Recording Buffy
Thursday, October 20, 2005

One of my best friends told me a few years ago when I was going through a really rough patch, that she had a trick to lift her spirits. She tries to think of ten good things that have happened that day. She told me they can be little tiny things if that's all you can find to be glad about, but find ten good things.

So, of course I tried it because, why not. Paying attention to the world around you and making an effort to notice the good stuff on any level couldn't hurt, and I figured it might help lift me out of my (then) current misery. One day when I had started to turn it around, and life didn't look so bare, the highlight was seeing sparrows taking a dust bath, and it pierced my heart with the simple joy of their little flutteriness. This tiny little perfect moment is permanently tattoed on my heart. I still use this technique of ten good things whenever I remember it, because I figure you can keep lifting your spirits till everything around you is so perfectly beautiful you turn yourself into an angel. And who wouldn't want to be an angel, there might even be new colors, and there's flying too.

A lot of what brings me great joy in little doses is making an effort to notice the natural world and be a part of it every day. Mare's tail clouds against a deep blue October afternoon sky is another little memory snapshot that I hold in the happiest part of my heart.

Interactions with people, especially chance interactions with strangers, are also a regular addition to my list of ten things. I find that when I raise the level of attention and good will in my interactions with strangers, it raises the level of those qualities in my interactions with the people who play a larger role in my life.

And, for the past couple years, one of the ten things at least once a week or so has been some little Joss related moment.

The friend who told me to look for ten good things wants to know why I like Joss' work so much that I'd make an effort to get together with people to watch Buffy, Angel and Firefly. Seven seasons is just too much for her to contemplate, and she's not a big SF fan. I know, I know, I like FF best too. It's not just SF, but people have these preconceived notions. So I'm recording a couple of video tapes of some of my favorite Buffy eps. I hope she enjoys them, but I'm also having way lots of fun recording the eps on Fox, and trying to make a Buffy-sketch that might make some sense of the whole thing. Enough to maybe get her interested, not enough to intimidate or overwhelm. Enough to get her to watch some FF when I bring it at Christmastime.

One of my favorite little arcs in Buffy is Bad Willow, so I've recorded "Lover's Walk", and "The Wish". The other day I walked out to a cafe to take a work break. There's a big scary parking lot where I work (I call these walks across the parking lot 'Laura Croft and the Parking Lot of Certain Death' to remind myself to pay attention, because the drivers sure aren't). There's a shiny blue cherry picker that's been parked in the lot for several weeks that I'd really like to borrow to take pictures of things at robin level. So, because I believe that wishing works, I'm making up a story about how I ask to borrow the cherry picker, and the guy at Fred Meyer says yes. Then I realize the episode that the VCR would have recorded that morning was, "Doppelgangland". So, I'm happy to remember this gift I'm making for my friend, and remembering some of the lines from that ep "Oh, I'm all fuzzy" and "I'm a blood sucking fiend! Look at my outfit!". Just as I get to where the cherry picker is parked, I notice there's a fresh banana peel on the ground in front of me and I laugh out loud. Like a little gift from the essense of Willow, a line from the ep my VCR recorded that morning. "I'm eating this banana. Lunchtime be damned!" Magic weirdness.
Now who do I see about that cherry-picker?

There's a lot of moss in OR. Thousands of shapes and sizes, a huge variety of colors and textures, and they really come to life at this time of year. They change color to a brighter green once it starts raining, and get that vivid electric aspect to the green like perfectly steamed broccolli. There's one type of moss that's very small and lives on bare black clay soils, that goes dormant all summer. You don't even notice it until it's been raining pretty regularly for several weeks. This morning on the way to the car, I noticed that this moss was bright green again.

It's an OR moment for me, like the moment in a MN late winter when the snow is almost gone and last years' long, stiff, dried grasses are a sparce but shiny grey on the black earth, like the thick individual hairs on an elephant. Like the late September moment in Paris when all the chestnuts fall off the trees at once, and that rich brown color is everywhere. Cherry blossom time. These little moments - the snapshots- resonate against one another for me, and pulling up one of them can trigger a cascade of these beautiful images and memories.

Today I was thinking I want to up the ante on this whole thing and share something on a level that will let me really connect with people so they will notice, and reach out to me in a physical way. Today I wanted to get people to touch me because I'd touched them somehow. I did not want to manipulate anything to bring about that end, just wanted to be so in the moment that I would really connect. Guess what, it worked. There were 5 times I can remember (I didn't think to really count; it can intrude on this kind of experience) that some stranger I came across today reached out and touched my arm or hand because I'd said something real to them, or made them laugh. It was pretty big, and I never felt misunderstood, or rejected or three-headed. Not even once all day, and that's amazing because I can be really shy, and I was way out there in my interactions with people today. I said anything that came into my head and it felt wonderful. And people responded in a big big way.

10/23 edit to add
Running late to meet friends from Chicago for a stroll & a visit at the market downtown, I devised a new hypothesis:
Always cheerful trumps always late.
This will shift the paradigm for me, and oh I will really like both effects!

Leaving the market, I crossed the trolley tracks on the way to my car, and a pair of discarded blue latex gloves fluttered past me on the cobblestones.

Got in the car & the holomap flared to show me how to get from here to there. I like the interior holomap!

Later, on the cel putting groceries in the car a woman reached out to touch my arm. I excused myself from the caller so the woman could tell me with much sparkle in her eyes how much she enjoyed my green 'visualize whirled peas' bumper sticker. Never had another sticker, but I've love this one since I found it in 90. We talked for a minute about how visualizing the other thing is just that easy. Good connect. I am so liking the reach out theory, it is working in the best possible way. Has happened multiple times every day since I started using it, with the actual reaching and everything. How is it that I've never managed this before, I have tried. Maybe it's all in having asked for it in just the right way.


Sunday, October 23, 2005 8:47 PM


Yeah, the first breath is pretty often an amazing kind of 'still here' thing.

Friday, October 21, 2005 10:04 AM


Number 1 on everyones list should be "I woke up.", unless that person tried to commit suicide, in which case waking up would be a bad thing. ;D


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