Box, Cover and Crock is not the newest online store.
Long being called ‘half-crocked’ or ‘a crock full of…’ doesn’t bother me at all. A trouble-maker from way back, I embrace both descriptors and celebrate them fully. In fact lately, they’ve sparked quite a forest fire of self-reflection inside the quiet riot that is so often my imagination…and sometimes, they all connect.
In no particular order:
Have you ever watched America’s Funniest Videos? Take a close look at the glasses in front of the lucky few who get to sit at the tables spread in front. I suppose the set design is intended to suggest a comedy club vibe, but the glasses? They’re empty. No liquid inside. What’s the point?
Prince’s sudden death is not a happy tale. It did however, provide me with distraction from the political circus of our presidential primaries. What perplexes me about is how such a gifted musician, with a brilliant sense of the business, met his passing without leaving a Last Will and Testament to guide those he left behind with any directive as to what to do with his stuff. I don’t have much but I’m heartened my loved ones won’t have to unravel a similar mystery when my time comes. Like his death, it doesn’t seem to make any sense.
Three more seemingly obtuse thoughts have worked together for good in my own humble life these last few weeks while being unable to shake Marianne Williamson out of my brain. What follows is my short walking tour of the exhibit
Boxes. As I get ready for school on Monday, I will not need a new pencil box and my lunch needs no box. But there are other boxes that have been taunting me since we moved into the new place some ten-months ago. One of the requirements for the professional course work in front of me is having hard-copy examples of projects I’ve led. I know I saved them. I need to find them. And truth-be-told, knowing they hold the proof I’m looking for, I’ve grown tired of hearing the unpacked boxes of paper snicker at me for still being stacked and taped.
So I did the remarkable. I set aside an afternoon and began.
In a move to insure I was going to keep to my own promise, I pulled them out of the big closet and stacked them in a spot purposely awkward so I’d have to trip over them until they were gone. Then, I set up camp beside them with my desk chair, a big bag for trash on the left, a smaller one for the stuff to shred on the right. Setting the first box on the floor in front of me like a campfire, I began.
Several hours and a lot of Bach later, I was done. Ta-da. I found the work samples I knew I was going to need for school. Now recovered, I made a new home for them in a plastic storage box. When I need them, I’ll know their address. Yes, the trash was still there and the shred too, but they were sifted and bagged. I knew what was where and I knew what to walk out to the dumpster. Serendipity being what she is, I also found my good stapler, three calculators and some old family pictures I’d forgotten we had. It felt good to finally plant a flag on top of Mt. Paper.
Covers. Arianna Huffington is on a crusade right now. Her mission? Teach us anew about the importance of sleep and how the lack of it dooms us to ‘less-than‘ in all kinds of ways. Somewhat of an expert in the area, I’ve practiced sleeping nearly every night since I joined the Planet. But she did a good thing in reminding me of some things I’d forgotten I knew. Routines.
I’m a big fan of daily routines. To ignore new demands of reading lists and homework thundering towards me like a herd of Bison and think my old routines weren’t going to be disrupted is fool’s folly. So I made another decision and have worked some of her suggestions into what are becoming new routines for me…especially at bedtime.
But you know what’s crazy? The bit that’s helping me most is the one I did first, back when I was a little Dan. I’ve gone back to sticking my feet out from underneath the covers. Earth shattering, right? But when I do, it’s easier to lie still, quiet my mind and run the quick list of the good things that happened over the course of the day. That’s it. Don’t know why, but that’s exactly the point. As insignificant as it might seem to others, when I stick my feet out (even one of them), I sleep. Feet out. Me down. Me done. I rest.
Crock. As mentioned earlier, people having been using crock or half-crocked in reference to me for years. As charming as their opinions seem to them, I learned a new lesson this week from the humble crock that sits on our counter. Maybe you have one too. It’s the one filled with ladles, spoons and spatulas.
It is no secret I do the dishes. For me, the task definition extends to putting the dry ones away the next morning. I’ve been doing it for years and doing it very well, thank-you. Plopping the dried tools back in their crock is just another one of my routines.
“Why do you do that? Why do you just put all the tools back the way you do?
“You just put them all back. It makes it so hard for me find what I’m looking for”
“But they’re all in one place…”
“Yes, but if you herd the big spoons with the big spoons and do the same with the spatulas, I know where to look.”
In the blink of an eye, what my better half does in the kitchen went, ‘click’ The empty glass went full. Box, cover and crock – it’s all connected.
I know how easily I can get distracted. “Squirrel!”
But I have a new appreciation for there being bigger things to do besides chase my own tail. My quiet hope is I’ve made you smile as you consider my proposition to take your own steps to simplify your Life. Pick something little. Revisit your routines. My hunch is whether your crock is cracked, full or just half, you too can free yourself up from the seduction of the mundane and do the magnificent things reserved for you. Wake up, Sleepy Head. Life is not going to wait for any of us. Lose the Empty. Gut the boxes and fill your crock. And if you get lost? On rare occasions, it may help you to do what I do and repeat after me: “Box, Cover and Crock”.
Love somebody this week. I’m out. Be back in 2-weeks.
SLEEP ON IT:
In this short talk, Arianna Huffington shares a small idea that can awaken much bigger ones: the power of a good night’s sleep. Instead of bragging about our sleep deficits, she urges us to shut our eyes and see the big picture: We can sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness — and smarter decision-making.
Summer is coming and this is on my read-list. Best-seller or not, I knew I wanted to read the book after watching the HBO special on this unique mother and son, Nothing Left Unsaid (http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/nothing-left-unsaid-gloria-vanderbilt-and-anderson-cooper)
“Though Anderson Cooper has always considered himself close to his mother, his intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief but serious illness at the age of ninety-one, they resolve to change their relationship by beginning a year-long conversation unlike any they had ever had before. The result is a correspondence of surprising honesty and depth in which they discuss their lives, the things that matter to them, and what they still want to learn about each other.”
June 07, 1958 – April 21, 2016
Prince died on April 21, 2016 in Chanhassen, Minnesota, at his Paisley Park recording studio complex. He was 57.
Peter Sean writes (IMDb), “Prince will be remembered as a musician and artist who inspired millions through his music, and set an inspirational platform which others still abide by”.
On April 30th, International Jazz Day was commemorated with an all-star concert at the White House, where jazz legend Aretha Franklin joined other musical guests. “During the 90-minute event, Franklin sang a portion of Prince‘s “Purple Rain” with the jazz greats involved. Watch Franklin’s rendition at the 74-minute mark in the video above (via Pitchfork).
“He was definitely an original and a one-of-a-kind. There was truly only one Prince,” the soul singer said in an interview soon after Prince’s death. “He put his stamp [on his sound]. Prince is gone but his music lives on.” Franklin added, “There was a mystique about him that made you want to know a little more about him. Kind of like Stevie [Wonder], he was one of those artists that loved to go into and stay in the studio.”
SOURCES: Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/see-aretha-franklin-sing-princes-purple-rain-at-white-house-20160501#ixzz47Pd7Gfzr, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002239/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_(musician)
Died on March 28, 2016
Bangladesh Killings Send Chilling Message to Secular Bloggers
“DHAKA, Bangladesh — When the steamy, clamorous evening had settled over this city, and Oyasiqur Rhaman had finished his day’s work at a travel agency, he would turn to one of his favorite pastimes: Poking fun at fundamentalist Islam.
Mr. Rhaman, 27, blogged under the name Kutshit Hasher Chhana, or the Ugly Duckling, and he specialized in sharp-edged satire. In one post, he adopted the persona of a self-important believer fielding questions from an atheist. (An example: “See, the captive women, impressed at the heroism of the Muslim fighters, used to engage in sex with them willingly. Don’t you see that it gave pleasures to them as well?”) He posted photos of sausages wrapped in pastries, labeled “pigs in a burqa.”
On Monday morning, after he left home for the travel agency, Mr. Rhaman was killed for what he had posted. Three young men — among them students of madrasas here in the capital and in Chittagong — surrounded him and sliced at his head with machetes, cutting deep gouges into his forehead, face and throat. His body was left on the pavement in a pool of congealing blood.”
Also by ELLEN BARRYMARCH 30, 2015 – NY Times: See LINKS to fuller story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/world/asia/suspects-held-in-hacking-death-of-bangladeshi-blogger.html?action=click&contentCollection=Asia%20Pacific&module=RelatedCoverage®ion=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article and http://www.investigativeproject.org/4849/islamists-hack-another-secular-writer-to-death-in
Died on April 25, 2016
Bangladesh Gay Rights Activist Is Hacked to Death
“DHAKA, Bangladesh — A Bangladeshi gay rights activist and his friend were hacked to death Monday in what the police believe is the latest in a series of targeted killings by Islamist militants [Al-Qaida has since claimed responsibility]
The activist, Julhas Mannan, had attracted the attention of extremist groups by helping to organize a march for gay and transgender youths that had been scheduled for the Bengali New Year on April 14. The Rainbow Rally, as it was called, drew threats of violence and police canceled the march, saying the event would offend religious sentiments.
Mr. Mannan, who also edited Bangladesh’s only gay and transgender magazine, Roopbaan, had received “very vicious, murderous threats” from anonymous people who opposed the rally, said Sara Hossain, a friend. “The last few days were very frightening,” she said.
Mr. Mannan had been working for the United States Agency for International Development, and had served as a protocol officer to two United States ambassadors, the police said.
Marcia Bernicat, the current American ambassador to Bangladesh, said in a statement that she was “devastated” by the death of a man she called “a dear friend.”
On Monday, a group of five or six young men posing as couriers approached security guards at Mr. Mannan’s apartment building in the capital, Dhaka, saying they were delivering a parcel, according to Mohammad Iqbal, the officer in charge at the local police station.
The parcel contained machetes, Mr. Iqbal said…”
By JULFIKAR ALI MANIK and ELLEN BARRYAPRIL 25, 2016 – New York Times (SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/world/asia/gay-rights-activist-in-bangladesh-is-hacked-to-death.html?_r=0) and here’s the link to the USA Today video report on same:
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
OPENING PIC: Crochet Tissue Box Cover: http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2012/10/crochet-monster-kleenex-box-cover.html; Boxes stacked in an empty room (crop) see attribution: http://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?family=creative&photographer=Compassionate+Eye+Foundation%2FMartin+Barraud%2FOJO+Images+Ltd; Babys Feet sticking out from underneath covers – see attribution: http://www.aideenskidsshoes.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/baby-feet.jpg; Crock: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/311381761708466096/; Marianne Williamson and “Our darkest fear…”: http://www.artoftheangels.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/famous-marianne-williamson-quote-our-deepest-fear-a-course-in-miracles.png; Doctor In a Box: http://ih0.redbubble.net/image.25410267.2556/sticker,375×360.u2.png
– ## –