Monday, August 15, 2016

Round and round

I go around and around... or round and round... I hate Facebook, I love Facebook.  I'm Roman Catholic, I'm not Roman Catholic.  I'm taking public transportation, I'm driving.  I'm vegan, I'm paleo.  I'm going to post all the time on my blog instead of going to Facebook and reposting other people's stuff, what blog?

I'm on an endless spiral staircase... I look out on the same scene over and over from different levels but I am not really going anywhere... maybe it's more of an MC Escher sort of staircase...

I'm just a little kid...

I'm a cranky old man...

All at the same time...

I'm Russia as described by Churchill... a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma... 

I am what Nomad said of Uhura... silly sexist 60's :-)

Capt. Kirk: [of Uhura] What d'you do to her?
Nomad: That unit is defective. Its thinking is chaotic. Absorbing it unsettled me.
Spock: That "unit" is a woman.
Nomad: A mass of conflicting impulses.

So deal with it.  :-)

a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
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Friday, July 22, 2016


I was hoping that writing about how on edge I've become because of the sensory overload I'm experiencing might help to release some tension... nope.  :-P

One thing that it has done is to make me aware of how "on edge" I am right now so that I can at least try to be a bit more calm and relaxed about things... yeah, right.

So... mindfulness.  I am jittery and stressed because the world is too loud and too bright and too smelly... and I have not managed to get away to a quiet place for a long time... and it's getting slowly but surely to the point where... where I don't know what. 

Mindfulness.  I know what is going on, so I can do something about it right?  Take a deep breath, let go of the stress.  I wish that sort of stuff worked.

Visualize peace maybe...

...ah... whatever.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Repeat.

I need to go somewhere very quiet for a day or two, and just lay on the ground looking up at the sky for a few hours at a time... that is what I need.  Or maybe just put on headphones and blast trance music all day long... that can be as relaxing as silence sometimes :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I'm melting...

I'll start out by linking to this article called "What a meltdown feels like for an autistic person" that was linked from Unstrange Mind on Facebook.  You can read that first if you like, it's pretty good.

"It’s never just a sandwich."

Lately I've been having more and more difficulty maintaining my emotional equilibrium.  I've found myself having not-quite-meltdowns dozens of times a day, snapping at people, ranting uncontrollably about whatever the new "outrage of the day" is, flipping off drivers on the highway and being rude and obnoxious to everyone around me from work to home and in-between.  

So what in the world is going on?  

"It’s never just a sandwich."

 I'm right on the edge of a full blown embarrassing meltdown.  I can feel it out there lurking on the fringes of my mind, just waiting for the final trigger, the last straw, the one last little drop of water to start the flood the last pebble to begin the landslide.  I'm hanging on with my fingers, but my fingers are getting tired and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my grip any minute.

"It's never just a sandwich."

 The truth is the world is out of control.  My personal world and the world around us all as well.  I look at the news and I see lunatics running the planet!  The police are shooting civilians right and left for no plausible reason and now some crazy people are shooting the police in the same insane way, random violence with no purpose is everywhere on all sides of the blue line.  It's insane.

My personal world is full of stress as well.  There are all sorts of little issues, and big ones too, at home and at work that are starting to get under my skin a lot.  These are on top of the regular chaos of living with many people and working in a city I hate.  Noise!  Noise!  Noise!  Noise!  Noise!  Noise! 
Flickering lights.  Smells.  But it's mostly the Noise!  Noise!  Noise!  Noise!  Noise!  Noise!  Noise! 

Cars and trucks and horns and sirens and fans and clicking of switches and talking and yelling and screaming and clanking of hand-trucks over the threshold of the doors, bells on elevators, the punching of keys on the phone in the adjoining lobby, motorcycles roaring by...  All have begun to crash around inside my skull bashing my attention into a pulp... Every sound around me is equal in demanding attention and I can't filter them out and I'm getting very edgy day after day.

I think I need a time-out.  :-)  I need a couple of days all by myself, in a quiet place.  Of course there is no longer any quiet place, I've been miles out in the wilderness and heard and seen planes flying high overhead.  There is no quiet left on earth.  Maybe I need to find a cave.  Yes, that would be the ticket right there. 

So far I've been hiding my impending meltdown behind a veil of anti-government rants and borderline crazy pontificating about Turks and Police and Trump and Hillary. 

 "It's never just a sandwich."

The tears are just behind my eyes, waiting to flow, being held back by sheer bull-headed stubbornness and desperation.  The screams and flinging of shit into the air is right there under the surface. 

But I'm OK if you ask, yes, I'm fine, it's all good.  God has everything under control, don't you know?  But it doesn't feel like it to me at all, it's like He's gone and the whole world is spinning into chaos...

So, if I explode into tears and rage and a puddle of undignified sobbing... "It's never just a sandwich."

I don't need advice on what to do about it.  I know what I need to do about it.  It's a matter of making the things happen that need to happen without triggering the flood in the process.  I'll be fine... really it's all good.  "It's never just a sandwich."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Minimizing with Aquinas

I’m reading a book based on the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas called “Practical Theology” by Peter Kreeft.  It is set up with 350+ short chapters so I should be able to go through it in about a year reading one chapter a day, usually it’s just one or two pages and doesn’t take long.  Of course sometimes the sitting and pondering what I’ve read takes a while but the actual reading is pretty quick.  
Today’s reading was titled “Only Three Kinds of Goods” and went in a direction I would not have expected.  From Thomas Aquinas himself we have “Goodness is rightly divided into the virtuous, the useful, and the pleasant… Goodness is not divided into these three as something univocal to be predicated equally of them all, but as something analogical to be predicated of them according to priority and posteriority.  Hence it is predicated chiefly of the virtuous, then of the pleasant and lastly of the useful. (I,5,6)
So, what is virtuous is the highest good of all, these things are good in and of themselves.  I’ve seen several different versions of lists of virtues but the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a comprehensive listing of them in paragraphs 1803 - 1845 
The direction this went was unexpected in that Kreeft used it, in part, as a reason for minimalism in our lives.  Things we have in our life that are not useful or do not give us pleasure and do not increase our virtue, should be eliminated. 
This is similar to criteria I’ve used in the past to sort through my things, if it is not necessary (useful) or beautiful or does not make me happy, I don’t need it and it is just in my way and should be removed.
Is Facebook useful?  Maybe, but I’m not convinced really.  Does it give me pleasure?  Well, yes but… it gives me pleasure on occasion but mostly it leads me away from virtuous attitudes and into… well the nastiness of politics, pretty much the opposite of virtue in my opinion.  
Is my rubber and plastic Viking hat useful?  Nope.  But it does give me great pleasure! 

And so the sorting of my life resumes.  Facebook, not out but restricted... Vikings, in! Looking at the news, that's right on out of here.  Clothes I have not worn in the last five years or so, out.  

Crappy books I never finished because they were boring and that are not classics I may try again someday?  Out.

These guys?  In obviously :-)