Burnt coffee

Finished a midnight shift,

Serving my species by helping to save strangers’, maybe stranger, lives.

Sitting at the tire and oil change shoppe,

Sipping burnt coffee,

The styrofoam cup covered with black sugar sludge…

Listening to one man bragging,

His son having completed Navy Seal Team 7 training,

The father, a firefighter, keeping up, tandem skydiving nearby.

What does the coffee grower know of this?

Or the person picking coffee beans?

The coffee processing plant workers have an opinion, surely?

Do I?

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Do I want to be sexy?

So I think I can dance…

Tonight, standing under a starless sky, clouds reflecting a pinkish-purple glow of city light, I wonder what I want my independent happiness to reflect.

So I think I can dance, and, given music I can discern a rhythm through my tinnitus and hearing aids, I can dance…

Well, I can dance, even if I know few formal dance moves, but…

Do I want to be known as a sexy dancer?

Do I want to attract that kind of attention, when I’m a married man who hasn’t had an orgasm with another person in over ten years?

Doesn’t the juxtaposition of looking sexy and getting sexually aroused while dancing publicly but having a sexless private life interfere with my Happiness?

It does.

So, yes, I think I can dance but if the joy of dancing causes side effects detrimental to my mental health then I might have no choice but to isolate myself from social situations that might lead to dancing.

Just because I can dance, just because I can socialise, just because i know how to make other people feel good about themselves doesn’t mean I should.

I know it doesn’t make sense to hear myself say that having a good time and making other people feel good is actually bad for me but it’s true.

I really feel better here, writing to myself, not analysing another person’s behaviour to figure out what I can do to say nice words to that person to build a protective wall or smoke screen of “feeling good” between us so that that person can’t see my happiness is fake, that my true desire is if I’m going to remain childless then I might as well be dead and not using resources that somebody else’s child could be using to be a successful procreater.

At least I’m no longer depressed because I’ve found a way to live as if I’m already dead and just label it happiness to project a socially acceptable set of states of energy to hide within.

Smokers patio

Sunday evening meditation midst the swirls and curls of burning fags, bearded men smoking ciggies, checking mobiles for messages ’bout their social standing, drinking booze with babes, the air electrified with lightning nearby.

What day this has been, my friends, when you’re awarded for your hard work, and I am handed the reins of a quiet life with which I choose to treat my friends and family to the wellspring of love within I’ve hidden for too long?!

Why hide that treasure trove from You?

Why deny one’s gift, one’s destiny?

Nothing left to fear.

Life is short.

Although but sets of states of energy in motion, how those states interact say everything these words merely skim the surface describing!

To say I love you has never been enough.

To show I love you by giving my love to everyone we know and to those we’ll never meet…well, the pipe smoker next to me, a wise old blues musician, understands.

You and I are performers, to the core.

Our performance is an act of love, unselfish, in service to others, sometimes sacrificing our mental (thus, our phyical) health until we paid attention, putting our love for each other to practical use.

Look at the result!

Years hiding love we cannot recover.

Let’s wisely share our remaining years with unfettered love.

The solar system brought us this far.

Adding core workouts to my physical therapy

Time to add core body workouts to my physical therapy?  You mean, other than sleep, eat, and breathe? Lol

I think I’m ready!

Here ya go:

“3 exercises for the core developed by Dr. Stuart McGill, that will increase your endurance and protect your back: modified curl-up, side bridge, and bird dog, collectively known as ‘the big three’.

“1. Modified Curl-Up

“Lie your back with one knee bent and one knee straight, this puts your pelvis in a neutral position and the muscles of your core in an optimal alignment of pull to avoid strain on the low back. Place your hands under the arch of your low back and ensure that this arch is maintained throughout the curl-up. Start by bracing your abdomen; this is different from flexing your abs, bear down through your belly. Now make sure you can take a breath in and a breath out while maintaining this brace. If you cannot, stop there and practice doing just that until you’ve got it mastered! Now, pretend that your spine in your neck and your upper back are cemented together and do not move independently. Pick a spot on the ceiling and focus your gaze there, lift your shoulder blades about 30° off the floor and slowly return to the start position. Take note of your neck, and ensure that your chin isn’t poking forward when you do a curl up. If you’re struggling with that, focus on making a double chin. Perform 3 sets of 10-12.

“2. Side Bridge

“Lie on your side and prop yourself up on your elbow. Ensure that your elbow is directly under your shoulder to avoid any unnecessary strain through your shoulder joint. With your legs straight, place your top foot on the ground in front of your bottom foot. Place your top hand on your bottom shoulder. While maintaining the natural curve of your spine, that is to say, be sure that your upper body isn’t twisted or leaning forward, brace your abdomen, squeeze through your gluteals (clench your bum), and lift your hips up off the ground. Don’t forget to breathe! Hold for 8-10 seconds, repeat 3 times. As the exercise becomes easier, increase the number of repetitions as opposed to the length of time. There are a number of ways to modify this exercise in order to increase or decrease the difficulty such as the example below on the right. If it’s not challenging enough, try putting that top hand on your top hip, or straight up in the air, but again, be sure your body stays straight!

“3. Bird Dog

“Start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder width apart directly under your shoulders, and knees hip width apart directly under your hips. Maintain a neutral spine. Brace through your abdomen and squeeze your gluteals. Ensure you can maintain this while you take a breath in and out. Lift your right arm in front until it’s level with your shoulder, squeezing the muscles between your shoulder blades as you do so. At the same time, extend your left leg straight back until it is level with your hips, squeezing your gluteals, and keeping your hips square to the floor. Return to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner, and perform the same action with the left arm and right leg. That is one repetition. Perform 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. As this exercise becomes easy, focus on co-contracting the muscles of your forearm and arms while you extend, the same goes for the muscles of your legs. For an additional challenge, instead of putting your hand and knee back down on the ground between reps, try just sweeping the floor and performing the next rep right away, or draw a square with your arm and leg and then sweep the floor.”

Delta, Dawn, Dune

Connections.

Networking.

Talking Sister Rosetta Tharpe with one friend, capacitors with another, and how to properly brew Piper & Leaf branded tea with a third.

All within the greater community connection that is dancing.

Yes, dancing has connected me to the following, at the least:

  • Cosplay/Dragon*Con
  • Oil change discounts
  • Barcode readers
  • Weekly social gatherings
  • Outdoor photography with friends
  • LGBT rights
  • Rocket/missile engineering/engineering in general
  • Juggling multiple jobs
  • Local Maker movements
  • Online roleplaying/multiplayer gaming
  • Massage/physical therapy
  • Haunted buildings/locations
  • Multiple emotional/mental conditions (depression/bipolar/dissociative/schizophrenic, etc.)
  • Traveling for weekend dance competitions (not unlike car racing, gymnastics, tennis, etc.)
  • Recruiting
  • Promoting/marketing
  • Local art communities
  • Municipal growth planning
  • Extraterrestrial exploration/colonisation
  • Greater exposure to different music genres
  • Polyamorous relationship management skills
  • Watching young people expand their talents into other fields
  • Watching people 40 and older rediscover the simple joys of living
  • The international language of dance overcoming all socioeconomic sub/cultural barriers
  • Myself

In times past, I spent Sunday mornings meditating on a subject or two, often asking more questions than reaching conclusions, setting up thought trails to explore the rest of the artificial seven-day block we call a week (trying living without a watch or calendar and see if you recognise a week; you might tune yourself into periods of a day and a lunar month but will you feel a week go by if there are no specific days you need to do anything?).

My latest electronic project has turned into the next evolution of the personal care chair, a seating device that senses your posture, wrapping itself around your torso and gently correcting your posture, working pressure points to ease muscle/ligament/tendon pain, keeping you alert when you need it and reminding you to relax occasionally, as well as push you up to exercise your body, tied as it is to your fitness tracking device (smartwatch, phone, wristworn activity tracker, etc.).

I started physical therapy recently to work my upper body, hoping to build muscle and bone mass in an effort to stop the bouts of vertigo my general practitioner/primary care physician believes is caused by pinched nerves in my neck/spinal column.

One of the physical therapists I also met through dancing.

Is there anything anymore in my life that isn’t related to dancing?

We live on a small planet, third cooling molten rock mass from the Sun, so I know better than to feel or act shocked that we humans connect through common interests.

Yet the child in me enjoys amazement and awe.

The teenage boy in me enjoys his own amazement and awe that is kept at bay for no other reason than I am what I am, an awkward nerd whose looks, age and ability to deflect people away from the real me through the art of conversation gets tiring after a while.

Sometimes I wonder why I carry an eclectic set of social data in my thoughts from which I can parse sentence structure and make sense in general conversation whether I know what I’m talking about or just am interesting enough that people ignore my ignorance, inferring from the few words I blurt/write that I know more than I do.

The wisdom of aging has its advantages.

Time was when I wished I was wise enough to seek wealth.

Then the training of my youth kicked in, driving me back to the monkhood for which I was destined.

I don’t know how to live in two worlds and the confusion has clouded my weekly meditative writing.

Two worlds, one which is the monkhood with my marriage that I gladly enjoyed for ten years, the second is the sexual attraction infused in dancing that counteracts my celibate marriage and draws me to see human bodies in a way that constantly confuses me since the nerd in me has no experience seeking out sexual relationships with others.

The denial of sex with others has fueled my creativity for decades, including writing and electronic gadget construction.

Dancing fuels my writing but takes away from my laboratory time.

At my age, 55+ years, and in semi-retirement, working for a local nonprofit, what or who am I?

Does anything matter anymore — labels, symbols, philosophical stances, subcultural beliefs?

The child in me and the future geriatric self wait for an answer that may not exist.

I return to the mantra that I do not exist, therefore I am not important.

I am at peace in my thoughts.

That much I know.

At my age, that’s all that matters.

I spend the day with my wife, give her the attention she seeks from her life partner, a person who lets me be me as long as she feels important (the primary person in my life), a person who feeds me and clothes me, for the most part taking care of me and my health.

What else am I to do because I don’t know how to care for myself?

I sit here and write, that much I know about feeling peaceful.

Everything else is just random interaction in the connectedness of the dance world.

I need not find patterns where they don’t exist.

I need not project the future in hopes of saving our species from global destruction.

I will die soon enough, might as well remain as peaceful as I have in the past, enjoy the ride and not question the beneficial/detrimental effects of the transportation device.

I no longer struggle with who I am.

My actions speak louder than words.

No need to be confused.

Breathe, eat, sleep.

A set of states of energy in motion which needs no overlay of symbols to justify its existence; i.e., the secret to happiness.

Live and let others live/die as they please, interference from me unnecessary.

[On a side note, I wonder if the Meclizine and ondansetron, combined with physical therapy easing decades of pain, have led to this new calmness in my thoughts…certainly, uncertainty about my vertigo and the piercing pain in my neck for 40 years have made me feel like I’ve always been running away from something; now that I have a solution, I don’t need to run away anymore, no need to pretend to be someone else in order to hide the real physical pain that has defined me since high school, from which I used to think there was no escape.]

Claw marks

Last night, stopped at a local pet store to buy food, stopped at another to buy a rescue kitty from Forgotten Felines. 

Today, a hike in the north Alabama hills (or mountains as they call them on this part of the planet).

Observe scratches and spots of blood on my arm from playing with Papier, the cat who adopted me over two years ago.

A day for action, less thinking, more hiking and socialising, extending my mental relaxation period through the end of this week, focusing on my art and not on my mesh network of thoughts.

A good weekend, in other words.