The Saddest Valentine Ever?

I have a powerful memory of reading “The Fog Horn” in Ms. Griffin’s Freshman English class:  The sound of a fog horn attracts a sea monster living in the deepest part of the ocean.  This ancient creature is the last of its kind and has been alone its entire life, but then it hears the fog horn and mistakes it for the call of one of its own.  It works its way toward the sound, gaining hope for companionship as the sound grows louder, only to discover a cold, cement tower which it destroys out of rage and heartache.  Ray Bradbury’s story left me with a permanent ache of longing and an unbearable notion about hope.

Unfortunately, I fear this same story is being lived out right here in my home, except it’s not a sea creature aching for companionship but a reptile.

In close to 25 years of life, Obie, my box turtle, has been the sole reptile in our lives.  She seems happy enough and emotes more than you might think possible for a cold-blooded fur-less creature.  Pissy and demanding make up her dominant moods.  Using rocks and her sushi dish, she clangs out various conversations that mostly amount to:  let me out, feed me, and %&#(@!

Normally, she faux-hibernates right now, “burying” herself in the fleece scarf that drapes over her heat rock, not peeping out again until May.  This year, instead, she demands to be out and wandering the house all day every day, most of that time spent in front of our metal kitchen garbage can.

Why?

Well, that’s the thing.  She can see her reflection in the metal.  She’s seen her reflection before, in a mirror leaning against a wall.  After staring at herself a while, she walked around to the other side and seemed to quickly figure it out, walking away without further interest.

The kitchen garbage can, however, proves different.  With determination and hope like the sea monster, she spends hours pawing at the turtle inside the garbage can, crawling around it and trying to get under it.  Sometimes she shows her tail end to the other turtle.  Sometimes she gets so enraptured she tips herself upside down, apparently not mortified about showing her turtle friend her underside because when I flip her back up, she’s right back at it, nose-to-nose.

Maybe because this “mirror” is round and the turtle image never goes away she can’t dismiss it like she did the other reflection.

She’s pawing all day long at companionship.  Is this cruel?  Is she lonely?  Or, is this reflection enough?  It’s true, since finding the garbage can, she no longer “cuddles” between my feet, but I think she only ever did that for warmth.  Remember she’s cold-blooded.

Well, in case you’re thinking I ought to get this girl a friend, she’s been alone her nearly-25 years with one exception:

A few years ago, my cousin brought her box turtle Sergeant Speedy to our house.  We introduced the two turtles, but I put an end to it almost immediately.  Sergeant Speedy, named ironically, turned out to be true to his name.  Without even an eye-bat hello, never mind a movie and dinner, Sergeant Speedy moved up behind Obie and, well, mounted the poor girl.

I have no idea what she thought or felt, if she had time to decipher any of that in her reptilian heart, but I felt violated and promptly returned Obie to her cage and banished Sergeant Speedy from our home.

What’s the moral here?  Is it really that cold out there for a single girl losing the sheen of youth along her shell?  Is loving one’s reflection enough?  Is the hope of another so painful I ought to replace the garbage can with something too dull to give her desire?  Or, since she can live for ages, maybe this is simply her adolescent phase and she’s enamored with herself, not fooled into thinking her soul mate resides in the kitchen garbage can?

For now, I limit her garbage can time, console her with apple slices and fish sticks, and tuck her back onto her fleece-draped heat rock.  When she sneers at me in the morning, I give a cheery “Hi Obie,” ignore the roll of her eyes, and promptly lift her back out to wander into the kitchen, trying not to let the steady “clink” of her paws on metal remind me of fog horns and sea monsters, loneliness and hope.

 

 

 

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The More Domestic I Get, the More I Value the Old.

It’s 19 degrees Farenheit as I write this post here in Portland, with wind blowing dry snow perfectly horizontal.  At times, it blows past my office window so sideways I get vertigo.

Our house is old and has no insulation, just some new siding and a thin layer of Tyvek.  As stately new houses replace the little old ones in our neighborhood, a thin streak of envy nags at me:  no chipped paint or layers of wall paper, no floors so humped you kind of have to step up over the middle of our office, just smooth and sturdy newness.

But then, today, when gusts of wind tip over full debris bins taken out to the curb, and I realize this house’s old bones are keeping me snug and warm, gratitude and apology replace my envy.

The more domestic I get, the more I value the old.  I don’t mean the old that’s cool again, like apple-red manual typewriters or anything Mad-Men-esque. I mean old: functional, practical, a color that matches-nothing-modern old.

Like my food processor, it’s brown and orange colors and three-button simplicity won me over, even though I’d craved a professional stainless steel one. (You can see an illustration of it and read my love story about Spike here.)

As much as I (used to?) want things in my home to match, to look modern, to express today rather than a mishmash of forty yesteryears, sometimes old is better.  It’s simpler.  It’s fixable. It’s reliable.

Although even when old requires more elbow grease, I find myself preferring it over new.  Yesterday, for example.  I visited my parents, and my mom made vegan waffles using a recipe from Scatter Vegan Sweets, but things didn’t go so well.

“My grandma gave me this waffle iron for our wedding,” my mom tells me as I use a fork and a lot of muscle to scrape off a waffle completely adhered to the top part of the iron.  “They didn’t make non-stick coating in those days,” she explains, both of us pausing to calculate, and one of us saying aloud, “…over 53 years ago.”

Do I have anything that old in my kitchen?  Would anything purchased today last fifty-three years?  I guess waffle irons don’t get used every day, but still:  five decades?

Vegan Waffle Cereal

The waffle crumbs and pieces that I scraped mixed with some blueberries and a small pour of maple syrup made an incredible waffle cereal–way more fun than a plain, flat waffle.

After breakfast, I admired my mom’s smooth hands as she cleaned the iron, polishing its metal exterior, carefully scraping off a stubborn spot, her wedding ring bands thin as embroidery floss, fifty-three years of married life outliving even gold.

We talked briefly about getting her a modern waffle iron, but I could tell neither of our hearts were in it.

Kind of like in my last post where I realized why I ought to embrace my inner Chummy and give up, once and for all, my infernal efforts toward being something I’m not, I’m realizing that not only is my home never going to look like homes in Pinterest or IKEA catalogs, I may not actually want it to.

Just as I might be more Chummy than Chic, I think my home is more Molly Weasley than Domestic Goddess, and most exciting, in accepting this, I’m starting to see how lovely old and mismatched can be.

Notice the chairs don’t match. Also, while searching for this image, I found a picture of a modern kitchen made to look like the Weasley’s but new, expensive, and totally missing the point.

How old is your oldest kitchen appliance?  Why have you kept it?  How often do you use it?

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There you go again, showing your humanity!

On my way to the cafe, fifteen minutes late, I told myself I’d walk in, greet my friend, apologize for being late, then settle in for an Americano and good conversation. No reason to explain why I was late (a harrowing experience losing track of where I parked my car along with my self-dignity and self-confidence resulting in a tearful call to my husband to help me find my way again. Pitiful.).

As soon as I opened the door to the cafe, I saw my friend seated and waiting:  gorgeous as usual, composed, elegant. And I do mean gorgeous. She once joined me and a group of my students at a play one Saturday night. The following Monday when it was time to discuss the play, the only thing my students wanted to talk about was my friend. Was she a model? Was she an actress? Was she famous? Would she be famous? How had I met her?

I’m not exaggerating.

Anyway, I’ve spent many moments of my life aspiring to be more like women like her, trying to look sleek and composed. It’s not like I’m a total mess or anything, but “sleek” is not a word you’d use to describe me.

Imagining a graceful entrance to the cafe was my attempt to be more “composed” and elegant.

The second after I said my warm hello, however, I gushed to my friend, “I’m sorry I’m late! I lost my car! I couldn’t find the right parking garage after my meeting downtown!”

Yep.  No glamour or elegance here.  Just raw honesty.  And, the great response from my friend.  Graceful as ever, she said “We all have our flaws,” putting me at ease, and continuing with a story about another person we know who could not find his way back to his own office after lunch one time.

A few days later, while meeting another friend at another cafe, I ordered my drink and began confessing to my friend before I even sat down, “You know how I quit caffeine for over three years?  And now I’m back? Well, I thought on the drive here I’d just order tea, or at least de-caf, but I just ordered an Americano, not even a single, a double, and regular, not de-caf…”

Completely unruffled by my whirlwind confession, she gestured for me to sit and said, “There you go again, Trista, showing your humanity.”

I felt so accepted and relieved by her comment, I ended up telling her the story of my lost car!

Then, there was  yesterday.  While driving home, a craving for chocolate chip cookies took hold of me with ferocious urgency.

...a card I made for my friend...

…a card I made for my friend…

I thought I was being mindful by making myself drive home and make cookies rather than stop by the bakery on the way home.  (I even forced myself to drive a different route to avoid temptation.)

While the first batch baked, I ate about one-third cup of the batter (you can do this with vegan cookies).  By the end of the day, I’d eaten about ten cookies, maybe twelve.

I just embraced it.  I didn’t promise myself I’d do better today (in fact, I just chowed four more).  I didn’t scold myself for such indulgence and gluttony.  Then …

This morning I went to yoga.  The teacher  greeted me and asked how I was, and, you guessed it, I gushed, “I ate twelve cookies yesterday [I didn’t mention the batter], so I don’t know how I’m going to do in class today.  I might be hyper, or I might crash.”

She smiled and turned all of her natural beauty in my direction, smiling bath-tile-white teeth, resting her hand on her slender hip, her softly curled pony tail gliding off her shoulder, and she said with wide-eyed earnestness, “I was craving chocolate chip cookies yesterday too!”

She continued, “But I didn’t have anything like that in the house, so I poured a bowl of chocolate chips,”  and here she gestured with her hands to describe a bowl the size of a shot glass “…and ate those.”  She said this as if that satisfied her.

It was then that something shifted in me, another level of acceptance.

I recognized that a shot glass of chocolate chips would have come nowhere near satisfying me.  I would have refilled it ten times over.

More importantly, rather than wishing to be other than who I am and wishing to be more like I imagined her life to be, one of perfect self control, I turned toward the mirror to set up my mat, smiled at the other women hearing the tail-end of the story, noted their lean limbs, and accepted myself standing there in fuzzy socks that can only be described as Cookie-Monster-blue, shedding little blue puffs all over the studio, black tights that end mid-calf, exposing stubbled skin before the blue sock, and all kinds of curves and heft you don’t think of when you think “yoga,” (but maybe you do when you think “twelve cookies”).

So, here’s what I’m hoping.  There’s this character on Call the Midwife named Chummy.   She’s tall, big, gangly, and kind of a mess–always trying to do the glamorous thing but ending up covered in mud (once, quite literally).  The thing is, those of us who watch the show LOVE Chummy!  She’s so herself.  She can’t help it; she’s too tall and too earnest to be anything but who she is (kind of like Julia Child), and that puts everyone else at ease.

I’ve known a few people like this in my life.  They tend to be very outgoing, whereas I am not, but they’re so unapologetically who they are, not trying to tone down their voice or fit into a pencil skirt, that they leave tons of room around them for everyone else to be themselves too.

Do you know what I mean?  Are there people like that in your life?  I’m hoping that maybe, in this path of acceptance and mindfulness, I’ll discover that I’m Chummy.  I’m the one unable to be anything but my flawed self, exposing my humanity.  Maybe my confessions about a lost car and lack of willpower will help others breathe a little easier, judge themselves a little less.  Maybe?

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“Valuing the Carrot as Much as the Steak”

You might laugh at my latest dish-washing realization.  I left the dirty dishes after dinner one night and did not clean them until after dinner the next night.  This meant that as I made the next night’s dinner, I had to elbow my way around stacks of plates and slippery piles of silverware.

Normally, this aggravates me and I sigh dramatically, letting things bang around to express my self-pity.  This night, however, I realized:  I have to accept this too.  I chose not to wash these dishes, and now it’s as simple as accepting the challenge of working around them rather than beating myself up for not washing them the night before.

I can’t change what is, right?  And I’m the one who decided to let the mess sit a full twenty-four hours, so what’s the point of resisting this reality?  I’m not sure why that worked, but it did.  I made dinner much more gracefully than normal, and cleaned up after dinner without a bit of disgruntled attitude.

Expanding this idea of accepting what is, do you ever come home to make dinner, open your fridge and cupboards (maybe they’re even well-stocked), but you just don’t see anything you want to make?  There are plenty of options, but none of them are what you’re craving.  Maybe you’re not even sure what you’re craving, but you’re hoping for a meal that will fix everything.

Rather than searching for the McMennamins tater tots that I know are not in my fridge or longing for Thai food to appear at my front door, I’m trying to look less emotionally at what exists in my fridge and cupboards, and by removing my resistance to reality, be more creative about discovering satisfying combinations.

A farmer friend  posted an article that shares a similar story about accepting what is, rather than what you wish it would be, and being rewarded with abundance and discovery.

Rene Redzepi, chef and owner of a restaurant in Denmark that is dedicated to serving fresh and local food, found himself hindered by weather that ruined crops and animal feed, leaving few ingredients for his restaurant.  He and his staff had only wilted carrots to serve that night for dinner, little else.

Rather than fail their mission, they accepted the fact of the wilted carrot and got busy brainstorming.

Their experimentation resulted in a new menu item that proved to be the favorite dish of that night, but even better, the chef discovered the abundant diversity of the vegetable world and wondered why menus always start with meat and why so much effort is put into creating meat when the plant kingdom offers such bounty.

He describes reading about attempts to create meat in petri dishes as creepy but also overly effortful:

“Yes, I understand that such advancements present an opportunity to feed many and supply a demand for the future, but is meat what people really want?”

Or is meat simply so familiar it blinds us to other options?  I learned this during our first meatless month many years ago.  Removing the convenience of turkey sandwiches and chicken-with-a-starch dinners opened our eyes to what else might equate a meal.

Redzepi continues:

“Have the majority of us become so lazy, so set in our ways, that we have to put so much effort into preserving the familiar? Or do we just need to shake off some of our habits and put more thought into what has always been around us?”

That’s it!  That’s at the heart of my food journey:  put more thought into what has been around me all along.  Being mindful around food starts to extend to being mindful throughout the day. Over time, a wilted carrot or a short walk can yield as much pleasure, satisfaction, and inspiration as more obviously stimulating things like chocolate cake or a jam-packed busy day.

As Redzepi says:

“I can tell you that after you discover the bounty of the plant kingdom, you’ll be able to … see possibilities you didn’t before. Elevating the vegetable in your diet and in your life will make things cheaper, healthier and—I promise you—much more delicious.”

I think this is what I’ve been working my way toward: elevating the ordinary in my life.  I’m such a striver, always reaching toward the future and working to improve and acquire and build.  But now that I’ve had more moments of slowing down and being present to what is right in front of me, the more often I’m surprised at the joy and even thrill of things as simple as library books, a conversation with my guy, or just a walk around the neighborhood.

“For us it all started by valuing the carrot as much as the steak. In gastronomic terms, when it comes to flavour, there is no difference between them. It just takes questioning some preconceptions, and a bit of imagination.”

Value the carrot as much as the steak, value the ordinary day-to-day as much as the exciting novelties and new adventures.

Well, we’ll see.  It’s taken a long time to get here, and maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up with the habitual anxious striving, and I’ll devour my oatmeal without even noticing that I’ve made it never mind tasting it.  But I have hope that as the still moments become more frequent, and accepting wilted carrots and dirty dishes becomes more natural, there will be peace of mind, and in peace of mind, there will contentment and even joy.  Here’s hoping.

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Peace of Mind One Bowl at a Time

New Year’s resolutions are tempting.  It’s hard not to write out a list of all the things I’ll do and be as of the first day of a new year.  But I won’t let myself do it.  Lists are like magic to me: if I write it down, it must be so, even though a total stranger glancing over my shoulder could tell within a few seconds my ambition far exceeds the minutes in a day, never mind the limited energy of a body and mind — especially mine.

So, I suppose my new year’s resolution is not to do that.  Instead of the hoping for perfection to arrive tomorrow, I will begrudgingly try to accept today.  This does not sound particularly exciting or inspiring.  It’s more fun to imagine tomorrow’s brilliance.  Today’s realities seem so dingy in comparison.

Just before midnight last night, I realized how I might practice this effort of accepting what is rather than pining for what I’d rather it be.

I listened in as a few people talked about rediscovering the pleasure of cooking, and I nodded in understanding as one woman exclaimed, “Except cleaning up.  You get fifteen minutes of enjoying your meal and then forty-five minutes to clean up.”

This is what drives me crazy about movies, novels, celebrity chefs — cleaning up almost never gets discussed.  One exception is Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir Blood, Bones & Butter but it’s such an extreme example involving a dead rat that it hardly counts.  In the recently published Toro Bravo cookbook by John Gorham and Liz Crain, however, there’s a whole paragraph from Gorham:

Enjoy cleaning.  The media’s turned chefs into rock stars, but so many people now see the glamor and don’t realize how hard and unglamorous cooking can be.  Half the job is cleaning up:  washing, cleaning, scrubbing, wiping.  Enjoy that too.

How?  How do I learn to enjoy the cleaning?

Many years ago, I heard the poet Lawson Inada tell a story about washing up after dinner.  He felt agitated and stressed, but something disrupted his grumbling, and he decided to be present and simply wash one bowl at a time, mindfully placing each one in the dish drainer.

If I have a new year’s resolution, and I don’t, it’s to wash one bowl at a time.  To face the kitchen counter after a good homemade meal and not wish for it to be anything other than what it is.  Embrace the task at hand.

If I can master this with dirty dishes, just imagine all the other imperfect parts of life I might be able to accept, all the exertion I could avoid by no longer trying to will things to be what they are not.  Peace of mind could be just a few dinners away.

(Just in case you think I’m an utter wimp, it might be important to add here that we don’t have a dishwasher, just a sink, a sponge, some soap, and green gloves so bulky my guy calls me The Hulk.)

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Two Desserts, Some Bad TV, & Blurry Ethics: Happy Halloween!

Last year on Halloween, I came home from work, kept all of the lights off, shut the blinds, and went downstairs to the basement.

It had been a hard day.  Nothing specifically bad happened, but I was not even half-way through fall term, and I already felt deeply exhausted.  I wrote this in my journal: “Feeling un-smart.  Wishing to be sharp-minded and clear-spoken with the right words and insight.” (I suppose every teacher wishes this most every day, or am I alone here?)

I dragged the laptop, a blanket, and dinner I’d purchased at the grocery store down to the basement with me.

Sounds of trick-or-treaters came and went from outside, but their festivity made me hunker down even more.

For dinner: veggie burger with flake-salted fries and two desserts.  Yes, two:  vegan mousse and a vegan brownie.  And yes, I ate it all while watching Looney Tunes Halloween specials on hulu.com then searching for anything else to absorb my angst.

My journal continues with me wishing to be something other than “muddled and comforted by salty potatoes and chocolate” and what turned out to be at least four hours of a really, really bad show.  (It’s still popular for some reason, so I’d better not tell you the title.)

I concluded:  “It’s nearly midnight, and I do feel a lot better … I mean, if someone can produce FIVE seasons of such bad writing and acting as X, I am not as far down on the smart scale as I feel.”

I immediately apologized in my journal for being snarky, but today I see the comment as a tiny glimmer of self-defense, me standing up for me.

The next day, one of my students asked me what I did for Halloween.  After I told her the story, feeling comforted in reliving it, she said, “How sad!” and lingered in my office doorway as if wondering if she ought to stage an intervention.

Yesterday, when I told a friend the same story, she said, “How cute!” in the same tone someone might say, “That’s lovely!”  And, I realized twelve months later, it was lovely, not sad.

This year, I feel better.  No basement bunker.  I bought candy and opened the door to whomever knocked, whether it was a three-foot Power Ranger afraid of dogs or two adults in very freaky nun masks.

Buying candy sends me on an ethical roller coaster: cheap candy is bad but kids love it; the big candy companies are bad, but kids don’t want fair-trade dark chocolate (Trust me on this, an entire room of college students groaned when they learned the candy I’d brought to class was dark chocolate.  I had leftovers stashed in my office for weeks.  Yea for me!); I could give out stickers or pencils, but that’s what I see littering the streets the day after Halloween … and so on.

So, we got KitKats, Crunch bars, and Tootsie Rolls.  “I won’t be tempted to eat any,” I told my friend, “I stopped liking milk chocolate a long time ago.”

Oh what a poseur snob am I.  I ate two KitKats last night and four today.  I think the moral of the story here is:  I’m human.

I’ll leave you with a scene from my one of my best Halloweens ever.  I’m in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It’s early night, desert-dark but with a full moon.

After taking myself out for a burrito and a beer, I wander the town.  Outside of a gothic-looking church is a sign, “Come inside for spooky halloween music.”  Seriously.  That’s what the sign said outside this very serious-looking Catholic church.

I pulled open the enormous doors with one of the thick iron handles (probably smelted when this land belonged to Mexico, or Spain, or buffalo) and there he was:  a balding man, hunched over a keyboard many yards away from me at the front of the church pounding out spooky music on an organ at least three stories tall.

He looked and sounded like Helmut Walcha, pumping out similar music with a bit of The Munsters theme song mixed in.

I sat in a back pew, one of maybe ten people inside this enormous, imposing church, feeling equally spooked (the church was drafty, dark, and filled with movement even though virtually empty) and elated.  For a good few minutes, I managed to resist the pull of the moon tugging me up out of my seat and back into the crisp, cold desert air.

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Not Ready for the Apocalypse*

It’s around this time of year, the end of fall harvest season, that I start thinking about next year’s garden.

Every year, however, I develop gardener’s amnesia.  I have no memory whatsoever of my propensity for planting everything way too close so harvesting anything requires advanced yoga skills and sage-like patience, neither of which I have. I visualize myself planting miniscule basil seeds and potted vegetable starts methodically, in neat, artful groupings and rows.  I’ve forgotten almost completely about the slugs, snails, and alien-like insects.  I fail to consider the persistent, prolific weeds.

This giantess is a Thai basil I let flower for the bees.

But it’s comforting to imagine the perfection of next year’s garden and it feeds something that continues to brew in me, no matter how minimal my garden’s bounty proves to be.  It’s an idea of self-reliance.  No … I’m not sure that’s what to call it.  It’s not like our little backyard could feed anyone for a full month, never mind a year.

Maybe I mean provident.  I’m trying to be provident:  wisely preparing for the future, creating that feeling of comfort, security, and abundance that comes with the smell of pumpkin pie baking or garlic and onion sizzling.

I don’t yet know what it takes to achieve this vague, persistent feeling, but I suspect it requires a dialed-down life of simple but lasting pleasure, and to achieve that there are things I must let go that I prefer to cling to.  I can’t yet name those things, but here’s something that rang true:

My blog friend told me to read A Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball.  It was an adventurous, dramatic, humorous, occasionally tear-jerking read about a young couple starting a farm dependent on draft horses (no tractors) that feeds 200 people everything they need year round (including sweetener (maple syrup) and grains, but not coffee or tea).

Early on, Kimball frets about debt and financial insecurity, which I identify with, dredging up images from Victorian literature about poor houses and bereft women left with nowhere but the street.  Kimball’s husband, however, sees it entirely differently:

“In his view, we were already a success, because we were doing something hard and it was something that mattered to us.  You don’t measure things like that with words like success or failure, he said.  Satisfaction comes from trying hard things and then going on to the next hard thing, regardless of the outcome. What mattered was whether or not you were moving in a direction you thought was right.”

Satisfaction, like feeling provident, like you’ve put in a good day of useful work and can count the jars of jam or rows of carrots or stacks of clean dishes.

Kimball’s husband reminded me of a passage in Julia Child Rules where Karbo discerns from Julia’s life that hard work is what leads to lasting happiness:

“Throwing ourselves into hard work can be deeply gratifying, and mastering a skill is a satisfaction in and of itself, but the reality of this has largely fallen out of favor.”  We believe “… happiness is to be found in outward appreciation and approval, not inner dedication.”

Inner dedication.  Okay, we might be getting closer to what I seek, some sort of mix of outer achievement (rows of carrots) with inner dedication (seeing those carrots through to the end of their impossibly slow growth cycle?).

Later in Kimball’s memoir, she has a similar realization:

“I had always been attracted to the empty, sparkly grab bag of instant gratification, and I was beginning to learn something about the peace you can find inside an infinite challenge.”

Yes!  Peace inside infinite challenge.  Wait, why do I say yes?  It drives me crazy that once a batch of essays is graded or a room dusted, the next batch of essays comes in or two days later a fine layer of dust dulls the briefly glossy surfaces.  Aren’t those examples of “infinite challenge”?  Or, maybe they’re just eternal tasks more than infinite challenges.

And yet, that vague feeling of providence resonates when I read this passage.  You could say my yoga practice provides “infinite challenge” since I have no natural talent and even the basic poses still challenge me after 10 years of practice, but I can’t say I’ve found peace in this.  Also, it’s not provident, yoga practice is not creating abundance.  …

That’s it!  Creating abundance.

Maybe that’s what draws me to the quiet spaces of my backyard garden and the kitchen and away from louder, busier places offering more obvious signs of success.

* While I was drafting this post, I saw that my friend posted this on her Facebook page:
Last night I ate my entire 2013 potato crop. I am so not ready for the apocalypse. Exactly. 

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