My life has been a bit nightmarish for the past few months. Life as I knew it, and as I had hoped for myself and my family, took a turn in the other direction about 10 years ago. Lots have happened; some good, a lot of bad, probably nothing very different than what a lot of people experience in one shape or another. I guess I just wasn’t ready for it. I had a very happy, very “normal” childhood and part of me (a big part) believed that with the right attitude I could fix just about anything. I have since discovered I can’t fix everything no matter how much I want to, or how much I work for it. I can’t say I’ve totally accepted that, but I am learning to live with it. You know the prayer, God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I have tried and it’s a mixed bag of results. Sometimes I can, sometimes I just curl up into a human ball and cry my eyes out.
A friend posted a clip from the online (at least I think it’s an online thing) movie/documentary Human where a French Jewish woman, who was in a concentration camp as a child, retells this amazing story of what a simple gesture can do to change someone’s life forever. It got me thinking about how fortunate I am. I have never been imprisoned, I was never a victim of violence, I was never really hungry (well, I came close one time but it didn’t last long. A story for another day), never had to wear rags or go naked, always had a roof over my head, people who love me in my life… Therefore, as hellish as my daily life sometimes is, it pales by comparison to many others. That’s when I decided to go back to my original plan; to focus on the good things I have rather than put all my energy into the bad.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner I thought it was the right time to write a series of blogs (bloggings???) about things, events, or people I am so very thankful to have in my life. For those “other” things that keep me up at night, cause me awful stress headaches, and make me cry ever so often, make no mistake; your time on (virtual) paper will come. But for now let’s smile and focus on the bright.
I start you off with a picture of serenity. Vermeer is by far my favorite painter, even more than Leonardo DaVinci (even though I am his #1 groupie). Vermeer’s paintings convey such serenity, such peace of mind, staring at his work is like therapy for me. So, I give you the Milkmaid. Bask in the quiet of the morning, the tender brightness of the new sun, the sweet promise of fresh milk; the calm before the storm of the daily madness. Namaste.