Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cheers to a few doozies!

To the 70-year old man whom I have never met who gave me the once- over after Church today and asked me in a befuddled voice: "What is that? Is that American?"... I say, “Yes, we’re all signed up to substitute for the circus and have to be prepared to go at any given moment. Oh, and we have more stores there than you have maple leaves.”

To my unnamed family member who scoffed when I declared that I possess the virtue of acceptance (it was a game, I wouldn’t just shout that out of nowhere) (okay, maybe I did) and then shot a chicken wing out of her nose and onto my dining room table, I say, “You married my brother who is just like me but with the boy parts, Sara.” Oh shit. I wasn’t going to say her name. Sorry.

To the crazy imbecile who decided to market the “charming tradition” of Elf on A Shelf, I say, "Family tradition my ass. $39 for a book and a tiny, stuffed, creepy looking little dude? You're a genius--this must be at least $37.90 in profit. My youngest talks to the freak all day long and has been shockingly well behaved. So well behaved for a stuffed 5 cent figurine someone constructed in China that I'm starting to think of marketing a January - November elf (can I have the name of your sweatshop?) But I'll have to make up a sappy family tradition story, like you did, to convince people that this is not a 'how to purchase a well-behaved child' gimmick, but rather a 'how to make me a millionaire' one."

And finally, to the gentleman who wagged his finger at me in the grocery store parking lot, I say... "Maybe I was cutting through the parking lanes, just a little bit, oh-so-slightly, but it was not affecting you one little bit. In fact, my slight error was no more offensive to others in the lot than your ugly head was to look at. Wagging a finger at someone is as bad as flipping them off or flashing them your ugly junk. And I'm going to send you a bill for my therapy session this week since you forced me to recall horrible events from my childhood. So please send me your address."

See Sara? I'm accepting as hell.

And since the one or two of you who read this probably want to know what I was wearing at Church this morning, it was my favorite patterned tights. Yes, they may look like they belong on a 4-year old, but I love them. And they have a lot of pink in them. There.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

generous attention

I don't have new insights into life to share.
In fact, lately I've had more questions than anything that may be remotely disguised as an insight.
But I suppose those must come first.
And then sometimes said questions might even lead me to an insight.
Though I often exist in a particular question for a while. Feel the tension of it.

What have you been paying attention to lately?

Is it your face?
Your Facebook?
Maybe... your successes?
Your worries?
Your kids, I suppose?
(The ones you have or the ones you wish you had?)
Your to do-list? Or your to-don't?
Your guilt? How to avoid future shame?
Your checkbook?
Your mid-section?
Your god? No... your goddess?

Are you all the way awake or only half?

Have you paid attention to another human recently?

And I mean fully paid attention to: locked eye contact, lost track of time, forgot about your long list of concerns and needs, and listened with your heart and not your mind: without responses from your ego, without judgment from your vast experience, without comparisons from your recent readings?
That kind.

Has anyone paid that kind to you lately?

(And by you, I mean me. And by me, I sometimes mean I, depending on each individual sentence, you know. Of course you do.)

Sometimes I have to sign out before I can sign in.

A long time ago, Simone Weil said that "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."
(Thanks to a recent Canadian sermon for that one.)

Things rare and pure are usually expensive, yes?

What sort of expense does attention incur?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Proud of my "former" country

Yay for America!

I am going to refrain from gloating.

Instead, let me share what my dear friend Kiara has to say about it; she's much gentler than I.