I saw her outside the supermarket, just far enough to notice the ocean-blue green-moss eyes glistening, her grey gloved hand waving to me, as I biked away with a loaded basket of groceries. The brown bag crinkling was so loud, I barely heard her say “I like your hat.” To which I responded to, “thank you, I made it” as I wobbly navigated to a stop next to the sidewalk.
Then just like that in a moment of exchange we became appreciators of craft making. Right before my eyes, she unbuttoned her peacoat to reveal a talisman draping her neckline that she had made just the week prior. “I found the chain laying in the grass,” she said in what I finally heard as a London accent. “Isn’t it nice dear?” The pendant was round like the Moon with green emerald-like gemstones covering its cheese-holes. She smiled and asked me to guess her age. “Ooooh this is really a tough one”, I said wearily, “hmm.. maybe 65?”
She took a pause, put down her purse and did a yoga stretch, left to right and then touched her toes. “Honey, I am 87 years old.” She had a happy laugh, if there was one, this one was filled with joy. Having lost her husband a decade ago, she lives with her daughter in town. Not a twinkle in her eye lost, her life must have been a good one. I wanted this to be the end of the small, brief exchange. I did not feel like socializing that day. However she wanted me to come over her house sometime to see her craft work. I felt hesitant yet societally pressured to not refuse the kind gesture of an elderly woman.
What I thought of as I biked away from her is how I misjudged her. As I was waving good-bye, thoughts flared my mind realizing that some people are open to the possibilities of life, open to risk, to creativity and she did not even budge to question me, let alone hesitate when inviting me over her house. In an instant I felt as if there is a chance to feel equality, peace and hope in the world. She simply made me feel human, not asking where I am from, what I do and why I do it. Simply cause, I just was. Not many people can possess this quality and even more will not appreciate it when they see it.
Crackle and pop of a record plays into the the afternoon breeze. Windows wide open, the sounds of music emanating into the world. A sense of calm envelops the room, as he lay there, reminiscing about the past.
A doorbell rings. He springs up to put on his pants, buttons up crookedly, his last clean shirt. The buzz-“ZZ”-ing sound irritates his ear hairs, pinches his mood into a sour feeling. Stumbling over worn out shoes, cigarette butts and beer bottles, he opens the door.
There is no one there. His mind resting, trying to find meaning, when chaos tries to break into the home. When adventure seeks you out. When there is more to this day, than just this day.
His pupils dilated from excitement, he lights up a cigarette. The smoke as empty and meaningless as it started, waves itself out the room with the wobbly spinning of the vinyl.
Laying bare naked on a wooden floor of papers; unpaid bills, one-way letters. Coffee stained postcards. Rain drenched receipts. Pressing down on the cigarette lighter, a surge of endorphins swims in my brain; a mind still possessed by someone else.
Fiery thoughts of opportunities lost, money wasted. Time forgotten, memories deleted.
Totally clutterless, I will never be.
A white-wall room, feng shui-ed with tranquility.
We usually want comfort in our life: the word itself sounds like a warm blanket wrapped up around our mind, soft and fuzzy — it is a safe place. Life is already complicated with its own obstacles. We want safety and security, right? We battled enough in the world that we deserve a cave of food, warmth and enough money to keep the lights on.
Here are reasons why discomfort is good for you, too.
For the you that will shine and change the world. For the you that you were meant to be. For the life you dream of to become reality.
Whenever I think of examples where I went above and beyond my own capabilities, beyond my skill level, and kept going, pushing, believing in a vision that has not truly made sense yet — all of this happened in discomfort.
Discomfort challenges the mind.
Standing at the bus stop, with a cold wind on my cheeks, I zipped up my jacket. As the bus arrives, it brings with it a gust of a diesel cloud. Now enflaming my nostrils as I board the bus.
I watch people holding their tiny TV screens in their hands with wires going into their ears; no one is reading. Holding my book in my hands seems somewhat archaic, almost out of style. I check my bright screen for the time out of habit. My watch broke and this is the only time keeper I have.
My book is the fidgety type and it’s hard to keep it open. The pages sewn tight at the seams. I only read a few sentences before the bus turns and stops begin making me nauseous.
A man comes on board, coughing phlegm balls and sneezing. I began to panic and start feeling claustrophobic with all the windows closed. “I am going to get sick being here,” I thought.