Author Archives: KM Huber

A Monday State of Mind

Often, Monday mind seems an enemy but as the Buddha taught, the mind is both friend and enemy. There is now a word for that—frenemy. I find it helpful.

For me, Mondays are no longer much different than any other day but when I lived my life through a different lens, Mondays were ragged around the edges.

Repeatedly, I told myself that Monday was a day like any other, and just as stubbornly, I refused to believe it. Then, it came true, and it wasn’t even a wish. I have known weeks of Mondays; some have lasted years.

Now what frames every day is rest, and it is relentless, its own “means to a meaning.” Without respect for rest, I discover my old Monday state of mind, more enemy than friend.

What are we to one another

but a means to a meaning we

have not yet discovered.

Camille Rankine

It seems to me that what we are to ourselves is what we are to everyone else, a means to a meaning, an ongoing discovery. We can stay stuck in an infinite loop, be more enemy than friend but life is impermanent.

No one hour will stay nor will its day. Each is yet another means to a meaning and another and another….

I look to the many-hued hours. They offer a kaleidoscope of experience, some scintillating while others offer fog. I don’t always find meaning.

Some remain a Monday state of mind, at best a frenemy.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

The Roses of Our Lives

I know an animal sanctuary where love still wins, where love is always present. It lies in the heart of a family farm nestled deep in a Florida forest.

Here, the life-death continuum is celebrated moment by moment.

And in this moment, I mark the death of feline EmmaRose (ER), a tiny, gray-blue dilute whose top weight was 5.5 pounds. The last I knew, her weight dropped to just over 4 pounds.

At some point in her life she had been declawed but she was a lioness, nonetheless. Even in her waning days, she did not hesitate to attack a cat that was at least double her size.

EmmaRose decided the dimensions of her life.  I don’t think she ever found a dog too large to love but she would not abide a cat. ER grew up with a beagle named Cooper; she would remain a dog lover all her life.

EmmaRose did not begin or end her life with me–we had but six short years—we lived together until eight months ago. We were both chronically ill but my limited physical mobility meant I could no longer meet her care needs.

Maybe a day went by when I did not think of ER but that seems unlikely. We shared a two-room apartment, which was just right for us. After she left, it felt too large. Still does.

This is not a moment of regret. Sometimes, doing the right thing really is the right thing. Maybe it depends on how much it hurts. For me, there are no qualifications for knowing what is right except how my gut feels.

But this I do know: little ER spent the last eight months of her life receiving the love and care that every sentient being should know as death nears.  It was what I could no longer give her.

From the moment she arrived at the animal sanctuary, I not only knew how she was doing but two very thoughtful little girls sent me drawings to show how the rest of her life would be. And that’s how it was.

I received videos and pictures of her interacting with the girls and their toddler brother. It wasn’t all Disney, of course, but ER did enjoy some movie evenings snuggled up with a comforter.

And when it came time for ER to die, the children were with her. EmmaRose went to sleep in the arms of a little girl who loved her. These children, perhaps better than most, understand how precious life is and that it does not last but love does.

We are all star dust. The same energy flows through everything and everyone. No exceptions. We come into the world on it and that’s how we leave. Headed for home.

Until then, there are the roses in our lives, the many colors and kinds of love.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

The Spider Inside the Front Door

Old behaviors easily re-emerge as new guises—they are such great actors. What seemed a solution withers into yet another variation on a theme.

So it is with this morning. I could call it a setback or reversal but any qualitative label is just that.

What it feels like–from the gut–is a new life lens, another way to experience being human. With the new lens comes perspective, one which has its own revelations.

What I discover is yet another facet of fear. There seems to be no shortage of its disguises, either, especially its delusion of safety.

Of course, just being alive is a risk, as I am reminded by the spider that lives inside my front door. Of sorts, we are in relationship, as much as either one of us has noticed.

May I remember the spider the next time I give into fear. Her risk is considerable compared to mine.

On this day, I am reminded that what is will be what was.

Be patient and endure while

The wind will calm, the waves subside

Draw back a step and realize

The boundless ocean, the vastness of heaven

(Translated from Chinese)

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

The Restless Hours

The hours in-between, when no light separates night from day, when both are morning, when both are one.

These are the restless hours, so suited to illusion. Their magic lies in that they are neither dark nor light.

Just when I believe I see one thing, something else is revealed. The more aware I am, the more the magic reveals.

Is that not the heart of illusion? The unknown shrouded in the midst of the known.

Murky by design, these hours of in-between keep me on the cusp of the believable. Momentarily, the sound of rain becomes a waterfall.

On this day, the light remains gray, the illusion of the waterfall all but gone. I opt for candlelight and a bit of incense as I write by the light of a screen.

I want to make the magic stay, that time when morning is not yet day, when one is not yet the other.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

 

The Daily Wood and Water

I put down my worry in exchange for wood and water. I know the load of worry–a bigger burden–than any wood I chop or water or I carry.

There were decades in my life when worry was constant. I am not ungrateful for those years. They showed me so many faces of worry.

Now, whether it is with a breath or a silent sweeping away with a word, I have no energy for worry.

Mine is for the wood and water of my day. There seems to be an increase in my daily energy level–even on the low days–an energy beyond the required activities of any day.

I guard it as if it were gold, which is not to say I hoard or worry whether there will be a bit of extra for tomorrow. It is for now.

Today, I sit at a table and a desktop computer to write this post. In my five and a half years of blogging, I was not able to sit at a table to write. Then, an adjustable bed and laptop were the energy of the day. Now, there is a bit more.

I did not own a table until a week and a half ago. For years, I did not have use of one. More than not, I lived in an adjustable bed. I may again.

But in this now, I have a table, a place to write. There remains wood to chop, water to carry without worry.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

Walking Around Holes

This continues to be a week of discovery for me. So many new streets to walk, not without pitfalls, as it turns out.

Chapter One

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

(Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery)

There are five stanzas–chapters–in Nelson’s poem. The hole does get deeper but it takes less than forever to find a way out.

Finally, the repetition—doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results— becomes apparent. She walks around the hole. The final stanza or chapter is a single line, “I walk down another street.”

With new holes to discover, no doubt. 🙂 Similarly, I have walked such streets but less so, now.

Walking requires focus and without it, I fall in a hole every time. When I focus, I find a way around. As well, it does not take me as long to realize that certain streets were never a way for me. Never.

I don’t feel denied for there are so many streets I’ve yet to travel. It is mine to keep my life lens open.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

Lose the Questions

Frequently, I write about questions. For me, they best express not only my awe of life but also when I am least enamored.

In other words, a question sparks my curiosity, like a match. It explodes into the light of beginning.

A question takes me into my own energy, the reality that is my now. For me, questions are eternal–they return–unlike answers that are ephemeral at best.

Yet, I know I cannot cling to my questions any more than I can avoid what they reveal to me. Not if I want to immerse myself in every moment that is my life.

In Zen, we don’t find the answers; we lose the questions.

It’s impossible to comprehend the marvel of what we are,

or to understand the mystery of life’s impeccable genius.

Weed out the confusion that comes from trying to understand.

(Mary Maezen Miller, Paradise in Plain Sight)

Now, best I get to weeding my plot of paradise.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.