Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday, Mom. Today you would be 67. That fact alone makes me cry.

I didn't know how to celebrate Mother's Day this year. I feel like I should be "doing something" for your birthday too. And so I am. I'm going bike riding.

Good or bad, you set an example that I learned from. And thanks to that, I hope to be riding on my 67th too.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Safari Morning

In England during and after the Second World War anyone could have recognized the sound of a Lancaster bomber. Or a Spitfire! 12 cylinders of Merlin engine, once or four times over. I'm what must be the 0.1% of my generation that can immediately recognize these things by sound. I spent most weekends of my adolesence at the airport. And one of the world's great aviation museums was close by. I volunteered at the annual airshow and knew the sound of every classic plane and engine that regularly flew there.

Even recently, I heard a DC-3 flying over and ran to a window to see it. Beautiful, and fully distinctive in it's own sound.

This morning I impressed myself with something similar, but original. I was laying in bed, still 90% asleep when I heard it...

Buzzzzzz, Bump, BUZZZzzzz, BUzzZZzz, BuzzZZ, Bump, BUZZZZZZZZZ, Bump

"Queen Bee!", went like a shot through my conscious and I was instantly awake. The elephant of the insect word was smashing its way around the curtains, and somehow I knew it from sound alone. It could have been a Merlin engine for all it's distinction. Clearly it was HUGE.

A few gentle tugs at the curtains revealed it really was a queen bee. And it really was Huge!

I got a stick to guide it out the, now fully, open window. She walked onto the end of the stick and rode it comfortably outside. Poor thing probably has a belly full of eggs and no collany yet to tend them. But my bedroom? No. Sorry. There shall be no bee hives in my bedroom.

Chickens, bunny rabbits, and squirrels are about the largest wild animals you'll ever see in Holland. (Yes, we have a lot of parks with "wild" chickens.) Relative to these normally benign surroundings, sleeping with a queen bee is like waking up on safari. It gets you moving in the morning.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Empty v. Full

The other day a friend of mine told me she felt "empty". Her life was in a state of change and the actual changes were fully beyond her personal control or influence. She looked towards her life plan to see if it gave a clue as to where to go. Alas, this introspection showed her she wasn't actually following her life plan and thus it's anticipated guidance was more an admonishment.

So when you're not sure where you are, where you're going, or the relative bearing to anyplace you'd like to be, the net result is like feeling empty.

I feel full. So full that the billion ideas inside are fighting all at once to get out. And the result is paralysis.

I need change. And I can see how small efforts in any one of a dozen directions can affect the changes I need. But which direction, which efforts? So many options bring too many questions. And the questions fill me, and stop me.

I see opportunities to write. Many. So many ideas need exploring, telling. But none will pay the rent. I see opportunities to change career. I could be an instructor, teacher, coach. I could go apply for a job in that office over there. I don't know what they do and I don't care. But while that's change, is it a good change? There is even, perhaps, a chance to return to a previous job, and employ my years-honed skills. But how far away from my own life-plan is that? A lot.

Empty and full feel completely different on the inside. But they look the same. It's a focus, missing from the face of the individual out of balance.