Thursday, November 28, 2013

As Close As Our Breath

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Prayer

We come to this table today, 
humble and thankful and glad.
We thank Thee first for the great miracle of life, 
for the exaltation of being human, for the capacity to love.
We thank Thee for joys both great and simple-
For wonder, dreams and hope;
For the newness of each day;
For laughter and song and a merry heart;
For compassion waiting within to be kindled;
For the forbearance of friends and the smile of a stranger;
For the arching of the earth and trees and heavens and the fruit of all three;
For the wisdom of the old;
For the courage of the young;
For the promise of the child;
For the strength that comes when needed;
For this family united here today.
Of those to whom much is given, much is required.  
May we and our children remember this.


This prayer came to me from my mother many years ago. I read it aloud every year, always choking up at the end. There is something about the wisdom of the old, the promise of the child, the strength that comes when needed. Something about offering up thanks and remembering that we are all in this together. A prayer of thanks can be spoken, whispered, chanted, danced, written on the back of your grocery list every day of the year. To embrace every day with thanks-giving, even with rice cookers flying, or cancer, or loved ones no longer with us, yet are as close as our breath, this is a worthy path to walk.

b xo

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rage Against The Rice Cooker

November 23, 2013

Dear Being-Alivers,

It's Saturday morning. I am in bed with a smattering of books, my notebook, wrapped in gray pilly sweater, a cup of hot tea on the bedside table. Out the window I see the rhodadendron bush, not frozenly pointing south, like closed umbrellas. This is a good sign. Praying the ground is still soft enough to plant daffodil bulbs with Elizabeth this afternoon.


What is it I want to say to you, to report? It's been weeks. I am full up with stories. Like most things in life, writing is a layered process. It takes time to get under the chatter and circling, to get to the heart of things, the underneath of things.

like in a conversation with your husband? 

My Wonder Woman Jesse, completed her final chemo last Wednesday. This is good news to report. And I realized with the finishing that I've barely written to myself or anyone else about this cancer journey. 

[Who came up with that one anyway?]

Journey? I prefer my soul-sister's assessment...

"It's a shit storm," Kerry said, "Call it like it is." 

This week Jess and I met with her doctor to talk about surgery. It was a good meeting, if you can have a good meeting about your kid having a double mastectomy. We were calm and asked questions. And then drove home. Jesse, as always, very calm.

Me too, until the next day, with no one in the house, a rage storm blew through me. I was screaming at the dog, throwing things out from the crowded pantry, a worn-out rice cooker, dried up magic markers, candle sticks from my first marriage, scanning the joint for what I could burn. You know I love a good burn.

"I went a little crazy," I said to Ann on the phone.
"Think about it. The meeting with the doctor."


So, underneath the rage against the rice cooker was sadness and worry. Tearing through the pantry and screaming was actually appropriate behavior. Some days my yoga mat doesn't cut it, or walking, or reading another meditation about being grateful and trusting. It makes me want to spit. Getting that was the gift.

Spit if you need to. Let it rip.

And then I saw the turkeys out the window, my beloved turkeys. Even with the dog whining and pining to go outside, the morning rage slid out of me, like feathers falling. I watched them meander past the wood pile, pecking the ground, hanging out together, 

a cloud of turkeys. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Falling Back

Falling back an hour brought a morning of light for us. 
Everyone seemed more up in the house at six-thirty, myself included. Although Claire was somewhat troubled that with this new morning light, everyone could see her at the bus stop [and me too.] 

Most mornings I'm rocking that 

just crawled out of a tent look. 

no photo available. 

Elizabeth said, " Bean, I'll give you a Snicker bar if you'll drive me to school,

I said thanks but no thanks to the Snickers [highly suspectl behavior] 

just say no

but yes to driving her.  

It was a gorgeous ride, 
country roads with swirling 
gold-yellow leaves floating down. 
It was a Wow-ride.

Never lose an opportunity of seeing 
anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks, Ralph. 


Following up on what I'm dubbing 

The Delightful Project

is another short story about the word,


and how it keeps popping up ~

My friend, Naomi, has a four year old son, Mason. Mason woke up very early on Saturday morning after a raucous night with his not-going-to-bed cousin, Magnolia. 

[sister's name, Violet. I'm detecting a theme...]

Giving Mason his morning hug, Naomi asked,

How are you, buddy? 

Mason said, I'm delightful,Mommy. 

Naomi doesn't know where he heard that word or why it came to him like that, out of the bluebut that's a big 3 in one week

+ all the other I'm delightfuls 

I keep saying while 
driving my car
walking the dog
emptying the dishwasher 
freaking out
brushing my teeth that can be a little messy, but try it.

xo b