One of the highlights of my everyday is entering my powder pink office and smelling a mixture of something. Today a mixture of lilac, honeysuckle and Tibetan Nag Champa.
The air fills my body light with grace, with gratitude.
I appreciate so much these daily rituals and small joys. Those things which are often, albeit unnecessarily, overlooked.
Coffee in the morning, newspapers spread around a round table, feet wet in the dewed grass.
The way my mother announces the morning song of the hummingbirds.
The way my parents sit in the backyard and my father looks up into the sky.
The way my family pours sand into short glasses. Takes a stick of incense and pushes it into the salty layers.
The way we are so quick to breathe in that earthy scent, collapse into a deep chair and pull the smoky allure up through our nose.
The way a scent can miraculously cast a brilliant light from one’s eyes, can miraculously cleanse us with that brilliance too.
The small joy of playing hide-and-go-seek with my dog, Zarz.
Her paws pitter pattering in all directions. Her pace a rush the longer she hunts for me.
After a wild chase, I treasure the sight of her curled up, her head resting on the small leg of a stuffed animal. Does she dream, I wonder, and what about?
I appreciate the questions themselves. The humble regard of asking.
The way not knowing challenges my presence, my capacity for adventure in this world. The way whatever we are yet to realize becomes an opening for us to come alive in.
My mom asking, Do I ever open the white drapes?
The way questions point to options, opportunities.
Now I push aside the white drapes, look out and see a miracle of green, the stone tiling wet with yesterday’s rain. I drink the juice we made in the evening. Blood oranges, straight from the jug. I fill my parent’s car with luggage, say I love you, happy anniversary, and wave them off. Their car pulling out the gate, their tapping horn echoing down the road, relieves me.
I embrace the quiet absence of having anyone beyond myself to be with and return to my bedroom casually through the backdoor.
I hear the sound of a siren passing just off the lawn.
Somewhere an emergency. Whereas here everything is calm.
At my sink, I take oil and spill it out into my palm. Massage the scent of red roses across my collarbones. My shoulders. My spine. Deep into the curves of my hips. I am grateful for red roses and the pink ones on my desk that have lasted all week.
I imagine the peacefulness of just sitting in a room and typing, spending the day either in solitude or acting simple with a person one loves.
What else is there?
I am grateful for my phone ringing, for the inevitable revelation bound up in any good conversation. I am grateful for the friends who reach out into my days, for the friends who come to me without any armor. I am grateful for books, for the way I can pick out an entire world and spread its interior out between my own hands. I can stand amongst my shelves and be totally amazed. I am grateful for living beneath ceilings that seem to rise up forever, for the expansiveness that comes to me just by opening my eyes inside my own home. I am grateful for the way my father sits and talks always about life.
Above all, I say, one must care.
I worry about aging, about the people I love turning older. I tell my sister that I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it. She says, I’ll have to, it’s life.
We were pulling away from Starbucks, straws to our mouths when I said this, and I remember beneath my words was a panicky feeling, like I knew my twin sister was stronger and knew I’d need her to take care of me in the future when our parents have gone. I knew that maybe I needed her to even guide me right now.
What are the things that guide us?
Some people would say goals. Danielle LaPorte would say it’s our core desired feelings. “You’re not chasing the goal itself—you’re chasing the feelings that you hope attaining those goals will give you.” She’d say, “Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life.”
When I read women like Danielle, I fill up with one thought, one reaction, most prominently, that is, that the way these women have empowered themselves, the way they have burst into life, is godly.
My mom said I may be chasing perfection again. Maybe she’s right.
Maybe I want to be someone major, when my energy would be better focused on becoming something slowly, starting small.
I just know that I want to write and say things that will comfort the world.