Here’s a car I saw at my local Mother’s Natural Food Market…
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
– Dalai Lama
I try to be very calm and peaceful in my life. It’s something I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older and wiser.
However, I try not to take anything TOO seriously, so there is always room for humor! Here’s some Zen sarcasm for those Zen Masters having a particularly difficult day.
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead.
Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.
Do not walk beside me either.
Just pretty much leave me alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with
a broken fan belt or a leaky tire.
3. It’s always darkest before dawn , so if you’re going to
steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.
4. Don’t be irreplaceable.
If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
5. Always remember that you’re unique.
Just like everyone else.
6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
7. If you think nobody cares if you ‘re alive,
try missing a couple of car payments.
8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a
mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them,
you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.
9. If at first you don’t succeed……skydiving is not for you.
10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish,
and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
11. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
12. Some days you’re the bug, some days you’re the windshield.
13. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
14. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in
half and put it back in your pocket.
15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
16. Duct tape is like ‘The Force’. It has a light side and a dark side,
and it holds the universe together.
17. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your
lips are moving.
18. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
I was laying down taking a nap this past weekend; as I lay there next to an open window with the sun drawing patterns on the walls, I could hear the sounds of my neighborhood drift in and out of the room. I realized how grateful I am for the gift of hearing (I do have a slight hearing loss in my right ear) and started making a mental list of all the sounds that I really love. I’m not trying to write a sentimental, corny post here, but I couldn’t help sharing this once I thought about it (although my list will be much gentler than that expressed by Elton John in Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting – “a couple of the sounds that I really like are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike…”) :
the crisp unfolding of my parrots’ wings as they stretch after sleeping
the rustle of the wind through the leaves of trees
the rough striking of a match
the clip-clop of clogs or wooden heels on tile floors
the swish and tumble of ocean waves meeting the shore
the lone call of a mockingbird in the middle of the night
the drone of a distant lawn mower, reminding me of childhood summers
the click-click of little parrot feet walking down the hallway
the plunking of a pebble as it hits the bottom of a well
the crunch of boots on packed snow
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!! This post contains information about the “Sex and the City” movie currently in theaters. If you haven’t seen the movie and want to, you may not want to read this post!!
photo from Baltimoresun.com
The other day a group of us gals went to see the new “Sex and the City” movie. I was a big fan of the HBO show and was looking forward to seeing the girls again. I must say I enjoyed the show; the setting of the movie was 5 years after the last tv episode ended. Being on the other side of 40 myself, I really got a kick out of the girls being portrayed as just at the brink of aging – Carrie is at the age where she needs glasses to read (a rite of passage for the middle-aged) but since she won’t get them, she holds reading material at arm’s length for focus. This made me laugh because I had a hairdresser who did the same thing because she “wasn’t ready” for glasses (probably the reason why my haircuts started to look bad).
Anyway, now that I am older and wiser, I have made some realizations about life in general. In the movie, Carrie and her long-time beau Mr. Big (played by the darkly gorgeous Chris Noth) make a joint decision to get married (no ring, no kneeling, just a spontaneous”decision”). Mr. Big, having been married twice before, is dismayed to discover that the simple wedding he had hoped for has spiraled into a huge New York City event; this causes him to start having doubts about getting married and escalates into fear of a third failed marriage. Eventually, on the wedding day, after Carrie arrives at the NY Public LIbrary (where the wedding is to be glamorously held – a library wedding sounds good to me!), Big calls her from his limo in front of the library (after unsuccessfully trying to reach Carrie all day), and tells her he just can’t go through with it, then starts to drive away. He changes his mind seconds later and as Carrie’s limo passes his on the street, he gets out to tell her he still wants to marry her – she however has spiraled into one hell of an angry hissy fit and hits him repeatedly with her bridal bouquet, led away by her loyal and ever-present girlfriends. Carrie becomes miserable, depressed, and suffers horribly for months after the humiliation she suffered.
Upon watching this, I reflected a bit on this situation. Yes, I understand this was just a movie. Movies need conflict and drama to be entertaining. But I know there are people in real life who have these very same problems and handle them the same way that Carrie and Big did. And it seems to me that all the unnecessary suffering resulting from this very-human event could be avoided if two things were attended to: communication and ego control.
It’s normal for people to get cold feet; not fun for the other person, but it happens. It’s part of being human. If the bride had had any compassion and understanding for the person she purports to “love”, than she should have been glad of the opportunity to hear him say he’d had cold feet, but was over it now and wanted to resume the wedding. But her perception was that the world revolved around her, so she was unable to open her heart to him, thus suffered months of pain as a result. Of course, they are reunited at the end and have their City Hall wedding and the world is once again a beautiful place. But how much time was wasted in the name of ego?
All I’m saying here is communicate with those you love and set your ego aside. Listen to others and don’t fall for the “victim” mentality. Don’t be a doormat, but use discernment before condemning the choices of others. Ego can cause so much heartbreak. Let it go. Listen and forgive and watch how much better your life becomes.
I have been rather ill for about a month or so. I changed into “The Lone Wolf” which I tend to do when I’m sick – that is I go off by myself to “lick my wounds”, try to gather my energy, and heal while becoming a hermit in the process.
My dear friend Shirley was very concerned about me. She called me, sent me emails, and sent me healing energy to help me feel better. She understands my lone wolf proclivities and checks up on me once in awhile to make sure I’m still drawing breath.
This last bout of illness lasted a long time. I had been very depressed and had horrible headaches and digestive problems and just felt like crap. I am a huge reader, and it took effort for me to even pick up a book at times – that’s how you know I really feel bad.
So yesterday I woke up and there was some kind of framed object covered with a blanket sitting in our TV room. I had no idea what it could be…I uncovered it…and it was a piece of artwork my friend Shirley had created many years ago! It is an “Articulator”- Shirley innovated new materials and techniques inspired by an ancient art form to create these works of art. She calls them “Articulators” because the canvas is “articulated” – it has regular fan-like folds in it which allow her to paint one scene on one side of the fold, and another on the other side. As a result, when you look at the picture from the left you see one scene; as you move to the right of the picture it dissolves into a different scene. These works of art are a labor of love and can take many weeks to complete.
She had given it to us to cheer me up after all these weeks of illness! It certainly did that!!
So I was blessed with the gift of this Articulator, entitled “The Spirit of Life Dancing in the Winds of Change”. It has pride of place on my wall to all who enter the house. I love this painting because I have always been a lover of trees (yes, I am the original “tree hugger”). Trees are such an ancient form of life and I believe they are part of an overall Earth consciousness…as of course are we. The tree that becomes the Spirit of Life Dancing reflects, to me, that we all come from the same Source, all is made of energy dancing through its many configurations. As the leaves of the trees dance and bend to the winds of life, so we too adapt and change our dance.
The tree view
Walk to the right of the art and you see…
The Spirit of Life view
Note: The lighting conditions caused by flash photography do not highlight the full beauty of the work.
Isn’t it beautiful? Giving me this artwork was truly an act of spirituality by Shirley. She knew how much I liked this piece, it was hanging in her home and several months ago I had asked her rather sheepishly if she would leave it to me in her will. And now…here it is on my wall. To create such a beautiful thing and to able to detach from it and give it away for someone else to enjoy is a rare act in today’s world. I am so lucky to have a friend like Shirley.
I love you, Shirley. Thanks for the art and also for sticking by me and checking up on me when I’m ill. You and I are soulmates.
Here you can see how the two images are interconnected.
“Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you” – Aldous Huxley