Archive for December, 2012

Be careful – what can be found online

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

In third grade, a classmate named Mark tripped me. I fell on my right knee. I’ve never forgotten it, because I’ve had trouble with that knee ever since. I recently (a week ago) took a bad fall, and once again landed on that knee. I’ve landed on that knee many many times since I was eight. I also sprained my left ankle in the fall.

So I was thinking about this guy, and how I’ve never really forgiven him for his deliberate trip. And I’ve never forgotten him either. So I thought his name was unique enough to give it a try. And I found him.

He is still in Ithaca. He helps rescue animals. He is a fireman. He seems to be happily married.

It is so weird to be able to find an old nemesis living a good life, clearly being a good person, contributing to the world.

I forgive you Mark. I’m sorry you were an 8 year old boy who purposely hurt me. It isn’t an uncommon thing. I wonder what you would think that I have cursed you regularly, with each fall I’ve taken on that knee, a pattern you initiated 45 years ago.

Have a great life. The next time I fall on my knee, I will think of you and this odd connection we have so many years later.

Should I send you a message, Mark?

Example of Synesthesia?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

When I watch this video, it is obvious to me that this guy doesn’t sense things normally. He is using more than one sense certainly, and perhaps even has a sixth or seventh sense of innate balance and gravity and ability to find the center of things.

Synesthesia is that ability to combine senses, with often extraordinary results. I’m have synesthesia, and used to think I was a freak of some sort. But it si pretty simple really. I see what I feel, and feel what I see. Makes it handy to teach a class – form across the room I can tell what sort of touch a person is using and make suggestions. And of course working on clients doing bodywork it makes me work more dimensional and intuitive. It;s a great shortcut. If I look at someone I can mostly tell how they feel.

So I liked this video as it comes across strongly that something else is going on.

Synesthesia is a possible explanation.


Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Mountains of paper. I’ve filled three recycling carts with files in the last month. I have saved paper for all my life. Some of it was filed carefully, and then there were about 10 bins of unfiled stuff. I’m down to the last last three bins.

It is liberating, it is scary to toss so much history away, and it is in the end a huge relief.

In the process of review, I”m finding bits and pieces of my life. Class evaluations that are scathing (some of the future pharmacists thought my class was a waste of time and money) as well as laudatory (life changing even). I was tempted to save the worst, to keep me humble, but they actually reveal more about the writer than how I can improve as a teacher.

Brochures from places I visited and forgot, places I loved and want to remember. The Grand Canyon, Sedona, Vancouver Island, Santa Monica, El Paso, decades of travel reduced to small pieces of paper.

And so much more that is now gone. No need to even list it here.

I don’t have descendents who would be the designated sorters once I pass. I do have friends and loved ones outlined in my will. This certainly relieves the burden on them!

Next I start putting books and records up for sale. I have parted with no records ever – so my collection goes back to 1968 or thereabouts. My first LP was Creedance Clearwater Revival — Pendulum. My first 45 was Back in the USSR. You know the artist.

With an entire backroom filled with books, I know I can part with a few hundred to start. Duplicates, and then getting more serious. I will keep thousands still – reference books, sci fi, poetry books of my mothers. But I have about 40 astrology books that are not being used and are collection items. They can all go.

I need to have found a lot of what I have now reclaimed for future books and articles. Success. In a way, knowing where it all is is even better than having so much of it saved. It was just more stuff than I could access and use.

Hurray! Less stuff and appreciating what I do have even more. This is fun.

MSG reactions

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

I’m not very fond of Chinese food, but wanted something different this last Sunday. I had the Vegetarian’s Paradise at a nearby restaurant, with dumplings, and spring rolls. I shared it with Tom. I used the sauces and also hot sauce on the side.
The next morning I slept in, and when I finally got out of bed my heart felt full and lumpy, my blood sugar was off, and when someone stopped by to pick up a tincture I found I was slurring my words and had a hard time speaking smoothly. A bit of protein and other food and I was much better.
I didn’t ask for no MSG. I forgot you have to do that. I usually avoid it as I’ve gotten some bad headaches.
It was the most extreme reaction I’ve had to MSG ever, and a bit frightening. Why is that stuff still being used? I don’t like feeling that anything I eat has affected my brain.


Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

I don’t know what to do for “the holidays”. We had tradition. Our family would make a big deal out of Christmas eve. We weren’t christian, but as kids my parents wanted us to have some normalcy and to be part of what everyone around us had. Presents and food and time together.

As we got older, the whole thing was moved to Christmas eve so that we could celebrate Christmas day with our “significant others” families. But Christmas eve was important to be together, especially to my mom.
Once she died, we limped along, and especially continued the tradition for my brother David’s three kids. The core traditions were to exchange presents, and to have a Swedish smorgasbord of food. That was modified a bit with my vegetarian conversion long ago, and David’s daughter becoming vegetarian and then vegan.
The other tradition was to open presents in the strict order of youngest to oldest, repeating that go around until people started dropping out from lack of presents. We also lightened up on that rule. My mother, the main enforcer, had been gone for years when we finally got lax about who was next.

The first Christmas in our new house in Ann Arbor. The three of us and my mom. My dad took the picture.

Then we stopped exchanging gifts once his youngest was 18. None of us really needed more stuff. My dad had been just giving us money since my mom died. Everyone seemed relieved although I’ll admit it was kind of strange and sad to not get any presents at all from anyone some Christmases. I do like presents, when it is something I actually need and will use.
When David got sick, he stopped hosting the party at his house. My dad did it a few times, as did I, but that also wound down. With my mom, and then with David, there was a lot of emotional baggage – what if this is the last Christmas together? Well, for both of them there was that last time.
We didn’t get together two years ago because David was suddenly much worse. We did last year, a short get together at my house, and I even let people bring meat. That was the last time we were all together.
We aren’t going to be getting together this year. I suppose partly because it makes the absence of David – still an open wound for each of us – more glaring. Added to my mom’s absence for almost 20 year now.
It is the end of a tradition. Which seems really sad. And should be a chance for a new tradition, a new way of participating in this “holiday season” that it sometimes feels like everyone else has.
I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know what matters, what I want to extract from this special time of year. I don’t want to feel alone, or left out, or without a family. I’m not sure even what special way I want to be with my sweetheart, who is really the closest to family that I have – this will be our 2nd Christmas time together. Last year I put up a solstice tree, and really appreciated seeing all the ornaments I’ve collected over my life, and the ones my parents have passed on to me. But that seems a little awkward still. I hadn’t done that since the Christmas after my mom died. That year I did the whole decorating, but ended up tearing down the tree and throwing it out the front door on Christmas. I couldn’t stand the memories without having my mom around. That was dramatic.
I would like to have some new traditions. But I don’t know what to do.
I will grieve the loss of family, the loss of tradition, and look for the opportunity for something new, something meaningful.

The holiday time is a stark reminder of who is missing. The people you have always shared this time with. It could be devastatingly sad. I need something else to do.