Looking back over the last few months it’s pretty clear I’ve been spending more time on Facebook linking to political stories (and even more time playing Scrabble) than I have posting to “In a Dark Time.” Mainly that’s because, as I’ve stated too many times lately, our Pacific Northwest winter continues to be brutally wet. Perhaps if Leslie had managed to retire as planned, I would have already have spent weeks in California taking pictures, but we’ll be lucky if she can manage to retire at the beginning of April.
Although I read way too much about the Bundy occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, I was too angry — and definitely too irrational — to write much about it. Besides anyone who would give a damn about how I felt would probably already know my feelings based on the number of shots I’ve taken there. Actually, I have written down a few thoughts that might eventually offer my perspective on the issue, but hopefully they’ll reveal more about me than they will about how I feel about the Bundys and their ilk.
I’ve also spent hours reading about the upcoming elections, but anyone who follows me on Facebook knows I’m a Bernie fan and suspects I have already given as much money to him as I can comfortably afford. Early on, this blog was political, beginning as a America’s invasion of Afghanistan. Later it became an attempt to ensure that Bush would not be re-elected; I even ended up writing political articles for other sites who recruited my help because we shared common views. I’m not going down that road again. Hell, I can barely stand to read some people supporting Bernie, much less those supporting any of those absurd Republican candidates.
Unfortunately, much of what I’ve been doing doesn’t lend itself very well to blogging. I’ve been spending at least two hours a day, five days a week trying to help my Grandson deal with his migraine headaches and the problems they have caused with his schoolwork. Not fun. Hope it never happens to you or the ones you love. Don’t want to spend any more time than I already am thinking about that particular problem.
And what the heck am I going to write about the hour and a half a day I spend at the YMCA when it’s raining out. I’m already bored walking around the small track 24 times to walk two miles in 30 minutes without trying to write about it. Fifteen minutes on the rowing machine helps me to build up my endurance, but it’s so mindless that I can’t do it without music from my iWatch and a headset. The twenty minutes I spend in the weight room may help to maintain my upper body strength, but it’s just as boring as the rowing machine.
Sadly, perhaps the most interesting thing I’ve been doing lately is meditating using a Muse headset to monitor how well I am relaxing. I’ve been using it for nearly a year now, and I have managed to score much better scores than I did when I began. In fact, I reached 90% relaxed in two of my last 3-minute sets. Can’t keep my mind from wandering more in longer sets of 20-30 minutes, though, and the best I've scored is in the 80% range. Not sure how much help it is my life, but I think it has helped me to deal with some of the stress of trying to work with my Grandson while dealing with Shingles and a pulled tooth. At least my handy Azumio app keeps telling me that my stress level is in the low range (except the day before I had my tooth pulled). I’ve actually read quite a lot about meditation in Buddhist zines which has helped me in my practice, but I certainly don’t feel expert enough to comment on most of those articles.
Forecasters are actually predicting a sunny week after today’s storm passes, so maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get out and get more pictures next week. Here’s hoping.