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Rumilluminations August 2011
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Mon, August 01 2011 - 11:52 pm

August 31, 2011                                  Valparaiso, IN

When I was a girl, I used to read novels and fancy myself the highly educated ladies of leisure - or at least a modern-day fairy-tale Cinderella!

Someday I would get to wear - a tiara!  Every little girl's dream, it seems, judging from the reality show Tots in Tiaras.  (This is a dream, however, that should be fulfilled once a year with a Halloween costume, not a way of life.)

I did, however, think I was such a one as these ladies who got to dress up and go to balls.

Why, then, did I glory in casual clothes?  Why was I more comfortable in jeans than dresses?  Why was my hair always so messy?

Well, for whatever reason, whether cause or effect, my casual clothes prepared me for the life I did end up living, more like that of the anonymous servants in the background than the grand ladies of the show.

It amuses me, now, to look at the elderly servant dishing up dinner or the butler announcing company as well as the beauties who spent the day getting that way.

I no longer desire a tiara.  It wouldn't look as good on me now as it would have long ago.

Sigh.  But on the upside, I only have to throw on my jeans and spend minutes on my hair to be ready for my day!  I am free to organize my chores, read a book, go on a walk, or watch a movie,f Few eyes upon me.

Those poor little girls in the pageants don't know how to have real fun!

August 29, 2011                                  Valparaiso, IN

I'm disillusioned - with myself!

I thought we were less exploitative than the wealthy people of old.  After all, we don't have servants.  We don't hire a houseful of menials to do all our dirty work.

But today it came home to me - yes, we do!  We may not use the car often, but we use it.  Instead of horses and grooms and drivers we have the car made by people we never even saw.

It was made in America, supposedly, but I bet many of the parts weren't.

We don't do most of our wash by hand - our washing machine does it.  And the washing machine was produced by many hands and runs on electricity that many people have to work to produce.

Our mops and cleaners were made in far-off factories, and so were our clothes.  (I used to sew a good deal more, but the fabrics were always factory-made!)

I've been kidding myself - the average middleclass American survives by the lowly labor of others as well as himself.  And the chances are, he has it better than those others.

I'm one of the (relative) leisure class, and was even when I had a job! 

August 28, 2011                                   Valparaiso, IN

Today was lovely, and we took a bike ride to Rogers-Lakewood park on Campbell Road.  Talking with a man walking his dog, we found out there was a beaver dam there we didn't know about, so we took a look.

I can tell I was the first person on the path today.  I was the trail-blazer through spiderwebs built overnight!  The path was narrow and the poison ivy impossible not to touch in one place.  I ducked down and crawled under, but on the way back my partner held it back by using another plant.

The beaver dam was as described, encroaching on the path and displaying what looked like no fewer than three access holes.  Of course, the beavers probably use their underwater entrances the way we use our back door.

If I had read the literature, would I have read about the beaver lodge?  (Could it have really been a dam, considering it didn't seem to be damming anything?  I've seen beaver dams before from a distance, and they looked more twiggy and less leafy.  That would make sense!  There are more leaves around here.)

Or has the beaver home been an unpublished fact?

It is refreshing to know that even after living here for the last seven years, I have more to learn about the area.

     

April 27, 2011                                        Valparaiso, IN

The days are beautiful, but the tang of Fall is in the air.  I decided to get rid of some clothing - I have too much of it!

Since I have trouble letting go of perfectly serviceable stuff, I tried to think of eliminators.

The shoe category was relatively easy.  I got rid of a pair of cloth sandals that gave me blisters when I walked miles in them.  My excuse?  (After all, I could still walk to town and back, or go out to eat in them.)  My daughter told me to get rid of them because it doesn't feel good to put my feet in them.  And the insole of one of them is raggedy.

I read the other day that you shouldn't keep shoes that don't give you proper support.  A look at the heels and midsoles will help make the decision to finally let go of those fifteen year old shoes!  They still look okay on top, but out went two pairs - the midsoles were thin.  A crack is also a good excuse to let go.

Several T-shirts and turtlenecks went out because they were old or didn't look good on me or were too large (way to large - only suitable for nightwear!)

I decided to figure out how many items I needed in theory, and let myself keep one or two more if I just couldn't let go.

I'm proud to announce I have some stuff for AmVets when they come by Monday morning.

And my advice to hoarders?  The solution to hoarding is to start thinking up excuses to get rid of stuff, instead of thinking up excuses to keep it!

April 26, 2011                                         Valparaiso, IN

Years ago I ordered a large lily collection - one hundred dollars' worth (no, that was not typical - and that would probably equal three hundred bucks today!) - which was sent to me in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in mid-October.

I had misgivings about putting them into the ground.  It was way too late in the season for them to develop their root systems, I thought.  But this was a very famous swank mail-order business I was ordering from.  They had to know what they were doing, right?

The lilies did not come up in the spring, and when I called the business about it, they just said they had sent them at the appropriate time for our area.  I didn't fight about it, and they didn't offer to pay me back, give me more, or - well they offered nothing.

I wasn't confident enough of my gardening skills to fight about it.

Well, what do you know.  I was just reading a book about fritillaries and the author says that often mail order businesses make their shipments too late for the bulbs to take root in the fall.

So not only did it happen to me, but it evidently happens frequently.

Fall is coming.  Don't waste your money!  Either buy locally or make sure your supplier knows when you want your bulbs and is willing to comply.

Me, I'm not planting any bulbs here, but I sure would like to walk by and enjoy the flowers from yours next year!

August 25, 2011                                Valparaiso, IN

What makes a fairy?

For sure, not hairy!  A hairy fairy is automatically comical.

Wings and swings, but no feathers or leather, and whoever saw a fairy in bad weather?

Our usual idea of a fairy is a cross between a human and a dragonfly and a firefly, but originally the word comes from the hard cruel Fates who really had no empathy for human woes.

Fairies or faeries come in all sizes and forms and traditionally get up to all sorts of mischief and wickedness, but we moderns have pretty thoroughly sanitized them.

Our fairies are airy!  They are not at all scary.

They give us money for worthless things, like old useless teeth.

Not just benign but positively noble.  Imagine a dragonfly trying to flit away with a big old molar!

My, we have really changed the fairies.  I wonder what other creatures we have so altered?

Or should I say "altared?"  Ha, ha.

August 24, 2011                                 Valparaiso, IN

We say, "regrouped."  Why don't we say "redrooped?"  As in, "Dang, the plants redrooped.  I can't seem to get the watering right!"

Or "reduped?"  "I can't believe he reduped me!"

Or "resouped" meaning "fed soup again" or "in trouble again?"  "I resouped them too many times and now I'm resouped!"

How many times have you read "the troops regrouped?"  Wouldn't it just make more sense to say, "they retrooped?"

We say someone recouped their losses - how about recooping their chickens?"

Think of how much time we could gain if we dropped "again!"  It's such a waste of time.

Hmmm... in more ways than one!

Of course, killing time is what many of us seem to need to do.

In that case, we would want "again" for it's time-killing qualities and the way it adds variety to the language.

You can kill time again, but you can't rekill it.

If we killed "again," we couldn't regain it!

August 23, 2011  kind of a continuation of 8-22  Valpo, IN

Young mothers!  Don't make your three-year-olds spend a whole day inside looking for a dirty sock.  When you are ninety-two they may spend the whole day looking for dirty laundry - in you!

Lest you think that I consider myself possessing "magnanimous compassion" -  I don't.  If I had that kind of compassion I wouldn't be writing this.  I only lay claim to an unremarkable garden variety of compassion, a rare enough plant itself.

I read in a book about self-hatred once that paranoid people were lied to as children.  I know that happened to me at home.  It happened to all of us here in school in the good old U.S.A. (and probably everywhere else for that matter.)

Is that why conspiracy theories are everywhere?  Because people learned that what they were taught about the Revolution of 1776 included (or was limited to) myths, partial truths, and downright lies?  I wonder what percentage of the population has believed in a conspiracy theory at one point in their lives.  When does a theory become simply a fact?  Those involved in the conspiracy could always just say they acted on the basis of someone else's lies.

Could someone be paranoid because a parent modelled paranoia?

Can a child learn compulsive behavior?

Did I become obsessive because I was forced to revisit an issue (like a lost dirty sock) for a whole day?

Young mothers!  First and foremost, get sane.

August 22, 2011                                 Valparaiso, IN

Young mothers!  Don't force your kids to eat everything on their plates.  They'll wish they could make you eat your mushrooms when you're ninety-two.

Young mothers!  Don't make your kid sit alone at the table until he eats everything on his plate.  If you do, when you're ninety-two, he might just be, in spite of his guilt and good intentions, too bored to sit with you!

Young mothers!  Don't lie to your children, while telling them that they must tell the truth.  When you lie at ninety-two, your off-spring will see through you!

Thank your lucky stars, if when you are ninety-two, your daughters have learned a magnanimous compassion that you could not have taught them when you were twenty-two.

They didn't learn it from you! 

August 21, 2011                                   Valparaiso, IN

Early this morning (3:38 a.m.) a small dog, loose in the neighborhood, wakes us up with frenzied barking.  He remains outside, running here and there for quite a while, before he calms down or is called inside.

I'm sure he is harassing my wildlife!  I am going to call Animal Control!  Er, oh.  Maybe not.

The incident reminds me of the mornings in Santa Fe I was harassed by unrestrained dogs while I was walking to work.  I  called Animal Control to get them to take care of these animals (one of which was a pit bull) and they asked me for the dogs' addresses.  They can't do anything, they tell me, if they don't know where the dogs live.

"Pardon me?" I do not say.  "If a wild bear comes out of the foothills into our city streets, will you only come deal with it if I first ascertain its address?"

This morning we went on a bike ride up to Rogers Lakewood Park.  It was a lovely ride.  One great thing about Sunday morning is that traffic is sparse and very few people mow their lawns with power mowers.  Later in the day our walk's route will be determined by avoidance of the slanting sunlight and the presence of lawn mowers and weed whackers along the way.

Right now I'm sitting upstairs at the computer and I can hear every word from Mom's TV downstairs.  At 10 o'clock I will ask her to turn it down, and shortly thereafter she will probably turn it off.

With any luck we will go to a sleep uninterrupted by loud neighborhood festivities and drunken conversations and noisy trucks and buzzing motorcycles ("they're everywhere!") and barking dogs.

That is, if we can find sleep beneath all the clamor in our heads!

August 20, 2011                                    Valparaiso, IN

Wasn't religion a source of ethics, way back when?

Now it seems as if many of us have ethics without religion, while many of us have religion without ethics.

I wonder what percentage of people actually practice both, and profess to care for neither?

Of course this isn't measurable.  I think many religious people who claim to behave ethically don't.

The abilityof human beings to rationalize bad behavior is seemingly unlimited.

Wouldn't it be ironic if religion was invented to ensure good behavior, and now has nothing to do with it?

 

August 19, 2011                                   Valparaiso, IN

Interesting.  With the plethora of new ways you can  now communicate with people, sometimes you can't communicate at all.

We used to talk.  Thank goodness, or garrulity, or gabbiness - whatever you want to call it, we still talk.

With the phone you can talk with people you didn't used to be able to talk to.  Well, great!  Really!  A little phoney, but great!

Once we had message machines, people most often would call us back, and we could talk in real time.  Wow!

But even before the phone came along, we could write missives to those not present.  How wonderful to be able to communicate with those even a long way away!

The contemporary version of mail is email, of course.

Except with mail, we had to sort it ourselves.  A bore, but hardly overwhelming exercise.  A little elbow action to throw away the junk.

With email, we do the throwaway with a tap of the pointer!  Wonderful!

Or is it?  Now instead of sorting my own mail, it is sorted by an electronic impulse which sometimes sorts out, unseen, something I might have wanted to look at, and I don't even know it!

And what's more, there are now so many forms of communication that none of us really feels responsible to respond to any of them.

We do take mail out of our mailbox every day, presumably to make way for the occasional piece of mail that we might actually want.

I have been told it is my responsibility to check my email every day.

Why?  I still have a telephone, and my email can pile up indefinitely.

And does. 

August 18, 2011                                    Valparaiso, IN

The other day while I was waiting at the dermatologist's office, I idly picked up the National Review.  I knew it was a conservative rag, but the cover story was an article about Labor so heavily weighted against Obama and the Unions it dropped out of my hands.

I tried another article towards the back.  It was by a guy named Rob Long and it irritated me.  Who did he think he was?  Did he really expect me, the only blahger on earth, perhaps, and myriad more serious-minded bloggers to shut up?

One of his shots was that we (all, presumably) don't remember our sources and don't credit them (this after parroting an opinion he didn't want to hear from a stranger at the airport about the Casey Anthony case (which he also wondered why anyone cares about because it was in Orlando, FL.))

Who is this guy, anyway?  So I logged on to a couple of websites, one which had a memo from "management" that seemed like a spoof suspended in a vacuum.

The other was an interview with Rob Long.  He's a writer of comedy, and he was apparently being funny.

Oh.

August 17, 2011                                Valparaiso, IN

When my dad, a professor here in the music department of Valparaiso University for forty-one years, interviewed for his position in the mid-forties, the chairman of the department at that time, Theo Hoelty-Nichol, offered him a drink.

My father, whose father was a Methodist minister (which meant no cardplaying, no dancing, no drinking) some of the time my father was growing up, had been a tee-totaller his whole young life.

But he said yes to his interviewer and took his first sip of an alcoholic beverage.  He said later he was sure he would not have gotten the job had he refused, with consequences to our family that can only be guessed at.

Freedom, even in this country, is relative.

We are agnostics (if not atheists!  I always hesitate to speak for another, especially my other selves (ha, ha)) but we hired a blatantly Christian firm to do our porches.  We did this because we were slow to zap to the significance of the firm's name, and once we had called them in, were not about to discriminate against them on the basis of religious belief.

But really, how much support to we agnostics give one another?  Do we give our businesses names that someone in the know could recognize as ones run by somewhat kindred spirits?

Not to my knowledge. 

Too bad.  Our Christian firm, either from sloppiness of work habits or from lack of responsibility to irreligious us, certainly gave us a no better than average porch job.  (Ha, ha, instead of support they gave us subporch?)

As far as I can tell, Christians are no more spiritual than others.  They are certainly just as able to rationalize inhuman behavior as anyone else.

Same is true of any religion.

Yet somehow the aura of spirituality has power.  "Be my friend, and I will introduce you to my friend God.  If I let you down, He won't."

But I'm with George Carlin on this one.  If all-knowing, all-powerful God can't or won't help you in your time of need, who will?

Maybe a Christian - if you are one of them.

August 16, 2011                                 Valparaiso, IN

It is ironic that so many people think of made up, provocative-acting girls in seductive poses when they think of pedophiles.  No doubt photos are an inexcusable exploitation of the very young as well as more extreme cases of child prostitution.

It is ironic because some of the worst exploitation of young girls and boys is performed under cover of religious practice.  These young people do not display their bodies.  They wear no make-up and expose very little of their physiques in public.

They look cornfed and wholesome - yet they are the victims of the same aberrant sexual practices.  Sometimes they are illegally "married" so their exploitation goes on for years and years - perhaps for their whole lives.

Somehow the hypocrisy of convincing a young child she or he was "chosen" by God seems even more monstrous than the blatant use of children in a more commercial way.

August 15, 2011                                     Valparaiso, IN

I had a really bad time with vertigo a few weeks back, and now I'm wondering if an almost subliminal vertigo is what makes some people move more slowly and carefully.  (I wanted to say "older people" but the doctor who treated me said he doesn't like to relate conditions to age.  Well, amen to that!  A disease is a disease so what difference does age make?)

I'm just thinking that people might touch objects more to orient themselves and keep their balance than they might realize.  A lack of confidence in their balance could make them move more slowly, too.  All unconscious.

I have another theory that laughter is sexually stimulating.  Oh, we don't know it consciously, but why else could Woody Allen be considered sexy?  Oh, I know, I know, I don't think he is sexy either, but don't you think funny could be a big part of sexy?

Maybe laughter subliminally turns us on - not just psychologically, also physically.  Ha-ha-ha jiggles your abdomen, which is connected to the pelvis, etc.

No, don't think about it.  Just start laughing!

August 14, 2011                                      Valparaiso, IN

What makes a champ into a chump?

What turns a ramp to a rump?

A lamp to a lump?

A gramp to a grump?

Stamp to stump?

Clamp to clump?

Damp to dump?

or in the other direction:

Tramp to trump?

Does trump trump all the other values?  If not, shame on u!

How come there's no "vump?"  Cump?  Framp? Tump?  Scump?

Oh, the possibilities for new one-syllable words are endless!

Why don't we use them?  Would they be too confusing?

August 13, 2011                                       Valparaiso, IN

While my partner does not much like this part of the country, he is amused by the fact that a lot of women here seem to like Latino types.  (He is Italian, but good-looking, so he may be understating his own appeal in the abstract range of physical beauty.)  Last night at the restaurant where a group of five of us dined, a waitress gave him a flirtatious wink.

No wonder males of one race feel threatened by those of other races.  It is a fact that women tend to be more physically attracted to men who have genes very different from themselves. (Don't ask me where I read that!  A book review, I think.)  The old evolutionary impulse towards hybridization.

If a man isn't too racist, though, he might let this tendency on the part of the opposite sex give him the advantage.

Yay, blending of the races!  If we do this well enough, then all we will have to fight about will be money and religion!

Hardly Utopia.  Oh, well.

August 11, 2011                                 Valparaiso, IN

Things I wanted to say to my mother but didn't:

"You really can't mean that you were not interested in using cloth bags to help preserve the environment, but you want to buy them for $1.00 now because they give you a nickel credit for every bag you use?"

My unspoken response to my mom when she told me she thought of movies as a once-in-a-year event (I probably went to two movies in two months!):  "Mom.  You are 92 years old.  Do you really want to limit yourself to only one movie per year?"

With regards to the taking or not-taking of her bedside tylenol pills, I didn't say, "You are right, Mom.  Don't take them when you really are in pain.  Only take them as a preventive measure when you aren't in pain," in a voice dripping with sarcasm.

I didn't say any of those things.  And the things I couldn't resist saying?  I'm not gonna tell!

I am going to say this, though, to you.  A neighbor of my sister's said, "Nobody can tell you how stressful it is to care for an elderly parent."

Ditto.

Next day P.S:  Just remembered another thing I didn't say to my mother.  "Now let me get this straight.  I empty your potty chair almost every day of sometimes superconcentrated pee, and you refuse sit on a toilet seat of practically homeopathically clear water ornamented with a little toilet paper to save five gallons of water?"

This isn't a generation gap.  This is a chasm! 

August 10, 2011                                   Valparaiso, IN

Character in movie:  "We're all sinners!"

My partner:  "I'm not a sinner."

Me:  "Me neither.  We're just...."  (The rest of my comment is self-censored here.)

The definition of sin in my old Lutheran church was "a symptom of separation from God."

So maybe we are sinners.  We were both separated from God a while back.

But no, we don't believe that God is dead.  We think maybe there never was a God.

We're humanists.  We don't believe people sin, we believe that people err.

Does that make us errors?

God would think so.

Poor God!

N'existe Pa!

August 9, 2011                                     Valparaiso, IN

My partner and I were talking about the crushing taxes and "gifts" the Catholic Church imposed upon the people that in time inspired the Reformation.

I said, "And now the rich people are doing the same thing.  At least we don't have to pay them taxes."  (Except of course we do, if they can weasel out of them and we can't.)

He responded, "I don't see it so much as class warfare, as the rich people who have a million being responsible.  I see it as the corporations."

"I'm not talking about the people with a million, I'm talking about people with multi-multi millions."

But I saw his point.  When people start a corporation, they are really presiding over the birth of a body which will be treated as an individual by the government, and which really does take on a life of its own.  Even its own CEOs and presidents, as individuals, sometimes lose control.

In 1948 when corporations were really getting big George Orwell tried to warn us about the dangers in 1984 but we (me being a one-year-old at the time) wouldn't listen and weren't concerned.

But maybe by 1948 it was already too late.  It just occurred to me that Orwell chose the year 1984 not because it was this impossibly long time ahead (as it appeared to me, the teenager) but because he was just transposing the numbers four and eight - an attention getter.  From my present perspective forty years seems relatively short.  Orwell was probably trying to warn us that the tidal wave of corporate control was upon us.

Even when Nicholas Freeling growled in the seventies (?) that 1984 was already here, I really did not take it too seriously.  I sure wasn't in any Anti-Sex League!

But we really did not take the issue of corporate power seriously enough.

If anything, we made bogey-bodies of computers.  They were so smart eventually they would take over the world!

Well, hell, maybe that horror story was engineered by the corporations!

Maybe instead of being afraid of HAL, we should have been afraid of INC.

August 7, 2011                                     Valparaiso, IN

Interesting that Standard and Poor has downgraded the credit worthiness of the U.S. government from AAA to AA.

Too bad they didn't try to get more accurate and honest a few years back.

I'm rather Moody that Standard and Poor seems to have such poor standards.  Such unFitchness!  We'll see what grading gestures the others of the Big Three Masketeers perform.

Umm, let's see.  If AAA stands for the American Automobile Association and AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous, what does A, the next score down, represent?  Amnesia?  Asymptotes to credibility?  Asymmetry between truth and rating?

How about their true credit scores - M for Meaningless?

Are these businesses also too big to fail?

I don't get it.

August 6, 2011                                      Valparaiso, IN

Thank goodness for decades!  Without them how would I have any idea of what has happened in my life?

The decades of the century, and my own decades act as kind of a graph of coordinates to help me recall events.  Kind of.

Where something happened helps, too.  Three coordinates.

"It was back in the seventies, I think I was in my late twenties, it happened while we were living on Alameda, so it must have been right then!"

How on earth can people remember anything if they live in the same place all their lives?  They only have two coordinates, although the seasons might help.

Okay, okay.

But what I wish I had done all my life, if I really wanted to look back?

Write a journal.  I have kept a journal at times, and when I read parts of it (every decade or so) I am reminded of stuff that I had completely forgotten about.

What would be really ideal would to be living with someone who had total recall.

The only trouble is, from the impression I've gotten, people who have that kind of recall have it in super detail for their own lives!  Their teddy bear might take precedence over your broken leg.

And if you had a journal, family questions could be fielded quite efficiently.  Family arguments could be settled with documentation!

Or oh, for an Internet of our minds!

Nah, on second thought, keep a journal.

August 5, 2011                                   Valparaiso, IN

I'm afraid I am experiencing something like writer's block.

What causes it?  I think in my situation at present the things I most need to express I don't feel I can express, so everything just gets repressed.

More escapist behavior, less creativity (or more strange weird creativity?)  (See yesterday's writing!  Actually I had a lot of fun with that.)

Did playing mahjongg lead to matching words and phrases into long nonsensical compounds?  Portmanteaudecologne words?

The synapsescaprism of the mind is a fascinatingling thing.

But why?  What good is it?  A diversion in denial?

Ah, well.  I think it does no harm.  (Denial - the rivervescent efferpresenttome!)

August 4, 2011                                         Valparaiso, IN

Flambuoyantonymblegions

Sincerelysinequanonsensicaloryebreadlines

Misappellations and redejections

Structurectifyingrammarbelizedition

Frameworkmentalistsidewayside

Askingdomineeringwormyselfishnets

Stumbleweedseedyefastnessences

Cruelementaryessesandnoses

Exhaustintinnitisoftheedlessending

Gotubed!

August 3, 2011                                    Valparaiso, IN

It is kind of ironic that we are all so surprised by the lack of ethics (not to mention good sense!) that led to the business practices that caused to our Great Financial Meltdown of 2008.

I read recently that the number of Americans going into science and medicine was eclipsed by those going into business because the financial rewards of pursuing a career in business were so much greater than the financial rewards of going into science.

If a soulless pursuit of the Almighty Dollar was really the prime motivater of the vocation choices of the people that created our economic distress we should really not be surprised at the outcome.

Anyone who cannot listen to the cry of his own inner self as to how he prefers to spend his precious time will certainly not heed the cries of his financial victims.  And if his prime motive in life is financial gain, what do ethics mean?

Pushing paper may have its attractions, and games are fun (I know!) but they certainly would not seem to hold the genuine interest of the practice of medicine or the pursuit of knowledge about the real world around us.

August 2, 2011                                        Valparaiso, IN

Last month I wrote kind of a playful piece about Me, Myself and I and was speculating about "I" being the spiritual self.

Yesterday the phrase "emotional body" popped into my head.  Maybe the internal "I" is like an invisible emotional body that is just as real as the physical one.

I like the idea of using our emotions as the basis and definition of our spirituality because descriptions of the spiritual usually are descriptions of emotional states.  Intense joy is often described when someone feels very spiritually alive.  Anger and despair signify spiritual malaise.

Well, take the woo-woo supernatural element out of the whole experience and what is left?  The experience of an emotional state - what I, in order to make it more concrete and real, have decided to call my emotional body.

(Not an original term, unfortunately, but I still like the phrase for my purposes.)

One reason I think taking care of one's parents is so astronomically stressful is that the emotional bodies involved in the whole experience take so much energy.

Even in a emotionally healthy family, illness and the contemplation of death are huge issues.  In a family of emotionally damaged people the stress can become crushingly significant.

When an adult comes home, all kinds of old business comes up and must be addressed.  It takes energy, and sometimes it rises to the level where it must take time.

Anyone who thinks that thought doesn't take energy has never studied at a desk for hours at a time!  You get just as hungry as if you were working.  Synapses and involuntary muscular contractions occupy physical space and require fuel.

Having trouble figuring out what the hell I am talking about?

Imagine a beautifully fit person photographed in the paper.

They look great!  But now imagine their emotional state and how it would look if embodied - like the Oscar Wilde's Portrait of Dorian Grey.

How do you feel right now?  Does your emotional body need feeding?  Does it need a pat on the head?  A bath?  A job?

Ha, ha!  I just woke up from anxiety dreams about working for someone like my last boss!  What does my emotional self need after that?  Lots of strokes and comfort.

I'll tell you what it doesn't need.  A job!  I have enough on my plate working at home.  Not all the work is physical, but work it is, none the less.

August 1, 2011                                           Valparaiso, IN

Playing puzzle computer things has made me aware of something that I have "known" for a long time, but never seen so clearly.

Opportunities don't come at all if you don't get involved in something.

If I am too intimidated by a puzzle game, sometimes I won't bother with it at all, but even games that seem possible really open up and become winnable with - what do you know - experience!  Even playing these games mindlessly for escape, I learn something about how to proceed.

I know that this seems obvious, but the fact that people thrash around without being able to get interested in anything and therefore miss out on opportunities is sad.

Bored?  Immerse yourself in an unfamiliar world!

Then there are the opportunities that come to us so out of the blue of an unfamiliar world that we can't even recognize them to take advantage of them, though they are dangled right in front of us!

Ah, but that's a whole different story. 

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