My Kitchen Table

 

The older I’ve become, the messier I’ve become.

My kitchen table? Oh dear.

More than a little messy around the edges… 🙁

 

I’ve long had this habit of using bits of paper

To remind me of important things.

 

(a former boyfriend called them “tent” notices.

pieces of paper folded in half

standing up so the message stands out

& they are, I guess, rather tent-like)

 

The ones that are standing there now?

These days? Lately? say

 

Brace for Impact

&

Show up

 

I guess that about sums it all up

These daze

Hmmmm?

 

& yes, “showing up” takes on different meanings

in these mind-bogglingly challenging times…

 

Its meaning morphs.

Keeps on morphing, it seems

Day by day by day.

 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Just sit down and be quiet. You are drunk, and this is the edge of the roof.” – Rumi, 13th century Sufi mystic & poet

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” – Helen Keller

On nothing being what we thought: “The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That’s what we’re going to discover again and again and again. Nothing is what we thought. I can say that with great confidence. Emptiness is not what we thought. Neither is mindfulness or fear. Compassion – not what we thought. Love. Buddha nature. Courage. These are code words for things we don’t know in our minds, but any of us could experience them. These are words that point to what life really is when we let things fall apart and let ourselves be nailed to the present moment.” – Pema Chödrön in the chapter ‘Intimacy with Fear’ in When Things Fall Apart – Heart Advice for Difficult Times  (1997)

“It is one of the beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In helping others we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” – Flora Edwards

 “A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” – Henrik Ibsen

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~ Antoine de St. Exupéry in The Little Prince

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides.” – Tennyson

Thomas Merton said it best: “Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.” (quoted by Carolyn Baker in her book review of the Guy McPherson book Going Dark)

“Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk and social activist, once said that as he grew older he came to understand that it was not ideas that change the world but simple gestures of love given to the people around you, and often to those you feel most at odds with. He said that in order to save the world you must serve the people in your life. ‘You gradually struggle less and less for an idea,’ Merton wrote, ‘and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.’” – from Broken Open – How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, by Elizabeth Lesser

When asked why the cellist is risking his life every day to play his cello on the street in the spot where 22 people were killed while waiting at a bakery to buy bread, the character Dragan says to Emina, “Maybe he’s playing for himself. Maybe it’s all he knows how to do, and he’s not doing it to make something happen.” ‘And he thinks this is true. What the cellist wants isn’t a change, or to set things right again, but to stop things from getting worse. Because, as the optimist in Emina’s mother’s joke said, it can always get worse. But perhaps the only thing that will stop it from getting worse is people doing the things they know how to do.’” – from The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway <pg 126>

4 Rules for Life

  • Show up.
  • Pay attention.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Don’t be attached to the results.”

– Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher, author (1940 – )

What are we here for? “.. we’re here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.”(So said Mark Vonnegut, son of Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut’s last public speech is here. Worth reading!!)