No Gifts Please

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Happy Winter Solstice 2017

…and after the winter solstice, daylight grows longer every day, by about an additional two minutes each day.

 

In blunt honesty, I had texted

To people whom I usually gift exchange with

I am not gifting this year.

Don’t buy me anything either

When you’re in long lines,

with the stressed, the demanding and the grumpy

Consider for a moment, if you wish

To spend some cash or credit on a gift

For yourself,

(something I would typically get for the giftee)

And pretend it was from me

“Wow!”

“Just what I’ve always wanted”, they could mentally say,

“How did you know?”

(Pshaw! I’m just gift buying talented. ;-p)

If you don’t have the funds

(or the moola to pay off after the spending).

 

I stated the same thing to my family.

If you cannot afford it

Don’t bother.

It’s not an obligation

I won’t hold it against you.

I have finances to straighten

The credit companies love me

Thank goodness it’s less than three!

Holidays are holy days

No matter what the situation

How holy is it if

Spending money

(because you ‘have’ to

or to impress)

To cross those names off your list

Is a show of spiritual devotion?

Material and spiritual collide

Quite frankly please consider, who is crying

And not in breathless joy

When the monthly statements arrive?

 

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Followed

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This has happened once before. I am minding my own business.

Shopping, browsing,

I have things on my list to cross off.

The first time was earlier, in the summer time

An older teenager or college girl with a great 1940’s pinup figure

But a sour and snide disposition

She had another girl with, that may have been kin.

Around the store they sauntered

New to the country (it’s obvious in the energy vibes)

looking around and being snobbish superior,

while lazily sipping something cold and creamy from the green mermaid place.

I could hear how smoothly they spoke their native language – one that my mom strongly insisted I learn.

Every. Sunday. For a few years in a row.

With other kids of my nationality.

Don’t judge me, but beyond the basics, my math sucks and I was at least a high C average out of high school. :-p

I loved art, though.

It’s that tone of voice as they criticize and judge the innocent bystanders. Sometimes they are even briefly pleasant to those whom they make fun of.

Btw, the snide criticism can be about anything.

Or as it happened in my case, the two girls slowly pass by me and verbally slip in something that I recognize as an insult.

Gee, maybe it was something I did? Maybe I was too direct with my look in their eyes, and then glance away?

Oh wait. I remember. It IS a cultural phenomenon.

I remember my kid years watching and listening to those who were responsible for me, doing the same mean spirited thing.

Then again it happened today (a person can develop a radar for these occurrences).

Something off in the air, some vibes unpleasant behind me. So a quick turn I did take to the next aisle, facing pretty cards and also seeing their faces as they passed.

I saw. She saw. Her guy pal saw.

Silence from her as they walked on – it was she who did the talking anyways.

This snide judging behavior has got to stop.

And yeah, they were raised with the mainland mindset that their culture was supremely on top.

Just like it was >attempted< to be indoctrinated onto me.

But since childhood,

I was not a bully, but the bullied.

Maybe one day those others will learn to be truly kind and open of mind, but I sense it’s not anytime too soon.

From halfway around the world, malice comes walking.

How are we as a species be better beings when

This negativity goes round and round

and generation after generation?

Olfactory Inventory

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It’s autumn (since August 7th of this year, according to the lunar calendar). Autumn is about the sense of smell.

My nose used to work so well,

until my previous holiday job at the mall (da maul),

where customers can get all sorts of cranky

when it’s the winter time holy days.

What is it about the season?

Or is it the shopping list – a reason?

People to impress, people to address?

At a specialty retailer,

nationwide,

whose strong scents beckon fans inside…

“Light the tea lights,” I hear often,

within the first hour of the store first opening.

Keep’em lit, diffuse those (synthetic) warming oil scents.

But the real test is

taking the mix of smells from damaged containers and customer returns

(100% satisfaction guaranteed, even if it’s 99% empty).

Off to the trash compactor of which many stores share.

In go the discards!

A stockperson can always tell

when the sushi buffet place was previously there.

Yin Building

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photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

 

Rest; refresh and recuperate, so one can take actions or do…later.

Reading, writing, meditating; artistic fun and crafts playing.

Sing songs, hum along. Feed your creative side. Things that activate the mind.

The quiet places away from the noisy and busy.

A stroll, a mosey someplace.

Nature, in a park or garden bits or in panoramic whole. Always.

Ladies. Busy moms, busy wives. Singletons and teens, always on the go.

For you, dears, pay special attention from the first day of bleeding until ovulation.

Have yourself food doses of chlorophyll and vitamin E.

Detoxification is consistently necessary.

In the frenetic mess called rush hour traffic.

Irony that times of stillness and calm needed (yin/winter/water element) for self rebuilding is from 3pm til 5pm (bladder meridian) then 5pm to 7pm (kidney/adrenal meridian).

Smack dab in the middle of going home after the 9-5 job.

A yin meal to share…and a selection of fresh brewed, warm and leafy libations.

Starting with desserts, as that’s metabolically kinder (for those with digestive issues mostly).

Refer to food combining methods.

Blueberry tartlets (paleo friendly) anyone?

Or coconut flour based banana bread baked with some Chinese five spice with option a honey kissed whipped butter?

Medjool dates stuffed with strained yogurt or live culture cream cheese?

A selection of cheeses served with blackberry conserves or fig jam, dark grapes and thin slices of pear and apples.

Be sure to get in the gouda (double cream is good) or brie (triple cream is spreadably smooth) for the vitamin K2 content, those little calcium carriers that take calcium out of soft tissue to where the calcium is needed and meant to be (teeth and bones).

Don’t want cheese? Try the plain walnuts lightly roasted with ghee.

For those who are a little more daring, how about some natto with a generous dollop of guacamole?

Vegetarian chili, leaning towards mild, made up of mixed beans (red, black, white, beige) and non starchy veggies.

In a crockpot, a congee of black rice, wakame, bonito and shredded kelp quietly bubble.

Single serve ramekins of steamed eggs fresh from the wok. Their silky texture finished with a generous pat of butter and a sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt.

Option two are eggs, poached, served on cloud bread with pesto and drizzled avocado oil.

Pale flesh fish fillets in individual au gratin dishes, steamed with minced fresh ginger and sprinkles of purple dulse, plus a few pinches of Hawaiian black salt for color and flavor.

Salt cured salmon roe (ikura) with a generous pinch of lemon zest, tossed with finely chopped kale sauteed with coconut oil.

Oysters simply steamed, shelled, and served on a bed of Japanese seaweed salad and shredded nori.

* * * *

If you so choose, by all means, gather together your own yin building menu and to-do’s. It’s all over the internet and definitely on paper pages for a good look.

 

Bare Feet

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To deal with the heat

On a sunny, hot, humid summer day

Splash and play by a pool

May as well put on some sunblock too

If fair skin tends to turn a cooked crustacean shade

But as I stare out the windows in the

Pleasantly chilled, environmentally controlled atmosphere

I see throughout my work shifts

Many, whose feet are bare as they sit studying or reading

While their shoes are nearby, idly laying.

I wonder if they care or consider

That some time after they leave

Someone else will be using that seat

The self same one used as a personal footstool.

I wonder too

If they realize, just how many

Shoesteps, boot tromps have graced the industrial carpets

All the mud, the dirt, the grime and gloop

and who (doesn’t really want to) know what

– especially walking the furry babies.

Or even walking into someone elses furry babies toilet…after.

Maybe I’m just germ-o-phobic

Although it wasn’t I who got a wart

by walking bare feet

on garage floor and concrete.

Just keep your footwear on

And I will pass on wanting to know

about the surface swab test

and blue light view in the dark.

There are little things I would personally keep outdoors

Instead of tracking them floor to floor.

Inland

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The gulls are calling after the rain

The sky is still overcast

but cloud banks are moving again.

Breezes are welcomed

for their cooling feel

on a humid,

82℉ July day.

Its funny how the lake

is just over an hour’s drive away.

…but in a suburbia parking lot

at half past 5,

the gulls remind me

of being near water side

instead

today.

 

Dishwasher

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It was the 1970’s

The little girl was only in first or second grade

She was supposed to be doing the dishes

By hand

One sink full of suds, plus wash rag

The other sink full of plain water for a dunk rinse

Rinse twice, her mom said.

Translated: empty the sink and refill with fresh water for a second dunk.

But no one was around when the eating was done.

So there was extra soap in the washing area

Because soap bubbles are fun to play with.

Parental supervision?

What’s that?

That’s how you don’t teach a kid to do household chores.

But third grade was spent in a house

Built with an automatic dishwasher to load.

Just to keep gender chores equality

Youngest brother would do them…but when he was graduated from college.

**eye roll of annoyance**