“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
During these trying times, each of us finds a way to cope. The response I’m hearing most often from my author and illustrator friends is, “Make Something Beautiful.”
The simple act of creating something new is not only life affirming — it affords the creator the calm that comes with total immersion in a project. Writers often talk about “being in flow,” when you lose all sense of time and place, and the only thing that matters is the work.
I liken “being in flow” with mindfulness. When we are fully present there is no worry over future events or regret about the past.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix
Syria. Shootings. Shutdown. Stand-off.
What to do when your government is broken and the world has gone mad? While everyone duked it out in public this week, our neighbor Jack quietly battled for his life in the privacy of his own home.
Jack was a writer and a recluse. Fourteen years living next door and I may have spoken to him three times. Amidst the din of discord and crazy agendas, foreign wars we’ll never understand, and a brand of racism and intolerance that continues to rear its ugly head, we all have our personal battles. Sickness and suffering aside, what saddened us the most was that Jack died alone.
Looking for solace, I was happy to discover new-to-me Ohio poet and photographer Sharon Auberle. Her poem offered comfort, and her wonderful photos captured the tangible beauty in the world, reminding me how important it is to hold onto yourself by simply doing what you know and what you can, and being present in each moment.
First there was a warm, comforting bowl of Sopa de frijoles (Bean Soup), followed by creamy dreamy Arroz con leche (Rice Pudding), then a savory batch of Guacamole so delicious you danced around the kitchen with a “green avocado laugh” printed on your face.
Most of you already know how much I adore these books, written by a poet who sees magic in each ingredient and every utensil and says, “the whole kitchen is a cooking poem.” *swoon*
This time we read about a brother and sister making tamalitos, or “little tamales.” I want to hug myself just thinking about these mini corn masa and cheese-stuffed pillows wrapped in cornhusks (little pillows! a lot like dumplings!). As with the other cooking poems, there is reverence for Mother Earth, a lively, joyous total immersion in every step of the process, lots of sensory detail, and great anticipation at eating the final product and lovingly sharing it with the rest of the family.