Monkey Mind and Other Stuff

Wednesday, Jul 31

Monkey mind, of course, is a term meditators (and others) use to describe the way one’s thoughts tend to leap, screeching, from limb to limb and tree to tree whenever one is attempting to concentrate on the subject at hand.  As an ADDer, I have first-hand knowledge of the condition.  🙂  Meditation helps enormously, but this morning, as I sat in my favorite seat, which I refer to as my Uncle Harry chair because it reminds me of him, my brain was all over the place.  You might say it went ape-s*&t–(sorry, can’t resist the occasional pun).  I just kept going back to my very complicated and intellectual mantra: thinking ‘in’ on the inhale and ‘out’ on the exhale, and guess what?  The meditation was a good one anyhow. 
I meant to blog on Monday, but I got to writing on the new story and before I knew it, the day got completely away from me.
Yesterday, I was downstairs in my art room and I suddenly went into a sort of cleaning frenzy (you’d call this a good thing, if you could see my art room, which I am ever so glad you can’t); I sorted and tossed and rearranged until I wore myself out.
Today would have been set aside for acupuncture/errands/etc., but since I blew yesterday’s writing quota, I rescheduled the appointment and will be working away in my lovely office with its view of the pasture.  Yorkie-Bernice usually snoozes beside me in her little dog-bed, bless her heart.  Dog lives, like our own, pass quickly; instead of worrying that she’s old (13) and spending my precious time with her looking for symptoms, I try to be mindful, to stay in the present moment.  As in: she’s here NOW, and so am I, so let’s make the most of it.
What I’m reading/listening to:
I’m reading Laurie Colwin’s classic, “More Home Cooking”, a book of essays, which was among the treasures I found on a recent jaunt to the famed Powell’s Book Store in Portland, OR, while visiting Sister Sally.  That place is heaven.  When I have the time, I love to cook.  But perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I love to experiment, just as I do with my art.  I’m a lot more interested in the process, it seems, than in the final product.  🙂
I’m listening to “Ava’s Man”, by Rick Bragg, author of “All Over But the Shoutin'”, a book I’ve mentioned on the blog before.  I LOVED that book and when I came across the author on iTunes, I downloaded three more.  “Ava’s Man” lives up to Bragg’s reputation–he is a Pulizter prizewinner, I believe for his reporting on the Oklahoma City bombing.  I get insights into my own life by reading memoirs, and this one is no exception.  I’ve always dropped my ‘g’s, like the country folks Bragg writes about, and wondered why, since I grew up out west.  Well, of course, it was mainly because the people around me usually ended a verb with ‘in’ instead of ‘ing’–but that’s not all of it.  Now I know–it’s because we’re Southerners on the Lael side–my grandfather came from North Carolina.  Insight #2: I was darned lucky to have the father and grandfather I did, because there were a lot of hard men around back in the day, embittered by the depression and the big war, but our menfolks, though tough as boiled owl, and poor by a lot of peoples’ standards, weren’t mean.  They worked hard and knew how to persist in the face of adversity, and I always felt safe when Dad was around, because I knew anybody or anything out to hurt us would have to get by him first–and that would be darned near impossible.  I suspect Dad felt the same about Grampa, when he was young.
Well, now, we’ve been all over the conversational map today, haven’t we? 
Talk about monkey mind!

About Linda

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West.

Raised in Northport, Washington, Linda pursued her wanderlust, living in London and Arizona and traveling the world before returning to the state of her birth to settle down on a horse property outside Spokane.

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