Summer and the waning Aloha Moon
Tuesday gratefuls: Juicy Lucys. Made by Joe. Vivid and strange dreams. Running out of summer reading. Hawai’ian retreat. Walks in the early morning. The strong character of the Trees on Hickam. That double rainbow yesterday morning. Leaning into family. Feels great. The Cattle Egrets. The Trades blow most days. Each morning a Breeze from the Mountains. Each evening a Breeze from the Ocean. Ah, my morning meds. Murdoch stopping for a scratch.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Joe
Realized these vacations have more the flavor of a retreat than an Hawai’ian holiday. I can’t go anywhere on my own because I’m not here long enough to get an off base pass. That means I spend my days writing, reading, sleeping, being with Joe and Seoah and Murdoch. We get out some evenings and on the weekend, do some touristy things, but mostly I’m here at 717 Gemini Avenue or on base walking.
Which is fine. I have vacated my Mountain life for a couple of weeks, hence a vacation. Susan watches Kepler, thinks about the garbage and the mail. Meanwhile I’m at sea level, needing no oxygen at night, plenty of time to read mysteries and thrillers, talk to Joe and Seoah.
Hawai’i makes it presence felt. The Tradewinds make the humidity bearable and cooling. The Sun rises and sets with more balance, Hawai’i being only 1300 miles north of the equator. Ships sound their horns on their way into and out of Pearl Harbor. The Trees and the Birds add tropical flair. I know I’m not at home.
Does make me want to take a different sort of vacation as well though. Tom and I head out to Durango the second week of August to ride the Durango & Silverton Railroad. That will be fun. Maybe a cruise next year if I can sort out the finances.
And life goes on in endless song. How can I keep from singing? I feel good.
Here’s a note I sent to the Ancient Brothers because I couldn’t make the July 17th gathering due to travel plans. The topic included memory and current mental health.
Regret missing this conversation.
I, too, have occasional memory issues, but none more significant than forgetting a name, a date, that sort of thing. Which I did when I was younger.
My ability to remember ideas, quotes, items from the news, information about other people remains crisp and clear. Not sure why. Might be genetic. I also challenge myself regularly. Right now I’m learning Korean through duolingo and I spent several years on Latin. I got to a modest level of competence. I also try to read material that challenges me, right now Richard Powers and Phillip Slater. Working out may help as well, I’ve seen that it can. Acting and being part of a faith community previously unfamiliar to me also challenged my memory. I really don’t know why I remain good, nor do I know how long it will last.
As to mental health. I may be healthier now than I’ve ever been. Kate’s death forced me into the heart, grieving slams you there whether you want to go or not. I feel l’m both more transparent and more honest about expressing my feelings and reacting to those of others. I sleep 8 hours every night, more or less, but usually within a half an hour. If I have something that disturbs my sleep, I deal with it right away. Most recent was the financial tangle I got myself in with water heaters, scans, and long term insurance. Not bothering me now. I have a plan and I’m following it.
I try to live forward, leaving the past where it is anyhow. In the past. I also try not to live too far into the future. Who knows, I may not have to worry about it. Ichi-go, ich-e has provided an expansion on the idea of living in the now that has been helpful. It encourages me to cherish the moment whether alone or with friends. And to know that I’m cherishing it. Wu wei helps me avoid too many attempts to shape the future to my design. Not to say I don’t try. The tarot cards I pull each day force me to consider my inner journey, what might or might not be active.
Great friends, wonderful community, and a challenging family situation bless me with honest feedback and at least weekly demands on my empathy.
As you all know, I’m alone but not lonely. That means I can retreat from those situations and recharge myself in the mountains or here at the hermitage.
Probably the most joyful and content I’ve been. Ever.