Sunday, January 25, 2015
thursday evening i strolled through the mid-century collection at the virginia fine arts museum (evening art field trips are one way i stay sane while working out of town). i happened to be behind a group of six-year-olds. their guide/teacher/docent was attempting to educate them about abstract art between repeated and desperate pleas to the children (mostly boys) to keep their hands off the paintings and sculptures. one little boy toward the back of the pack looked confused and whispered something to his hand-holding buddy. his buddy looked at him and said, "it's like a real rainbow, but you have to think about what a rainbow means to you."
i am always blown away when big brilliance comes from such miniature beings. i found myself considering the rest of the pieces i saw that night with his words in mind. in fact, i found myself considering most everything since then with his words in mind: it's like a real snowstorm, but you have to think about what a snowstorm means to you; it's like a real weekend, but you have to think about what a weekend means to you; it's like a real argument, but you have to think about what an argument means to you; it's like real yoga, but you have to think about what yoga means to you; it's like a real most-hideous-photo-of-you-posted-on-facebook-without-your-approval-of-either-the-taking-or-the-posting, but you have to think about what the most-hideous-photo-of-you-posted-on-facebook-without-your-approval-of-either-the-taking-or-the-posting means to you; it's like a real ____, but you have to think about what a ____ means to you.
seeing my ordinary life through this lens brought instant presence, grounding, openness, meaning and curiosity, leading me to the real story and avoiding (mostly) my programmed patterns of reactivity and conditioned inner narrative.
children are the best teachers.
little buddhas everywhere.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
i was a girl who believed that hundreds of little birds flocked to the mission on the same day each year. by magic.
it was a miracle i saw with my own eyes.
the mission bells heralded their arrival with deafening discordant clangs. i stood there holding on to my dad's belt loop with one hand, covering one ear with the other. i wished for a third to shield my eyes from the blinding white california sun as we watched the birds swarm in. one after another, they floated through the arches and settled in tiny mud nests under the eaves. the friar said a blessing. we bought tacos from the little mexican push-cart whose tiny brass bells were kinder with their song.