06 February, 2008


The times, they are a changin'...

In my day--doesn't that just make the rocking chair squeak-- the word 'dope' either referred to a person who was not the sharpest card in the deck; or it was a slang word for illegal drugs and the person who used them: dope.
Oh, not so today.
Dope is a compliment.
You're dope if you knew that already.

A few weeks ago, while working at Curves, I was surfing the web for a yoga and pilates site for a member and came across a local establishment run by a beautiful woman. I was baffled and a wee bit put off by her email address which was "dope@_____". Fortunately, for me, the club member educated me immediately before I went on to make a fool of myself. And then Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show" used it last night in a commentary about Super Tuesday. Had I not known the new useage, I would have thought Mr. Stewart quite the dope for such an odd reference.

Much like when the word 'bomb' was used as an adjective to mean something really great, " That dinner was so tasty. You're the bomb!" Of course,most of us grew up with that word defining the explosive element to which it referred; but also, coming from ShowBiz, it meant a performance or a show that stank. " Her performance ran the gamut from A to B. In short, it bombed." Probably, even has a connection somewhere and somehow to "aBOMBinable."

Well, I may be a dope but I think the way the English language gets treated is abombinable. That's why I am known for making up my own words. Since we don't rely on the ones we already have, or polish up the antiquated chestnuts of yore, wy not make up one's own words? Here are a few of my personal favorites:

m'goof = mistake/goof
Phmoof = the full feeling after having stuffed oneself from a delicious meal
compatience = a rare combination of compassion and patience; usually necessary for self-care
shnoogle = the reallly cozy cuddling that takes place between two loved ones( can be with a human companion or furry, animal friend)

It would not surprise me to learn that many of my readers have some unique words they would like to share. If there are some idioms you wish to share or discuss; or you, too, have created some of your own vocabulary words, I would be interested to read them and encourage you to post a reply.

(nb: this is a public forum and I encourage you to be polite and positive in your responses, please).

Might give new popularity to that goofy little dwarf after all.

03 February, 2008

Setting sail

The current rainstorm here in San Diego is so elegant. The rain calling forth more green to our land and the winds swirling and cascading into the very crevices of our souls.

No wonder the 1 1 1 or 11:11 is heralding the transformation and transitions that are taking place. This is a time of great change. Cosmically, personally, professionally and spiritually. It is no coincidence that it is all taking place at the time of a major election (no matter what your political stance and preference may be--it is still time for a major change).

This change feels like a giant ship being carefully turned in a new direction. You can't take an ocean liner and whip it around on a dime. No more than you could embark on a new course for humanity in a blink of an eye. And given what I know to be the human inclination to resist change at all costs, it makes sense that it takes a bit of maneuvering and shifting (and grunting and groaning) to get our Life ship chartered into new waters for everyone's smoother sailing.

Not everyone is ready or willing to sign on for a new journey. It takes work to live a conscious life. Not to mention the energy it takes to simply live or even, live simply. Many people are choosing to leave and not get on board. Some people are leaving there jobs and changing careers (again, the election is a key example). Others are not willing to sign up for another "tour of duty" and have left the planet altogether. In particular, I think about my own mother deciding to go earlier than she and I had planned. The fact that so many friends and clients and others released their mothers or really close family members in the past four months, also gives credeence to that idea.

Before my meditation time this morning, I had the chance to talk and counsel and share with a dear friend. While we were talking, my front door blew open at a key point in our discussion. Hmmmm, was it the winds of change blowing through to emphasize a point; or was it a 'visitor'? Harvey, perhaps? My friend and I both took note and agreed it was more than just the door not being fully closed.

After we end the call, I returned to my meditation and prayer time. It was so delicious to sit all bundled up listening to the sounds of the wind and rain outside. I looked up and marveled at the little bird hopping to and fro on th ebranches of our barren peach tree outside the window. Why is it we humans seem to cower and cover from the rain but this little bird was outside playing in it? Closing my eyes again and moving more deeply into my meditation, I became keenly aware of a very unique smell. I have always been aromatherapeutically astute and keyed into smells. I believe that is one of the reasons I can relate to animals so well is that I understand how they are wired by their olfactory guides; and my nose comes in handy when identifying a classic perfurme or a fine wine.

The smell did not dissipate and as it grew stronger, I opened myself up to identify it. It was not unpleasant or completely unfamiliar, but it was not a smell in my regular life. I asked for more clarification and then my synapses connected. I identified the smell of damp, sweet tobacco. Cigarette smell is an anathema to me but I do recall distant memories of packs of unsmoked cigarettes that somehow had gotten damp or were perhaps brand new, and it had a sweet herbal smell. In fact, when my nose identifies the smell of tobacco in a rich wine, it can have some of those notes. Yet, I was puzzled by the smell coming to me at this time. Did it have something to do with my unexpected visitor at the door? It is not uncommon for me to have guests come to me that I identify by their fragrance. Usually their cologne or body scent fills the room and it awakens me and I know that their essence, their spirit if you will, is present with me. For example, when my dog Wunjo would 'visit' me after his death, he identified himself to me by a certain rose fragrance.

Then it came to me. The primary person I associate with the smell of tobacco would be my mother who began smoking when she was nine. Wisely she did not arrive smelling like a lit cigarette or she would have not been welcome nor able to connect to me. I sat with that idea for awhile and it seemed to fit and feel right. I did not press for answers or communication from her other than the sweetness of knowing that indeed, she might be present with me while I prayed. I liked that. And since she had only just recently come to me in my dreams, there was a certain preternatural logic to the fact that now she might be able to connect more clearly with me.

What a blessing this morning has been.
Regeneration. Just in time for Ash Wednesday, Chinese New Year and ready for Spring. A good time to set sail, don't ya think?

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...