Every spring on the prairies there were a zillion “teas” like we were supposed to be impressed that we were throwing off the heavy blankets of our strong coffee winters and embracing light and airy tea because nothing says spring like “tea.”
I mean it is not like we didn’t have cute little farm animals being born and pretty flowers blooming in the fields and even young men and young women getting frisky but oh my gosh … spring … tea … you get the connection right??
But we had many, many, many, spring teas. There were many. One such tea was the annual “Strawberry Tea.” They obviously were building on the “let’s throw words and concepts together that have zero connection or meaning to what we are doing” concept as I don’t ever remember there being any strawberries anywhere . . . not in the tea and not in the cakes. Strawberries don’t even grow in the spring! But we pretended.
We were women and we were all going to pretend that we all knew what we were doing and why it was happening. Women do that well. Look how we breeze through puberty and do the whole getting married, having babies and stuff. None of us has a clue what any of that is about but we fake it and we look good while we fake it. We had been snowed in for weeks. We had all lived for most of those weeks with layers and piles of clothing – much of it flannel and serviceable and some of it really tacky with mismatched patterns. Perhaps that was more to the point of why a spring tea … because it meant we could take off the flannel underwear, put on a pretty frock and let our pasty white legs feel a little sunshine. Continue reading
“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.” Rachel Remen
“Thou shalt not be a victim…. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator…. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC
When I got married, many of my peers had an expectation of a good life ahead of them. It never occurred to any of us that we would not have houses and cars, big TV’s and wonderful vacations. Of course we would. Our parents had those things and so would we. Every generation heads off into the world with expectations that include what their parents had. We all failed to realize our parents worked many years for those things and it was ridiculous for us to feel entitled to them without also working and saving. Life might have taught us some valuable lessons in reality but my generation embraced credit and now a personal debt is an expectation. No-one waits for anything anymore. Immediate gratification was something we taught our kids with every purchase we made. So now, we have grandkids who, like us, feel they have a right to everything their parents have, and their disconnect with the hard work that provides those things is almost complete. Enter the sense of entitlement we all complain about today. Continue reading
“I’m not fascinated by people who smile all the time. What I find interesting is the way people look when they are lost in thought, when their face becomes angry or serious, when they bite their lip, the way they glance, the way they look down when they walk, when they are alone and smoking a cigarette, when they smirk, the way they half smile, the way they try and hold back tears, the way when their face says they want to say something but can’t, the way they look at someone they want or love… I love the way people look when they do these things. It’s… beautiful.” Clemence Poesy
“So each of us has a choice. You have a choice. Your thoughts can make you and the world around you suffer more or suffer less. If you want to create a more collegial, harmonious atmosphere in your… community, don’t start by trying to change other people. Your first priority should be to find your own quiet space inside so you can learn more about yourself. This includes getting to know and understand your own suffering. When your practice is solid and you’ve already harvested some of the sweet fruits of getting to know yourself, you can consider ways you can make more room to bring silence, deep looking, understanding, and compassion into your… community.” Thich Nhat Hanh