awellseasonedbook

~ Le vin, c'est délicieux!

The Cycles of Life: A Darwin Approach

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Today is 18 August 2015.

I smile as I sit in the cool California morning air and watch the geese flying in their V formations.  The ritual of migration is happening. I wonder why, when we are having the hottest days here, the geese are already migrating for the winter.

Is it because they know how long the journey toward their destination will take, so they’re starting early? Maybe there is a switch programmed somewhere within their DNA that gets flipped and they just instinctually move. I’m sure the scientists have all the answers, but no one questions the idea that the geese move, it’s just accepted as biology and it’s beautifully organized.

This got me thinking about how people move into new phases of life.

We plan and calculate, gathering our energies for the next big step in life, but for us, we may not know why we do what we do.

We just move.

It’s like being on an invisible conveyor belt that pulls us here and there. Our decisions are not accepted as biology. We get questioned to death on the how, what, when, where, why, who, and the hypothetical – what if.  These are the messy interrogatives that we try to justify and if we can’t explain it in some type of communication: writing, speaking, hieroglyphics, smoke signals, or morse code we are called lofty, crazy, flighty, a dreamer, or worse…unhappy or ungrateful for what we already have.

Nevertheless, we follow our intuition and doors either open or close as we peruse through the serious, yet whimsical areas of gray.

Why we do what we do without knowing all the answers…why the geese migrate south when it’s still warm… may simply be an earthly progression of cycles: the cycles of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

An evolution of the spirit and the one life we have been given.  An evolution that even Darwin could support.

mb

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(The Original…Fear the Beard…San Francisco you know what I’m talking about!)

Misconstrued Words and Assumptions

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How often do we say things that are taken out of context? Maybe you’ve sent a multiple meaning text or said a phrase that means 2 or 3 different things.  Depending on where the other person’s mind is you have no control over your message sent.  It gets completely misconstrued. Yuck! A world blown apart by miscommunication.

Let’s think about all the ways we communicate in today’s world:

Face to face: verbal – coffee with a friend.

Handwritten letters – a very Jane Austen approach.

Emails – articulation at your fingertips with the right to revise and edit.

Phone calls – in the moment but without social cues.

Skype – Yes, there is the person and a voice, but there is a lack of sensory detail.

Texts – anywhere…anytime and generally simple…you would never propose marriage over a text. (no no no!)

Pictures – say a thousand words.

Selfies – a moment in time and the range of emotion is fearless.

Face to face: non-verbal – yes…speaking without verbalizing…the intuitive conversation.

The list goes on and on as social media kingdoms rise in their quest to help humans express.

How does one repair the misconstrued intentions of their words?

It isn’t easy to repair and maybe it is unfortunately impossible, especially if you’ve made assumptions about the other person, however if we free ourselves… from ourselves…then maybe we have a fighting chance to resume friendships, make peace, smile and laugh.

The assumptions part is where communication breaks down…so stop it!

Never assume the highest threat level of another’s words and realize everyone wants to live a happy life, free of drama, and full of fun!

Happy Friday,

mb

Are Men Really from Mars and Women from Venus?

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This week the idea of men and women has been on my mind.

There are some disturbing realizations that I just don’t seem to understand. Maybe it’s cultural, maybe it’s competition, maybe it’s…unevolved.  Help me Obi-Wan…I don’t get it!

Why do women huddle together like hens in the corner and men on the other side forming their bro-communities? Where did the balance go? Are we really all that different?  OK yes we are…but that being said…is that a bad thing…no, it isn’t.

There is an idea floating out in the universe that men and women who operate in separate pools of life become stronger as humans beings. We ask for the other sex to be more like us, but doesn’t this seem a bit whacky? (again…Obi-Wan…911!)

Are we that insecure in our feminism and masculinity that we ask men to be more like women and women to be more like men…and if they don’t…then screw ’em!  Our solution is:  we will band together in our same-sex groups and complain!

Asking someone to change is a slippery slope to resentment.  When people are forced to change it’s an attack on who there are…and besides…isn’t it refreshing to see the differences rather than cloning a new hybrid of man or woman?

Leave the clones to Boba Fett and…ummmm…May the force be with you!

I recently went to a restaurant to have a quiet lunch by myself and I sat down beside two women. Ohhh my! What a shock to hear how the men in their lives were impacting them in such negative ways. I was tempted to pop my head into their conversation and ask, “Are men really all that terrible?” but alas I didn’t and I think I immediately suffered from indigestion by stifling my comments. This is just one scenario though.  Men…I hear it from you too…the nagging, the honey-do list, the making me watch a chic-flick dread! Are women really all that bad?

Maybe it’s just our perspectives that need a tune-up.  No one is an object, no one should be cloned, and male/female differences set balance and order into the universe like they do with art.

Let the dance start between the sexes so that balance can be restored!  Ohhh and how much more fun that would be!

Don’t you think? ~mb

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Walking on Water

Early mornings in Sonoma County are lovely; a cool, peaceful time as the sun slowly warms up the sky. You can easily make friends with Mother Nature…and then there are the vineyards. Somewhere beyond your own backyard there is the knowledge that at this exact moment trillions of little green and purple grapes are growing;  taking shape to produce something many of us enjoy over dinner.

Each morning, I fill my little copper birdbath to give respite to my many backyard birds. This ritualistic journey requires me to wade into the glistening green grass, still wet with the morning’s dew.

I walk it barefoot.

IMG_7381To feel the water brushing just above my ankles is a great feeling that connects body to earth.

It’s the stuff poetry is made of.  Exhilarating!  Good morning.

mb

Baby Elephant Walk by Henry Mancini

Lujon by Henry Mancini

Saturday’s Pledge of Allegiance

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 9.22.17 AMTime is precious.

After a weeks worth of commitments and obligations, isn’t it nice to know that on Saturday you can be the king or queen of your own castle?

If you want to continue your workweek…well then you will, but there comes a time where you must say to yourself…not today!

It’s Saturday.

I will listen to my albums. I will spend hours on the phone with my family. I will sit and watch the marine layer in the sky lift into deep blues and search for images in the clouds. I will bake that Coconut Crème pie. I will lie on the floor and play with my baby without make-up on and in my pajamas, regardless of the stack of dishes on the counter.

I won’t do laundry. I won’t mow the lawn. I won’t sacrifice the one day of my week to obligations. Today I will do as I please.

So there!

It’s your Saturday Constitutional Right…and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under Saturday, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Enjoy your day!

mb

Bob Marley & Saturday Morning

A Poem: Tracing Life

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The rush off the palms of your hands,

moving and falling over

the lines.

A story to be told.

Tracing the veins

over your translucent skin.

Connecting pulse

and life

in a tale buried deep

within the epidermis of

touch.

An inevitable

way to change.

Cashing in Your Ticket

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Welcome one-and-all to the greatest ticket known to mankind…the ticket to becoming you.

As your ears perk up and your neurons fire at the belief we are all lifelong learners, what will you decide to do with your ticket?

Will you devote your time to:

Cooking? – If so I’m putting on my jacket now and heading over for dinner!

Maybe you’ll learn a new language? – Konichiwa!

Better yet, maybe you will learn how to do your own taxes? Now that is brave and so I pat you on the back and hand you a box of tissue, a glass of wine, and encourage you to book a spa treatment afterward.

When you find out what it is that makes your brain go…Ahhhhhh, you simply can’t sit there and do nothing.

Riiiiiight?

Action has to be taken. You’ve journeyed the long road of, What the hell am I going to do with my life?, and when you discovered it you became obligated to yourself and your efforts to step over the line drawn in the sand.  Time to move forward.

If it is too scary, well then it might be the wrong path, but if it is easy, doors opening, people smiling, and health restored…my friend you are on the right road.  It’s musical.

It does sound a bit like magical b.s., but I assure you there are wise men and women (maybe not as obvious as those carrying frankincense, gold, or myrrh) with stories of change to share.

They were once complacent in their lives, but with hard work and support they were able to write their own song, edit the score, and gather energy to cash in their ticket and board the train.

The Clouds

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She sang to the clouds,

filling water and light

in her dark eyes.

A second to glance,

A moment to blush,

An hour to sigh,

A day to bed.

Reserved and cool.

The forest through the trees,

asking for a map

to guide the way.

The grand tunnel

of shimmering jewels.

A cavern unlocked.

Waxing and waning moon.

The clouds building.

A Poem: The Journey

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The light swirling decisions

of choice

brought into view.

Breaking clouds

Building chic story.

A vision of

Solitude

and breath

uncharted on a map.

A verb,

A noun,

An elegant adjective.

A journey.

Poem: The Dustbowl

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Reading your letters

from a depression area.

The lack of,

the memories of,

the reality of.

The articles read,

the End has come.

The sea of success

washed away in moments

as the hand once held high

now swings quietly

with blackened fingernails.

Save,

move,

remember.

learn.

A kiss that came

in the gritty dustbowl

of destruction

placed upon your lips.

Still survives.

A Poem: The Metronome

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A lengthy puzzle,

tied up in ribbon.

A gift,

broken into pieces.

Time distorted,

through measured ticks.

A day in a year,

a year in a day.

Rain,

on a sunny day.

Shouting whispers,

over soft thunder.

Rough hands,

on a soft body.

Worlds within boundaries,

nourishing and protecting,

setting the metronome

of dissonance in time.

The Sky Over Sonoma County

  

Bird Brains

 

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Today rain fell in Sonoma County. The welcomed weather must have invigorated nature’s sense of humor because I ended up in playful game of peek-a-boo with the little backyard hummingbird.

As I am no photographer extraordinaire and as I have vowed to capture a hummingbird picture for a friend, the quest has so far been unsuccessful. The zippiness of these little guys is a marvel to the human eye and a frustration to my iPhone camera who is sadly shaking his head saying, “No, no, no, we didn’t even come close.” (My iPhone may even be suffering from low self-esteem at this point in the journey).

Funny enough, one particular little hummingbird this morning seemed just as curious about me as I have been with him and his zig-zagging, motley crew. Numerous times he flew up to me to watch me as I slowly reached for my camera, but each time I got ready to video…bzzzzz…..off he went!

Drat!!!  Even now as I type, he is keeping a quick eye on me from a hidden perch. His incessant snapping gives away his location.

I realized I was playing a game with him when he started flying low to the ground and hiding himself behind a bamboo shade located on my deck. Yes, he was as sly as a cat but sadly, as loud as a Vespa with his wings fluttering one million miles per hour. I watched his silhouette from behind the shade as he slowly zzzzz’d forward to peek around the corner at me. Quick! He put his wings in reverse and backed-up his little flying golf-ball body. Beeep, beeep, beeep!

How funny he looked and how persistent he was in spying on me! I think today I made a new friend…even if he is being such a little shit!

mb

PS…Success!  Got him!  Got Him (click for video)

Retourner

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Cat and mouse

Release

Hide and seek

Retreat

Black and white

Replace

Jekyll and Hyde

Recoil

Ex-boyfriend and Ex-girlfriend

Regret

Saturday and Sunday

Recuperate

Sins and blasphemy

Repent

Lipstick and kiss

Reapply

Thighs and Ankles

Reveal

Leftovers and an old flames

Reheat

Thunder and lightning

Replenish

Life

Reincarnate and Return

A Poem: Leading the Revolution

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 11.40.17 AMThe red-headed finch visits

and shows his flare of sophistication,

his temperament of shyness,

and a splash of daring on the

rooftops of suburbia.

Small but mighty

he owns the skies with

fearless dashing song

making himself known to

all who wait for his presence.

With him comes the sun

warming cool summer skies.

He is a the violin in the orchestra

of gentle currents.

He is the revolution.

A Poem: The Jungle

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The jungle,

its eyes scanning the terrain,

deep blue skies eavesdropping

on the whispers falling over the vast domain.

The wilderness,

protecting its own with falling rain,

preserving and protecting the landscape

for an abundance of

life.

The rhythm,

a combination of melody and harmony

increased by the circulation of

wind and water,

fire and light.

The energy.

The movement.

The method.

The clouds.

The jungle and its mysteries

secure life in small places,

holding true the secret of

spirit.

Dreams, Gurus, and Dancing Butts

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a weird dream.

With all the electricity happening in the nocturnal world, how can there NOT be weird dreams? You wake up feeling either relieved, terrified, empowered, or powerless, but then you fall back asleep and the mind resets back to sleep-mode…go back to bed! Now!

Do we try to make sense out of our dreams or not?

I guess it’s time to drag out the old family crystal ball, dust it off, and gaze deeply into its swirling pools of purple gases locked within the thick glass sphere to begin the magical journey of dream analysis (but don’t stare too hard because you might fall back asleep…no bueno!).

If we are fortunate enough to remember our dreams, I imagine it goes something like this:

Bonjourrrr…..streeeeetch….yaaaaawn….coffeeee…..OH MY GOD MY DREAM!!!!!

Then we immediately grab the first beating heart we can find. Anyone will do if the dream was powerful enough.  So you grab your significant other, or possibly the mailman who in future days will eventually hide behind bushes when he sees you coming, your daughter’s pet turtle, your grandma’s pet canary, or if there is no one to be found…yes, you will probably explain it all to SIRI. We do this exhausting ritualistic replay in order to process all the weird details from our freshly downloaded video dream-streams and hope our patient listeners are not drooling by the time we’re done.

Yes, there are books we can quickly turn to in-order to diagnose our dreams, however, maybe perspective through abstraction is the beauty of it all. Simple, easy, abstract, with a splash of messy!

Last thoughts:  The dream gurus say we are the objects of our dreams…just in abstract form?  How cool is that?

(Unless you are a dancing butt in a karaoke bar…then…sorry about that.)

mb

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An Orange You Glad Kind of Day

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In life there are numerous modes of joy.

The rise of a smiling voice, the sound of a canary singing his song, or the color of an orange can sometimes make us happier than diamonds, fame, or fast cars.

Why is this?

How is it that these simplicities pack such a powerful punch? Maybe the key is found in the lack of effort required to obtain these things.

Let me explain:  Humans work hard for the hot rod, the bling, and the notoriety; therefore the machine is striving (a derivative of strife) for those items attributed to success and fame, but ohhhhh the work involved.

Ratio Measurement of the bling

Strife Output – 100

Happiness Input – 100

(100:100)

Ahhh, but the orange sitting there in your fruit basket all shiny and radiating, hiding its sweetness has not given you an ulcer, sleepless nights, or a drinking problem.

Ratio Measurement – the orange

Strife Output – 10 (grocery store battle!)

Happiness Input – 100

(10:100)

Kind of cool…Right?

OK!!! That’s enough mathematics.  It should also be noted that he orange has such a lovely color like the sun, the sound of a baby’s laugh, or a cat sleeping in the shadows.  Beautiful!

Voila!

~mb

P.S.  Support your local farmers! They may have a little higher strife output than us consumers!  Thank you Mr./Mrs. Citrus Growing People of the World. :)

When Questions Outweigh Answers, Snooze, and Other Fun Stuff

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The bookshelves are filled with a wealth of information for those seekers of…ummm….information.

For some, this statement maybe the perpetual alarm clock going off in our heads. It’s fine to go ahead and hit snooze for a few years, but that alarm will keep chiming in its obnoxious way to get us to snap to and admit to ourselves we want some answers.

Then there isn’t much you can do, so grab a Red Bull, dig into the muck, and start organizing and flinging your thoughts into color-coded files and organize them with tabs. Not the type A personality?…that’s O.K.! Grab a beer while lazily organizing and lob your thoughts into boxes (you know the ones that say Kirkland?). Not the type B personality?…no problem.! Lay in bed and think about yourself organizing and flinging your thoughts under the bed. Not any of the above?…well, errrrrr…seek counseling.

My point is this: It’s merely our human nature that wants to know why. When these dawnings hit us is irrelevant, but you can’t ignore them forever. There is some kind of intrinsic bliss in the unknown happening around the corner. We can only hit snooze for so long and then the questions are still waiting to be answered. Questions like:  What is the point? Why did I do that? When did this matter? How will I live the next 20 years of my life?

Self-understanding is not something to be taken lightly because if you are the self…then you are the one entitled to ask these questions. It’s your life after all.

There will be a torrent of excuses…typical. There will also be a downpour of taking it personal…also very typical. Lastly, there will be a stream of babbling nothingness. It’s part of the process. (Best to keep these babbling sessions with the drunk aunt or uncle in the family because they know all about aimless rambling.) :-)

Where is the best place to start with it all?  Anywhere.

As long as you feel like you are getting a tad closer to answering these pestering questions is better than nowhere.

~mb

Our Tantalizing Titles of Life

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The other night I heard a great song titled…Goodnight Mr. Sweetheart by a favorite group of mine. This got me thinking about all the great written titles in literature. One never forgets the flavor of: A Picture of Dorian Gray, Gone with the Wind, or Anna Karenina simply because of the title. Hero, heroine, and antagonist are exposing their story to us in the confines of our homes and the title was our first eye-catcher.

How do authors choose their titles? What are the frameworks? Is there a formula? I’m not sure.

Once it’s down in title format it is concrete, therefore it’s not something to be taken lightly.  The mind will always activate and recall to help us form our associations with the rest of the text-based upon the title. Not to mention we aren’t always handed the most obvious titles either. Marketing plays a huge part in a reader’s choice as we wander through the stacks of books, searching aimlessly for that perfect story to help soothe whatever mood we are in.

In a perfect world, we would have people to help us find the best book to satisfy our disposition, but when we flounder (swimmy…swim, swim) we must rely on our ability to crack open the cover to help us overcome the marketing barrier. This made me think of life titles.

How do we choose the titles of our life?

It’s not as easy as…Dinner Was Great, or I Think I’m in Love, or an my all time favorite of mine – How To Bathe Your Cat Without Losing an Eye (It will be my magnum opus).

So to quote the great green-faced Witch of the West I say this, “Th
ese things are delicate.”  Truly though…these are the sections in our lives that are, were, and will be delicate as we think on the best and worst days periods of our lives or those we have yet to live.

We may want to attempt to title these periods of life in an effort to appreciate authorship and to organize and reflect upon the one life we are given (unless you are a cat with 9 lives and you still have two eyes because that’s 9x the bathing!).

C’est le weekend.  Enjoy!

~mb

Closer to the Sun

In the midst of wondering what is on the other side of the world, it may be best to focus on the seasons that we respond to best.

Are you a spring, summer, fall, or winter person? Where do you find yourself?

I wish I had an elaborate quiz that one could go through to answer specific questions, but I’m afraid the extent of that would be:

  1. Do you like watching the flowers bloom?
  2. Do you like to bake in the sunshine?
  3. Does your soul wake up with the falling leaves?
  4. Do you fall desperately in love with Frosty the Snowman?

All of these are obvious giveaways and show our true colors?  We could dive into the depths of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, but that is too high-brow for a Thursday…so let’s keep it easy. Let’s visualize our way through this together.

  1. Which season keeps you calm? At peace? Or charged for the day?
  2. Could a summer person live peacefully with a winter person?  Or a fall person reconcile with a spring person?
  3. Are you aware you are wearing shorts in temperatures below freezing?  or sweaters and jeans in over 80 degree weather?
  4. Do you cry in your pillow when frost zaps the energy out of your new blooms?

Maybe a little better, but the fact remains…we are creatures of habit and we hold the seasons in our hearts with our cooking, our music, and our conversations.

~mb

PS Why is it that summer conversations are always so much fun?

Woman Reading C1880-1890 Jean-Jacques Henner

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Expand and Breath a New Day

Some of the best qualities in life start with our multiple agents of reason.

Today is a special day because it is simply new. Possible gains, even microlevels of gains, are hiding around every corner. They are building blocks in process. They help us see the different angles of what is waiting. This brings us to the crux of what matters most.

Where do we find these innate qualities of reasoning?

It’s easier said than done…right?  Change is good, but no one said it will be easy. So let’s make it easy.

Look around and try something new. Actually, try a few new things today. Take a new route to work, taste a new spice, explore jazz (or Beiber if you are just that daring). Already a Bieber fan?….well then explore opera. I’ve heard La Bohème is a great starting place (there is a more complex world than Bieber…I know…shock, gasp!!!!).

It maybe just as important to find out what the big flippin’ deal is that is floating so many boats as it is to criticize those who enjoy these fascinating outlets.

So homework: Expand…even if you think you have expanded…expand more and rationalize it 360° with all your might.

A new day is only the beginning of one experience.  The hope is that we discover a new and intoxicating point of view. There is no fear in the unknown, only possibilities.

Push on, expand, and do not let the haters bring you down…(don’t get me started on haters, unless you want a fountain of swearing, or a tutorial of how to push them out of your life – (seriously…step one…don’t engage).

We are not as limited as we feel some days.

~mb

P.S.  Happy Bastille Day to the French!

Time Travelers, Liars, and Good Grades

Part One: Time Travelers

Is it so bad to time travel?

We project and we reflect and we feel better as we hear the ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Future (who by the way was super scary in the movie) speak to us.

A big concept in today’s living is the idea of staying in the present. The Power of Now, stay in the moment, or my personal favorite: life unfolds one day at a time are all slogans continually being thrown at us.

Do you ever want to tell those old adages of days gone by to stuff it?

Where would we be without the perspectives we’ve gained by our time traveling selves delving deep into our pasts and analyzing our lives ? I’m sure my power of now would look something like this:

Me: What’s up Now?

Now: <nothing>

Me: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Now: <make a million dollars>

Me: Ok, How do I do that?

Now: <you should have made a plan>

Me: Not cool.

We need some heavy reflecting and projecting to have business sense and goals.

Part Two: Liars

Don’t lie…moving on.

Part Three: Good Grades

So much of what we do in life is on an evaluation basis. There are two camps of thought on evaluation. Some of those who fear evaluation as a personal attack on their integrity and those who feel it is critical in the development of mankind. We need some sort of balance because we are not all rock stars and we do need gentle nudges here and there to help us to grow.

As I wind down my lecture, I leave you with these last thoughts…

  1. Old school adages are simply…old.
  2. Who will ever push you if you don’t know how to push yourself?
  3. Don’t lie.

Happy Saturday,

~mb

Kissing Art

Friday Night Wanderings

Look Hard and Make It Yours

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