Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The bureau of weights and measures

I've decided the only sound plan is to act as my own yardstick.  I will be the one measure of my progress, achievement, evolution, existence.  While Facebook is the source of many delightful connections, provider of serendipitous information, it is also the long hallway down which I shuffle with my one and only bag of tricks.  It is essential that I see that as enough, for it is.  My perfect and unique match.
As what I will call a recovering amnesiac (see previous blog post), I realize I can only take the steps I can take, in the time and fashion I can take them.  Right now, one uncomplicated watercolored drawing a day seems like a gem, compared only to my own lack of any such TA-DA moment until four days ago, after what has been a drought nearly as long as California's.

Watching the news footage of tiny twin pandas born at the National Zoo, I thought how many hands wished to reach for the five-ounce babies, feed, comfort, cuddle, measure and marvel at them and how that was a model worthy of note.  Our own rarity is no less, regardless of how many humans inhabit this planet.  Not one of these things is like any other.  The fact that our species is not under immediate threat of extinction does not make any one of us common or ordinary.  Though we are plentiful en masse, taken separately we are snowflakes, we are the geode's cavern which can't be guessed at until broken open, we have no match.
The remarkable geode.
To be turned back, time after time, to the fact of being truly a party of one can wear the shine off a person.  It also exalts the quirks, proclivities, curious turnings of mind that let us each shine with an identifiable light.  I always imagine a potluck, each dish from its own recipe, each singular hand bringing the flavors together in a way like no other.  Mine is the potato salad in the green pyrex bowl.  If you like it made with sweet pickle relish, celery, dry mustard, light mayo and enough horseradish to notice, help yourself.  It turns out different every time.


susan t. landry said...

stealing the fdr quote. i desperately need it right now. that gorgeous granddaughter i've been spending time with already has 3 far more established grandmothers...i am the 4th in her life. so i am feeling incredibly insecure, comparing, comparing, comparing. thank you for letting me say this in your space, dr. kelly.
and you, my dear, are sui generis. (just to tell you--again & again.) i do understand the damn weights & measures. fie on them!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - How familiar that sounds. I was the parent who spent all the time and felt in competition with the one who had the money and provided foreign travel. Fie indeed. It nibbles around our edges until it feels like stopping. What we can't know ahead of time is the immeasurable value of simply being who we are with these young people. So much we are asked to surrender. So happy to sit with you at the kitchen table. xo

Elsewhere said...

'we have no match'
and wouldn't even snow be boring if all flakes were identical?
And re. your earlier post, about joy?
Last night I suddenly remembered I'd almost forgotten how lovely it is to pick up my big fat grey velvet rabbit from the garden, squeeze her within a inch of her life and just cover her face with tiny kisses.

I'd been too busy looking after her, worrying about her boo boo ear, only picking her up to give her medication or general checking.

I'd almost forgot a little about her. And about myself. And how lovely it feels to just pick her up and enjoy her.
thanks, a little amnesia lifted!

Kass said...

There are some people I don't mind comparing myself to - YOU...
because you inspire me with your creativity and positivity.
Yesterday, as I was struggling with a family problem, I actually wondered a couple of times throughout the day if Marylinn ever got depressed....

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elsewhere - Amnesia lifted! Music to my ears. And she sounds like a most beautiful rabbit. One would very much miss kissing her face. As though we are the rope tied around our own waists to give a tug and pull us home when we've wandered. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Part of my story is what was, apparently, lifelong depression, at last properly diagnosed and treated when I reached my 50s. Hit and miss before that and a long time before it wasn't something I wore like skin. And I know without THAT there wouldn't be THIS, and this is worth that journey. So many teachers, so much inspiration. Things we might not prefer will continue to come, I know. What I think of as "life being life." For today, they do not drag me out with the tide. My greatest awakening is that this moment is all there is. Gratitude, kindness, love and beauty. I become teary when I think of how my life is now, how it used to be. You sing, I'll sing and we can be in this moment, no matter what, together. You are such a gem. xo

Kass said...

Marylinn, oh yes, now I remember your reference to that part of your story. It's easy to forget because your posts are so upbeat and inspiring.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. I think the process of becoming allows us to claim the parts we choose. xo