Healthy Journey – Appetite

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I’m going on a healthy journey, a path that I call “The Journey to Genkijima.” 

I drew a map that showed a path to this mythical, but still very important island, the island of my own good health.  “Genki” is a Japanese word meaning, among other things, “energetic good health.”  “Jima” means island, similar to “Shima.”  It’s not just about being healthy, but being vigorous, positive.  You can see the map I drew here.  I placed gold and silver star stickers for every pound I lost.  I’ve set up different landmarks on the map and the destination, in my mind, looks a lot like the Fall Forest in Horse Isle 3.

At this point I’ve gotten past the lighthouse at One-Derland, and am crossing Bravery Bay.  I had to put more spots on the map to make a longer path because I realized that I should really end up at a hundred and forty pounds, not a hundred and fifty.

That’s been going pretty well actually, even after quarantine, and I’m sixty pounds lighter than when I started.  I still have forty-five or so to go but I already feel so much better.  My blood pressure is way down and my resting heart rate is sixty!

In any case, now that I’ve seen some real success over the long term, I’m going to start sharing some of the strategies that have worked for me.

So today’s topic is appetite.

Big topic! But it can really help if you learn to manage it. Since everybody knows the standard tips about using caffeine or drinking lots of water or eating lots of fiber, I want to go beyond that. As far as I’ve been able to find, appetite has three major causes.

Actual need for fuel/nutrients
Gut biota, number and types
Emotional and mental habits

I’ll take these one by one and show how I have been able to manage my appetite by keeping these things in mind. I have had no uncontrolled binges for about six months now and honestly… I haven’t gone that long without an uncontrolled eating session since I was maybe seven or eight years old, when I wasn’t in charge of how much I ate. I freakin’ love food. Always have. Especially sugar and carbs. So how did I manage half a year without any binges, and without going off the rails after a holiday meal?

Need for fuel/nutrients

A person will have massive cravings if they aren’t eating enough or if the food they are eating doesn’t give them the nutrients they need. If you are missing major nutrients that your body needs, you’ll run into problems, so I try to get a good range of foods to make sure that I am getting the right kinds of fuel. Also I’m eating more and more whole foods because they are likely to have nice little added bonus vitamins and trace minerals that other foods may not.

Gut biota

Increasing amounts of research is saying that the gut bacteria that helps us digest our food has a massive impact on what we crave or even want to eat. The good news is, you can change the population in your gut by persistently eating more and more of the foods that are better for you. Within a week or so, you can see some pretty big changes. For example, now lentils seem really good to me. I’ve also noticed that eating some fiber and prebiotics (the food that survives to the intestines and feeds the bacteria) can make me crave other foods. For example, I started off by cutting way back on sugar and eating more apples and veggies I liked, such as carrots, broccoli, that sort of thing. Before long I was really loving the idea of eating lentils, spinach, red cabbage, whole wheat, and more. Healthier foods actually tasted better to me because of this population change. Also my sugar cravings backed off so they weren’t so insane.

Example of an effect of this change: I thought I’d stashed some gourmet jellybeans for my birthday. My birthday was a “holiday” so I could eat sugar if I wanted to. These were some wicked nice jellybeans, bought at Trader Joe’s, made in Ireland. Yet, because I wasn’t craving sugar nearly as much, I was able to realize that they were left at work, where I couldn’t get to them, and I was able to go “it’s okay, I won’t have them” and continue on with my day. Previously I would have obsessed about it.

Emotions/habits

Our emotions can have a huge impact on our success. Most of us know that. For example, if there is a lot of self sabotage lurking behind the scenes, we might put ourselves in situations that could hamper our success. Habits are a huge part of this too. For every old habit we have, we need to replace it with a new habit. Habits can definitely cause us to be hungry at certain times of the day, and emotions can cause false hunger as well. So we might really need to do some work on ourselves to get to the point where we are ready to gain that health we so richly deserve, and convince ourselves that the effort is really worth it.

Being in touch with what is going on inside us can help us think “I’m not hungry, I’m just bored” or “why don’t I go have a cuddle instead of that bag of chips? That’s what I really want.” Doing that can help you realize that our bodies actually do crave what’s good for them, but sometimes those cravings are harder to hear at first.

With that in mind, I found it really helpful to plan my meals around when I am least and most hungry, and plan the type of meal accordingly as well. For example, I am not all that hungry in the morning – unless I eat a carb-rich breakfast with little protein. At lunch I know hat I’m not usually that hungry either, when I’m busy with work. When I’m not, I get bored more easily and also want more food. I usually have a mid afternoon slump, around teatime, where I really need something to get me through. My spouse and I both like a big dinner, and sometimes I snack in the evenings.

With all that in mind, it works best for me if I do something like this:

Small breakfast, invariably including protein, and caffeine when I want it. No sugar in the caffeine, and carbs must be complex. Example: eggs, a protein bar, a whole wheat flatbread with lentils, or oatmeal with a scoop of PBfit and a couple ounces of blueberries, or pizza if that’s what we had the day before.

Lunch needs protein in it too, so I’ll do something like a protein bar (my go-to if I don’t know what else to have), eggs and veggies, avocado with toast or flatbread, green soup and flatbread, leftover chicken from the dinner before, one of my breakfast options, or something random like roasted chickpeas, or an apple, PBfit, and a beef stick. Once I get back to work I’ll start eating more salads, or maybe sooner provided I can keep them good long enough to finish the leafy greens.

Afternoon snack is handled nicely with a protein shake or an apple with PBfit.

Dinner can be any number of things. It might be pizza, hommade sushi, a cup of rice with chicken on top, soup, chili, whatever. I usually save enough calories from before that I can have a bit more for dinner. I try to add vegetables when I can, and when we have something like udon or other noodles I weigh them carefully and pick a better option like buckwheat soba or brown rice vermicelli. Or we might have rice and baked salmon or a burger and grilled corn. I allow more in the way of carbs at dinner, but still weigh carefully.

Snack might be a square of dark chocolate or maybe some wasabi peas, nothing big. I might have nuts or something like that but I weigh those carefully too. I have a secret weapon if I wake up hungry in the middle of the night or need something right before bed – nonfat cottage chese.

I think this illustrates how appetite tracking works. If I know when I am likely to be hungry, and when I am likely to be not hungry, I can plan ahead and balance things so I get what I need when I need it. I can also plan ahead so if I am unexpectedly hungry I can do something about it – like have a cup of hot tea, or a protein shake, or some cottage cheese for example. I try to make my supplemental snacks either calorie free, or high in protein. Though I eat a lot of low fat foods, I do have fat in my diet, usually in the form of avocado or salmon or nuts or something like that, not usually in condiments. Besides, I would rather spend my calories on protein or good carbs, given a choice.

Other tips that have helped me:

Aside from the above strategy, sometimes it helps for me to have some warm miso soup (about 40 calories) or some tea, whether herbal or caffeinated. The warmth in my stomach gives me that full, warm sensation I’m looking for as well as hydration. This is good for when I know I’ve had enough to eat but I still want a bit of a snack.

Find the healthiest version possible of your favorite foods and work them into your diet.

For example, I LOVE pizza, so I figured out how to make my own, which is not only tastier, but when I make it I can keep it to about 600 calories for two generously sized slices. That’s not only better than any other pizza you can buy at a pizzaria, it’s real pizza, not pita pizza or cauliflower pizza or anything like that. If you made those you could probably do way better than me on the calories. My pizza is a handmade crust where I weigh the flour so I know how much is going into each quarter pizza, with turkey pepperoni, reduced fat mozzarella, black olives, boneless skinless chicken breast, mushrooms, and tomato sauce. The reduced fat cheese and the turkey pepperoni help shave off fat but don’t really affect the taste all that much.

Another example is chocolate. Love the stuff. So I found squares that fit into my calorie counts and I eat them slowly. Dove Promises work pretty well for this and Ghiradelli squares all have the calories on the individually wrapped square.

PBFit has been nice for my peanut butter fix, I make an apple dip by mixing it with cinnamon and water. I also have a favorite brand of protein shake that is lower in calorie and includes some added vitamins.

Weighing food has helped train my eye so that I can more accurately estimate what a proper portion is. It’s a learning tool as much as it is a tool to help me know exactly what’s going into me.

Along with understanding appetite and what causes cravings, thinking of my food as a “budget” helps me out a lot. When I want a huge bowl of noodles I think “is this actually going to satisfy me or is this going to make me want more, when I’ve already reached my limit? What could I do to this so I still get my noodles but I’m better satisfied?” So I’ll cut my noodle portion in half and add veggies. Or I’ll think “this looks delicious but if I start eating it, is the normal portion really going to be worth it, when I’ll just want more and this other thing will be better for me?”

Understanding not only when we are hungry, but why, really helps when we’re trying to retrain ourselves. It can be the difference between steady success and yo-yo dieting. It can also make our journey a whole lot more comfortable!

Grill Meditations

When people discuss grilling, they talk about delicious food, low fat methods of cooking, good times with friends, being outdoors, methods of basting, foil wrapping, marinating, and more.

There’s something else that grilling can do for you.

It can be a few minutes of peace and quiet, where you can sit out in your yard or on your balcony, and just watch the world go by.

Never leaving a fire unattended means not running back into the house to do a bunch of things – the short waiting time reduces the temptation to do other activities – and it can form a little pocket of peace in your day.

If you use a manual timer (like I do) it can even be soothing.

So if you do grill, next time you throw something on the grate, take a few minutes to sit down with a cool beverage, breathe in and out slowly, watch the sky, and set down all your burdens.

You’ll be glad you did.

Disrupted by a thief

I rarely have anything stolen from me.  I can thank three factors.  Caution, luck, and until recently, not having anything of value to steal!  However, that changed recently.

I was at work, busily making a living, and someone decided to take advantage of that fact (and my inattention) by getting into my trunk.  My car hadn’t been locked that day.  My trunk is messy and not all that interesting, so the only thing convenient to grab was my emergency kit.

I learned a couple of things.  One, I rely on that kit quite a bit.

“Hey, do you have any glue?”

“Sure, it’s in my…. oh darn.”

“I need some duct tape.”

“No can do, not unless I restock.”

And so on.

As I was rebuilding the kit, I learned how disorganized the old one was, and realized most of the over the counter medications needed to be rotated anyway.

As I shopped, I had some fun imagining the thief opening the unassuming backpack.  What treasures are inside?  Electronics?  CDs?  Maybe medications?

Nope.  The first thing he’ll find is a big pack of Maxi pads.  They make great semi-sterile compression bandages.  And there are medications all right – aspirin, generic Benadryl, and some oh so exciting Dramamine.  Gauze, tape, glue, emergency candles, and more.

I learned a third thing by this experience.  You can put the different items of your emergency kit into gallon sized plastic bags, the kind that zip with a little plastic tab so they are easier to open and close.  Bandages can be in one, disinfectants in another, small tools in still a third, and so on.  things stay cleaner, more organized, and much easier to get to in an emergency.  I removed the outer packaging on the individual itemsBird of Paradise crop as well, which saved a great deal of space.

I also included a bottle of water, an ounce or so of beef jerky for protein, and some dried mangoes for quick energy.  The kit isn’t meant to sustain a person for days, but rather to get you home safely.  I sometimes have problems with low blood sugar, so having that small amount of provisions could make a big difference if I needed to function at my maximum.

Despite the expense, and the annoyance caused by this major disruption, I know that my kit is much more organized and complete than it was.  I’ve also changed where I park and I always lock my doors.

 

via Daily Prompt: Disrupt

Courage as you least expect it

Some people say that courageous people are never afraid.

Not true.  They are afraid all the time.

The difference between someone who is brave, and someone who is a coward, is that the brave person acts in spite of their fear, while the coward lets it win.

Courage is also seeing the truth, as it really is, rather than how we would want it to be.  It means not settling for the explanations that are given to us, but digging deeply, checking our own sources, and thinking critically about the result.   There are so many common misconceptions that would be seen through if more people had the courage to see clearly.

It takes courage to shout the truth – it takes more courage to speak it, politely and in a reasoned way.  More people need to pause, consider their words, and then speak only the truth rather than resorting to shadings or leaning on the common rhetoric.

Here is a post I did about courage that has some tips for overcoming fear if you, too, want to be brave.

After all, cowardice is not a life sentence.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Courage

Drunks, Extremists, and the New Year

The New Year is a great chance to make a fresh start.  We can take stock of what happened, look honestly at our mistakes, and think of ways to do better this time around.  It is definitely possible to change, despite what many people secretly believe, and one of the ways is to improve the way we have our conversations.

I’ve seen a huge tendency to use black or white thinking.  I’ve seen it in friends, the media, extremist groups of all kinds, my neighbors, and myself.  It’s poisonous and it’s how wars get started.  Here’s a little example of what I’m talking about.

Last night, my neighbor was playing his music loudly all day, and my least favorite kind.  It was the kind that brings back bad memories and I just don’t want to hear.  Yet, it was still at a volume that we could (kind of) ignore it, and it was New Year’s Eve after all, so we didn’t bother him about it.  We thought about blasting some Dio in retaliation but in the end didn’t even do that.

Then he decided to turn it up twice as loud on a song we couldn’t stand, which wasn’t helping our already growing headaches.  It was so loud that it was loud inside our house with the door closed.

Did we yell at him?  No.

My dear spouse stepped outside and asked him if he could please turn it down a LITTLE.  She was quite polite in both tone and wording.

He said “Happy fuckin’ New Year” in a nasty tone of voice, called her an asswipe, then turned it OFF.

First, you don’t call my wife an asswipe.  I’m proud of myself that I didn’t go out there and make things a lot worse with what I wanted to say and do.

She tried to make peace by saying “hey, you don’t have to be like that, I just asked you to turn it down a little.”  He told her angrily to go into the house and then griped loudly to his friends for the next half hour.  And blamed us for ruining all his fun.

This was from a guy who called himself a friend.

Now, his problem was the bottle.  And he’ll probably come over and apologize at some point, after enough reminding from his family.  However, the problem will happen again next time he drinks, and once again we’ll be the BAD people who ruin all his fun, and it’s for one reason.

An underlying attitude of extremism.  Black and white thinking.

If it’s not on loud, it’s off.  If I can’t have it all, I’ll have none.  If you’re not 100 percent into everything I am, you’re my enemy.

Take a look around and you’ll see this everywhere.  Wouldn’t it be better if we all took a more middle of the road approach?

 

Here are some exercises I’ll be trying to rid myself of this poisonous habit, and perhaps you’ll be interested to check them out too.  I’ve found them helpful whenever I’ve used them.

 

Remember that the person is not their behavior.  In the previous example, my neighbor acted like a complete boor.  However, despite my own impulses, I’m trying not to hate him, but rather only be disappointed in his behavior.  They are, after all two separate things.  He’s not a bad person, he’s a person who has some really unfortunate habits.

Take responsibility for your own actions.  You can’t control anyone else, so there’s no point in being angry about that, so work on yourself and let them take care of themselves.

Look for middle of the road solutions.  Even if no one else will, keep trying.  Eventually others will join you.

Take deep breaths and maintain perspective.  Maybe that world leader did something you didn’t like.  But there are other good things they did.

Give up hate.  Hate is bad for everybody.  It’s like taking poison.  And holding on to resentment is like taking poison in an attempt to hurt somebody else.

Always seek the middle road.  Things aren’t as extreme as they appear, the world is actually filled with gray areas.  Perspective helps you see that.

Avoid snap decisions or habitual actions.  This can be hard, but when you have an impulse to do something, stop, take one of those useful deep breaths and think – does this meet my goals?  Is it fair?  Is it right?  Is there a better way?

Don’t act based on emotion.  Our emotions rarely align with what we really want to do.

Remember to listen.  Let the other person talk and really hear what they are saying.  We couldn’t let our neighbor know that our request was reasonable because he had already decided what we were going to say, and was reacting to that instead of what we were really saying.

Keep your words soft and sweet in case you have to eat them.  After all, there might have been a misunderstanding.  You can always get nasty later if you have to.  But you can’t take back harsh words.

Keep on thinking.  Don’t let yourself act based on habit.

If you fail, try again right away.  It’ll get better.

 

Here’s to a bright New Year!

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Conversation

A Glorious way to dispel darkness – and muggers.

The days are getting shorter again.

Do you sometimes feel unsafe at night, or have to go through dangerous areas in the dark?  Do you want something to help protect you, but don’t want to have to deal with pepper spray, mace, or a weapon?  Would you like more options if you are ever attacked?

There’s a simple tool that is not only good for all those things, but is just handy to have for other reasons.  Best of all, you can take them anywhere, even into banks and office buildings!

I’m talking about a tactical flashlight.

You’re walking to your car after a hard day at work.  Your eyes are a bit bleary, your back hurts, and all you can think about is your favorite Netflix show that’s waiting for you at home.

You hear a sound from between a couple of cars.  Someone is there!

The light in the parking lot is bad – maintenance still hasn’t gotten to it.  But you know you aren’t alone.

Is Brad, the creep who kept texting his undying love even after you told him “not jus tno, but hell no” and blocked him?  Or is it the robber you’ve heard about at break, the one who’s been trying to get into cars?  Or is it just a buddy, trying to freak you out?

You don’t know.

Something jumped out of the dark at you.  You turn, bring your hand up.  Your thumb flicks the button at the base of your tiny flashlight, its intense beam pierces the night…

…revealing a stranger’s face, who is now bringing his hands up to shield his eyes from the blinding light.  You hear the clank as something heavy, maybe a tire iron?  hits the ground.  Taking advantage of the sudden distraction, you run back to the building, to call the police or maybe that tough chick who’s always well armed.

Tactical flashlights come in small versions, pocket sized, often with specially reinforced bezels so you can use them to make strikes if the bright flash of light isn’t enough to help you escape.

Look for one with 400 lumens or better Mine has different settings so you don’t use up the battery very fast if you don’t need the ultra-bright setting.  I like it a lot, it’s made by Fenixfire.  I bought it on sale of course but have been very pleased.  It looks kind of cool and lightsaber-y.

Whatever your choice in flashlight brands, look for a flashlight that is either rechargeable or uses rechargable batteries.  Immediately reject anything that uses AA or AAA batteries.  It won’t be powerful enough.  The kind that these flashlights use can be expensive, better to be able to recharge them.

Look for a flashlight that has a button on the tail cap rather than on the side.  If you are going to use it as a striking tool, this will come in handy.  Also avoid glass lenses unless they are tempered.  Also, if you ant something small, do your internet searching with the keyword “EDC.”  EDC, or EveryDay Carry flashlights have to be tiny and robust.

Here is an article all about tactical flashlights.  The most important thing is to note that you need to be prepared to move quickly.  Even the brightest light won’t hinder an attacker for long, you need to get out of the situation or fight back as quickly as possible.  However, a small, powerful flashlight can get you out of more than one sticky situation without permanently harming anyone…

… and they can be great to find things in the dark, too.

 

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/glorious

Gazelles may fall but Grunts continue

There’s an old concept in the military.  It’s a concept often held to by strong men and women doing dangerous jobs, but it’s just as valuable for people who live gentler lives.  Artists both of brush and pen benefit when they live by this.

It’s the concept of “being a Grunt.”

A Grunt may fall many times but always gets up again.  A Grunt doesn’t let anyone stop them from eventually reaching their goal, even if they are slow to get there.  A Grunt isn’t the best in the world, not at first, but they continue until they are.  A Grunt handles failure and knows it’s not the end.

By contrast, Gazelles are naturally gifted.  They pick things up quickly and they seemingly sail by obstacles, leaping high over them.  They apparently don’t have a care in the world.  Then, something gets in their way.  But since they don’t understand what to do when they fail, they give up.  It’s over.  Meanwhile, the Grunt keeps slogging on, slowly and steadily approaching their goal.

I was a Gazelle.  I’m trying to learn to be a Grunt.

When a painting doesn’t turn out the way I wanted, I’m trying to learn to do another till I’ve achieved my goal.  When a story or article fails, I work on it till it’s good.  I’m learning that failure is not the end, it’s just a bump in the road, and the key is to continue.  To keep going.

In losing weight, in gaining health, in art, in writing, in singing, in sports, at work, and everywhere, we want to be the Gazelle… that’s natural, but we should want to be the tireless, indomitable, persistent Grunt.

The greatest artists in the world have been Grunts…

winstonchurchill124653.jpg

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/continue/

Your Car’s Survival Kit

You don’t need to spend a bundle on a survival kit just to feel more secure as you are out and about.  Sure, there are a lot of things that would be nice to have but if you buy them bundled usually you also pay a bundle.  Better to head off to your local discount store such as Dollar tree.  Many of these items can be found there.  A cheap backpack (hit the before school sales) makes a convenient way to transport them.  A good first aid kit is also well organized and easy to get to.

In all cases, tailor your kit to where you are.  If you live in a cold area, include warm blankets and a bag of kitty litter to give you traction on ice.  If in a warm place, pack extra water, disposable cold packs, and sunscreen.  If your car is old and needs repair, pack an extra quart of oil.  Everyone should have jumper cables, a spare tire, a jack, and a lug wrench.

 

First Aid Kit

Band Aids – just a few large ones.  You don’t need a million tiny ones.  They can be cut to fit with your

Scissors, Knife, Tweezers – make sure they’re sharp

Antibiotic ointment like Neosporin, change once a year

Gauze pads

Tape, both duct tape and first aid tape

Feminine pads (like Kotex) they make a great semi-sterile dressing

Gloves to protect yourself from blood borne illnesses should you help someone

Pain and fever relief – Aspirin or Ibuprofen, avoid acetaminophen because of liver damage.

Benadryl gelcaps – for allergic reaction.

 

Survival Kit

A good knife – needs a strong blade that can be sharpened.

Means of making fire – such as matches, lighter, flint and steel, or burning glass.

Compass – never breaks, rarely fails.

Flashlight – LED type is best.

Extra batteries – change them once a year.

Water – at least a quart.

Energy bars – high quality ones that will last.  Cheaper than camping food.

Multitool – not required but great to have.

 

Many other things can be added to a survival kit depending on where you are and what you need.  Mine has rain ponchos for monsoon season and two small umbrellas.  Mine also has mylar blankets – they are good for a sun shade as well as for warmth.  Important in the place where I live!  I also have some instant cold packs in case I have to deal with a case of heat exhaustion.  You might want an Epi-pen if you’re allergic to bees.

I hope this gives a good framework to start your own survival kit!  Remember, it’s better to have a bad survival kit than none at all, and you can always improve as you go along.

Keep calm, be prepared.

 

via Daily Prompt: Survive

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/survive/

Be remembered – Make your Mark

Life is interesting. We each only have one at a time, and yet we all know people who waste theirs waiting for it to begin.  I certainly have!

When I was growing up, the formula seemed pretty simple. You grow up, learn about life in school, along with things you need to know like math and writing and social studies and history and all that. You go to college because going to college means you get a degree, and nobody gets a good job without a degree. You might get married. You might have kids. You get a succession of better jobs until you are doing more of the things you want to, then finally you start doing what you were really meant to, and when you retire you can relax all day doing the things you always wanted to do but never had time for.

Not only is that model untrue for quite a few people these days, but it’s also a great waste of time! None of us know how long we’ll have. None of us know how successful we’ll be. Isn’t the main point of life making some kind of mark so we’ll be remembered?

Some people make their mark by having kids. Others do it by starting a charity. Others do it by defending their country. Others do it by having a business. Others do it by writing books, or making art, or writing wildly successful blogs. Others teach. Some people do a bit of all of these. Some do none of it but come up with some other interesting thing. Some wait, because life hasn’t really started.

Life started when we took our first breath.

Every day is a chance to live our dream, make our mark, follow our purpose. The key is making small steps. One day, I realized I was writing a bit every day and could put that effort into a book. I wrote a novel and published it several months later. I learned a lot about writing and publishing. The point isn’t that I wrote a novel, the point is that I did it in bits, by consistent effort. I”d thought previously “someday I’ll be a writer.” Since someday never came, I decided to become one.

We don’t have to wait till we “have it all together” to make our mark.

Since I have no idea how long I’ll live, and neither does anyone else, doesn’t it make sense to start shaping our lives how we want them? There’s always some small thing to do, even if we don’t have time, even if we don’t have money. Mindset is the truest key – if you are determined, you will make opportunities for yourself. Focus will allow you to see the little places where you can make your life a bit more like your ideal image of your life.

In the mean time, I’ll keep working on my blog. If I can touch even one or two people, inspire someone, help someone, or make someone think, then I’ll have made a mark.

Wondering where “Gray” features in this?  Well, in writing about this subject, I thought also of another poem all about making one’s mark – this snippet of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses:

Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

 

via Daily Prompt: Gray

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/gray/