You have no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing
seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or
water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to
the Orient. It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I've brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember
me. ~ Rumi
The Traveling Onion
Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952 When I think how far the onion has traveled just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise all small forgotten miracles, crackly paper peeling on the drainboard, pearly layers in smooth agreement, the way the knife enters onion and onion falls apart on the chopping block, a history revealed. And I would never scold the onion for causing tears. It is right that tears fall for something small and forgotten. How at meal, we sit to eat, commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma but never on the translucence of onion, now limp, now divided, or its traditionally honorable career: For the sake of others, disappear.
Note included with the poem:
“It is believed that the onion originally came from India.
In Egypt it was an object of worship —
why I haven’t been able to find out.
From Egypt the onion entered Greece
and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.”
— Better Living Cookbook
A couple of months ago, a friend asked me to her birthday celebration -- a bonfire on a remote beach on the new moon.
When the day came, I almost bailed. I was tired. Depressed. Bereft, really, if you want to know the truth. But, I had made a promise, and I am nothing if not loyal to commitments I make to others. So I dragged my ass out of my apartment and drove the 40 miles over hill and dale to the remote beach chasing the setting sun.
A funny thing happened on that twisty turny road... I had a little moment. As I was turning some corner, looking at the trees, watching the sun and wondering if I would make it there while there was still light, a thought popped in my head, "joy." I looked around me, at all the beauty, and I realized what I needed more of in my life was joy. Not just any joy, but pure joy. I knew it because just seeing that beauty, I experienced pure joy.
As I write this, a single tear runs down my cheek, but it is not burning this time because joy engenders tears as much as pain does.
So I have been seeking expressions of pure joy -- whether mine or others. Here's one.
This is Dexter. I met him briefly on another drive to a remote beach. When he saw new people, his first response was to pick up this huge buoy as though it were a ball and suggest we play with him. Look at this marvelous ball I have found he seemed to be saying.
Here are some other pictures of sights I found to be full of joy or that produced feelings of joy.
The tiniest sand dollar I have ever found.
The happy cows on the road to Point Reyes Light House. It was really the tiny baby cows (yes I know there is a name for them), but I didn't snap a picture of them.
This tiny dog having a great time on a walk... and the one that I didn't snap a picture of ... his owner told me he waits patiently for the walk to the post office because at the end of waiting there is a treat.
[I saw this posted, and mis-attributed to Wm Shakespeare, and had to investigate. The author's life story, and the number of quotes of his that we use in daily life are amazing. ]
I had the opportunity to meet Bruno, pictured above, on my short jaunt into Chicago in August. His life is worthy of a children's book. Maybe someday I will get around to that one. His life, and his owners, brought me some perspective at a challenging time. When I see his little face, I remember how important it is to not judge a book by its cover. I remember the power of love and how unexpectedly it can come - or maybe that it can come in unexpected packages.
We rarely have control of the gifts the universe will bestow. The best we can try to do is be receptive when they land on our doorstep. And, of course, to be thankful. I am thankful! Still working to incorporate into my life all the gifts I received on that trip to Chicago.
The pain, their loss, it's all I have left of them. You think the grief will make you smaller inside like your heart will collapse in on itself, but it doesn't. I feel spaces opening up inside of me like a building with rooms I've never explored. ~spoken by Dolores on Westworld
not sure who wrote it for the robot or the character, but I like it.
I keep wanting to write about what's going in my life right now, but then I don't do it. Not that there is really anything going on ... I haven't applied for more jobs, my current job is giving me less and less hours, I am picking up other gigs on the side, trying to outfit my apartment.
So those are lots of things that are actually happening and it is all my life.
But this is not what is going on for me right now.
A lot of what is going on is being sad, crying, grieving... sometimes to the point of paralysis, but other times just as a release.
I try to keep honoring this process, but I am getting scared about how long it will take ... particularly about how long my savings will allow me to follow the path before I need to just get a job, any job.
I am spending too much time in my space alone ... perhaps too much, maybe just right.
It means most of these pictures are scenes from the doorway of my aparment.
This one is detail on the rain we got a couple of weeks ago... this is the little lemon tree my friend bought me!
[Non sequitur, I want to name it. I am feeling it is a "him" and the name that always pops in my head is Elroy. Not sure why, but I haven't really committed to it, yet. Your comments are welcome.]
The view from my apartment is really gorgeous... sunny or cloudy...
even rainy and with ominous clouds threatening...
And I have been recording the animal visitors...
I guess the good news is that I have been getting out more this past week ... today actually marks day 7 of exercising out of doors ... next picture scenes from my life will reflect that change.
And maybe I will even start writing regularly again ... I can't predict.