The Mysteries of Everyday Life

Good afternoon, Calliope. I thought you might like to see my latest Sliding Otter Post.  


Martha's Vineyard Beach Sculpture

Martha’s Vineyard Beach Sculpture

I’d rather be a dysfunctional soul than a well adjusted robot.

~Thomas Moore~

It seems these days that we want to understand, explain and find a use for everything we encounter. If we get stuck, we can find an answer on Google or some other search engine. Often we become so involved in the practical that we completely miss most of the little delights along our life path. This seems especially true of things which have no easy explanation.

At the end of the day, many people add up what they have accomplished since they got out of bed. I wonder how many people count the little delights which have passed their way during the day. If you become too busy with the practical, you will most likely miss the fanciful.

So what? The question is what your life is for. What is its meaning? If you just count what you accomplish in a day, you have a list at the end of the day and start a new one the next day. But there is more to life if you allow it into your awareness. I am talking about the little mysteries which present themselves along the way.

Here are a few which might have caught your attention at least for a moment. How do two incomplete cells become a human being or any other life form? How does our solar system stay in balance century after century? How does a single atom stay in balance for that matter? How does you mind interpret what your senses encounter? What does it mean to fall in love with someone?

You could most likely find scientific explanations for all these mysteries and consider the problem solved. What if you don’t seek practical answers right away or even at all? What if you instead ponder the mystery and coexist with it? You move to a different plane of existence beyond the practical. Art and music have meaning for you beyond what you can express in words.

A newspaper critic can tell you how well music was performed technically. But a critic can’t tell you whether or how music touches your soul. The same is true of any other form of art. Your experience is beyond the technical aspects and is unique to you. Philosophers are in agreement that you can’t argue about taste. No on else’s is quite like yours. Did you ever try to explain your artistic taste to someone else? Not so easy, is it? The same can be said of your experience of nature, the world, other people and especially the unique aspects of you as a person. It is a different way to exist but you might want to try it at least for a while.

Life Lab Lessons

  • Turn off the rational part of you and stop thinking for a while.
  • Let yourself notice little things around you with out trying to make sense of them.
  • Sit comfortably with your feelings without analyzing them.
  • Spend a little time delighting in something you never noticed before.
  • See if this make the rest of your life a little more fun.

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Less Stress with My Stress Book

Sailing at Sunset

Sailing at Sunset

Joe: Good afternoon, Calliope.

Calliope: Good afternoon Joe. What’s happening with your book?

Joe. Glad you asked. I finished an initial reading of my draft and found a few topics missing. I then went back and added them.

Calliope. Good. What else?

Joe: I developed a list of further readings for the end of the book. I added a Foreword and Table of Contents with links to and from each chapter. I also lined up five trusted readers.

Calliope: Sounds you are about done.

Joe: It does. I decided to read the book through from the beginning one last time before sending it out to my readers. I am almost half way through that. Then it will be ready, to the extent it can be without some input.

Calliope: How are you with criticism?

Joe: I have learned to handle it well and appreciate it. My significant other has been reading my columns for fourteen years and I have had readers for each of my previous books. Onward! 

Around the Post and Into the Stretch

Incan Road- Cozumel

Incan Road- Cozumel

Joe: Good evening Calliope.

Calliope: And a good evening to you, Joe. I thought you might have taken an extended vacation.

Joe: Not quite. I have been very busy socially with people coming to town and with small trips here and there. 

Calliope: How is the writing coming?

Joe: I finished a review of my first draft, attending to grammar and flow of ideas. I discovered a few stress related topics I overlooked in planning the book. They include organization as a way to minimize stress, physical and psychological stigma, the enchantment of everyday life (per Thomas Moore and the dream of the earth after Thomas Berry, my old mentor. Maybe I will include that story in the book.

Calliope: How do you feel about your progress?

Joe: Very good. I felt the book was a little choppy, but once I read it through I found it holds together quite well.

Calliope: What’s next?

Joe: After I add the sections I just mentioned, I have several readers lined up for their input. Then I will decide how to approach publication. But one step at a time.

Calliope: Well said. Good luck with the stretch.