Tuesday, June 30, 2009

moving day.
moving out.
goodbye to Central Park.
goodbye to my place in the city.
.. memory lane closes today..

Friday, June 26, 2009

i woke up at 4 am. the room felt humid. it was raining. i tried to go back to sleep but i wasn't very successful. i dozed off for a few minutes at a time. my mind was already in 'hyperactive mode'. thoughts were running at high speed and worries about the uncertain future kept my mind occupied. The house was absolutely quiet. everybody seemed to be sound asleep. even the cats. i tried to concentrate on my breath, on a plan for the day, on Spanish words. Time seemed to stand still, no morning light was in sight. i had a slight headache. i got up, walked around, drank some water, sat down again. I felt too tired to turn on the night lamp and read. all i wanted was to go back to sleep. eventually, the morning light started to crawl into the room and with the dawn of the day i fell asleep again.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

today is a colorful day. the early morning mist has dissolved into the sky.  millions of water drops from last night's rain fall sparkle in the rising sun. the sky is reflecting various shades of blue. it is already quite warm during these very early morning hours and the house is still sound asleep. today a birthday will be celebrated. presents are waiting to be unwrapped. a blueberry cake has been baked. various cards are sitting on the table. wine and champagne is in the refrigerator. a delicious dinner is planned for tonight.
today is a colorful and joyful day. A perfect birthday day. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the train is blowing it's horn and seconds later the rattling sound of wagons can be heard. it seems to be a long freight train. container after container. I always wonder what's inside them? electronics, clothes, toys, food, computers, wood, furniture? the list is endless.
somewhere someone loaded those containers. I assume that whatever goes into those containers is already packed - somewhere else. somewhere goods are produced - probably assembled - and therefore some parts need to be shipped to the factory. those goods originate and where packed at yet another place. Even the packing material has to be packed and transported to various places where it is needed. the material for the packing goods is most likely shipped to a cardboard box factory, packed! - maybe the container goods go to an airport, are reloaded to an aircraft and are reorganized, repacked and transported to new places. how many miles of transportation could one item represent? for example, a refrigerator? the various materials, the electronic parts, the packaging, the in's and out's of storage places and so on. Or a box of clementines. in order to ship the fruit,  boxes need to be manufactured and shipped to the farms. and then the box of clementines get packed into larger containers and get shipped to another destination. 
maybe one should buy the stock of companies, which produce packaging or transportation materials such as boxes, containers, etc.  rail road company stock doesn't sound too bad either.. 
that morning train made my mind travel quite a distance. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

it was a windy, cool day on the beach and while i was sitting on one of the abandoned tall, white life guard chairs, a family of thirteen came along, spreading their towels and chairs. and before i realized it half of them were running into the cold ocean. the waves were large and all attempts at riding surf boards failed. the cloud cover was thick and the threat of rain was imminent. yet, they seemed to be absolutely at peace with the weather. the wind carried their laughter to my chair. otherwise, the beach was empty. occasionally someone walked by. I felt as though i were a movie. this family scene was so real and yet so 'out of place' at the same time. the kids started playing a ball game, some of the grown ups went for a stroll along the beach, others had a sandwich. it felt like nothing could stop them from having this perfect day at the beach. sun and warm temperatures seemed to be of absolutely no importance to them, and i could not stop observing them. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

there is comfort in a routine. the notion of knowing, of what to expect and of what to do. structure seems to be the spin of our daily lives. sleeping in or skipping certain activities is a freedom provided within the knowledge of the structure. the daily routine gives me a sense of security. the sun rises and i can put my trust into this fact, and i start welcoming the new day with a set of activities. every day. all days. yet, there are times when i want to run away from all of that. routine can also create an enormous amount of frustration. routine can become an empty shell. Even routine needs input, needs new ideas and needs to be restructured and changed. routine can be like an old pair of shoes, tremendously comfortable but worn out and ready to be replaced. routine needs to support the zest of life. routine is not valuable unless it's power unfolds within a context. I guess routine could also be called a discipline - at least to some extent. 
the concept of acting in a certain rigorous way time and again, or of not acting at all. 
sometimes it's hard to understand the true meaning - or maybe even the blessing - of a daily routine. it takes nothing to destroy it. it takes a lot to build it up again. time weighs on all of it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

afternoon rain is quite different from morning rain or evening rain. the clouds appear more grey, they seem to be thicker and more dense. the sky is less bright. the rain drops are heavier. but truly, afternoon rain is just as tiresome as the rain in the early morning hours. I couldn't care less about subtle differences. I have had enough. this endless supply of rain clouds has to stop. who in the hell set up this order of clouds and why do they all get shipped at once? science is making so much progress on so many levels. there must be a solution for this, written down in some scientist's note book - just waiting to be realized. during the Olympics, the Chinese sent rockets into the sky to prevent rain. why can't  this method be used over here? someone needs to take action before summer starts. tomorrow is the longest day of the year and i hope it will mark the end of this rain for good.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

it's raining.
again. the shrub is still sitting in it's planting pot and i have not found a new spot for it. how could I, when the clouds darken the sky and i can not even measure the hours of sun at a particular corner of the house. Even the rooms in the house are dim. I guess i have to turn on the heat - in June - a few days before summer officially starts. I'm tired of wearing big long warm scarfs, socks and jackets. A watermelon is sitting on my kitchen countertop. for me, melons are a symbol of summer. the perfect refreshment during hot days. yet i gravitate to coffee and tea, simply because i need something to warm me. 
however, i like the sound of the rain drops on the metal roof. but even this gets tiresome day after day. the flowers in the garden suffer and the cold temperatures slow down the blooming and the growth. for weeks it has not been possible to have dinner outside. the long evenings fade into darkness. the weather forecast predicts even more rainy days. I know i have to change my attitude here and accept what is -  but not without expressing my frustration first! too much water falling from the sky makes me cry. that's the truth. period.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I bought a new shrub and already lost the tag that had the name of the plant on it  ! oh well....
However I do remember that the sales person at the nursery told me that this shrub needs at least 3 hours of full bright sunshine everyday - like 99% of the shrubs i like do. Yet this is the problematic part here. I have the perfect spot for the plant but I'm not sure if it will get enough direct sunlight there. I Enthusiastically dug the planting hole yesterday and then i stopped. Maybe my wishful thinking will not magically transform this spot from 'shade' to 'half shade'.   - I really like this shrub a lot. Maybe morning sun will be enough. So I've been sitting here since 6.00am watching the sun rise and every ray of sunlight that hits the plant cheers me up. I need at least 2 more hours of direct sunlight, yet the sun is moving so freaking quickly  (I never noticed that before)  that the neighboring large trees might shade the little shrub sooner than later. It looks like the clouds are killing my morning experiment here. they appear out of nowhere and suddenly the sky is filled with grey fluffy stuff, leaving my little shrub in the shade. I guess i have to call my 'sun study' off for today, but I will be back tomorrow.   I guess i could call the shrub  'cloud fighter' or more colloquially 'sun prayer'. TBD.

Monday, June 15, 2009

the heavy thunder and the intense lightning last night lulled me into a deep and comforting sleep. I don't remember any dreams. my inner alarm clock woke me at six o'clock this morning. no running water. none. another bump in the road of home owner ship. no running water. luckily i have a few gallons of drinking water in the house so i can make myself coffee. our neighbor is the water, well and pump master and I have placed a call and left a message on his cell phone. no running water. this is disturbing. to be able to turn a faucet and get cold or warm water is as much ingrained in my system as the knowledge of the change of light.  A cranky start into the day. i know it sounds silly, but i don't want to deal with the running water issue. i just don't. i don't want to face another bill or another major repair. i just don't. but water is too basic to not have it fixed. at least my cat is unimpressed. and my neighbor just came over and set the repair time for 9.00 am. Happy Monday. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

6% energy left on this computer! 
6% equals how many minutes?
6%  that number makes me nervous!
5%  the battery symbol just changed and added a slight red outline.
5%  equals less than five minutes on this laptop of mine.
how many words can i form and bring into virtual life with 4% of time, while the warning sign is coming up 'you're running on low battery'. the countdown is on. the day is running. time is of the essence. always. the watch is watching.. the clock is ticking. the mind is restless. the fingers are speeding. the heart rate goes up. go run. run. faster.. 3% don't think. type. speed it up. come on, you can do this. don't think. keep it moving. keep these fingers moving. you can do this. don't overhear that phone conversation, don't get distracted now. stay put. focus. this will be autosaved. what a word.  the day is running. i need to get started and let this 0% note be my marker for today. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

to arrive. to arrive at my life. that sounds strange but recently that is pretty much what i'm trying to do.  the number of thoughts comprising 'if only' or ' if this, then that' is endless. for example, 'if i only had more money', or 'if I only had a job', or 'if I would travel more', or ' if i only had a house on the coast'. there are also all of these 'if's' from the past, such as 'if i had only done this or that' then i would now be in a better place or situation, or simply happier, or happy, or less regretful, sad or frustrated. not to mention the 'if's' reaching out into the future, which tell me that when i will have accomplished or succeeded in various different areas, then i will be happy, less sad etc. . - I recall that i used to say 'if i don't slow down and get out of this high speed craziness in the city, time will pass too swiftly without me truly having lived my life'. it seemed that this 'sentence' proved to be more accurate than i could have ever imagined at that time. 

I try to arrive at my life. the house, the fields, the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds, the quietness, the creek, the wind - they all help to erase the 'if's' in my life, they all help me to arrive a day at a time. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

it is raining. i can hear the rain drops on the metal roof. 5.30 am. i turn the light on in the kitchen and make coffee. the rooms in the house are dimly lit. I  feel a bit under the weather. my nose is running and my voice is almost gone. I wear a warm scarf around my neck. the rain is picking up and it's getting more intense. i can even see the rain drops bouncing off the street. if the temperatures weren't so low i would sit outside on the porch. i love the damp air. the moisture seems to nurture my skin. 
The house is very cozy when it rains. it feels like a perfect umbrella or a blanket that shields against the elements. I decided not to attend the morning meditation at the Buddhist Temple because of my cold. yet, i wish I were there now - the smell of the incense, the silence, a softly lit room and the sound of the rain. What a great backdrop for sitting and letting thoughts come and go, to calm the mind. but actually i just need to close my eyes and listen to the rain. here. right now, and let the sound surround me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

the full moon was shrouded last night behind thick cloud cover. Therefore the night was dark. the beautiful white light illuminated only the invisible side of the grey clouds. i think i never saw a moon through an airplane window, would that even be possible? Maybe from the cockpit? - It was dark last night and the rain clouds brought colder temperatures. Yet it did not rain. I was hoping that the moon would shine into my room, that my thoughts would be carried to the man in the moon. But is was dark last night. I turned on the night lamp, but the artificial illumination seemed wrong. I put the cat on my chest and her purr smoothed out the edges of my restlessness. My throat is still hoarse. I don't remember any dreams. Maybe i will sing under the shower and the dark night will fade away. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It was early morning. I was deep in thought when i opened the door stepped out into the garden. A rabbit was sitting in the middle of the lawn. Happily. At least according to my interpretation of his state of mind. The moment i spotted him,  he started to hop away and I was suddenly aware, that just the sight of him had put a smile on my face. the dark cloud of my thoughts had lifted and for a moment there was just the green lawn and this little rabbit. And while my gaze followed the rabbit disappearing into the field I began noticing the sound of the birds. it's amazing how loud they are in the early morning hours and it is even more so amazing that sometimes I just don't hear them. - I took my coffee pot and my book, placed the chair under the tree and sat down. the sky was already blue and the white puffy clouds started to dissolve. there was a certain feeling of innocence in the air, a sensation of a 'new' and a 'beginning' and my senses took a bath in the beauty. Slowly the worrisome thoughts returned and the scenery started to fade. The singing of the birds turned into an ambient sound and my vision became blurry. All the beauty that made me smile and filled me with joy was still around me, but I felt like I would suddenly be behind a opaque glass wall. I got up and went inside the house to get a new cup of coffee and just the simple act of moving seemed to sharpen my senses again and i could hear the birdsong again. I  decided to go for a walk. a long walk. a walk that would allow nature to restore a sense of stability within myself.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

'you have go give it a try  - for a period of time'
'half a year or more'
'you have to be faithful'
These were the words from the tendai priest. peace and self examination was the topic of the dharma talk. the four positive perceptions, the four healing tools> positive image, positive words, positive feelings, positive beliefs <.
this 'wisdom' is much more complex than the simple  formula of positive thinking, taught by various coaches in the last decade or more. this wisdom goes back thousands of years. but despite all the various layers and aspects of this teaching, i was stunned by the clear demand of the teacher. "without trying it and really giving it your best, it won't work. if the mind is critical it will override the positive impacts of this teaching and the power of  the healing tools". Never before has he demanded faithfulness - he seemed logical and clear , but can i really put my trust into these perceptions and over such a long period of time? do i have the stamina to try it? do i have enough faith? will i surrender ? Am i even capable of doing so? or is my inner critical voice stronger and therefore  - probably in a subtle  way -  likely to undermine my attempts?
it doesn't matter how many questions i ask. i can only give it my best  and try. so simple. so complicated. - do not squander your life.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

last night's sleep was so comforting. the pillow hugged my face, the blanket was soft and cozy.  the hours from 4.00 to 6.00 am were filled with dreams. strange things happened, but the comforting bed covers made me feel safe from all the 'oughts' in the dreams. I would love to go back to bed, back to the memory of warmth and security. these precious early morning hours. mind and body relaxed, dreaming through their own unique universe - without the notion of time. the skin is still warm, the gaze mild. the reality of the day has not yet entered. the warm coffee and the cozy grey blanket wrapped around my shoulders and neck help to hold onto the fading feeling - just for a bit longer. If i close my eyes and hold my face with my hands i can still dive back into this twilight zone between sleep and wakefulness. but here and there the first thoughts of today's tasks are waking up too. some worries and fears are replacing the soft duvet cover and the coffee gets cold. so does my skin. my mind starts arguing with the rising thoughts and i know that there is no way back into the timeless bubble of last night's comfort. I'm awake and the morning will have it's own reality. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

a new week. a new month. the same year.
warm temperature. sunshine. no clouds. no wind. 
heart beat regular. anxiety level low. tasks ahead.
white flowers are blooming. a cat is sleeping in the sun.
laundry is in the dryer, the car is on its way to the city.
the third round of coffee is brewing. the house is empty again. 
the sudden silence is loud. a 4 mile run scheduled for today. 
my head is spinning and my fingers are cold. Monday.