Someone once said that it is vital to be a student of life, always to be learning, and never walk away from a lesson. As someone who’s always been in school, I always take courses, so I understand this completely. However, I would like to take a short break from learning for a bit, please.
Part of my problem is that even though I’m now on the other side of the desk, I’ve never stopped being a student. This creates a sense of needing to be in class, requiring formal learning for a lesson to be valid—all nonsense, which at the core, I recognize. I can’t help myself from falling for another course.
Wait, you say, pointing out that I’ve just told you that I want a break. You also point out that I have announced I’ve signed up for classes. I am my own worst enemy in this regard, a perpetual student who hides in classrooms, ducks behind essays, and exams with ease.
So that’s why I am struggling right now. I feel like I should sign up for one last course before I say I’ve learned all I can about the subject, but the fact is, I already have enough knowledge for what I need right now. I can take a break and go back later. I know this, but I can’t help myself. To keep things in check, I have put in a rule that says I am not allowed to sign up for courses without talking to a few rusted people first who will be honest while helping me see if I r need it or am hiding again.
I have not eaten out in a restaurant in months. I know I’m not alone in this. I know some people say it is silly to stay away from them, that restaurants are part normal life. I also know that others, like myself, are tired of eating our own cooking. So delivery and take out reign supreme right now in the art of nourishing one’s self during a pandemic.
But you just nourish more than your body. You need to nourish your mind, your heart, and your soul. Nourishing the body is easy when you consider it comes down to good eating. How do you manage the rest?
Some people are using books, online courses, puzzles, and more to nourish their mind. Beloved has turned to books and documentaries. How are you managing this dear readers?
Beloved nourishes his heart with relationships. He talks to his loved ones even when he can’t see them. He is open with his feelings when dealing with others. He finds places that make his heart soar when he needs to. Soemtimes certain actions help.
To nourish his soul, he places himself in nature. He allows himself to find and be a part of the magic that happens in existence. He embraces the simple things. And of course he has the four-footed one and a duck to help him become a part of the magic.
Beloved has declared that his birthdays are cancelled starting immediately while I was enjoying my morning coffee. It isn’t an age thing, he isn’t that type of man. Not typically, although certain numbers do give him pause to reflect. He said there was no reason to mark the passing of the year on a specific day just because that’s when he decided to make his arrival into this world.
This is also in part because he is tired of being asked what he wants for his birthday. The fact is, he buys what he wants when he sees it. Or he may mention it to me, and I will purchase it for him. His friends however do not understand this approach. They expect lists, the expect ideas. They phone him and email him for these pieces of information. When he gives them nothing, they call me or email me. They demand an idea, something, anything that they can get him. It has to be something he will be happy with, surprised, and delighted.
So when he made his declaration, I told him he needed to share it with his friends. He tried to get me to pass the message off to his friends, but to my way of thinking, this stuff should come from him. It will mean more. Besides, I really don’t want to be asked for lists or such when they ignore the declaration. The best gift for him is for there to be none, and as an extra lovely gift, if I was left out of it!
The four-footed one is not a fan of heat. She is also not a fan of cold. This has become an issue because we recently got air conditioning as Beloved cannot stand the heat either. Before, I would throw open windows to catch a cross breeze. Sure, the air would be warm, but it would blow through the house and be delightful.
Now though, Beloved doesn’t want the windows open as it lets out all the cold air and defeats the purpose of the air conditioner. It shouldn’t be an issue, you say, except because th four-footed dislikes he cold and Beloved insists the air conditioner should be set to meat locker freezing cold temperature, we have to shut it off often. So the dog and myself can warm up.
One would think that while we are warming up, Beloved would agree to one the windows to help deal with how stuffy the house is, but nope. His logic is this, if we do that the house will warm up too soon and then he has to get the air conditioner going and run around shutting windows. So he’s fine with us dealing with the stuffy air.
This same man insists on having the ceiling fan run at high blast all night long rather than having the air conditioner go. As a result, the room is gusty and he must sleep under the covers. It’s all a bit confusing isn’t it? But it’s just how he likes it apparently.
I was talking to a lady who had recently moved here about her experiences. She had decided to move for a change of pace and a different life. I got the feeling she was unhappy with her life back where she came from. Like many others, she assumed a fresh start in a place that offered things that made her happy would result in a happy life.
It turns out her first few weeks here have been anything but happy. She said that if someone had told her in advance about the spiders, she probably would never have come. Her first few days in her house, she encountered two giant spiders, which had to be evicted. The housekeeper dispatched both of them quickly and then said that if the woman would leave the windows open, nature would take care of the spiders.
I laughed becaues I knew what the housekeeper meant. The housekeeper, like all the locals here, knew that if you leave the windows open the lizards will make themselves at home in your house. Some people say lizards are good luck, but the truth is, they are heroes. Hereos to those of us who don’t want the spiders in our house. Murderers, I guess is the right word, to the spider community.
I tried to tell the lady that once you get past the spiders, and yes, if you must, the lizards, it really is lovely here.
The trouble with the market is that there are many lovely things to be had there. The problem with those beautiful things is that I see myself either having them or know someone who would love to have the item. And the problem with that is I find myself purchasing too many things. It isn’t a matter of costs as much as it is carrying it to the house.
This last trip to the market found me carrying home ten bags loaded with treasures of all sorts. Beloved had his load of wealth to bring back. I wasn’t overly surprised as this has become the routine when we both go to the market.
Also, a routine is for us to show each other what we have found and who we are planning to delight with each item. We carefully wrap these items up and gleefully post it off to its new owner. And then we wait. We wait to hear how our friend feels about the gift.
Today market finds include two shawls, a blanket, a belt, a hand-carved game board, and a stunning necklace to send back to friends. Each of these finds will be wrapped up in traditional cloth and placed in the padded envelopes and shipped on their way.
Already, Beloved was talking about our next market trip as he has been told there are some intricately carved masks to be found soon.
The four-footed one was sleeping against Beloved’s foot as he sat reading. Now and then, she would stretch out or adjust her position against his foot. If he tried to move his foot, she would settle down further onto it, as if to say that he wasn’t free to leave until she was finished napping.
Her tail started to wag back and forth in her sleep. It moved rapidly back and forth, beating out its rhythm as if everyone could hear it. Her tail did not wake her up, but it made both Beloved and I smile as we watched it wag back and forth.
The thing about the four-footed one’s tail is that she uses it to communicate all the time. We just have never mastered the art of reading it as clearly as we should.
The other day, she wagged her tail back and forth while growling at a bird sitting just over there in the window. She’s also been known to shake it while at the vet’s, which is not her favorite place.
Of course, when we come back in the house from being away, she wags it so that it should surely fly off her body. You see, her tail is far more complicated than it first appears to be.
The four-footed one heaved herself up to join me on the cushion with a loud sigh. Lately, she has been doing a lot of sighing; I assume it is her running commentary about having me around so much. Granted, she may be exhausted with having humans around non-stop too. It’s a bit hard to tell with her.
She sighs when she settles down to rest, on Mondays, if the sun is out. She sighs when she moves from one spot to another on Mondays if the sun isn’t out. Tuesdays mean she sighs for any reason at all. Wednesdays are reserved for late-night sighing only unless the mood strikes her to sigh during the day. On Thursdays, she sighs when she naps unless she is awake, and then she sighs on odd hours if she remembers.
Fridays and the weekends are random sighing times. Thus, it is all a bit confusing when she opts to sigh off of schedule and such. Perhaps she is tired of having to heave herself up onto the cushions rather than having me pick her up and place her ever so delicately where she wants to be.
Never the less, she sighed once she was up sitting next to me. And then she sighed once more when she flopped her head onto my leg. Not that I blame her. I’ve found myself sighing a lot these days too. Boredom, frustration, or just the nature of being cooped up in the same place day after day, I cannot name why I sigh so much now.
Let’s go for a bike ride he said. It would be nice, he said. Just think of all the things we will see on the bike ride that we’d miss if we drove, he said.
So that’s why I found myself sitting on a boulder, watching the cars zip by while he tried to put the chain back on the bike. Again.
To be fair, it was nice to begin with before we started pedaling our way into the adventure. We didn’t even get away from the house before the first mishap. His tire leaked, so he had to fix it first. A few blocks later, the chain fell off the bike for the first time.
Not to worry, he said. It would be fixed in a jiffy, he claimed. Granted, he never set out how long a jiffy was, so I guess that claim was correct. For the record, a jiffy is more than 15 minutes.
If we made it more than five miles total (round trip mind you), I would be surprised. Heck, it would be a miracle!
Perhaps I need to listen less to him. He clearly does not have any inside information, or maybe the universe has a sense of humor to go with his bad timing!
Fish have cheeks. I can’t say I’ve spent any time pondering the cheeks of fish, crabs, lobsters, or any other animal. I guess they must all have a variant of cheeks or so. Surely some people have contemplated the cheeks of these creatures. It just hasn’t been me.
However, after a trip to the market where the sign read ‘cheeks of fish,’ I have been considering them the rest of the day. For all I know, these may be the best tasting portions of the fish. They may have been the best-kept secret of all times. People may pay an arm and a leg just for a small taste of fish cheeks.
Regardless, I am not interested in tasting them. I’m more interested in our need to find cheeks on creatures like fish. Even more interesting to me is the type of person who first named the cheeks and the soul who decided to eat them.
What did the fish do to make someone declare “fish have cheeks” that first time? How did someone decide that these parts of the fish would be okay to eat? And why did they choose to eat the cheeks of the fish? How did they determine the best way to prepare them? I mean, when I think of cheeks, I think of people smiling and how their cheeks do that pleasant bunching up. Never has the thought of how to prepare cheeks crossed my mind.