IMG_0718

Lake of Sky, photo & all text
© Irene O’Garden 2012

But first, exciting news! Some of you may know that last June, I had a writer’s dream experience.

My agent invited me to the Book Expo in New York to see what publishers are up to these days.  As we made our way through the bulging booths, she told me that the day before, she’d chanced to meet an ebook publisher. At the end of their conversation, he’d said, “Oh, we’re also looking for essays. “

That morning, she’d remembered my Pushcart Prize-winning essay, Glad To Be Human. She hadn’t arranged to meet up with the publisher but we headed for the table in International Rights where she’d seen him the day before. There he was.

She introduced us, handed him Glad To Be Human. He read about three paragraphs and said, “This is gorgeous! I want it.” He bought it on the spot. It is to be released in the next month. Watch this space for a special offer for you, my loyal readers!

To listen to this post, please click hereHaving a Cigarette

HAVING A CIGARETTE

Emerging from a stressful time a few summers ago, while on retreat, I decided to take a walk to the lake. It was a lovely evening. I had anticipated seeing the lake, but not planned beyond that. Along the soft strip of beach, a lounge chair lay open in white receptivity.

But I am an accomplisher. I don’t just sit and look at a lake. Too reed-choked to walk the circumference. What was I to do, walk back?  Bathed in late sunlight, the lapping lake coaxed me to stay.

I was cast back to childhood. At a moment like this, my mother would sit and have a cigarette. So that’s what I decided to do, lean back in the long white chaise and have a cigarette. Without the cigarette. As I sat inhaling the evening, I thought of breaks–coffee breaks, smoking breaks. It’s not so much the coffee or the cigarette, but the break itself. The break for pleasure.

Addiction is convenient, since you don’t have to decide your pleasure—you don’t actually have to pay any attention to yourself at all. But convenience is expensive—it can cost your life. Or at least many dollars.

Substance or not, becoming aware of the pleasure in the present, the ongoing fulfilled promise of existence, is ever an option. Even an accomplishment.

 

What’s a pleasure break of yours?

 

 

Sisters July 2012

To listen to this post, please click here:A PHRASE TO MELT ANXIETY

Back from California and Hawaii. While I hoped to post about that, the material wants to be longer than the few short tight paragraphs I like to offer you on Wednesdays. Perhaps an excerpt will find its way here.

For now: a short reflection on being in the car, rushing for my outgoing flight due to an overslept driver. (Never book a flight on July 5 and expect a young driver to forgo celebration the night before. Perhaps March 18 and May 6 are not so good either.)

We are streaming to the airport. I am anxious about getting there, when suddenly I remind myself that this is an act of love. The motivation for this trip is to visit my sisters: an act of love. To support my husband in his latest endeavor: an act of love. It’s a phrase that has occurred to me before, and it always relaxes me.

It did not mean I caught the plane. I didn’t. I missed it by a few moments, and took my place in line at the ticket agent. The man in front of me was furious at missing the same flight, and let loose on the agent, who was unable to get him aboard it. The man stomped off to file a complaint.

But an act of love always involves the larger energy, which means we can relax. With this in mind,  I was able to be humane with the agent. Turns out he gets up every morning at 1:30 to get to the airport by 3:30, when his shift starts. (Even a bit of personal concern for another human being is relaxing.)  After a brief conversation, I was on the next flight out, no doubt before the angry man had finished filing his complaint. And the grateful agent flagged my luggage triple priority.

Thanks to my unexpected layover in Houston, I ended a ridiculously long search for the perfect denim jacket. While I missed a few hours with my sister, I got there by day’s end.

It’s an act of love. Relax.

Let’s remember how many of our daily acts hold this motivation—answering an email, picking up a child from school, trying to finish a project which helps support those we love. Our lives are filled with acts of love.

The more acts of love we recognize,  the more relaxed we get to be.

 

O’Sisters, July 2012 photo Desiree Ramos,
all text © Irene O’Garden, 2012.

Has this or another phrase been helpful to you?

Back from California and Hawaii. While I hoped to post about that, the trip wants to be longer than the few short tight paragraphs I like to offer you on Wednesdays.

So for now, a short reflection on being in the car, rushing for my outgoing flight due to an overslept driver. (Never book a flight on July 5 and expect a young driver to forgo celebration the night before. Perhaps March 18 and May 6 are not so good either.)

We are streaming to the airport. I am anxious about getting there, when suddenly I remind myself that this is an act of love. The motivation for this trip is to visit my sisters: an act of love. To support my husband in his latest endeavor: an act of love. It’s a phrase that has occurred to me before, and it always relaxes me.

It did not mean I caught the plane. I didn’t. I missed it by a few moments, and took my place in line at the ticket agent. The man in front of me was furious at missing the same flight, and let loose on the agent, who was unable to get him aboard it. The man stomped off to file a complaint.

But an act of love always involves the larger energy, which means we can relax. With this in mind,  I was able to be humane with the agent. Turns out he gets up every morning at 1:30 am to get to the airport by 3:30 , when his shift starts. (Even a bit of personal concern for another human being is relaxing.)  After a brief conversation, I was on the next flight out, no doubt before the angry man had finished filing his complaint. And the grateful agent flagged my luggage triple priority.

Thanks to my unexpected layover in Houston, I ended a ridiculously long search for the perfect denim jacket. While I missed a few hours with my sister, I got there by day’s end.

It’s an act of love. Relax.

Let’s remember how many of our daily acts hold this motivation—answering an email, picking up a child from school, trying to finish a project which helps support those we love. Our lives are filled with acts of love.

The more acts of love we recognize,  the more relaxed we get to be.

 

O’Sisters, July 2012 photo Desiree Ramos,
all text © Irene O’Garden, 2012.

Has this or another phrase been helpful to you?

1show current page