30 May 2006, 8:42pm
Personal Growth Photos
4 comments

Personal Myths

[I hate to blog and dash (again) but there is this set of thoughts I want to transcribe.]

Some things look constant, timeless.

Hard Copy is good for reality checks. I try not to “1984 myself” but the human mind naturally overwrites memories. There is a tension there, to pretend “what is”, always was or was “always” becoming. We want to impose story arcs as we are the story-telling ape.

The thing is that even personality is not constant. Some things may be latent and move to the foreground or go backwards or even appear from and disappear back to nothing. We have this inherent contradiction between having memories and no longer “being the same person”.

I try to keep in touch with “my past selves”. That is a uncomfortable process since my own personal narrative tends to want to write one cohesive story, one characterization like some poorly scripted sitcom taking the KISS principle entirely too much to heart.

I treasure the instances where I am brought up short with a data point that contradicts my personal myth of myself. For instance, a number of years ago, I found a single sheet, undeniably in my own handwriting, my own one page bio where I foresaw my future as being married with 4 children.

Gasp with me?

Now I’ll explain why we just gasped.

As at that time I was snootily dismissive of the immorality of adding to overpopulation and was attempting to corroborate that view with as much support as I could. My personal myth said unequivocally that I never had any desire to raise children and never showed any sign that other girls had of playing with dolls and coupling off and design to become a breeder. I was intrinsically disinterested and children. I took that as a core constant truth of myself.

But here was this piece of paper contradicting me in my own handwriting. Further there were more pages where the kid-count had been steadily rising to that peak. It wasn’t an isolated incident.

The personal story of self that I had developed had drifted to make history backwards and forwards compatible with the now of that time of discovery.

I hold that shock in a special hermetically sealed box in my head and look at it as if it were Lenin’s body. I watch for other times when this lesson may be repeating itself in my personal myths. What else am I telling myself in a neat package that is mislabled?

Featured Quote: “Practicing compassionate inquiry into our reactions and strategies is fundamental to the process of awakening. We are encouraged to be curious about the neurosis that is bound to kick in when our coping mechanisms start falling apart. This is how we get to the place where we stop believing in our personal myths, the place where we are not always divided against ourselves, always resisting our own energy.” ~ Pema Chodron, p. 107-108 in The Places That Scare You


Along the bicycle path by the river there was so much activity of all kids, rollar bladers, walkers, cyclists, and feeders of the…

Oh wook-wook! Geeeessse.

Take a gander at that territorial hiss. (Kids they’re so hard to keep on the right path.)

Glad Game: A bit of gentle nature mediating the day.

Water fountains along trails, used so much they are ice cold. Into mouth and splashed on wrists it’s hard to imagine more refreshment.

An RCMP postcard I haven’t seen to send to G. who collects them.

A mini-vacation to immersion in Brazil: A bank machine withdrawal done in Portuguese from knowing the formatting and order of questions.

Doors Open Ottawa architectural tours are coming June 3 and 4th.

Dave Barry Is Not Taking this Sitting Down as waiting room reading materials is a delightful change from magazines or coffee table books. Who cares whow long the wait is. I’m not done this chapter, or this one or –

Communicating Your Meaning: Make your appearance in line with your intent. If you go to the haircutters and are wearing sweats and say with the same tone and body language “I want it to look professional” as when you are wearing a suit, I can bet you the haircutter will draw on the evidence and give a different cut in each case.

pad thai coldMenu: Cold pad Thai, sweet and sour with peanuts, bok choi, carrots, green onions and buckwheat barley and cranberry salad with sunflower seeds, parsley, grape seed oil, vinegar, cayenne, pepper.

Word Chain: drop a fib, rib and razz, all that booogie woogie, dip, dupe, dub, but, brut(-e)(-al)(-us), to root for, to rut over, shut the chutes, shoop-shoop, shop, clippity clop, hip-hop, heretic, facial tic, doohickey, kidney hickey, jock(ey), jocular, muscular, musk, brisk lingering frisk, star fish against hood, lascivious, vicious, lavish, garish, Yousuf Karsh flourish unfurnished, unfinish-

29 May 2006, 6:28pm
General Photos
4 comments

Cycling About

The day had some mix-ups, some worries, some indecisiveness but among that, and all the meetings and phonings, also flowers and good decisions.

I cycled my season’s best today, around 24 km. The Hub and I met in a park for a picnic lunch and got caught up on our mornings.

This is an amazing city for nature and cycling. There are new discoveries constantly. I never knew this park existed:

A panorama of this little bit of nature in the city

lilac Perhaps tomorrow or the next day I can post more photos of the geese or the scenes.

It was enormously hot almost 30 degrees. I soaked in in. :-) Luckily I didn’t do a fainting goat trick. I got plenty of fluids and some shade indoors or out when necessary. I don’t want to feel bad tomorrow.

Link Lite: Official breeders web site of the Fainting Goat breed

Glad Game: We had the exact right number of cheques to write out and didn’t make any errors. Whew.

Have you got this gorgeous weather?

Woot Boost: The energy company has sent us a payment adjustment of $20 from 2004. Windfall. Plus a thank you card from clients.

Tool Link: For blogspot and myspace users there is free tool for automatically collating your posts into book format to self-publish for those who aren’t online, or sell your writing printed out.

Really Light Link: Emails from Jesus and with guest appearances from columnist Satan too. (via who was that? It may come back to me.)

cherry tomatoes, havarti and pita
Menu: A virgin sangria at Mexicali Rosa’s (Ottawa’s got a new Market location up this week) after the lovely lunch picnic of cherry tomatoes, mini pitas and havarti cheese.

Communicating Your Meaning: Speak up, breathe from the gut. If you can’t be heard, how can your meaning?

Tech Link: There is a gyroscope in the mac book which makes the hard drive detect falling and turn itself off before impact. Some people have reached this capacity and written software to do things like make one of those little ball roll in the hole game, or this added capacity by making your screen twice as wide with a smack by making the software switch screens when its gyroscope is jarred a certain way.

Pema Chodron Quotes

If the process of clear seeing isn’t based on self-compassion, it will become a process of self-aggression. ~ page 27

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. ~ p. 50

Rejoicing in ordinary things[…] takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us we enter the warrior’s world. ~ p. 63

Training in equanimity requires that we leave behind some baggage: the comfort of rejecting whole parts of ourselves, for example, [or] the security of only welcoming what is pleasant. The courage to continue with the unfolding process comes from self-compassion and from giving ourselves plenty of time. ~ p. 73

All excerpts from The Places That Scare You by Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron.

Communicating Your Meaning: Stay in the moment without mongering. Rather than study the other person’s face intently and close, hover, listening and glancing to let meaning slip out rather than be flushed as a pheasant. Stay in the room not fly-by question or answer.

Glad Game: That I have had use of my old keyboard so long. I’m more attached to it than my house or clothes really (but perhaps I would have to be stripped and thrown on the street to know).

Glad that I can recognize that old cling-trap and snort at own nonsense for suddenly panging after something most as being suddenly “the most valuable”. How absurdly comical. :-)

I can write my posts longhand and transcribe and avoid the clattery-click that disrupts my thinking.

That I can root around and find less miserly gladnesses than those.

I look to future hope and past pleasure and ease but there is glad seated with me in the cat that trots after me wherever I go. Perhaps the worming into heart isn’t unilateral as I suppose. She’s attached to me as well.

The basil that was frostbitten turned crispy. Crispy isn’t typically a hallmark of recovery. However, new basil from the market is flourishing. The frost-hit tomatoes have blossomed since then.

A neighbour signed for our UPS package. Not my new keyboard yet but it is en route.

Laughing at my own gruff tone and blood pressure zoom when I’m interrupted for the umteenth, ok, 3rd, time. “Not now! Can’t you see I’m reading about mindfulness and community!”

The click of my shoulders and somewhere around my 5th vertebrae slipping into place when I de-hunch.

The way crystalized ginger scrapes the tongue with a burn fresh as citrus but different.

tangelo cut in a spiral

tortillas with corn Menu: Black bean patties and corn and salsa on tortillas

Nice Anecdote: A Story of 11 roses from HeroicStories.com

Mindfulness Link: Peter Albert’s Owner’s Guide to Difficulties from ChangeThis Manifestos (via Jill’s Notebook)

Word Chains: What is it that you want (imperious tone to the cheeky imp daring to provoke the wrath of the empire of one!)

antidote, anecdote, aromatic roaming, gloaming, gloating, brindle-coat, pinto and roan, torti and calico, 11-color and tricolor, trident poke, seafoam green, constant as tides, antidote of rhythm and motion of diaphragm exploding to sound.

26 May 2006, 7:05am
Life Anecdotes Photos
13 comments

Collage of Undesciphered Wisdoms

I’m still feeling like I’m typing in a mirror with this different keyboard, displaced from the screen; I’m hitting keys that are in unfamiliar positions. I’ll make this heavier on pics and lower on words.


[Break on through to the other side.]

[Insert some profound insight of your own here 😉 ]

tourniquet tree
Someone used a polo shirt and paint to tourniquet this tree. Out of the frame are hand-prints in the same red over the graffiti murals.

Word to the Wise I: If your keyboard should become damp by any means, be aware that keys warp at surprisingly low temperatures and pop off under an injudicious use of hairdryer. Not that I would know anything about that (whistling) I’ve just heard on the grapevine you understand.

Word to the Wise II: Absentmindedly popping chocolate-coated coffee beans by the handful like they’re smarties…um….you might want to avoid doing that too.

Glad Game: Glad to feel the morning stretch, the softness of hair in the morning after falling asleep with it wet from the shower.

Waking early and going for a walk, seeing the market stalls open.

Going to the farmer’s market and bakery in the early morning.

Seeing that there was a non-violent protest sit in Vancouver against the Olympic highway project. Protesters and police were cordial and controlled.

The horrible squealing ‘copter grind from my computer fan stopped once we moved a wire yesterday.

I finally went into the clothing store that’s always closed and checked out that gorgeously designed linen skirt; it’s $540. It’s lovely craftmanship, a pleasure to examine.

From 3 degrees on the weekend to 23 on Thursday and predicted 33 in the coming weekend.

A chance of a thunderstorm. I love a good stiff wind. :-)

University Radio! CHUO has a variety but today, rebroadcast of Alternative Radio on unions, labor, free markets, alcohol vs pot, and other things of black and grey markets.

Michele picked my question to feature.

Communicating Your Meaning: If your eyes are adjusted to knowing your context, you may forget others can’t see what you’re seeing. Put on the high beams and elaborate before, not later, why you’re asking or telling (neutrally and briefly) so someone isn’t scrambling to know what you’re driving at.

tri-color fettucini Menu: Fettucine topped with a caraway seed white sauce with camembert partly melted in. Some corn beside a repeat of the cuminned black lentils on tomato slice since the aesthetics work so well.

Featured Quote: “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better” ~ Plutarch

Word Chain: siphon undeciphered dense dawning tense tensile strength, lip’s dulcet pulse, pursed lips, tense cheeks of intelligence, (dimples where angels kissed deepening,) emergency, emerging gents, a peck on the nose, tingling, ginseng, gin’s song, Jamaican ginger beer, light-stepping gingerly amid throng, full stop. sciatica taut pluck, nerves harp, lift to harpsichord and larks, discord disregarded, soothe the rage of the beast, fall asleep to the wolfsong of human heart thrum.

Examining Other Options

It’s a regular misc mishmash today. Perhaps I should thin things out but tomorrow will have no more room for yesterday than today does and it’s all rather interesting.


Dave Pollards Venn Diagram
makes a graphic understanding of the possible predictable outcomes when we have an overlap of doing what is needed, doing what we are good at, and doing what we love doing.(How he uses it is at his link):

Dave Pollards venn diagram
The Venn Diagram, for me, is another tool to figure out what I’m really reacting to. I’m sometimes awash in feelings and mistake intensity for importance or urgency. I have a bad habit or throwing too many words at something and claiming that means it’s explained, or worse understood or settled.

Wanting to cling and make something of something Now can get redirected:

  • Am I doing because I need to or am I pretending someone else needs me to?
  • Am I doing it because I am the only one around who has stepped forward with skill?
  • That begs the question of whether I am displacing someone who would otherwise step forward.
  • Am I needed here and now?
  • Am I loving what I’m doing as distinct from loving this moment while I’m doing something?

The thing to shoot for in life is fluidity and movement towards that sweet spot in the middle where we can do not only what we love and are good at but when and where it is needed. It’s not possible to nail ourselves in that spot permanently because the spot isn’t permanent. What is needed is in flux and what we love is in flux, and our skills themselves fluctuate. It is not only our fitness level that can take weeks to train and fall off quicker than it was built. Our skills and our mental stances all need exercise or else decline to some resting dormant state.

Glad Game: drum sign :) I got to love that company slogan.

Heat and cycling and gelato.

Having a backup keyboard that’s compatible to plug in, since um, how shall I put this? The cleaning binge got a little out of hand and let’s just say, my keyboard isn’t so much fried, as parboiled — Whoopsie. stacked keyboards

Glad that a replacement keyboard that can be swapped into the laptop is as near as an ebay auction ending in minutes.

As amusing as it was, meditative even, to assemble ideas by cut and paste with the mouse, in the fewest steps (say, to raid “moment” to make women and “late” and “green” and the remains of “women” to make “gelato”) I’m good with leaving that method for ransom notes and having full use of the keys to the right of the G again.

How many ways there are for sensing — like when I was at the concert with hot chocolate and I held it to my lips I could feel the guitars vibrate through the lid to my lips. Or how when I opened the oven and could become aware of my necklace as it heated. Or how when my body wants to sleep it tells me so with a sensation in my head.

Reading: The Places That Scare You by Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron of Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It is talking about staying present and aware in those times we habitually shut down, shut out, shut up, shut. It’s about not taking oneself so terribly serious. That doesn’t mean quitting or giving up or not caring. It means being able to act rather than be in constant tail-chasing of reacting.

Featured Quote:

4. Intermingle amongst cliques. The best way to avoid being misunderstood is to hang out with all kinds of people. Become friends with people you don’t immediately like. You’ll discover they’re interesting and they challenge assumptions you never thought about. You’ll be surprised to find that they have good traits you can use to improve yourself. ~ Curlz’ rules

Communicating Your Meaning: Express your meaning in many ways, in many phrasings so it has a higher chance of being said in a way that can be uptaken.

polenta broiled Menu: Polenta broiled with olive oil, salsa, mozzarella with broccoli and whole wheat spaghetti topped with mushroom tomato sauce.

Light Links: Really not helping.

The dad and son collaborate to write songs and posted a video of it.

When to see Japanese drumming in Ottawa

Word Chain: With reckless abdomen, in wild abdomen-ment, feel full, pull peel, citrus spray, play up the polite police who please populace with poultice and poultry readings, assuage paltry penny pittance profits, persuade public pubs, foaming spigot runs, twinge, twig a prig, insert a prig-nut pause, watch for those sudden non-disclosure claws, that a bruiser at the cruiser, sense a cop, cop a feel, cope saw, jigaw, solder, weld and meld, design-spine arching shoulders shunted back, nose sniffing inspiration, sneeze! Gezhunteit!

What dya think? If form interferes with functional communication, that’s poor English. If functional communication has its form interfered with … that’s poetry? :-p

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