I just got back from a walk through town. I went to the post office to mail my sister’s birthday gifts, and ended up buying some stamps that I really don’t need.
See, they now have stamps that are photos of our solar system’s planets as seen from space. They are really beautiful.
(In other news, today I learned that it is possible to buy postage stamps on Amazon. Here’s the link to the planet ones.)
I saw them up on the board behind the clerk, and I couldn’t resist, although I still have quite a few Maya Angelou forever stamps leftover. We don’t mail many things from the house.
The clerk asked me if I wanted Pluto, too. I said, “is Pluto extra?”
Well, I guess since it’s the 9th “planet,” it doesn’t fit neatly onto a sheet of 16 stamps, so there is a separate sheet of four stamps, two with Pluto, two with some sort of… device? I don’t know.
(Okay, okay, it’s a, um, spacecraft of sorts. It’s called New Horizons, and it’s… well, exploring Pluto? Check it out here: NASA New Horizons.)
The Pluto ones were not all that exciting to me, so I said I would pass. Then my curiosity got the better of me, and I asked if many people bought the Pluto ones as well. I know some people have a certain sentimentality over the is-Pluto-a-planet-or-not issue.
“Nobody goes for Pluto,” said the post office clerk.
Don’t you feel a little bad for Pluto? I know my sister and I did. When I told her about it, she said, “poor Pluto!”
I bet she’s not going to go buy Pluto stamps, though. Our sympathy for that wayward little satellite only goes so far.
I imagine there’s quite a stack of Pluto stamps in the drawer. I wondered if they’d have a sale. I don’t know what the USPS does with unsold stamps. This isn’t a topic I’ve ever really had any interest in.
You never know what mysteries you may stumble upon in the course of your day – today, the nebulous world of unwanted postal stamps. Tomorrow, who knows?
Tonight, at my writing group, our leader played us the Leonard Cohen song “Treaty” as our ten minute writing prompt.
I’ve been flaky on blogging. No denying that.
When I got the idea of blogging every day for the month of December, I thought I ought to try a little discipline, and tonight’s prompt may or may not be a good way to start that. It’s not particularly uplifting, but it’s reflective of my current mood.
If you’re interested in hearing the song first, since we all listened to it before we wrote, here’s a YouTube video:
Several snatches of words stuck out at me, and clung to me as I continued to listen, so I just wrote what I was feeling as I heard those words. Here it is, without further ado:
I try to keep my own skin thin to let the beauty in.
There can be beauty in sin, if you believe in sin.
Whatever you believe in, the skin must be thin
for the beauty of the world to find its way in.
But when the skin is that thin, the poison enters into everything.
I feel I’m swimming in a great pool
full of all the poison of the world,
treading water, keeping my head above the surface,
stretching my neck and lifting my chin, to keep the poison from sloshing in,
past my lips and over my tongue.
But my skin is still thin, and the poison that I’m steeped in,
it seeps in,
and enters into everything.
Where does the poison begin?
It comes from our minds and our mouths.
I leak it out of my corners and seams, despite trying to lock it tightly within.
My feelings of sickness from the poison inside only add more poison to life.
I drip puddles of it on the ground; it sprays and spurts
when I raise my voice in anger, disperses into the air
for someone else to breathe.
It’s so hard, so hard to reign it in,
because I’m angry and I’m tired all the time.
For it’s easier to be mad than sad, feels better to shout and curse
than to weep the poison out
in great steaming tears
that stain my clothes.
I wish we had a treaty
to stop putting all our poison
into each other.
But then, where would it go?
The good news is that I have actually done yoga for at least five minutes for EVERY SINGLE DAY since I wrote my last post. I haven’t done any yet today, but rest assured, it will happen, unless something seriously catastrophic happens. (If a very large asteroid destroys the planet today, I suppose I will be unable to do yoga unless I get it in fairly soon.)
I have not updated sooner because of all the things happening that I don’t really want to spend time thinking about, let alone writing about, but I will say that we had a small fire in our basement that originated with our domestic water heater. It fortunately didn’t ignite anything else, but as I could not pinpoint the source of the foul-smelling smoke in the basement, I called the fire department, and there was quite the to-do in the neighborhood.
We have two tanks, one of which is fed by a solar collector on our roof, but ironically, though we’d been having a drought for weeks, with baking hot days, after our electric tank caught fire, we had clouds and rain. We were unable to rely on the solar tank when we really needed it.
We devised a method for showering that involves some disconnected wiring and a circuit breaker being turned on for short spans of time and then back off, and we’re currently getting by, but it’s not super fun. (Or safe? but what do I know? I’m not the one studying for an electrician’s license.)
We’re trying to see if we can get any compensation from the company before purchasing a new tank. There has been some strong sun this morning, though, so our solar-fed tank was up to about 139 degrees (F) when I checked it before running a bath.
Our cat was suffering from some sort of upper respiratory issues right before the fire, so on one day he went to the vet twice, and the next day I had to hunt him down while he was hiding from the fire alarms all throughout the house that were beeping and yelling “Evacuate! Emergency! Evacuate!”
I managed to get him into his carrier and out of the house quickly, but he was feeling unwell and not thrilled about being taken to a car in his carrier again. We were able to go back inside the house in a mercifully brief span of time, so Henry was able to go back to sleeping all day between sneezes.
So… all that was quite stressful. The kitty is fairly well recovered now, and so am I, and we’ve all three of us been enjoying the yoga sessions. In the evenings, Chris and I roll out our mats with my iPad propped up on the floor in front of us, on which I play one of various YouTube yoga-before-bed videos that are available.
We stretch and relax for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, and Henry wanders his fluffy self into the room and flops down onto the end of one of our mats, watching and occasionally batting at a head or nipping a leg. He loves to join our yoga sessions.
Is it helping me with my anxiety? Probably. Almost definitely. It has become a lovely ritual, and I imagine we’ll keep going for a long time past the 30 days, though maybe we won’t adhere strictly to an every day regimen past that period. I’m glad I began it when I did, and I’m glad I stuck to it despite all the reasons to just skip it for the night because we’re tired and it’s late or whatever the excuse might be.
I’m finding that I remember to pay attention to my breath more often during the day, which was one of my greatest hopes for this new practice. For anyone considering trying it, I say go for it. There are so many videos for so many different levels of ability, and you have little to lose. It’s a nice self-care routine, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to jump on the yoga bandwagon!
I’ll be back with another post at the end of the thirty days, at the latest. Hopefully I’ll also have some nice photos to share, since I recently purchased a new camera. Until then, be well, and breathe deeply!