Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A jug fills drop by drop...

I have been a student of Zen philosophy for quite some time.  It has been a great source of inspiration and learning for me.  The basics for me have been patience and compassion and simplifying my life at times.
Patience was my reason for my initial start with Zen.  "You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger."

We all get caught up in this crazy, fast-paced world and there are many unhappy people out there who think they're continually getting farther and farther behind and have no hope of getting where they want to be.  What they do not realize is that they ARE where they ARE.  There is no escape....even for the enlightened.  "Before enlightenment: chop wood and carry water.  After enlightenment: chop wood and carry water."  The world is the world...nothing changes it...we must learn to be happy through this struggle we call life.

A famous Chinese proberb: "At birth we come At death we go...bearing nothing."   For some idiotic reason, the public believes we should all strive for more and more things in our life.....a new car or truck, a new home, the latest phones, a newer computer, etc.  Most people work their entire lives to build up riches to give to someone else once they're gone.  We came into this world with nothing and will leave with nothing....everything else is just....temporary fixations.

My goal in this is not to make everyone go out and buy Zen philosophy crib notes, but to make sense of slowing down and breathing and stopping the madness our society shoots at us with TV, internet, and radio.
Take time to cut off all electricity for a moment and think once in awhile.  Take the time to really make sense of things.  It's like taking a nap when you're completely exhausted..."We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.  When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

So go out there and start filling your jug....drop by drop.  "To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders."  Take a few minutes each day to meditate in a peaceful, quiet environment and see if it doesn't help with the stress of everyday life.  I promise it will!!

Remember to be kind and compassionate to others and be patient with everyone.   Simplicity, patience, and compassion are your greatest treasures.

Some drops for your jug from my favorite Zen Master, Lao Tzu:

"By letting it all go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go.  But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning."

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you."

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.  Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow.  Let reality be reality.  Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like."

"Knowing others is intelligence;  knowing yourself is true wisdom.  Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power."

"An integral being knows without going, sees without looking, and accomplishes without doing."

"If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stormy weather...

Last nite was my first nite on the boat during a rainstorm.  It was an event to hear the rain and see the drops trickle into the lake making their thousands of disruptions in the smooth surface of the water.  I was mesmerized and sat for a few hours just watching it.  Thoughts drifted through my mind and I relaxed completely.

I thought about how soothing living on a boat was even during the rain.  I thought about the Ark and how Noah must have felt when the rain started.  I felt relieved that even if the rain never stopped, I would be fine and carry on.   Life is about those small moments when you know you'll carry on regardless of what happens.   We are all confused at times throughout our lives and the only weapon we have is our mind.  The mind is all.....we are what we think.

I think I'll stay around a little while longer to see how DJQ's quest goes.   Love is always worth waiting for...

For now, I'm in love with Bella.   She is very beautiful with nice curves and is in a class all by herself.  Her name is Bella Luna, which is Italian for 'Beautiful Moon'.   I will take good care of her and she'll always be there for me...

Monday, April 19, 2010

One of our own...Lee Brice

Lee Brice comes from the same countryside I come from.  His family has known my family for many years and I know for a fact that they're good people.  He's an up and coming country singer and the other night I heard his latest single on the radio.
I was filled with pride for him and really liked the song as well.  It's exactly how people think love should be where I come from.  It's a beautiful song with alot to say about love...true love....everlasting love.

Way to go, Lee...

Yall go out and buy this!!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

To be or not to be...a good question.

To be or not to be....that is the ultimate question.   Having a broken heart can make you not want to be....you constantly think about what you lost and what could have been.  You live in the past and think about the good things you now miss.  Your heart aches for the one you loved and eating and taking care of yourself fall to the wayside.  You think because your heart is broken you don't want to be anymore.

When you think all is lost and you can't go on, always know that tomorrow is a new day.  Change is inevitable and this crazy life can throw change at you that you'd never expect in a million years.  I'm not saying that a broken heart quits hurting in time, but it does hurt less and less with time and changes in your life.  

Life is simply a crapshoot where you never know what the dice will roll.  It's actually kinda exciting knowing that.  Today may be mundane and boring....tomorrow could possibly be the most exciting day of your life.
Though I was totally down and out a few weeks ago, I am now in love with life.  I love the changes I've seen and made for myself and realize that one's mind is all you need to make change happen for yourself.

I am now thankful for the love that came to me.  I had real love for awhile and man, was it sweet!   We laughed and loved and had the time of our lives.  We both were very happy together and content simply being together.  It was the love I was always wanting....one where you love them as much as they love you.
I am grateful and thankful to have had this in my life.  It was worth the heartache to have had it in my life.
I was able to feel something most will never feel and will cherish this for the rest of my life.   Though the relationship didn't work out, I am not going to analyze and re-analyze the fact that circumstances beyond our control forced the premature ending.  It was not that there was a lack of love....it had more to do with the economy and tragedy in life that caused it.   I could be sad over it the rest of my life.....or I can just be happy and thankful to have had it for awhile.

I now await what life will send my way next.   I have lived a very full and exciting life that most would say would have taken two lifetimes to do.   I have been very blessed.   I have done many things in this crazy lifetime....and one thing I can truly say is that I have LOVED.   The story of a love is not as important as being able to love....it is, perhaps, the closest glimpse we are permitted of eternity.

With that in mind.....I choose TO BE.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Life on a Boat...

Yeah, I did it.  I am buying a boat and living aboard.  It sounds like an absurd idea, I know, but I have always been a free soul that enjoyed living life to the fullest and have always loved the water.  The desire to be around water seems to be in all of us, with the exception of a few people who can't swim...

The boat is named 'Wastin Away' after the Jimmy Buffet song, but I am currently thinking about a new name for her.  Wastin Away sounds kinda negative and I always look for good mojo in life.  Some of the names I've come up with or have been suggested were 'Bella Luna', which is Italian for 'beautiful moon', and 'Some Beach', which is redneck for Some Beach or SomeBitch.   I am still open for suggestions, though...

The marina is a very nice and quiet spot on the lake.  My boat is nearer to the landing and I get to see everyone coming in to drop or pickup their boat or jetski.  It is always funny to watch people do anything in life....especially when there is a chance they'll fall in the water!

The boat itself is quite large and I'm tyring to get a handle on all the pumps which move water around inside the vessel as well as keep it outside the hull.   There are also many switches and buttons to familiarize myself with.  It won't take long.

The helm on the top deck sits very high, but you can also see everything from up there.  It is an awesome view of the water and the best place to drive the boat from.....unless there is a storm and then you would drive inside on the lower deck.

The top has two decks and plenty of room from lounging in the sun.  The stereo can even be direct to any and every room as well as the top decks.  The view is incredible and would be a beautiful way to spend the day riding around on the lake.  My favorite places are the top deck and the lower front porch which is covered and has a nice ceiling fan to cool things off as well. 

I am meeting new friends quickly.  The guy who does everything at the marina is named 'wildman', I hope because of his wild hair and beard, but still trying to figure wildman out right now.....he is a different bird for sure.  Ike, the man that owns the Beaver Creek Bar and Grill, is very nice and always good to talk to.  Tashia and Harmony, the bartenders at The Flamingo, the other bar right down from Beaver Creek Bar and Grill, are also very nice and love to talk.
I find myself the new celebrity in town as they get few strangers till the Summer usually and things are usually kinda slow in the off season. 

I am busy settling in and about to start a writing project with another writer.  It will be a real life civil war love story with actual letters that were sent between a husband and his wife.  It should be fascinating reading.  I'll keep everyone posted as to when it will be published....and hopefully it will.

For now, I live in an alien world becoming more and more familiar to me everyday.  It's a different kind of world than I've lived in before.  I have lived in lakehomes before and stayed at beach houses, but never actually lived ON water.   I know that so far I have never slept better in my life.

It's an adventure I am excited about...  When I retire, I can move the boat to the intercoastal waterway and travel up and down the east coast in style and comfort.  She is a beautiful boat with alot of character.  I look forward to getting to know her better and make her shine again.  She has come to me at a time in my life when I needed change....and a change in view....and a view of the water is just right for me!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

'Wastin Away' in Beaver Creek...

Hello Everybody!Hope you all had a great Easter weekend!

I had a great weekend and am looking forward to the week.  I spent the weekend checking out 'Wastin Away', a large houseyacht I'm thinking of buying and living on.  It is a beautiful boat and is quite large with many amenities of home.  I went down with my cousin, who is great with electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work, to check the boat over thoroughly.  It was a beautiful weekend and we had fun, but didn't get as much done as we had intended.

We got down there at dark and had trouble locating the boat at first.  Though there were several houseboats docked there, I did not see the one named 'Wastin Away' and was wondering if I was at the wrong dock.  I ended up calling my friend, the owner, and she walked me by phone to the right one.  It was nicer than I had anticipated....a large, steel hull vessel with all the comforts of home.   It has a large upper deck where many people can lay out and a place up top to drive the boat as well.  The boat was very nice inside and has a lower stateroom, bathroom, and bunk room downstairs that are very cozy.  The master stateroom even has two closets.  I began thinking about staying there for a home and the possibilities of living on a large boat.

I have owned boats in the past, but they were always speed boats.  This was quite the opposite.   It is a titan that should be driven quite slowly.  It's over 55 feet long and very heavy, so I would want to make sure of where I am navigating before opening up the engine.   Getting it stuck would make for alot of problems because of the size and weight of the vessel.

Our first problem was the plumbing.  We hooked up the water supply and immediately found a leak under the sink in the kitchen.  It had probably cracked due to the cold weather, but would be an easy fix.   The rest of the plumbing checked out well.   No major electrical problems so far, but the mechanical has not been checked yet and hopefully once we run the engines, all electrical will be ok  as well as the mechnical.

We went to the two bars located within a few hundred yards away and made some new friends.  The first one, Beaver Creek, made us laugh because of the name.  It was a private membership only, but I hate having to buy memberships at a bar where you'll spend money and talked my way through.  The owner, Ike, was an older gentleman with gray hair and a gray beard.  He seemed very friendly and let us through with no problem.  We enjoyed the bar and had a great time and talked to Ike a little more about the area and things to do there.  From there, we went to The Flamingo, a bar across the waterway, and ended up buying a membership there...(it was only 5 bucks)  We learned that the two places were similar, but The Flamingo had a few more bikers there and was a little wilder than Beaver Creek...or it seemed so to us.

As I ponder whether or not to make such a drastic change in my life, I think about driving almost an hour to work.  I think about the costs of owning such a large vessel.   I think about my future and living there and whether the woman I find to live my life with would be happy there.  I think about my children and know that regardless, they love their Daddy and would be happy with me anywhere, but am sure they would really love staying onboard.  I think about the friendly people I met this weekend and if any of them will be future good friends....

Only time will tell.   Change is the one thing that is constant.   The hardest part about life is making decisions of change and wondering if you're doing the right thing.   It is truly hard to figure out...but I resort back to the Zen Philosophy for a little comfort and let time be on my side.  I'll check all the systems on the boat thoroughly before making the decision and think about this change in lifestyles while doing so...and as the Zen Master always says...."we shall see..."

Friday, April 2, 2010

LOVE...Everybody get on board!! It's the Reason for the Season!!!

In celebration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's love for us......Come on every race, creed, and religion....GET ON BOARD!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

From Bad Mojo to a View of the Water...

Life changes quickly on you.  Sometimes change happens slowly and sometimes at the speed of sound.
The only thing certain in life is that change WILL occur.   So when you are down and out, make sure to hold on...change will be right around the corner.

I've been seeking a change in scenery for the last month or so.....I knew it was something I had to do to keep my sanity.  I wasn't sure where or when I would go, but felt something would come up soon.  Out of the blue I was contacted this morning by a friend who has a 50 ft houseboat on one of the large lakes in South Carolina.  It is a spectacular boat with a large beautiful stateroom, lounge area, full kitchen, upper and lower decks, and every creature comfort of a home....except this home is on the water! 
The home I currently live in has alot of bad memories from the last year and I hate bad mojo.   Everything in it reminds me of a bad relationship and the lies I was told by a woman I had truly believed in.  The memories haunt me....and I have been looking for an exodus.
My friend told me to go stay at the houseboat.  She said I could live there if I wanted to for awhile.  It's quiet and peaceful and on a beautiful spot on the water.  I told her I would take her up on it before I had even thought about it.  It would be just what I needed.  It will be the perfect place to get some writing done....and is only 40 minutes from my work....which I will not mind driving.

Good things happen to those that wait.  I knew I couldn't stand being in my house for much longer as it simply had too many bad memories and was full of negative energy.   It was once a house of joy and love, but now was a nightmare of lies and deceit. 

I will be packing my things shortly....and making sure I've got the essentials....like bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, flip flops, and a good blender!!!