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Sometimes My Tide is High

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No one believes that I’m a Moonatic. That might be in part because it’s not a real word. You see I feel I needed to make up a word that does not imply insanity in the same way Lunatic does, but still gives rise (moonrise even) to the possibility of a periodic Luna influence of mild proportions. If it is so mild, why then does it even matter? Well it matters to me because for years there have been times when I suddenly feel out of kilter. On the surface everything is going well, but a disquieting unease permeates my spirit. A number of sleepless nights follow and I get tired and cranky. Then, I look out the window and there she is. La Bella Luna. What light from yonder window breaks, it is the moon and suddenly the feeling is much easier to manage knowing it has once again coincided with the illuminating celestial presence of a piece of rock in space.

That is the extent of my research. It’s circumstantial, but it’s mine. My theory for why the moon exerts a force upon me, other Moonatics, Lunatics and ovulation cycles, is that we, as so well put by an alien life-form in the Star Trek Next Generation episode ‘Home Soil’, are ‘bags of mostly water’. That’s right we are somewhere between 60-80% water. No one questions that the moon has influence over the Earth’s tidal patterns, creating highs and lows. Similarly, a Moonatic, such as myself, also has a tidal pattern. Sometimes my tide is high, sometimes my tide is low. Again why is this important? Because being aware of something lessens its influence. Realizing that we are sometimes subject to our chemistry can also unlock a further understanding. Are we not completely subject to our make up? Isn’t our perception of everything not only skewed by our humanness but also sometimes altered in subjective ways that we are not only unaware of, but are unlikely to ever recognize? Something to consider in the light of a full moon perhaps.

Until otherwise disproven, I’ll stick to my assumption that I’m well and truly a Moonatic. That the moon asserts its influence, for good or ill, over my water based constitution. Anyone else?

Evan Shapiro www.amazon.com/author/evanshapiro

This blog is edited and used with permission of the author. Originally posted @ www.evanshapiro.net/blog

Beavers building their dams

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There are some people in the world that are very determined to debrief. Regardless of the situation you might be in with them they need to download. They need to tell you what’s happening to them, why it’s happening, what it means to their life and so on. This doesn’t always feel like a conversation in fact it feels more like you are being talked at than conversed with. For the listener it can feel as though you are cornered, trapped until the story ends unless you can find a means to contribute or your phone rings and you can say it’s really important that you take the call. Good listeners, I presume, have means to withstand or perhaps even enjoy this type of information exchange. There is a difference between someone carrying you along with a story and an outright information dump. It can be particularly difficult if you already know the story but the teller pushes on regardless.

You might be busy, you might have a hundred things to do, but the neighbour, or your child, your parent, your partner or your colleague doesn’t see that. They just see a person before them. A set of eyes and ears that can perceive their information and regardless of your interest they must share it with you.

When I’m caught in this situation I imagine a beaver building a dam. They go about their task with determination and a single-minded focus. They are doing what they have to do. They can’t stop, they can’t waiver. Just like the determined little semi-aquatic mammals, some people are trapped by their biology and their life experience. While a process of self-awareness could assist them, in these moments they have no alternative but to push on, to relive their experience and give it to you with as much detail as possible. Seeing someone in this process, in this uncontrolled one-way information dump, has at times triggered my compassion. I’m not so much moved by the story but I am moved by the human being before me that is unaware of their actions to the point that they can’t see the human being in front of them is smiling politely and is not really interested. At other times I give my all to listening to the details. I pick apart what the person is saying and try to see if there are sensible things I can say to help them. There are other times when all I can do is allow the process to come to its natural end, escape when I can and take my battered psyche and lick my wounds. Ok, a little over dramatic but let’s face it, we have all heard things from time to time that we wish we could un-hear.

To be fair, I’m no different. I do it too. I’ve caught myself debriefing. I’ve felt the need to share as much as the next person. And this has made me wonder what is it about telling other people things that is so important? Does it help us validate our fleeting existence? Does it assuage an unconscious fear of being meaningless? I for one am guilty of pandering to a desire to make people think and more importantly to make people laugh. But so much of what goes through my mind is lost once I’ve thought it and moved on. It’s only what I share that remains. But for how long?

I don’t have any great answers. What I can share is that I think it’s a fine line between sharing a deep and meaningful conversation and thinking you are sharing a deep and meaningful conversation. Sharing ultimately creates connections and as social beings those connections underpin our sense of well-being. Perhaps that is what we are grasping at when we don’t stop to consider if we are truly sharing or just downloading. So if you do find yourself captured, remember while listening you can also observe and as our brains are very clever we can take in multiple means of information. We can console a listener and have compassion for them while in the same instant disagree or hold what they say in contempt. We can also observe our own judgment and perhaps consider how similar we are to the person in front of us. A human being caught in any behaviour that is not totally under their control is a being that deserves understanding. If they have no tools or means to bring about awareness how will they ever have self-understanding or change their behaviors?

Beavers however, to the best of my knowledge, don’t concern themselves with such things. They just go about building their dams. It’s only we humans that expend the same or more energy on thought around an action as the actual action its self.

Information dump over. I leave it to you to consider.

 

Evan Shapiro www.amazon.com/author/evanshapiro

This blog is edited and used with permission of the author. Originally posted @ www.evanshapiro.net/blog