Tuesday, August 28, 2012

# 333 - Reality Writing & Sun Therapy

Blogging has become such a joyful experience in my life. For those who truly enjoyed journaling or scrapbooking, blogging offers another creative outlet that is a sign of changing times. No longer must we be relegated to reading that book by a famous author, we can go visit a blog buddy in another country and read about their latest antics. Even people living in an isolated area with an Internet connection must no longer be without companionship and friends...through blogging, you can develop meaningful relationships that might enter into other realms of your life to the point of a blog buddy or two evolving into a regular friend.

As a prolific reader, I must say that getting to read posts by my blog buddies is better than any soap opera. It is better than a book in some regards, reading a blog allows you to pace the story-line according to the author of the blog. For me, blogging reminds me that each of us are unique, we all have a story to tell, yet we're linked to more than is much the same for most of us. We have our ups and downs, good days and bad, sweet moments and sour; we strive to make the best with what we have to work with.

I have come up with creative terms that I began using a while back to describe blogging --- I see it as "Reality Writing" and "Reality Reading."

Instead of spending time watching Reality Television, even though my family was a brief part of a reality show and it was a fun experience, I do not watch hardly any reality television shows. First of all, I am old-school television trained, and that means I cannot even remember the channels and times for any shows these days, so I hardly ever watch anything as it airs on tv. I have never seen an episode of "Friends," or "Frasier" or "Seinfeld" or "The Simpsons" that ran for so long. I don't even know what the current names of shows are, besides, "The Big Bang Theory" since I just began watching that one...I'm trying. The truth is, I never have and never will keep up with current television.

However, I do enjoy Netflix and love watching any series of worthiness, as long as there are a lot of episodes to quench my need for a good storyline. Lately, I have been watching the "Dead Zone," on Netflix, which was a series that came out many years ago, based on Stephen King's work; each episode is usually pretty good and each one builds on the next.

So, this evening, I visited a few blog buddy sites and came across one of my favorites written by John Gray who lives in a village called Trelawnyd located in North Wales of the United Kingdom. His blog site is titled, "Going Gently." I must say, every time I go for a cyber visit to North Wales to see what John has written for the day, I am always entertained.

Now, John lives an "alternative" lifestyle as we Southerners like to say...he has a partner of many, many years, so if you have hang-ups about a person's choice to be gay, then be forewarned, but I sure hope it will not make a difference to you because his blog is such a treat..My attitude is...I look at the heart of a person and do not try to find reasons to shun someone because they don't match my own ideals about life and love. So many of us have areas in our life that may not coincide with others, but we should be very, very careful about judging. I am confronting this today because I heard, earlier today, someone say they could no longer be friends with a certain person because they were gay. I thought it was a shame and wanted to say, "Well, your gay friend didn't turn her back on you after you committed adultery against your husband," but I kept my mouth shut. People who judge others harshly will find themselves old, wrinkled and without a sparkle in their eye. No thank you. So, with that made clear, I hope you will add him to your favorites because he is an amazing man.

John lives on some land with his chickens, dogs and other animals. He is a beautiful neighbor, and he shares his authentic, quaint European village life in the most unique manner. On a deeper level, John is a critical care nurse and this professional choice adds to the gravity of his writing. Living with the heaviness that comes with such a job adds multiple dimensions to this man's character and life. He demonstrates a respect for humanity that most people do not learn about until they cross paths with their own tragedies which sometimes serve to open our eyes a bit wider to things we never before allowed into our line of vision.

John just wrote a blog post about the lack of sunlight over this past summer. It made me remember my years in Europe and how the overcast days would weigh down upon you with a heaviness that fogged the mind as much as it fogged the air.

As a child, my time in Scotland introduced me to a vastly different climate than the sunny, bright weather this Native Texan had grown up enjoying. Every morning in Scotland, I found myself shocked to wake up to grey skies and the air full of something I had never experienced, heavy mist that did not dissipate with the morning, the mist lingered throughout the day. Searching for the sun never helped, it remained hidden. There were never silver-lined clouds to admire.

The cold, damp air made playing at the park an entirely new experience from being at a Texas Scotland, everything was always covered in beads of condensation from the mist and the seats of our pants would always be wet from swings and such. Scotland brought me such happiness, I loved living there and probably could have stayed there my entire life. However, the weather was indeed dreary when compared to consistently bright Texas weather. Still, as a child, I very often played outside with all of my neighborhood friends and the forest across the street from my Scottish house was my stomping ground, of regular readers know how at home I feel in forest.

Years later, as a young Bride, I moved to Germany to join my childhood sweetheart after he had been stationed overseas for his first long assignment.

Little did I know that I'd be thrust back into an environment where the sun hardly ever made an appearance.

One of the fun days outside in the overcast weather with snow!

For the first time, I became sunlight deprived and the lack of sunshine impacted my emotions and I felt somewhat depressed.

Fortunately, other Southerners being stationed at our base took the initiative to discuss this valid form of depression. I need to say, I was not officially "depressed," but I did suffer from moments of feeling very sad and gloomy, as if my mood matched the weather.

For those of us who come from such sunny climates with long days of daylight hours, it is a definite shock to suddenly start a new life in a place that is not accustomed to the sun, except on rare days and for a brief summer season. Most often, throughout the year in Germany, the sun would make a brief peep appearance. It was not enough.

Those who came before me, from Southern states, told me that I needed to get some florescent lighting and to turn on that light for at least two hours per day.

Our living room in Germany.

The hopes was that this artificial lighting would at least simulate the brightness I missed. Lo and behold, it did help, somewhat. All winter, I would use that light and sometimes angle it to direct light to the ceiling so it would feel as if the light engulfed me. Finally, during summertime in Germany, we would finally get some sunny days and the best part about being in Germany is that the sun would often not set until after ten o'clock at night. Oh how I loved those days!

I would sit on our back patio and stare at the setting sun, knowing it was an hour past bed-time, but I could not let the sun go down without me giving audience to its performance. After my first year in Germany, our little audience had daughter Heather and I would watch the sun go down. There was no way she would miss out on getting to see the sun for such a short period of time each year. Sometimes I would sit on the patio and hold her until she fell asleep in my arms, it would be her bed-time, but she had fallen asleep at 10pm while the sun still sizzled in the sky. It was strange.

These days, I am blessed to live in Texas and to get as many sunny days as I would like. Truthfully, I feel it would be nice to have a few more overcast days to better balance the hot weather and high utility bills that come with all that solar heat! But, I love living in Texas, especially since our area has more tropical weather than other parts of Texas. This state has a lot going for it, the warm, welcoming sun and good weather for most days of the year is a big part of it. I sure am happy to be able to walk out my front door nearly every morning and to see bright rays of light shining down and to use soft lighting in my house because the florescent kind is not really necessary, except for utilitarian purposes, such as in the kitchen.

The sun and our is amazing how the weather impacts our emotions. So, I hope this next week, especially for those of you in Louisiana who are dealing with Hurricane Isaac, that your life is not impacted or minimally impacted by this weather disturbance. Regardless, hopefully the sun will come out again and start to heal some of the storm damage with its sunbeams.

John Gray wrote about his connection to the sun, or the lack of it...go for a read over there when you get a chance

The sun plays a huge part in the "therapy" of my spirit. Being in nature provides the most significant emotional and spiritual boost for me, as if nature is a safe cradle that openly holds me in her embrace and nurtures me and encourages me to feel right in the world. And there is no wonder that one of my favorite songs sung to me by my grandmother and that I would also sing to my own children had been, "You are my Sunshine."


Mike said...

The Dead Zone with Anthony Michael Hall? If so, there's a movie(1983) before the series. Stars Christopher Walken.

JD Lynn said...

Ahhh the memories! My Grama used to sing that to me as well. I have a musical picture frame from her that plays it now.

I too, enjoy the sneak peeks into new lives and new places that the blog world has opened up for me. It lead me to finding wonderful people like you! (and now this John fellow)

LindaG said...

We watch a little reality TV. Or we did in NC. Stuff like Deadliest Catch and Swamp People. Not the music stuff or Survivor crap.

We watch Big Bang Theory, too. It is hilarious!

And I agree, John's Blog is a wonderful blog. I'm glad I found it.

Sun and green, too, I think. ;o)

Have a wonderful evening, Lana. ♥ said...

Mike - I'm not sure what the actor's name is, but it's based on him being in a coma for 6 years, then waking to discover the "dead zone" of his brain was doing things that were not scientifically understood, such as being able to see future happenings. It's bee interesting, for sure!

Lana said...

JD Lynn - I'm glad you relate to that all-time sweet song. I'll be singing that one til the day I die! Love it! And I'm so happy you enjoy reading all my nutty ups and downs. I try to be authentic and that's what I look for in other blogs...real life and real emotion. I've been so sad for a blog buddy over at A Primitive Homestead as she just tragically lost her 17 year old son. We've been in a blogging circle for a long while --- she's doing some powerful writing to express her bottomless grielf. We bloggers are definitely unique.

Lana said...

Linda - that show "The Big Bang Theory" has me hooked. I don't think I have seen anything that has made me laugh so hard since Carol Burnett! I'm serious!

I see you over at John's every now and then --- it's great that we enjoy so many mutual blog buddies!

I sure am thinking of you too in Louisiana with that Hurricane Isaac reeking havoc across the land. Sun and green -- yes I agree too!

Lana --- praying for you to escape terrible weather!!!!

Anonymous said...

My grandad sang that to me.......I loved him so.