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It has always been this way.  I know no different.  The colors that blend into blues.  The murky greens.  The foam coming up white when the winds whip up, matching my own frenetic, ever changing emotions. The calms before and the changes after… and the constant lessons on how to just ride the waves.

Sometimes I taste salt… And it burns my eyes and nostrils as I try to savor the fresh air.  I gladly glide here in wide open spaces, caught in a rhythm of constantly moving but feeling as though I never progress. It’s strange to feel so alone when I know there is so much existence beneath me, and when I see visitors soaring above me. Often it feels cold and hot at the same time. I don’t understand it, but I’ve grown accustomed.

Other times the air is so still as to be almost stale.  And I taste nothing and can barely breathe the heavy air in.  That’s when I begin to hear the buzzing.  A steady endless hum that I can feel but never understand.  And the pace is slow here and I don’t mind it so long as I teach myself to half-die. It feels impossible to move through it on certain days, and the danger feels near so I never let my limbs drift. I keep close and inside myself, and I begin to prefer my own company.

It’s never so perfect, though, as when the flow is steady, and I’m never in one place too long.  I just glide by and see new sights, smell delicious mysteries, and hear a thousand sounds pass by me on the banks.  The sounds of lines and reels as strangers attempt to bring in a catch.  The shouts and giggles of children playing on the edges and getting their toes nibbled by the braver, more curious inhabitants of the water. Every so often a voice shouts a greeting and I am happy to smile and acknowledge the connection. It’s a thought I have often that I wish I could be enveloped by the stability they know. And I realize that perhaps they wish to know what I witness.

There is no instruction manual for being a girl on a raft. But it is all I know.

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Dear Mr. Thoreau,

I read your book in an attempt to not only feel smarter, but to find some inspiration in my efforts to find meaning in simplicity. I swam in Walden Pond the summer before I entered college, and can remember the beauty and stillness I felt as I moved through the water. So I thought I’d be able to totally identify with you as I moved through your writing.

May I say, with much respect, that while your first and last chapters were thought provoking and game changing, the entire middle of your book was as fascinating as watching grass grow. Or to use an example from your book, like watching ants fight.

Lest I come off a total snob or moron, I will highlight just a couple of my favorite observations.

“Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make believe.”

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

“There is an incessant influx of novelty into the world, and yet we tolerate incredible dullness.”

I found those within the last five pages.

Warmly,
Betty

It’s been so long since the last post.  I feel like I’ve been missing out on club meetings.

Random observation:  it is flipping hard opening a new business.  I’m sure that’s not news to business-owners, but I’ve never had the opportunity to start a ground-up operation before.  It’s crazy work, crazy hours, but something you can look back on and say ‘holy crap…  we did it.’

In other news…  I feel different.  With every book I read, every film I see, every new song I hear and every new person I talk to the fiber of my understanding changes.  I’m sure it has always been thus, but I am so hyper-aware of it lately.  (the use of the word ‘thus’ was not to come off pretentious, but was meant as a replacement for the more boring phrase ‘this way.’)

Somebody alerted me to the fact that there is a song by The Police called “Synchronicity.”  I had no idea.  So I took a listen and found it catchy…  then I looked up the lyrics and was pleasantly surprised.  I’ll have to link it to my page so that it plays when you visit.

With one breath, with one flow
You will know
Synchronicity

A sleep trance, a dream dance
A shared romance
Synchronicity

A connecting principle
Linked to the invisible
Almost imperceptible
Something inexpressible
Science insusceptible
Logic so inflexible
Causally connectible
Yet nothing is invincible

If we share this nightmare
Then we can dream
Spiritus mundi

If you act, as you think
The missing link
Synchronicity

We know you, they know me
Extrasensory
Synchronicity

A star fall, a phone call
It joins all
Synchronicity

Serendipity is my favorite word- not just because it’s fun to say- but also because the meaning is rooted in hope and balance: “a fortunate accident.”

I am taking this postaday thing to heart- I am hoping once February crunch time is over I’ll be back to once a day versus once a week. I am just at the limits of my personal capacity by the end of the work day. I’m loving every minute of opening the Market, though, and feel fortunate to be a part of a unique project.

Random thought for the day: one of my favorite songs is “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. I love how it tells a story, but draws out such intimate details of the human condition. I think that’s the formula Garth Brooks was pretty amazing at as well.

More mundane details from my brain will be forthcoming.

My dream vacation would be to hop on a train in Northern Europe and travel as far south as I could get. I would want to know as many languages as possible, and would love to have a sleeping car for traveling overnight. When I reached the furthest southern point, I would commit to the round trip and go all the way north again. I wonder if that won’t take as long as I’m thinking it will.

My last vacation was a road trip to SoCal, so it seems as if my dream vacation is not far off. My dream, though, allows for someone else to do the driving- and time for me to sightsee, to read, to write and to wonder.

I never believed that a place I had never been could immediately feel like home. Yet, when my plane touched down in Ireland, the very dust in my bones vibrated and I felt like I had returned property of my ancestors to the place of their birth. When my plane back to the states departed, I cried with abandon and didn’t understand why.

What did I used to believe but had disproven? That institutions of religion are interested in helping people walk through life. After my years of experience, I’d much rather hand everyone a copy of Viktor Frankls “Mans Search for Meaning” and empower them to work towards balance and purpose.

I have missed so many days, but this challenge is important to me.  So, I will catch up here on the last five days, and post a new post for today’s topic later.

A story about me from a neighbor’s perspective:  I’m a horrible lawn mower, my lines are crooked and I look awkward pushing that thing around, but I’m tenacious and get both yards done no matter how long it takes.

Could I live without the internet?  Silly question, of course I could, but I would hope to be enterprising enough to find new ways of enriching my life and getting access to all sorts of cultural information (wonder if TMZ would consider newsprint?)

When teleportation is finally possible…  there will be no country I haven’t seen, and my passport will be full of stamps.  First stop, a visit back to where I left my heart:  Ireland.  I plan to drink plenty of warm Guinness.

Describe the one that got away:  I don’t think I have one that ‘got away.’  I loved one too much to let him go, and it took me years to do so, even years after he’d broken my heart.  I loved a second one too much to not let him go… and away he flew like the most beautiful bird I’d ever seen.  And there was a third that should have known I loved him, but I wasn’t great at letting feelings out then…  could that be descriptive of a fish?  Not sure.

Lastly, to describe a worst teacher is impossible.  They have all taught me something, even if it didn’t have anything to do with education.  This includes my first English professor who told my entire class very dramatically:  “You are all failures.  You are going nowhere.”  What could I possibly learn from him?  I learned that book learning doesn’t always make you smart… and definitely doesn’t have anything to do with how kind you can (and should) be.

What an odd question.  If I could have any job in the world, what would it be?  I am so uneducated as to how many and what types of jobs there are out there, that it seems silly to arbitrarily choose something I may have heard of once.

Having said that, I can tell you an industry I would like to explore more in depth to be able to contemplate what job I might wish for.  The industry I am fascinated by is film.  I would love to go to film school and try my hand at editing (film and sound), cinematography, directing and writing.  I would love to spend my days learning about the mechanics of film day in and day out.  If I could watch 3 movies a day, I would…  but only if I got the chance to have intelligent discussions following each one.  I would love to analyze to death the themes, metaphors and meanings of each piece of art.

I’m sure this is going to come as a huge surprise to those who know me best.

If by optimistic one means hopeful, yes, that’s what I am.  If one means ‘happy,’ I am not always.

That’s really all I have to say on that, so let me offer some thoughts from Viktor Frankl: Tragic Optimism is to: turn suffering into achievement, derive from guilt an opportunity to better oneself, and derive from life’s transitoriness incentive to take responsible action.

He goes on to say in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state, but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.”

Yes, I am an optimist. I am hopeful that I can always see the balance, always find a goal, always stay the course.

I’m not finding a lot of time to post these days. Most of the time I’m posting while I shush a three year old to sleep… these last couple of days I’ve nodded off next to him. So, in the name of efficiency, I’m wrapping the last three days’ worth of posts into one… and I’m threading them all together.

What drives me crazy? Reality shows. I can’t stand them. So what would my reality show be? I wouldn’t have one. If somebody forced me to under pain of taking all my books away, my show would be about inspiring people to do great things. And the ‘great’ would be defined by them. I’ve had an idea since I’ve been thinking this over, and a little web series is brewing in my mind… inspiring people to follow their bliss, shoot for the stars, and try something new.

So what technology couldn’t I live without? The internet. The access it gives me to friends, family and art and culture from all over the world is priceless. Which technology do I wish would disappear?  The internet.

I wonder often what I would get done if I didn’t feel I had to check my feeds every five minutes.