Saturday, November 21, 2015

blessing bowl

There is something about wooden bowls that intrigues me, especially if the bowl has been well used before it becomes mine.The one on my desk has chips out of the rim and the rim itself is uneven.There are carvings around the middle that suggest Aztec design; the wood is imperfect and grainy.Like an old  leather shoe, my bowl has character.

A fat pencil, a thin one, a dime, three pennies, a fortune from a cookie,  a dream I had last night written on a slip of paper, a brown leaf with a splash of red,  painted by a sprite, a pure white feather, curved in. These are now part of the bowl's story and mine.Life is speeding by like a comet across a dark sky, so I am collecting. These humble items anchor my day.Where I was, what I was doing and what this detritus brought to mind.The feather, dainty as a whisper, suggested a forgotten poem about hope;the leaf, impressionist art and artists.

Each found thing speaks, if I pause. The collecting itself has become a spiritual practice.

Every item in my bowl can tell a story if I listen.The fat pencil is telling me to grab the first bright sunny day, run to the floodplain and honor the fallen leaves in the woods by sitting with them and when I finally know them, drawing.

I once had a rough, well used bowl.I  had no idea what its use had been so I just filled it with dried flowers.For the first session of the writing class that I recently facilitated, I took it, along with other items and asked the participants to pick one and tell a story.One lovely lady took the bowl and wrote a tale of her grandmother making biscuits in a similar one.She told the story with a poignant simplicity that was so moving.From her words, we saw the bowl, smelled the biscuits and knew the love.

The feather is sacred, the leaf and the bowl are sacred.

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