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tangible blessings

a Rip van Winkle moment with my mother

by kye on June 22, 2010

Her eyes opened, and opened all the way, and stayed open. I said, “this is your daughter, this is Kye” and she nodded once, decisively: “I know that,” said her nod. “Would you like me to tell you the news, or sit quietly with you?” No response. I considered. What was there to lose? I started talking.

Her eyes stayed on mine with total attention. When the news was the kind she likes (“I’m going to go up to see M. this week.”) her face would melt into a quiet little beam. When it was said news (“there’s been a terrible oil spill in the Gulf,” and “the economy is not good”) her forehead creased in distress. She was awake; she knew me; she was there.

Forty-five minutes later? an hour? I asked, “have I worn out your brain?” A rusty little “No” came in response–the first speech I’ve heard in a couple of months. So I told her about what I’m writing (the Tao Te Ching commentary), and her mouth made an ‘oh!’ shape, and she she smiled.

There’s no telling what I’ll find next time I go, but what a miracle and a gift that time was!



by kye on June 6, 2010

I found mangoes on a street corner a little while ago, on my way back from seeing my mother–a whole box of them, sold to me off the back of a pickup truck up from the Rio Grande Valley.

They were sold to me by what looked to be a couple of brothers. They were in their early twenties. One of them was holding an enormous exuberant sign that said ‘MANGOES’. I saw the sign, thought about stopping but the corner was busy. But I found a quieter place to park and walked back along a patch of sidewalk walled with enormous weeds, then through the archway of an abandoned pear tree covered with half-ripe pears.

The box was mine for $5. As I left, one of the brothers smiled and said ‘God bless.’

At the next corner were a man and woman sitting at a bus stop. The man was holding up a tiny sign that said ‘hungry’. I had a box full of mangoes! Unexpected ones! I was going to give them to my son and his girlfriend, but that little tiny sign and that young patient couple sitting there–of course I had to stop again.

I asked “do you like mangoes?” They nodded. I said I’d just found them at the last corner. I told them to take as many as they wanted. They each took two, which still left lots. And I had the pleasure of seeing them grinning at each other, as I left.

Later, I wondered whether either of them had a pocket knife–or did they use their teeth to open up the fruit? Maybe I should start carrying a pocket knife again!


permanent vacation

May 18, 2010

I want to tell you about how I relax and also get things done. Last week I found myself saying, ‘I wish I could get away for a couple of weeks!’ A couple of weeks off when I’m ready, might be ideal –but sometimes, for a million good reasons, now really isn’t the time. And […]

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a four hundred dollar bowl of soup

May 5, 2010

At this very moment I’m full of arugula, and tomato basil soup, and the awesome feeling of being an aliveness sitting here breathing. My death is present here too.  It invites me to give what I can give at the moment.  Tonight what I could give was a note to the chef who made that […]

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thanks for doing that

February 13, 2010

I just finished writing a thank you note to my mechanic.  The other night he spirited my cell phone out of a mysterious black hole under the driver’s seat. Why a thank you note for such a small thing?  …because he didn’t know the size of what he’d just done.  I wanted him to be […]

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just what I’m hungry for

September 13, 2009

It’s midday, and my hunger feels luxurious: luxurious in its intensity and its incipient knowing. So I’m sitting down with it.  I’m like a lover, asking my loved other, ‘where do you want to go?’ —and then waiting with no hurry. Like a little child, my hunger is just pure raw desire.  It’s too hungry […]

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destination unknown

August 16, 2009

My new possible guest is nervous. He’s asked for pictures of the apartment inside and out, and my address so he can Google it and tour the neighborhood —and late last night he emailed that today he would like to have a conversation. His angst brings back memories of a few travel adventures of my […]

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first rain

August 12, 2009

A few minutes ago I was sitting on my friend’s porch, feeling my skin open to the blessing of the first rain in months and months.  It felt as if joy itself was pouring down from the sky. I feel forgiven of something dry and dusty.

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