Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Causes are not reasons

One of my routine practices when I first wake is to lie in bed, not open my eyes or talk and try to reclaim whatever was there from the night. Sometimes that's pleasant and sometimes upsetting, but I am one who believes the night can provide solutions for the day -- if we listen. Is it our subconscious or a spirit guide or...? Who can say from where such images and words come. I should be more conscientious about writing these things down in a dream journal but to be honest, I am not. With a really strong dream, I will but otherwise, I let them go and most likely lose opportunities to see patterns.

This morning, I woke with the words-- causes are not reasons. My first thought on it was the usual-- from where'd that come? There was no dream with it. The words at first didn't seem connected to my day. My next thought was that most would consider those two words interchangeable.

After a few cups of coffee and breakfast, I've thought more on it and decided where words have meanings and the dictionary usually tells them to us, we can also assign our own nuances-- which works as long as we only talk to those in agreement with us or where we have first explained our meanings.

I considered what those words mean to me and why they are not the same. My definitions are: Cause is what. Reason is why. If you want to reverse them, that's fine with me; but the essential thought is that to see what is happening does not mean we know the why of it. Often we are bombarded by the causes of things but with no clue what the reason was behind them. Likewise excuses are not reasons.

Examples: Immediate cause of being fat is eating too much food. Reason might be more complex from hormonal imbalances, metabolism changes, to emotional needs not being filled. The cause of our barn going down was the wood was rotten, had insect damage and the roof was far too dangerous to be worked on-- physical elements and all very biological. The reason went further back. Its value was mostly aesthetic and the cost of repair far exceeded any economic value. When we bought the place, its prior uses had already planted the seeds for its eventual destruction.

For our personal lives, looking at what is happening is beneficial to a point but more important is to go to the reason behind it.

Was that the meaning of those words I woke with? Did they even have meaning? I am sure some would say they didn't. For me, I can't say for sure, but it's what came to me this morning. The main lesson to me is what it has been-- don't lose those first morning thoughts.

(Addendum: I thought my piece here was finished when I posted it --until I got the call from the doctor about my skin biopsy from last week which turned out to not be totally good news-- actinic keratosis which is benign but potentially precancerous and will require my going into another doctor to have the rest of my skin looked at for others. Sooooo looking at the words for this morning-- the cause is not the reason... I would say I need to be looking for some emotional reasons for why maybe this happened-- warnings to me about attitudes of mine.. Oh yeah and be in the direct sunlight less.... that goes back to the cause part... dang!)


Parapluie said...

Thinking about what the night brought you before opening your eyes in the morning sounds like such a good idea that I will try that too. Also it is good that you are having your skin looked at. I am sure there is much that can be done to protect your skin so you can enjoy the outdoors too.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I really like this practice, too, though I had "forgotten" of late to do this. I really enjoyed your essay on causes are not reasons; it reminded me of why I loved all my philosophy classes so much. I awoke with an extremely disturbing dream which I will post to S.O. later.

Both entries about the barn--the falling of the barn itself--and then the photos of the animals and their perceptions--were incredible metaphors for life. I see you writing something akin to Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac--using your farm life as the basis.

Paul said...

Yes it is an interesting idea.

Mary Lou said...

I often lie in bed after I wake up, but usually there is a cat or three laying on top of me, and I can't breathe. I might try reflecting on the night. But usually I am awake all night. DOes it work when you reflect on the MORNING?

Rain said...

One of my reasons for lying quietly, Mary Lou, is my 3 cats. If they know I am awake, they want attention-- pet me, open the door, we are out of food and on and on.

Parapluie said...

Reflecting on what the night brought might be dreams but could also be what awake thoughts I had. When I am awake now I think of colors. Sometimes I list them by name. Other times I color a grid - simple grids like horizontal bands of big, small and smallest areas. It helps to think of colors in context. Last night I thought of flames and opals. I really feel wonderful surrounded by color and usually do not get distracted with other thoughts. In the morning before I get up I ask myself if I should paint my last night colors.
I must confess though this morning I had to get up early and couldn't exercise this delightful beginning of the day. Thanks for the idea of doing this before opening your eyes. Even though I don't have pets, I think the experience will be more pure.

Rain said...

that's beautiful, parapluie. some believe that colors can heal and likewise minerals because of their colors. You might instinctively, because you are an artist, be also doing something that is very healthy. Sure seems that way to me.

w said...

Sorry to hear about the keratosis. I too had one that was benign but possibly precancerous... several years ago. The doc got it all and it never came back or popped up elsewhere. Yet. May you be that fortunate.

If we think about people and what they do in terms of cause and reason, and then add the 3rd dimension of motive, we have a circle in a spiral in an ever spinning wheel... like the windmills of your mind.

robin andrea said...

This is so interesting Rain. I'm going to have to think about it for a while before I commit a real comment. I've thought about the difference between cause and reason. I don't think I've reached a conclusion yet. I love what you do with the transition between night and morning. It is a lovely practice.

I am signing this with my real first and middle names, I am the blogger formerly known as Rexroth's Daughter.

Rain said...

that's encouraging to hear, w, thanks for telling me... and I like robin andrea, very pretty but then rexroth's daughter was filled with imagery too-- kind of like the title for a book *s*