I’ve never seen a ghost, experienced magic or had a paranormal experience. I’m not religious, but I believe in the power of prayer flags. That the wind wafts blessings through the air as it blows through them. I’ve had them strung on my porch since I moved into my house, and coming home and seeing them makes this country girl raised as a Methodist inordinately happy. As do the string of tin can lanterns made by a friend of mine. And the twinkle lights that stay up year round. Bless this house. Bless everyone who comes through the door. Bless the little green lizards that climb the screens. Bless, I guess, the damn slugs that sometimes make their way onto the porch and scare the crap out of me. Bless the delivery guy who leaves Amazon packages on the porch, for he shall enter into the heaven of books. Bless the doormat made of recycled flip-flops and the feet who journeyed in them. Bless the aloe plant that I forget to water and yet quietly survives, waiting for the bad sunburn it will treat without saying “I told you so.” Bless the Martha Stewart wicker couch from K-Mart purchased before her fall from grace and still jaunty on the porch in a recent coat of turquoise paint. Bless the amazing little woodpeckers that come to the feeder and even the schoolyard-bully jays that try to take it over. Bless the cliched white picket fence that is verging on shabby, and bless the wide world that lies outside the fence where blessings come and go on the wind.
Archive for August, 2015
Last night when I went to bed, I was swamped by a sadness that seemed to rise up out of nowhere. Sadness about change and loss, sadness about everything I’ve done wrong in my life, everyone I’ve let down, every time I’ve made a bad choice. The list grew and swelled with reproach every time I closed my eyes. And through it all, I felt a deep embarrassment at being so frayed around the edges, at not being able to pull myself out The Bog of What Might Have Been. I can’t say much of anything changed overnight. In the morning, I drank a latte. I read an article about pilgrimages on the Camino de Santiago. I took a walk around my neighborhood. I ate a perfect peach. It was the last one from a bag a friend brought me from upstate South Carolina. One more day and it would have gone from ripe to rotten. The contrast of its chorus-girl curves with the wabisabi-ness of the beat-up wood table on my porch and the pristine plate mediating between the two nudged me to try and paint it, to record that it was here and so was I. Nothing happened to make my sadness completely disappear, but the day went on and I made my own pilgrimage from a soul-wrestling night to an afternoon of peaches and paint tubes. I put one foot in front of the other with no guarantee of enlightenment, no spiritual guide, no destination in mind. I just shouldered my grief and took it for a walk through an ordinary day, an unremarkable day, a good day.