Saturday, January 30, 2010

liquid chopsticks

I had a great lunch with my friends JB and K on Thursday at St. Martin's Table. Not a huge selection of food, but what we had was delicious and I think nourishing for all of us. I was hungry throughout the day for some reason, and then later in the evening I had dinner with my best friend in this world at Tanpopo noodle shop over in St. Paul, which never disappoints. We had sushi, dumplings, miso soup, and soba noodle soup with mushroom and egg, all very tasty. This morning I had the remains of the soup as my breakfast, and I mulled over how efficient chopsticks are, and how they allow you to be more involved with the process of eating. I am beginning to understand that limiting your choices is a good step toward being involved in the process, of eating or living.

Time sneaks by in the morning, but soon I must work; at my job, at my life, at my art, at my relationships. I was reading a passage from a Shunryu Suzuki book, and I came upon the concept of a flexible, fluid heart. In order to be happy, our hearts need to flow, be able to bend when the wind blows, in order to be in a natural state of being. What I see in myself and others is this tendency to maintain rigidity in the face of the unknown. I can't help my muscles from tensing up, but I can mindfully relax them when I become aware. Oh, but it is so easy to lash out at this crazy world.

"How can our smile be the source of joy and not just a diplomatic maneuver? When we smile to ourselves, that smile is not diplomacy; it is the proof that we are ourselves, that we have full sovereignty over ourselves. Can we write a poem on stopping, aimlessness, or just being? Can we paint something about it? Everything we do is an act of poetry or a painting if we do it with mindfulness. Growing lettuce is poetry. Walking to the supermarket can be a painting."

Thich Nhat Hanh, "Peace Is Every Step"


fremenine said...

So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.

John O'Donohue,
from To Bless the Space Between Us

Arletta Rue said...

seeing the everyday moments in an astonishing clearity.

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