603. False Ground

“You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.”

― John O’Donohue

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602. Two Minds

Jay is visiting grandma with Char and is having trouble sleeping. It’s heatwave time. He doesn’t like that.

It’s a strange house and a different bed. And so on.

I have trouble sleeping, but I suppose for different reasons.

I stay here in the City and work and do the house and do a few things, like drawing. In fact, I do a lot on the ‘house’ – a lot of repair work and washing that we don’t have time for when Jay is here. Or rarely.

And even so I feel a bit guilty not being down there and being able to relieve Char when she has not slept, because Jay has not slept.

I suppose grandma, and other visiting family, can do a bit here, but even so … 

It is a strange feeling … Not sure if it is worry about Jay, who – as said – is really having trouble adjusting to the heat.

Or if it is a feeling of obligation to share the burdens with Char, which somehow is still there even though I certainly do my part at home, at this moment.

Not sure about any of that, really.

But it is a relatively mild problem, and they will soon be home and everything will be back to its chaotic normal. And with 0.5 percent time again for chores like the ones I am doing now. And work. And a lot of other things.

So maybe I should just try to … appreciate the experience. Not in a lala-way. But just try to set my mind in two places at once, instead of just on the worry and faint guilt.

Stay in that damn feeling and feel all of it, including that which is worth appreciating:

Like the fact that I do miss my son even though he is taking every bit of time from me and then some. 

And that I want to help Char take care of him, on as equal terms as possible in this day and age.

Aren’t those worthwhile feelings? Too?

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601. The Map

When I grow old(er) I’d like to look back to my childhood and NOT feel:

‘OMG – so much time has passed! – Where did it all go?!’

And then have a slight sense of dread … and then quickly do something else, to avoid thinking more about this, slightly painful awareness of the passing of time.

I would like to feel like THIS:

‘Yes, that was a long time ago. Many, many things have happened then and in the years since. Deep and important things, sometimes less so, but all valuable experiences on my life-journey which has now left a long trail on a big and colorful map. So I will sit here for awhile and delve on some of those experiences, even the painful ones, and try to see the beauty of it all’.

Yeah, I’d like that second feeling. But before I can have it, I also have to make sure there are less days and hours where I just escape into some oblivion of TV or social media or chatter or buying more sugar-stuff or any of the other escapes.

Because if I continue with those there will truly not be much of a map to look at … 

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600. Looking Back (vi)

While I have a normal life – not a life on some mountain peak somewhere – on a mountain made of money – then I can actually talk about how to deal with stuff that most people deal with:

Work/life balance.

Debt and money.

Kids and family.

Overwhelm.

Stuckness.

Ideals and career.

And much more.

That’s what I blog about. That’s what I want to talk about also, while I do The Lines, and find inspiration in those historical persons, whom I draw.

And share that.

That’s from a guy who is in it – not someone who ‘transcended scarcity long ago’. That’s advice about how to keep it together and keep up hope While You Are In It.

That is leading from the front.

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598. Reminders of Purpose

A friend of mine who was admitted to the psychiatric ward at much the same time as I, is a pensioner today. He does not have a strong purpose.

His ‘purpose’ if it even exists in any meaningful form, is mostly about surviving and getting by. More concretely it is about being safe, and about doing stuff he enjoys like reading or watching television.

Of course his case is more complicated than that brief glimpse, but it does make one wonder, doesn’t it?

I mean, my friend and I went through the same ordeal more or less at the same time.

We had very similar symptoms of anxiety and depression, strong enough for us to be admitted to hospital. Me in 2005. Him in 2006.

Today one of us is still in there. In a kind of hospital.

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595. Standards

Some people selling the good life on the Internet are on to something. They do really seem to have it good.

They are also human beings – like my best of friends. Whom I have disagreed vehemently with at times.

No reason to hold the sellers than to a higher standard, even if they are good salespersons.

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594. Not Streamlined

So I will honor this experience and shift all day from I wake up between working – a time on the application, a time on the long list of order-stuff-tasks and a time for drawing. And then switch. And switch. And keep going for as long as possible.

In the end that should make me a lot more productive, and enjoy it, too.

What could be bad about such a strategy, even though it is not particularly streamlined?

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593. July Days (IV)

Aside from peace, only this counts – for the foreseeable future:

– My relationship, or salvaging what I can (without sounding overly dramatic)

– The Lines (more on this later)

– Earning Money

I shall think of nothing else and do nothing else, but these three things. Except when it is necessary.

Like taking care of Jay. Going to work. Doing dishes.

Not social media. Not random surfing. Not loafing around. Not anything remotely like that.

These are the July Days and they shall last.

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592. July Days (III)

Only peace counts.

The way to get peace in my mind is to stop all thoughts that are not peaceful, or – at the very least – let them run out while I take a step back and say to myself: “As soon as this godawful thought is finished, I’m going to think of something joyful – which gives me energy.”

And when there are protests, all I need to say to myself is: “No problem, I can get back to worrying and berating myself any moment and it is perfectly permissible. I just need to think about this little joyful thing first, which I just found out I want to think about.”

And when I have, it all becomes a whole lot easier.

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