A little boost in inspiration this morning

I know it has been a long time since I’ve written something, but it has been a busy second half of the year and I’ve been doing well. However, like a lot of people, I tend to get a little down sometimes approaching Christmas, especially those years when I’m single. It is a time of year that is meant to spent with others, and it can be more special when there is a special someone in your life. I think it is also somewhat due to being atheist/agnostic; there is just something about the Christmas season that somewhat makes me sad I don’t feel a god the way that others do.

I’ve learned that inspiration, like a lot of positive feelings/emotions, is something that can be generated and cultivated as much as it is felt. One can draw on the Source of light that lies within rather than looking toward external sources. I’ve learned to take action against my melancholy rather than letting myself immerse in it, and I have taken a handful of steps toward creating inspiration:

–I’ve been on a strict diet for the past couple of weeks hoping to shed some pounds and get healthier before the beginning of the year. So far it is working! Down 15 pounds.

–I finally got around to putting up my Christmas trees last night, and that gave me a little boost and holiday spirit.

–I am taking my grandma to see the Nutcracker at the incredible Fox theater in Atlanta next Saturday, and we’re stopping to have dinner with my Dad and his Significant Other on the way. The Fox is an awesome venue and I love the Nutcracker. I saw it here in Athens last year, and while it was good, I wish they had live music (they had pre-recorded music). I’m really looking forward to a live orchestra performance, as the Nutcracker Suite is one of favorite pieces of classical music.

–I found a some new Buddhist organizations that I want to check out this year and the beginning of next. One meets regularly on Sunday evenings. One has a meditation series starting up next year that I’m planning on signing up for. And I even found a Buddhist retreat that involves camping at a nearby state park — how awesome is that!?

–Lastly and most importantly, I found a volunteer opportunity at a winter homeless shelter here in Athens. Their mission is to provide a warm place to stay during the cold months, provide hot meals and showers, and to spend time with folks. The job I will be doing is to hang out with folks after dinner and play card and board games with them, talk with them, and basically to interact with them like the fellow human beings that they are, helping them to get the confidence to get back on their feet. I’m excited but also a little nervous due to my introvert nature. But I have enough confidence (or dare I say faith?) that if I can just have the courage to open up, it will be as good for me as I hope it is for them. Another volunteer opportunity that I’m interested in is spending time with people in hospice care, allowing their family members to be able to leave and run errands and so forth. I know from personal experience how hard caretaking can be on family members. For whatever reason, I don’t get too emotionally drained being around the sick and dying, so I think I could be a good fit. They say that some people like to hear music, so I thought I could learn some hymns or songs to play. But that seems too scary for me at the moment. I’m hoping that this opportunity with at the homeless shelter will help me to get confidence to take on that challenge after the shelter closes once it warms up again.

The opening picture is one I took earlier this year, and it reflects the inspiration that I feel at the moment.

A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! Please take some time to do something for others this season.

Metta,

Keith

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One days rest for the weary

Made it to athens late last night and am headed to florida tomorrow. I will spend the day preparing and getting some rest. Amy Leigh will no 

  doubt be snoring most of the day. She is a trooper on these long trips. 

I think she had a lot of fun getting to see everyone, but she seemed very happy to wake up and realize that we were home last night. 

It was a great trip so far. Looking forward to part 2. 

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Dont know why but

Blackberry smoke is awesome camping music. Something re their brand of countryfied southern rock goes well with a cold beer, warm fire, stars peeking through the clouds, and the sounds of crickets. 

One thing country folk have right that people in the cities dont often get is that some of the time, no most of the time, what makes life sweet is the little things. Country people work just as hard or harder than their city counterparts but, somehow, seem to find the time to slow down and enjoy life a little more…well if not on meth i suppose. 

Perhaps being more in tune with the outdoors makes you tune in more to the speed of the universe, perhaps its just the mezmorizing effect of the aforementioned beer and fire combo…

Perhaps its having a moment away to appreciate the fact that as much as life sucks sometimes, it is actually pretty damn good most of the time. Most places ive travelled to, it is sunny more than it rains. Life is like that too, if we pay attention and dont expect it to be sunny all the time. Expectations are everything. Expect the worst and be grateful when its anything else. Strive to be the best you can be but never be disappointed with what and who you are. 

 i wouldnt want to be anywhere or anybody else tonight.  Why should it ever be any different? 

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Koa campgrounds have nice facilities but…

If your neighbors have a fire, you probably dont need one. If i wanted to be a sardine i would pray for fins! 

But i do appreciate having a place to park the trailer on the way home tonight. 🙂 

Good night to all! Thinking of friends i got to see, ones that i havent met yet, and the road ahead. 

It will be some good and some bad, but no matter what happens there is only one road that is mine and dangnabbit, im determined to smile no matter which direction it heads. 

I wish you all the same.

 Metta,

Keith

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Since I’ve come across a couple of bears in the wild myself

The true story of two fatal grizzly bear attacks that changed our relationship with wildlife – The Washington Posthttps://apple.news/AxKHX_BwtQ66StfeuvucwQA

But I still know it’s more likely that I get hit by a falling tree or limb…and I’m okay with that. 

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My mountain

I’m a mountain person, not a beach person. To a mountain person, one soars above all others. In my wekly depression and anxiety group yesterday, we were asked to share our dream vacation. Mine was start in one of the “southern buddhist” nations, such as Thailand or SriLanka  or Burma, and make my way up thorugh India, Nepal, and Tibet, ultimately to the base of Mt Everest. And then wordpress reader serves me up the following this morning. Hmm…the mountains are calling. Enjoy! 

http://wallflowerwanderer.com/2015/10/11/my-mt-everest/

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To my homies

I have a few friends who are going through rough patches at the moment. Im thinking about you. I know its tough but i can say that rough patches do always seem to get  better somehow, often when you least expect it. Maybe the new season coming up will swirl the cosmic forces around and bring better times. In the mean time i will be sending all the positive juju that i can! 

Metta,

Keith 

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Damn..another one

I just read that Chester Bennington, singer for Linkin Park, has reportedly committed suicide.  We lost another someone whose courage and singing about their troubles has helped people like me get through many of my hard times.  So very fucking sad.  I’ll write more later, but for now all I can say is Chester, I saw you perform twice and you were awesome.  I hope you are able to find the peace in the next life that you were not able to find in this one.  I hope that your pain is over.  I will miss you and your voice.

–Keith

I put some of their songs on and this one has been playing while I was typing this.  Read a little bit about his life and then listen to this song.  Damn.

Easier to Run

It’s easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It’s so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Something has been taken from deep inside of me
The secret I’ve kept locked away no one can ever see
Wounds so deep they never show they never go away
Like moving pictures in my head for years and years they’ve played

(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made I would)
(If I could stand up and take the blame I would)
(If I could take all the shame to the grave I would)
(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made I would)
(If I could stand up and take the blame I would)
(I would take all my shame to the grave)

[Chorus]
It’s easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It’s so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Sometimes I remember the darkness of my past
Bringing back these memories I wish I didn’t have
Sometimes I think of letting go and never looking back
And never moving forward so there’d never be a past

(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made I would)
(If I could stand up and take the blame I would)
(If I could take all the shame to the grave I would)
(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made I would)
(If I could stand up and take the blame I would)
(I would take all my shame to the grave)

Just washing it aside
All of the helplessness inside
Pretending I don’t feel misplaced
It’s so much simpler than change

[Chorus]
It’s easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It’s so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

It’s easier to run
(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made)
It’s easier to go
(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made I would)
(If I could stand up and take the blame I would)
(I would take all my shame to the grave)

 

 

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Random thoughts 7/5 edition

I Love the deck. Today i got a couple of potted plants and a new grill. Ive been grilling on my tiny weber smokey joe for the last cpl of years. Today i got a big boy weber kettle. I broke it in with a nice angus sirloin and some grilled veggies.  Yum!  Its nice to have a cool place to spend some time outdoors, as i am right now while writing this post. (When it is not dark i will take a picture).  I came acccross sour monkey from victory brewing for the first time — mmm mmmm good 🙂 

I have recently reinvigorated a cpl of semi-friendships with the locals so hopefully i can host a cookout sometime this summer. I find that im having just enough interaction with people to keep me from going full-on bonkers, even though i still dont have any really close friends here (yet). Im hoping that will change when i make it back to school next year, but im good for now. I have even (gasp) gotten some digits lately and have been thinking about trying on-line dating. Its about damn time. I think im ready, but only one way to find out. 

I have completed several home improvement projects lately. I think that once i decided i was going back to school and was going to be in this spot for the next few years, it made sense to sprice (thats a new word i just accidentally invented, a combination of spice and spruce) things up a bit. 

Im reading my second book discussing the buddha’s teachings for lay people (i.e. Non-monks). Turns out that he was okay with lay people enjoying wordly pleasures and accumulating wealth as long as it was done in the right way. Interesting. So maybe there is a chance of my semi-hedonistic yet compassionate, peaceful, and joyous  “buffett buddhism” after all!! 

Oh and i bought an electric guitar, my first one. It is so much fun to be able to make all sorts of noise! So far i have learned a riff from blackberry smoke and one from van halen. Amazon should be providing me software that is lessons in a game format…looking forward to that. Learning guitar better is on the bucket list. Maybe one day ill play a concert. (Ive been inspired by a super-cute 24-year-old with an amazing voice who sings and plays acoustic guitar every thurs night  at a hotel bar near my house; unfortunately ive got a tennis match tomorrow night so i will miss her unless it rains).  

Oh yeah, so ive been playing in tennis league. That is fun. Im still getting beat most matches, but i am getting better. Sports make exercise bearable. I want to start playing b-ball again too. 

Ill be camping this weekend and am looking forward to that. Im also planning some trips to national parks later this year. I want to see a few more before heading back to school, which will tie me down a little more than ive been used to. Bit it’s worth it. 

I think i may have discovered my purpose. More on that in another post. For now, though, i am going to enjoy listening to the sounds of the night, both the tree frogs, insects, and other critters, and the urban sounds of air comfitioners and trains and cars etc. 

I wish all beings a wonderful night! 

Metta, 

Keith 

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Isnt it good norwegian wood? 

Happy 4th of july! I decided to build a patio today. I found a great deal on an outdoor table and chair set a while back, and i finally had a moment to figure out what to do with it. 

So i built the deck and then put the table together. Right as i was about to kick back after sweating my balls off all day, a bit t-storm rolled in. Listening to some chilled rock, enjoying the cooler temps, and becoming one with the storm while hiding under the screened in room. 

Oh well, ill get a chance to enjoy the deck in the future. It was fun to build something to make my place a little nicer. It replaces a big patch of bare Georgia clay where the sun don’t shime and the grass won’t grow. Cheers! 

  

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