Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seattle's Weather: Rainy with a Chance of Gloom

Seattle's weather is downright predictable. It's cloudy, rainy and cold year round. And what's equally as predictable is everyone's reaction to it...especially right now as the Spring sun starts poking through, teasing us with kayak wishes and barbecue dreams. 

Naturally because it's top of mind, it instantly becomes the most popular conversation topic.

“Howya been?”

“Oh, man....this weather...”


“What are you doing Saturday?”

“Well, if it wasn't for this weather...”

I never know how to react because I love the weather and would rather talk about how refreshing it is, or how the plants are so green and lush. 

But my cheer usually doesn't go over well, so I've learned just to change the topic. The success rate depends on who I'm speaking with. 

After much observation, I've pinpointed the top 4 Seattle-weather-complaining-types:
  • Bubbling Ragers- They take the weather personally, and they are very angry about it.
  • Awkward Pause Filllers- They can't think of anything else to say. We've all been there.
  • Delicate Flowers- These people are very sensitive to all external forces, the weather being one of many.
  • SAD Pandas-Victims of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Warning signs include pasty skin and dark under eye shadows. Rarely seen because often hibernating.

It's fascinating that there are so many ways to hate the weather, yet it's the bond that all Seatteites share.

I don't want to complain about complaining, but let me share what comes to mind when people start ranting and raving: in human relations, there is a continuum of quid pro quo. Everyone has an effect on someone else, just like a skipping stone sends ripples across the water. If positivity and negativity are both contagious, what are we spreading when we start bitching about the skies?

Besides, it's not like Mother Nature can respond in a meaningful way anyway... Well, unless you've got the money to seed the clouds.

Yes, Seattleites, we do have the right to talk about whatever we want, and yes, I support you getting it off your chest. But I also want to remind everyone that this is one of the most literate U.S. cities AND there are approximately 1,013,913 words in the English language. Oh, imagine the convos that could be had!

The clouds may suck, but being a little proactive to satisfy personal needs could go a long way. We have to make sure we are getting the right amount of sleep, exercise, fresh air, and socializing to prevent SAD.  It's up to the individual to root out how to ease the pain—like planning a tropical island getaway, or maybe throwing an indoor which case I hope I get an invitation. ;)

Rainy or not—every day is a new day. There's only one chance to make it count.

P.S. LOVE this picture Gloom from redditor pentium4borg [karma].

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Mindful" by Mary Oliver

Today is a beautiful, sunny day in Seattle which means that everyone is flocking outdoors to soak it all in. To honor everyone's energy, here is one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver.  

I'm off now to Volunteer Park where I'll be turning Oliver's words into reality. 

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant - 
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

(Why I Wake Early)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Compassion for Animals

Sunday evening I sat in front of a tree to enjoy the sunset.

A fat red-bellied bird sat down on a close branch and sang to me. After a couple of minutes, he was interrupted by a distant sound. I couldn't see bird #2, but I could tell it was pretty far away.

My serenader then responded with a series of high pitched tones.

Just like an answer. 

The flow of their communications made me giggle--the exchange sounded just like a human conversation.

Something like:

Bird 1: Skwaaa Skeee Skiii Skaaa....
Bird 2: Skwaaa.
Bird 1: Skiii Skaaa?
Bird 2: Skweeee!

And so on and so forth.

Maybe I was projecting, maybe I have a strong imagination, but it sounded like they were interrupting each other and cutting each other off. At times, I could see the little bird in front of me cock his head to an angle as he listened intently.

It made me think:

Animals are so similar to humans. They have families, cultures, and feelings just like we do. They are mentally and physically a lot like us, except they lack higher brain functioning.

We should really be nicer to them.

And not put them in zoos.