Sunday, November 19, 2017

Poverty of idleness/recreation

What I wrote on my magical holiday.  I am ready for another!

I have learned many interesting things in my 6 years of studying and 46 years of life.  Learning about poverty is a core focus in social work studies and all the different theories.  One of them is by a Chilean man called Max-Neeff who identified 10 fundamental human needs.  A lack of any of them is recognized as a poverty and causes us to act to fulfill that need.  He has the obvious ones like poverty of subsistence and freedom but then he also has poverty of idleness as well as of transcendence or spirituality which he places of equal importance.

I am typing this while on my magical little holiday on my bed with my big mozzie net all around.  Like a little tent.  Sadly the back of my thighs are on fire as I did not reapply my sunblock while snorkeling and now I can hardly sit.  Hurts like a bitch!   But back to my point:  Before my trip I had my hair done and my hairdresser remarked it was the first time she had seen me without my laptop or textbooks.  I am always working and always busy trying to fit in the 100 beans in my 80 capacity jar.   Sometimes they spill over and sometimes the pressure of all those beans threaten to crack that jar.  I knew I just had to hang on till the 30th of October this year.  I had planned a road trip with my dog Goose as my reward to myself.  I was going to be deliberate and take some time out after literal years of being busy.  Somehow the road trip became a beach holiday and I looked at Vietnam, Bali or Thailand.  With just 7 days the prospect of a 24 hour journey didn’t appeal plus I did not have lots of moola saved so I found Zanzibar.  Another good word…Zanzibar.

When I booked my trip my dad was still doing well but has deteriorated since then.  I had such angst about going.  What if, what if…??  And then just before I left Frances lost her mom who was diagnosed 2 months before my dad.  We have travelled this journey together finding solace and comfort and understanding with and in each other.  I also got really sick but my trip was booked and paid for and so I went.  And now I sit albeit gingerly with my bright pink thighs but even after such a short time, I feel myself heal and breathe again.  My anxiety and sorrow and exhaustion was over whelming.    I felt broken.  And now I feel like I can exhale. I am so so grateful.  To myself for recognizing what I needed and being brave enough to go off alone.  For my sisters and brother and mom who basically pushed me on that plane never considering I need to stay.  And Gary for understanding and my kids for being so excited for me. 

Under the layers of busy and mothering and studying and grief and worry is a person who has this enormous capacity for joy and I found her again.  I am known as a HSP.  A highly sensitive person.  I feel everything with great intensity and I am a total empath so others pain becomes my own.  I can’t drink coffee due to the caffeine or take an advil or any meds.  I am allergic to the hypo-allogeneic tape the physios use and micropore tape and the tape they use under my eyes when I have my lashes done.  My entire system is so finely wired but the plus side, is when it’s good, its very good.  A simple swim in the ocean every morning is a source of enormous delight and I literally grin as I swim up and down so frikking happy.  I know real life awaits me back home and the girls write exams but this little trip has been amazing.  Like washing my dirty windscreen so I can actually sit back and drive and not hunch over trying to peer through the window.  I won’t allow myself to get so poor again re time out.  I can take weekends off now and read books and journal and watch crap TV.  I can swim and beach and hike along with my busy life.  I don’t regret studying for a single second but I do wish I had done a short course instead of a bloody 6 year honours degree.  What an arsehole?  And every year I was in too deep to stop. 

I have loved chatting to people who I would never normally talk to.  The locals are genuinely friendly.  Not the tourist ‘have to be fake’ friendly.  My fave barman Shehe and I talk for ages about our countries and cultures.  Meeting the Israeli young guys was definitely a highlight.  We laughed a lot and spoke shit and had fun.  We will probably never cross paths again but life threw us together for a tiny moment in time and all barriers of age, language, culture and gender melted away and we were just tourists hanging out.   Today I was alone on the trip so 2 guys from the tour company joined.  The one guy is 19 and we could park off on this little boat and talk about random stuff.  That powerful human connection we so often miss because we have our people around us.  

I have 2 days left and done all the tours I want to so I plan to savour them.  My last few swims in the early morning ocean.  Hanging at the pool reading my book.  I might do another bike ride if my butt and legs stop burning.  I am not bound by any schedule or the wants, needs and desires of others.  Being alone is so vital.  Liking your own company.  I was not sure what to expect but I know this week has been an absolute gift from God/the universe/karma.  Just life in general putting back so I can stand up again.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  My gratitude knows no bounds for this precious little trip.

PS:  It’s my last night.  I can’t connect to the wi-fi on my laptop for some reason so I will post this at home.   What a magical week and what a difference it has made in my life.  I found what I was seeking but that’s yet another post for another day.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Coming full circle

I have found the answer to the question.  The secret.  The meaning of life.  And no, I am not stoned or on any mind altering substances.  It is a little like the revelation I got 8 years ago when I was journaling and trying to figure out where I would send Daniel to high school.  A really simple answer.

But back to the big question, what is the meaning of life?  The meaning of life is to never stop searching.   To question what you know and why you know it.  To seek the truth and wisdom from many sources and people.  We construct our truth based on our perception and on our concept of self.   As organic beings we are continuously changing and growing and we cannot wear this same truth all our lives.  It will no longer fit or be too worn and tattered for new circumstances.  We evolve and change and grow and our truth grows along too.  And when it doesn’t, we stagnate and become hard and arrogant and judge others not stopping to have a peek at what they have learned or know to see if we can take a little piece of their wisdom and mix it with our own.

Nothing is cast in stone so staying flexible means we can absorb the unpredictable.  There is give so we don’t snap when faced with something we did not order, did not anticipate.   18 years ago on this day I landed up in Camps Bay United Church.  I found the love side of God that day, the Jesus bit without the religion and rules and guilt.  And then ironically the very freedom and love I found got smothered by rules and what others thought I should be doing or thinking.   For many, many years until that constant nagging about who I knew God to be, was greater than this intolerance of anything different and lack of acceptance of all people.   I took another few years to figure out I did not need a label to define my faith.

When we take the truths out the bible that resonate with us we are accused of cherry picking.  Why would I not choose the most beautiful sweetest shiny fruit?  Why would I not ask questions or wonder if a story is literal or a parable? In every book I read.   I can’t remember how many authors the bible has but I know not one of them was perfect.  They all had flaws and unique perceptions based on who they were, and what was going on at that time hundreds and thousands of years ago.  It was their interpretation of what they felt God was revealing to them.  They were imperfect men.  Much of it aligns with universal truth and much of it reveals the pure love of God.  Those bits I pick.  Universal truth and cultural relativity.  In other books I find different bits of wisdom and I mesh them all together to make my own book of all that sits well with my soul.   For those who believe every single word that’s ok too, that’s your truth you can live with which fits in with your life and soul.  Just don’t get so hung up on the rules you forget the love bit, the Jesus bit.

So the meaning of life is found in the question and the quest to answer it.  The journey is the destination.  

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hot and stormy

The weather, not what I am doing right now.  I am actually sitting on Gary's side of the bed.  If I face the bed, the LHS is mine.  The RHS is his.  This is anywhere we go and we have been fortunate to travel quite a bit sharing big white soft linen hotel beds around the world.  It was never a conversation or a discussion, we each had our side.  And last night I slept on his side.  I don't know if it has any meaning.  I think too much, you might have noticed.

I went to see my psyche on Tuesday.   Gary and I go once a month for marriage maintenance.  People give me 'that look' when I tell them we go which I find quite odd as going when the shit has hit the fan is too late.  But I digress, I told him I needed to go alone and even though he actually loves her and she loves him, (true story) he was delighted not to be shrunk by our shrink.  In chatting to her I realize that being self-aware and having a theoretical knowledge of one's emotions is quite different to allowing myself to feel them.   Analytical knowledge and feelings just don't line up regardless of how we make them fit.

I am going to write loads while I am here.  I have been craving writing for ages, catching all these thoughts in my head and turning them into words in the hope I make a pattern and I can figure it all out a little.  I love words.  I am a word porn addict.  We are a certain species us word porn people and we find beautifully written pieces or quotes on FB and irritate some by posting them and delight others.  Vomit.  Isn't that a good gross word.  Not beautiful but it SOUNDS like vomit. see.  It sounds exquisite.  And no, I am not stoned.  I have always had this irrational fear of going to jail.  Wearing an orange jumpsuit and eating awful food and having a lesbo girlfriend with a shaven head and numerous piercings.  So I am packing for my Zanzibar trip and measuring out my daily meds including my medical cannabis which helps my clenchy jaw and I suddenly remember its not legal everywhere.  Fortunately I checked as even though its 8 little low dose capsules, what if dogs sniffed my bags and they locked me up and I was on the cover of YOU magazine.  So no, not stoned, just waffeling on.  And I can you know because this is my holiday and the weather is so bad I have to hide in my room. 

They gave me a stunning room but I think it might be too loud later as it is opposite the jetty bar.  When they opened the door the storm was so fierce the lamp crashed off the side table and now I have a teeny prick in my foot so I think I stood on a little piece.  Prick, another good word.   So far in my zen time I have eaten, swam quite far in the pouring rain in the sea which I admit was a little scary fighting the current coming back, thought of what I need to think about, almost decided to think of my future job, and then decided to write some crap first before I do some real posts.  I need to write about my studies.  About my work.  About Grief.  Grief sounds like grief.  Like you breathe out the end of the word.  Ffffff. 

OK, I am signing off.  I know I have been a bad zenner so far but I it will take a few days before I can unwind.  Zenner is not a good word.  Shit, day 1 is almost over.  Making yourself relax is like making yourself like a boy when you don't.  Back in the day.   Ah, a cocktail!  That will work. Going to the bar in the storm.  Cheers.