Monday, January 31, 2011

You know it's a #$^%^ Monday when...

You get to the garage and the door won't open, despite the green light glowing when you depress the green button. Green does not mean go in Germany. It means, "Stand in front of your garage door until you can't feel your fingers and with the fake happy light glowing the damn door will still not open." You try to remain calm, and reposition yourself several times. To no avail. Then "*Expletive* I have to go to work!" God is not listening.
You set down your hippie-van messenger bag, Kaiser Permanente gym bag, checked-out library CD and your two coffee containers, one a thermos, and the other a mug. It's only four cups total, but it looks like you are coffee-insaneo person. You are not. You are normal. You think. Perhaps all the coffee and items were creating garage door receptor interference.
The swearing and removal of previously said items did not solve the door problem. So you start to take apart your garage door opener at 7:30 in the morning. It is -7 out. Celsius. Finally with manual stimulation and jiggling of parts, the button works and the door rises. You decide it is not safe to reassemble the opener, in case it decides to further antagonise you. Taking apart a garage door opener two times before the start of the day is too much. Even for a saint like you.
On your way to work, you realise your water bottle is missing from the car. It is at the gym. You must have forgotten it. You stop by to pick it up on the way to work, and it is actually there. Do you mention that when you pulled up to post they decide to search the entire vehicle in front of you? This means, everyone out, like it's on fire. Open the doors. Walk around. Make sure it's not a bomb.
Ok whatever. You finally get to work, with a car and a water bottle and two coffees.
Do you mention that you are working at a different clinic? For a surge? Where there are about 4,000 patients to be screened?
You attempt to log into your AHLTA charting system, and it tells you the password is incorrect. You check your email where you have emailed yourself the password, even though you are not supposed to do that. You try again. The damn box reappears and you are not allowed into AHLTA. You know if you try again, your ID card will be locked and you will have to DRIVE to the ID place and give your fingerprints to reset it. This is not a lie. You have done this before and it is not your idea of fun. You patiently wait thirty minutes to re-try the password. (The time in which your three-try-rule-then-it's-locked resets.) It still does not work.
You have to call IT support. You really didn't want to. It entails creating an ESD ticket, and giving your name and whatnot. But you have to. Fortunately there are still no patients. That is the highlight in this lousy start to the day. After only about five minutes on the phone, you have a new password and access to AHLTA. You find out that they changed things again on Friday in relation to the surge which you came here to help with. You wonder if they are going to send over 150 people at once. But you decide not to think about it. It is Monday after all and you were never a morning person or a Monday person. No sense in expanding the depression with unhappy thoughts.
It's almost time for lunch. The day is looking up. Perhaps the sun is even shining. You never know.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What to do with photos?

I'd recently decided to order prints of a smattering of my photos off the internet, after having not printed a thing for about five years. Literally. All these pictures floating around the internet, and on the computer. But none to hold. So after they all arrived in the mail (and what delight!), I wondered what to do with them all. At the time, I was winter cleaning, and trying to get rid of things, including an ugly Kandinsky print. I realised I could tape them all to the print, and voila! new wall art. Which is now serving as office cheer. The pictures are happy to be free and shared. They are all from trips which occurred last year. What a joy it's been to wander through all these places. I have been so spoiled.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kindness -- Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Boxes and life

Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where everything comes from and where it is headed? You do know that you are in a period of transition and wish for nothing as much as to transform yourself.  -Rilke
What is it about life that makes us want to know the answers to the past and the future? The way we live, the questions asked day to day lead me to peer down separate roads, wondering which to follow, and where I will end up. But I cannot know. And I don't want to know. It's sort of circular thinking.
In a way, we are boxed in to the moment that is now. The past and future linger around, but they cannot be seen. Pehaps sensed in a way, but not solid. I have a love hate relationship with this.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Life's load

"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it."  -Lena Horne

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Leaving Lisbon

I walked out early Monday morning, headed for the bus stop, looking for a post office and coffee shop. Both of which I found. Workday mornings are my favorite in foreign cities, watching the residents in a flurry of energy as they begin their day. Especially on Mondays, when everyone is regenerated from the weekend. It's my favorite way and day to leave town.

A bustling busy place, perfect for my last hour in the city.
Time for writing...

The cafe was full of locals drinking espresso. But this girl on the right ordered a fruit freeze thing. So odd I had to take a photo.

I don't know why I wanted a picture of her legs.

Tourists and birds. Both interesting.

Shoeshiner. And the post office that was very hard to spot. Apparently Portugal likes the idea of the horse-delivery service. It didn't register with me.

And the biggest line was at...

Every single Lufthansa flight was delayed. And, no, they did not give us any information.

Still waiting, even on the runway.

In Lisbon, I had to suddenly check a bag when I remembered something I bought was illegal on the plane. I had nothing decent to check, so I stuck my little shoulder back in my handy roll-up sack, tied it up and sent it on the conveyor belt to Nuremberg. The box on the right was my carry-on- Portugese boots! Everything arrived perfect.
So. Go to Lisbon. If you have the chance. That is my advice.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Art of Lisbon

Since I spent a whole day in art museums, I thought I would share. I am not usually so lucky to find so much free art which interests me to visit. Just another treat from the city of Lisbon.

From the Museo de Arte Contemporary
This was an artist named Columbano.The way he captured expressions. His early work (late 1800s) was really amazing. Most of these are from that time period. It seemed as he got older, his painting was more conventional and dead feeling. But maybe that's just me.

Centro de Arte Moderna

Berardo Modern Art Musuem in the Cultural Centre of Belem

It was a video. I think how relationships feel at times.
MUDE Art and Design. What it's like to be in an orchestra. Took up a whole floor, and was amazing.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lisbon, day 2 in a gentle city.

Spent wandering art museums, with some assistance of a public transport day pass for 4.45E. I hopped the tram, bus, subway all without any mental taxing. Even ran into an artist's market on the river in Belem, which I was told only happens two Sundays a month. A kind gift from the travel gods, and I even got to talk about Portland with a husband-wife team who made bags and skirts that looked like they belonged at Saturday Market in Portland.

I wanted to steal this. But that would make the owner sad. And it's such a happy bike.

The first of four art museums I wandered through. All free on Sundays. I felt I'd died and gone to heaven. Art and wilderness are church to me.

It was actually white, and quite retro-mod looking. The mostly non-functioning escalators provide supporting evidence it was created long ago, before I was born.
Tiles are everywhere in Lisbon.

Centro de Arte Moderna
I wondered how this was art.
How I think life feels. Like a crazy tornado. Never knowing where I'm going or where I came from.
Self photo with mirror art.

Berardo Art Museum in Belem

This bothered me.

I wondered how some couples end up together. She had white polka-dotted tights.
I stepped outside.
It wasn't this anymore.

Lisbon is closest to America.
It's where trees look like flowers.
And they sell these little cakes called Pastis at the Pasteis de Belen.
Safety deposit boxes in the basement of the MUDE museum.
They now have seeds in some of them.
Tomorrow it's time to ride home. To Germany.