410 Memos in 35 hours

Brute_Force_Attack_Notifications_IMG_7185I am the lucky recipient of 410 Memos during a 35 hour time period.

From August 9th at 11:01 PM until August 11th at 10:10 AM, this website was under a brute force attack by person or persons unknown. I was REALLY busy with multiple deadlines. I knew there was a solution that I could implement to help alleviate the pain that the server must be feeling, but I also knew that the firewall was doing its job, by thwarting and notifying.  So, I let it keep until this morning.

During the 35 hour period that my phone was pinging regularly with emails from the firewall, the subject of self-publishing came up more than once.  The most prominent occurrence was last night. I had “set phasers to stun” (silenced the phone) while in a business meeting. At the end of the meeting, several attendees were standing around talking about self-publishing, and the phone kept vibrating in my pocket at regular intervals.

I wonder what I’m supposed to be self-publishing?

Beginning again. And again. And yet again!

IMG_5945The day after I wrote that last post about starting over, a Wednesday, I went to yoga and the instructor announced that the theme was “Begin again”.

On the way home from yoga, I saw a swallow-tailed kite.

That evening, I wrote in my Gratitude journal, where the quotation for the day went like this:

It is no disgrace to start all over. It is usually an opportunity.” – George Matthew Adams

I drove up to Disney on Thursday to spend Earth Day there, and to see some of the Flower and Garden Festival.  As usual, I spent a fair amount of time in the butterfly tent.

IMG_5946The day after Earth Day, while still at Disney, my Gratitude journal treated me to this quote:

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – Buckminster Fuller

Butterflies are significant to me; I donate to their conservation, I participate in wildlife surveys dedicated to the counting of them, and I traded in my “Nemo” license plate for one with a butterfly on it. I have a tentative plan to create a caterpillar-to-chrysalis-to-butterfly sanctuary on my patio (if I can ever scrape together the funding!). When butterflies present as a Memo, I should probably pay attention. Also, they get to “begin again” too, through the magic of transformation from one creature into another. I think metamorphosis counts as “begin again”, don’t you?

While driving home from Disney, Siri told me that because of “delays ahead”, I could save 17 minutes by ditching I-4/I-75 and cutting down the middle of the state. Passing through all the little “old Florida” towns, I saw signs for the Sunshine Motel and New Beginnings high school across the road from one another. I’ve since discovered that the motel is closed, but the high school is open.

Finally, after driving three hours (instead of three hours and 17 minutes – LOL!), maybe 2 or three miles from home, I saw a hawk on a wire – in EXACTLY the same spot where I spun out a few years back, and maybe even the same hawk (my stHAWKer!).

So… what do we have here?

Many of these Memos are repeats from the past, the butterflies being a new addition. Therefore, I have the impression that this is not so much a “new” beginning, but more of a do-over or a transformation.  And my keyword, which hasn’t made an appearance in quite some time, appears twice in this sequence, intermingled with the birds of prey and the butterflies.

The motel is closed, though. Might mean leaving something behind and concentrating on basics, which will lead to a transformation, a new beginning.  The hawk in the same spot as a scary driving experience… I hope that doesn’t mean “begin again from October 2013”.

What was I doing in October 2013? I can use an app on my phone called Momento to find out. It sucks in all your social media feeds and presents them to you in calendar/journal form. I’ll get back to you on this….

Back to basics

Memo 04192016I’ve been a spiritual slacker. I’ve given in to worry a bit, and I’ve strayed from many of my good-for-me habits. But I’m on my way back.

My guess is that we’re allowed to do this, as humans – stray, so we have some contrast, which facilitates learning. The times when I learn the most are those times when stuff goes wrong.

I opened the Gratitude app on my phone today, and discovered that the last time I journalled there was a year ago TOMORROW.  After I made an entry, I was rewarded with the usual quotation landing page.

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the SUNSHINE. – Morris West

It’s got my keyword in it.

Feeling quite prodigal about it all 🙂

Out of the gate and into the wild

Out Of The Gate And Into The Wild

I’ve been indulging in my usual Saturday morning routine – sitting in my pajamas with coffee, idly paging through social media until the brain shows signs of life. Facebook’s “On This Day” feature this morning offered me a video by recording artist LP, whose incredibly unique voice isn’t even halfway showcased here (you should try a song called Tokyo Sunrise if you want to hear what she can really do!)

LP – Into The Wild

A few minutes later, the interwebs offered up this gem:

Left the gate open

Of course, the two connected are screaming, “Memo!”

I actually think this is a foolish sentiment, as a routine life strategy. One should not always be bolting willy-nilly through every open gate one sees.

Who bolts through open gates? People who are looking for a way out. People who are some combination of bored, scared, trapped, desperate, and/or yearning for freedom. People who are convinced that what lies ahead HAS to be better than whatever they’re leaving behind. People who want to run.

I decided to google the song lyrics for insight. The pertinent, most recognizable lyrics to the LP song are:

Somebody left the gate open
You know we got lost on the way
Come save us a runaway train
Goin’ insane….

Oh please believe me I’m more scared than not
That oh now this isn’t the way

So here we have another category of bolter – astray, scared, and with full, after-the-fact awareness that bolting wasn’t the best idea they ever had. This was not a well-thought-out bolting, but an irrational, reckless rush into madness.

When we were growing up, our family included a dog named Rusty, who would bolt at every opportunity. Gates, doors, however he could manage it, Rusty would lead us on a merry chase through the neighborhood until his inevitable recapture. That is, until the time I found him in a doorway, reached for his collar – and he snarled and snapped at me. Here I am, worried for his safety (hey, we lived at the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Francis Lewis Blvd. in Queens!), and this is the thanks I get for chasing him down. Fine. Be that way. And I went home in a huff, leaving him to figure it out on his own against the perils of the city.

I have no idea why some dogs are bolters, and some are just plain disinterested in the open gate. He wasn’t abused or ignored or anything like that, and always had a big yard to run around in. Some dogs are calm, placidly content. Rusty was a more energetic, more interested in what lies beyond the gates, I guess.

On the surface, the placid pooch seems smarter, more dignified, more mature, steadier and more reliable than the bolter. However, his worldview is more limited than Rusty’s. The placid pooch never gets to sniff and explore and learn quite as much as the one who wants to know what’s outside the gate.

There’s got to be some happy medium between the sameness of contentment, and the terrifying plunge into the abyss.

A prayer acknowledged

File Oct 11, 4 12 26 PMI was in my early thirties when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was 23 years ago tomorrow.

A few weeks ago, one of my nieces called seeking advice. She’s been diagnosed, too.  She’s in her late twenties.

I’ve been attending yoga on Sundays for a few weeks now. I keep parking around the corner in pretty much the same spot – right across the street from a small cafe.  I keep wanting to stop into that cafe after yoga. The stomach is empty and suddenly serenity isn’t quite filling it up.

At the end of class today, we prayed for those who are dying or ill. The yogi asked us to think of someone who is in need of such prayers. I prayed for comfort and healing for <Insert Name Of Niece>. We ended by sending a series of Oms out to them.

I thought we were done, but then the yogi started a chant, and I was really excited about it because I recognized it. That made me feel like a little less of a yoga/mediation imposter. And then I realized that I recognized it from a mediation lesson recorded by the late David Simon, a co-founder of the Chopra Center, who had died of cancer. That made me sad.

After class, I decided that it was finally time to stop into that little cafe. The waitress was pleasant, and when I said I’d just come from yoga, she brought some ice water with lemon right away.  I asked how long the cafe had been in operation, and she launched into a colorful tale of cafe survival that was basically a reflection of the renaissance of downtown Fort Myers. “We’ve had a lot of adversity,” she said. “But we’ve prevailed.”

As I was leaving, I asked her name. She shook my hand and said, “It was nice meeting you. My name is <Insert Name Of Niece>”.

I'M LISTENING !