Monday, May 31, 2010

Casting Dreams

I had a fairly active dream life last night and I woke this morning with a strange question. Where do the "extras" cast in dreams come from? The question arose because I woke from a dream where I was driving down the street just at the point where I was passing a bus stop and there were two people sitting at the bus stop. They had nothing to do with the plot of the dream - they were just extras - and I though "where the heck did they come from" and then "wouldn't that be a cool job". Could you imagine being an extra in other people's dreams?
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dreams of Running

I have the memory of vague dreams of running last. They were not dreams of pursuing or being pursued but rather dreams of incidental running for exercise or for the joy of it. Most likely I think they were sparked because I went for a brisk walk yesterday afternoon and contemplated running while I was briskly walking.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Last Nights Dream

I woke sometime in the middle of last night from a dream of hunting for chocolates with medicinal properties made by Blackfoot indians.
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Thoughts on Minimalism

I spent most of the day thinking about minimalism. I am not sure where I am going with it, but I am running through in my mind the need to once again sweep through my apartment and through things away.  The place still has “stuff” I simply never use – even though it is nice and functional, I simply never use it. It occupies space. It is “stuff”. It has weight and I want to be light.


The Field

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ending Thursday With The Necessity of Reinvention

Well, Thursday is drawing to a close here at work and if the stars align I am going to meet P. and H. for dinner at either a Japanese restaurant or a Chinese restaurant (Asian ethnicity to be determined later). I am looking forward to it as I haven’t had much of an opportunity to socialize with them in the last couple of months.  I was looking at the calendar today and it’s astounding to me that it is racing toward June.  The first half of this year is flying by at an incredible pace. I’m not really sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  It’s just a thing.

I read an article today in the KQED magazine about the necessity of reinvention in the light of the recession.  It had some interesting stories but one of the things I often dislike about those type of stories “I used to be a high powered lawyer by now I’ve a baker” is they often lack the necessary detail to make the stories a learning experience.  That observation doesn’t really have anything to do with anything but it is fresh on my mind, as is the necessity of reinvention.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On Writing

Well, I seem to go along pretty well writing and then suddenly bang into a wall.  It is not like I don’t want to write or that I can’t write – the experience is more like this.  I sit down to write and…I…stop.  I sit and I observe.  I sit and I empty the mind. I simply sit.


Monday, May 24, 2010

A Trick on Bad Days

I have a trick that I use when I have a “bad day”.  A few years bad I was in a high stress time. To keep track of what I was doing each day I kept a detailed daily log, simply listing everything I did each day, down to the finite detail, in chronological order.  If you’ve never done it, I recommend it as an excellent discovery tool. 

Anyway, one of the things that I found contributed heavily to my stress was the perception that I was doing a lot of “things” but not accomplishing any single thing.  Though I no longer use the “daily log” approach to manage my work flow, since the stress of that particular series of events has fallen aside, I still use the approach when I am having a difficult day. 

Two things come out of the approach, for me. 

First, it gives me tangible evidence of the many things that are accomplished during busy times.  I can look at the list and see what I did during the day. 

Second, it often allows me to see “why” I was unable to accomplish my goal, which alleviates some of the stress by realizing that it the outcome is not due to my actions, but rather too external actions and events.

I sat here for a while and thought about whether or not today is going to be a daily log kind of day, but it doesn’t feel like it.  The negative thought stream I was in this morning was pretty internal, which I do have control over.


Let Them Fall Away

I am amazed at the ability of the find to fasten on small negative things and then worry them ceaselessly.  This morning was a typical example for me.  I woke up okay, slipped into the shower and then from the shower on I pretty much managed to pop up one negative thought after another and worry them all the way into the office.  When I became aware of them I would consider them and then let them go.  Most negative thoughts that arise are entirely imaginary – either you are replaying things that happened before that you wish had turned out differently or you are playing future negative events that may never happen.  Whatever the structure of the particular negative thoughts they manage to worm their way inside of your conscious thoughts for the day and influence other events. So, with a start of negative thoughts, I am moving into the day and going to try and let them rise and fall away.  (One of the techniques I learned in studying Zen is not deny negative thoughts, not try to suppress them or get away from them, but to let them rise, consider them in their fullness and then let them fall away.)


Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Full Menu of Dreams

I dreamed my way through most of last night. On waking I had the sense that I had multiple complex dreams but only remembered fragments of three. I dreamed that there were three swimming pools on the front courtyard area of Yale University. (I've never been to Yale, so I have no idea if Yale even has a front courtyard). The second dream was that a friend of mine was kissing a woman who had the mumps. The third dream I remembered was leaving my hat at a restaurant along a sea-side somewhere and dashing back into the place to get my hat. There didn't seem to be any relationship between the dreams - I just seemed to go from dream to dream and upon waking had the sense that I had gone from dream to dream to dream all night.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Questions of Identity

Lately I have been wrestling with questions of identify, specifically as the identity refers to the self-concept. Self-concept is a multi-dimensional construct that refers to an individual’s perception of “self” in relation to any number of characteristics. ( For a variety of reasons my identity has been under some stress lately and this has led me to spend time during the course of the day to simply think about my self-concept. To attempt to answer, or perhaps to attempt to simply ask correctly, the old question of “who am I”. I’d love to tell you I have any answer, but I really don’t. I don’t even really have a question yet. I am still in the pre-question stage.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Dream of an Evil Gnome

Last night I dreamed that I woke up to a scratching sound on the living room door. I went to check and found the bottom of the door was bent up and out and an evil gnome was trying to squirm his way under the door. I keep a small glass vase near the front door as a change holder and it is full of change. I scooped it up and smashed it into the gnomes head and than dashed back into the bedroom to get my pistol. I would not call it a nightmare, but it was a strange and unsettling dream and I am sure it was symptomatic of the stress I've been under. Other than the dream of the evil gnome I slept well last night and woke refreshed this morning.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kind of, Maybe, Unless I Change My Mind

I am not yet writing – but I am almost there.  I can feel the things I want to write about moving around within me. Lately, I’ve been thinking about closing this blog.  Not because I intend to quit blogging, but rather because I would kind of like to redesign/repurpose my blogging. 

I’ve always been tempted to run multiple blogs simultaneously. I’d like to focus each blog more tightly about a specific subject matter.  Generally, in my imagination, it’s a three way split.  One for poetry.  One for other creative writing. One for ordinary commentary (Rod’s Floating World would stay alive for ordinary commentary). 

Besides allowing me to focus more it would allow each blog to take on more of a life of its own. Readers could follow the blog that interested them the most without having to deal with the other “stuff”. Having read a lot of blogs I think the big advantage of a focused blog is it makes it far more friendly for the intermittent reader.

For example, if I focus one on my poetry, then if you like my poetry, you can simply go there and skip all the other stuff.  You can pop in when you feel like it and simply see what poems have been posted recently (or since the last time you visited) without having to hunt through other entries that simply might not be of any interest to you.

If you think I am a horrible poet, but happen to like my short fiction, you can focus there.  If you think I should keep my day job – you could focus in there and read the ordinary observations of life. As I write about it, I think that may very well be the direction I choose to go. 

Unless I decide to change my mind.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This Morning

This is one of those mornings.

It was a morning of small chaos.

It was a morning of simple little things gone awry.

It was a morning of lost spoons.

It was a morning of missing socks.

It was a morning of forgotten items.

Can we start over?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Thing That Waits

There is something within me.  It is a thought. It is an idea.  It is a concept. It circles, warily, subtly, relentlessly, below the surface.  It waits for the moment, for the perfect moment, for the shining moment, for the inevitable moment, to rise from the depths and break the surface and become. I do not know what it is going to become.  I only know that the thing that waits is not terrible, save in the sense that beauty is terrible.  The thing that waits simply is. It waits and it circles and it is.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Waiting to Fly

Waiting for a flight and I have a song stuck in my head...

"Goodbye Ruby Tuesday..."

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Monday, May 3, 2010

A Feast of Bones

I seem to be moving through this cycle where I simply want to strip away the things that do not matter – to cut life down to that which is essential and necessary.  To remove from the peripheries of daily life all the extraneous things that achieve no purpose or hold no meaning.  I want to find the bare minimalist bones of life. That last sentence immediately brought to mind of the classic book “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones”. I want to find the Zen bones of life so I can feast on the Zen flesh.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Beautiful Sunday

It is a beautiful morning here in San Jose. The sky is bright blue with high wisps of clouds. The sun is shining but there is a bit of a cool breeze. I am sitting outside the laundry, just enjoying the day while I run a loads of incidental shirts and socks through. I am not really sure what I have planned today - other then do my best to enjoy the day. The laundry is across the street from a yoga studio and just around the corner from a hardware store so it always makes for interesting people watching. Add a cup of coffee on top of that and, truth be told, all in all, I am pretty content this morning.
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