My buddy Manuel sent me these questions as part of the Interview Meme that’s been going around. Here are my answers. By the way HAPPY BIRTHDAY MANUEL!!!!!!!!!
1. How did your views on Spirituality manifest?
I have always felt like I was in the presence of something greater, call it God, or Source, or whatever you like. I was raised as a Catholic, but never got any kind of spiritual feeling at religious instruction, or when going to church.I asked “too many questions” and annoyed the instructors. So I stopped going to any kind of organized religious activity and simply prayed/meditated on my own.Then, at age 34, I was diagnosed with cutaneous scleroderma, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and undifferentiated connective tissue disease (these are all manifestations of an immune system that attacks my own body’s cells instead of just germs and other invaders). I experienced some physical limitations due to these disorders that required me to rest and stop working for awhile. This enabled me to have lots of time to ponder philosophy and spirituality. I read a lot of books about spirituality and found that I was very hungry to learn more and more about metaphysics, quantum physics, and comparative religion. As a result, I have gratitude for this illness. It has and does cause inconvenience and some pain, but it has allowed me to evolve my thinking to an incredible extent, which has made my life and all personal relationships enjoyable.
2. Birds? Really, why should someone get a bird instead of a dog or cat?
Birds, or I should specify parrots, are the most underestimated pets ever. Some people think they just sit on their perches all day and that’s it. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Birds are intelligent (African Gray parrots have been estimated to have the intelligence of a 4 year old child), communicative, and extremely interactive with their humans. Not only do they speak, but I am convinced through my own experiences with my own pets that they speak in context; that is they put together words with actions and say words to accomplish specific goals. For instance, my most beloved pet who died three years ago always said “bye bye” whenever I started putting my shoes on. He also said “Here Kitty, Kitty” whenever a cat walked by the window. My bird Gizmo makes kissing noises whenever my hubby and I share a hug. They can also be quite cuddly, believe it or not!! They’re most often affectionate and loyal to their owners, and if separated from them, remember their people years later on sight. They are amazing animals, and once you’ve had one, you won’t want to live without one.
3. I like top 5s. What are the top 5 books you have read?
Number 1 in my top 5 is the Isaac Asimov book “The Robots of Dawn” (I have read this book many, many times and it has a prominent place in my bookcase). I also like “The Ladies No.1 Detective Agency” by Alexander McCall Smith (it’s a series and I like all of them, but let’s count them as 1 book here). “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri gets the number 3 slot – I could not put this book down once I picked it up! “He, She and It” by Marge Piercy ranks at number 4. Rounding out the list is “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert – a wonderful book about a woman on sabbatical who learns about the spirituality evident around the world.
4. Do you get tired of living in SoCal?
When I was younger, I very much wanted to move to a less crowded area (my dream at the time was Oregon or Washington state). The traffic here in So Cal was and is difficult. But at this time, I can say that I never plan to leave Southern California. I love the sunshine, lack of humidity, lack of snow and extreme cold, and I really like the people here. The sun seems to have an effect on people’s attitudes. Maybe it’s me, but I have favorable encounters with everyone I meet. When I lived in the New York City area, I did not find relationships to be as enjoyable (maybe I’ve changed since then too).
5. What inspires you to blog?
I blog because I enjoy writing, first off. Second, it’s easier to write if you know someone is reading your stuff and sharing “mindspace” with you for even a moment. And third, I really like the people I have met through blogging. Even though I have never physically met these people, I feel like they are real friends and I laugh with their funny stories and cry with their tears. Some of the people I would like to acknowledge are James and Nicola (both of whom were essential in getting me started in blogging!), Manuel, Seb, Les, Randi, Sharon, Lyndon, and Rhys. Some new buddies are Icedmocha, The Naked Soul, and Pentropy. All of these people enrich my life in different ways. If I ever stopped blogging, it’s the people I would miss the most!!!!!