Your Daily Accord

So how’s your head? Are you reeling? Clutching your gut? Mopping your brow? Barfing over the rail? I admit that over the past week it’s taken a small jug of Chianti, a box of Cheez-Its, a couple of Klonopins, and a whole lot of my Woodstock & Big Sur Mood station on Pandora to make it through. I’m a strong woman, but sometimes I get pushed to my outermost limits, and the past week was about as bad as I’ve ever survived—with the exception, of course, of suddenly becoming an 18 year-old widow with a two week-old infant. That was as bad as it’s ever gotten, but there have been so many chaotic episodes in my life, it’s hard to judge.

I’m not going to go into why this week has been so rough. You know why, and I’ve chosen not to spend my Sunday focusing on it. I’m not even going to name it. I need one day each week to hold a private moratorium on the chaos, and this is it. Today I’m cleaning the house so that I can spend next week recording. I’m getting a massage. And I’m listening to my aforesaid station. Tomorrow will be here soon enough.

Living with an advocate for women of sexual assault and domestic abuse, I’ve learned a lot about self-care and how important it is. No one can stay on the front lines indefinitely. We need to be spelled once in a while in order to regroup before heading back out into the fray. Liken it, if you will, to an emergency landing on a jet. We’re instructed to put our masks on first before tending to others. The reason for this should be obvious. In the same way, when fighting any major chaos in life, it’s important to tend to one’s own immediate well being before trying to help others. And that means self-care. Go out for a walk, enjoy the normalness going on around you, the cars still drive by, shop windows are still full of things to look at, and the sun still feels warm when it’s on your face. Stop in somewhere for a coffee, a tea, a beer, a chocolate. Smile at others and enjoy their smiles in return. Then go back to the internet and the marches. You’ll find you’re stronger and calmer, and better able to lend your hand where it’s needed. One or two hours away from the chaos isn’t going to send the world plummeting into the abyss, and the self-care you’ve enjoyed will only make you stronger.

Have a beautiful Sunday and a centered week ahead.

“In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel burnout setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” – The Dalai Lama

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Sorts Of Threes

Minoan fresco
Minoan fresco dated ca. 1525–1450 B.C. “Three Ladies In Blue”

Recently, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve become fascinated with the ancient past. It’s really just the resurrection of an interest I had when I was a kid, but with the advent of the internet I’m now able to research and read to my heart’s content in the comfort of my own home. I grew up in a tiny town where the public library was about the size of small house. Research books were limited and could not be checked out. I used to sit at the table provided, poring over colorplate books on archaeology and anthropology, trying to understand the captions, but mostly absorbed in the images of ruins, pottery shards, and skeletal remains. Because neither of my parents had gone to college, it never occurred to me that I could study these subjects academically in the confines of a university. The conversation of whether or not I would attend college after graduation never came up because my parents simply couldn’t afford it. This was in the days before all the grants were available. I wish I could have done, though. My so-so grades in US and world history (which really was just the study of wars anyway) skyrocketed when we entered the world of the ancients, but the subject that entranced me the most I learned on my own in our little library: the Minoans. Now, I’m not about to post a lecture on this most fascinating of civilizations (I’m no professor and I’m still learning, myself), but because it has taken up nearly all of my waking thoughts lately, I had to share it with you. If you’re interested, I’ve linked to some excellent sites and blogs both on my Links page and in my blog list (Distant Snorts).

Back to the present…

Irish Soda BreadMy St. Patrick’s Day dinner was a resounding success! I made everything from scratch using no recipes whatsoever. I decided to just cook from the top of my head, so to speak, and it came out pretty nearly perfect. My only gripe was that I thought the gravy was too salty, but the corned beef was tender and flavorful, the veggies (carrots and cabbage) were sweet, the boxties were light and creamy, and the soda bread was almost a dessert. In fact we enjoyed some with jam or honey after dinner while watching Waking Ned Devine, one of my favorite movies of all time. Of course all of this was washed down with a variety of beers. Our friend, Dr. Scott (professor of musicology at OSU) joined us and a good time was had by all.

I’ve kept a pretty low profile this week, still recovering from a whole lotta shite, but I predict I’ll be back to normal by Monday. We’re back to sunny, warmish days and I plan to get to my spring gardening before the mosquitoes and wasps come out. Remember last year when I got stung twice in the same spot by the same wasp? It’s dead and gone now. I hated to do it, but I tend to follow the Dalai Lama’s example where any pain-inflicting pests are concerned. When asked once what he does about roaches he replied, “First, I ask them politely to leave. Then I physically remove them. If they come back, SMASH!” Or something like that; the quote is paraphrased because I heard him say it in a video and cannot find the actual quote online. Anyway, I hated killing that wasp, but it stung me twice so it had to go. Man, those stings made my upper arm swell so much I couldn’t wear tee shirts, and they lasted for weeks. Anyway, I kept the nest where it was in the holly hedge because wasps never take up residents where a nest already exists. I should be able to turn the garden hose on safely now.

And with that, I’m up and away. Have a glorious, relaxing weekend!

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