Archives for December 2014

26Dec

No to Designing in Retro

I am not interested in designing in retro.  I do not live for the memory of the 50s, I am not pining away for the music of the 80s.  I don’t want to imitate the baroque style of Europe in the 18th century.  These are all signs of dissatisfaction with what is available now.  It recalls to me being a child and listening to the old people telling stories of their youth, as if the world were a better place back then.

I want my life, right now, to be the best style and the best place for me to live.  I don’t want to wish for something that is not here.  I want to enjoy and live with the fantastic artistry of the present.  The cocktail parties of the sixties were stylish and elegant, but having my friends over for drinks after work is more fun and loud laughter is very much appreciated.

Our ability to create and see color is more advanced than it has ever been.  We are more capable of building the most interesting and fantastic objects that humans have ever manufactured.  For these things I am grateful.  I want my home to be a reflection of what is beautiful to me and to my family.  I do not want my home to reflect another time in history, or another moment in style.

We are living in a wonderful time that is just as good and just as significant as any other time in history.  We move forward, we make progress, we gain knowledge, understanding and wisdom.  We cannot call our time a renaissance, but our time will yield results as beautiful, meaningful and important to us all.

So, for afternoons full of wonder and excitement, I look to what is available to see and touch in this world right now…

22Dec

My Dearest Daughter and All Daughters, Sisters, Mothers, Wives and Girl-Friends

Please, stop and make yourself a lunch.  Do not scurry on to the next chore and skip attention to yourself.  Please be thoughtful; make yourself a tasty and nutritious lunch that will not make you feel guilty, nor leave you hungry.

If you are drinking a diet soda for lunch, then you have missed caring for a very important person who matters.

Please, daughter, stop and take a break.  Give yourself the gift of a deep breath.  Do what smokers do and stop everything for 10 whole minutes (just don’t have the cigarette).  The world will not suffer irretrievably if you are taking a break.  But, do know this, your body and your mind will suffer if you do not take breaks.

If you are rushing between appointments, then you have missed taking care of you.

Please, make your day, a day that ends reasonably.  Never, ever do laundry at midnight, or bake cookies at three a.m.  Find a way to make your life work within the confines of your life.  Healthy living can’t continue without rest.  Trust me on this; perfection is unattainable and store bought cookies really do taste good.

If you are not resting, then you are not healing and healing is the way into tomorrow.  Please don’t risk your future on an overwhelming today.

Please daughter, move your body.  Move around and feel all of the parts of your body.  Give your muscles and your bones and your mind, movement, it improves everything about your life, everything.

Don’t squander a tasty meal, by not savoring it, don’t squander a deep breath by not taking it, don’t squander a moment of peace by not feeling it, don’t squander an opportunity for rest by ignoring it and don’t squander the chance to move.  Move to the music, move to the light, move and be moved, life is calling.

11Dec

What You Choose in Life

I’ve always been a bit baffled by the adoration of the Buddhist monk’s ability to meditate.  They are lauded as being people with a higher transcendental purpose with abilities mere humans do not have.

Contrast this perceived adoration of Buddhist monks with an article I read recently about the stupidity of Americans who choose to work for the “man” in a corporate culture.  The author, who is a well known blogger, seemed to feel that it was very negative to work in corporate culture for a paycheck.  David writes “Every time I write a piece advocating escape from corporate servitude, I receive a few emails that contain a particular kind of scolding. They tell me that only an entitled brat could be unsatisfied with a stable job and a roof, in a world where so many pine for only these things.”

David goes on to say “As if there were no better ideas out there, we take up this yoke by the thousand, slotting ourselves in grids of grey squares, stacked fifty to a hundred high, sealed with a shiny glass exterior.”

I just don’t like David’s tone.  I don’t like the absolute admiration of the Buddhist monks either.

So the issue seems to be:  How society and the people in society judge your life and how you choose to live it.

I think, that in spite of what we believe, we are indeed vulnerable to fads, in fact, some of us go chasing fads.  In this sense, I think this fact calls a question to our ability to objectively judge.  Most people do not have the ability to judge objectively and fairly.  We have so much personal opinion and history that it becomes impossible to be objective.  We always bring our personal histories into the judgment.

What purpose does judgment about others serve?  I think it goes back to the human need to be elite.  By being superior to others we can place our survival first above everyone else and therefore assure our own survival.  When property ownership first conceptualized for humans, wealth became a survival construct.  That construct has not changed in spite of the sophistication of our culture.  We still struggle to be elite and at the top of our social group, we still struggle for wealth and we do all of these things to assure our survival.

In this struggle – sometimes – our best weapon is to show how smart we are and how much smarter we are than anyone else.  We express this by telling everyone how wrong they are and how much more enlightened we are.

I grow weary of this primal twenty first century game.  Stop telling me how great you are.  Stop telling me what is wrong with how I live.  Stop comparing my life to yours.  Indeed, you have no more answers to life’s problems than the fabled sesame seed.

We are all quite capable of determining what is good and right for ourselves and our families.  This is not to say that we do not need direction and moral reminders of what is good and right in the world.  What it means is that we must trust our own selves to gain answers and not put our survival in the hands of elitists, who will tell us their version of rightness, which is to say that elitists should survive first.

01Dec

Christmas is Now

I’m a bit worn out with what was.  Sentimentality about how it used to be is not where I want my mind to be.  It is only recently that I came to this conclusion.  I came by it quite accidentally, as we were decorating the Christmas tree.  As I looked at the tattered, discolored and frayed angel that goes on top of the tree, I realized that I was hanging onto something that was completely unusable.  That angel was the first Christmas decoration that I had purchased with my whole heart.  It has sat on top of my Christmas tree since then.

I did not realize how misused and old that Angel looked, I kept putting it there as a symbol of tradition.  My mind was blindly holding onto something not real.  As for the tradition, for some reason, I am not seeing it that way now.  That tradition may have saved a few bucks, but I think with all of the old memories that the angel symbolizes, my brain has become crowded and rather than having new memories, I reminisce.  As my grandchildren started getting excited about decorating the tree I realized once again, that my time is limited to now. To spend my time thinking of yesterday, devalues this moment that I live in right now.   I don’t want to miss this moment because my mind is filled with thoughts of a yesterday.  This moment really is the best moment.  As much as I loved yesterday’s Christmas, it is this Christmas and I want to be happy right now.

This is not to say that we do not remember our loved ones.  It is hard to part with the things that my beloved mother touched, yet I know I must.  My mother’s things are not my mother and thinking that those things bring me  closer to my mother is a misconception.  My mother is gone; touching her things will not bring her back.  I do not disparage the love of things to preserve memories – I do not.  I just know that things are not what we need.  Each other is what we need.  The present is what we need.  The yesterday exists only in our mind.

Again, I am not against memories of the past, or tradition, or the love of mementos from those we have treasured.  I am saying that we must be careful that these things that we love from the past, do not crowd out and therefore do harm to the present.