Posted in Life and Death

“Just Set It Down“

I’m having a bit of trouble being happy today, after the Colorado Springs gay club massacre.

But today we were walking through Hobby Lobby, looking for Thanksgiving placemats for our family gathering, and I came across this.

And it made me smile. I needed to smile.

And HR seems to think the sentiment rings true.

P.S. But aren’t gay clubs supposed to be safe havens? Robert and I have visited them in New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, Baltimore (HR’s hometown), New Orleans, etc. etc. etc.

But lately, whenever we go into a gay establishment, I look for the exits, just in case.

And even more sadly, when I go to our gay friendly church here in Savannah, I remind myself where the exits are, just in case.

It really shouldn’t be this way.

Posted in Hello, Anxiety.

Hello Anxiety: “A Tale of Two Happy’s”

(Or is the plural of “Happy” spelled “Happies”? The jury seems to be out on that question.)

This blog category is the journaling and journey-ing of my quest to say (with cautious sincerity) “Hello, Anxiety” and to take a look at the condition from my “me-andering” views.

I LOVE yellow. It’s such a standout HAPPY color.

Bouquet in the lobby of Resorts World Catskills back in July
Field near the hotel
Atlanta Botanical Garden

I also love Happy. Happiness. Happier.

I even have a Happy Cup! Don’t you?

I like him because he’s always happy. No matter which way you turn or spin him. No matter what you put in him. Even hot coffee! Even with his fine line wrinkles (look at pic closely).

The cute little jokester!

A contributing factor to my ongoing issue/challenge/frustration with anxiety is that I aspire to be that Happy Cup. After all, I write a blog named “NealEnJoy”! So when Unhappy (i.e., breathing difficulty, fear of nausea, etc.) comes a knockin, my first response is often to ignore it (as if) and with gritted teeth BE HAPPY. Or more honestly put, pretend to be happy.

This opposites-competing cognitive dissonance is not fun or … happy. Try though I do to keep happiness wound up.

************

Here’s my Happy Holder. What, you don’t have one?

He doesn’t turn around or spin in quite the same way as my Happy Cup.

And he irritatingly tells me that my blog should more truthfully be named “NealDoesn’tALWAYSEnJoy.” Because Neal (or anyone else) doesn’t always.

“Backside” thinks he’s so smart he even quotes Jung.

A DIFFICULT BUT TRUTHFUL LESSON.

But I have to confess that I still prefer Holder’s “front” side …

Posted in Life and Death

The October Rose: Sorta Sad, Sorta Not, but More Sorta Sad than Sorta Not

Morning walking in Savannah’s Forsyth Park the other day led us, almost Alice-in-Wonderland-ishly, into the little old, hidden-away, walled and overgrown Fragrant Garden. I knew it was there, having walked by the usually locked entrance hundreds of times. But I had forgotten it.

I was pleasantly surprised to see from just inside the gate how many roses were still in bloom. Dozens of bursts of color. Isn’t Halloween nearly here? And the bushes were standing so beautifully tall! Proud, regal.

I was taken aback at my sudden jolt of happiness. And I thought of what my buddy Anne (you know, of Green Gables) told me one time: “Neal, I’m so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers.” What a perceptive young lady.

But (and just for the record, if you think about it, whenever someone says “but,” the words that follow are often not the most uplifting) my Fragrant World smelled a little less joyful as I realized that the bushes were so very tall because they had not been pruned nor tenderly cared for. And looking more closely, I saw that most of the blooms were beginning to lose petals, droop a bit and some were even whispering an elegantly tortured “goodbye.”

Fall has forever been my favorite season. Autumn isn’t so childishly young as spring, doesn’t exude summer’s arrogance, thinking itself so very hot. And fall doesn’t give you the icy stares and cold shoulders of winter. Fall is gorgeously colorful and aroma-therapeutically delicious.

But fall is also, of course, the season that recognizes, even blatantly exposes, her mortality as those leaves drift earthward, and annuals lose their colors and die, while the last rose of summer falls from her heights to the untilled soul in the Fragrant Garden.

Sad but a part of the universal cycle.

Celtic Woman expresses the sentiment beautifully in their rendition of Irish poet Thomas Moore’s 1805 poem, “The Last Rose of Summer.”