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Underbelly: 10 Things - Floating

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#133 in a series of wild and precious meditations on agency.

This week I contemplated agency again. The way God works in my life, or — more accurately, my blurry interpretation of how He works :) feels a lot like being trained or raised up by a perfect power with an absurd and profound sense of humor.
One of my husband’s favorite quotes is from Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut:
An example from the week before last week set this week up perfectly for me:
I washed and brushed our dear Luna, all 77 pounds of her, in preparation for our camping trip. She had to sit between two largish young adults on the back seat of our truck, so I felt the least I could do was wash her.
As soon as we set up camp, she found a lovely pile of s*** and rolled in it until she was this otherworldly green/black color in spots.
So. Here is where the lesson started for me:
The young adult kids (3 in total) strongly advised throwing Luna into the nearby pond.
  1. This makes sense on the surface. It sounds rational, reasonable. The obvious “adult” mature thing to do.
  2. Luna is afraid of water — very afraid.
  3. There seems to be no alternative. We are tired, the idea was to go to a local music festival, and it’s getting late.
  4. And, honestly, a dog covered in s*** is kind of funny. No one is going to die and it’s great fodder for lesson learning — for when things are more serious.
I had no idea what I was going to do, but I knew that the next right thing was to stay behind with Luna and wait. She was happy as a pig in s*** :) so there was really no problem there. She’s a dog. I made a fire, sat beside it for awhile, still no idea how to clean her…and finally went to sleep. She made a little nest beside me and we slept great.
Next morning, Luna and I were up at dawn and I struggled to make coffee while Luna trotted along beside me, happy. My husband is obsessed with obscure ultra light camping gear and survival stuff, so “making coffee” while camping has become an elusive puzzle. I was losing my temper, rummaging through the stuff in the truck, searching for any conceivable way to make a fire, when I saw the snow scraper/brush — that long bristly plastic brush we always keep in the car to get the snow and ice off in the winter…
Which could work to brush caked on s*** off a dog.
Which I did; while feeding her treats. And she was super happy the whole time.
And I knew — I just knew — I had done exactly the right thing this time.
And, as is typical in my life — not sure about yours — I got no accolades :) no thank yous :). In fact, as you may have surmised, there is perhaps an even more solid feeling from the young adults that their mom is a little wacky.
But we have a very happy and clean dog.
Anyway — onto this week:
This entire week needed me to float from event to event, in a state of utter jaw dropping amazement at times, working diligently in the background. Time and time again, there were moments where I saw God’s hand, making me smile, gently guiding me toward what I believe to be our shared purpose in this life (but please, don’t feel obliged) to create beauty out of chaos.
“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle
“War.“ Gorgon spits the word. "That is what they call it to give the illusion of honor and law. It is chaos. Madness and blood and the hunger to win. It has always been thus and shall always be so.” — Libba Bray
"That’s where I’ll leave it, and say, for me that’s what it means to look at the story as giving ethical guidance, is this whole story is about the world as you and I know it, beautiful and shot through with transcendence and beauty and glory; it’s also really horrific and terrible in the ways that we hurt each other and the ways that the world hurts us, and that it’s all, we’re living in a shadow version of what creation could be and is meant to be.” — Tim Mackie
3. Prompt
As you float through this life, can you see the underlying lessons learned? I’m curious if you agree with me that we are all in this messy soup of a life in order to attempt to create beauty out of chaos?
And that God’s gentle sense of humor is the best training guide imaginable?
Imagination — with a little fantasy — is such an important human feature. Without time and space dedicated to imagining what is possible, I believe we are all at risk of numbing or wanting to leave early.
Sometimes, the “adult” thing to do seems to be to “be reasonable” and consider every possible way the world we live in is s***, every possible way that the world be live in is full of horrid people doing horrid things.
And — I mean, certainly I do this way too often. And, certainly, on some days, I mean, the evidence is so clear :)
But — and it’s an important but :) — I think we are called to do the next right thing, even when our days feel like the next right thing is cleaning up s*** — again.
I don’t know for sure. I imagine, though, that spending time contemplating a vision of beauty for yourself is important.
What is the difference between Imagination and Fantasy?
• Imagination is adding up images, sensations and concepts into final picture or ideas.
• Sensation leads us to conjure images through imagination.
• Imagination is goal oriented while fantasy is free floated and does not require principles of science and nature to stand.
• Fantasizing about a fire spitting monster is easy and acceptable though it is far from reality.
• Imagination gives way to creativity that is responsible for the generation of new ideas and products.
• Fantasies stem from our deep desires and ambitions.
Spend time imagining toward beauty and notice how you feel? Do you, as I do often, spend too much time imagining more chaos? What would happen if you allowed more beauty into your imagination time?
4. Quest
When I was quite young I started a goal (that I have not yet realized) to write something (a poem, story, sentence) that was profoundly beautiful but did not sound sappy, treacly, or overly sentimental.
Not easy.
I hope I have enough years left to realize this one.
For a quest this week, though — I suggest — contemplating that odd (false, I contend) line we draw between beauty and intelligence, rationality, reason.
5. Level up
Notice beauty. Notice how it makes you feel. Notice beauty in the stars at night, clouds during the day, sunrise, sunset.
Consider that beauty is innately intelligent, rational, the highest order.
6. Song
Macy Gray - Beauty In The World
7. Video
The Breathtaking Beauty of Nature | HD
The Breathtaking Beauty of Nature | HD
8. Poem — gorgeous — soil turning into creation/garden"
Photosynthesis by Ashley M. Jones - Poems | Academy of American Poets
9. Hero
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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Nelson, British Columbia