Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Precious Plenty 3/25/09

Life always spills over the rim of every cup.

Boris Pasternak
It was a very unpleasant trip to the post office today. For one thing it was cold, and it was depressing mail that I had to send, the state of my hip made it extremely painful to walk more than a hundred feet or so and the post office is a long distance from my home. This town has almost no pedestrian benches and none en route. So by the time I got back here I was exhausted, in pain and in a very bad mood. I wanted to have a bite to eat and take a nap.

But I saw what appeared to be a white spot on the floor. I thought I had spilled some milk or flour or something. The last thing I wanted to do was to clean up a dirty spot . But I got a sponge and some water and sat down to clean it. Then I discovered that it wasn't a spot of dirt but a spot of sunlight. I sat looking at it and admired this one patch of sunlight smiling up at me. I thought how amazing it was that the sun will find it's way through all the nooks and crannies of the world to shine it's light, how every available spot on earth gets its share of sunlight, some more, some less, even if it's only for one day and a few minutes.

Then I thought about how it's the same with ideas. Wherever they may come from, we all get our share of ideas, some more, some less. The problem is that we so often ignore them, we don't take note of them, we don't take the trouble to think about them, to observe them.

In Anton Chekhov's play "The Seagull" the character of Trigorin, a writer, tells how he always carries a piece of paper in his pocket in order to jot down descriptions and ideas. Picasso used to make drawings on paper restaurant napkins and hotel stationary. I once saw a TV interview with Harold Arlen, the composer of the songs in "The Wizard Of Oz" who took a piece of music paper out of his jacket pocket to show that he always carried it with him in case he got the idea for a melody.
Then I remembered that I do the same thing myself. I always have a small note pad in my pocket to write down ideas I get from reading or thinking. I have a box full of those note pads. Some of the entries are excellent, some good, some not so good, some dreadful. Some of the good ones (I hope) make it onto my journal, Vagabond Jottings.

All these memories and realizations came to me because instead of lazily falling into bed for a well needed nap I decided first to clean up a spot.on the floor. Later, when I woke from my nap, the sun had moved on and the spot was gone. But the journey had been successful.

There's a hymn that reads:
The useful and the great,
The thing that never dies,
The silent toil that is not lost, -
Set these before thine eyes.

DB The Vagabond
I don't care what the "meteorologist" says, It's spring.


judith ellis said...

DB - I love it when you visit my blog and I love it when I come here. This is such a beautiful hopeful post. Thank you so very much. It has made my evening. Love to you where you are.

Gerry said...

I would perk up reading this blog because you mention "The Seagull" by Chekhov which I read in college and thought was the most marvelous play. But the rest of the entry was provocative, too. I felt sorry because you had hip hurt which Raymond went through as his deterioraed from a genetic defect, until he had to have hip replacement when the pain did not end as soon as it was supposed to either. But in our daily lives someething is always turning up to lift our spirits almost as though it were ordered, like a book at the thrift store, special, an article of clothing, something maravelously good at the grocery store, and pleasant breezes on walking down the street aways and the glorious bougainvillea in full spring blossom.

SILVER said...

Well written!

I love your attitude and how you are able to see something simple of a light that peeps through the crannies to get in..and share some wisdom about shifting it to a positive one.

Jon said...

The thoughts that you share with us are always a patch of sunshine, smiling at your readers. Jon

Zhao Jinxing said...

Hello DB, Thank you very much for visiting my blog and guestbook, you enjoy Ceramic Art, I am very happy that we can communicate, I hope you my ceramic works more comments. Thank you!

Big Mark 243 said...

Hey ... I just got in from a long run in the drizzle. It was on my schedule, but I didn't sleep well and I got up BEFORE my 0530 hrs alarm. I knew if I went to sleep for the extra twenty minutes, I would prolly miss the run. Even though I felt 'squirrely' about getting out, I did ... and glad for it.

There is always something to be said for perserverance ... and it is usually positive! Glad you stuck your day out and found that ray of sunlight!

Ally Lifewithally said...

That Ray of Sunshine shining through a crack made my day ~ I laughed at you thinking it was a spot of flour or milk ~ when there is a ray of sunshine in my house you can always find the dogs laying down in it however small it may be ~ hope the pain from your hip has eased off and you are feeling better ~ Ally x

Beth said...

Isn't it amazing how sometimes the smallest, simplest thing can pull us back from the brink of ugliness? One of the many things that makes life worth living.

I hope you're feeling better today.

Love, Beth

Joyce said...

I'm looking for that spot of sunshine here today, but alas, it is steadily raining. That's OK too. I love a rainy day sometimes. It makes the sun seem so much brighter when it does come out. Nice entry as always.
Hugs, Joyce

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Being able to find simple pleasure in simple things is a great treasure.

Arlene (AJ) said...

How great that a spot of sun on your floor brought a ray of sunshine to your day DB. If we would all reach for that bit of sunshine, what a better day it would be for all of us. Sorry you had a downer day going to the post office especially with your hip being so painful...did you know you can go to the site on the internet and have packages, stamps, etc. all taken care of via that method and wouldn't have to make the painful trek to the post office. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Now that you mention The Seagull it reminds me of that other book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I hope you have read it. But of course you have. You have read everything.