Monday, March 30, 2009

As long as you're wanting...

We all want. We all need. When want overpowers need, our perspective gets skewed. I say, want all you want - wanting motivates. However, need very little and you will almost always be satisfied.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Other People's Thoughts

My youngest daughter gave me a gift, a round paper box she embellished with dried flowers from my mother’s garden. It’s called BOX OF THOUGHTS and in it are dozens of scraps of paper printed with pithy observations. I keep it on my bureau and whenever I think to, I reach in and take one out to read. I wish I thought to do it more often. Today I read:

"A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner." Louis L’Amour

Ah, yes. My own head, house for my own thoughts, is decorated with cheery scraps of bright ideas amid the mundane, more serviceable notions I entertain. I reside inside my thoughts, creating with my hands a place for the rest of me to live. My mind is aswirl with thoughts that didn’t originate there but grew from seeds planted by others, notions heard or read that I’ve mulled over and mulched and pruned and grafted until they’ve become hybrids. They are my thoughts now, some as familiar as an old sofa, some as new as a housewarming gift. My thoughts, my things—looking at them this way is like coming suddenly upon my own reflection, realizing, “Oh! That’s me!” simultaneously with, “Is that what I look like?”

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Short List of Happy Things

Sunrises. I often wake before dawn. In those first quiet moments, as the dark fades slowly from the sky to reveal the familiar in a different light, I understand why we call it a new day. No two sunrises are the same, and everything looks slightly different than it did the day before. Watching the sun come up reminds me of the dual nature of life, its constancy and its change, and stirs in me a deep wonder.

Firsts. The first of anything is an occasion–first step, first tooth, first kiss, first time you drive the car alone, that first sip of coffee in the morning or of tea late in the afternoon, winter’s first snowflake, and likewise, the first shoots of green that brave our New England spring. When my days become mundane, I look for something I haven’t done yet, or some new way of doing a thing that’s become stale, so that there’s always a new first to look forward to.

Senses. I am often stopped in my tracks by the emotions certain sounds or scents evoke. Music pulls me out of myself, an unexpected bit of birdsong on a winter day can change my mood, the sound of laughter always lifts my spirits. I remember my delight as a child, coming home after church on a Sunday morning to the scent of roasting meat and fruit pie. Nothing makes me quite as happy as the smell of fresh earth when the snow melts in April or quite as melancholy as the scent of dying leaves in the fall.

Colors. Even when winter trees are leafless and all the ground is covered with snow, nature makes small places for my eyes to feast. The evergreens stand out greeny-black against the white, every shade of brown and gray shows off its luster where the snow has melted and the leaf matter is exposed, dawns and sunsets paint the sky in shades of crimson and purple. Cardinals and jays look like winged jewels in flight. And when that snow disappears? Oh, glorious green!

The unexpected. Sunshine when the weatherperson predicted rain, a card in the mail saying “thanks for being you,” a message on the answering machine that says, “Memere, I love you as much as the whole world!” all fill me up until I spill over.

No doubt there will be more major events in my life, but it’s the small things, the everyday, every-moment times that fill my life with awe and wonder.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Looking For A Reason

A fellow blogger sent this to me. What's your "bacon" ?

Mine changes. Sometimes it's necessity - it's a work day, nature calls in the midst of a dream, the cat wants to go out, etc. But mostly it's curiosity that pulls me out from under the covers. What will the day bring and how will I respond? Will I create or just float?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

In All Seriousness

Reading about illness (mental and physical) at Jo's blog brought this long-ago published column to mind.

Pollyannas of the world, unite! There’s hope for optimists yet, even in a darkened world. Breaking news (albeit underground and via email), has it that what we currently suffer most from is over-seriousness, causing dis-ease. You can see it for yourself. We’re being terrorized, frightened out of our wits, threatened on all sides, subjected to prophecies of disaster and unless we do something about it, we're doomed!

Ah, but do what? Hit first? Knock some sense into our chosen enemy? Wage war? And if we don’t, what? We’re going to go under some dictator’s thumb? We had better be careful what we dread – arguing for our limitations brings them to our doorstep. With all due respect, you can’t wage war and peace at the same time. News of this new energy center has come at just the right time. It may sound silly and far too simple to be of any use, but go light a single match in a pitch-black room, then come back and read on.

What’s been discovered, according to scientists (who, until this catches on, wish to remain anonymous), is a new chakra. Chakras are energy centers located in the human body. This particular one is lodged between the heart chakra and the throat chakra and has a name directly associated with its function – the clown chakra. If your clown chakra is closed, you can expect major (and serious) problems.

It has been observed that when the clown chakra is open, every cell in the body wears a happy face; closed, every cell frowns. The condition of your own clown chakra is easily discernable on your face. Seriousness forces love out of your cells, making them say, in essence, “I lack love” (or ILL for short). The normal function of the clown chakra is to dispense joy in the form of tiny, red, heart-shaped balloons, invisible but potent.

It sounds like nonsense, and the email bearing this news was certainly light-hearted. However, there’s been enough medical research done to discover that our thoughts do indeed have a direct bearing on our physical selves and on the kinds of lives we choose to live. If I stand in reverence each morning, letting the light of the budding day wash over me, if I let awe creep into the ordinary, if I laugh out loud, my day is better for it.

Allowing myself to be happy doesn’t mean blinding myself to the world and what happens in it. But if, as our science is suggesting, every thought is a pulse of energy let loose in the world, I choose to send out tiny, red, heart-shaped balloons.