Fai

Last Night at the Pool and Meditations on Water

Tonight was the last night that the neighborhood pool was open. The boys and I have been regular visitors for the entire summer, and I've been really trying to exercise on a regular basis in the water. It seems to ease my knees. A new weed allergy season has made my eyes irritated again, but the water seems to help.

This morning, besides being the beginning of the adult education classes at church, was also the 10th anniversary of 9/11. John and I were asked by the new associate pastor to help out with the morning session, and Jet got to play a part as well. Jet's expertise had origami allowed him to lead folks in folding doves, which were used during worship itself.



There's a book, The Art of Peace, by the guy who founded the aikido school of martial arts, and one of the phrases, which I have seen in other literature included "Like moon on water." That is to be like the reflection of the moon on water, something seen and seemingly apparent, but which cannot be hit or harmed. It is more an attitude than a physical reality. I love the book, as it speaks of forgiveness and peace in terms that I can understand, not in ways that lay me open to more hurt, but in ways I can let go of the things that would hurt me.

But it reminded me of the evenings I spent swimming by myself, when I would just go out to do a few laps after the lifeguards had gone home. There was nothing there but the moon, the night sky, a few stars, and the calm waters. After living here for so many years, and using the pool every summer, I've gotten confident enough in my abilities to just swim laps, and never count them. I just keep going and going and going until I get tired enough or my time is up. I have no fear anymore of sinking, and no worries about breathing when I need to find air. The water always holds me up, and I swim on my back I don't want to worry about timing my breaths. The water closing over my ears and cutting out sound is now calming for me.

I guess it would be almost like sense deprivation, when I am swimming in the dark. Especially since I float in the water, without anything else in contact with my body other than the water.

During the meditation portion of the early morning session, Luke was talking about letting go. Letting go of anger, grief, and the conflicts of everyday life. He did a step-by-step meditation guidance, and I ended up sitting crosslegged in the air five inches over a mirror glass still lake. Snowcapped mountains surrounded me, and the sun was just coming up turning the clouds pale pink, purple, and gold in a blaze of a blue sky. The full moon was a giant pearl on the far horizon. The forest fringed the lake, and a Temple, snow dusted dark wood, floated by the near shore. The bell sounded and temple folk started to move in the shadows.

I'm still not quite sure how I ended up there, but I floated and enjoyed the view, and was amused by my reflection, as a dragon in white and blues, in the waters.

A coffee mug that caught my eye in San Diego said, "It is easy to be calm, collected, and Buddha benevolent when one is out of the world. It is much more difficult and much more desired to be those in the midst of daily strife."

Slowly, I think I am learning.

My eyes are troubling me again, and it is the same allergy reactions I have had for the last five years. Usually they go away within a couple of months, once the weather changes for good. Here, the weather pretty much rotates between winter and summer, and all of August was far hotter than it normally is, we broke record highs for most of the time that Allie was here. Two days after she left, the temperatures broke, and we went from 90+ degrees down to 50s and 60s. I even turned on fire in the fireplace for a day. It's now back in the 70s, but nothing like the deep summer temperatures we were having. I think once the first hard freeze happens, I should be free of eye troubles again.

Allie's visit itself turned out very well. We went up to Estes Park and visited the Stanley Hotel, got a very nice tour from a very nice tour guide, and also got to walk a little bit around Lake Estes itself. John made Allie a pecan pie, and I made my sweet potato casserole. Allie and I also wrote 12,000 words of our next novel, which is now a little over 20,000 words. We're making progress. I've been editing the third novel, which we wrote last summer, and putting together a CaféPress store for artwork featuring David and West. That's been pretty interesting, and we're giving our artists a 50-50 split on whatever sells, just to see how it works out.

As part of the meditation, however, I was given this little mantra:
A dutiful soldier who will no longer fight
A faithful priest who claims no Church
A clever wizard who gave away his heart
A shadow assassin who steals no more lives

I suspect I have found some of my Misfit Toys.

I've also found a tool, that has proven very useful for the times when I wish to write. It is called Liquid Story Binder, and is free for use so long as you keep using it, I really liked that contract. I am finding it useful enough that I may well pay for a license, so that I can install it on any of my machines and use it whenever I wish, rather than having to track which one has been used at least once in the last 30 days.

There are a lot of gadgets to go with the front interface, but I really like a number of them. I also really like the Momentum Writer, now that I have figured out how to turn on backspacing, and I can use some of the old typewriter fonts in the Troll Jelly colorway. It reminds me of my old CRT on the laptop that used to run off of two floppy disks. I am oddly nostalgic for the orange glow against black backgrounds, and not really having a mouse to go back and edit. I just have to keep going, and sometimes that's really useful for first drafts. It keeps the perfectionist in check, and stops me from editing myself to death. I'll admit that the dictation software is pretty good for that too, but for entirely different reasons. One of the very good disciplines that Momentum Writer imposes is using RTF files rather than Word files. It's nicer to use the more portable standard.
  • Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
What a lovely and interesting post! Thanks for sharing all of your thoughts. I particularly enjoyed the parts about the swimming (which I share your love of, particularly at night, and haven't been able to do nearly enough of in recent years) and the meditation.

The software program intrigues me. I would love to play with the mind-mapping feature and see if it could help me overcome of my creative issues and inhibitions I've had of late. And I definitely could use a better way of keeping track of my fics in their various stages of progress (and disrepair! *lol*) Do you know by any chance how much the license is, if one decides to pick it up? Also, do you know if there is an editor in their program that "agrees" with the editor in LiveJournal? When their posting program is being pissy, since I can't seem to master HTML code, it becomes the bane of my existence - I have tried some of the LJ-specific text editor freeware programs, but they leave much to be desired, at least the ones I have tried so far. If this one could cut and paste with LJ, that would definitely be a selling point to me.
It's $45.95. The editor doesn't agree with LJ, as it doesn't actually edit HTML at all. It's more of a minimalist type of thing.

I really enjoy the mind-mapping, been using that for a while.

YES! You should swim more often!
DRAT! I had a feeling that was too much to hope for. But it's not their fault, I fault LJ, really, for not interfacing better with Word, Open Office, etc. It's always boggled my mind that a website for writers works so poorly with their basic tool, the word-processing program. You would never see a site for engineers that didn't handle their software intelligently - it wouldn't be tolerated. And it's not like there are fifty programs they have to accommodate - if they just could do OO & Word, they'd have pretty much everyone covered, one way or another. *sigh*

I learned the mind-mapping through work, but never thought of applying it to my writing until I saw it in that program just now. Does the trial subscription expire in a certain time period, or is it just of limited capabilities, or what? I really don't need all the things it does, but there are some of them I would really enjoy.

I would love to swim more - it is really the only exercise form I actually enjoy, and it's so good for my arthritis and fibro (gravity is not my friend. *lol*) Unfortunately, one negative of our move to the country is that the little Y in our town has no pool, and the closest pools I could use are all about 35 to 45 minutes (each way) away. But I still am getting very close to signing up for one of them, especially if I can get at least part of it paid for as part of physical therapy (which I desperately need at this point, for several issues) plus I really need it for the cardio benefit, too. It would also make it so much easier to keep the weight loss going. I just NEED to get off my ass and do it. SOMEday, we are going to put a pool of some kind in here, even if it's just a small heated resistance pool. But that's a ways off yet, behind other more urgent projects. *sigh*
The trial subscription only expires if you don't use it for more than 30 days. It's kind of neat that way.
Ooh, thanks! That's good to know - I will probably download it tonight and start playing around with it, then. More challenges for my techno-impaired brain! *lol* But I have always had *slightly* better luck learning new software than I've had dealing with other issues like hardware problems. I've been trying to master the pad thing (something like an iPad, but cheaper) the girls gave me, and have had a hard time not pitching the damn thing over the back fence in frustration...
Good luck with all that! It is fun to play with new software and tools, but yes, hardware is sometimes more difficult to get used to than even new software.
*Happy sighs* Oh it is good to hear from you again. Your misfit toys make me very happy indeed, and so too does your meditations and the things you have seen and connected in this post. <3

Also, the liquidbinder is intriguing. Especially the mind map!
*beams* It is good to hear from you as well, loved talking with you the other night. I am trying to figure out which Toys will play and when and how, or if they come and go, and they may well do that. There's a military medic somewhere in there and another person of mental/emotional stuff, the way the wizard and the priest are, but probably face/business/connection... almost thinking witch/wise woman/widow like the Widow who is one of the Riders of the Voodoo ways. oh... that would balance out someone Darker against the Light of the Priest and the essential neutrality of the wizard.

*grins* This is fun.

I do love mind maps, but the binder software is a little clunky in its implementation of them. I actually like FreeMind better, as it does the organization automatically and I find the interface far more intuitive than the Binder software. So if that's what has you intrigued, I'd recommend something else. *laughs*
It turns out, that program is a god-send. I LOST yesterday using it to sort my notes on Maven, and the way it cleaves to the work-flow enabled me to work out TWO important freaking conversations in script.

I'm officially in love.

*grins* Speaking of fun...your David is SUCH a wonderful head-guest.
Wooohoo!!! YES on the conversations!!!

I'm so glad you've found a new tool-crush! *giggles*

Ooooo... yay for David being a head-guest! I'm Soooooo looking forward to what you do for him...
Like moon on water... wonderful.

Also I am intrigued by that software. I love the idea of it staying free if you use it.
It is!! It is...

I *love* the licensing. *laughs* It's novel but utterly appropriate, and I'm buying my license now as I've been officially using it for a month. *laughs*