Morning Trip (198)

    The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.”
–Charles Bukowski

Morning Trip (122)

“…It’s like a villanelle, this inclination of going back to events in our past, the way the villanelle’s form refuses to move forward in linear development, circling instead at those familiar moments of emotion. Only the rereading counts Nabokov said. So the strange form of that belfry, turning onto itself again and again, felt familiar to me. For we live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are songlike in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell….”
–Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero p. 136

Trapped or Protected

enclosed in your fist
i was safe
what if
i feel abused
and then you sigh
and you carefully open a space between two fingers
and i peer out
and i see
that I am being
held
up
close
in the light
of the sun
there is no ground beneath me
there is no where to run
there is not yet
any safe space
to be put down
–elisabeth connelley

I forgot somehow to run and to play around and around, up and then down laughing at you watching me as the flame rises and I float off in union. Maybe I can remember how. Please forgive me. I cannot forgive myself. At least…not yet.

Rumination on Rumination ;)

“The tricky thing about rumination is that it feels like it’s helpful, but there’s no action taken, and you don’t move forward to some sort of solution.”
-Carla Grayson

“Why Ruminating is Unhealthy and How to Stop
By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Associate Editor

Why Ruminating is Unhealthy and How to StopRuminating is like a record that’s stuck and keeps repeating the same lyrics. It’s replaying an argument with a friend in your mind. It’s retracing past mistakes.

When people ruminate, they over-think or obsess about situations or life events, such as work or relationships.

Research has shown that rumination is associated with a variety of negative consequences, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, binge-drinking and binge-eating.

Why does rumination lead to such harmful results?

For some people, drinking or binge-eating becomes a way to cope with life and drown out their ruminations, according to Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D, a psychologist and professor at Yale University.

Not surprisingly, ruminating conjures up more negative thoughts. It becomes a cycle.

Nolen-Hoeksema’s research has found that “when people ruminate while they are in depressed mood, they remember more negative things that happened to them in the past, they interpret situations in their current lives more negatively, and they are more hopeless about the future.”

Rumination also becomes the fast track to feeling helpless. Specifically, it paralyzes your problem-solving skills. You become so preoccupied with the problem that you’re unable to push past the cycle of negative thoughts.

It can even turn people away. “When people ruminate for an extended time, their family members and friends become frustrated and may pull away their support,” Nolen-Hoeksema said.

Why People Ruminate

Some ruminators may simply have more stress in their lives which preoccupies them, Nolen-Hoeksema noted. For others, it may be an issue of cognition. “Some people prone to ruminate have basic problems pushing things out of consciousness once they get there,” she said.

Women seem to ruminate more than men, said Nolen-Hoeksema, who’s also author of Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life. Why? Part of the reason is that women tend to be more concerned about their relationships.

As Nolen-Hoeksema observed, “interpersonal relationships are great fuel for rumination,” and ambiguities abound in relationships. “You can never really know what people think of you or whether they will be faithful and true.”

How To Reduce Rumination

According to Nolen-Hoeksema, there are essentially two steps to stop or minimize rumination.

1. Engage in activities that foster positive thoughts. “You need to engage in activities that can fill your mind with other thoughts, preferably positive thoughts,” she said.

That could be anything from a favorite physical activity to a hobby to meditation to prayer. “The main thing is to get your mind off your ruminations for a time so they die out and don’t have a grip on your mind,” she advised.

2. Problem-solve. People who ruminate not only replay situations in their head, they also focus on abstract questions, such as, “Why do these things happen to me?” and “What’s wrong with me that I can’t cope?” Nolen-Hoeksema said.

Even if they consider solving the situation, they conclude that “there is nothing they can do about it.”

Instead, when you can think clearly, “identify at least one concrete thing you could do to overcome the problem(s) you are ruminating about.” For instance, if you’re uneasy about a situation at work, commit to calling a close friend so you can brainstorm solutions.

Positive Self-Reflection

Nolen-Hoeksema has also studied the opposite of rumination: adaptive self-reflection. When people practice adaptive self-reflection, they focus on the concrete parts of a situation and the improvements they can make.

For instance, a person may wonder, “What exactly did my boss say to me that upset me so much yesterday?” and then come up with, “I could ask my boss to talk with me about how I could get a better performance evaluation,” Nolen-Hoeksema said.

Do you tend to ruminate?
What has helped to reduce your ruminating ways?”

–source

Morning Trip (94)

“…I lounge on the grass, that’s all. So
simple. Then I lie back until I am
inside the cloud that is just above me
but very high, and shaped like a fish.
Or, perhaps not. Then I enter the place
of not-thinking, not-remembering, not-
wanting. When the blue jay cries out his
riddle, in his carping voice, I return.
But I go back, the threshold is always
near. Over and back, over and back. Then
I rise. Maybe I rub my face as though I
have been asleep. But I have not been
asleep. I have been, as I say, inside
the cloud, or, perhaps, the lily floating
on the water. Then I go back to town,
to my own house, my own life, which has
now become brighter and simpler, some-
where I have never been before….”
– Mary Oliver
Six Recognitions of the Lord
Thirst: Poems

Morning Trip (87)

“And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts;
a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the Mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.”
– William Wordsworth