have very different types of brains, and yet, we tend to land in the same place so often.

Keep sharing the information on your zen practice. I love reading it, and it helps me with mine.

Also, funny bit of synchronicity. My post tonight ended up being about the Observant Mind. Interesting, I thought.

London Mabel said...

Congrats on the editing gig! :-)

I've been trying to cultivate meditation for a couple years now, and mindfulness. Still not great at it. But I've had the same experience as you--where it might not feel fruitful at the moment, but hours later I'll realize it's had the benefit I hoped for (to calm down at work, or whatever.)