Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Monday, August 5, 2013

Thankful for the small things

Sometimes, when you look at it through scratched lenses, you think, "man, it's a tough life". My prayers are rarely answered, and my requests aren't necessarily honored; my wishes aren't always fulfilled, and my dreams, well, let's say that that most of the time they remain unfinished only because the dawn comes and I wake from my slumber.

But really, that's so much nonsense. Life is hard sometimes, sure, what's life without a bit of rain? Without the rain you have no rainbows. Same for spiders, bogey men and unsolicited phone calls. Spiders make webs and eat pesky insects and leave their webs behind for me to groove on on misty fall days. Bogey men give a reason to cuddle close during scary movies or cling to my sweetheart on walks through the night streets. Unsolicited phone calls are a drag but when you are feeling a bit mean and a bit cranky they're just what the doctor ordered. Give back a bit of what you get.

My prayers. Whoa. What do I pray for anymore these days? A small parcel of happiness? Not one wrapped in bows or paid for on credit. Not a big slug of it, either. Small doses here and there, thanks. A sincere smile. A quarter on the sidewalk. A long sought for record in the ten cent cassette bin. Good news on the phone. My children, healthy, strong, happy. My health. Those things are prayers answered enough.

I suppose I don't make too many requests these days either. Quiet in the late hours. A bit of meaningful work at the branch. That the toilet is flushed and that beds are made. Someone else washing the dishes would be nice once in a while, too. But in requesting we must remember to only ask for so much. And to honor those requests made of you.

Wishes. Ah, wishes. I remember when they were aided by shooting stars, or petals on a flower. When I would think really hard and believe that those things I wished for would come true. Wishes have grown up quite a bit since then. I can wish for world peace, for an election to play out favorably. I can wish for a beautiful sunset, or a long morning in a warm bed. I can wish for a few extra dollars to play with on payday, or even wish for something like love to be as beautiful as I think it should be. I wish for many things: my children's happiness, for peaceful resolutions, for hearts to heal. Those kinds of wishes are not necessarily easy to fulfill, but they are wonderful behold when they are.

But my dreams. Now there I excel. I dream of many things, not too much unlike Rip Van Winkle did before he ran into that strange bowling game up in the hollow and got his priorities straightened out. Mind you, I'm not out flying kites or napping under trees when there's work to be done, but I can relate to the desire to while away the hours, to play with my kids, to see rainbows on the horizon instead of storm clouds. I dream that my life will be a positive note in the lives of my children, that whoever I end up with as a partner cherishes me as much as I cherish her. I dream of a good life..not necessarily well appointed, but comfortable. I dream of happiness, but again, of the small "h" variety. Little dreams. A nice garden. Walls painted in pleasing colors. Of a trip now and then. Of a pantry full and a stove burgeoning with delights for family and friends alike.

Small things.

I suppose those prayers and requests and wishes and dreams are answered and fullfilled everyday in small ways. For that I can be thankful for, and I am.


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