New Year’s De-resolution

freedom

Unlike everyone in my Facebook feed (it seems) I am not opposed to making resolutions.  I think the desire to improve is wired into us and the turning of the year is a natural time to reflect on what we did right or wrong and how we are going to step it up a notch or two in the coming year.

Equally it is easy to fail in our resolutions by, oh… mid January.  This is mainly because we are overly optimistic, on a bit of a New Beginning High and most importantly (for those of us who work full time) on holiday.  That paradise place from where doing regular exercise, cooking healthy food, and practicing radical self-care (yes it is a phrase) seems perfectly possible.

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Kind of like love

Christian Ponder

Somewhere around week 1 or 2 of the 2012 NFL preseason Dom and I noticed we were getting  a little bit interested in (American) football – to be clear Dom has always loved football and I think even living abroad he has always followed the Viking scores, but 2012 was different.  My memory is vague, but I think the Vikings had won the first and maybe second of their preseason games (and this was following a dire 2011 season) and this triggered our enthusiasm.

Anyway our burgeoning interest led to me suggesting we buy the NFL game pass.  Instant addiction.  We watched every Vikings game of the 2012 season and I personally really enjoyed it: I steadily started getting to grips with the weird rules, even learning a few of the players’ names and what their positions meant – a steep learning curve though some came more easily than others:

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On Guests

welcome-mat1

The word ‘hospitality’ in the New Testament comes from two Greek words. The first word means ‘love’ and the second word means ‘strangers.’ It’s a word that means love of strangers.  Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Dom and I have lived together in five houses.  In four of those houses (over a span of six years) we had just four visits from guests: my mum and dad (who came out when Dom and I just started living together… a big complicated story in itself) my bestest friend in the whole world and her husband and daughter, a friend from way back and her two children, and a couple we know from Chiang Mai who stayed for four days at the house before in Ari just before we moved to our current house.

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Blogs are stupid (except this one)

My contract year begins on September the 1st and have 35 days annual leave I am supposed to use up by that date.  This year I approached August with a whopping 16 days of untaken leave, and while I am allowed to carry over 10 days the remaining 6 were getting use it or lose it critical.  So as free time is worth more to me than money I took Weds/Thurs/Fri off twice – first at the beginning and again at the end of August.  Essentially today is the last day of leave this month.  But hey, dry your tears – I still have 45 days for 2013-2014.

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Cha-cha-cha changes

In my twenties I fell in love with two guys called Louis and Lestat.  You may have heard of them.

They were the Edward Cullens of my generation (only exponentially more awesome) and they (as I suspect Edward does for today’s teens and twentysomethings) gave us access to the fantasy that not only might we be able to escape getting old and dying with poo in our pants, but that we might be one bite away from being even more fucking gorgeous than we were already.

I am now fortysomething and if Lestat shows up on my doorstep tonight I will give him a hard slap and ask him where he was 10 years ago.  Because today I realised I am afraid that I am forever past my best.

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Name my bag critters

I have so many blogging ideas when I am not actively trying to blog and so few when I am.  Truly, I spend my days filling my pockets with awesome blogworthy topics which, upon evening examination, slip through my fingers like eels.

(Are you imagining pocketfuls of eels now? Oh yes, bring me metaphors and I will mix them).

Maybe this is because many things seem “worthy” until you examine them closely – and you only ever do that if you are seriously preparing to make them public.  And, yes – I suspect you may be able to extend this principle beyond blogging.

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Free thinkers

FREE THINKERS

This is a version of an image I saw on Facebook. The original was a bit wider, showed more of the room and the guys at prayer.  I loved it immediately.  The kid’s playful gesture and fun expression instantly transcends barriers of race and religion.  In fact this gorgeous little boy had a message for me that transcended the literal message of the text itself.

The original image had the text I included here but also had a logo bottom right which read “We fucking love atheism” showing it come from one of those rash of rationalist Facebook pages which glorify science and unbelief in any kind of God type person running the show. This Pinterest board is a very representative sample of their message if you have been in a cave for the past 18 months.

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Smoothie making

  I used to be a Goddess.  Not a beautiful white-robed Grecian Goddess, or a multi-limbed, blue skinned Hindu Goddess.  I was black haired, foul-mouthed, sadistic Goddess of the Underworld named hirondelle (yes, lowercase, always).  I slaughtered many and maimed many more, but one of the few to lay a finger on me and survive (he stabbed me in the face and caught me so much by surprise I clear forgot to tear his head off) was the General of my very own Dark Oblivion Army*.    

When he wasn’t tearing the limbs off babies and plunging a dagger into my visage, he made smoothies.

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Leave them alone

“There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control.  These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.”
Marcus Aurelius

  I got this quote from an article on upekkha, or ‘even minded love’, on the lovely Wildmind Buddhist meditation site.  The article deals very efficiently on a topic that is both intricate and simple.  Being lovingly involved with the world without becoming attached to that involvement.    It is summarised in these three sentences:

Non-equanimity is like sitting on the shore, watching waves rising and falling and cheering when the waves rise, mourning when they fall. With equanimity we recognize that the waves are not under our control. They rise, they fall; we watch, with love.

Watching with love is a curious thing, it is easy to believe you have a handle on it (or the beginning of a handle of it) when times are good. But not so easy when you are disappointed, hurt or angry; and of course it is during those times when your equanimity is at its most valuable.  When your love and compassion becomes a real treasure for the world.  

I was just reminded of this lesson, and humbled by my lack of skill when it comes to equanimity under duress.

Love, love, love but don’t be attached to the idea that the world will always love you back. Don’t let the judgement of others lure you into judging.  Let the waves rise and fall. Watch with love. 

And ultimately, leave them alone.

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Mud

I have never written a film review.  I have no idea where to start.  There seems to be a formula, yet I can’t work it out.  But suffering from Facebook withdrawal symptoms and needing to connect with the internet and the people I know are still hidden in it (even though I can’t see them) I felt compelled to write a post.  And going to see Mud was the best thing I did all day.

Mud is about love.  It is about the moment when the sometimes dirty, achy breaky reality of love collides with our childish misunderstanding of happily ever after. It is about friendship,  trust and believing in people, and being hurt but still brave enough to trust again. It is about being a boy in a fascinating, dangerous world full of snakes and spiders, bikes and boats, tattoos and titties. 

And guns.

Mud is timeless, for 135 minutes the only screen you see is on a TV.  Phones have cords and people get phone numbers from telephone directories. People also eat sausage and beans from a tin with so much relish that I want to do the same.  

And people earn money from doing old fashioned work.

Mud is Stand by Me, Huckleberry Finn and Great Expectations.  Mud is a love story where the lovers only share a single look in the whole film.  But what a look.

Mud is a wonderful film.  There is a magic shirt in it.  Go see.

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