“Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings,
observe how endings become beginnings.”
Tao Te Ching – 16th verse
2013 was a dirt path winding, barely visible, crooked through the woods. Step by step I ventured further into fragile self-awareness and awe drenched mindfulness. I tore my way past difficult terrain and stood broad even after my feet caught hold of sycamore roots. I dodged the falling flecks of granite and leering boulders; obstructions sent to lead me astray. I climbed until I reached the inevitable descent. I hit rock bottom to soak my feet in the icy stream and continued onward. I reached each peak with fiery grace and fury. Stopping in the earthly silence to meditate on my travel.
When I reflect on the year behind I see mountains; I see a scared little girl trapped inside her own delusions. I see her reach out from swelling, unforgiving mother nature and latch on to therapeutic creativity. I see someone who found the glitter in the black. Who grasped the opportunity to rebuild from ashes and lit herself like the phoenix. She has created beginnings from endings. She is an enigma.
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you will never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
Sometimes I “people watch” when I’m waiting. In lines at the supermarket or inside the plastic cages built at bus stops. I imagine their life in flashes. A memory of a college party, an explosive breakup, the birth of their daughter, sledding down a slope on a picnic table, and the resulted pain of broken bones. I like to imagine their sorrows and their happiness. Their ups and downs.
It exercises my empathy and broadens my perspective. It reminds me that we are all carrying the weight of the world; the baggage of our past. The world I live in is woven by my unique experiences. Every world is different. Every world is important.
I enjoy making music. I enjoy it more than thanksgiving day pie selection (I select every pie to try) and Newegg shopping sprees. I enjoy it so much I think I can finally justify investing in a decent microphone. Sorry not sorry for the audio quality. I do the best with what I’ve got (and what I’ve got is a Galaxy S III smartphone).
I’ve needed to take a leap of faith and put myself out there or I will never see progress. I re-taught myself piano this summer and started busting out some covers. Here is “Lies” by Marina and the Diamonds. I hope you enjoy.
Tantalus found a way to properly piss off the Greek gods. It was known gossip that he was asked to join the gods for dinner. Zeus was his father and that helped get him the invite. While he was there he misbehaved. He misbehaved something proper. Some say he tried to bring back the nectar of the gods to the mortals, or that he stole something during his visit. Others say that he served up a main course of his son (boiled) to the gods in a sadistic attempt at an offering. The gods weren’t having it.
He was cast away to the Underworld, Tartarus to be specific, to be eternally tantalized. They set him in a pool, water covering him up to his chin. Above him draped groves of luscious fruit. When Tantalus would bend down to drink the water, the water would drain. When he reached up to grab the fruit, the branches would raise beyond his arm’s length. Suffering continual deprivation while being constantly taunted with nourishment.
Tantalus never stops reaching.
The other night I had some friends over for dinner (check back later for some awesome grilling recipes!) and managed to churn out quite the deliciously impressive grilled menu. I love cooking for other people because it gives me filling validation. There aren’t many things as rewarding as someone reaching for a large second helping, or a plate licked clean.
My family always gathered together for dinner. Even amid the chaos of three very busy kids with very different schedules; without fail, we always share a meal together at the dinner table. I know I’m in the minority, but even now I will feel a little odd when people don’t find a communal dinner necessary. So I try to continue my family tradition. Invite people to your dinner table, fill them with food, and basque in the afterglow of good company and a meal well served.