I’ve been running into a wall pretty much – oops, that’s not pretty at all – for a couple of weeks. If I’m to be honest, for a couple of periods this year. It may be old age, realizing that I’m not the man I was 60 years ago, stuck in my mind was how fast I could run, stuff like that. Maturity certainly didn’t factor in to where I was at as a teenager or in my twenties. At some point it dawned on me that’s not the way to measure one’s worth – by power or the number of things you have. But those thought patterns have a long shelf-life, a very long shelf-life, especially when we’re bombarded continually with ads and images as to how to have a “Happy Life.”
There’s that picture in the back of my mind that happiness can only come with having it all, whatever that means. I’m stuck here waiting for that “ALL” and since “ALL” is not going to drop in my life all at once, I just sit here looking out the window. Maybe sometimes even going “Oh, woe is me.” Thankfully, things aren’t that bad, but over the last year I’ve experienced a lot of inertia, feeling helpless. And the crap happening out there makes, what the hell, it doesn’t matter much what I do. At times I think I could write the handbook: Moping for Dummies. A few months later I could release Advanced Moping and follow that with Moping – Genius Edition. So now I’m feeling better, the money I get from all those best sellers to be will help me buy the ALL I just wrote about above.
Writing about this brings a smile; puts things in perspective and helps me recall the good advice I offered in a couple of essays way back when. Now I’m going to call it BIG PICTURE – little steps!
Nothing is going to happen if I do nothing. And little good is going to happen if I only do something for myself.
May as well start from where I’m sitting. I’m going to list some of the good things I see from my window:
1. Trees, some with leaves, some already bare – proof that life cycles on through the seasons.
2. Sun shining and puddles of water on the neighbor’s garage roof – proof that the sun will follow the rain and the rain, the sun. Life goes on, needs some of the challenges (OK, maybe I won’t be smiling as much once winter descends on Wisconsin bringing down the Artic Chill across the Canadian border – Hmm, think we can get a presidential candidate to promise building a wall on that border, keep out the blue meanies?
3. Mug empty, tasty Oolong tea washing down a delightful Pfeffernüsse cookie. I can still taste the delicious spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and a sprinkling of black pepper. German cookies for Christmas and we can all be inclusive – have potato latkes with sour cream and homemade apple sauce for Hanukah. And OK – let’s search the net and find a Moslem treat – sad since this reminds me I don’t have many Moslem friends. But a friend is close to a several Muslim families. I can ask him to reach out and maybe we can use food to build a path to peace. It could work. And just think, this all could have started from an empty cup of tea – no need for three cups of tea. And you read about it here first! Be equally nice if one of our Moslem readers can post her/his thoughts along with a recipe or two.
I’m feeling better already. OK, that’s a start on the BIG PICTURE. Pick up your own paints and sketch book. What we do for ourselves is most valuable.
As for the little steps: get off your duff and grab a cookie! Then go look out the window and affirm that you don’t need any rainbow (or I’ll write about them again).
Recall smiles and random acts of loving kindness repair the world and our own souls. And these are the big steps: open hearts and inclusivity!
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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