Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yellow Silk Chair

What do you see in front of you? It's so simple isn't it? A yellow silk chair framed in yellow!
(That is unless you were/are a philosophy major and then you might argue that the chair isn't really there.... I was an English major so that won't be the topic here!)

What I am thinking about today is that we spend so much time in our lives trying to know ourselves, figuring out our parents,  finding the people we want to be with, birthing our precious children, and then trying to understand the people that they choose to be with. This figuring out period pretty much lasts our entire lives! We struggle with, we fight against,  and we can't seem to understand why people are the way they are. At certain points we even try to get them to be who we think they should be and then we try to make ourselves the way we think others want us to be. What a crazy cycle! But this is life and this is being human.  Where there is ego, there is struggle.

I used to think that when someone said "He/she is who she is"  or "I am who I am," that this was a cop out--just too easy an explanation. Today I realized that I can't find a better explanation for who people are; why they are the way they are. If I want to keep hitting my head against a wall to try to understand people, then that is my choice but why would I want to keep doing that? I have been doing that for 56 years and counting....No, today I am sitting quietly with myself and understanding the word "acceptance" for the first time in a different way.  It is so liberating! It's so simple! I don't discount the fact that we do and should keep working on ourselves but that is something that we must feel compelled to do all alone. It can't be driven by anyone else nor can we expect to drive someone else to a point of change.  We are responsible for a kind of fine tuning that gives us lives that become extraordinary.

 Seeing "the chair" for what it is invites us to either sit in it or to pass and let someone else occupy it. Seeing "the yellow chair" for what it is, allows us a kind of peace. I like to say that how we see life all depends on how we frame it. I think that goes for how we see the people in our lives as well.  As Maya Angelou so wisely said: "The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them."  "Believe them" doesn't mean change them-- they simply are who they are.

Before you sit in anyone's chair, fully occupy your own.  Find your own beautiful yellow silk chair and frame it in yellow!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Pie We Make

It's a summer day and it's a Sunday. That means pie night! When I was a young girl, my mother and our dear family friend Marian Hunter would each make several pies, Sunday pies. They were all made from scratch and delivered with love. My sister and I would stand at the table where they were all displayed and smile (drool!) at our good fortune. Of course, we could never decide which pie to choose so we did what any passionate pie lover would do--choose them all!  

Tonight, I have my daughter and two family friends for dinner and I decided to make pie for dessert. I got up early and went to the farmer's market to select the most beautiful organic berries and then I supplemented them with the berries that are growing wild on Greenwood Lane. I came home and started the crust and then remembered that I had never found my rolling pin in our moving boxes. How to roll out the dough? I had my father's beautiful pie board out and with him in my thoughts, looked up to see a vodka bottle and thought, that's it! Divine inspiration! It worked beautifully and with the leftover dough, I made the little crust that my mom made for me: (roll out the dough, spread it with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar-bake 10 min). This is my gift to Camille tonight.

In the process of making this pie, all the people who are so dear to me helped me along with their secrets--words that still play in my head.  I made my mother's crust and heard her tell me to make it thinner so it could be flaky. I remembered to brush milk on the crust so that it would be shiny and I chose the lattice work top to honor Marian.  I made berry pie as it is my mother's favorite and I loved rolling the crust on the pastry board my father made for me. I shed a tear here and there remembering him and Marian and wishing my mom were closer to share the pie--they have all contributed so much to my life. The vodka rolling pin added the humor and made me think that we are the pie we make!