Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Suffering of Stuff

The last few days of the year always seem short but tedious. The longest night of the year has passed, but you wouldn’t know it. Plus, I miss my simple life as a tourist and writer in Africa. And the simplicity of my student life in Wales. I like living from a suitcase, with just a few belongings. A houseful of STUFF takes my breath away. The more I own, the less in control of anything I feel. I don’t understand how people can own mansions with rooms and rooms full of stuff. It makes me nervous.
And that’s why it’s probably a good thing that all my stuff is stacked in a garage at the moment. I had quite the review of all my stuff when I packed my life away in boxes just before I embarked on my journey to Wales last year. I reviewed the stuff side of life again after I arrived home recently and had to retrieve a few things and searched through many of the boxes to find them. I missed very, very few of these things during my student tenure in Wales.
My packing spree resulted in culling - you know, giving tons away to charity shops and pitching an unbelievable amount into the trash as well. Even books – oh, those sacred books. No, I’d never trash a book, but I donated a huge pile to my local library used book sale, gave some of my kids’ books to my grandsons (except for the collection of every Dr. Suess book ever published, which I’m very attached to) and even tossed a few old and obscure ones into the charity pile.
What I can’t reconcile is that I tend to review and cull my stuff at least once or twice a year anyway, especially when stuff tends to overflow from closets and cupboards into living space. I didn’t think I’d find much that I wanted to get rid of when I moved last year. But I discovered many, many strange things. Like an empty box neatly stashed in the corner of a closet. It once held a big supply of millet spears for our parakeet. The parakeet died two years before and the remaining shreds of millet were deteriorating. Among many other things, I also found an almost twenty-year-old stash of cancelled checks in a box buried beneath empty boxes in my shed. These are interesting for half a minute for their historical value.You know, seeing what inflation hath wrought and what you used to buy or thought you had to have. The tyranny of stuff.
The more I cull, the more I feel like culling. I’m asking myself now if I indeed need most of the stuff I’ve stored away. Of course, I’m not using it because I’m living in my mother’s home until further notice. Further notice meaning being able to afford a separate roof over my head, meaning employment that will cover all contingencies. My current income covers paying current debts exclusive of living expenses. This is not-so-good, but we’ll leave that jellyfish alone for now. At least my octogenarian mom needs a little help and my kids need access to jobs and big-city schools.
Anyway, I consider all the stuff that many people store and never, ever use. Like people who live in the same house for decades but who have garages full of stuff they’re saving, that they just might use someday. This terrifies me. It feels very heavy to have every nook and cranny of a house crammed with stuff. I think it makes some people feel good, but I’m not sure how that works. I feel like it will all potentially fall into a big pile and smother me. Feng Shui books say that accumulation of things can potentially be harmful to your health and welfare. It’s truly a good thing to keep energy flowing through the house, and those unsightly piles and stacks impede that energy. This is stagnation, another jellyfish word.
I figure that stagnation isn’t good for creative work. Writing requires a certain atmosphere, in my experience, that's dependent upon my environment. So I keep my life and my living space as free of uncorralled stuff as possible. Not that I’m exactly a minimalist. I admire minimalists and I try to think like one, but I also tend to get attached to things with meaning. You know, photos of meaningful people and places, mementos from meaningful trips, bric-a-brac gifted by family and friends, those Mother’s Day kindergarten craft items, and so on. It helps that the world has gone digital and photos can be collected in digital albums. I don’t have as much need to frame and collect in this digital age, especially after I had almost emptied my house for the real estate listing photo and felt how liberating it was to live without dust collectors. It’s harder to dispense with the five-pound globs of clay or unidentifiable collections of construction paper that your offspring deposit with glowing eyes into your tender, loving hands on Mother’s Day.
When I deposited my entire life into a little storage room last summer, I hadn’t seen the top of my piano, refrigerator, or a bare windowsill in years. The space left just before my big move to Wales exhilarated me and gave me the feeling that new energy could enter my life. And it did.
I’ve come to the conclusion that attachment to stuff causes suffering of a particular type. Congestion, both physical and mental. Some say extreme attachment to stuff leads to being overweight, which is certainly a type of congestion. I don’t know about this because I’ve known overweight people who couldn’t give a fluff about stuff, but I have known at least a couple who couldn’t part with anything, to the point that they’d move trash from house to house and storage room to storage room. But I haven't noticed that chucking stuff makes me any skinnier. I think the upside to all this attachment to stuff is a feeling of stability, but stability of a  type that makes me feel challenged. And congested.
I find that in addition to dealing with stuff on the occasions that I’m confronted with moving it, I also tend to cull stuff on or around New Year’s, which is why I’m thinking about it today. I’ve often spent New Year’s Day cleaning out drawers or closets. This is a strange habit, but not much different than taking stock or making resolutions. But in the case of culling stuff, you get to realize the results quickly. Some people would rather nurse hangovers or watch football on New Year’s, but I like to start my new year feeling spacious.

This spaciousness also applies to writing and revision, and why this long, rambling post could do with some editing. But I'm my own worst editor and I'm also playing with spontanaeity on my blog, so I'll let the suffering of too many words be.
Maybe I should take up a side career as a professional organizer. There’s just nothing like the spacious feeling of chucking stuff (or words, when you have to write tight). So while I’m chucking and thinking of chucking, I wish you spaciousness in 2011!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Joy to the World

I’m relieved to report, outside of being both scanned and patted down TWICE in one day, that my trip home on the 21 & 22 December was reasonably trouble-free. Apparently LAX was so busy that my flight had to tour the Big Bear area before being allowed to land, then we had to idle on the taxiway for several minutes until a gate was vacated.

The Amsterdam security people were NOT nice like they were three weeks before and were porno-scanning EVERYONE without exception (which is probably the fairest way to subject people to search without probable cause). This is likely due to the latest terror threats and the high volume of holiday travelers.

The TSA people in Memphis were the most cordial of those I’ve encountered so far in the US, and they were also routing everyone without exception through the porno scanners. The female agent who moshed my lady bumps and said my corduroy shirt with metal snaps and the way my shirt underneath wrinkled up made the scan look suspicious. In Amsterdam they’d just moshed my bumps (and more thoroughly) without comment. If every air traveler gets scanned without exception, I have less problem with it, although I must say that getting used to being nuked and groped makes it seem normal, which is likely the effect that governments prefer. Easier for the shepherds and the sheeple. I also wonder about the after-effects of two x-ray exposures in one day and how this affects frequent fliers. It’s unusual for me to fly often, but I don’t even let my dentist take as many x-rays as dentists like to take!

Everyone on the flight from Nairobi had to produce passports in Amsterdam just to get INSIDE the airport. So we grumbled in many languages and shivered in the cold tube at the gate (10 F), babies wailing, while officials pored over our papers. They quietly led away one African girl with an American passport after probing it with a jeweler’s lens. Apparently there’s some passport forging going on in Kenya – or sharing of passports by similar -looking people, which I heard later is not an uncommon practice. Perhaps Amsterdam doesn’t trust security in Nairobi either, where I didn’t t get scanned or patted down because they don’t have porno scanners yet, but do have regular metal detectors and x-ray conveyors at every terminal door just to get inside the airport. I think most people don’t bother going in if they’re not flying, or maybe are not even allowed inside. Then you do a second check at your flight gate. Sometimes they pat people down – one of our SLS group was patted down at the tiny airport near Lamu Island, but patting down doesn’t happen nearly as often as in the US and the EU.

To get on the flight TO Memphis FROM Amsterdam, every passenger was allowed into the flight gate one person at a time, with the ropes shut again after each entry. Agents conducted personal interviews before allowing passengers through the metal detectors and scanners. I’d not experienced any personal interviewing before a flight, just during the standard Customs interviews upon entering a foreign county or returning to the States. Agents want you to assure them that you’ve packed your own luggage and that no one’s had an opportunity to tamper with it. They examine the new luggage claim tags that they affix to your e-boarding passes closely. They want to know what electronic items you’re carrying. I’m told that’s a standard procedure for everyone, everywhere, but I never experienced this during my flight to the UK last fall or from the UK this fall.

I was also singled out at the gate in Memphis AFTER retrieving and re-checking luggage and going through the customs interview. They called me to the counter during the early boarding and I had to show my passport again though I was on homeland and was given a new boarding pass even though I already had one printed in Amsterdam. I felt as if tabs were kept on me at all times. Visiting Nairobi in particular and Kenya in general is suspect and seems to cause all manner of alarm and suspicion. My entry interview at customs was longer than some people’s. I saw a couple in Memphis with old Nairobi tags on their luggage as we came in and wondered if they experienced the same thing.

There was also much more concern about liquids in Amsterdam than three weeks before. There were frequent announcements about the 3-oz bottle limits over loudspeakers throughout my 7-hour layover. The fun part was meeting my daughter Puja’s flight from the US – she’s spending the holidays in Wales and our paths fortuitously crossed in Amsterdam! She was quite a bit more interested in helping the cute guy from Zurich find his gate and in calling the cute boy waiting for her in Wales than in talking to mom, though!

There was an annoying / reassuring – ? – number of armed security people cruising the Amsterdam and the Memphis airports (which, by the way, is filled with the mouth-watering scent of barbecue and soul food). In Kenya, you see too-young, skinny soldiers with AK-47s wandering about, sometimes even on the streets, but dapper-looking, older airport police carry only brass-tipped canes, no heat.

The flight to LAX seemed to take only about 15 minutes because even though I usually can’t sleep on flights and squirm in my uncomfortable economy seat like a toddler, I was dead to the world the entire time. No wonder, as the coming home process took 48 hours in real time even though it appears to take only 24 as you gain time flying westward.

In the throes of this time-warp, all I have to say is, “joy to the world because it sure needs some!”

Friday, 24 December 2010

All Good Things Must End


Why? Just because. That's the rule.
Three weeks is a long time to be away, so I’m finding that the end of my literary adventures at 2010 SLS Kenya are as much sundog as jellyfish. Sometimes it’s just time to go home.
If you’ve stumbled on this blog by happenstance and haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m talking about, you’ll have to refer to my first two entries for explanation. But don’t let me write down to you, dear audience – I know you’re quite capable of extrapolating what I’m talking about.
Anyway, this isn’t so much about partings’ sweet sorrows or anything else for that matter. This post is more like a grabbag – what the British call a rattlebag – of sundry thoughts thunk while I’m sitting in the lobby of the Kivi Milimani Hotel near downtown Nairobi waiting for the bus that will take most of our group to the Jomo Kenyatta airport for our evening flights. Many of us are going to Amsterdam via KLM and then to various points in the US and Canada and others are heading to London or Dubai or Turkey and then ditto.
My thoughts are probably a rattling grab bag because I'm looking at a traditional Christmas tree and Christmas lights framing a large picture window opening onto a bright tropical garden. The dichotomy is startling. At least Nairobi's big, fancy, four-story mall - YaYa, I think they call it - is decked out with clever palm tree Christmas trees. I sort of like local adaptation to Christmas rather than playing it out European-style with snowflakes that no one living on the equator has ever seen before .
In essence, I’m killing time, a curious concept, since we native English speakers talk about time in the same vernacular that we talk about money. And we don’t kill money, oh no we don’t. Never. Not ever. Sometimes money burns holes in our pockets or we waste money, but we never, never cause it harm, even when we have to stretch it. In addition to spending time pleasantly or unpleasantly, we can also save it and waste it. I much prefer the term “passing time”, so I don’t know why I mentioned killing it in the first place.
This is just the way the mind runs when a writer is looking for something to write about. In essence, this is just chatter, a draft, and probably not a very good one, because I’m not sure I have a point. But at least this is the Winter Solstice and the day - December 21 - feels like a positive one, which may be a good omen, since there is also a lunar eclipse, the first one falling on the Winter Solstice in several centuries,. This may or may not matter in any big way unless you note what happened historically during that same configuration in the past, and know how this event is situated within the parameters of your personal astrological transits. At any rate, an eclipse falling on a Solstice can make for some intense energy, but so far things feel sort of pleasant, cushy, and leaning toward good will toward all men. Sundog, in other words.
You might be wondering if I’ve had any other airline encounters. Oh, the jellyfish swam in hordes when my daughter’s afternoon flight to Paris / Birmingham, England was cancelled due to winter weather early on the morning of Sunday, December 19. When I e-mailed and then called with the not-so-good news, she threatened to go back to bed and never, ever get out. But when Air France / KLM told her she was lucky to be rescheduled in two days because they’d rescheduled some unlucky passengers in 5-6 days out, she sat up and took notice. Maybe now that she's safely in Wales, it’ll snow again and she’ll have her shortened holiday lengthened the free way. Maybe the weather jellyfish is really a sundog for some of us. Better than crashing into a snowdrift, at least. 
I must apologize to my son, because I now have the full story on his misadventures in Dublin. His adolescent head wasn't turned by the lures of food or drink or even cute babes. He did try to check in for his flight five hours ahead, as soon as he arrived, and was told he couldn't do it until a certain time in the afternoon, and then spent his British pounds on a phone top-up to call for help when the airline messed up his already purchased baggage fees and flight changes, and subsequently made him miss his flight. They couldn't seem to be bothered with the receipts that showed them paid, or the rules posted online that say a guitar is a free personal carry-on.
Sometimes apologies can turn jellyfish into sundogs. This is a pretty good thing. The lovely Irish airline can make this situation right by refunding the overpayments and apologizing for their errors. The poor kid didn't get anything to eat for a long time when his international flight arrived over two hours late in New York City - the passengers were given a hotel and restaurant voucher, but the restaurant closed five minutes after passengers arrived at the hotel and was still closed when they had to leave at 3 AM for the next flight. And you know they don't serve anything but water and peanuts between JFK and LAX, for whatever perverse reason. This is a long flight. The sundog sorta went dim over America, but he was glad to finally head home, empty stomach and all.
That's about all we can do when things are not so good - just be glad they're not any worse. May as well not tempt those purveyors of jellyfish and sundogs lest you get too many of one or another! Just keep swimming, swimming, strumming!


Photo by Kate Robinson, 2009

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Suffering of Offspring

I’m just a garden-variety writer and this blog isn’t necessarily all about chronicling the miseries of life in Samsara from a vaguely Buddhist viewpoint.
I write about anything that comes to mind. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction. I even do hard research sometimes. I call most of this scribbling “writing to discover”.  Self-discovery, discovery of how things work, and why they work that way.
But today the gosh darn wheel of life turns and the suffering continues. Jellyfish, jellyfish, jellyfish.
I’m really not liking jellyfish right now. It’s harder to stay calm when your tender young offspring are involved.

Let’s just say that an unnamed airline in Ireland that seems to have a rather large volume of complaints helped to cause my son to miss his flight from Dublin to LAX yesterday.
I’m much more likely to eat another bowl of brown rice and chant Om when circumstances are "acts of God", so to speak - natural calamities  or karmic circumstances that feel so inevitable that you agree to submit to them. I'm also more chanty when circumstances don’t lead to undue debt, dementia, or death. Clearly, I have to work on this attachment and aversion.
I’m especially relieved when jellyfish days are not caused by some volatile mixture of airline malfeasance and adolescent inexperience.
It seems that said airline is all confused by the fact that all extra baggage and flight change fees were paid ahead or presumed to have been, according to my recent contacts with said green airline, who, rather than use common sense and check their own records or contact the person who made the reservation - moi - and then proceed, decided instead to provide illogical, jellyfish customer service.
My teen-aged son may have also contributed to his own jellyfish moment by not knowing how to be assertive. He may also have not have checked in on the stroke of his arrival from England, thinking his five-hour layover allowed him PLENTY of time to burn the petty pounds burning in his pocket because they’d no longer be good in America.  He’s also still young enough to be hungry often and /or attracted to spending his booty on culinary delights. I am not as clueless as my offspring think I am.
So off he went to a hotel, courtesy of a kind family in Wales who delivered him first thing yesterday morning to the Birmingham, England airport. Not a bit of the drama sounded sundog - it was all a tangle of phone calls and scanned documents and e-mail.

My son could have taken a train up the lovely coast of Wales and then a ferry over to Dublin for his flight home, but  dear old Mom – moi again – thought it would be easier and less confusing to fly in and fly out of Dublin. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything. Life is getting to the point that I’m more amazed when things go right than when they go wrong.
To make a long story short, dear reader, a few hours ago I got an e-mail from the kind angel lady in Wales who says it’s snowing in Ireland. So far, Belfast is affected. Then another that says Dublin is probably not affected. So far, so good. But my offspring may not be charging his cell phone, because no one can reach him.
My mind is grinding its gears  – is he getting where he needs to be? If the weather turns suddenly, how many more nights in a hotel and how many restaurant meals does this mean?  Maybe none, if I’d just stay in the present with the facts. Dublin’s weather is milder than Belfast weather, if I’m not mistaken.
I just wanted my son’s cutesy little toes that took 9 months to create treading earth at LAX just after midnight this morning. Home safe and all that. It’s rather jellyfish in itself to try and make sense of these things when you’re also abroad. The 2010 SLS Kenya conference and the Kwani Litfest is winding up this weekend and I leave Nairobi on Tuesday. This is sad but expected. Jellyfish and sundog, just like everything else.
But I diverge.
Meanwhile, my other young-un will make a trip via LAX - Paris - Birmingham, England, and then on a train to Aberystwyth, Wales just prior to my homecoming and just after her brother arrives home. Two words: young love. Do not attempt to get between an adolescent female and the object of her desire.
So my small family is sort of zigging and zagging at loose ends around the Atlantic this week, which feels sort of sundog and adventurous on one hand, but is starting to feel suspiciously jellyfish and expensive. Which is to say, those not-so-good dualistic thoughts are kicking in and I’m having trouble extricating myself from them as I examine the situation with no-so-good imaginary fears and habitual thought patterns. 
But then, that’s what mothers do. We worry. We fret. We turn sundogs into jellyfish with little provocation. It’s a bad habit, really. My own mother irritates me terribly with her jellyfish notions and worries. It’s a waste of energy. Things don’t happen until they happen and WHEN they DO happen, it’s really only for a moment and then that dismal moment becomes a thing of the past.
If we’re really working those sundogs, then our minds are more like water than ice. In other words, we don’t offer our minds and emotions to those stingy, poison tentacles over and over. We acknowledge the not-so-niceness of the jellyfish moment and distance ourselves from it as much as possible. We move on.
This is not to belittle anyone’s horrible suffering, because there is plenty of horrible suffering in this city and on this continent, and every city and continent in the world, traumatic circumstances that are extremely difficult to explain or to grapple with. These jellyfish require lots and lots of compassion from other beings and the focus of our own self-compassion as well as compassion from the victim for the perpetrators of these horrible sufferings. You could call this sundog energy. Buddhists call it bodhicitta.
But that’s another story. Well sort of. I really am trying to grasp how the above-mentioned airport employees were having a not-so-good day themselves, but also reminded how airlines seem to be getting away with poorer and poorer service just because there is both a practical need for security and an insatiable and impossible-to-satisfy need for security that can never be met. Not on a public level nor on a personal one.
We just need to remember that anticipating imagined painful moments is unproductive. And when we do get stung by jellyfish, we don’t have to replay the cusp of that moment over and over. Not delving into brain-freeze allows room for more sundogs to happen. It’s all about using discernment and wisdom.
Sundogs will shine again. The only predictable thing about the universe is change.
If today's post sounds repetitive, it probably is. I’m yakking at myself, trying to salve my anxiety. I'm waiting for that sundog change, dammit!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

It All Started with a Jellyfish Day

If you read this far without blanching, it's a good bet you're either my friend or you're wondering what the hell a jellyfish day is.

I had a snappy answer for your question; in fact, I wrote a really snappy essay in the summer of 2009 after a particularly pointed jellyfish day launched me into a jellyfish week, a jellyfish month, and finally, a jellyfish season. Then I came to my senses, got creative, and turned my jellyfish into *deep thought, sound of seconds ticking by* ... oh, yes, into SUNDOGS.

If you're still with me, dear reader, you're probably a bit anxious and would like me to stop rambling and enlighten you about my unorthodox use of jellyfish and sundogs. Plus, explain what they have to do with days or any passage of time, for that matter.

I could explain this much better if only the previously mentioned essay weren't tumbling around the hard drive of a boxed-up desktop computer. It languishes unread, not in My Docs, but in a sent e-mail and simultaneously soars around cyberspace in a student blog not accessible to the browsing public on the site of a college I no longer attend, AND whose username and password is probably long-defunct.

Oh, how I love imagining your white knuckles and your throbbing pulse, dear reader!

Get on with it, you say?!

Jellyfish are fascinating creatures, of course, exotic but kind of squishy and not generally nice to touch. I find the creature to be an apt metaphor for the not-so-good moments (or days) that we - the human race, not just writers - either dismiss, tolerate, or meditate upon, hoping to discover some glimmer of gratitude about them.

These attitudes are probably better than drowning our sorrows in a pint or two of something (especially of creamy Welsh bitters, my recently discovered favorite) or even worse, wrangling with the business end of a firearm, rope, razor blade, or narcotic bottle.

It helps to understand this jellyfish thing by thinking in shades of gray; that is, to see life's ups and downs as not-so-good and pretty good.

This takes off the conceptual and dualistic pressure to experience life as INCREDIBLE, FANTASTIC, or even REALLY GREAT, and softens the frequent blows of what Buddhism calls "the suffering of change", otherwise known as WTF moments. In other words, the not-so-good days, AKA jellyfish.

I can hear your fingernails tapping against your keyboard or desktop, so let me rush on to sundogs...

While I wrote the first draft of this entry, I was in the air on a Delta flight from LAX to Detroit - sorry, forgot the airport code - (NO, don't click that mouse!) - and when I glanced down at the scrolllllllingggg Earth below, we were somewhere over the Rockies, sort of a big, rumpled brown duvet with lots of snow on it, the clearly plowed roads etched deep and black as opposed to the fine, light tracery of roads that had not.

All right, sundogs, dammit.

Anyway, by some miracle of Earth tilt, angle of sun, and atmospheric conditions, a wonderful, perfectly circular sundog - a rainbow - appeared somewhere between the jet's 35,000-foot altitude and the ground. BINGO - my jellyfish day turned to sundog!

The day had promised to be sundog even though I had to get up at 4 a.m. for a 5:15 a.m. LAX shuttle pick-up. It still felt pretty sundog even while I checked my luggage and meandered into the security line, because  I was on my way to Nairobi, after all. Plus, Cali is pretty culturally diverse and so it's not so bad to stand in long lines and people-watch. You never know when the conversation next to you will be in Farsi, Hindi, Cantonese or maybe even Romanian. This helps to pass the time.

But then I noticed the TSA security man, an old guy, THE DECIDER, staring at me from across a border of ropes and machines.

BINGO! Even before sunrise, the odds of my sundog day turning into a jellyfish day were about 99.99% to .01%.

I suddenly felt cranky. Since I knew I wasn't hiding explosives, boxcutters, or even bed bugs - but I did still have post-nasal drip and a cotton-headed feeling from getting 5 (yes five) immunizations to protect myself and Africans from the scourges of yellow fever, typhoid, and three other dreadful (aka jellyfish) diseases.

I look away, toss my stuff into bins on the conveyor belt and emerge somewhere near the aforesaid decider, whose eyes are still locked on me like I'm the only possible terrorist in a sea of humanity that is breaking tide, shoeless and sans metal, on the shore of his decisions. He channels me from the people metal detector into the no-man's land between the lines and in front of broken scanners, and my required - not requested -patdown is history. That's another story.

When sundogs suddenly morph into jellyfish, it's not fair to throw oneself into a tizzy like a two-year-old. That would sort of be like having dualistic thoughts of good and bad days, something that keeps you reincarnating endlessly in Samsara, a questionable kind of place with six realms in which Earthly life MIGHT be the best, because you can only reach enlightenment from a human body.

However, dualistic thought is not allowed in the quest for equanimity, which results in enlightenment if you get really, really slick at the pretty good and not-so-good thing and don't break any other of the 9,999 rules.

Anyway, by this standard of equanimity, you simply note change, keep breathing, and roll with it. No difference between jellyfish and sundogs.

It's sort of like when you finally get through security and on the plane and settle in for what seems like a thousand hours, but not only are you the sole passenger on the plane to get a patdown, you're also the only one who didn't get a headset and so you can't hear any of the movies or music.

Breathe. You just make do. Compromise. Like how you can form an opinion but not kill yourself and other people over it when you don't get all clingy about it.

Compromise is a jellyfish verb that turns jellyfish into sundogs. I really like the verb improvise better. It's more sundog, playful and serene.  If you observe yourself, your thoughts, words, and deeds as if you're an actor doing improv, that's half the awareness battle.

Life is a comedy and then a drama, and sometimes it morphs into a thriller or a fantasy or even a damn horror flick, but one thing is guaranteed: it will never, ever be what you want it to be all of the time, so you may as well kick back and watch the jellyfish and sundog show.

And enjoy both, because no matter what, aren't we really sundog even when the day goes jellyfish?