step sixteen

two people can experience and interpret the same event very differently.
we always choose how we respond.
case in point:

 

two women in a room. a flying insect.
one of the women verbally expressed her discomfort. the other woman tries to comfort her by explaining that the insect is a cranefly. she explains that they don’t bite or sting, they don’t even feed as adults, except the occasional nectar snack. this second woman relays a story about gardening and killing cranefly larvae along with cutworms, because they are so hard to distinguish. she tries to find the cranefly. eventually, the first woman spots the cranefly in a floor lamp. the second woman offers to cover the lamp with a baking sheet and chooses a pizza pan that appears to fit perfectly. the first woman inspects the space around the rim of the lamp with the pizza pan over it and chooses to add a baking sheet to cover up any open cracks. The women then continue their conversation.
the first woman later posts a social media status update about “something crawling in the lamp”. she adds that she put a baking tray on top. she does not respond to questions what “it” was. she also does not mention the other person who shared the event with her.
choice, and free will, are wonderful gifts. we always choose how we show up. we always choose how we interpret a situation. we always choose how we relay a message, how we tell a story.
we also choose how we respond to a situation. do we choose to stay calm? do we choose to judge, and if so, how? what do we base our judgment on?
how do you choose to interpret your world today?
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step twelve

as a child, i loved to read.

as an adult, i love to read sometimes, but when i do, i am a voracious, holistic reader.

when i took my dogs outside, i preferred letting them run in the backcountry, where it was just us, just them. i always felt that taking them for a walk around the neighborhood was like letting them read the same book, maybe different chapters, depending on who or what had visited at night.

but taking them to a wild, unknown place ~ that was like a whole library for these puppies.

the busier life gets, the less time i want to spend on reading books. autobiographical notes, human experience stories capture me, and then poetry. good, dense, multilayered poetry, simple words with complex meaning.

good poetry is what keeps my mind happy for days. it doesn’t come in the language of letters all the time. like my pups, i read fragrances and visuals. a field of lavender, a budding cottonwood tree, the smell of sweet grass, or even salmon running upstream, and letting go of life after they spawn… all those things are poetry to me.

and things like this, found today, in a most wonderful manual for a part-time position i am taking on – food for the soul, written by William Stafford:

The Little Ways that Encourage Good Fortune

Wisdom is having things right in your life
and knowing why.
If you do not have things right in your life,
you will simply be overwhelmed.
You may be heroic, but you will not be wise.
If you have things right in your life, and you
do not know why, you are just lucky,
And you will not move in the little ways that
encourage good fortune.
The saddest of all are those who are not right
in their own lives who are acting to make
things right for others.
They act only from the self, and that
self will never be right;
No luck, no help, no wisdom.

—William Stafford
(1914-1993)