Tag Archives: Peace

Why Not Now?

I am honored to have yet another opportunity as a guest author for The Easier Softer Way! It is an amazingly inspirational site with thoughts on healing, meditation, spirituality, Buddhism, recovery, and much more. It provides profound insight for those in need. I wrote a post about mindfully entering the New Year called Why Not Now?  — Check it out if you have a moment

Cheers to 2014, Readers!!

With another year on the horizon, I find myself wondering why we feel the need to wait for January’s coy signal to jolt us into making resolutions. Why January? Why do we wait until after the holidays have come and passed? Why do we wait for our lives to ‘calm down’ in order to focus on our goals? Why wait at all? What are we waiting for? What is keeping us from making these resolutions today, here, now? Why do we find ourselves distracted, busied with excuses, and comforted in our procrastination? Why must we wait for anything? What are YOU waiting for?

For the original piece in its entirety — The Easier Softer Way

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Related posts for The Easier Softer Way

In a Sea of Unknowns

Gratitude

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Hopes and Dreams

A poem for my son – with reference to his polite refusal of his mother’s milk

 

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Salty waters swelled

As you announced your arrival.

Slow and steady,

Graceful cries of

“I’m here!!”

 

Cleansed,

Tears freed,

Aquatic relief danced upon my cheeks.

Panic, planning, patience,

Love —

Released.

 

I love how you lit up the room,

Bringing color to those cold, white walls.

I love how you light up my life

And how my eyes light up at the thought

Of you.

 

Your refusal to take to me –

Allowed heartbreak to swallow me up,

Intimate with frustration and patience.

You stubborn thing, you.

I should have known then

Your desire for independence.

 

I see in that mind of yours,

Countless wheels spinning,

Immeasurably paced.

Won’t you blanket me

With your curiosity?

 

If only I could bathe

In the freshness you emanate,

Soak up your youth.

Won’t you share it with the world?

 

Lucas, teach them

Like you taught me.

Show them how to let go

And be free.

Please, do this for me?

 

The way you dance through this house,

I hope you dance through life just the same.

I hope I teach you to

Love yourself.

It is the only source of truth.

 

Who you are,

Who you will be,

I already love.

 

When you say you love me,

Do you know how I love you?

 

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—-Original Poem—-

 

 

 

In Recovery

I am in recovery.

Aren’t we all? Every person I know is recovering from something —

A broken heart; addiction; loss of a loved one; failed marriage; estranged relationships; eating disorders; disease; depression and anxiety; foreclosure; abandonment issues – let me tell you, the list goes on. This is life. This is what so many of you are struggling with day to day, and it just breaks my heart each time one of you reaches out to me and shares your story. I feel your pain. I feel the struggle. I struggle too – you guys know this, and that is why I am so thankful I have this platform to share my story as it unfolds.

I am recovering from an abusive relationship with myself. You guys know this. It actually seems silly to say it like that – to articulate it in such a way that places me as the victim AND the offender, but this is my truth. It is the least I can give to you to show my appreciation for what you guys give to me each day. I’ll be honest; I am embarrassed to voice the terribly destructive thoughts that float through my mind just as a coy, fluffy cloud passes over a brilliantly blue, seemingly spotless summer sky. Within seconds of the clouds’ arrival, they chisel away at yesterday’s half-assed attempt to convince myself that I am worthy of anything. Sky is now grey with ash and soot – and all I’m left with are the tears that cleanse my soul. Back to square one, yet again. Confused, frustrated, angry with myself. How could I let this happen again? How could I let those innocent clouds become knives – cutting through each layer of my confidence? I bleed profusely, and my world is suddenly painted red with suffering and deception.

A fourteen-year-old Ki would have chosen booze…. Yes, alcohol was my friend at a young age. You’d never know it then. I was a ‘straight A’ student, a talented athlete, and I wore a pretty smile that I meticulously painted each morning as I awoke. Funny thinking about it now, I was never really awake. I was sleepwalking through my life. Yet, you saw all the potential in the world. I saw nothing but lies and pain. God, if I had only known then how much the world offers us each and every moment, every single day, I am certain I would not have slept for so long. You cannot sleep through life and truly live. As I think about her now, my heart breaks for fourteen-year old Ki. I carry a piece of her with me today. She’s still in recovery. I am teaching her slowly that hurt is a natural part of this life, but it can be managed and sorted through. Recovery is possible.

I recently found meditation. Or shall I say, meditation found me? For I am certain that the Universe offered it to me – crying out to me to take this opportunity and run with it. Fucking hold on tight, and run with it (I’m certain that this is how the Universe speaks – this is your cue to chuckle). A wonderful friend of mine sent me a link to Oprah and Deepak’s Desire and Destiny 21-day meditation class. Something deep within me whispered that day: This is a bit out of your comfort zone, but you have no other choice. You’ve exhausted all other options. This will be your therapy. This is where you – Ki — will rest easy. You cannot do this alone anymore. Being strong does not mean you must walk a path of recovery alone. Let this be your guide. You will not regret it. You deserve this. Yes, you DESERVE this.

And I never looked back. I have been quietly meditating since November 13, 2013. I am confident in saying that it has changed my view of this life completely. This post is not an opportunity to ‘plug’ Oprah and Deepak and sell you a CD on meditation (no, I did not get paid for providing the link). I’m telling you guys that you MUST find something that guides you in your recovery, whatever it may be. TRY EVERYTHING!! If exercise is your meditation, then get a gym membership today! If reading is where you find your bliss, then by all means get in the car and go to the nearest bookstore and stay until it closes. If going to church is where you feel your heart mends the quickest, go to the next available service – and if you’re too hesitant to try it out, send me an email and I will go with you! (Provided you are in the Midwest, USA)

Please, please, please take it from me – if you do not know your path in life and you do not know what helps you become a better version of yourself – then you must keep on trying. Dip your toes in foreign waters. Hell, I’ve tried on religion after religion; considered joining the police force (what??!); thought having a child would fix me (This IS NOT THE ANSWER, I PROMISE YOU. Children bring happiness and joy – but they WILL NOT FIX YOU); I even joined a local group of Instagrammers who share my obsession with photography, and this has worked out wonderfully for my social and mental health. My point is you must keep searching. You must keep testing new waters. Some of these endeavors will do wonders for your recovery. Some, well… just won’t. But that is the beauty of this life: You have the choice to try new things. You have the choice to overcome that which you perceive as a struggle. Release the fear. Let go of the thought that you are struggling. Recovery is positive. It is an opportunity to learn and grow. Your setbacks are beautiful because in the end, they provide you a new opportunity – a new direction – in this beautiful life.

The catch?? Only YOU can do this. Only YOU can walk your path.

As Oprah and Deepak often remind me — Moments themselves are the gifts. The journey itself, the rich reward. Find the gifts in every problem in your life. Start over today. It’s okay to admit you didn’t get it right the first time. Recovery is a second chance at life! A rebirth!

As I’ve said before, we can always begin again. I’ll be here; anxiously awaiting your emails, your pictures, your smiles as you tell me what it is that nourishes your soul and guides you toward a healthy recovery. I am with you.

And I will chat with you soon.

Cheers, readers.

Ki

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Inspiration for this post:

–The place where this little dove has flown and found a home; your heart; your love; all of YOU–

–Poet: Jules R. Ryckebusch

–Musician: Edward Maya

 

 

 

Just Be

Sometimes I think about how weird I really am.

  • Some of my best friends are people I’ve never met in person.
  • Being in a bookstore feels like Christmas morning; heart filled with joyful anticipation of the unknown. Eyes drooling over each untouched gift.
  • The smell of freshly brewed coffee makes my heart flutter. Coffee mugs, well, it’s embarrassing how much I love mugs (and coffee for that matter!)
  • I cry daily (to say the least).
  • I have too many obsessions to name: Hand sanitizer, soft pretzels with cheese (Oh my dear god), sugar, Instagram, poetry, the ocean, trees, the smell of fall, the sun…
  • There is an indescribable energy that floods my body each time I meet a new blog reader and connect with him/her on a level that far exceeds any expectation. The gratitude in my heart is insurmountable. I wish everyone on this earth could FEEL it.
  • Although I have an eclectic taste in music, I must admit that Romanian techno beats fuel spontaneous dance parties in my household, err, often.
  • The idea of backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels while simultaneously taking copious notes in hundreds of journals excites every inch of my being.
  • I’m a proud American, but the most flattering compliment I’ve received as of late is: “You’re looking rather Euro today!” (Ki heart gushing still!!)

The list goes on….

Are you getting the point? I’m So weird.

Then I stop and think – there is an honesty to my weirdness. It is pure, fresh, and innocent. It is the kind of honesty that breathes easily as it seeps from my pores – mirroring the honestly of very young children. You know, the kind that emanates from those who have yet to realize the vastness of the hurt, disappointment, and responsibility that hides in this life. Children play without hesitation. They laugh heartily in the present moment. They seek out answers with curious minds and hopeful hearts. In love with life, their souls effortlessly take flight. They dream. They believe. They live.

As the years blend – one into the next — We lose sight of this ‘zest for living’ with age. We become stale, young adults who complicate every facet of life and who spread suffering everywhere. We lose our curious spark only to make room for the desire to be like everyone else; to do what everyone expects of us; to be accepted in society. We are afraid to be happy just as we are. Blinded by fear, we forget to truly live.

Navigating choppy waters, we struggle each day to rise to the top; to be the best employee; to have the highest paying job; to live in the most adventurous city. As we climb the ladder of ‘success,’ we miss the gifts that reside in every moment – Smells that excite the senses; smiles that warm the heart; laughter that soothes the soul. We forget that loving others (and ourselves) is a responsibility and not a luxury. Instead, we are caught up in our extraneous activities and ‘To-Do’ lists, allowing the present to dissolve quicker than cotton candy in your mouth. Spontaneity feels like a foreign term. Schedules and appointments consume us – drowning us in our overworked, overbooked, overly exhausted lives. We forget the importance of simplicity. Sadly, we lose the grace of the child within each of us.

I laugh at my list of ‘weird’ qualities and gladly embrace them as I grow older. For as long as I can remember, I thought that life was one continuous struggle to be a better version of myself. I now know that life is about survival, and you don’t have to struggle to survive. Simply put, survival is existence. Exist and be who you are, right here. Right now.

Hey, I like weird! Weird looks good on me.

Embrace who you truly are. It looks good on you too.

Cheers, readers.

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@kileybw for more photos

LifeofKi is now on Facebook!

 

Bliss

Morning light splinters the heart.

Golden rays illuminate play wounds.

At least I’ll have a piece of you

Lingering on my flesh.

As if I need one more reminder of you.

 

Drunk from your scent,

I stand slowly, head spinning.

Failed attempt to match last night’s pace.

I wash you away.

 

You cuddle peacefully with your indifference.

I love the way you sleep.

Shame you’ve yet to wake.

Some people never do.

 

Your kiss, so hoppy it stings.

Feet trudge along the floor.

Heavy steps mirror the weary heart within.

Short of breath as silence kicks me to the door.

 

Is this your idea of bliss – loving me presently

Then wiping your hands clean of me?

You are a false hope for the fool that

I am.

That I was.

 

Glance back to feel you once more.

Like sand slipping through my hands,

Your eyes fade, gone, flighty as the wind.

Unrealized love.

I’ll miss you.

 

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Wouldn’t you know

The world has never seen a more sincere love?

Strangers blinded by the light within us.

At least I felt this, and lost you.

I lived it

As though true.

 

Can you say the same?

 

Does it pain you, Leave you cloudy,

Tranquility stolen, Sky no longer blue?

Laughter ringing in your ears as you reminisce;

Does it sneak up in your sweet dreams too?

 

Planes come, jetlag goes.

Our souls danced freely.

Giggles escaped from my lips.

My eyes stole a piece of your heart

That day.

 

I know you remember.

 

Years pass,

It is NOW that you truly see?

I loved you, let you slip,

Set you free.

 

This is my bliss.

Easy, let’s breathe.

So fickle your love then.

Stale no longer, thankfully.

 

Such a proud little thing you are,

Come around to me.

Happy for you,

I shall let it be.

 

Wish I could stay longer,

Give to you the sun,

Caress you once again.

Ego craving what’s left undone.

 

Take these words as my final kiss

And may the present be your bliss.

We have each other in this moment,

Forever you

I will miss.

 

 

–Original Poem–

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@kileybw for more photos!

 

 

 

 

 

Life of Pi, I mean — Ki

What a difference a year makes. Where were you one year ago today? With what issues were you struggling? Which path in life scared you the most? What questions laid heavily upon your heart?

Religion was my answer, back then. Had you asked naive Ki these questions a year ago, my busy mind ticked: Why does religion scare me? Who is ‘God?’ and Why don’t I know God? I was confused about religion, scared by it, desperate for a connection with it – or so I thought, back then. I voiced my doubts concerning Christianity, hollered my inquiries regarding Judaism, and quietly hid my fascination with Buddhism. I laugh now because religion was not the issue at all! Religion was the symptom, not the root of the questions in my heart.

I blogged last December about uncomfortable feelings surrounding Christianity and ‘God’ in the post A New Year. A New Religion? (I know some of you remember!! I think I fluffed a few feathers). As I’ve said many times before on this blog, I was one lost, confused, desperate woman –pulling at the fray of ANYTHING that would prevent me from drowning in doubt, insecurity, and fear. I assumed religion was the missing piece of the puzzle. Yes, religion would save me from the negative feelings that flourished in my mind!!! I thought if I asked enough questions of each religion and fervently searched for a deeper connection that I would undeniably feel the presence of ‘God.’ I can assure you, life is never so simple.

There was a hole in my story, back then. I can truthfully say there still IS a hole in my story. The difference now is that I am fully aware that religion is the LEAST of my worries! The obstacle is not in finding ‘God;’ the challenge is in finding my true self.

I ask of myself this year – With what issues do I struggle? Which path in life scares me the most? I can assure you, religion is not my answer this year. I am not actually looking for God. I am not looking for a religion that fits me perfectly. I realize that searching for fulfillment in a religion leaves me feeling frustrated and defeated. Although diving head first into Jewish religion courses has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life, I am finding each day that a desire to know ‘God’ is easily translated into: A desire to know myself.  

Hahaha funny side note: I named this website after a novel that unbeknownst to me at the time of naming, is in fact about a spiritual, introspective quest. I mean, come on guys!! The answers have been in me all along! I just thought “LifeofKi” was catchy, and I kinda thought I might get a few accidental ‘hits’ from those searching for Life of Pi …. I had no clue that “LifeofKi” was literally THE MOST PERFECT name for what was about to unfold in my life. Thank you, Life of Pi!! Or should I say, thank you subconscious, true Ki?!

Okay back to seriousness………..

What am I afraid of the most? Honestly?

Knowing myself. Forgiving myself. Accepting myself. Loving myself.

Which road desperately needs fresh pavement and immense TLC?

The path to creating a healthier sense of self.

There is no need to look for a God (or energy, as I see it) because it is already inside of my heart. I thought I was waiting for God when in truth, I was waiting for acceptance. Acceptance from myself. I am beginning to acknowledge that I have neglected the one person who cries out for attention, love, and acceptance. I have let go of my mental self, my physical self, my spiritual self. Where I once saw a ‘yearning for a connection with God,’ I now see I need the one person who is keeping me from me.

I miss Ki, the free spirit. I miss Ki, the playful lover. I miss Ki, the confident woman with aspirations and dreams, big dreams.

I left my true self on the side of the road years ago. I gave my ego permission to reign over every ounce of my body, allowing for the rest of Ki to feed on the false perceptions of who I needed to be, ought to be, would never be. Readers, this is THE most frustrating dead end to find yourself. But wait!! Need a silver lining?? Well, you’re in luck.

When you find yourself in this destitute place, you will soon realize you were never lost to begin with. It isn’t about finding yourself. The key is in cultivating a true sense of who you are and who you are destined to be. You, like me, will get there. I promise you. Although religion has helped to calm my busy mind (and open my world to culture, compassion, and love) the only TRUTH is in getting to know myself. Readers, give yourself permission to let go of whatever it is holding you back. If YOU are what is holding you back, then smile. A beautiful ride awaits you. This is the toughest job in the world. Tougher than parenthood; tougher than tackling issues with others; tougher than giving birth! I say truthfully that cultivating a healthy relationship with myself has been the toughest challenge in my life thus far – and some of you know the hell I have seen in my short 23 years.

Let me show you that you can be in the midst of a hellish downfall and come out of it stronger than ever. Yes, as I said I have demons, but don’t we all? We all bleed the same; some of us just have a few more scars than others. And trust me: your scars are beautiful, just like YOU.

 

Begin with this:

Look in the mirror and say to yourself every day –

I am beautiful.

I am doing a great job.

I love you.

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Your life begins with you.

Your love begins with you.

Take the first step.

 

Cheers, Readers.

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***Photo courtesy of Courtney Venable Photography***

 

Related:

Love Yourself

 

In a Sea of Unknowns

I’m honored to have a second opportunity with The Easier Softer Way! It is an amazingly inspirational site with thoughts on healing, meditation, spirituality, Buddhism, recovery, and much more. It provides profound insight for those in need. I wrote a post on the power of positive self-talk and introspection called In a Sea of Unknowns. Check it out if you have a moment!

Cheers, readers!

Every new day is beautiful, you know.
Each newly passing cloud is a reminder that all things are temporary; this too shall pass – whatever it may be.
New life drinks in the warmth of the sun as it rises.
It is always there, you know. The sun, that is.
Even though you may not see it, it is always sustaining life, your life…

For the original piece in its entirety — The Easier Softer Way

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Related:

Gratitude — (Post for The Easier Softer Way)

 

 

 

Say Anything

If I could say anything exactly one year ago yesterday – I can assure you, I would not have uttered a word. My head was crowded with thoughts; my heart, corroded by fear. I was crumbling. Screaming, yet you heard nothing. Crying, but you saw no tears rolling. I was hiding, clinging to the demons that quieted my dreams and fed my fears. What a mess I was. A mute, suffering mess. If your eyes met mine, I’m sure the fog was too thick for you to feel me, to know me. If we chatted, I’m sure I lied. I told you I was fine. I told you I was strong. I told you I didn’t need you. I didn’t need anyone. As I said, I lied.

Even if I could say anything one year ago yesterday, I didn’t know how. No motivation, no courage, no confidence. I was shivering; I was sinking; I’m surprised my bed didn’t swallow me whole some mornings. When you called, I didn’t answer. When you wrote, your letter collected dust. I wrote you off. I wrote me off. Nothingness was bliss, for a time. Faith in nothing. Fear of everything. Darkness dug my grave, shoveling the heavy dirt that would suffocate my existence. I wasn’t living. I was sleepwalking in daylight.

What a beautiful time to start a blog, eh? I don’t remember the who, what, when, where. I don’t remember who encouraged me to write again. I don’t remember much. But I do remember the overwhelming sensations that rushed my body as I felt the sudden urge to brainstorm ideas for the blog. The creative flow flooded every inch of my being. Appearing like a sharp winter wind, line after line, word after word bit my flesh, awakening my senses to the core. It was the most intense experience I had felt in months. My heart raced. I began to cry. It just kept coming. The thoughts. The ideas. My spark. I felt it again. I was alive. I had a purpose. I had a duty. I had to share, with you guys. Something woven in my soul had had enough of my bullshit drone of an existence. It was my time, it said. And for the first time in years, I listened.

So I started a blog, and for twelve long months I cried, I wrote, I was frustrated, I was happy, I was terrified. Publishing a post felt like I was running naked in the streets of my hometown. Eyes upon me, judging, laughing, snickering, joking – or so I thought you would. I never thought anyone would take me seriously. I never thought anyone would see beyond the forced smile that I painstakingly painted upon my pale, sunken face each morning. I never thought you would look at me and hear what I was not saying – the desperate cries for a connection with YOU. A longing for support. A desire for acceptance.

Each new post was a little less scary to publish than the previous. I received wonderful feedback, and you have your favorites – but it wasn’t until Weeks Like This that I truly started to feel your warmth. It was as though my chilly, morning air was lifting – allowing for the sun to rise again. Peering through the blanket of trees that surrounded me, I could feel something more just beyond the brush. Within reach I felt something so familiar, yet so foreign. Something lovely and terrifyingly close. My dream was being realized. I called out for help, and finally my answer arrived.  

You guys trickled in through the cracks, my wonderful readers. I was broken, and you snuck in somehow. You took my hand as you witnessed my struggle. You celebrated my triumphs; we’ve laughed together; we’ve cried together. You know I doubt strongly and love passionately. You know I would do anything for my son and family, and I continue to take care of myself lastly. (I’m working on it! I need your reminders!) You guys know it all, and you still come back – to this day, this is not real to me. The reality of your support is something I am learning to accept and understand. It is difficult for me to accept that which I am not sure I truly deserve. I am indebted to you guys, really.

A year has slipped from my fingers again. Like sand through the cracks, it has disappeared forever, kidnapped by Father Time. I’m left alone with memories, burnt quietly into my flesh. I sit here just as I have many other afternoons during nap time, thinking quickly – pondering my next post. I’ve thought for a few months now – what do I write for my ‘one year’ post?? How profound do I need to be? Gosh, there are countless people to thank, where do I begin? You guys – I’ve cried over this, I’ve laughed, I’ve obsessed – as always. Yet now as I sit here, it’s funny because I’m just sitting here like an idiot, smiling. Grinning from ear to ear. In this moment, I am so thankful. I know without a doubt that in the end, I can say anything. And you guys will continue to support me. You’ll come back for a post here and there. I know that as long as this blog is a labor of love, you guys will be with me. Along the way. In the end, I just need you with me. I don’t need a thing from you. Just knowing that the passenger seat next to me is warmed by your presence is all I need to write my next post. I don’t expect much from others. I don’t expect a massive following with this blog. Honestly, I don’t even put faith in humans. I put my faith in love…  and as long as I’m sending love out there –to where you guys are – I know you’ll send it back, in whatever way you have to love.

That is what is so crazy about this life, my life – I receive so much love from you guys in many different forms. From ‘likes’ to ‘comments,’ emails to Skype phone calls – hell even some of you ‘argue’ with me until 1AM insisting that my views are limited (you know who you are – and you know I appreciate your efforts) you guys are with me, encouraging me to say anything. To always say anything. So for you, I am thankful. This outlet allows me to love and to be loved; to share and be shared with; to connect once again with my heart and now, yours. You know….. you really don’t break when you decide to let go. I am living proof. As I shed these layers, I feel nothing but a warm embrace from each of you as I continue to say anything.  

One year ago today, I opened my world to you guys. I started a conversation about love, parenting, sex, religion, challenges, sacrifices, fear, you name it. As a friend of mine often reminds me, I am an incorrigible dreamer. I love that, but I can honestly say I never could have dreamt of the adventures that this blog would take me on. I have met some of the most intriguing people around the world. I have reconnected with long-time friends over issues first discussed on this blog. Support from my family is astonishingly pure. And quite amazingly, some of my best friends are people I’ve never even met in person – people who at first simply connected with something at LifeofKi.com, and who over the months have grown to be a part of my life.

 

A year ago yesterday, silence ensued.

Today I can say anything.

There is nothing left to say now but Thank you.

 

-Ki

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Fleeting Thought

What do you know for sure? Think about it: What do you really know for sure? No, not that you own two cars, have a mortgage, three children, and a vacation home in Maine. What do you know about life? Have you ever truly loved? What about unconditional love; what does that feel like? And do we FEEL it, or do we KNOW it? Is there such a thing as unconditional anything? Can we experience true friendships? Are people ever REALLY altruistic?

Other than the fact that I know, for sure, that I was once fertile (i.e. a child passed through my birth canal approximately three years ago) I’m not sure that I know anything at all. When my son asks what color the sky is, I say blue. But how do I know that what I see as blue is what he sees as blue? How do I know that when I touch a smooth rock, Lucas perceives ‘smooth’ upon touching the rock as well? When I tell him I love him, and he reciprocates, what is his foundation of love?

When he replies with ‘Why?’ to every declarative statement I make, I find myself confused, challenged, unsure of how exactly to respond. He is so inquisitive, and I am at a loss these days. I don’t have any clever responses anymore. I tell him the train is passing our home, and he asks, ‘Why?’

All the while I’m thinking What do you mean ‘Why?’ So I answer: Because it has to go bye-bye to the next town.

‘Why?’ – Lucas.

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Lucas’ incessant questioning has led me to do just that: question the world… and my busy mind finds peace in one statement:

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

Socrates

I challenge you to tell yourself what you know for sure in this world.

Can you?

Cheers, Readers.

 

 

 

More fleeting thoughts HERE!