Just For YOU

If you’re feeling a little stressed or overwhelmed, I would really like if you would take a couple of minutes to slow down and read this poem.

“Matches” by: Zeb Telfer

Before Dark

by: Wendell Berry

From the porch at dusk I watched

a kingfisher wild in flight

he could only have made for joy.


He came down the river, splashing

against the water’s dimming face

like a skipped rock, passing


on down out of sight.  And still

I could hear the splashes

farther and farther away


as it grew darker.  He came back

the same way, dusky as his shadow,

sudeen beyond the willows.


The splashes went on out of hearing.

It was dark then.  Somewhere

the night had accommodated him


–at the place he was headed for

or where, led by his delight,

he came.


How I Stop Myself

So many times I have been my own enemy.  Yes, *I* have been my own enemy (hangs head low).  No, I didn’t eat too much ice cream, and I didn’t binge on Cheetoes.  What I have done though is predetermine events in my mind that keep me from seeing events as they unfold.  That’s right.  Here’s an example: my son once had two turtles which lived in our backyard, Margaret and Sleepy.  We let them wander around in a big pen I had built, and we planted some flowers for shade.  They also had access to worms and a huge saucer of water.  Everything a turtle could want, right?  Turtle paradise…well, not really because Sleepy, the one we thought was, well, sleepy, kept escaping.  The first time it happened I searched the yard (rather pathetically a friend pointed out), and in a moment of anxiety, I decided my neighbors saw the turtle and stole her.  Had the neighbor I privately accused been around it would have been unpleasant, and I would have looked crazy.  As it turns out the turtle went, er, fell into another neighbor’s yard.  It was the neighbor on the downslope of our hill with a retaining wall under the fence.  I guess those shells are pretty solid.  But, really, what I want to say is many of us will jump to conclusions without considering other possibilities.  When we predetermine events, we are our own enemies and bring ourselves more stress.  Yep, we bring ourselves more stress.  So the next time you find yourself thinking, “I can’t do such-and-such.  That’s impossible,” or “That person will never like me,” stop to ask yourself if you really, honestly know for an absolute fact that you are right.  It will create possibilities for you by lightening your stress levels.

Stress is Dangerous

Our nervous system is not built to handle stress constantly.  Once in while, when something dangerous happens to us (we’re in a car wreck, for example), our sympathetic nervous system helps us to act quickly.  I’m sure you’ve heard stories of daring feats under high duress. The girl who kept her head when her friend fell, telling people to call 9-1-1, and ultimately preventing the fracture from getting worse.  We all admire those people, and sometimes “those people” are us.  In situations like that, which are rare, the sympathetic nervous system is wonderful, and our health is not damaged.  It is when our sympathetic nervous system constantly works because of stress our health is in danger.  I often think of politics as a profession in which the nervous system constantly works.  Stomach problems arise, heart disease, insomnia, headaches, depression too.  So take a deep breath, and remember that you won’t be able to take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.

Where Is Your Quiet Place?

I blogged not too long ago about finding that quiet place to just be you, no phone, no people, just you.  And I really would love for you to tell me what your quiet place or activity is!!  Recently, I read an article about a newby farmer, and his adventures are quite interesting.  Once when the turkeys got loose, he grabbed a rake and broom, ran towards them, and squawked, somehow fixing everything.  After day like that, he looks forward to putting his baby girl in a sling and walking with her until she falls asleep.  He describes how her body gets heavier in the sling, and somehow along the way, the two of them fall into sync.  I think that’s a beautiful way to find quiet time.  I think I told you I sometimes need to be in a dimly lit room with no one around except the hush.  I find that very soothing.  Other times I need to be alone where there are lots of trees and a slowly running river.  So what is it for you??

Quiet Time

It is true that when we stress about events, chores, etc., we think somehow that the world will collapse without our aide.  I find relief in the fact that I’m just a small part of the humanity whole.  I’ve never made a real sunset or kept myself willfully from floating off the earth.  I also find a great deal of relief in doing some quiet activity alone.  Sometimes it’s as simple as sitting in a dim room with my eyes closed just listening the hush.  Other times it’s in doing something really rather repetitive and boring, like knitting.  Think of some hobbies or that special quiet place that helps you calm down from a busy day, and relax, just enjoy yourself.  Your body needs it more than you think.


Have a great day!