Archive for February, 2011

The Boxer

February 11, 2011 1 comment

Had an interesting experience walking Fido yesterday. First off I am loving the longer days. I was able to get home from work close to on time, get caught up with Dad and Egypt, read the paper and still get out on our walk before dark. We went down Garth because of the still snow covered sidewalks (shame). Its a little uncomfortable pushed out on the road. Most cars were slowing and/or moving over but one couple seemed to take a wicked glee in buzzing by me inches from my right elbow and of course the cel phone people have to be watched closely. “They’ll run us down like dogs”, I told the dog. With more than a little relief we made it to the temporary haven of a block of shoveled sidewalk in front of Parqaid School. As we were walking through the snow tunnel a big brown boxer looking dog ran up on us. Fido was nervous I was wary. The boxer ran up ahead and peed. As we passed it did it again and again. I didn’t see a collar, just a blue bandanna. He must have been out because then he started to leave some steaming piles. I’m not sure what pheromones he was putting out but Fido was ready to go. I think he was looking to get Fido to run off with him and Fido was ready to go. Doesn’t know where his bread is buttered, I told him. When we got to the end of the sidewalk I was in a quandary. I climbed over a big snow hill hoping to lose him and we cut back to Garth and started walking. Then the boxer ran after us running right down Garth. After a close call we cut back into the neighborhood so big dumb dog didn’t get run down. He kept buzzing by us and Fido would want to run with him. We started towards home working through the neighborhood up Bear Creek towards home. We were planning on making it home and putting the boxer in the back yard until we could call animal control. As we walked home I noticed Parqaid Park and Fido and I checked it out and found some cool snow drifts to play on. The boxer kind of circled the edge. Finally a car pulled over and asked if the boxer was mine. They then called him into their car. By this time Fido and I were out on the street. We thanked them for helping, thinking they were a neighbor or friend of the dog and the woman said “that’s just what I do”. So turns out we were rescued by some random do-gooder. Nice to know there are folks out there looking to do right. We need more of that.

Categories: dogs

“I believe I am a Pattern”

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

With the blizzard outpatient treatment shut down and most of the staff couldn’t make it to work. Since I live a block away I still got to go in and mostly do groups for the inpatient guys. Doing six hours of group in a couple of days it really gave us a chance to bond and it allowed me to get a pretty good idea of people were at and for them to get on board with a lot of how I view the world. We have a great crew right now but with a heavy dose of agnosticism which can be a problematic belief system for folks struggling with recovery. Bill Wilson wrote a whole chapter on it. I have never been satisfied with the conventional approaches for this population. I think there can be a lot of power in doubt and I also think the Universe is big and wonderful and worthy of respect, as well as being widely believed in, and is often what I propose for those in search of a higher power to grant them serenity and keep them sober. So I descended into the dangerous world of metaphysics. I structured the presentation around a poem which has twice previously appeared in this blog, faithful readers may remember. But I noticed I had added another stanza. So here in its entirety is what I would consider the last really great poem I’ve written. With exposition people can hang with it. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

I believe I am a pattern, a pattern of information

Built from millions and millions of simplicities

Organized through emergence, I arise up from the bottom

I am many, but still I am me.

I believe I am a pattern, a consciousness construction

Will, sense, imagination, memory

And though I surely rise up from my body

I am much more a story

Told in the hearts of everyone who knows me.

I believe I am a pattern, a pattern set in motion

In oscilation with the tides

Not just the ocean, but the universe besides.

In every mind’s eye there is a cup

It’s not the one from which i drink, but its close enough

Occam’s Razor cuts, simplest is the best

Is my idea of cup unique from the rest

Or do we all drink from the same cup after all.

For I believe I am a pattern, a process not an object

Like pendulums swing together when they’re on the same wall

My heart beats to the rhythm of the One and the All

And I am subsumed in the One

For I believe there is a Pattern….

Categories: Uncategorized

more thoughts on inclement weather

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

I love blizzards and all weather related events. Largely we have created a society where almost all of us are seriously estranged from not only each other but the natural world. We live in boxes and get in smaller motorized boxes to get to the boxes where we spend the day. The seasons have been defeated as all boxes are at 71 degrees. But the blizzard puts the lie to this actualized piece of false consciousness. Everything is realer today. I enjoyed pretty much having the road to myself. Saw some other walkers, all jubilant, the young couple seemingly needing to justify their appearance in the wild that “the inner child got the best of us”. When did enjoying the day outside require justification? Maybe it was justified for being in the street, when the big red pick up truck roared up the road, the rumble of its engine covered by the neighbor’s snow blower speeding down the hills with no way to stop for unseen pedestrians because he needs the momentum to get up the next hill to do it all again. That is alienation. He could have killed me but there was no human feeling or contact like i had with the other walkers, even the snow blower guy. I was just an obstacle. It could have been a video game, the whole beautiful world, which includes me cut out in a window box. the guys in group wanted to get out and experience the blizzard. they were envious of my windblown face and wicked grin from being out and about in the big world. just remembering it makes me tingle, a peak experience i can feel behind my eye lids. you can only be so real in a box. we are broken and have been broken for so long we don’t even remember what it feels like to be whole. but the blizzard teaches us to marvel. it puts our plans in proper perspective. it reminds us what is really important; living each day, staying warm, respecting the natural world. I said in a group that i liked to go walking in inclement weather because it thins out the crowd. i think i learned that at old man’s cave where you can only enjoy it in solitude when its raining. i feel like fido and i own the bear creek trail when for days its just our tracks. we own it like the squirrels own it, like the deer. we need to start breaking through the artificial barriers we create to keep from having real experiences. we need to do more to fix the stuff that’s broken. we need to get out of the box before the box gets more in us. peace. remember registering and commenting on the blog is forever/facebook is transitory and mark zukerburg or whoever owns your words.

Categories: Uncategorized

January’s done

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello faithful readers. Sorry I have not been posting. January was a challenging month and I continue to have some computer problems that I haven’t felt like dealing with. I also had my boss talk to me about a negative mood state I incidentally mentioned and that has had a chilling effect on what I want to post about. Now I see why more people don’t have an honest and revealing blog. Nonetheless this is a periodic blog and so regardless of the consequences I am going to periodically blog something. Today I am up early waiting for the snow to start. We are awaiting Columbia’s first blizzard warning. 18″ to 22″ by tomorrow noon. We have gotten a lot of snow this winter and I have been really enjoying it.

My New Year’s resolution was to work on getting in better shape this year. I started with weigh ins on most days and writing down everything I ate and all the exercise I did. A solid plan that started out nicely but as the month continued I started to get depressed and decided this was not the time for any volunteer upheaval in my life. I am stretched to meet the things I need to do. The only piece I kept was the exercise peace. If you know me at all I am not one for the gyms. I enjoy real physical activity that is purposeful and utilitarian, so mostly I walk. Almost every day. The weather really challenged that this year and I have risen to the occasion and gotten out there anyway. Its been really cool getting out on the bear creek trail and seeing no tracks but what fido and i laid down on our last walk.

Sidewalks have been my obsession. Most people don’t shovel here in Columbia, which offends my Michigan sensibilities where almost everyone does. It makes it a lot more challenging when you get pushed out into the road, especially with a small dog. The alternative is to push through deep snow on the sidewalks. Fido wears out pushing through chest deep snow on a steady pace the leash demands. He’s great off leash. He leaps and hops and catches his breath and continues the mad dash. He can run circles around me, literally, but can’t trudge. So when he is exhausted before the trail and we have to turn around and go home, probably walking down the road with car’s not slowing and some not even looking up from their texts it frankly pisses me off and has been a source of rancor all winter.

I want to approach McKnight plaza as a concerned neighbor. They have a lot of sidewalk and if they shoveled it would have a huge impact on the neighborhood. It would even be in their own interest and not just a community service. They are trying to lease a big chunk of it and if they shoveled it wouldn’t tip their hand that their isn’t a lot of foot traffic. If the sidewalks were cleared there might in fact be foot traffic. I would approach them as a faithful Itchy’s customer (awesome flea market) but I feel like a hypocrite with my work’s sidewalks unshoveled across the street. I almost shoveled them myself and looking back I wish i would have. Feeling a need to do something and not doing anything is not a good way to feel better about something.  With the blizzard coming I don’t know when i’ll be able to get out with the little dog. After knocking out my driveway I might just walk down the street and knock it out at work. then i might give Mcknight a call.

Writing this I can see I’ve lost all perspective. little things can loom large in the narrowing of winter. Dad too has been down. Dennis’s birthday on the 15th has historically been a hard day. Less so over the years but this year seemed tough. With Mom’s b-day coming up on 1/31 i was a little concerned. Talking it over with a co-worker she suggested we do something special. So last night we went to Outback Steakhouse. On one of my folks’ few vacations they had gone to Branson and loved Outback. It made what could have been a tough day kind of festive and a time to celebrate. Not a bad recipe for most difficult things.

Categories: dogs, feelings, health