Monday Miscellany

I just turned in a 15,000-word writing project that was due three weeks ago. I was grateful for the extension, but that November 15 book deadline is looking a little scary as a result. All of this reminds me of my trip up the mountain---the many times I'd get to a mile marker, look up and think, I still have all that left to go?

And there's absolutely nothing at all to do but keep trudging.

Meanwhile Robert is having the busiest work week in a year, and James spiked a fever last night. It's down again today and he's playing happily, but still pretty cruddy. Trying to decide whether to take him to the doc. He had a cold a couple of weeks ago, which makes the fever an ominous sign... but my kids generally have sequential illnesses rather than secondary infections.

This morning I read this piece from the Improvised Life, one of my favorite blogs. The authors were talking about the value of reading good and nourishing stuff first thing in the morning. It's so much better for the soul than going right to e-mail and news. And here is one of their favorite go-to pieces:

We often ask, “What’s wrong?” Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger, and depression, and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds inside of us and around us. We should learn to ask, “What’s not wrong?” and be in touch with that. There are so many elements in the world and within our bodies, feelings, perceptions, and consciousness that are wholesome, refreshing, and healing. If we block ourselves, if we stay in the prison of our sorrow, we will not be in touch with these healing elements.

Life is filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. Our breathing, for example, can be very enjoyable. I enjoy breathing every day. But many people appreciate the joy of breathing only when they have asthma or a stuffed-up nose. We don’t need to wait until we asthma to enjoy our breathing. Awareness of the precious elements of happiness is itself the practice of right mindfulness. Elements like these are within us an all around us. In each second of our lives we can enjoy them…

Thich Nhat Hanh

What's not wrong:

  • This beautiful day. Sunny, not too warm, with fall color at the tops of the trees, slowly spilling down.
  • The relief that if I need to take James to the doctor, I can, at minimal cost.
  • The chance to go out with Robert yesterday for dinner and a play.
  • My children.
  • The feeling after going for a run---like I've received a massage internally.
  • Living in the same city as my mother.
  • Fulfilling work.

What's not wrong with you?