back and forth-ing & attending to our distraction

I'm arriving today at my love for the back and forth,

the connections in between,

the connective tissue between our souls as we move through our lives.

^^^ This all is what I'm here for –

here for it all in this email journey, here for it all in this little nook of togetherness on the Internet, here for it all while I walk this planet.

I'm wondering, what does the back and forth-ing here feel like to you?

What are the materials of our connective tissue?

How and where is this back and forth-ing readying to spring into life as winter sheds into spring (at least in the northern hemisphere)?

How and where is our back and forth-ing asking to be released back into the earth as compost for far off future growth?

You may know – or you may not know if your time here is more in its infancy – that I've shared invitations for you and fellow readers to comment on these posts as a form of back and forth-ing (which, if you're curious, you can do so by scrolling up to and clicking the 'View Online', signing in, and then commenting at the bottom of the post). But commenting is sometimes not the back and forth-ing that's desired via an email that lands in one's inbox, yeah?

Other back and forth-ing opportunities have made their way into this nook of togetherness as well though this one seems like good fodder to utilize as an example.

I wonder if the back and forth-ing here is asking to be more ephemeral, more diffuse than I've been thinking about it... like, for example: one reads an emailed note and lets the words shared float around through one's day. Those words – and the thoughts and feelings expressed through those words – amble through the reader's life in their own destined ways ('their' meaning you, the reader, and the words themselves!).

I wonder if the back and forth-ing here is revealing itself to be more intimate than I've been acknowledging, like for example: one reads the emailed note and sends back a response (simply) for my eyes only. The intimacy of 1:1 begins when I send this note (simply) to you and then continues when you send a note back (simply) to me. To me, each time this feels like the tenderness of being seen and seeing, of witnessing and being witnessed, of not only becoming aware of our connective tissues but breathing aliveness into them.

The thing about back and forth-ing is that I can't fully determine it ahead of time because I am merely one part of the equation. You are another part. And all that moves in between us is yet another part. And life, perhaps, is the part that completes the equation.

me + you + the in-between + life = back and forth-ing

The reality of "me" right now is that I'm noshing on a warm "muffin" (really it's a cupcake without frosting, let's be real) that I just made from a gluten-free mix, well actually two mixes. I bought two mixes – chocolate and vanilla – and Nathan, my husband, recommended I swirl them together. I added dark chocolate chips and subbed cottage cheese for water. I decided to make a few that were just vanilla and a few just chocolate, in case the experiment did not go as well as I hoped. But gosh, this one (a swirl one) is mighty delicious. The mix of the chocolate and vanilla, Nathan's ideas and mine... that's my reality right now.

(Nathan, you're in for many treats when you get home and no, Ernest and I will not eat all of them before you get here)

(Update as I pass through in my last edit: the ones that are simply vanilla are divine, too)

We each bring our own realities to the equation, whether the realities include muffin-cupcakes, heartbreak, or snow in California. We each bring our own unique desires, needs, and questions to the equation. We each bring our unique struggles, assumptions, and priorities. We each bring our gifts, skills, and edges.

I used to think "if only I could be in charge of the whole process, then life would be smooth sailing and just so, so wonderful...." but hmm not only is that not how back and forth-ing works but if that did come to pass, there would be no delightful surprises, no new understandings, no aha moments!!! And oh, how I live for aha moments, when the lightbulb flickers the brightest its ever been!

There'd be no opportunities for swirled muffin-cupcakes!

me + you + the in-between + life = back and forth-ing

Bringing the equation I've offered to the forefront again, how are you wanting to play with back and forth-ing here?

How are you wanting to play with back and forth-ing within the many other realms of your life?

in bubble letters written: current (colored in pink) happenings (colored in light blue) with a flat slightly cashew-shaped shell that's mostly white, gray, gold-ish and textured. written at the bottom left corner is 'bewithcassandra'
centering being together, another root of this unfolding (and back again!) experiment in belonging

1. how we can attend to our distraction

Today the current happening is quite different than other times. It's more of a calling in – a calling in to each of us to attend to our attention and the distractions in our lives.

Earlier today Ernest and I headed to the dog groomer for a long-awaited bath. He has a delightful pot pourri going on – dirt, sap, smells – and just today we ventured to the beach so now he's rocking salt water and sand, too.

Sadly as we pulled into the parking lot of groomer, we saw a big accident up ahead. One of the people who works at the groomer had just been hit by a car as he was crossing the street. At that point, he was already on his way to the hospital and was supposedly "okay." I don't know the details and they aren't mine to know.

What I do know is how often our phones make its way into our hands and our eyes make their ways to our screens – all while driving.

What I do know is that I can tell who doesn't walk through the neighborhood by how fast they drive past Ernest and me as we're walking through the neighborhood.

I own how easy it is for me to glance at my phone to "just do one quick thing." I own how easy it is for me to only look left and not right before a turn.

I also own that my attention is mine to tend to.

I own that my attention, or rather, lack thereof, can result in negative consequences.

How can we continually attend to our attention and compassionately and fiercely witness and shift our slides into distractions?

How can we support one another in ways that nourish and gather the parts of us and each other that seek distraction, rather than admonish or shame those parts of us and each other?

I'm not one for prayer but I am one for letting my thoughts weave towards and around a being when they're in pain. <3 Perhaps you can weave some thoughts, or however you send kind energy, towards this being, too.

Lovely to be back and forth-ing with you today – til next time,