Block By Block Building Peace or Whatever You Dream

The problem with Lego is that it’s addicting. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, put Lego out and people are drawn to it. It’s as if they can’t help themselves. The Lego calls and oh it calls.

Lego demands attention. To also demands that you play with it, create with it. Failure to do so may result in horrible foot pain…as in stepping on a stray block of it. (Who knew that stuff could cause so much pain considering it really isn’t that big?!)

Lego turns even the most conservative of people in to creating demons. Structural rules are tossed out the window and free-flowing organic thought can be applied.

Pity that Lego people are so rigid and uncreative. But no worries, if there is enough Lego you can sort of build your own.

Heck with enough Lego you can build your own country and all the infrastructure for it. Maybe that’s what we need to get along,just lots and lots of Lego!

Cameras and Souls

I’m not a fan of the camera. Well I am, as long as it isn’t pointed at me. I despise having my photo taken for any reason. I’m not the only person who feels this way obviously and yet there are people out there who think everyone wants his/her picture taken.

Beloved has a thing with cameras, he adores them. He takes photos of everything from a sunrise to a sunset; birds and trees; rain and puddles; and food and cooking. That’s just part of the list. He also likes to take pictures of people, candid pictures of friends and family.

While going thru some recent photos he mused that it appeared as though I didn’t exist in his life, not by his pictures. There are two pictures he has of me, both with my head turned away, hand held up to hide from the lens. They are good shots of my hair and hand really. Surely that’s enough evidence of me in his life in pictures. I mean if I were Big Foot he’d be thrilled with that kind of evidence.

As good as he has gotten at getting candid photos, I’ve become as adept at evening a camera is near by and thus I vanish. I like being a wisp or a ghost in these photos. I’m happy as a blur, but he says it isn’t true representation of me as. A person. He also says its utter foolishness to hide from the camera and still go out in public. His logic is that if I hate having my picture taken it must be because I dislike my physical appearance. Following that logic why go out in public, except of course I must go out. The truth is it isn’t me hating my appearance, I’ve come to finding a sense of comfort being in my own skin and who I am, I just dislike cameras. That picture is a blink of who or what I was at a given time.

And I know what some of you are thinking, with technology today it’s hard to avoid having your image captured. I like the idea of not having my image captured so that my soul is free as some cultures and religions ascribe to. I like the idea that we are more than just an image and we are ever-changing.

Selling Feature, or It’s A Matter of Perspective

The kitchen was supposed to be a selling feature. It probably was, if you were into spending lots of time in kitchens. I’ve never considered a kitchen to be a selling feature.

Kitchens, were at one time, torture chambers. They were places I HAD to spend some time in because frankly who has money to eat out every meal every day? Who has that for a life time?m certainly not me! And since I’m rather fond of this thing called adventure, aka life, it meant I had to eat. And since I wasn’t rich, it meant I had to prepare my own food. Preparing my own food meant time in, yes you guessed it, the kitchen. (Queue scary music now.)

I’ve gone from dreading the kitchen to seeing it as a necessary evil. Think being stuck in a line for some government service, no matter which country you live in, you know what I’m talking about. That slow-moving line that you’d rather not be in, but you are required to renew or register for something and it must be done in person with ID and probably the soul of your first and last born. Well okay maybe not the souls of the children or even he children, it just seems that way!

When you go from reading something to accepting it, you tend not to hide from that space until the very last moment. So I started spending a bit more time in the kitchen. Not a lot, but enough to not have to go on a scavenger just to find a pot or a pan. I mean I stated knowing where I put stuff in my own kitchen!

And then friends I did something utterly foolish. I moved from one place to another. My new place didn’t have the same types of stores so If I wanted ful medames or shakshuka I had to make it, which meant more time in my kitchen.

A light bulb clicked and my kitchen went from being a torture place and necessary evil to my laboratory! A place to experiment and play. Granted it wasn’t exactly like a lab as I have bowls and cups and dishes and pots instead of beakers and such, but still! And there have been times I’ve felt that I was creating was gaining a life of its own, which is horrifying when you consider it’s only food. There have been failures, flops and success in that lab. Beloved says as long as there are no petri dishes it’s okay.

So a kitchen isn’t a selling feature for me, but I will say this, I’ve come to enjoy the space in the lab. And the view out the window is nice too! And the equipment, well yes there is that! Because let’s face it, a lab is a perfect selling feature, at least for girls like me! 😉

Engineered Personality

He made sure that his ring was noticeable to everyone. His ring announced he was important, he was SOMEONE. Except no one in the room cared about his ring. A woman made a passing comment that her husband also wore his wedding ring on his pinky finger. The man, puffing him self up, used his most important voice to announce that he was “an engineer, you can tell be the ring,” but the truth is that lady couldn’t tell.

To got me to thinking about the symbols people wear or display to show their “status” or “profession”. Not that you see a lot of doctors roaming the streets with their stethoscopes causally draped around their necks. But then doctors aren’t engineers are they? Doctors do not need those symbols as the have titles and such.

What about teachers?m do you see them wearing textbooks or such? Nope and yet the play a huge role on the lives of us all. Good teachers inspire us, encourage us and develop our gifts. Teachers also do not need to wear a symbol, they know what they do.

You don’t see other profession behave this way. Parents though tend to wear markings of that profession. Sometimes it’s in dirty handprints on freshly laundered clothes, other times it’s a missed bit if baby spit-up. Maybe it’s a toy or a noodle necklace made just for mommy or daddy. Perhaps it’s in a parent’s expression.

So what makes an engineer so special? Historically, maybe, once upon a time, or long long ago and far far a way, they may have been more in line with shamans. Tell that to a modern engineer and watch a sneer possibly cross his/her face. Engineers are about facts and math.

Shamans are about the spirits, the other worlds, the unexplained and the healing. A shaman would and does wear symbols, but they tend to be symbols of their trade that allow them to connect with the world and beings that the rest of us cannot see. Shamans doesn’t need to announce what they are because it’s obvious, powerfully obvious.

So what is it about engineers? What makes them so different? Does their education engineer their behavior and mind-set to something a bit off from the rest of us?

Ladies and Women; Gentlemen and Men

A lady never drinks hard liquor. A lady never runs wild. A lady never curses.

A woman’s place is in peace, and the home place. A woman’s place is in the kitchen. A woman’s place is behind her man.

These are messages I heard growing up. Not all from my parents, although I do recall that my mother was adamant that a lady never chews with her mouth open. And I believe my father said a woman doesn’t box.

Well I never aspired to be a lady, although I do chew with my mouth closed now. 😉

I have drunk hard liquor and rather find it to my liking. I’ve been known to curse like a “drunken sailor” (why it’s the poor sailor who’s had a few too many that we use as a standard is beyond me). And run wild? Yep I sure have when it suits. I’ve also spat to get bugs out of my mouth and again I’m pretty sure a lady doesn’t do that either.

Home is where the heart is, but it doesn’t mean I stay in the home. I also don’t always save for peace because I have opinions and such. I’m hardly ever behind my man because I prefer to be at his side. Interestingly enough he too prefers me at his side. And as for me in the kitchen? Sure I have to be there at times, to cook so I can eat. But I don’t spend all my time in the kitchen.

Thankfully I don’t live in a time where I have to confirm to certain limitations. A lady can do the classy things or the crass thing. A woman can do anything she sets her mind to. For that matter a gentleman can be class or working class. A man can do anything he sets his mind to a so well. For ladies and gentlemen are a state of behavior and state of mind. A woman or man is simply a qualifier based on gender.

What Is A Girl to Do?

What’s a girl to do when she has a flat tire? Change it, I suppose or get someone else to change it. Or she can opt to have a mode of transportation that doesn’t have wheels at all. Say, a broomstick perhaps! 😉

Of course broomsticks have their own issues and there are hazards to riding one. Most people don’t realize these things, which is a pity.

If you’ve ever been on a motorcycle, one that’s traveling fast, and you see a bug coming street for you well then I guess you know one of the hazards of riding a broomstick. Bugs hurt folks. Sure they got splat, but not before hey hit you hard, and then you have to deal with the nasty mess too. And in case you didn’t notice, broomsticks do not have wipers. Ah things I do to ride my broomstick, sleeves has been sacrified for all variety of splattered bug bits.

If you are a traditionalist then the wood style is just for you, only be careful as they splinter. Taking a wooden broomstick up is not for the faint of heart. All that pressure and humidity from clouds just warps the wood and soon you have cracks and splinters. And no one, I mean no one, wants a splinter from getting on or off or ridding a broomstick.

Besides bugs and splinters there is weather to consider. How dies a girl dress for the weather, and dress for her broomstick and still look fashionable? If the pointy hat is for formal occasions only then I guess the pointy-toed shoes are for fashion, fun and frivolity.

There are birds and bats to consider as well. Hitting a bird at any rate of speed while traveling in your broomstick is going to make a huge mess. Planes must be dealt with and well that’s just the beginning.

There are no rest areas for those of us who travel by broomstick. Nope, poor us we must come down, land and then make use of what’s already there,for people who use cars etc.

And forget the fashionable hairstyles ladies because wind-blown is going to be the only look you get. Unless you have hairspray that will withstand hurricane force winds. If you are in possession of such stuff, share where you got it from.

So you see, for those of you who decided to travel by broomstick, it isn’t all just hop on it and go. One day I will detail for the full process and what’s involved, but for now I have to deal with a flat tire and broken broomstick. Don’t ask. Just please, do not ask how or why. ;). Just stick to the car ladies, stick to the car! 😉

Fluffy Success

Clouds of fluffy egg whites were in the bowl and success was just around the corner. I could feel it, and so could he.

I’m not bragging, but besting egg whites in to fluffy, lovely clouds is a speciality of mine. Okay fine, it’s about the only thing I really excel at in the kitchen. I have no clue why I adore this task so much, but an time egg whit’s must be beaten to soft or stiff peak sam in my element. Maybe I could get a job doing that? 😉

Beloved was working on the rest of the recipe and we had decided he would fold my fluffy clouds gently in with the rest. We were in the home stretch and nothing could stop us. Soufflés that actually did what they were supposed to were pulled out of the oven a short time later and we were proud.

And then they deflated because well that’s what they do and I realized like most success it isn’t always visible after the first bit. It remains a feel we have thou, that sense of pride at my fluffy egg whites or those nice puffy soufflĂ©s. Both of those were gone although the sense of accomplishment and success remained behind. They key, I guess is to know you always have it there with you!

Saying Nothing At All And Everything At Once

His hand reached for mine, fingers curling around and in between my my own. Reassurance in the solidness of that hand, the gentle strength within those fingers. Comfort at his nearness, at his very being; at least I wasn’t alone.

No words passed between us, they didn’t have to for it was all conveyed in his hand and fingers. His other hand soothed my hair, which no doubt was a mess, again. Not that it mattered, not at that time.

In reality we had probably been there for a half hour, waiting for the medication to kick in although it seemed like hours. I hadn’t wanted to be here, not even for a minute, but he had come home, taken a look at me and insisted that we go. That they do something for the pain because what I had at home wasn’t working.

It’s a funny, wonderful thing, how you can say so much without ever using words. A simple gesture, touch or look can say as much or sometimes more than formed words ever could. Of course the problem with that is the other person may not grasp the exact meaning, but it’s a risk you sometimes have to take.

He didn’t have to remain silent, just because I tend to when the pain is bad. He could have spoken, but instead he used touch and nearness to com minute most of the time. Now and then he’d whisper a few words, soothing and comforting as we let time stretch.

In that silence, as the pain levels started to drop slightly from an insistent loud roar to something a little more soft, I studied his face. A face I knew well and yet didn’t, for it changes with emotions and time. I ran a finger along the scar he has, proudly received from some childhood battle over a toy. I smoothed the deep crease of worry from his brow and marveled again at how few words had passed between the two of us during this time.

Perhaps when we are comfortable with one another we cease to need to fill the space with activity and sounds. We can rest peaceful and confident in our own comfort with one another. We can be authentic and hold to other means of communication.

Perhaps it was the nature of the trip and the fact he had taken me to a hospital that had rendered speech so unnecessary. And perhaps it was fear and love that stole our words and left us seeking another means.

Not even on the ride home, after the doctor decided I could leave because there was someone there to watch over me, not even then did we speak much. He held my hand as he drove. He lifted me out of the car and carried me to the bedroom without a word. Silently and gently he sat with me as sleep slowly came over me, words floating in my head and then away.

Too bad for him that I hand t said much before because when I awoke the words burst forth through the dam of silence to babble along like a small brook playing with the rocks.

Heated Ideas

He was fascinated with the idea of the pavement being hot enough to cook an egg. I could see part of him wanted to try it, but the other part of him, the part that Greer up in poverty knew better than to waste an egg. He settled for seeing the water dry almost on contact with the pavement as he reached for another glass of water.

It occurred to me that I was far more comfortable with the heat and the dry than he was. He came from a wet environment, lush and green where as I understood heat, dry and humidity. I understood sand and never-ceasing wind as well as steam rising off the ground after a rain. And thunder and lightning were common to me, they almost always come with the rain. Where he comes from the rain is often a solo event, true thunderstorms are more rare.

He wilted in the heat almost media tell, which is why he was sitting in the shade drinking water while I was happily moving about. When it got hotter I’d head inside to the fans or the air conditioning, but it wasn’t too bad right now.

I believe that air conditioning and fans are what keep us civil when it gets too hot to think. These cooling items allow for rational and logic to kick in as well as seeking another way to resolve issues. When its hot tempers flare and irritation is at a high. He says world peace or at least acceptance of all for all could be achieved if we all had enough cool. If we all had fans and air conditions, enough cool, clean drinking water and knew there would be enough food.

As he wilted,patting the dog in a lazy fashion I told him this is why things move more slowly in hot countries. If it doesn’t get done today,there is always tomorrow and so goes the cycle. There isn’t the energy to rush around and do a million things. He suggested we head to the tropics, up the tropics without all the bugs. The tropics with our air conditioners and fans.

Well we can all dream I guess. Perhaps that’s all he can do in the heat!

Busy Brains

Recently chatting with a group of friends, the topic of misplacing items cropped up.

It started as a joke, you know the type whether you point out you must be getting older and will soon misplace everything? Yeah that kind of joke. But when you misplace your spouse, child and car all in the same day, it stops being funny.

The brain is a wonderful, complex thing to behold. It takes in a whole bunch of complex images, smells etc and can interpret them quickly, almost seamlessly. We don’t even realize we are doing it, it happens in some magical and mysterious way.

We take it for granted as we get older. When we are young and there is a whole world to learn we go out and do so. We are gatherers and our brains are sponges, taking in everything we gather up with our senses. Those sponges grow and connect more experiences to others which in turn provide us with a bigger scope of ideas/concepts/thoughts/understanding to work from. There are no limits go what we take in or how far it takes us.

Until we forget where we left our spouse, whine our child will really be at a certain place and some how the whole car gets sucked up or vanishes into thin air when we left it in a parking lot not that long ago. Stress brings these things on. Over stimulated, constantly churning brains do this to us, they trick us and tease us, eventually giving us the information we seek. But in those moments when we don’t know it can be sheer panic and terror. The world stops being the world we know and takes on a whole new and somewhat sinister tone.

Probably one of my biggest fears is to lose my mind and memories. Not from the aging process so much as from illness. That is the stuff of my nightmares. The slightest hesitation on my brain’s part and I’m in full-blown panic mode. What will happen to me? How will I live? And yet people do, people who have brains that no longer function as they should, still live. I’m not sure about their quality of life or such, but I can’t help and feel for them. I wonder if the world becomes an adventure or a horror movie for them. Part of me, the scared part, would rather never know.

In my friend’s case, she left her husband in the cleaning area of a store, not where he’d normally be so it stands to reason it would create confusion. After all a man who avoids that area as if it were the plague is not going to be expected to be the so you wouldn’t look there. And when we are occupied with shopping and our lists and so on it’s easy to see how we don’t actually listen to if that man then says he will bravely go where he’d rather not. The child had changed which friend he was staying with twice within thirty minutes. Again caught up in the getting stuff done mode isn’t always going to help us with listening and paying attention to a speaker. As for the car, well when you have the same car as a whole bunch of other people sometimes it’s hard to find your red car from the sea of red cars.