Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just a minute...

I can't get enough of writing posts, while I really should be doing other things that I did not get around to yesterday, because I took a nap on the sofa instead. Woe is me. At this rate I see a dire future for me up ahead. I also have to wash my hair, which is sticky with wax and hairspray and which I can't do a thing with right now, except look like a wild woman. Like a baboon, I wanted to say, but now I'm not sure what a baboon looks like. I would have to Google that and I'm not in the mood for it. Initially, I didn't have any wax or hairspray in my hair, but then some of it started to stick up and I decided to go with the theme and have the rest stick up as well. It looks quite wild and in the morning I rub it with a damp washcloth and then arrange it with my fingers into something resembling a hairdo. If it looks at all attractive from the front, I am happy and go out into the world with it.

I just took the dog for a walk and it is just a little bit cold out there, meaning it is not as pleasant as it has been these past few days. There's a cold wind blowing and there are rainclouds in the sky and it has already rained early this morning. We're expecting showers the rest of the day and I see no sense for them whatsoever, because nothing is growing now, and it seems like a complete waste of water. Oh, I suppose in the Alps snow will fall and that will be good for the ski resorts and then 5 million Dutch people will go to the snow and get stuck in traffic jams in the tunnels leading through the mountains. I'm exaggerating, of course, but it is a problem every year.

I've never skied in my whole life. On the one occasion that I was supposed to, I fell down the stairs and nearly broke my toe. It turned black and blue and I had to sit with my foot in a bucket of ice while the other people skied. I think it was just not meant to be and I probably would have broken my leg or something like that. That toe saved me from worse injury, that's the way I look at it. It was fate that kept me from skiing.

I'm a strong believer in fate and in how it determines your life's course. That doesn't mean that I think you are helpless and that you can't make choices along the way, because you can, but after you make those choices it is fate again that determines what happens to you. So you can make very bad choices and have fate turn out not to be so good, until you consciously change course and have fate change course with you and make your life look different. Circumstances force you to make a choice and fate determines what happens to you after you've made that choice and you may not like that, until you are wise enough to make better choices. Sometimes you make no choice at all and fate does its work all on its own and you are given a set of circumstances that you are only remotely responsible for, if at all. You must accept what has been dealt to you and somehow see the sense of it, even though it may be very difficult. Life is not a series of hit and run accidents. There is a higher purpose to it that leads us to a place of greater understanding, until we are done taking it all in or until we are saved from some greater suffering.

That's why we have to try and find peace with ourselves every day and not worry so much about the little details, but instead look at the greater picture. If you can find tranquility in your mind every day, then you have achieved a lot, in spite of the fact that not everything in your life is perfect. You must, every day, try to find that area of serenity within yourself that is of silence and peaceful solitude, where you are happy and at ease, regardless of what happens around you. You have to be your own calm oasis and refuge, where you are safe and sheltered and where your thoughts are tranquil and happy. If you can reach this state of mind, you will realize that there is a lot not to worry about.

I am not claiming that I achieve this on a daily basis, but it is always what I strive for and a state of mind that I very often reach, even if it is only for a few hours a day. I am lucky enough to know what the feeling is like, now I just have to remember it when it forsakes me and I am in despair. I takes a few days to come back to the center and focus again and find my point of inner peace. I think that's why I like my solitude so much. It is easier to reach that peaceful state of mind when there are no distractions. When it is just me existing in my own space. Peacefulness and serenity are very valuable possessions, yet as fleeting as the air we breathe. As desert sand that slips through our fingers. That's why they need to be treasured and guarded carefully. You don't treat them with disregard.

That was my treatise on that subject, although I started out with something completely different. I think I share this to explain myself, but also to release ideas that I think may be helpful. It's clear, of course, that I'm a Buddhist, though not a learned one. Most of my ideas are instinctive and rest only on a little bit of knowledge that I gained from what I read.

I hope you all have a good Sunday. I should be hearing church bells, but I was so caught up in writing this, that the sound has escaped me.



Frances said...

Happy Sunday, Irene.
I remember the tunnels in the Alps being crowded and blocked even in the summer when we were driving through Europe...
Your story about skiing is great. LOLL except for the toe, of course.
See ya

Gail said...

We must be mining the same vein today.

Wonderful thoughts.

laurie said...

i have only cross-country skiied. never downhill. i, like you, would likely break bones.

and then after getting my first dog, i stopped skiing because you can't take dogs on the ski trail. and if i was going to go out in the snow, my dog was going to go with me.

Maggie May said...

Write away, Nora ...... it is healing this blog writing.
Have a brilliant nights sleep.

Nuts in May

Babaloo said...

I've never skied in my life either! The opportunity just never arose. Although I'm sure, if I went to visit my brother now in Switzerland I'd get a chance if I wanted to. If I went in winter, of course. But I feel no need to go and try it.
I love ice-skating, though!

Angie said...

That image looks like it came right out of the Bible.

Wisewebwoman said...

We have a saying in my family when things get stressful or overwrought, we say:
"go to your happy place" and we have a laugh, but you know what, it is totally possible to go to our happy places and you are right in that we define our own spirituality.