Putting it out there

Butcher, bring me some Dairy Queen….  Bring me some Dairy Queen…

Edited to add: Kit Kat Blizzard.  It was tasty, but we both wonder if it would be better with vanilla soft serve.

I’m Reminding You of This Because I Love You

Dear Readers, 

I know it’s spectacularly unpopular to quote those crazy Middle Easterners in this day and age, but y’all have me thinking of Gibran.

You remember his wise words about children?

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

My friends, it’s best if you think of ideas this way as well.

Your ideas are not you.

I know it’s hard to accept this, especially when you can so deftly wrap yourself in words carefully chosen, and let that package go into the world bearing a bit of your soul.

But that’s not you.  Those are just some ideas you have and that you’ve shared.  They are special and precious but they are not you.

Which brings me to my next point.

Why do we share ideas?

I mean, specifically, why do we share ideas here at Tiny Cat Pants?

To stimulate interesting discussions.

Look, I write shit all the time and I can bet you that half the time NM or Bridgett or Exador or Sarcastro is going to step in and say, “I think you’re off the mark.  Did you consider this?” and I have to admit that I didn’t or I didn’t even know about it.

Does that mean that folks who disagree with my ideas don’t like me as a person?  No it does not.

What, then, is a successful interaction?  When you have furthered the conversation.  If the conversation halts, you have failed to have a successful interaction.

But, if you say something and the conversation keeps going?  If someone jumps in and wants to argue with what you’ve said?  If they want to pick it apart and look at the nuance?

Hello, readers, listen: that is a tremendous compliment.  People’s time and their thoughts are valuable.  If they turn their time and attention to you, it is because they see something valuable there, something worth discussing, something of worth.

Is it hard to be that open to scrutiny?  Yes, it is and, if you’ve not put enough distance between yourself and your ideas, it can feel like a deeply personal attack.  But, I implore you to see it as the compliment it is.

So, to recap:

No one is attacking you as a person; they are discussing your ideas, which are not you, and once they’re out there in the world, only tenuously belong to you.  The fact that people are engaged with your ideas, no matter how weird it feels to have your ideas under that kind of scrutiny, is not anything other than a great compliment.

You will be happier here and happier in the world if you come to accept that.

Love,

Aunt B.

Random Things that Please Me

1.  How Katie is all “Sometimes I wonder what would happen to my marriage if Aunt B. and I knew each other.”  You know I added that to my “about” page.  Oh, you married folks.  You flatter me.

2.  Tomato Nation is now RSS friendly and comment-having.

3.  Ginger brings us the story of the coyote who went to Quizno’s.  I hope Quizno’s is smart enough to incorporate that into their marketing–“Even wild animals will brave the big city for our food” or something like that.

4.  I defy you to click on this link and not make a noise when you see how cute this dog is.

5.  Hurray for

6.  My quest for the absolute perfect nickname for Mack continues.  I want something that really gets at his kind of macho nurturing quality.  He keeps talking about how much he likes Padre, but I think Mack is sexy for an old dude and I can’t go around calling anybody with any sex appeal anything that reminds me of my dad–either because of the religious connotations or the dadly connotations.  So, today he was trying metaphorically to grab me by the nape of the neck and move me to a seemingly better location, and I responded by calling him Ulfsfodr, which means roughly the wolf’s father, which tickles the shit right out of me.  I’m going to laugh about that all day.  If anyone is the exact opposite of an old Norse nickname, it’s him.

The Storm

I hope y’all came through unscathed.  We’re fine here, even though the orange cat was outside in it all night.  We hollered for him to come in, but when a man’s got business, a man’s got business, I guess.

Mrs. Wigglebottom was freaked right the fuck out.  As you know, there are few things she hates more than garbage bags and yet, when I was in the kitchen doing the dishes, she was curled up right next to the garbage bag shaking like an Elvis Presley song.

Since the front’s through, the Butcher and I are going to have to bring all the plants in, I guess, since we don’t want anyone freezing.

Chris Wage has this awesome rendition of the lightning for those of you who missed it.