Sweet Irony: A Writer Wednesday Post

July 10th, 2013 | Posted by Irene in Essays


Ro and Ree at 101Ro & Ree, photo © Mark Muenster, 2013, all text © Irene O’Garden, 2013

To listen to this post, please click here:Sweet Irony

Some folks can write posts in advance when they know they’ll be out of town, but my life is rarely so accomodating.  Today’s comes to you late in the day, for I’ve just returned from another trip.

Last weekend I planned to attend a two-day retreat given by renowned meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg. The focus was “Lovingkindness,” that powerful, appealing practice found in Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and other traditions, which helps us cultivate happiness and compassion for ourselves and others. My spiritual mouth watered at the prospect of abiding in stillness and contemplation, especially after recent trips to Minneapolis and Michigan.

Cue the occasionally melodic strings of irony. After several months of high stress–packing, showing and selling her Oregon house–my sister Robin (whose words you have read in these pages– see Rogue Thoughts) and her husband moved into their new home last Wednesday. She needed my help.

Sit in clouds of thought and meditation sending good vibes to the world, or get out there with lovingkind elbow grease? Such opportunities are one reason we sit still. If we can hear lovingkindness call our name in stillness, it’s easier to hear it call us in the bumbly din of daily life.

You can tell from this photo of us in her new garden it was as much a gift to me as to her. (Full disclosure: she’s one of my favorite people on Earth.)

Life’s at her best when we can bring our aspirations right into three dimensions.


Have you had such a wonderful chance lately?


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  • MARK R

    what a wonderful photo of you two together…. the ease of spirit there …and the comfortableness there in the garden —-for me, lovingkindness is a major tenet of the law of attraction — anger will find anger and kindness will find kindness…”DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU” is also a basic TENET of the Karmic law…. hopefully springing from generosity of spirit rather than a Hammarabi – like code of right and wrong…. Like a garden or a child or any relationship of mutual nurturing ( AND WHAT ELSE IS THERE?) WE OFTEN GET BACK WHAT WE PUT IN .. XOXOX MARK

  • Angela

    Irene, I applaud your many acts of lovingkindness. It warms my heart to see you in Mark and Robin’s garden! I know a dose of sisterhood must have been as nourishing as a retreat!

    • You’re right, Angela–it was a gift to both of us!

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