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25 January 2006

A State of Mind

I think that emotions make us "feel alive", even negative emotions. And feeling alive is something we look to do, because (I guess) it means we are not, um, dead. So an emotion of any sort can give us a rush - it can make us realize our self, our soul, our spirit. I look back on times in my life when I was very sad, and I note a little warm rush in my thoughts. I don't think many people want to admit this and it may be out of the mainstream of professional psychiatric thought: I may be totally off base. But think about it, honestly, and see if you agree even a little.

Emotions were on my mind today because of my morning lecture by my current Teaching Company course, Biology and Human Behavior. The professor discussed the connections between the brain's frontal cortex and the limbic system, which is "the part of the brain most centrally involved in emotion and in generation of emotionally related behavior." It interacts with the cortex, the rational part of the brain. The cortex tries to get you to do the sensible thing but does not always succeed. The current course is taught from the neuron up, quite scientific, but the themes are the same as those of the philosophers. A tug of war between what you want to do to feel good and what you think that you should do to be a sensible person and a decent member of society. It's all just a state of mind.

So I'm on the ellipticals and "state of mind" leaps out at me from my iPod. Led Zeppelin, Misty Mountain Hop:

Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see,
And baby, baby, baby, do you like it?
There you sit, sitting spare like a book on a shelf rustin'
Ah, not trying to fight it.
You really don't care if they're coming,
I know that it's all a state of mind.

If you go down in the streets today, baby, you better,
You better open your eyes.
Folk down there really don't care, really don't care,
Don't care, really don't
Which, which way the pressure lies,
So I've decided what I'm gonna do now.
So I'm packing my bags for the misty mountains
Where the spirits go now,
Over the hills where the spirits fly.

misty mtns (Blue Lake, Brainard)

19 January 2006


It came to me, about a week ago. I woke up at the tail end of a dream and remembered clearly hearing this phrase: "it's deewa". (In the dream) I was on a hill looking over an ocean and I heard this answer to all my questions about how our spirits are connected. (At least I think that was my question.) It bothers me a little that I don't know how the word is spelled, but I can live with that. Deewa, accent on the first syllable.

This morning I awoke from another dream. We were going off on a trip and who should show up but the most obnoxious woman we had ever met, and she had decided to stay with us. We tried to tell her that we were leaving but she just began to heave herself out of the passenger side of the truck. Again it came to me: "it's deewa". Maybe deewa has multiple meanings, like "aloha". Or maybe deewa is like karma.

Here is a picture of my doggies snuggling on the couch. I'm taking a chance here that my dh never reads my blog, since the big dog isn't allowed on the couch. Shhh, deewa.

snuggling puppies

10 January 2006

The four S's.

I think of them as the "S" words: spirit, spirtual, soul, spirituality. Take each word individually and think about what they mean to you. To me, each word has a different meaning, a different feel. For me this is a work in progress; I hone my personal definitions as I gather input from reading, thinking, dreaming, interacting with people, and looking around at the world.

Below is a favorite input. I'm posting it here because I want to think about it some more.

"If we define the spirit (or soul) as the pattern of information of which we are made - our genes, proteins, memories and personalities - then spirituality is the quest to know the place of our essence within the deep time of evolution and the deep space of the cosmos."

Source: The Skeptic column by Michael Shermer, Scientific American, Dec 2005.

08 January 2006

Kitty Prints

Maybe kitties on the crown shouldn't be encouraged. Friday John was painting the top of the cabinets with white paint and Tori decided it was time to jump up and perch. On discovering wet paint she slipped and slided one way, and then slipped and slided back. John grabbed her as she jumped off and tossed her into the basement before she could spread paint all over the house.

She wasn't hard to track . . .

kitty prints

. . . at the bottom of the stairs.

more kitty prints

05 January 2006

Cat on the Crown

Today our kitchen is sporting some new crown molding: decorative woodwork on the top of the kitchen cabinets. Adds a bit of class to our oaken kitchen.

Yesterday I had to take down all the geehaw that I keep above the cabinets so that John could create and install the crown molding. Well. Guess who noticed the big, blank space above the cabinets? Guess who had to go explore? Jump first on the counter and then way up? Guess who startled me, gazing down from her perch? Yup, the cat. Tori is about 2 and a half now, still a lot of kitten left in her, a lot of curiousity.

Today: 1/5/06. This is one of our anniversaries, actually, it's the one that John and I feel is more important than our marriage date. We moved in together 1/5/71. So today marks 35 years of living together. Good decision, IMHO. I couldn't imagine a better life.

I'm not going to get mushy, but this from my non-cat-fan husband indicates how much he cares for me:

He lets my cat be on the crown.

cat on the crown

Here's a view of the entire run that Tori has.

cat run