Saturday, August 24, 2013


I haven’t really liked my HP Pavilion Laptop since I bought it about five years ago.  The keyboard was just enough different from my desktop keyboard that I could not type anything without errors.  Plus the touch pad constantly reset to active meaning that if I accidentally touched it, my curser would fly off to someplace on the screen without my realizing it before I had gone on typing.  Frustrating as all get out!

Added to the keyboard frustration was the fact that after moving to Dallas, OR I had to use Charter Communications for my Internet service.  My response on surfing was so slow or would hang that I felt like I was back to my original 40MB, yes, 40 megabite hard drive and tiny RAM that was state of the art in the 80s.  The frustration over the last few months became increasingly worse.  This morning I reached my limit, after trying all day yesterday and this morning to fix some program error.

I am NOT PROUD of myself, but in frustration I raked my hands in anger across the keyboard several times.  SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT!  I ended up with the letter “U” key remaining depressed and unusable.  (The fact that it was the letter "U" is not lost on me!)  I managed to fix it, sort of, after checking tech sites online, but it did not come easy.  I opened a MSWord blank document and checked all keys in both regular lower caps and caps lock.  Everything works fine except for the “U” key, which has to be depressed a little harder than the others.  I am a fast typist (part of the reason I have been frustrated with this keyboard in the first place) and to have to remember to strike the “U” harder than the other keys is craziness for me!

About now (after having to back up and hit the “U” key again, twice), I find the humor in it all.  I also hope I have discovered how stupid it is to hit a machine!!!  Sometimes my impatience at not being “perfect” gets in the way of enjoying the simpler things like taking TIME to smell the roses, or in the case of my laptop keystrokes, taking time to let the machine do whatever it needs to do to accomplish the task at hand.  Oh, the best way I have found to do that is to walk away and do something else while it grinds away at the task!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Lesson of the Mermaid and Her Lover

Often, when I am reading, a friend or loved one comes to mind because I want to share my thoughts about the material with them.  Usually, the most apparent connections are those of my family members, my son and my daughter.  Like most families, especially those who have experienced divorce when the children are young, there are challenges in how the family members continue to relate to one another.  So, there are many reasons they come to mind, but it is always with a deep and loving interest in their lives.

A long time friend has, through the years, sent me quotes from the writings of one of her favorite authors, Mark Nepo.  I finally purchased, The Book of Awakening, and since then I have often quoted him in my own writing.  Today my reading formed around a quote from William Butler Yeats that Mark used to illustrate his point about how we want to share our innermost experiences with our loved ones.

A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own.
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.

Mark points out how even though we so much want to share our deep experiences with those we love, often, like the mermaid, we forget that not everyone can go where we go.  No one else can go into our depth completely.  How we respond when we realize this fact has much to do with the nature and quality of our relationships, particularly with those who are closest to us.  Because we want to share what is important to us we become vulnerable to disappointment when others seem unable to go there with us.

He made this point so clearly when he wrote of walking along the gurney as his partner of twenty years was being wheeled to the operating room where she would have cancer surgery.  He could go no further than the glass doors that closed before him as he watched her disappear down the corridor on the other side of those doors.  He

realized then, that whether it be our quarrel with God or with dead parents or with the limitations of our humanity, each of us must go beyond the glass doors of our experience alone.  And the work of compassion is to guide our dear ones as far as we can and to be there when they return.  But no one can go beyond the glass doors for us or with us.

No matter the struggles that occur within our relationships, perhaps made greater because of our love, we bring ourselves toward the surface of the waters of life, so that we may experience the love for and from others.  At the same time our loved ones, friends or even strangers may come from the shores of their lives to wash their souls in that same water.  It is then that we discover the harmony of understanding, sharing and becoming.  These are brief moments shared in that coming together.  But each must return to the environment of his/her own being.  Love does not capture the object of its heart.  Love frees it to be forever what it is that brought us together in the first place.

In the end the mermaid loses her lover when she fails to realize that he can only live in his own environment and she in hers.  They can meet where the air and water come together and share with one another, but must allow each to be true to their own realities. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Another Oregon Adventure

One of the things I especially like about the Statesman Journal, the local Salem and mid valley paper, is that it features at least once every week some of the outdoor activities available to explore.  It may be a special place to hike, hidden swimming holes, historical venues, or some often missed place of interest.  On Thursday the paper noted there would be minus low tides on the weekend.  This would give viewers a wonderful look at the otherwise hidden sea life along the coast.  Forest service staff at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area would offer guided tours between 8:45 AM and 11:00 AM for those wanting more details about the various sea life.

That was all it took for me to prepare to head south through Corvallis and then southwest toward Waldport and Florence.  I knew there was a chance that our hot spell would be broken with rain and possible thunder storms, especially along the coast, but so what?  I liked exploring the coast in the rain even more than during the hot sun.  Indeed, it did rain for most of the drive.  When I got to Cape Perpetua, the rain had stopped and it was comfortably cool and cloudy.

I had been to this area before but never at low tide when the tide pools revealed their teaming life, so I looked forward to the adventure.  The trail down to the pools was paved and steep.  I already knew it was going to be “fun” coming back up!  For once I remembered to bring the walking stick that I always carry in my truck, though usually forget until I am away on a hike.  It is a good thing I had it this time.  I really needed the “tripod” for stability rather than my two feet alone.  More than once it saved me from a fall. 



Heceta Head

Heceta Head Lighthouse Building

Heceta Head

Some of my photos are a bit blurred due to trying to balance when taking the shot.  Still, they present a pretty good view.  The clearest photos are of the starfish, which were in abundance in sizes and colors.  The sea anemones were even more abundant, but I couldn’t really capture good shots.

It turned out that the hike back to the visitor center at the top was not so bad after all.  Maybe the fresh air energized me enough to compensate for any lack of stamina.  I hope you enjoy this adventure as I did.

After leaving Cape Perpetua I headed south to Heceta Head lighthouse, then home to the inland valley heat!