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March 30, 2006

freeway flowers vs. Tricky Brain

i'm pretty sure that it is an illusion to think that life is anything less than extraordinary. it's so easy, though, to get caught up in the sheer dumbness of everyday living, so that one gets fooled into thinking that real life is mundane. existence gets boiled down into a series of Tasks: brush teeth, put gas in car, eat food, do something that earns money, pay credit card bills, sit in traffic, have a coffee, scratch nose, pick up kid from school, check messages, program TiVo, feed cat, go to gym, use cell phone while driving, etc. etc. every day i am surrounded by millions of people scurrying from task to task. some days i'm just one of them. some days i'm not.
as a freelancer, my schedule is completely unpredictable. today i thought i would be working, but at the last minute the shoot was cancelled and i was free to leave. so there i was with a full day in front of me...what to do with it? my brain started churning out a list of bland, mundane things that i could do. then it started trying to trick me into believing that said bland items were actually Pressing Needs, and that i needed to begin the scurry Right Now. inwardly, i sighed, giving in to my tricky brain, and began to drive. luckily, i missed my entrance to the freeway.
as i began the process of trying to return to the missed entrance -- sometimes quite an intricate feat here in Los Angeles -- i became vaguely aware of my surroundings. errrrr, concrete...mmmmm, random shopping cart...ehhhh, discarded fast-food cup...uhhhhh, eye-poppingly gorgeous flowers...hmmmm, wait a moment!
one of the city's secrets is that about this time of year, if there is enough rain (and there has been), whole patches of previously disgusting side-of-freeway or empty lot or patch-of-dead-yard will suddenly spring to life with ridiculously bright flowers like ice plants, big daisies, or oleanders. but for all the color, it's easy to miss them if you're in Mundane Life Task Haze. once you notice them, however, you can't help but prod your snoozing imagination with an impatient mental toe, and yell, "come on, wake up! snap out of it!" this time, i gave my imagination a swift kick with a mental hadashi.
having thus defeated Tricky Brain, i quickly drove home. with the enthusiastic encouragement of T.T., i grabbed a book, the iPod, and a windbreaker, and promptly tromped the mile or so up My Hill (it's the view from my kitchen window -- a benevolent grassy mound with a scenic overlook trail). the air was crispy from the recent rain, and the wildflowers were practically exploding out of the hillside. the whole city was clearly visible from the top, from downtown to almost the ocean. i sat under My Tree of Pleasantness and drank in the view for awhile. then, with a dramatic flourish, i banished the last vestige of any possiblity of "Getting Stuff Done" and spent a few glorious hours reading in the sun. i was a bit surprised to discover i felt very much like i did so often as a little girl -- content with the present, not censoring my imagination, taking pleasure in the now. that feeling is so much more fleeting, buried in the Tasks And Demands of Grown-Upness. it's good to know i can still get to it so easily. everyday life IS extraordinary. normality IS exhilarating.
too often, i realise, i've made the mistake of thinking that perhaps i'm a little crazy for skipping instead of walking, having spontaneous puppet shows with the cutlery while i'm doing dishes, snorting while laughing Just Because I Can.
the truth is that i would be crazy if i didn't.

Posted by hadashi at 8:54 PM | Comments (2)

March 23, 2006

this week's internet black hole

sucked in by this site
current events haiku rocks!
maybe just one more...

Posted by hadashi at 10:30 PM | Comments (1)

March 17, 2006

what would St. Patrick blog?

i really don't know -- but i'm sure he'd have quite a bit to say. after all, a half-Italian, half-Scottish boy who first went to Ireland as a slave and kidnap victim had more than a few adventures, visions, and transformations to become that country's patron saint. i'm pretty sure that if possible, Patrick would've kept a blog ; after all, his writings and prayers are the only reason we know anything about fifth-century Ireland -- not only are there no other written records from Britain or Ireland during that time, but there is simply nothing at all from Ireland prior to Patrick's blog posts writings.

and i owe St. Patrick, or at least his adopted country, for this blog. no really, it was during my first visit to Ireland -- a whirlwind adventure with Ms. Jen -- that i became determined to make a go of this blogging thing. i haven't been nearly as prolific as i wish i could be; the thought of trying to post more than once a week makes me a little dizzy. i still feel, deep down, that i have to come up with something utterly brilliant or why bother? i still feel totally out of my league with the whole idea of a worldwide community of voices that i've somehow become part of. but that is what i appreciate most about HadashiWorld: the whole community it's ushered me into. thanks for sticking with me, everyone!

and in honor of St. Patrick himself, i offer this prayer of his, which was spoken at my wedding:
May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us
Against the snares of the evil one.
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.

the faith Patrick lived out was a celebration of trust in a loving, healing God -- free of the gloomy strictures of the existing religiousity of the Roman church. he believed in the goodness of creation, in the value of culture, and in the mystery of redemption. and so to celebrate his feast day, i think i'd like to be more aware of the joy and revelry that comes simply from gratitude: not just for the intangible, but for the sensory world. excuse me while i step outside, breathe deeply, pick a lemon from my backyard tree, and give thanks.

Posted by hadashi at 7:06 AM | Comments (3)