Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the category “Epigrams and Essays”

Cheaper Gas and Greener Grass

Apparently smoke isn’t going to be the only issue in our trip down south. Now the fuel prices in the lower half of the province seem to be skyrocketing! Okay, time to do the research… now a site that reports the price of fuel at different gas stations in British Columbia has taken its place in the ‘Favourites’ folder along with ‘Drive BC’ (for road conditions), Environment Canada’s ‘7 day forecast’ (for weather), ‘Air Quality Advisories’ (how bad is the smoke?) and, of course, a listing of every sani-dump in the province.

I don’t remember doing this kind of cramming for a holiday before. Is it just me or has the world become a more complicated place to navigate? I remember previous trips to the coast being, basically, toss the suitcases in the truck, fill up the tank, buy some munchies and start driving. Yes, we encountered high prices that we didn’t expect and flag people with stop signs; we just didn’t know where they’d be ahead of time.

So is it a good thing to be this ‘prepared’ or does it just end up focusing your attention on all the things that could go wrong? The element of surprise is always waiting around the next bend in the road, so, in the end, is it worth it to do all this advance research? Do I run the risk of concentrating so hard on finding the lowest fuel price that, eyes on the webpage or the map, I miss the beauty along the way. Bill doesn’t have to worry about that, he’s driving so he’s aware of his surroundings at all times (at least I certainly hope he is!). But how easy it could be for the passenger to become an obsessive navigator.

I’m going to have to watch out for that.

IMG_3106.JPGAre we seriously considering moving south? Well, it’s September fourth and Bill just came in to tell me the frost f***ed our corn. You figure it out, sigh…
Greener Grass

They say the grass is always greener
On the other side of the fence
and I’ve agreed and thought the adage
made a lot of sense.

Until recently I realized,
much to my chagrin,
that I can’t see the colour of the grass
when the snow’s up to my chin.

 

 

To Live in Harmony

Everyone deals with pain. We all struggle with insecurity, alienation, and fear. Instinct gives us two choices; fight or flight. Wisdom gives us another choice: reason. Earnest, unbiased, drama-free reason.

To discuss a problem reasonably, dispassionately, with the only goal being a resolution that works for everyone, is not easy but it is always productive. It is a place where “I can” is more important that “you shouldn’t”. And it is a place we should visit regularly if we want to live in harmony.

When problems persist we need to look at our actions with an eye to seeing patterns, triggers, and habits that generate problems both for ourselves and others. Sometimes just acknowledging these things can help us overcome them. Sometimes we need to find ways to change the patterns, disarm the triggers, and reroute the habits. Be aware. Be mindful.

Problems exist in the present, solutions exist in the future (until achieved), and causes exist in the past. The only one we have no control over is the past so do not give it more weight and importance that it deserves.

Instead of telling someone what they are doing wrong, tell them what they are doing right. Build on ‘right’ rather than tearing down with ‘wrong’.

Anger is not an emotion, it is a reaction to an emotion.

Anger unleashed is the voice of fear, a weapon used to gain control, a vent for feelings of being overwhelmed.

Anger suppressed is the armour of pain, a shield carried by the misunderstood, a wall built by exhaustion and despair.

When you are calm, non-judgemental. When you are willing to look for a solution that works, not only for you, but for everyone involved. When the goal is harmony rather than hierarchy. Then so many solutions will appear that your only problem will be which ones to choose.

Smile and repeat.

 

 

 

Does anyone care about the magic anymore?

rainbowThat was the question a friend of mine asked on Facebook the other day and it got me thinking “what about the magic?” I believe that magic surrounds us and permeates much of what we do, see, feel, and think. Magic goes by many names: talent, science, faith, love, beauty, innocence, patience, compassion, and more.  Forgetting about the magic doesn’t make it disappear any more than forgetting that we breathe oxygen makes the oxygen disappear from our environment. Deliberately ignoring the magic is a pointless gesture, ignore the rainbow and you’re the only one who misses out.  I believe that having an explanation for something doesn’t make it less magical. The magic is found in how it affects us and how that, in turn, affects others.
I’ve seen people who have forgotten the magic. They are cynical, tired, depressed, and mean-spirited; sometimes they are me! Magic makes me smile, it makes me believe there is a reason to get out of bed in the morning, I am never as inspired to write, draw, or sing as I am when I have been touched by the magic.

Does anyone care about the magic anymore? Maybe it’s not a matter of caring, maybe it’s just a matter of acceptance.

I search for the magic and it hides. I forget about the magic and it waits. I breathe deeply, relax, and open my heart and the magic is sitting beside me, holding my hand.

May you have a magical life.

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