Sunday, October 29, 2006

Conversation with Gub, #6

Me: It’s a new day.

Gub: Happens all the time.

Me: And what did we decide about the meaning of it all?

Gub: Bugs and beetles and Beatles and song and creativity and living our lives: that’s all good.

Me: What about waking up to the moment?

Gub: Ah, such a fine idea. How are you doing now?

Me: When I ask the question that wakes me up.

Gub: Questions are good.

Me: How to stay in the present longer?

Gub: Enjoy it more. If you are doing it as a duty or to be “good” it will always grow stale.

Me: Marlie just sneezed.

Gub: A delight, right?

Me: Yes.

Gub: That’s how simple it is.

Me: But what about all the suffering in the world?

Gub: The people causing it, are they happy and present?

Me: No.

Gub: So, all we have to do is get everyone in the world happy and present and then we can stop suffering.

Me: That’s all, eh?

Gub: Simple. Or not so simple. Impossible, or not so impossible. You know what your Feldenkrais guy says: Making the impossible, possible; making the possible easy, making the easy elegant.

Me: So, no doubt the first step is waking up and happifying myself.

Gub: You bet.

Me: And now is always the great time to start.

Gub: It’s all a beginning, and a beginning and a beginning

Me: Sweet.

Gub: When you remember.

Me: Yes. When I remember.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thurs. Oct 26: Conversing with Gub, 5

Me: Here we are again.

Gub: Always here.

Me: And so much of the time, I forget.

Gub: And then you remember.

Me: Yes.

Gub: Well, keep remembering and maybe every once in awhile, you'll forget to forget.

Me: Why are humans so asleep to their lives?

Gub: Ah, the zillion dollar question.

Me: And your answer…?

Gub: Drum rolls….. Well, it's the way of the world. Awake people don't make as obedient of children, as obedient of students, as obedient of workers. They smile and follow their breathing and seem to get less done. They say "No," when someone asks them to do something they don't want to do. They say "Yes" when the weather pulls them outside away from their desks and their housework and their blessed schedules. They laugh at the rush to success and outer definitions of Success. They are content to smile and talk to a friend. They have time to write a letter or read a good book.

Me; So there are lots of reasons.

Gub: Think of clocks and how much people are a slave to the clock. Think of other people's approval and how much people are slaves to that. Think of wanting to "fit in," which is a little different and how much people want to fit in with that.

Me: With all that, it's a miracle any of us are ever awake to the present.

Gub: Well, the present is where delight and love and newness hang out.

Me: The delight of now is a huge incentive, isn't it?

Gub: Yep. And the children of the world are born to be there, and every once in a while they lure people back to the moment.

Me: Nature, too.

Gub: Nature, too, indeed.

Me: Time for me to go outside.

Gub: And when is the right time to be present?

Me: Now.

Gub: Righteo. Have fun outside.

Me: Yes.

Gub: Yes.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sun. Oct 22: Conversations with Gub, 4

Me: What’s it all about, Gub?

Gub: What’s my name backwards?

Me: Bug?

Gub: Lots of bugs in the world, lots of beetles. Lots and lots of beetles, doing their business, eating up dead things, reproducing, keeping their part of the Life On Earth bargain up. That’s what it’s all about: being a good beetle.

Me: And singing, like the Beatles?

Gub: Creative and happy: what do you think?

Me: Yeah. That’s a good part of it.

Gub: Look at it this way: human beings can use their creativity to make billions of more people and totally exhaust the earth, and probably extinguish themselves. Or they can reign the baby making in a bit, give up this idea of growth and more people making the world go around, and go for quality and creativity in song and dance and smiling and talking.

Me: Talking?

Gub: Yeah. What if every time you talked to Marlie you invented a slightly different way of looking at things, or speaking, or listening.

Me: Ruts.

Gub: Yeah, ruts or creative. It’s your Feldenkrais stuff: compulsive or spontaneous. People get a little loose and their spontaneity goes into making babies, which is how you guys are programmed. And maybe it’s time for new programs, what do you think?

Me: Sounds good to me.

Gub: So, what do you think it’s all about?

Me: Getting outside and being happy. Being kind to others and being happy. Being kind and silent in our own minds and being happy. Taking care of the Earth and being happy.

Gub: See. Good outdoor beetles, doing our job.

Me: What’s your job?

Gub: To talk to you when you talk to me.

Me: What’s my job?

Gub: For you to decide.

Me: Hmm. That sounds good.

Gub: Sure. How would you like to be a good beetle, a happy beetle, as you say, today?

Me: Or a creative beetle.

Gub: Or a creative and happy beetle.

Me: Sounds almost too easy.

Gub: That’s the beetle: not too fancy. The more simple ways of all your stuff – being happy, being kind, being outside—that people can find, the better their chances to stop wrecking their Earth and start repairing both the Earth and their own lives.

Me: Do you think there’s a chance for humanity?

Gub: Sure. Don’t you?

Me: Some days I do.

Gub: Well. Don’t think too much. Get out and live. It looks beautiful today. Be sane and happy and enjoy it.

Copyright 2006 Chris Elms

Friday, October 20, 2006

City Council and Walking the Green Walk

Let’s see. There are some good people running for City Council, and what would it mean to me to be a really environmental candidate?

Easy, actually. It would mean getting to all the meetings and public events around town on foot or bicycle unless it was raining. All the commission meetings and city council meetings, and hospital meetings and Chamber of Commerce meetings and fundraisers and even going to the gym..

Town isn’t that big: Overlook Trail in the North, Lodge in the south, Garden Park in the East, Maxwell Village in the West. Walking the green walk to me would mean pledging to go to all these places, and the sweet small town inside that box, on all non rainy days and non rainy nights, on foot or bicycle.

But what of the nice cars? The Prius, the bio-diesel? Phooey to them. It’s not the emissions it’s the rut humanity is in where everything revolves around the car. It’s the disconnection from all one would gain on foot or bike: the views, the fresh air, the using of our own energy, the wonderful chances to cross paths with others.

And the example: showing people that we can live without a car. Especially in a town with the city limits as tight as they are in Sonoma.

And most important: the wonderful chance of showing people that it is okay to take a little extra time to slow down and live in the moment, even the getting to the meeting moment.

Which means nixing the other excuse, besides bio-diesel excuse ( by the way, if all the cars in the US used bio-diesel, it would take 120% of our cropland to grow fuel for the tanks, leaving minus 20% of land for growing food), the “I’m in a hurry” excuse or “Just on the way from somewhere else” excuse.

Doesn’t cut it..

Slow down in life. Leave the other place half an hour early. Go home. Stretch, smile, drink some water, eat something healthy (maybe better come home 45 minutes early), hug and frolic with the wife (maybe better come home an hour early). Then refreshed and slowed down, take the time to walk or ride a bike to the city council meeting or commission or fundraiser, or whatever. This is time to get in tune with nature and ourselves as living beings, beings that can lead fine and interesting and even much more wonderful lives in our times without a car.

Will anyone sign on?

Who knows. I’ll find out. Those that do, I’ll vote for. If not, no vote from me.

Conversations with Gub, 3

Me: Well, Gub: what’s it all about?

Gub: Nice question to start the day. What do you think?

Me: What’s the good of a Gub, if you don’t answer the Biggies?

Gub: What’s the good of a friend, if the friend doesn’t help you think for yourself?

Me: Are you going to answer every question with a question?

Gub: I don’t know; am I?

Me: How long can this go on?

Gub: What do you think the meaning of it all is?

Me: To ask questions?

Gub: I don’t know; what do you think?

Me: Gub, aren’t you getting tired of this?

Gub: No. Are you?

Me: Maybe one of the meanings is to play?

Gub: What do you feel?

Me: I feel that this is on the right track.

Gub: And what if it’s more like a spider web than a track, going in every which direction and still all interlinked?

Me: You’re still asking questions and I’m not.

Gub: Is that a problem?

Me: Maybe I’m not playing the game right; what do you think?

Gub: What do you intuit about the meaning of it all?

Me: It’s good in there, somehow, always, and we forget.

Gub: See, you don’t need me, do you?

Me: But it’s fun with you, don’t you think?

Gub: Sometimes I think, sometimes I feel, sometimes I sense, and the best times I do all at once.

Me: That wasn’t a question.

Gub: Oh, dear, what shall we do? Have a big ceremony: Gub is Dead? How would that be?

Me: People take the God thing really seriously.

Gub: People love to talk to something Higher and Better and More Clear, which their idea of God, often is. Then again, when he’s used to polish the swords and grease the missile rockets, that doesn’t seem too much like God to me, how about you?

Me: How about me? How about us all?

Gub: Ah, and what if that is part of the Big Picture: thinking and feeling and wondering about: How about us All?

Me: This is a good start don’t you think?

Gub: A fine start, don’t you feel?

Me: Shall we do more?

Gub: I don’t think, feel or sense so, do you?

Me: How can we end this with a question?

Gub: Good question, how can we end this with a question?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tues. Oct 17: Conversations with Gub, 2

ME: I feel like I’m: a failure.

GUB: Okay.

ME: It’s okay to feel that?

GUB: You want a bolt of lighting for being hard on yourself? That will make things better?

ME: I should be getting more done.

GUB: Or less.

ME: More or less again.

GUB: Get more happiness done, get less worry and hurry. It looks nice where you are.

ME: I love it outside on beautiful days, but I should be inside, doing computer stuff.

GUB: Ah, should, should. The weight of the world. The clang of the inner prison doors. The lash of the inner whip. Lash, bash, crash.

ME: It is like that, isn’t it?

GUB: Beautiful day, and you making a hell inside. This is what you came to Earth to do?

ME: Not really.

GUB: Not really, not smeally. You did your chores which meant getting out. You came to a beautiful field to write this fake channeling down. What’s the problem?

ME: I should…

GUB:: Yes, yes. That’s the problem. Not the beautiful field. The auditory hallucination, the "should" hallucination.

ME: Words in my head?

GUB:: So called “thinking.” Call it inner sub-vocal stinking for all the good it’s doing you.

ME: Leaves are blowing across the grass. No one else is out here. Kids are in school. Parents at work, home, shopping.

GUB:: Or on the computer. Or driving around, driving themselves crazy. All sorts of ways to waste a day, spend a day, experience your moments.

ME: It’s beautiful now. So beautiful.

GUB:: Why live in a beautiful place and spend the whole day indoors?

ME: If I were more successful I’d be…

GUB:: Complaining you don’t get outside enough. Or else depressed and not knowing why. Outdoors is a food. Nature is a food. If people don’t eat enough they wither inside.

ME: I’d love to do Feldenkrais outside.

GUB:: So do. Figure a way to do it.

ME: But people are afraid of nature.

GUB:: Some are. Some aren’t. You’ll lose some.

ME: Can I afford that?

GUB:: Can you afford to ignore the song of your heart?

ME: Song of my heart? That sounds schmaltzy.

GUB:: Schmaltzy waltzy. If life isn’t a sweet dance, you aren’t living it right.

ME: But all the “successful” people buckle down, don’t go outdoors until after work, don’t…

GUB:: This is a concept, a story, and is it true?

ME: Seems like it.

GUB:: Ah, but who is going to be successful at loving this beautiful afternoon if you aren’t out here doing it?

ME: You aren’t much a pusher of guilt, are you?

GUB:: Feel guilty when you are about to hurt someone and stop before you do. That’s the only non-harmful way to feel guilty.

ME: What about after you have done some harm?

GUB:: Guilt then is wallowing. If you’ve hurt someone, make it right. If you’ve violated some social taboo: for example, saying no to an invitation you didn’t want, then feel happy you can be yourself, not guilty.

ME: But others get mad at you.

GUB:: Mad like crazy. Sure, when you are crazy, don’t you expect the world to jump through your hoops?

ME: Yes.

GUB:: Well. Other people, too. Crazy full of “shoulds” about you and what you “should” do. Want a life of slavery? Try to pay attention to and follow every one else’s shoulds for you. From the eye opening of waking to dropping into dreary sleep, you’ll be running raggedy to keep up with all these demands that you don’t be who is really you.

ME: What’s really me?

GUB:: Out here in the light. Wind, birds, blue sky, sun. leaves. Now they are resting. Waiting for the next time they get to dance along.

ME: This is too easy.

GUB: If it's so easy, why aren't more doing it?

ME: It still feels a little wrong, enjoying all this, when others...

GUB:: Worthless guilt. Enjoy. The computer will be there when it gets dark.

ME: But I’m: not getting anything done.

GUB:: Just listening, looking, enjoying, learning, loving life. That’s all. Seems like enough to me. What about you, really?

ME: It’s sweet.

GUB:: Sweet is good.

ME: Now I suppose you’re going to take a nap?

GUB:: No. You. Your turn. Taking a nap on a beautiful day out doors, sweetly getting nothing done but loving life, ah, that’s a gift to you and to the world.

ME: Okay.

GUB:: You’re not going to argue that one?

ME: No.

GUB:: Good.

Copyright Chris Elms 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Mon. Oct 16: Conversations 1 with Gub

Having one of those rough “inner weather” days, I finally gave myself the nudge and did what I’d advise anyone else: I got out into the beautiful world and I sat down with some paper and did the work of Byron Katie. As always, when I do the work, it works, and I ended up in a mood good enough to do something I’d been putting off for awhile, having a conversation with Gub:

Me: Gub, Gub, Gub, what should I do?

Gub: Less.

Me: But I’m just sitting on a bench in a park, looking at clouds, writing this and that.

Gub: What this and that?

Me: The Work of Byron Katie.

Gub: Ah, that’s good stuff. Keep doing that.

Me: So what should I do less of?

Gub: what’s the main trouble inside?

Me: Agitation. Worry.

Gub: Yeah, yeah. Do less agitation. Do less worry.

Me: Easy for you to say.

Gub: Sure. I don’t even exist.

Me: See. You got it easy.

Gub: The part of you that is all worked up doesn’t exist, either. The Chris Elms story. Hah! That one is a good laugh, from Gub’s point of view.

Me: What kind of name is Gub, anyway?

Gub: Silly. Soft. Not so smart and hard and deadly pure like God.

Me: Lots of people believe in God.

Gub: Sure, sure. Lots of people believe in automobiles and beer, too. But, I ask: do they love God as much as automobiles and beer?

Me; They’d probably say they do.

Gub: But do they love God enough to be nice to other people? Ha! Show me that, and they can believe in God all they want.

Me: Do you believe in God?

Gub: Listen. Does the cloud believe in air? Does air believe in wind? Some of these questions are too silly to answer.

Me: So, other than less, what should I do?

Gub: More.

Me: More?

Gub: More or less.

Me: More or less more?

Gub: More smile, less worry. More now, less then.

Me: Now is pretty nice.

Gub: Tell me.

Me: Beautiful clouds.

Gub: Beautiful clouds.

Me: And nice sun.

Gub: And nice sun.

Pause to look at clouds and sky, and listen to the soft rustling of the leaves.

Me: Can I ask you something more?

Gub: Nah. I’m going to take a nap.

Me: But you are Gub.

Gub. Gub takes a nap. God might not, though an argument could be made about a lot of napping going on in that corner, but not officially anyway. That’s one difference: Gub officially takes naps.

Me: Should I believe in you?

Gub: Nah. And don’t love me either. Love yourself and if you’ve got any left over, spread it around.

Copyright Chris Elms 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thurs, Oct 12: Earth, Breath and Love Meditation

And now, for a simple meditation.

Start with the sweet Thich Nhat Hahn one: Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in and sense and relax my self. Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out and smile.

Breathing in, I sense and relax my whole Self.
Breathing out, I smile.

Add on the five lines of Feldenkrais: the two arms and the two legs and their attendant fingers and toes and hips and shoulders. Bring it all home with the middle line, the pelvis to the skull, the genitals to the brain, the central axis.

Breathing in, I sense and enjoy my five lines and my Self.
Breathing out, I sense the Earth below me and smile. .

And heck, add on something about this world right now, something we love or like. A smell, a touch, a taste, a sight, a sound.

Breathing in, I sense and enjoy my five lines and my Self and my breath.

Breathing out, I smile and love …… in the world. .

That’s all. Should keep up happy and out of trouble.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sat. Oct 7: Now

Comes along.


And then another now.


If I can only breathe and know
I’m breathing

While that’s happening

Seems so little

And heck

Add on
Sensing the arms and legs and spine

That’s a lot
Or a little

And it’s huge,

Wonderful, when I can pull it off.