Skip to main content

Easily entertained!

Sometimes entertaining moments remind me of a Japanese flower my father once brought home to my sister and me when we were very young. The "flower" appeared to be only a twisted bit of colored paper--until it was dropped into a bowl of water, where it bloomed into its own floating world of petals.

Moment 1: A very tall, big-boned woman walks into a health food store with a list in her hand. She is on a mission. The store manager, an expert herbalist and very gentle spirit, greets her and asks how she can help. The woman replies in a booming voice: "I need yeast flakes. That's what the list says. The flakes are for the rat. My son wants the rat to live a long time. Oh, I see the yeast flakes also have B-6. That must be good." She bought an 10-inch-high canister of yeast flakes and continued on her mission, list in hand.

Moment 2: I am leaving a crowded grocery store, accompanied by a high school student who will load the grocery bags in my car for me. I remark that the store certainly has a wide variety of people shopping in the aisles this afternoon. He shakes his head and says, "Yeah, some days working here is like taking a course in sociology. I learn a lot of things I didn't even want to know." Coming from a 50-year-old, this would have been just a comment among others. Coming from a 16-year-old wearing an expression of deep seriousness on his face, it was priceless.

Moments: are you missing them or catching them? They're all around you, and if you are a writer, you have more reason than most people to pay attention to these moments. They make me smile. They remind me of the daily surprises and delights that come simply with being human. Keep an eye out. A moment like these may be yours to enjoy
. . . any moment now!

The fun photo is by Cathy Keifer and comes from istockphoto.

Comments

Ysabel! How are you?
I have been thinking of you. Hope you've been enjoying your summer. Very busy here. When will we visit again?
This photo is a scream. I loved the comment by the 16 year old. Oh, so true.
Been a crazy summer. Have you been traveling? I'll try to e-mail soon.
Love to you -
P

Popular posts from this blog

Life without Television, Part 2

I began life without television with relief, which was consistent Monday through Friday. The first few weekends, though, felt awkward, anxious, lonely. When PBS has good programming on Saturday nights, it is extraordinarily good. Father Brown, Phryne Fisher, New Tricks... Extraordinary acting, high production values, and I fantasize about the pudgy, brilliant priest just perhaps having an innocent crush on one of his special parishioners, which would be moi. 

I called a friend one Sunday. "Maybe television helped with my anxiety more than I realized," I said. She told me about her aunt who, after her husband's death, kept the television on in his "man cave" 24/7. He has been gone years now. The television goes on, everlasting, in his absence. I don't blame her. Much of my frequent and prolonged television viewing began with grief.

After my sister died, I would watch almost anything, especially late at night when sleep eluded me. I even watched Convoy with …

Our Texas, My Texas: "Memories we carry like scars and diamonds"

This post title includes a quote from Hermine Pinson's poem, "Four Sisters and the Dance." As you read, it will become clear why.

I was 7 when my father earned his Ph.D. from Duke. He then accepted a teaching position at a small private college in a rural Texas town in the 1960s. Population was 5,000, give or take a few. Our Texas roots ran deep, and we saw this return to the Lone Star State as a homecoming. So, I left the lyrical landscape of the Carolinas and the small private school where I had become nearly fluent in French. Then, I entered the hot, dry world of that small town. 

We did not yet have a place to live. Our family of five, including our infant brother, camped out in the girls' dorm for several weeks. Our furniture was stored on the university theater stage while my parents searched for a home. I was riding in the car with my dad and a member of the university administration and overheard their conversation. My father wondered where he could find help …

Whose day?

Years ago, I made some collages using pages from a desk calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image that leads this post is one. Inside the hearts and flowers is a picture from the MMA collection of  a Japanese screen made in the 16th century. It is titled Tagasode, which means Whose sleeves?  The title comes from a 10th-century poem:


The fragrance seems even more alluring than the hue, Whose sleeves have brushed past? Or would it be this plum tree blossoming here at home?
Iro yori mo ka koso awaredo omohoyure tagasode fureshi ado no ume zo mo
The word haunts: tagasode. Whose sleeves? The question floats in my mind like a cloud on a still day. The sleeves materialize in my mind's eye. I hear them move through hushed air. I can imagine, though not name, the scent of the person to whom those sleeves belong. It's not unlike smelling the scent of your infant's clothes, or holding the perfume bottle that belonged to your mother...you don't need to open it... you know tha…