Monday, August 22, 2011
the wooden bowl
When I awaken in these cooler summer mornings in Georgia,the first thing I see is a plain wooden bowl that I found in a thrift shop.It is obviously hand hewn and has been used many times.
The sight of it starts my day with this thought:what gifts will fall into this poor empty bowl today if I hold it out and keep my eyes open? Buddhist monks are known to walk around with their empty bowls.The hope is that lay buddhists will fill it with either money or food.In this way, the monks who own nothing ,will be taken care of.Could I do this?Detachment,humility.
On Sunday,we took our grandchildren to Mass in their town.Before Mass, we read the scriptures for the day and we talked about them.The readings had to do with the Keys of the Kingdom and how we also have keys that the powerless do not.The middle son who is 9 mentioned the touch pad that opens their garage.He was getting it.The oldest boy,13, spoke of a child in his class whose parents don't care about him.We decided that we could use our power to smile at the powerless in our lives.A start.I place that memory of their openness in my bowl.
After Mass, the middle child who has brilliant auburn hair and deep thoughtful eyes,came over and gave me a big hug.Gratitude,hope? I didn't
ask,I just gently dropped it in the bowl.
Today, a memory came from over thirty years ago.I used to read books by a wonderful,joy filled young author,Ann Kiemel, in the eighties.Her books glowed with light and helped my meager faith considerably.I found her today on Facebook.One of her recent post starts with..."I believe,I believe,I believe even when life is torn apart...even when the sun doesn't shine.".I so needed to read that.Soft as a feather,this thought drifts to the bottom of my bowl.