Meditation vs Rumination

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via Daily Prompt: Ruminate

Ruminate: to meditate on; ponder.

Meditate: to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.

By their very definition, these two words look interchangeable. I’m not exactly sure what the difference is, only that for me, meditation has a positive connotation vs rumination, which I associate more with being “stuck in my head” or spinning my wheels.

Meditation is something that is good for you, rumination is not. That’s how I’ve seen it. Looking up the definitions today and thinking about it a little, I wonder if the difference isn’t in the intention…

Over these last 10 months, I’ve tried to keep up on my relationship with my sister, despite the obvious barriers.

For months I would ask her to come visit me in my dreams. I’d fall asleep holding her picture or set her music on repeat so even subconsciously I’d be in a place to receive her. While I’ve had tons of signs that she’s around me, I wanted to see her face. I wanted to interact with her.

Radio silence.

Until last night.

The details are fuzzy now but I was running from someone or something in a mall. I saw an empty corner, squished myself in and slid down the walls. I buried my head in my folded arms and sobbed.

I was soon interrupted by a light tapping on my shoulder.

I looked up and I saw her.

The song “These Dreams” by Heart played overhead.

She was … Radiant. Stunning. Healthy.

Of course she was.

I scrambled to get to my feet and I lunged for her, grabbing her tight to me.

I woke up and while this past year has felt like a nightmare, I was convinced that it was over now. I grabbed for my phone, desperate to hear her voice, her reassuring laugh chiding me for overreacting.

But of course that didn’t happen. Half way to the phone, I remembered the necklace. The music shaped urn necklace. I was scared to touch it. Maybe it wasn’t there… but if it was, it meant she was really gone.

I clutched the charm in my fist as the tears continued to burn and I remembered to thank her, even as painful is it was, as it is, as it will always be… she did come visit me.

Lyrics to These Dreams:

Spare a little candle
Save some light for me
Figures up ahead
Moving in the trees
White skin in linen
Perfume on my wrist
And the full moon that hangs over
These dreams in the mist

Darkness on the edge
Shadows where I stand
I search for the time
On a watch with no hands
I want to see you clearly
Come closer than this
But all I remember
Are the dreams in the mist

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Is it cloak ‘n’ dagger
Could it be spring or fall
I walk without a cut
Through a stained glass wall
Weaker in my eyesight
The candle in my grip
And words that have no form
Are falling from my lips

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

There’s something out there
I can’t resist
I need to hide away from the pain
There’s something out there
I can’t resist

The sweetest song is silence
That I’ve ever heard
Funny how your feet
In dreams never touch the earth
In a wood full of princes
Freedom is a kiss
But the prince hides his face
From dreams in the mist

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Songwriters

Read more: Heart – These Dreams Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Daily Quote * Wednesday

“Things don’t happen. Things are made to happen.” -John F Kennedy

I read this quote two days ago when it came in an email along with the lunch menu and after school activities in the Metcalf Jr High newsletter. I’d not heard it before and it’s really got me thinking…

About the ludicrousness of coincidence or accidents- accidents are by far are more like carelessness.

What about circumstances? Have you heard about the egg and the potato? It’s not a joke. You put each one in boiling hot water and what happens? The potato softens and the egg gets hard before it cracks. Same circumstances, different outcomes and reactions.

Life is what you make it, damn it.

It’d be nice to avoid responsibility and blame everyone else for every shitty thing but it won’t make ME any happier. It won’t improve things. If I control it (take responsibility for it) I can change it…

bad-decisions

Ha! I’m not calling anyone stupid… everyone has lapses in judgement from time to time. The most important thing is to learn from it and move on.

What do you think about today’s quote? Let me know in the comments below!

Puddles

Tonight I am finding myself at a loss for words. Exhausted, I have a million things to write about but justice would be done to none. Instead of doing less than my best, here is a free write from my Friday class.

Disclaimer! As we say in our family, towards the end, it “takes a turn”.

Things That Make Me Melt:

*When Tayla crawls into my lap and throws her arms around my neck.

*When she says “mom, do you want to see what I wrote?”.

*Most everyone on America’s Got Talent… watching  the culmination of a persons dedicated and hard work summed up in a smile or a tear, receiving what I’m sure feels like the ultimate validation.

*Comedians who laugh at their own jokes.

*When one of my cats stretch themselves across my bare feet, not so subtly demanding a belly rub.

*Doggies. Especially Niles. Probably seven pounds of miniature dachshund, minus an eye. Minus my sister. My heart breaks when I think of him alone with Natalie’s body. Tenderly washing her exposed skin in desperate kisses.

I remember sitting in that conference room. The apartment building on LaSalle Ave when the medical examiner told us she’d most likely passed around 2 or 3 am that morning. Hours. Just hours we missed her by. Eight hours earlier I could have called and expected she’d answer.

I don’t know how time works for animals. I know part of him understands, like part of me understands but I can’t help but tear up whenever I see him, still searching for her, like me.

The Day the Laughter Died

Yesterday I read a Facebook post from a comedian I respect. His name is Ben Katzner and among other shows I’m sure, he hosts an open mic night (with fellow comedian Mike Lester on Wednesday nights at Dulono’s Pizza in Minneapolis- check them out!). He presented his dilemma of is it ok to be laughing and making jokes when there is so much tragedy going on in our world right now. He linked a great article published by the NY Daily Times on the repulsive situation with Alton Sterling.

And then, this morning, I read about Philando Castile. In our neighborhood. Our backyard.

I’ve often wrestled with the question: Is there anything too serious to be joked about? And I’ve gone back and forth with my answers. Of course! People dying of cancer? Rape? Racism? You can’t joke about that stuff- it’s not funny.

But can it be? I don’t know. I have heard (and laughed) about a lot of serious shit. You can’t take life too seriously… no one’s getting out alive. Lighten up. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and “it’s all small stuff”.

As a comedian myself, I feel like it’s my job to make people laugh. Take away their misery, even for a short period of time…

Then, life continues to happen.

I miscarried in April (I think, technically  speaking, that’s what they’re calling it but it wasn’t a miscarriage to me. He was fully formed. I saw him and felt him… Named him, loved him, made plans around his arrival including moving so we’d have another bedroom for a nursery). My sister died of a drug overdose in May. I have been able to joke about those things, gallows humor it’s called. Not because I think it’s funny or because I don’t want to be serious but because I will lose my fucking mind it all I think about is the devastation I feel.

I hate to think that any of this is race related but I cannot afford to be color blind at this point. There are far too many casualties to waive off as coincidence.

I remember being proud to say “I don’t see color”, we are all the same. It doesn’t matter. The truth is, it SHOULDN’T matter. We should all be the same, I mean, we are on the inside…

And, at the risk of serious backlash, I dare say- I don’t think it’s ALL a race problem. It’s a power struggle too. It’s police, armed with guns and a superiority complex that need to be addressed too. Blacks are not the only ones who suffer injustice at the hands of the people trusted to “protect and serve” us but they certainly seem to be the main focus right now.

So, is it okay for you to laugh?

I’ll leave that up to you.

In the meantime, I will try to continue to make people laugh, though I will steer clear of the tragedy occuring today.

What do you think? Am I onto something? Am I way off base? Let me know what you think in the comments below!