Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lettuce Away!

I loved it last year when my husband would go out on the deck to pick some lettuce for the lunch he was packing himself. Thinking of him eating homegrown, organic lettuce in his lunch, which he might eat really far from home, covering some news story that was stressing him out and making him believe even more than he already does that the human race is f***ed… it makes me feel like I might be contributing to the good of the world.

Maybe he will taste hope. Maybe he will taste the love of a wife, the warm care of the sun, the solid affection of the dirt, the tasty freshness of lettuce grown on your own porch.

Maybe it will be reflected in his story, which many will read, and the love will make it through the labyrinth, somehow, and feed the world.

Such tiny seeds. Such big dreams.

NOT lettuce, obviously, but I am reusing the big black containers... also I like to remember my basil...

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Ways to Wisdom

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. — Confucius

photo courtesy Becca Gould

I definitely spent a couple decades learning things the hard way: by doing it myself. That’s one of the joys of getting older — I trust my own B.S. filters enough to take into consideration other people’s experiences, so I don’t necessarily have to repeat them. And I’ve got enough of my own under my belt that I can hold my head high and say I was brave enough to take some chances on blazing a new trail. And most likely will do so again in the future, but choosing the path a bit more wisely.

I wonder if he meant to disparage imitation. For some reason I hear it that way. Perhaps because it is set in contrast to reflection, which is “noblest,” as opposed to “easiest.” And reflection, while done in the comfort of one’s home, involves conscious effort and the taking on of responsibility for the conclusions one draws.

Whereas imitation smacks of blind, mindless following.

What else is life for but being purposefully, mindfully engaged?

Heaven, Hell and True Worship

Not a big fan of carrot and stick religion. “I’ll be good so I don’t burn for eternity!” “I’ll do right because I want to be rewarded someday!”

Grow up.

Be good because it feels great. Do right because it is the best way. Take care of others to see a smile on their faces, or at least to sleep better at night knowing you were the best human you could be.

Cultivate virtue because it leads to beauty, truth and peace. Develop compassion because it leads to happiness, for yourself and those around you.

Open your soul to the divine because what other way is there to live? Beyond reward and punishment, connecting to Spirit is truly being alive.

Oh my Lord, if I worship You from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell; and if I worship You from hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your own sake, do not withhold from me Your Eternal Beauty. — Rabia, from Essential Sufism, edited by James Fadiman & Robert Frager

Live For This

A Kiss Amidst the Chaos

Two Beauties, No Beast

Cooler Than Thou, But Still My Baby

StumbleUpon

Who actually uses this?

I can’t really diss it, because since I’ve started “suggesting” my blog posts to it, I’ve gotten many more hits.

But I’ve never been on the stumbling end of it.

Do people think this search engine can surf better than they can?

Does it really turn you on to tons of great stuff?

Seems like just another addiction, like Twitter and Facebook, bidding on Ebay, and now Pinterest, which is yet another “you have to be invited, you friendless slob” arrangement, like Google + was (maybe still is?)  Are people seriously so desperate for acceptance that they would assume that an invitation to these things is worth pursuing, or that once they get into the club there will be some kind of awesome party going on? Because let me tell you, the novelty of Google + wore off pretty damn fast. Now it’s just an echo chamber.

I admit I’m prejudiced against this StumbleUpon thing because my husband uses it and actually reads some of the blog posts he trips over, (or however you want to describe the magical “chance” encounter between surfer and site). Being a “real” writer (evidently words are only worth reading when their author has been paid), he normally insults bloggers and their output to no end and doesn’t ever read mine unless I happen to insist. Which I’ve done precisely twice, I believe.

So a search engine that inspires my husband to read blog posts that aren’t mine? Ummmmm…. not gonna like it. (It’s even more fun when he recommends blog posts for me to read. “That’s just so special that ums has found an interesting blog post by a total stranger! It’s too bad ums doesn’t know any bloggers more local that are worth reading!”)

Unless it gets me more hits. In which case, I’ll certainly supply it with plenty of fodder!

In fact, I think I will suggest this very post to it.

If you’ve read this thanks to StumbleUpon, be sure to give it a nice pat on the back here in my comments section!

Or if you adore StumbleUpon for some reason, please, enlighten me.

Night Nursing = Cavities?

Baby Girl has two cavities. Of all my five kids, only one other kid has ever had a cavity (knock wood!) and she got it when she was about 6 years old. And this is counting a 19 year old, a 15 year old, a 9 year old, a 4 year old and Baby Girl at 2 and a half years old. So, that’s a lot of years of potential cavities.

When I was about 4 months pregnant with Baby Girl I broke my wrist. I’d also been breastfeeding Hank, who was almost 2 at the time, so I was wondering if maybe Baby Girl didn’t get a whole lot of calcium with that kind of situation.

And like a moron, I asked the dentist his opinion. Nice guy. Friendly, young, approachable, listens intently.

“Oh no,” he assured me. “That wouldn’t have anything to do with it.”

Then he raised an eyebrow. “Did you breastfeed?” After I confirmed this and added, “Still am,” he nodded knowingly.

“It’s those night nursings. I see it all the time in breastfed kids. Very common.”

“Didn’t happen with the other four,” I pointed out.

“They got lucky,” he said.

So, if night nursing causing cavities was a COMMON thing, then wouldn’t FOUR of them have suffered from it, and just the ONE have gotten lucky???

Sounds to me like the others experienced a normal eating/tooth health situation, and poor baby girl got unlucky.

But what the hell do I know.

Geologic Time

I don’t know a better way to put things in perspective, for oneself or one’s children, than to think of things in geologic time.

To show them the landscape that looks so huge and eternal, and to let them know that in reality, it is moving and changing as surely as the wildflowers make their fleeting appearance and then die. Change is the law, and anything that is before you, whether it seems pleasant or painful, will soon be gone.

The fantastic amounts of time involved in geologic processes also helps us concentrate on the present moment, and put our  human time frame in perspective. That special event next week that you are so desperate for you feel like you will explode? That’s not even a couple seconds away in geologic time.

The most amazing things in life cannot simply be bought at the store ready made. They take time, effort, sometimes tools of a paradoxical nature, such as water to wear away stone… or build it up. We learn that success requires perseverance, that it is a process, not a final destination.

When we see the rocks and even attempt to understand the length of time involved, it clears our mind of all the tiny little limits we tend to operate within. It opens us up to infinity.