Saturday, February 26, 2011

Love the red hat

Simplicity, tranquility, time spent in contemplation. Antidotes for the stress that finds us now matter how far under the covers we hide. In the eternal quest for that quiet mind, a friend and I made a pact, that we will share good news with each other every day. It is part of a practice of gratitude, noticing and acknowledging any sign that civilization will prevail, that the good is always playing Drop-the-Hankie with us (of course, our backs are turned) and that there is infinitely more to appreciate than condemn. As I said, it is a practice, calling for diligence and forbearance. Identifying some of the news may require tweezers and a magnifying glass, some will be simpler to locate.

Examples: the Caltech men's basketball team won its first game since 1985 this week. The weatherman on local morning news has been ill with pneumonia for months; he will be back on Monday. Today's LA Times has an interview with Ed Ruscha. Dover Thrift Books have poetry anthologies for as little as $1.50 - new.

Seen earlier this month (a bit behind on posting, please excuse) two of these acorn woodpeckers, agile-footing their way around our nearest palm tree, wearing their red beanies. It took a while to identify them and it seems they are after insects who've burrowed into the trunk. I hope they know the welcome mat is always out. At second-floor height, they are safe from the building's multiple cats. This is a much clearer photo (courtesy of Mark Schmitt, via The Backyard Birdman) than I would have gotten, shooting through the window. I admire the nature photos that many on my blog roll post, the sense of environment they provide.

The state of our minds is in our hands, you might say. I think I finally understand this. Whatever I can do to elevate my thoughts, my spirits, is a responsibility I accept. Cheerful, gloomy, not that difficult a choice.

25 comments:

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Marylinn
You have just poured wisdom and light into my darkened corners. Thank you for this reminder - the invitation, the exhortation.
With love and gratitude this Sat/Sun.
Claire xo


wv. antill - ant hill? How apt, since ant hills are all about each small member of the community taking responsibility, playing his/her particular role with diligence, fortitude (and humour?), participating, contributing. . .

Vespersparrow said...

Oh, Marylinn, you swept me into a fit of tears--how lovely the calm is in this piece, in your voice, a new clarity and patience--it's contagious and will travel hand to hand through our community and beyond. Thank you. xoMelissa

Antares Cryptos said...

The perception of what we have, rather than what we do not, is often a choice.

"Melanerpes formicivorus, you are our communications expert"

Grateful that you recommended the Fantastic Mr. Fox, a masterpiece of delight.:D

Jayne said...

Marylinn- Amazing what happens when we make a conscious decision to appreciate the smallest wisp of wind, and toss negativity out the window. It's quite exhilarating, maybe exhausting too, but nevertheless, always freeing.
Thanks for the reminder. Pays itself forward in spades. ;)

Laoch of Chicago said...

The good news sharing ritual sounds like a fine idea. With so much horror in the world it is nice to have a haven.

susan t. landry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
susan t. landry said...

sorry; reposting. i got distracted, and sent off by mistake!
what a dear little bird! mrs. cardinal was at my feeder this morning, but i didnt make it to the camera...i love these visitations. i am not a birder, but get such a thrill from the presence of these tiny heart-beating creatures, so trustingly right outside my window. (i have a feeder that literally sits against the kitchen window, so their quick eyes keep checking me to make sure i dont get too close.)
sorry for blapping so much about my birds; i think the writing here is extraordinary, marylinn. you are wonderfully patient in your word crafting. and what you write is so often precise and true. we do have the choice. to be kind, to give love, to see and feel joy.

Angella Lister said...

Dear Marylinn, my good news is that I found you, and I get to come here and bask in such wisdom as you offer today. Thank you. And love.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - I am glad for the timing...wishing your corners were not darkened just now, though I know all of New Zealand must alternate between extreme emotions in the aftermath of the Christchurch quake. Your interpretation of wv, a source of well-timed truth, says a great deal about the state of things. Making my daily list to email to my friend is something I find I enjoy, holding each morsel to the light to examine its happiness content. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - I trust they were welcome tears...thank you. That you find calm in my words is all I could wish. To have it travel through our community and beyond will be one of the bits of good news I can list.xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares Cryptos - More and more I become aware that we have more choices than we know. Communications expert, it is fine to have a community such as this with which to share ideas. And YAY, Mr. Fox. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Around here, we will often refer to each other, or ourselves, as...different, complete with wiggling fingers.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - It does pay itself forward, doesn't it? After I sent off my list this afternoon, I felt so cheered, so optimistic and some of the items were, in the grand scheme, very small. Saying no to negativity really is freeing, worth any effort. <3

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - You would probably not be surprise to learn it is a lot of fun...nothing is too small to count. It could easily become a welcome ritual.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Thank you so much. And please, write of your birds - any birds - whenever you wish. We've lived her 9 years and I'd never seen these fellows before. I am not a birder but the wildlife we see from our windows is all winged, ooops, except for the squirrels.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - I am touched, thank you. I am so glad you come here. What I offer is really the process of me, hoping to find my way. xo

grrl + dog said...

sometimes simply being in nature will do that,
or by the sea,

the 5mhz of frequency helps to reset your brain..

Penelope said...

Bravo. I'd like to jump on this brightly painted wagon. I see there's room to infinity for good news and gratitude.

RachelVB said...

We forget in all the gloom that there is goodness and light and happiness to be found. We tend to complain just to complain, thinking it makes us feel better when in reality is makes us complain more.
What a lovely idea to share with a friend. I used to do something similar with a friend of mine as well - not a pact, but just something we did - we would simply tell each other about beautiful things we saw that day. It keeps you looking and helps you realize that they are still out there, all around us.
Thank you for helping to focus the vision.
xoxo
Rachel

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - I believe resetting the brain is the key to everything. We just need to distract it from whatever rant it is in the midst of. The sea...ah, how curative, how hypnotic.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Penelope - Do hop aboard. This is truly a case of the more, the merrier.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - Thank you. By sharing it with a friend, I can weasel out on myself...oh, I'll do it later...and feel more strongly the commitment to show up with good news. Complaining has begun to seem like the partner-in-crime of worrying, and we know how useful that is. It helps one practice the fine art of spinning straw into gold. xo

Antares Cryptos said...

Happiness.

I'm mailing you some recommendations right now.

*Different*

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares Cryptos - Thank you. Will reply. "Different."

Marta said...

I like cheery and the cherry headed birdman...As always...your words birthing from your solitude speak softly and fall easily on the heart....

Marylinn Kelly said...

Marta - Visitors with red beanies make it easier to look on the bright side. Thank you.