Wisdom From the Recesses of a Cluttered Desk

My old writing desk needed a good sort, a good project for a chilly autumn day.  Amazing what you can learn from this exercise. While cleaning out the little cubbies I came across some scribbled bits of wisdom I recorded here and there from years ago. I thought I’d share some…

  • Sometimes the only clear way forward is looking backward.  Unknown
  • Freedom is what you do with what’s happened to you.  Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Bloom where you’re planted. St. Francis de Sales
  • We don’t have to live great lives, we just have to understand and survive the ones we’ve got- Andre Dubu
  • Above all, have fun- Julia Child

This is something I wrote a year ago on a loose slip of paper. I have no recollection of doing so…

If I were a brick in a hearth I wouldn’t have to wake up and wonder what the meaning of life was day after day.  I would know that I had a valuable part to play in the structure of things, surrounded by other bricks, joined by latticed gray mortar.  There I would remain day after day, year after year, warmed by the woodstove in winter, giving back my heat to the home.

I would watch the comings and goings of family, the bustle in the kitchen, cooking of meals, washing of dishes, the banter of daily life, the barking of the dog, the scamper of kittens.

But freedom would be wanting from my determined place on a wall

So I am not a brick in a hearth

Just a human trying to find her way.

Covid in the Time of Thanksgiving

As of tomorrow, Nov. 17, the state of Oregon, my home will be locking down again, but in a gentler way this time.  Covid is on the rise and steps are being taken as are all around the world.  (I do find it interesting this surge is occurring just about two weeks after Halloween- hmm).  Goodbye swimming pool and library for a bit (sigh).

Nothing much surprises me anymore.  Coming from a biology, ecology background I always thought it would be the microbes that would bring the human race down to its knees – but not in my lifetime. Then, never did I think I would witness our democracy chewed up like a dog toy in the mouth of a deranged pit bull- but here we are.

This reminds me of an incident I witnessed as a small child. My father was patching a hole in a wall of our house.  It was a substantial hole, at least 6 inches wide.  Now how that hole came to be will always be a mystery to me.  Was it from a fist? Unlikely.  It was probably an electrical fix that needed access through the wall.

Whatever the cause, it left a profound effect on my young mind. Until that time I believed my home to be an invincible fortress, impenetrable through any crisis. Then instantly I realized that it was merely a shell surrounding our family subject to damage beyond our control.  Oh, how that fact played out in the future.

I have found through the years that the only real security we have is in our hearts, minds, creativity, and spiritual life.  The rest is subject to holes (and sadly, sometimes even some items in that list). Politics will always be a mess.  This Covid thing will pass but then it will be something else.  This holiday season will be dampened but there is still room for gratitude and love.  Here is my shortlist…

Looking for the “It”

mandala-3166158I have been pondering what the “it” is after reading a post several weeks back from a fellow blogger.  We all wonder at times, what is life really about anyway?  I wrote the following poem with how I respond to that question…..

The “It”

She wanted to know what the “it” was

A fair question to be pondered on a blog

Several commenters responded “YES, YES, where is the It?

It escapes me!

 

I sigh

The same question dodged me in my younger years

But with six decades behind me, I know the It

For it is hard to recognize and often takes the passing of time

It can pass right under you like a tsunami in the open ocean

A lulling swell that will gently rock your boat

As it heads toward land to release its energy

 

Children know the It

It is in curiosity

In play

In friends and in family

In greeting each day like an adventure

 

It is in nature

And the spirit that resides there and within

It is in risk

And creative expression

Love, giving

 

It is in the individual footsteps one’s journey

Not the destination

Just remember

Look up from your feet

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