Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Touch Stone – DONE

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Years ago I was invited to join a group of women writers in my beach side community.  My first response was to deny I was a writer then to protest that I didn’t want to publish.  The organizer, an already published southern women, smiled sweetly and corrected me. “The goal is not to publish but to create touchstones in your life.  You can share  if you want but that is not required.”

The following is a touchstone called ‘Done’ which I shared with my family and friends.  It is followed by a note from my son, the only person to respond.  It speaks for its self.

DONE

A Touchstone

“Done,” mumbled the woman referring to the end of physical form, the transition point we call death.

Done, like a turkey fully cooked and ready for the eating.

Done, as in fully created and ready to move on the next project.

I wish, at times, I could pronounce myself ‘Done’.

This creating and rearranging has me all tired out.

I am ready to be Done, to move on.

I am getting bored with this lump of clay and wonder why I continue to linger.

Is it to add that extra laugh line around the eye?

Is it to be at one more birth and feel that small slippery body in my hands before handing it to mom?

Am I curious as to how much longer my father will continue to curse taxes and disinherit me, again?

Why am I not done?

What more do I need for my masterpiece to be complete?

Have I mastered the art of living yet?

I long to be DONE, but know I am not.         6/19/2000

My son’s response 6/21/2000.

Mom, that was really great! You’re talking in metaphor, but metaphor so immediate and physical that it doesn’t come across as “artsy”.  Even if I weren’t your son, I would think you should seriously consider writing more.

As I am your son, though, it makes me feel very sad to think you are feeling that way.  I hope you are not always so world-weary as that poem.  If it helps, I think you can sit back and feel “done” about a lot of things.

  • Two children, raised to adulthood, both content and one very happily married. Done.
  • One husband, supported and supporting through thick and thin. Done.
  • Innumerable people helped, in ways big and small, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Done.
  • One life, lived without compromising the ideal you hold dear. Done.
  • Reformed patriarchal western medicine to value women and personal integrity… well, you wouldn’t want to be done with EVERTHING would you?  That would be boring.

Love,  Your son (Told his mom that he loves her. Done…)

SEEKING LAUGHTER – PART 3

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 THE PHYSIOLOGY OF LAUGHTER

 Laughter is a physiological response to humor.

 BRAIN

An EEG recording of the brain during laughter demonstrates a different pattern from what happens with simple emotional responses.

 Emotional responses appear to be localized to specific areas of the brain, while laughter produced a circuit that runs through many regions of the brain.

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*Circuit of The Brain on Laughter

  • The left side of the cortex (the layer of cells that covers the entire surface of the forebrain) analyzed the words and structure of the joke.
  • The brain’s large frontal lobe, which is involved in social emotional responses, became very active.
  • The right hemisphere of the cortex carried out the intellectual analysis required to “get” the joke.
  • Brainwave activity then spread to the sensory processing area of the occipital lobe (the area on the back of the head that contains the cells that process visual signals).
  • Stimulation of the motor sections evoked physical responses to the joke.

 LAUGHTER IS A WHOLE BRAIN RESPONSE.

BODY

Laughing can also be a total body workout. Blood pressure is lowered. There is an increase in vascular blood flow and in oxygenation. Laughter also gives your diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles a workout.  Researchers estimate that ‘laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike’.

Laughter can bring balance to all the components of the immune system, which helps fight off dis-eases.

  • Laughter provides a safety valve that shuts off the flow of stress hormones. These hormones, when activated, inhibit our immune system; increase the number of blood platelets (causing obstructions in arteries); and raise blood pressure.
  •  Laughter mobilizes the immune system by increasing natural killer cells that destroy tumors and viruses.  [Gamma-interferon (a disease-fighting protein), T-cells, which are a major part of the immune response, and B-cells, which make disease-destroying antibodies]
  •  Laughter can lead to hiccupping and coughing, which clears the respiratory tract and increases the concentration of salivary immunoglobulin A.

 LAUGHTER IS A WHOLE BODY RESPONSE.

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Replace YOUR ‘power nap’ with a laughter break.

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 NAMASTE

SEEKING LAUGHTER – Part 2

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 GELOTOLOGY

 Knowing that Gelotology is the study of laughter is not as much fun as pronouncing the word – ‘je-le-TO-le-ji’. It sounds like Jell-O. That’s the giggle.

However, the word is from the Greek ‘gelos’ meaning ‘laughter’ and raises the question of where the name for the jiggly confection of a gelatin product originated.

 GELOTOLOGISTS

Speaking of sound, introduces the results of a Gelotologist’s study of the sonic structure of laughter.  The research revealed that all human laughter consists of variations on a basic form that consists of short, vowel-like notes repeated every 210 milliseconds. It can be of the “ha-ha-ha” variety or the “ho-ho-ho” type but not a mixture of both.  Writers alert – beware of mixing the two forms to avoid a false presentation of jovial utterance.

I wonder what happened to the “he-he-he” type?  Is it now extinct or restricted to the overlooked study of the female gender?  Please consider reporting your ‘field observations’ of laughter to verify these findings and promote evidence based writing.

Gelotologists agree that laughter is a form of communication and a universal language. It serves as a social signal not only among humans but also dogs and other mammals. They make laughter-like vocalizations when they share positive social contact such as wrestling, play chasing, or touching.

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http://www.petalk.org/DogLaughSpect.html

Click  link above to hear dog laugh.

Remember the sound of laughter reduces stress levels and promotes bonding.

Get your laughter on.

Namaste

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Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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Ok, I own up. It is my fault. I washed the car. It was, after all, splattered with chalky mud from the jaunts of the past three days. So the snow can be laid squarely at my door. To be fair, a lot of it seems to be. Not so much squarely, as in undulating heaps. Many of them hiding the sleek, shiny lines of my little car.

Seriously though, the weather has behaved beautifully the last three days. It was only foggy where the mists could enshroud the ancient landscapes of myth and legend, enhancing the magical atmosphere and cloaking the world in mystery. Just enough snow to highlight the trees in the woods and make the deer visible. Cold, blasting winds only on hilltops where it felt right and they could blow a clarity of vision into our minds. A while ago I began to call this type of…

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Seeking Laughter

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Seeking Laughter

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waitingforsigns_edited-1 Waiting for Signs

I used to wait for a sign, she said, before I did anything. Then one night I had a dream & an angel in black tights came to me & said, you can start any time now, & then I asked is this a sign? &  the angel started laughing & I woke up.

Now, I think the whole world is filled with signs, but if there’s no laughter, I know they’re not for me.

http://www.storypeople.com/storypeople/WebStory.do?action=HistoryStory&storyID=1053

My children were safely tucked into college when out of a little shop in San Francisco the StoryPeople appeared and reminded me about laughter.  They have followed me through relocations, work settings and life events.  But still I forget and have to be reminded – if there is no laughter, it’s not for ME.

Why is this so hard to remember?  I believe there is a cultural stigma attached to laughter that implies you cannot be taken seriously if you are laughing.  The desire to be taken seriously is seductive.  Serious implies truth and truth is the Holy Grail all adults should seek.  Right?

What happened to the idea of diversity; different perspectives; individual truths?  Woops!!  The TRUTH vs. HAPPINESS dichotomy rears its toothless mouth.  I fall for it out of reflex and have to be reminded by the StoryPeople.  The habit is to choose truth over happiness; seriousness over laughter.

Habits can be changed even after 60 years of practice.  My mission, the one I have chosen, is to seek laughter.  I will share my findings on this blog and invite others to contribute.

My gratitude goes to the StoryPeople and my friend AJ who reminded me about the importance of laughter.

Because laughter is contagious, especially with children, I invite you to my AV presentation.

Namaste

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Another tasty morsal for my pot.

Just breathe.

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I do not love a country, I love the Earth.

I do not love a nation, I love the people.

I do not love the borders, I love the places where sea and land collide.

I do not love only the sky I see, I love every single piece of it.

I do not love only the trees that grow nearby, I love every single one of them, wherever they are.

I do not love only what my eyes perceive, I love everything my heart can reach.

I will not bow down to anyone’s expectations.

I have to stand for what I believe, I have to stay true to myself.

I was born from love and light, not from conditions or restrictions.

I have to find the strength within me to always do what is right,

To always keep my heart wide open.

Because I love life,

I love the…

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Stone Soup

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Stone Soup

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Blogging is like making Stone Soup.

A blog is the crucible that anchors the sharing of nutrients.

            The process is gratifying because it involves human connection and collaboration as in the Stone Soup’s recipe for making something significant by gathering lots of small diverse contributions.

For example, this morning I discovered a site on the Internet proclaiming – There are unwavering principles underlying this Universe — which is abundant beyond our wildest imagination.’

The site offered multiple links to tasty inspirations that I stirred into my blog. (http://www.michaelppowers.com/prosperity/)

soup-potPlease feel free to sample and/or add to my brew.

 

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I need more glasses and can not remember where I packed them.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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Society demands we do our best

Striving, trying for the common goal

The home, the car, the holiday

Squeezing ourselves into a mould

Shaped by the grey people,

The tax collectors,

The nine to fivers

Caught by fear of failure

And bound by convention.

That is their safety net

Seeking justification

For their insecurities

In the reflection

Of our compliance.

I want to do my worst

To give life all I’ve got

To break the rules,

Twisting them and making sausage dogs

Of their inflated importance

Like a clown with a balloon.

To dive into sunsets

And drink the dawn

From an empty cup

Laughing in the morning.

Will you join me in a sunrise?

                                     SCV

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For my West Coast family

Little Wolf

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I’ve been slowly building an army, soldier by soldier.  Here’s the work in progress of my first piece, “Hearts + Stars”, for my upcoming solo show.

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I’ve been updating my progress with each little trooper on Instagram.  Here’s what the piece looks like at this very moment (nearly done!):

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My favorite part, outside of picking all the colors, is painting all the teeny tiny brushstrokes that make up the fur.  It’s SUPER time-consuming, but equally fun.  Or I’m just some lunatic that actually enjoys painting ridiculously small lines with a two-haired brush.

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With less than two months to finish all the work, it’s safe to say that I should probably turn into a hermit.  TO ALL MY FRIENDS:  it’s not that I don’t like you, I promise, I just can’t hang right now.

After a quick sojourn to the woods this weekend, I’ll be falling off the face…

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