I saw it from four feet away--its dark wings with yellow/gold stripes opening and closing as it attended to the huge purple coneflower in the Heard Natural Science Center native Texas flower garden. The giant butterfly, wings extended, was about the size of my outstretched palm. It drank from the flower, oblivious to me, just absolutely gorgeous. It was on one coneflower among a dozen, huge purple blooms, amid smaller native plants.
Today I slept in, because I had so much trouble sleeping last night after our concert attendance. Then I went to the Lenscrafters to see about my "progressive" bifocals. This past week's work in DC, coupled with my ability to misplace my "non-bifocal glasses" at home when I take them off to read, made me realize that I did need to get my frames fixed. I was just outside the warranty period, and they did not have my variety of frame on hand, so I paid them money, and they placed them on order.
I enjoyed an afternoon hike at the Heard, flowers, butterflies, hawks and all, and then I came home to get a start on a little more work. I'll move the ball further forward tonight on my work project.
I've got some of that self-conciousness that I get when, as in the last week or so, I have been quite exuberant both at work and in meeting up with friends and relatives. You know, that silly feeling of "gee, I must have really come off as over the top". But I find that in life I tend to be better topped up near full rather than drained down near empty. I wish I never engaged in needless worry about things I need not worry about, really.
It's not how people have reacted--my relatives and my friends have been so nurturing, such a joy. It's just my own "deal", a self-created prison I intend to escape.
It's hard to tell people you think are cool, for example, "gee, you're cool", without sounding, well, kinda offbeat. It doesn't help that I am offbeat, albeit offbeat only in good ways. I am just reaching the point in my life when I realize it's okay to go back to being childlike, and say "hey, let's be friends!". I am getting better at working through my shyness, but now I find it takes the form of "did I say too much? did I say too little?".
I wish I could throw a big Texas picnic for all my LJ friends, in the Park Hill Prairie with kites and sunfishing and long walks and incredible talk over hot dogs (both veg and non-veg). I am glad that the people I know both in RL and LJ are in the main so incredibly cool. I also know that if I just accepted myself more, I could be a much more giving person. I live in fear that people will think I "want something" from them, when all I want is good company and good friends.
I don't know why I have that feeling--it's just that I tend to love the communion of minds, and the world tends to work on all sorts of other arrangements. It's so hard to just be with someone without some air of acquisition in the relation, because I worry that other people worry. What a curious worry to have! I'm a grown up, though, and I mention these silly fears mostly to be honest in my journal. I'm no Gloria Gaynor, but I'll survive.
I'm reading David Herter's "Ceres Storm", a clever sci fi whose medias res approach deferred revelation of its central plot device until mid-novel. It's not bad at all, although I confess to not understanding it much at first. It had a bit of that "Babylon 5, Season 1" feel. You know, the feel that those aliens are cool and something neat is going on, but something fundamental is just a touch cryptic. I miss Babylon 5. I must buy the entire series on DVD, as soon as I figure out how to work our DVD player.
My father called me before I got a chance to call him, and it was so nice to hear his voice. He chided me for skipping church this morning, which amuses me, as in my childhood I went "religiously" and he did not. Even my grandfather, who ended his life a kind of lay minister, did not attend church during my mother's childhood. I wish to be involved with a church again, but I have not found my "home". I think I wish to go the U/U route again, but I am not "at home" at either local one. I just want a place which is tolerant and not hung up on creed, and that can be elusive sometimes. I am tired of all the litmus tests. I wish I could just start my own, but my experience running chess tournaments suggests I am not the charismatic founder type.
I will make it a point to meet more LJ people. I do a lot of business travel, but so often it is "quickly in, quickly out". But it's nice to actually meet y'all ghosts in the machine. It's not just an LJ thing, either. One thing I like is that my wife and I take trips with our friend G. I have wonderful Tulsa and south Texas relatives I want to see more. I want to reach out more to all my friends and relatives, including RL, LJ, and every other kind of friend. I am almost never lonely, but lately it just seems to me that life is too short not to put as much connection into it as possible. I'm not quite saying "wear your love like Heaven", but I am saying I want to trust myself to reach out and take risks more.
It's a pink coneflower, and you only have so many weeks to drink the nectar. I'm not even leaving any larvae behind. I'm already more than happily fixed for a romantic companion, as are so many of my friends, so at least that particular awkwardness is not in the picture. All I can do is try to make my friends among the flowers all around me. But that's a worthy thing, and no point in shyness interfering with it. I do not think that I have a particular gift for flower metaphor, though.
We learned that yet another family member has a medical situation, about which I will not elaborate because it is an in-law thing. But I keep wondering if anything more can happen in this burdened year. I'm glad my own life has had only the requisite challenges this year.
I seem to be losing weight a tiny bit, which puzzles me, as I ate so badly this week. I guess all that exercise I got made a difference. I want to be a healthy weight again. It's not so much an appearance thing as a health thing for me. I lost my way on this issue for a time, but I'm ready to find it again.
Someday I will write a large to do list, because that's what human butterflies do, besides flit.