Spiders Amongst Us

spider1aUnseasonably warm fall days make for a wonderful precursor to the coming winter. You feel as if you are out of time or space with the sun low on the horizon and the temperatures high on the thermometer. And with the warm temperatures come a longer growing season. The peppers in my garden are still thriving after a rough summer.

Unfortunately, plants aren’t the only things that thrive during warmer weather. So do cold-blooded creatures, especially cold blooded creatures like spiders. In fact I hear there is a spider lobbying group working hard to discredit the climate changers who want to slow down the global warming. Issues with the ozone layers are nothing compared to the spider invasion that could occur. I hear Al Gore and Michael Moore are teaming up to do a documentary on the political influencing of the spider cartel. I sense a web of deceits will be spun in this one.

I’ve already seen signs of the spider apocalypse. Just this morning a crafty spider was hiding in my coffee cup. Good thing I was somewhat awake because I don’t usually check for those things. Choking down a breakfast spider would’ve been a rough start to the morning.

Not convinced. Yesterday I was painting the trim on the back door. Spiders were coming out of the woodwork like I was having a sale on dead flies. I tried to ignore them but I’m sure more than one died the painful suffocation by enamel paint death.

Not convinced. The other day I was getting in my car and the passenger side seat was enveloped in a huge spider web with Charlotte herself sitting in the middle waiting for me. Thank goodness I didn’t have a passenger. They would have been a goner for sure.

I don’t usually kill spiders. They do such a good job eating much worse critters. But at some point I am going to have to put up the “No Vacancy for Spiders” sign unless they agree to ink a contract that specifies they take out the noisy crickets first. Those meddlesome crickets are cold-blooded as well so this won’t be an easy task for the spiders.

Aren’t dinosaurs cold-blooded creatures?

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Without Doubt

question1aI lack doubt. It might seem strange to just blurt this out but I don‘t inherently doubt. Once I started to think about that this lack of doubt it began to pop up everywhere.

I tend to believe in the things I am hearing or seeing. Now I’m not talking about blind acceptance. My rational mind is adept at telling me if things don’t add up. It has to make sense.

Lack of doubt isn’t trust either. While I can suspend doubt, trust must be earned. Trust comes from experience. Trust comes from knowing you well enough to believe that you will act in accordance with who you are. I trust that in a given situation you will act in a certain way. It’s not a moral judgment. Your action in the situation might be favorable to me or it may not and thus I can make a choice. That’s where doubt comes into play. If I have confidence in my evaluation of trust then I don’t have doubt.

Maybe that’s where the phrase “benefit of the doubt” comes into play. I am choosing not to doubt even though my confidence in my trust tells me I should. Or I just don’t have enough information to process. Either way I suspect it is a gamble. I tend to gamble too much.

The place where I think this lack of doubt comes most into play for me is in the area of self-doubt. I don’t have much self-doubt. As long as my thoughts or plans or actions make sense I don’t doubt them. I extend that same lack of doubt to myself that I do to others. That just makes sense to me.

Now not surprisingly this lack of self-doubt has positives and negatives.

The positives. I can just make decisions and move on them. Not a lot of over analysis or fear of failure. Because who’s going to fail? Not me. Of course, failures do occur for whatever reason. You just make adjustments and move on. I can work with that. It’s better to get it right than be right.

The negatives. People view this lack of self-doubt as arrogance or being cocky. I assure you it is not. But if I’m dealing with people who have strong self-doubt, this can be an understandable perception. I apologize to those who feel this way.

Though I must admit that my Achilles heel is when people doubt me just to doubt (or at least that’s the way I see it). I get when people question assumptions or facts or logic. But just this expression of vague doubt that the plan will work, gets under my skin. I know I shouldn’t let it. I should better understand this expression of doubt. I should strive to calmly dispel the doubt. Because I want there to be trust and trust won’t build if I bristle at the doubt. I need to work on this.

But I think my failure goes back to my lack of doubt. I don’t doubt myself, I don’t inherently doubt you and I guess I expect you to not inherently doubt me. Which I think ultimately points to the cause of this lack of doubt: naiveté. And who wants to be naïve? Not many people. Yet deep down I retain the naiveté of a child which fuels my lack of doubt which shapes who I am. And it’s naiveté that leads me to believe others will have the same lack of doubt. I’ve created a mess. No doubt about that.

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Through the Looking Glass: Embracing Dispersion

joegergen:

From Once More Unto the Change, I think this will appeal to you all.

Originally posted on Once More Unto the Change:

dispersion1Life is so scattered and overwhelming. So much going on inside the mind and outside in the real world. We spend so much time trying to get our hands around it all, trying to collect it and manage it.

We think we are jugglers who must continue to juggle more and more things. We think must hone our juggling skills to take on every new problem that comes along, become virtuoso jugglers to cope with the world.

We invent new technologies to help us juggle more and more. We become tour de forces of juggling. We become multitasking, juggling maniacs. We get really good at it. The complexity of it all.

Except isn’t that really bad? I know dealing with complexity seems so much more impressive to others than dealing with the simplified. Yet we expend so much energy juggling we hardly have any left for the task and objects…

View original 365 more words

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The Devil is in the Ice Cream

lamp2Despite the chill in the air
Silky, smooth rivulets of cream
Slide between my fingers that
Clutch the sugar cone.
My palm feels the ticklish, sticky
Drip, drip onto my shirt, my shoes
The unappreciative cold sidewalk.
My eyes moisten at the loss.

In heaven, my ice cream cone
Won’t meltingly flee before my
Helpless tongue can consume its
Soul-nourishing frozen manna.

And hell? The only fear of hell
That keeps me good and true:
In hell, there will be no enjoying
Ice cream.

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Simplicity Comes With Chicken

chicken2It always starts with chicken. When I think what should I write about today, the first thought that pops in my head is chicken. Then sheep, then pigs and then bears. Then I think, OK, what should I really write about?

Yesterday when I asked myself what I should write about I didn’t think of chickens or sheep or pigs or bears. But as I was writing I did find my mind wandering to chickens and sheep and pigs and bears. It just happened.

Perhaps life is best understood through the fables and fairy tales filled with animals. Perhaps it’s my inherent naiveté that drives me to the lessons of childhood stories. Chicken Little, The Three Little Pigs, Baa Baa Black Sheep and so on.

These stories keep life simple, strip away the noise, get to the heart of the matter. But as we grow older chickens change from lessons on anxiety to soup and pigs change from lessons on taking short cuts to bacon. They turn from being teachers to being food. Thanks for the lessons, nom, nom, nom.

I suppose as adults this is inevitable. We understand the cycle of life, the food chain. We leave innocence behind. We think we know all these lessons.

But sometimes I wonder if we do know all the lessons. We remember the stories but not always the lessons. We sometimes equate loss of innocence with growing up or becoming wise. How naïve is that?

Loss of innocence wouldn’t be so bad if it made us wise but too often it just makes us cynical and jaded. We’re all so complicated. What fun is that? When did it become so awful to hold on to childish and simple things? Life is complicated enough. Bring some simplicity back into your life. Read some fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Innocence lost be damned.

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No One Wants to Come Over for Dinner

cook1“How to Cook Everything.” The title on the spine of the book tells me it knows such secrets. Everything? That seems rather daunting but I suppose it is possible. You give me the basics and I should be able to run with the rest. I’m not much of a cook so teaching me anything would be an improvement.

Though I think I would be more intrigued if the title were “How to Cook Anything.” I’m not sure why I find a distinction there but I do. The realm of possibilities seems to just explode in front of me with the word anything. Anything? Yes, anything.

My first thought was can you teach me how to cook the books? That might come in handy if I ever became desperate. Though my skill with numbers is so low I might end up screwing myself.

My second thought was can you teach me how to cook a human leg? Not that I would ever be in a position to need to know but thought perhaps someone might actually know. Yes, that’s creepy but they did say everything. Let’s move on.

And I suppose when they say everything they mean actual edible things. Though I suspect you could argue that edible is equivalent to won’t kill you, and so again opens up the possibilities of what everything might mean, which is probably related to the invention of the corollary that states just because you can cook it doesn’t mean you should.

I think maybe I need a book that is called “How to Cook Anything and Not Kill Yourself.” That would be useful. I need to hire someone to stand nearby when I’m cooking. Their only job would be to stand there and when I wasn’t sure I could look at them. Like when I grabbed the basil and held it over the tomato soup I could look and they might nod yes. Or when I chop up some belladonna and hover it over the omelet they would shake their head no, kind of like when the toddler is about to put a bad thing in their mouth and the parent says no. Except I’d be like the kid who waits til the parent looks away and then slowly move the bad thing toward my mouth again. I’d be a bad child.

No wonder no one wants to eat my cooking. Probably seems like a life a death choice every time I offer them food. They don’t seem to believe I have a survival instinct too. Sure the food might suck but it usually won’t kill you. I mean come on, I read the book.

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The Ceiling Fixture Shall Remain Crooked

ceiling3aI’m in bed staring up at the ceiling fixture. It’s crooked, crooked in that it is a square fixture and is not squared to the walls of the room. I hate the fact that I notice because I really don’t want to notice.

Some key facts to point out before I move on. One, it is indeed my own bed. Two, the light fixture is new to the room. Three, I have not straightened the light fixture.

The ceiling fixture in the office is new as well. It is round and cannot because of this feature be unsquare. This pleases me. Don’t get me wrong. I like the light fixture in the bedroom. It’s just that now I have to determine whether the lack of squareness to the room is acceptable. However, what is seen cannot be unseen.

I certainly don’t know the interior design protocol for a square ceiling fixture in a square room. I don’t even know if there is one and deep down don’t care if there is one except that now I at least wonder if there is one.

If the rooms in my bedroom were curved I wouldn’t have to care. Though I’m not sure how I would feel about sleeping in a circular bedroom. Reminds me of what my dad used to say about round churches: no corners for the devil to hide in. No place for my nightmares to hide, perhaps.

I might feel like I was sleeping in a turret or a castle tower, like Rapunzel. I wonder if Rapunzel had nightmare.  I wonder if Rapunzel had a round bed. Would a round bed make the round room better or worse? I think it might give me vertigo, especially if it was right in the middle of the room with a big round light fixture above. Circling, circling, circling with no point for your eye to catch on to, no horizon point. I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it.

The square fixture does at least have a nice clean horizon to latch onto, anchors the room however unsquarely. I think I’ll leave it. For now. Maybe someone will notice. Maybe they will inform me of the interior design protocol for square fixtures in square rooms. Maybe I’ll straighten it. Maybe I won’t.

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