27 March 2020

Good Giving Up - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

"So often our focus is on supporting the identities and structures that were put in place for us by the more powerful damaged people in the family as caricatures of themselves. Giving up even one of these identities can be threatening to the organism. But the willingness to change comes when the pain of staying where you are is too great….”  -Anne Lamott, p. 212 of Almost Everything

26 March 2020

Stuck - Rattlesnake Creek, Missoula, Montana

"…the natural fixation that you can rescue your kids, and ought to. 
Your good ideas for them would certainly straighten them out and help them make healthier choices. These would help you enjoy life more, too, so what’s the harm in your little suggestions, demands, funding?

The harm is in the unwanted help or helping them when they need to figure things out for themselves.
Help is the sunny side of control.
There is nothing outside them, nothing they can date, buy, or achieve, that will fill the hole in side them or help them hit the reset button. 
But it’s very productive of you to try, and try, although they tend to get sicker, as do you. Plus, they start to hate you. So there’s that.
-Anne Lamott, p.57 of Almost Everything

25 March 2020

Of Unlearning and Relearning - Missoula, Montana

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write,
 it will be those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
 - Alvin Toffler (1928-2016), apparently a combined paraphrase of Toffler's words and Toffler quoting Herbert Gerjuoy, in Future Shock, p. 414

23 March 2020

Great Expectations - Rattlesnake Creek, Missoula, Montana

"Families are hard partly because of expectations, that the people in them are supposed to mesh, and expectations are resentments under construction
You can’t hide much within the cell membrane of a house…It shocks me how hurtful and annoying we can be to the people in our families. The weight of the family makes us helpless, and in trying to make sure the helplessness doesn’t utterly flatten us, we may throw the dart at someone else.
-Anne Lamott, p. 212 of Almost Everything

20 March 2020

Space For Legit Joy - Rattlesnake Creek via Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

In these very odd times of space and quiet,
  may you seek and find genuine joy.
Toward that end, a few thoughts:
"That we are designed for joy is exhilarating, within reach, now or perhaps later today, after a nap, as long as we do not mistake excitement for joy.
Joy is good cheer. My partner says joy and curiousity are the same thing. 
Joy is always a surprise, & often a decision.
Joy is portable. Joy is a habit, and these days,
    it can be a radical act.”
-Anne Lamott, p.70 of Almost Everything

14 February 2020

On Loneliness and Aloneness - Rattlesnake Creek, Missoula, Montana

“I remember my grandfather telling me how each of us must live with a full measure of loneliness that is inescapable, and we must not destroy ourselves with our passion to escape the aloneness.” 
Jim Harrison (1937-2016)

12 February 2020

Stopping By Snowy Woods - Rattlesnake Creek, Missoula, Montana

Stopping in the woods on a snowy afternoon....
 not quite the classic Robert Frost poem (and no little horse with me - so sad!), but definitely was a lovely and calming pause along the lines of
 "...The only other sound’s the sweep 
  Of easy wind and downy flake."(from Robert Frost's Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening)