Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks for time!

On this blessed turkey day, aside from food and family and friends (blah! blah! blah!) I would like to give thanks to time. Good old time. We think of time as present, past and future. Bear with me, I know this isn't a kindergarten class. And a Buddhist would say that suffering focuses on the latter two, regret over the past and worry about the future. How did those Buddhists get so damn smart? Its all about the moment baby! But a bit of reflection either backwards or forwards can be a good thing, too.
What about that simple smell that really takes you back? My brother Mike was over and was, "all bugged out" because it smelled like Grandma's house. "Jen, what is that?" It was Grandma's dining room table, the one thing I really wanted after Grandma Isabel passed. Its just the smell of old wood, but for us, it smells like our childhood afternoon lunches eating Campbell's Chicken and Stars Soup with Weiss Original Potato Chips soaking up the sodium water. What Sicilian? That is a true American meal.
And trying to get that table into my new place was a near impossible feat. The movers gave up and explained in Chinese that it wasn't going to fit. Good thing I had no idea what they were saying. My fingers nearly froze as I relentlessly tried every possible way my minuscule brain could think of to disassemble the 100 year old table and make it fit through the door. "Boy you are so stubborn, Jen," my Mom said, "Look at that thing. At this point, you're keeping it just for the sentimental value." In defense of the table, the aging on it is so superb, but I have to admit, I did almost cry (suffering) at the thought of putting it in storage not because it looks so awesome, but I wanted to have that warm Grandma's house smell with me. My tears fueled me to figure it out, and I am sitting here right now, writing this post on that very table that we had so many awesome Thanksgiving dinners together as a family at my Grandma's house. And I think my brain is maybe a little bit bigger from all that curbside problem solving in the cold.
And looking forward doesn't always have to be anxiety ridden either. A very special friend is going through a very difficult breakup right now. Her present sucks! Buddhists, what do you have to say about that? This is where looking forward really rocks. Sitting on her couch, covered in snots, puffy eyed, drinking wine that has become tasteless because of her stuffed up sniffling nose and hating her life and feeling alone is not fun. We have all been there. As my Mom would put it, "its the pits!" But thats where time can be a better friend than me. There is nothing that I can say to maker her feel better except that each day is going to get a little bit better. Thinking of a bright future can really be better than a back rub. In reality, you only have so many tears and so many snots inside. The misery does subside if not because you feel better, but because your body just can't physically handle it after a while. It just has to get better! And a few months from now, she is going to be a totally new person, super happy and better than ever. Wow, time is really super awesomely transformative. Thank you time.
So kid's what did we learn in class today? Time is cool. Buddhists are dumb smart. You can get that table in if you try. Boys are definitely dumb, at least present ones. Future boys are better. And because of time, its all good.
Happy Thanksgiving family and friends!

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