The Muse

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Monday, September 26, 2022

Is This Your Lucky Day?



This morning I reached into my sock drawer and pulled out two black socks from the pile of black stockings. And by some quirk of fate, I had a pair--they matched. Now, that is as rare as a mouse who while playing on the keyboard, managed to type out a complete sentence.

 

Does that mean this is a lucky day?

 

Do you believe in synchronicity? Or the Muse or that stories are circling in the either and are determined to find a teller? Steven Pressfield tells the story of Liz Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) meeting a fellow writer and found that the story she began years ago but dismissed was picked up by this new friend who lived miles away from her.

 

My daughter said we should complete a story we began some time ago before someone else picks it up. I’ve heard of this before. The Red Balloon was written by two people almost simultaneously but was printed by the author who ran to the publisher first.

 

Sometimes the world seems magical. Other times it appears determined to pelt us with monkey wrenches.

 

Do you have an answer for that?

 

I could say it’s our mindset or our attitude, but maybe there is something else playing with us. Perhaps the Muse is as fickle as we are. 

 

In Hawaii, there is an ongoing belief in Pele, the goddess of the volcano. They treat her as a living entity who can be appeased with gin. But, so the story goes, she has a fiery temper, and a benevolent side, such as helping drivers on the road. She burns down some people’s houses while stopping short of others, and has been known to make an abrupt turn thus saving a sacred site—of which there are many scattered around the Island. (You probably wouldn’t recognize them for often they are rocks stacked upon rocks.)

 

Oh, I have an explanation: There are magnetic lines in the earth called lei lines, and sacred sites are built at their junctures. Suppose--and this is a big suppose—that the lava followed those lines and turned when they turned. 

 

Prove me wrong.

 

Then, there is the story of Ruth, who, years ago, saved the town of Hilo on the Big Island. When molten flowing lava threatened Hilo someone suggested calling Ruth, who had a reputation for controlling lava flows. She lived in Honolulu and was a large woman, so special arrangements needed to be made to transport her. 

 

Once in Hilo she requested they build a straw hut for her, provide her favorite libation, and then leave her alone. Someone spied and said she just lay down in front of an advancing lava flow and meditated.

 

The following morning, she was alive, and the lava had stopped short of her. 

 

Boy, that’s almost like laying down in front of a freight train and figuring it would stop before it ran over you. 

 


 

I just opened my book The Frog’s Song (about our adventure in Hawaii) to see if I had written about Ruth—I didn’t find that I had, but I found the Signature Tree that I had forgotten about. 

 

There was a tree on the property we bought called a Signature Tree by the owner who showed us the property. The tree was large, like an apple tree, but evergreen with somewhat succulent leaves. It looked like a deciduous tree, that is it didn’t lose its leaves—at least not all at once. If you wrote on a leaf, your writing would last until that leaf was displaced by another.

 

On one of the leaves, we found this note: “Goodbye farm,” signed by the owner’s two little girls.

 

When we left, we signed our names.

 

It’s been eleven years. Our leaves have probably dropped off by now. 

 

 

P.S. I wanted to tell you that my book, The Frog’s Song by Joyce Davis, is on sale. Maybe I should have titled it The Song of Hawaii, but the frogs sang louder, so they got first billing. It was on sale a week ago, but is now back to its regular price. Sorry. I have no control over its price.

  

“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”
George Bernard Shaw

 

In case you missed it:

Patagonia now has a new Stockholder—THE EARTH

 

Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard gave away his business.

It’s revenue in 2022 reached 1.5 billion.

Here’s how it works: 100% of the company’s voting stock transfers to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company’s values; and 100% of the nonvoting stock had been given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature. The funding will come from Patagonia: Each year, the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis.-Yvon Chouinard

 



 

Buy from Patagonia!

 

Mr. Chouinard doesn’t believe anybody should be a billionaire. I agree, a couple million ought to keep a person for life.

 

Founder: Yvon Chouinard

Headquarters: Ventura, CA

Customer service: 1 (800) 638-6464

CEO: Ryan Gellert (Sep 24, 2020–)

Founded: 1973, Ventura, CA

Revenue: 1.5 billion USD (2022 estimate)

Number of employees: 1,000 (2017)

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Long Since You've Used Pi?


 

 Pi, you know that magic number 3.1416 is conveyed by the symbol p. No pie crust, berries, or lemon custard, nothing as great as that, just a mathematical formula.

Why am I concerned with pi? My real Estate Studies made me do it. When calculating the Area of a circle, it is Area =p r2, where r is the radius of a circle multiplied by itself.

Who discovered these things--and long, long ago?

I suppose it will be handy should I ever need to find the area of a geodesic dome. Some irregular rooms can use a circle, but I don't want to go there.

 If someone asks me to calculate the area of their irregularly shaped bathroom because they are putting down linoleum, I will scream and run in the opposite direction.

One of the questions the makers of this course asked before I began it was, "Can you stay calm when everybody else is going bonkers?"

 Nope. I'm already bonkers.

 My brain has turned to oatmeal this week in Junction City.

 

And how was your week?

 

Let's clear the brain... Did you read about the Finnish fellows having a pint in a pub and talking about their country?

They lamented that people didn't want to travel to Finland, their beautiful country with great utilities.

"But it's quiet," said one.

Well came the brilliant other, "The world is too noisy, and people are stressed by noise, so let's sell silence."

They agreed that people would pay to go to a spa and have a respite from the world's noise. Now their slogan is "Silence, please."

 

Sue, how long has it been since we visited Mother Meera, the silent Avatar in Germany?

Two friends and I had read about this young woman acclaimed as an Avatar, that is defined as a Deity in human form, and we wanted to experience her. She gave silent darshan. A darshan is simply being in the presence of a holy person. We three climbed aboard a jet plane, rented a car, and rummy from travel, with me as the designated driver, I drove in circles until we found a rot iron gate with a peacock shape built within it. That was Mother Meera's house. Why this Indian lady lived in Germany was a question we asked each other, but no one knew the answer.

Come evening, we attended a gathering of maybe 100 (maybe more) silent people sitting shoulder to shoulder on cushions. No one coughed, sniffed, cleared their throat, whispered, or talked. Silence spilled over us like syrup. One by one, we went up to the beautiful young woman dressed in a vibrant sari sunset colored. In turn, we knelt before her. She placed her hands on our heads, and it was said she was removing blocks.

When the evening was over, and we exited into the evening, as I moved my hands through the air, it felt soft and smooth and thick as though infused with gelatin. And the air pressed back at me just as softly. I thought, "I'm never going to speak again."

Well, that didn't last long.

However, the memory of that evening did.

 

This moment of silence was brought to you by someone who has 3.141592653589793238 running through their brain, not to mention what in the heck is a habendum clause?

 

1949 — The first time a computer was used to calculate pi: the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was able to determine pi to 2,000 places. The calculation took 70 hours to complete.


 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

What Dilemma Do You Have Today?

 


Would you befriend someone who is going on a buffalo shoot?

 

Yesterday I met a neighbor who recently moved into our neighborhood. I really liked her. We had similar interests until she told me she was going on a Buffalo--what did she call it? It was not a hunt but a thinning of the herd. Yes, I’ve heard that a rancher can keep only so many buffalo, so he “thins” the herd. They aren’t penned, she said, but have free range, but the range will only support so many.

 

I don’t like it, but I realize that is the way they “farm” buffalo.

 

But she is going to the shoot. To kill buffaloes? I can’t comprehend it.

 

There is too much history with buffaloes and how humans practically wiped them from the face of the earth. The few who survived and kept their specie going are now preserved because they are on farms and harvested as a crop. There has been too much heartache. There had been too much slaughter. To face a buffalo and pull the trigger is too much for me. 

 

What would you do?

 

How different can friends be and still be friends?

 

One reason I put a sign-up for a Mastermind group at the end of my book—yep, my “Money Talk” has morphed into a small book because it isn’t all about money. It’s about “How To Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to be.” Titled “Take the Leap”

 

I wrote a blog with that title in 2019 and it has gotten more comments than any other. (On travelswithjo.com.) Steven Pressfield motivated me to write that blog with this quote:

 

The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap from the rim of the bucket.”--Steven Pressfield. 

 

I din't know the characteristics of crabs until I looked up “Crabs in a bucket” and found that if one crab tries to escape the bucket, the other crabs will try to pull him back in.

 

The Mastermind invitation is because I figured if anyone read my book, they just might want a group that supported them in their efforts. Plus, they would be willing to support others in theirs. No strings attached. Let’s face it, we can all use a little help from our friends. And probably, I wouldn’t attract any buffalo shooters.

 


 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Toenail Clippers

As I gave Sweetpea, my little dog, her morning sniff walk, I passed the spot where the neighbor had placed their garbage for pickup yesterday. There on the ground was a package that had escaped the dumpster.

 

I know this is trivial, and I am chuckling as I write this but what I saw was a wrapper for a toenail clipper.

 

It was one of those packaging’s of hard plastic surrounded by a cardboard casing with the writing "Toe Nail Clippers" on it. Now that plastic, as you know, needs an industrial chain-saw to plow into it, and then it has a cardboard casing that could be recycled, but can't because it is attached to plastic. Thus, it gets thrown into the garbage. And, I've heard, so many people injure themselves getting into those wrappers that the hospitals have a name for it. I looked it up—not that I don't have better things to do, but curious. Those heat-sealed plastic wrappers are called blister packs or clamshells

 

According to a British study, over 60,000 people receive hospital treatment each year due to injuries from opening food packaging. It's called Wrap Rage or Package Rage. 

 

I didn't intend to talk about packaging. Staring at the wrapper  gave me a chuckle at how much people are alike with their physical bodies. We clip our toenails, and brush our teeth. We use soap and shampoo. However, while driving down the street, differences stand out in bold relief as people advertise their political bent diabolically opposed to another down the street. One house wants to make sure we know they are Christian.

 

We as people are funny with our similarities and dissimilarities. One might say that makes us unique or individuals, yet we beat each other over the head with our ideologies. Ideologies aka, belief systems.

 

I missed posting a blog yesterday. I don't think that is important, except that I committed to Tuesdays. Maybe I will uncommit myself. 

 

But then, I have another commitment: completing my Real Estate Licensing studies. I thought I only had three tests left, but then I discovered that buried below those tests was another section. So, yesterday, instead of blogging, I was knee-deep in the Federal Reserve System, Real Estate Investment, Trusts, Purchase Money Mortgage, Land Sales, Secondary Market—yes, more than you wanted to know. Me too. I don't know if I can pass my State Licensing exam because I began this study months ago, and I've forgotten what I read.

 

It'll come back to me. I need to be positive.

 

So, after breakfast and a walk, here I am, sitting down at my computer. And in my email, I found this picture. 

 

 "Consciousness Streaming Over Water," by Grant Pecoff. I love it. The Source gave me a moment of calm. And it gave me the nudge that we (I) need to stop getting frustrated over things we can't control and control the stream of consciousness that we can.

 


 

Husband Dear, Daughter Dear, Baby Darling, and I discovered Grant Pecoff, the painter, as we wandered away from our favorite Pizza place in San Diego, Filippis Pizza Grotto on India Street. It's been there for years, and it smells the same it did 20 years ago, for as you walk past a counter, aged cheese and salami hanging overhead waft their scent on all that pass beneath. Oh yes, and salted fish, I can smell it today.

 

A sign on the street indicated a gallery upstairs, so we wandered into Grant Pecoff's Studio, covered with brightly colored paintings and skewed buildings and docks. I was fascinated, and Pecoff was so nice. I have followed him since but only get notices now and again as he travels the world to paint. (What a life, huh? He paints, and his wife Layne writes.) That day I sat on his couch and read Layne Pecoff's book, Live Your Dream, (for young and old alike 0-5) to Baby Darling, then bought it.

 

Oh, if you are interested, Consciousness Streaming Over Water sells for $10,000. 

 

(Books are cheaper than paintings.)