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LEAP Month

Good Morning My Confidants!

Did you know that this is a leap month? I don't know why that has hit me this morning, big deal right? It happens every four years? But it has. And all those implications on how a year from February 29th it will be March 1st and the various implications that involves....

I love getting those little notices from Facebook, the ones that show your post from "One Year Ago Today," and "Two Years Ago Today," and "Three Years Ago Today," and "Five Years Ago Today," and "Ten Years Ago Today...."

It's interesting to see where I was.

Sometimes I was better.

Sometimes I was worse.

But I have also been learning for a long time now not to just those times as "better" or "worse." They simply were. They were where I was. Judging better and worse is dual thinking.

Buddhism teaches the dangers of dualistic thinking and encourages us "to transcend duality in favor of more integrated views and experiences." The reason for this is that in me looking at these different times in my life as good or bad, then my "engages in the constant chatter of thoughts, judgments, and interpretations. It is the part of our consciousness that categorizes experiences, creating a framework of concepts and labels. However, the Buddha highlighted the transient and illusory nature of this conceptual mind, emphasizing that attachment to these fleeting thoughts leads to suffering." **

Judgement causes suffering. And judging myself far, far more suffering.

Whoa! Heavy thoughts this early in the morning with my cup of coffee not even halfway done? How did I go from this being a leap month to judging and Buddhist teachings?

Only this.

The more that I am learning not to let my crazy, easily angered mind, take control, and to take a step back and breath, the better things are.

Eleven years ago, I did a post with a semi-naught photo by Dsn Skinner and the words, "GOD, I LOVE TO READ!"

My crazy mind hasn't let me read a book from cover to cover in two years. Not even my favorite authors. Not cover to cover, every word. I've been too scatter brained. Reading and writing is my JOY. I want that back. So, I was not better eleven years ago, I was in a different place.

"There is no future, there is no past,

I live this moment as my last.

There's only us. There's only this.

Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.

No other road. No other way.

No day but today." ***

Eight years ago, I posted a photoshopped picture of myself as a Borg. Not sure exactly why except that I am a big Trekker (not to be confused with a "Trekkie"). There was no new Star Trek movie or episode or anything for that matter. Not near or around Star Trek Day. I gave not one word of explanation. And it's the only post from eight years ago that Facebook "graced" me with. Interesting. I would say I must have been in a good place. And I was in my early days of falling in love with Noah, three years before he moved from Hawaii to Kansas City. Yup. A good place. And I know this about Noah because he is the one that photoshopped the photo for me!

Seven years ago I was busily trying to see as many of that year's nominations for Oscars as possible. I saw three movies in one day, Moonlight (which went on to win Best Picture) and Fences and Hacksaw Ridge. All three were good, but I've never seen either again and the only one that I might would be Moonlight. I think it had some powerful and meaningful things to say about growing up gay. Who knows, maybe Hacksaw Ridge. I did enjoy it a lot. About a man doing what he thinks is right, not matter what. And becoming a hero for it. I like that.

Hey! I was doing the same thing six years ago! That was a time! I love movies so much! When Covid came along and I couldn't see movies (I used to see an average of one a week!), it ruined it all for me. Or I let it. Because I discovered that once I was actually seeing every movie, or at least as many as the Best Picture categories as possible, I was much less frustrated with the nominations and who eventually won. In fact, I often agreed with the results. Hmmm....

Not going to movies was certainly a part of the Long Depression I was in. Movies, IN the theater, are a JOY for me. It's all a part of that longing "to go through the crowded be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is." **** Funny that so much about what I love about seeing a movie on the big screen is what other people hate about it. I want to be a part of the human experience of seeing a movie. That energy coming up off the crowd. The laughter, the crying, the gasping, the chattering (as long as it isn't too loud), and especially the applause at a good moment, or the finale where the credits begin to roll. So magic! And even the fact that I can't pause the movie and run for the bathroom! It is the moment, and moments when gone are gone. "I live this moment as my last."

Heck! Five years ago today I saw three movies in one day! Same reason. The upcoming Oscars. Can You Ever Forgive Me? Wow, I loved that movie! The Favourite. Meh. And, A Star is Born. Wow. Which to me was far more about people than The Favourite. I think that was the difference for me. I could relate to Ally and Jack. I was going through a period where someone I love deeply was going through and alcoholic downward spin that seemed to have only the worse possibly outcome. Thankfully those years since have proven that wrong. Whereas Queen Anne and Abigail and Lady Sarah were way too over the top for me to take seriously and therefor totally unrelatable.

But five years ago was also a time where I had recently gotten a beautiful painting by the magical Ian Brown of my beloved Sarah Jane, my soul dog. I was deeply grieving, and that painting helped me so much. I was also amused that my husband Noah (who was living with me by this time!) and my daughter (they are about the same age!) were chuckling over memes I didn't understand (their generation doesn't require any kind of punchline in their humor).

I love my dogs Willow and Aspen so very much. But I will never forget Sarah. I can no longer remember her smell, and barely her touch, but I can remember that she defended me with a bloody fury, went for the face of a man who leaned into me too fast, the threw herself between me and a very big mean looking dog at a dog park! She groomed me too, madly and constantly cleaning me behind the ears.

Have I mentioned that I sometime wonder if she was either reincarnated as Willow, or that she sent Willow to take care of me? Too over the top? What can I say? I plan on being a crazy old dog lady one day!

Four years ago I was where I am right now, Oddly Correct! This must have been the old location, right before Covid. I wrote many a novel from Oddly Correct in those days. I was also thinking of going to see Ford V Ferrari. We did go see it and I enjoyed it, but remember nothing of it anymore. Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."

It was also a magical day as it was 02022020. Which will finally bring me back to how this all started....

It was also the day that the Chiefs won the Superbowl for the first time in I don't know how many years. Wasn't it like fifty or something? Yeah, it was 1970. People lost their minds, and although I still have never watched a football game and don't really ever plan on it (at this time--I know better than to never say never!), I was so proud for my city, and I am rooting for them this year.

Ah, hey! If they do win, I get a new, pretty darned cool Barbie doll in a Chief's jersey (which I plan on putting on one of me Kens, the wonderful advantage that many women like to wear their jerseys large!).

Two years ago I was pissed because we got somewhere between 5 and 12 inches of snow.

I was thankful I didn't have to go out in it, and I only opened the door to take a photo. My husbands had to drive in this though, and RBear couldn't get his van started but he managed to jump it and was late for work for the first time and I don't know when. Noah took the long rout to work and got to there in time, but he left an hour before he had to be there. It was only 16° with the "high" is going to be 21°.

Compared to today which is 45° and a predicted high of 62°! Wow! Viva la différence! I should sit on the back porch today at least a few minutes and watch the dogs run about in delight. Ah, the zen of being a dog! To live in the now so very very much! The whole reason why you can't scold a dog for finding their "mistakes" hours after they made them. They are in that moment you are mad, not at all connected to something they did hours ago. They have no idea why you're mad because....

"There is no future, there is no past,

I live this moment as my last...

There's only this.... No day but today."

(we are getting closer and closer to my point, and I do have one)

One year ago today I was feeling grateful...grateful for the generosity of others.

I was writing again, a daily posting called "365 Days of Siler" where I found something to be grateful for every day. The person I loved so much had six months of sobriety under their belt (a year and six months today).

And people were sending me dolls! I had discovered my buried love of dolls (in fact, two of them stand on the table next to me today at the coffee shop) and people from all over the country, and at least one from England (!) were sending me dolls!

I had been writing how my dolls were inspiring me to write again, that they were becoming my little people, my Other People, and people had started sending me dolls--most of them anonymously. I had no idea that many people were even reading my page considering I hadn't put out a new book in well over a year, two really, Oh, what joy!

It had all started less than a month before when I got a vintage Ken and Allan doll (correction, that should be Allan and Ken) and I could barely believe how those two dolls, who were only a few years younger than me, were calling up such wonderful feelings. They were breathing my imagination back to life! And I saw people liked me.

"They really really like me!"

And today I am editing a new novel! The two dolls standing next to me representing the main characters!

I have come so far, ups and downs, and there I go again "judging."

And yet....

We can learn from the past, reflect on the past, benefit by what we have lived through, what we have hopefully learned, without living there. That is a huge key. Too many of us live in the past, and not the here and now. We suffer from those memories, from what has been done to us."

"But Ben! You don't understand! You have no idea what I've been through!"

Oh, really? You know what I've been through? No, I don't know what you've been through. But please don't compare us. I will never downplay what you have experienced, never say, "I've been through worse!" Or at least I will try not to. That is something I've learned! And if I ever do that to you, I give you full permission right now to remind me of these words. And give me a good scolding as well.

I might suggest that you try to stop living in the past. I might say, "Well, I don't know if this will work for you, but I have been through HELL in my life, heart breaking, soul breaking, dream crushing hell, and I have learned that by focusing on it, it only makes it worse."

That the Four Noble Truths teach us that there is suffering in life. That is the nature of life. We will have suffering. But the real suffering comes from how we deal with those things. Do we choose to wallow in our suffering? Or try, try, to swim to shore?

Do we reach out and take the hands that reach out to us? Or swat them away? Nothing is permanent. However, what we think about, what we focus our energy one, what we look for, comes to us--every single time. Do we live in yesterday, where the shit happened, in a time that does not exist, or do we live for today?

I know--I know--that a big part of what made that bad few years last so long was that I was focused entirely on my misery and pain. I had lost the ability to remember that that nothing is permanent. I had so much to live for, but all I saw and looked at and looked for was the worst.

And what we think about, we bring about.

And if there is no magickal woo-woo out there bringing more of whatever we think about, surely there is this. We do see what we look for. And we often can't see the forest for the trees.

This is a leap month. But finally! And this is it!!! OMG! I finally, finally got to my point!

Leap Year reminded me to that I must do what has always worked for me in the past--powerfully and magickally--and that is to leap...the net will appear.

That's my life's mission! It has brought me so much! Despite evidence to the contrary, it has worked for me. To stop wondering how it will work, but to trust that it will.

This Leap Year is going to be my re-finding my magick. It will be "How Ben Got His Groove Back"!

Did you know that in many ways is what the Fool Card is about in the Tarot? It isn't that he is a fool, it is that the world considers him a fool. The Fool trusts. The fool knows. The fool has learned that he can step seemingly off the cliff. With his dog by his side, it is in those moment, this moment that logic says is foolish, that he finds his magick.

I'm ready. I sent off my first submission eleven years ago and I had my first contract.

It's time.

Anyone want to leap with me?

The net will appear. Trust me.


BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas


*** “No Day But Today” lyrics by Jonathan Larson, from RENT

**** DRACULA, Bram Stoker

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I love everything about this post. 😃


I'm glad you are finding your passion again!

Replying to

Thank you, sweet man!

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