"What makes us discontented with our condition is the absurdly exaggerated idea we have of the happiness of others."
I came across this quote recently (in my handy dandy Wabi Sabi purse book by Diane Durston), and I was struck by its eloquence! I catch myself imagining that nearly every soul under the stars experiences more comfort and contentment than I, but I know in my mind that this is surely not the case! I just envision folks sitting on their pretty couches, coffee cups in hand, perusing their Oprah magazines while taking brief reading breaks to gaze upon their perfectly French manicured toenails. Their cats are laying next to them on the couch, and the freshly cut garden tea roses in the nearby vase are in full bloom. The sun rays filter in through the lace covered windows and Jack Johnson is playing softly in the other room. There are no ringing telephones in their homes, and lunches pack themselves. Everything is uncluttered and in its proper place- no piles of important papers begging to be dealt with.
Really! How else am I supposed to envision my friends spending their days? Frantically barking orders while cooking, feeding the dog, and verbally attempting to assist with what exactly constitutes a transitive verb? Doing 17 loads of laundry while racing off to 3 different soccer practices with a dental visit thrown in just for good measure?
Nah. I prefer to envision them sitting on thier couches watching their plasma T.V.'s. I think we are the last ones to go for the new fangled television, but we will wind up with a Blue Ray, whatever the hell that is.You know, good things come to those who wait......
Granted, our twins will surely be moved out by the time we get that fancy TV, but how better to entice them home for frequent visits? They are sixteen, and I am feeling meloncholy about their leaving the nest. Not that I could ever experience boredom, or am the least bit worried about how my hubby and I might fill our spare time ( remember, he is active on the neighborhood council and avidly refs AYSO soccer- and I intend to write a book someday), but our role as nurturers will surely change. Will we lose our sense of purpose? Will we become self absorbed, spending endless hours driving around to gather up organic this and that in order to prepare elaborate meals, and finally have enough time to adequately exercise?
As it stands now, I usually don't get to sit down on our pretty couch until about 10 PM. Unless I am watching one of my really trashy TV shows or reading a really good book or the L.A. Times, I don't last too long. The fatique of the day melts from my bones into the couch, and then I just don't want to get up because I will lose the accumulated warmth my butt has generated on the couch cushion, and I will have to regenerate that warmth in my bed! Too much work! So I stay on the couch until I have to get up to pee, and since I am half way to my room, and the alarm is in there, I decide to crawl into bed. And all of this transpires before hubby even gets home from work! How he manages to put in 14 hour days, day after day, and still maintain his health and sanity is beyond my comprehension. And then on the weekends he "relaxes" by reffing AYSO soccer games!
Now I prefer to relax on the pretty couch, with my cat and coffee, and read in the lace filtered sunshine. So fluttering off into fantasy, here would be my perfect day- mind you, there's no room in this fantasy for flat tires or tonsillitus... get up at 6 am and cook a quality breakfast for the family. Get everyone off to school and work. Down a few cups of coffee while reading the paper and then go for a vigorous workout at the gym. Come home and do a couple hours of cleaning. Take a nice bath and get all gussied up. Spend an hour doing something spiritual, reading or meditating. Eat a healthy lunch involving spinach. Spend an hour or two working on something creative- photography, writing poetry or blog, cooking something fancy for later, and then picking up our kids from shcool and being available to assist with any homework questions ( why do we need to know which verbs are transitive?). Hubby comes home at 6 PM and we have a delicious dinner and then spend some quality time together perhaps reading or playing a game or watching a movie on tha tBlue Ray TV, going for a bicycle ride or walk.
It all sounds so, so Stepford! It ain't real life, but it's how I picture other folks' lives, which results in my questioning my current condition which only breeds discontentment. I just know that everyone else is watching American Idol while I am trying to locate that other white sock in the laundy room and begging Computer Boy to assist with Buddah Boy's Pre Alegebra. And i'd bet money other folks picture me sitting on the pretty couch with our lovely cat, reading and relaxing. That's why I loved the quote.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
--- Max Ehrmann, 1927
Prayers of and to St. Patrick
As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
And- doesn't anyone know a J. Davis who lost an iPod? Email Jewel if you do. See the July 07 archive.
The "Frog" picture to the left will begin to rotate after the .gif loads. What do you see after it rotates?
There was a young hunter named Shepherd
Who was eaten for lunch by a leopard.
Said the leopard, "Egad!
You'd be tastier, lad
If you had been salted and peppered!"
A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, "let us flee!"
"Let us fly!" said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
An epicure dining at Crewe
Found a very large bug in his stew.
Said the waiter, "Don't shout
And wave it about,
Or the rest will be wanting one too."
There once was a pirate (the story relates)
who liked to go dancing on roller skates.
He fell on his cutlass
which rendered him nutless
and virtually useless on dates.
There once was a man from Madrass
Who's balls were constructed of brass
When jangled together
They played stormy weather
And lightening shot out of his ass!
There once was a Bishop of Treet
Who decided to be indiscreet,
But after one round
To his horror he found
You repeat, and repeat, and repeat.
A pansy who lived in Khartoum
Took a lesbian up to his room,
And they argued all night
Over who had the right
To do what, and with which, and to whom.
There once was an old man of Esser,
Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser,
It at last grew so small
He knew nothing at all,
And now he's a college professor.
There once was a lady from Hyde,
Who ate a green apple and died,
While her lover lamented,
The apple fermented,
and made cider inside her inside.
There was a young lady one fall
Who wore a newspaper dress to a ball.
The dress caught fire
And burned her entire
Front page, sporting section and all.
A mouse in her room woke Miss Doud
Who was frightened and screamed very loud
Then a happy thought hit her
To scare off the critter
She sat up in bed and just meowed
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