Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Blossoms Dropping All Around Us

My friend Jess, from the blog JessPDX posted this quote the other day: “But listen to me; for one moment, quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.” - Rumi

Rumi's words really got to me because I've been thinking a lot lately about our human need to be right and how much trouble it causes. If only we could stop imagining that "right" or "good" or "happy" is a finite pie that leaves less for us if others get more.

Life is SO not a zero-sum game, as they game theorists call that scenario. Joy begets joy. Sharing creates more. Always has, always will.

Here are two stories that illustrate what I've been thinking about today.

First: my current sister-in-law took on some of the priviledges of that job before my former sister-in-law had relinquished them, if you follow the way I'm drifting. 12 years or so later, some members of my family still find the need to punish her. (Now, having been down the opposite side of that back country road, don't for a moment think I approve or like the idea at all. Not one bit, in fact. But, that's someone else's Karma, not mine. Plus, there's that whole "judge not that ye be not judged" thing.)

Anyway, my former sister-in-law had one cooking specialty--a wonderful chocolate pie. SIL #2 does not bake that pie and does not like for it to be served in her presence. Will not allow it to be served to my brother, in fact. My brother and SIL hosted Thanksgiving for the family last week (other than me and the kids, who celebrated in Mpls, as you know). Guess what pie my sister baked and carried down there?

My sister is not known to be deliberately be unkind, but she can do unconscious along with the best of us. I really think that even after all these years, she still needs to be right about this woman and this situation. She's still so stuck in it that she can't see the blossoms falling all around her.

Second: right now I'm in a coffee shop that offers free wifi. There's a Lexus parked outside, in the prime parking spot by the front door. A woman inside the Lexus is working on her laptop, pirating the wifi without buying coffee, in other words. Several patrons have reported her, have suggested to the management that she be asked to remove her offending car and her offensive person. They are particularly outraged that she's taking up the best parking spot and they had to walk across the lot to come in and buy their coffee or bakery goods.

Other than the extra 29 steps they had to walk, this woman's presence isn't creating any problem for anyone as far as I can tell. Who knows what her reasons for staying in the car may be? Why are people so angry about it? Is it because she drives a car more expensive than theirs? Is it because they are paying outrageous sums for coffee and damn it, so should she? My response to them is the same as my response to my sister: compassion. Peaceful hearts don't harbor such anger over such things, especially when they're not directly related to their own lives.

It's always so easy to see the flaws of others. After recognizing this trait in others, I've been trying to see how it operates in my own life. I don't want to miss the blessings or the blossoms. I want to hear and see and smell and touch them as they drop all around me. In fact, I want to gather them in drifts and bring others to luxuriate in their presence. I want to put them in bottles of good vodka and distill their essence (as I do vanilla beans) to flavor Christmas cookies and morning lattes. I want to put a dab of this essence behind each ear, leaving a trail of joyful fragrance behind me as I travel through my days. I want to put it in little bottles to share with people I love and with others I've not yet met.

More later. Right now I'm headed off to meditate. Maybe stop and buy some little bottles on the way home.


holly said...

Beautiful seintiment, beautifully stated.


~p.s. congrats on fireplaces. I got such a kick out of watching your interview.

Prema said...

I love this post, Jerri. From my cafe to yours, I feel like we are just across the room. Isn't it nice to be the one to feel the peace today?

Anonymous said...

Great post. The second par. before the end is sheer poetry, worthy of Rumi.

Remiman said...

Beautiful sentiments even more beautifully stated.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Beautiful Jerri! I love this!

I'll carry it with my throughout my day.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Yes! Excellent! Take an A! There is no scarcity. Period. Make that your mantra, and you will start to really believe it. I love (period) this writing and you, Jerri!


Jenny Rough said...

What a great quote. I will treasure that one.

Go Mama said...

Lovely generous post Jerri. I'll take some of that eau de vodka blessing any day.

JessPDX said...

I had somehow missed this one before. Glad you liked the quote! Thanks for giving me a reason to appreciate it even more. Yeah, why are people so possessive about wifi? Geez, it's free...

Will there be homemade vanilla vodka at the retreat? ;)