But he is so remarkably becoming now. Anecdotes don’t do him any justice. You wouldn’t believe what I told you anyway. Most people don’t, until they stop talking and listen to him.
I wish more people knew what it is to listen to children. To stop trying to teach or entertain or discipline or coach and listen.
My son patiently snuggled on my lap during a Sunday morning dharma teaching about living in samsara. As I took in my wise teacher’s thoughts about nurturing compassion in the face of bad drivers, mean governors and crappy news, he pulled out a pad of paper and some crayons.
Oh, imperfection. Impermanence. How beautiful it can be. I think this is the best phonetic spelling ever.
Things are being purged from my mother’s house, sometimes leaving a trail as they go.
This was lying in her driveway April Fool’s morning. I don’t know what it originally belonged to. A game? A secret message kit from Lou Reed? A divining tool?
I hope this word isn’t falling from the trees.
For the past several months, I’ve been helping my mother out with a family project. We’ve been going through scads of old, deteriorating photographs, scanning them and identifying faces. Apparently, members of every branch of my family were armed with a camera from the moment they first one became commercially available.
Then I found this group of seven pictures in one pack, along with negatives that tell me they were taken in exactly this order:
Last year, they had cartoon characters.
This is one of the pictures we’ve scanned and saved from disintegration this week. It’s my uncle, age six, in the O.R. of the hospital where my grandfather was chief of surgery “giving anesthesia” (it’s in quotes on the back of the picture in my grandmother’s handwriting). My mom, aunts and uncle all tell stories of accompanying their dad to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, where they watched him do his work – the work of fixing people’s insides, 1940s and ’50s-style.
Times, as they say, have definitely changed.