Just wait until you see how I can connect those three topics! The first is more funny. Probably just to me, but it makes me chuckle. I like to do puzzles: logic puzzles, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, anacrostic puzzles, any word puzzle (except Seek & Find), or just any type puzzle, really, but this is about crossword puzzles in particular. Sometimes the definitions they give are interesting, to say the least. A lot of them make me realize how difficult it would be to learn the English language - maybe any language. I've started keeping some of the more off-the-wall definitions in a little book. One definition really had me going, though, and it wasn't until I'd figured out all the words around and through that particular answer that I figured it out. Anyway, the definition was "Depression in a can". Okay, well, coming from my background, my first thought actually was, "They can 'can' that? Who would want to 'can' depression, let alone buy it once it was 'canned'?" I couldn't get past that. You've probably already figured it out. Anyway, I about fell off the toilet (sorry, that's where I do crossword puzzles most of the time) when the answer was revealed. Ready? The answer was 'dent'. Well, depression can put a 'dent' in a lot of things I've discovered, but a can?
What bothered me after I got over the humiliation of not immediately knowing the answer to that clue was how I literally got so hung up on the one channel of thought. My experiences immediately gave me not only a definition of depression but an emotional and somewhat spiritual knowledge of what it is and then all I could see was all of that 'stuff' pouring out of a can. I can hear your moans now. Anyway, that leads me to http://www.pandora.com/. It's a wonderful music website where you can type in a music genre, artist or song title and it not only plays the particular stuff you selected, but it also pulls various other music that they feel fits into the same type as what you specifically selected. I've discovered a new artist (not 'new' as in 'never been heard before' but 'new' as in 'I've never heard him before') - Joshua Kadison. I typed his name in and the website creators don't allow me to get 'stuck' on just him. They've pulled music from other artists that somewhat mimic or shadow the type of songs he sings, which has led me to discover several other 'new' artists who make me feel good with the words they sing and the notes they play. Artists and songs I wouldn't have discovered if I'd allowed myself to get stuck on Joshua Kadison alone, like I got stuck on one definition of depression and couldn't move beyond that.
This station does something interesting, though, because I'm not willing to pay for a membership. I'm allowed only 40 hours of free music a month. Since I listen to it constantly at work, 40 hours is really not much. Also, I guess to irritate me into buying a membership, every hour the music stops. I have to pull up the website and there is a little box that says, "We try not to play to an empty room" and then a button that says "I Am Still Listening" which I have to push in order to continue listening for another hour. Why doesn't the Holy Ghost come with a button like that?
I'm sure He doesn't like 'whispering into a deaf ear' any more than pandora.com likes 'playing to an empty room'. There are plenty of times when I could sure use a little nudge - total silence from pandora works well - and then the chance to regain my bearings, push a button, and return to listening. That's an area of my life I definitely need to work on . . . which brings me to a mow lawning experience I had last summer. "Mow lawning" because that's what it used to get called every so often by the kids when they were little and "last summer" because I've been a slacker this summer and haven't helped with the mowing as much. I was reminded of this experience during a conversation I was having with Carter this evening. He had asked if he could help me mow the lawn tomorrow.
I was noncommittal because the grass has grown so long, I explained, and therefore you have to walk so slow. Carter didn't understand why you had to walk slow. In my infinite black hole of visual explanations, I came up with the comparison to eating. If you eat your food too fast, you choke and have to eventually spit out your food (or have someone perform bone-breaking procedures which force you to hurl it out). The lawn mower was like that, I continued. If you feed it grass too fast, it chokes and either stalls or starts spitting grass out the sides. (I didn't want to go into how I have to stop the mower and reach my hand down there to dislodge the stuck grass sometimes - don't need him thinking he can do that, too). He thought that was pretty funny, though. Maybe it was the sound effects I attached to the visual???? Anyway, when mow lawning a lawn that has grown particularly long, I have to listen carefully to the machine I'm feeding grass to because there is an ever so slight shift in the sound of the engine when it starts 'choking' on the grass.
I specifically remember the time I was mowing last summer when I realized how carefully I was listening to the mower - for the warning sounds of an impending mess - in hopes of avoiding the mess altogether by dumping the bag before it 'choked'. I wondered then - and I still wonder now - why I don't listen that carefully and concentrated in my every day life for warning sounds of impending messes that, quite possibly, could be alleviated? Maybe if I 'dumped my bag' to Heavenly Father a little more frequently, making use of the Atonement He has so freely given me, I wouldn't find myself choking and flapping my arms as if flying (Amber will understand that visual), hoping someone sees and helps me out.
So, see, not getting stuck on one definition on a crossword puzzle leads to a music station that doesn't let me get stuck on one artist but also requires me to acknowledge I'm listening which leads to mow lawning where I need to listen to the mower to alleviate choking. Makes sense, right???