— Grandma, how to do deal with pain?
— With your hands, honey. If you do it with your mind in place to relieve the pain, it becomes even harder.
— With our hands grandma?
— Yes. Our hands are the antennae of our soul. If you move them by weaving, cooking, painting, playing, or sinking them into the ground, you send signals of care to the deepest part of you. And your soul lights up because you are paying attention to it. Then the pain signals will no longer be necessary.
— Are hands really that important?
— Yes, my daughter. Think of babies: they begin to know the world thanks to the touch of their little hands. If you look at the hands of old people, they tell you more about their life than any other part of the body. Everything that is made by hand is said to be made with the heart. Because it is really like that: the hands and the heart are connected.
Masseurs know it well: when they touch the body of another person with their hands they create a deep connection.
It is precisely from this connection that he comes to healing.
Think of lovers: when they touch hands, they make love in a more sublime way.
— My hands grandma ... how long have I not used them like this!
— Move them, my love, start creating with them and everything within you will move. The pain will not pass. And instead what you do with them will become the most beautiful masterpiece. And it won't hurt anymore. Because you will have been able to transform its essence.
It’s impossible to be lonely
when you’re zesting an orange.
Scrape the soft rind once
and the whole room
fills with fruit.
Look around: you have
more than enough.
You just didn’t notice
∆ Amy Schmidt “ABUNDANCE,” in memory of Mary Oliver from Poets Respond, January 20, 2019
"The way I see each of us, it's like we're each a flower. And every time there's an event or occasion—sad or happy, whatever it happens to be—in our lives, it's like the flower opens up a little bit more to reveal more of its beauty. Petal by petal. And it never stops doing that. So I want my flower to continue to bloom and open up and be revealed for as long as it can. So far so good! And it's happening to all of us. It's like this world is one great big beautiful bouquet."
If good ideas do not come at once, or for a long time, do not be troubled at all. Wait for them. Put down the little ideas however insignificant they are. But do not feel, any more, guilty about idleness and solitude.
The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love — whether we call it friendship or family or romance — is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light.
∆ James Baldwin, Nothing Personal
The opposite of spare time is, I guess, occupied time. In my case I still don’t know what spare time is because all my time is occupied. It always has been and it is now. It’s occupied by living.
An increasing part of living, at my age, is mere bodily maintenance, which is tiresome. But I cannot find anywhere in my life a time, or a kind of time, that is unoccupied. I am free, but my time is not. My time is fully and vitally occupied with sleep, with daydreaming, with doing business and writing friends and family on email, with reading, with writing poetry, with writing prose, with thinking, with forgetting, with embroidering, with cooking and eating a meal and cleaning up the kitchen, with construing Virgil, with meeting friends, with talking with my husband, with going out to shop for groceries, with walking if I can walk and traveling if we are traveling, with sitting Vipassana sometimes, with watching a movie sometimes, with doing the Eight Precious Chinese exercises when I can, with lying down for an afternoon rest with a volume of Krazy Kat to read and my own slightly crazy cat occupying the region between my upper thighs and mid-calves, where he arranges himself and goes instantly and deeply to sleep. None of this is spare time. I can’t spare it. What is Harvard thinking of? I am going to be 81 next week. I have no time to spare.