Zen and the Art of Being

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©2018 DAMGarrity

I took this picture yesterday at the Lehigh River. This first stack of Zen Rocks I ever made was a therapeutic moment in my life. It took only minutes, but I learned a lot.

One, even though there was activity all around me (people conversing, kids playing in the river, my husband talking nearby as he did his own thing) I remained intently focused on my task at hand. Once I finished my zen rocks and sat quietly for a few minutes, I readjusted to the reality around me, pulled out my cellphone and snapped this picture.

There were other zen rocks around me that I appreciated and nodded at as I walked the brief shoreline of the river. There were so many people sitting in chairs in the river, splashing about and sitting on towels in the dirt eating lunch. The energy was incredible and I inhaled all that energy in the oxygen around me, paused, then exhaled every tense fiber of my being. It was in that moment, I finally learned what it meant to JUST BE.

My husband and I did other things that day, too. We walked on the Appalachian Trail briefly yesterday and realized a few things: one, the trail is no joke (we would watch a documentary later that night about the AT and find out we did alright considering the Pennsylvania terrain). Number two, if you really want to do something, you just have to freaking do it.

What am I sitting around waiting for? All these wasted days of worry and fretting over shit that either hasn’t happened yet or has happened and I can’t change does me no good. After we got home yesterday, we took quick little power naps, made coffee, had some burgers and dogs, watched fireworks and then put on a documentary about the AT and were so inspired by these people who left their daily lives to just go BE. These people who I am sure had jobs, ideas – life in some town somewhere in the world – gave most of it or even all of it up to go live on the AT and hike (mostly by foot) from Georgia to Maine or Maine to Georgia.

This morning, I awoke to the sun beaming through my bedroom window and as I did my normal morning routine, felt more peaceful than I ever did before. I did my morning meditation with more conviction, I journaled, I got my coffee, watched the weather, then left for work after I kissed my husband ‘see you later.’

I just feel different today; I feel more hopeful. I have direction and plan on using it to steer me exactly where I want to be.

Blessed be.

 

 

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Flash Fiction – The Leaf

Carmine Carmichael smoked his last cigarette twenty minutes ago.  The sun rose above the row homes on Sutter Street as he sat down on the marble steps at the corner.  He hadn’t slept in three days, hadn’t eaten in two days and hallucinations had begun.  His four-week-old blue jeans felt crunchy as he ran his hands up his shins, to his knees and then his thighs.

A dead leaf blew down the sidewalk, past his battered sneakers and he thought of how peaceful the dead leaf must have felt. It was, after all, devoid of all feeling.  The leaf had lived its life on a tree somewhere as people passed it by without a thought.

Carmine knew exactly how that little leaf felt. Another leaf blew past and Carmine reached his filthy hand down and scooped it up with care. The weak stem felt dry in his fingers as he twirled it around, looking at the rips in the body of the little leaf.

“I’ll bet you were once so beautiful, little leaf, just like me.  I was a strong man once, little leaf.”

The little leaf stood lifeless in his fingers and Carmine felt his eyes well up as he clutched the leaf to his chest. Little leaf pieces fell to the ground as Carmine sobbed.

Footsteps echoed in the distance and Carmine put his filthy hands back on his thighs and watched the leaf blow away in a dozen pieces.  Carmine watched as shiny, pristine shoes stepped on and over the leaf.

Carmine knew just how that little leaf felt.

Talk About It Tuesday – Beached Dolphins & a Burger Thief

Welcome to another edition of Talk About It Tuesday.  This segment starts of a bit more serious than prior weeks.

Dolphins are said to be some of the smartest, social mammals in the world.  They are similar to humans in that they are social creatures and are known to have sex for pleasure rather than for reproduction alone. Learn more about dolphins and marine wildlife at www.vettechschools.org.

In Cape Cod, over a hundred dolphins have stranded themselves on the beach.  They were checked out for any health related issues.  After determining the dolphins were in good health, they were tagged and sent back out to the ocean.

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Image: Michael Booth/IFAW

As a dolphin (and all around nature/animal/mammal) lover, “dolphin strandings” fascinate me.  It is interesting because Dolphins are smart – which I already stated.  They communicate, use tools, have sex for pleasure, get into fights with other dolphins and travel in social groups.

Back to the stranding of the dolphins.  So it’s not one or six, or even twelve dolphins.  129 dolphins have stranded themselves in the last three weeks.  92 of these dolphins died.  More dolphins keep coming.  And no one knows why.

Me being me (without a degree in science), I think the worst.  I have read about animals fleeing a region or area shortly before a natural disaster hits. Check out this Discovery article.  Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like two flamingos are chilling down in Miami and then suddenly:

Fred Flamingo: “Ya feel that?”

Frank Flamingo: “Sure did, Fred.  Storm’s coming.”

Fred Flamingo: “Yeah, I felt it two hours ago.  Got my stuff packed and ready to go.”

Frank Flamingo: “Same here.  Last time I got stuck in migration traffic. Damn near had one of my legs ripped off.”

Or maybe it does go that way. Sometimes I think that animals have mental telepathy and actually do communicate with their minds. Like when my cats sit and stare at each other from across the room.

Ooookk… I’ve said too much.

Back to the dolphins.  The amount of beached dolphins in recent weeks is alarming and I feel like it is the beginning of a super creepy movie.  You know, kind of like The Happening when all the birds dropped dead?  Yes, that story is absolute fiction

Do you have any theories on the beaching of the dolphins?

In quirkier news, James B. Summers walked into a Madison, WI Denny’s and straight into the manager’s office.  James told the manager that he was now in charge.  James then cooked himself a cheeseburger (and fries) and ate almost all of it.  Authorities came to arrest the “Burger-ler”  and as he was about to be led out he shouted “This is why you don’t dine and dash kiddies,” to the perplexed patrons.

Ah, just another addition to my “reasons I don’t eat fast food” list.  Have you ever encountered a looney character in a public place?

Thanks for joining me for this segment of Talk About It Tuesday! 😀