I doubt anyone here really gets the benefit of the fullness of any of these posts. Hell, I don’t even bother to put in the time for such a thing. You may be wondering right now, just what in the name of hell, and it’s good graces, is Marc even talking about now?? Well, I do these “good things,” posts and go to “The Googles” and “The Worldwide of the Webs,”… and find artwork to post, which is actually the lion’s share of the time spent prepping these. It has to be just right, the art has to match the tone of the post…. it’s a whole deal. Trust me on this. OCD, yes…. but it’s my OCD & I own it.
And then there’s the message… the overall gist of what I’m trying to communicate. Some days it’s easy and I don’t have much time to put in. Just a simple good thing, maybe a song, a picture, a few words… all of 5 minutes and it’s done. Other days, it’s a Sunday and I am up early like today… before the world is up. There’s zero distractions and the topic is deep or weighty… so it’s more difficult, takes more time. During those times the pressure is on to spend the time to really get at what I’m trying to communicate. That’s rare. That’s this morning. In the Now.
So I’ve collected the wisdom of one Sarah Elizabeth Johnson-Swinney, otherwise known as Ma Swinn to me, and then to so many of y’all who were her students known as… “Miss Swinney.” Yeah, I’ve asked that lady for a few good things recently to post and talk about. And what do you know… it took her a few days to really think about it, and she came up with some deep meaningful good things. That means I have to up my game and actually put some thought and time into researching & writing these!!! You get it.
These posts are selfish. It’s for me more than anything else really. That and something started with Z. If it serves you well, so be it. But it’s really about capturing some nugget of optimism even on dark days. On some days like this… the wisdom of others.
To capture the wisdom of the generation before us isn’t a primary value in Western Culture per say. We don’t, as a society, as a whole, tend to want to honor and capture the wisdom that the older generation has gained. That’s more of an Eastern thing in my mind. Sure, we love the older generation, the elderly, our Mothers and Fathers…. their parents, our grandparents, but in America we worship youth don’t we? That’s a thing we do? We kind of dismiss the elderly and don’t trust their minds… though sometimes wisdom garnered, nuggets of truth of 70 plus years’ living… shines through. That should be listened to and captured. Instead we often think of dementia, issues beyond our control to deal with. We need experts and homes to send them to… so they can get around the clock care. It is from love, yes. But in our greater western society, maybe we are missing out on the wisdom the years have lent our parents, their parents. This is getting too deep isn’t it??? Why don’t we take a break for youth in yoga pants shall we??
Ahhhh… much better. Perfect. Now we got that out of our systems. Let me just recount these notes to you… notes I wrote down after interviewing Sarah Johnson Swinney regarding why she picked “Living in the Now,” as a good thing.
– Once a day, drop everything you are doing and practice living in the now. For 30 minutes or a few hours, that becomes the most important thing. Just exist in the now.
– Learn to be mindful…. that’s what they call it at least.
– My space to do this is out in my yard, in my “kept nature,” my wild garden.
– Awake yourself to the world around you, your senses, drop everything else and be present to your senses.
– These following plants are great to intentionally brush up against and take in their essence, the smell of these, let it wash over you. Heightening your senses will help you live in the now. Smell is one of those things… one of the more important senses, to free you up to live in the now.
Grandmother’s 4 O’ Clocks
Looks a bit like Petunia’s if you ask me. But in Texas, and in Texas Gardens, everything has its own name, it’s own variants. That’s Texas after all, Texas is its own thing. And the language and words follow suit. Shit is named shit elsewhere in the world. Well in Texas we’ll just call all that shit Bullshit and have it done with. The rest for the world will just have to figure out that Texas bullshit for their own damn selves!!! Don’t mess with Texas after all!! Just don’t.
Keep in mind, this isn’t some kind of Eastern thought, metaphysics to be mistrusted as new age mamby pamby-ism. Nope. It’s Texas, West Texas, distrusting of hippies…. home spun wisdom, farm-ranch girl wisdom. You can take that to the bank friend, that is when the cows come home and good lord willing, the creek don’t rise.
— Talk to the people you most care about… even if it’s just in your mind. These people may no longer be alive, not be present in geographical locations nearby. That doesn’t matter. You know and love them… deeply. Talk to them just the same. They’ll talk back… just the same. In the present.
— Let your mind and soul drift. Let it go where it wants to go. Where it leads you.
— Shut off your mind to worries. Do NOT make “to do lists” in your mind… instead, in the present, if something needs done… simply do it, it can be done… and don’t worry about it.
— Don’t allow yourself to plan for the future during this time… because the future is now. Live in the now.
Live in the Now. Certainly a good & necessary thing. Just ask Ma Swinn: she’ll tell ya.