If I Could Put Time in that Bottle…

And smash it against a brick wall!

All good things must come to any end and these past few months, as I look ahead to some improvements in lifestyle, and some successes and projects that take less time than in the past, I’m doing pretty well.

There is that matter of my computer club. After about four(?) years, there has been no improvement or time-saving progress whatsoever.

When I first joined the club, it was for a purpose. I had begun to work as a computer instructor, a totally inexperienced teacher, but a very experienced administrator and office technology user. So it was a logical step. For support, advice, mentoring and keeping abreast of the latest developments in technology as it related to workers and also to personal needs.

At that time, I was fighting a spinal issue, and as time moved on it became harder and harder to stand to give my lessons, until I discovered I had breast cancer in 2008 and my 11-year teaching career began to come to a screeching halt. It was a little like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few pounds of flesh lighter, and a painful back condition later, I found myself unable to work, and retired in 2009, after a respectable length of time for a career in mid-life. So what now about the computer users group?

Being a loyal to a fault person, I remained a member of the club, but in addition, became more involved in some of the duties of membership. I ran a couple of workshops, I ran a monthly workshop in word processing, I became the programs chair for a couple of years, wildly surpassing any past efforts and raising the bar on using my connections network to help that along.

Being that this is a short history of my efforts to retain my loyalty, I’ll put it this way. I became active in a couple of interest groups, especially the graphics group, which soon revealed itself to be a monthly sales pitch for some video software, and some irrelevant technologies such as 3-D printing and virtual reality software. Enough was enough.

I realized what I needed was to narrow my “causes” down to just a few essentials. So I picked and chose – my faith community; gardening; photography, and digital art. I redefined myself as a digital artist, and began to take day trips and network among some very creative people.

Albeit I found myself among younger, more vibrant, and actually people who used technology to create art. People who weren’t asking the same questions every month from the same seats in the same place. This was the opposite of the evening I presented a workshop in said video program, and nobody admitted to owning or using the program. That night was the last straw.

So, all this being said, it is the end of some things, time has been put in a bottle, stopped up with a used cork stopper, put on a shelf, and is already collecting the dust of ages.

Stanching the urge to crush and smash, I shall dust myself off and move on.


Staying Close to Aum – a Humdinger of a Sport

Yoga has saved me. The ancient sages and mystics. Also ancient physical therapists and chiropractors, have saved me. I have felt the benefits, survived the aches and pains, and have come out stronger and more centered.

Yoga is an ancient art, sure. The universal sound of many practices, not just Yoga, is “aum.” This sound creates a vibration in the air, and also inside of me, that is magnified when done in company with other aumers.


AUM contains the original noise. Spoken aloud, it invokes the contradiction of emptiness and stillness along with fullness and the ripeness of the universe. When we aum, we partake of the sound of all.

So, the vibrations of aum, the oneness and singularity of my one existence, has contributed to healing.

On the other hand, I’ve seen many teachers and many types of yoga performed. Ideally, you will have a Yogi or instructor, who is aware of your limitations and can offer alternatives to some of the more intricate (a nice word for pretzel) poses.

Sure, I would have considered trying my hand at yogi school, but that ship has sailed, laden with yoginis in various states of pigeon pose.

Now, I’m just a student. And will remain one, as that is how this thing goes. It’s different than lifting weights or using gym machines. Really different. You use your own body’s weight and balance to fine-tune and hone your well-being.

What it’s done for me is immeasurable. Stretching and loosening a spine that has met with difficulty, i.e., gravity; building core muscles by isolating and defining those pesky spasm-prone areas; massaging the knee tendons which don’t swell up any more, but still stiffen with the weather (see #patellavane); restoring balance; and just looking cool.

Much more can be said, I could have even researched some definitions here. But I’ll leave it to you.

As in all things, the right teacher will appear when you need them. But the most important teacher in Yoga or anything else, is you yourself. And I.



Dummer and Numb-er

The Internet does not make you stupid. I know why.

It took all this time to figure out that whatever study, whatever opinion is out there, and that constantly changes anyway, I am smarter because I spend time on the internet. I love that Internet. Whoever figured out that a bunch of 0’s and 1’s could create such a complicated world that I could go to and play in, I thank them!

I can learn so much, and that is why I don’t think the Internet makes you stupid. It makes you numb, though, sitting for long with problems like my back. I have to remember to stop now and then, and begin again. I lapse???????????on my calendar and let my blogs and artwork go at a pin drop. I run to the nearest screen – Kindle, cell phone, laptop, someone else’s computer, to look at any random thing at any random time.

Now here is the comparison. They say that before computers, you had to “go to the library.” It turns out that I never went to the library. So here I was, if I’m typical, just going along not knowing the information I sought. Like what does a female Car

olina wren look like, or what’s the migration timetable for some monarch butterflies. I know that because I looked it up. I didn’t go to  a building and spend time “looking things up.” I do know that I had to do that kind of thing for college projects. It was good then, but not something I enjoyed. I didn’t enjoy running my stubby fingers through card catalogues and trying to read old typeface on yellowed cards and then writing it down and then going to the shelves. Better yet, I remember sneaking a card or two out of the reference

area, and then having to sneak it back there. Oh, the pressure!

But nowadays, I use the Internet as a game-ender. I am thinking the only reason people are dumber than ever, and uninformed, is that they are. They are NOT looking things up. So what if a cell phone appears if a question arises. So what if a Kindle will reveal the easy way to an answer. At least you have it.

And here’s the strangest part. I am a visual learner. The best way for me to keep something in my head is to look at it. Once it’s stuck in there, among all the clutter, I can visualize it internally. Sometimes, yes, it takes longer than others. But who cares? That is a personal preference and it has served.

antique royal typewriter (2)

Now I can serve by not being as worried about if I’m getting dumber but sitting too long doing the visualization and memorization does create a numb-er situation. Oh, my back. I have to remember to give it a break as well, and turn off the power once in a while.

Dis-ease to Please

Not thrilled with how things are going with my back. So here is what I’ll do. Every morning I will first, thank the universe that I woke up. Next, stretch my legs, arms, and spine so that there are no surprises when I do rise. Finally, I’ll rise up and up and up and be the person I was meant to be.

Not everything is perfect. Not everyone gets to be illness free, or pain free, or even know that there is a lot worse than their current situation. I would keep that in mind as I have a leisurely breakfast, long hot shower and dress in whatever outlandish way I please.

It wasn’t always like this. I would not be aware back then that my back then was not going to be what it was back then. But it is still holding me upright, more now than ever. It is still bending and swaying in happiness and movement that is joyous.

It is not bent. It supports others who like me are struggling to come to terms with new realities in their lives.

So I rise, and rise, and maybe that way maybe I won’t fall back so hard, or so soon.trip to grounds for sculpture 7-05 with sistercircle (29)_1x1

A Doc Thing

A fern's spine it should be like mine.
A fern’s spine it should be like mine.

No, not talking about Word, but could use plenty of XXX’s when it comes to back problems.

It’s not a coincidence that whatever was happening years ago, has not only recurred but worsened, leaving me in a near-limping situation. Instead of waiting until I couldn’t stand up straight, I’ve educated myself on all aspects I could find – thanks, Google – and have a horrible graphic image of what is going on Back There

I have a wonderful doctor. She answers my questions, responds to my needs, never holds back. She knows that I know the story, and doesn’t try to snow me with too many details. I can admire her across her desk, and absolutely trust her judgment in things of the back.

Looking Back I can honestly say that she is opening doors, doors to tolerating discomfort, doors to confidence in healing, and confidence in continuing my therapeutic activities.

When it comes to my spine, there is no effort in finding useable titles for my posts. I am pondering the amazing coincidences and how many ways we use the metaphor Back or Spine in everyday life.

Hopefully my everyday life will get back to normal, well a pain-free normal, and hopefully there won’t be too many posts here initiated by that pain in the butt.