Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Namaste to a Snail

Early morning of a rainy Sunday as I slip out the front door, barefoot, making a slow dash for the newspaper.  The air is rain fresh, richly damp, the small puddles softly gleam in the cloudy grey light, flickering in the light rain.

I dodge to avoid a snail on the wet sidewalk, instinctively bow and say...something,  namaste, good morning, I greet you, how's it going?  Hey, snail, nice day, huh? I'm not sure which, but my hands palm-to-palm and I bow.  It seems as much in the nature of things as peeing when I first get out of bed.

The crow on the light pole gives me a raucous good morning and I return it.  The one rose--a little brown and withered at the edges, bt nicely rain speckled and brave--we bow to each other.  I'm not so brown but I am a bit withred and weathered at the edges and I hope to be brave and so we greet each other.

I pick up the paper, double bagged in plastic.  Water sheets off  onto my bare toes splashing up onto my flannel pants, leaving the hems dripping and clinging to my ankles.  The raindrops sparkle on John's metallic grey truck. Clutching the sopping plastic paper I realize, as more water sheets down my pants, that I have bowed good morning to the truck.

It does not bow back.

My feet are getting cold and the soggy clinging pants are uncomfortable.  I'm moving as quickly as I can back up the sidewalk, but I pause to see how far my snail has made it this morning.

He, she, it hasn't moved.  Because the snail is actually a curved snip of a succulent, probably blown by the wind, balled up and turning brown.

I laugh as the rain blesses my upturned face.  Namaste to a snail which is really a twig, I bow to a truck, the crow calls, two withered but brave roses bow to one another....

Maybe the truck bows back and twig becomes a snail?  What difference does it make?  It is. We are.  Twig that might be a snail, snail that might be a twig, woman who might be...or not.  Dazzlingly different, incredibly one.

Nameste, good morning, bowing to snails and twigs and rain sparkled trucks. laughing as we bow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Delete, Therefore I'm Sane

Well, semi-sane.  But semi-sane did not play off of Descartes' I think, therefore  I am, nearly so well.

Precision is overrated.anyway.

I'm not talking about the spam that sometimes eludes the filters--Viagra, penile length, weight loss, make a million, get my degree from (my all time favorite) a prestigious, non-accredited university.  Spam, spam, spam. (Come on, you know you you want to sing along.)What the filters don't catch I happily delete. No prob.

No, what I'm talking about are the emails that at one time or another--deliberately or inadvertently--I signed up for. Companies I love--Landsend, Hearthsong, LL Bean, Novica, etc.  Companies that one way or another I've ended upon their email forever but I really can't afford them so I wonder why I'm too lazy to cancel them--thank you much, not a Nordstrom shopper.

Delete, delete, delete. I used to enjoy looking through the online catalogs, but occasionally I bought something--good deals and good deals that on arrival got thrown in the what was I thinking? file.And I know that there's not a chance I'm going to send them back.  (I will think about sending them back of course, but thinking won't get me as far as the post office.)

Still and all not so bad.  Dreaming of a fantasy life in which I really need outdoor gear or can walk in 4" stilettos--deleting those away is really no big loss.  I live in SoCal, I have one knee replacement and one knee headed that way, which tends to eliminate both hiking in the hills and walking in stilettos.  Besides I'm 64 years old and I own mirrors. Greed and envy are not god for the soul.  Overspending is not good for the bank account,

Of course all of this is tap dancing and tip-toeing around the real pain.  (Who really cares if LL Bean has organic cotton sweaters at half price? )  It's the political news and the causes I believe in that are now getting hit with the delete key too.

For one thing, they all want money.  I have no money to give them even though I support the causes wholeheartedly.  Gay marriage, in favor.  Subsidies  for oil company CEO's while teachers are laid off, against.  Torture? Firmly opposed--horrified and sickened by what has been done in our names.  Unions, yes, over paid executives, no

I don't mean to sound mocking or poor mouthing.  Place to live, food on the table, not headed for a cardboard box anytime soon.  I'm one of the world's fortunate and I live in one of the richest countries the world has ever known (despite the recession that is over--so we are told).

Why am I doing this?  Good citizens stay informed.  They act on their principles.  The truth is that I can't stop the "we're so sorry" accidental bombing of children in Afghanistan.  (Children of our allies. might I point out.)  Outrage and grief are appropriate responses to most of what makes the news these days--and I'm not asking for happy talk instead.

However, a continual state of anger is not good for the soul and mind either.   Anger at "them" out there can lead me to ignore those closest to me. A constant state of feeling helpless can mean--for me--that I don't return a smile or offer one. I don't do the things that a peaceful and mindful person can do. Why pick up that aluminum can and put it in the recycle bin?  One can or a hundred cans--so what?  I mean, I'm helpless  Or even encourage local recycling.?  Buy produce from sustainably managed farms.  Buy American made? 

Why should I listen to people I disagree with?.  I'm always right.  (Actually most of the time I am--insert grinning emoticon.)

Even if some of these people and I disagree on nearly every issue in the world? Does it mean I lose myself or yell at them until they pretend to agree with me? 

I try to listen.  Search for common ground. Avoid debates over issues that neither of us will agree over and over which we have no power. Sometimes I listen and say good-bye.

I delete, therefore I'm saner than I would be if I didn't.