Sunday, April 11, 2010

Just another ordinary Sunday

...punctuated by rain and wind as has been the case lately. Absolutely not one whit of progress on getting RoundUp on the weeds, which are growing almost visibly, but you can't do it when it's going to rain or with a lot of wind, and we've had both every weekend for weeks -- or have had other appointments that couldn't be postponed. It'll be waiting for us...

We've got a fire in the woodstove, a brisket in the crockpot, granola in the oven, and the dryer is full of clean clothes. Tonight is the season premier of The Tudors, another episode of The Pacific, a two-hour Brothers and Sisters. And the DVR holds several other goodies including the latest James Bond, Quantum of Solace.

Tony's taking a nap. So are the kitties. I just finished up one layout for a program I'm doing and caught up on some reading. Life is good.

I finished Martha Beck's Steering by Starlight last night and will ponder the book for some time to come, I think. It made me puddle up at the end even -- this is, I suppose, not the usual response to a self-help book.

She quotes Einstein as having said that there are two ways to look at life: as though nothing is a miracle or though everything is. And her example of waking up in the morning (miracle), drinking a cup of coffee (miracle: coming from a far distant place to my cup), going online (miracle!) are examples of gratitudes, of blessings we all have and rarely think twice about.

She quotes Mary Oliver: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

And she says, after a whole book of exercises designed to help us find our Stargazer selves, "If you're afraid you've come to this question too late (the Mary Oliver one), you are wrong: ... The world is re-created in every instant of time, and this moment is always your life's beginning."

Beck ends with a poem that begins, "Live while you are alive..."

In something else I read in the past couple of days -- and it may have been referenced in this book too -- a teacher asked his class what they would do if they learned they had six months to live. Answers ranged from travel to eating whatever they wanted. As the teacher shortened the time, though, to one month to one week to one day, the answers became focused on relationships, on people, on love.

And then he asked the question again: What would you do if you knew you had six months to live? And how do you know you do?

Life is short. It is fragile, but it also is immensely strong and powerful, even when we have had hard things happen to us. But it is all we have, this one 'wild and precious life.'