10 Breaths

8/4/21 Wednesday

Every day I pause to take ten breaths, with each one taking a little longer. The last inhale and exhale is the forever breath, where time stands still and the universe tingles in my ears. Usually this is in the evening after stretching, today it was at the beach.

This is where I’ve spent the last few days, my favorite place on the island. There’s no easy access, so I take the long way in with the kayak. It’s warm and sunny, and a perfect day to let go of the last 3 years of my work life. Time is spent looking for agates, fishing the kelp beds, drinking water, and just sitting. Over and over and over again.

After-the-rain.org / Ocean kayak

Days go by without wearing shoes. Everything smells like ocean. I brought food but forgot utensils, so I made chopsticks out of driftwood. I miss my son and my cat and my goldfish, but today Am Happy.

With an emptying mind new ideas take shape, and I’ve made two decisions so far about what to do next in life. #1: I’m going to start a new consulting company, just so I can have this mission statement: “Seeking a return on happiness by serving others“. #2: During each week that I do not have my son with me, I would like to not eat any meat unless I catch and kill it myself. This is just a morality issue I’ve been grappling with lately. Both of these are experiments that I plan to commit to for six months starting this week. I feel a lot better about #2 because I caught a salmon today, cleaned it, cooked it, and ate it. Prepared with olive oil, basalmic, garlic, butter, salt, pepper and all spice, and tossed with bowtie pasta it was the most delicious salmon dinner I can remember and I am grateful.

After-the-rain.org / Sockeye salmon

Author: Rainey

after-the-rain.org What started out as chicken scratch notes on the back pages of my boat’s logbook has now grown into a blog. These words and images help me cope with a loved one struggling with mental illness, and they help guide me through divorce, and the process of moving on. Thanks for reading along as I learn about life the hard way, do the best I can for my son in my new role as a single dad, and find weird similarities between restoring an old blue water sailboat and putting the pieces of my own life back together. Come check out my story and feel free to say hi!

18 thoughts on “10 Breaths”

      1. It is helpful to write, no matter where you do it. So if blog writing feels better, then do that. I still have many of my journals, but in a safe place. I look back occasionally to see how far I’ve come (although I can do that on the blog as well). I think it’s personal preference honestly Rainey. Whatever works for you…

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  1. I like your rock… also the technique. I may have to give it a try.
    And I like the mission statement, too. If it’s ever translated to English, “ikigai ni tsuite” (On the Meaning of Life), by Mieko Kamiya, might interest you.
    Clarity seems to emerge from allowing such moments to wash over the “self”. I find that writing afterward helps to keep from losing contact with the ideas that emerge, like writing about a dream right after waking up.
    Peace, and good wishes to you and to your son.

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    1. If the book is not available at least there appears to be a bit of info out there on the Ikigai concept, I’ll check it out.
      If you want to try sitting on an ocean rock, bring a pad. Barnacles are sharp!

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      1. Careful about the Westernized versions of “ikigai”. Kamiya was talking about finding passionate purpose and meaning in life through interaction with others and with the environment. I just think she would have found your mission statement to be right on the mark. Kamiya is fairly well known in Japan, but her ideas are maybe a little like a blending of Viktor Frankl and Inazō Nitobe. There’s an American expat in Japan that’s been working on a good translation. No small task considering the differing social idioms.

        The scars attest to some intimate knowledge of barnacles. Think I’ll settle for an espresso for now. 😉

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      2. I’m not sure who those people are but I’m jacked up on coffee again, and feeling an enormous pull to Japan. Looks like there’s a travel ban due to covid, even if I could finagle a way to go.

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    1. Thank you. I think I’m getting that “am happy” from Legends of the Fall, which used to be one of my favorite movies.
      I don’t think I’m ahead of anyone, or behind anyone, just an average guy who sometimes feels apart from everyone.
      I hope you’re still having a good summer, and I’ll still be here being me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Legends of the Fall is one of my favourite movies too. I’m intrigued by your ‘used to be’? Why used to? Can you remind me who says the line ‘am happy’? Trust me. You are ahead of many in very important things and I guess from your comment you feel you are behind in some others. Sorry to hear you feel apart from everyone. Life is all about balance. It won’t be like that for long, I’m sure. X

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      2. I think the lead character’s dad writes it on his little chalkboard, which he uses to communicate after his stroke. At the time it seemed like an epic masterpiece, it’s still that way I guess but seems a little dated. Probably feel the same about another of my earlier faves Dances with Wolves. Do you have a favorite movie?

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      3. Oh yes. I remember it now. Oh my God ‘Dances with wolves’ is another one of mine too. I like lots of movies. Nothing wrong with ‘old’ classics. I love Yentl, Out of Africa, The Way we were, One flew over the Cuckoos Nest, The Notebook, The Pianist and so many more.

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