There is a story; A middle-aged woman is preparing a festive meal and she cuts the meat in a certain odd way and puts it in the pan to be cooked. Why does she cut it in this peculiar manner? Vintage Kitchen Because that is how her mother always did it. One day she asks her elderly mother why. Her mother says; I had to cut it to fit in the pan I was using.

I was cleaning my candlestick holders and wondered as I scraped off accumulated layers of wax, what was causing the build-up. I always line the inside with foil, just as my mother did. Then I remembered the story above. So I pried out wax and foil, cleaned the outside and the bottom of each one. When I light candles this coming Sabbath I’ll be using my now pristine glass candle holders. Hopefully there will not be unsightly wax drips all over the place.

And this double lesson gave me time to think about;  when we do without forethought, or when we don’t stop to question why, or when we’re too busy to come up with alternatives to “the way it’s always been done.” This reminds me of many years ago and the “new math.” Child ReadingThere was a meeting at  school to explain the new curriculum to parents and get us to approve or at least go along with the new methods. And older gentleman stood up and said he was opposed to the change because the older custom had been good enough for his father, good enough for him, and would be good enough for his child[ren].

This morning reading a favorite blog and one particular post inside. The heading jumped off the page [okay, computer screen] at me. “Bringing Travel Lessons Home.”  I’ll admit I love adventure and the less planned it is, well, the more scary and possibly more fun. Oh no, I’m not trying to test myself and any limits imposed by people or circumstances outside myself. I happen to like learning and doing and trying. If successful; yeah! If not, well unless there was grave harm, it was still a bit of learning.

I feel very fortunate that I have always wanted to learn who I am, what I stand for, Pinnedwhat I need in life. And as I get older; what I don’t need [extra aggravation from bad service, spammers, people who judge, ignorance, intolerance…]. So back to Bringing Travel Lessons Home. We can decide to learn about ourselves; our motivations, our needs and wants, what makes us happy, sad, irritable, jealous, etc. And we can decide how to earn our way, live our lives, give back [or not]. It’s all within our reach, our grasp. That’s if we want to have a “well-lived” life.

 

Top 2 illustrations; copyright-free from Google images. Last is handmade card-in-the-making [before being sewn]. Quote by Ella Fitzgerald;  “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” Please don’t copy my creative work.

Shared Words, Shared Worlds –by Naomi Shihab Nye, May 03, 2013

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours, I heard the announcement: If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic, Please come to the gate immediately. Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there. An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress, Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly. Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her Problem?

We told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she Did this. I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly. Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick, Sho bit se-wee? The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used— She stopped crying. She thought our flight had been canceled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late, Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.

Peas-2-2014We called her son and I spoke with him in English. I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and Would ride next to her—Southwest. She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it. Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and found out of course they had ten shared friends. Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours. She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering Questions.

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag— And was offering them to all the women at the gate. To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California, The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies. And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers— Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice. And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too. And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands— Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing, With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition.

Peas2014Always Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere. And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought, This is the world I want to live in. The shared world. Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped —has seemed apprehensive about any other person. They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too. This can still happen anywhere.      Not everything is lost.

Readers; I found this lovely story on DailyGood.org, and knew I wanted to share it. If only we could deal with each other  with compassion and empathy– lovingkindness, rather than contempt, dislike and judgment. And in today’s news about the Queen of England’s visit to Northern Ireland, she remarked; “The world yearns for examples of positive transformation and of people overcoming differences.”

The peas are growing in my garden.