Today we toured a house that’s for sale on our block. We walked through in stocking feet, talked about the wiring, wondered at the cracks in the cement in the basement.
Cement in the basements. The smell of basements. Basements carry the smell of childhood. Even if a basement doesn’t smell like my Grandma’s basement, I’m carried back there a tiny bit, every single time.
Why do I talk about how the new owners are going to have to hold an exorcism for the basement and then remodel it? Why do we think the cracked foundation has to be remade into something new?
In a similar vein, I’m always trying to learn something that will make my life unfold in an easier way. I inhale books, looking to glean helpful phrases. This rush of reading I do to both escape from life and help myself: it works on so many levels. I spent the afternoon reading, thinking about the pause between something happening and our response. How when I first really heard this idea, it changed my life. For the better. If I can pause, I can think before I react. The blurter in me is shocked. You mean there is room in this world for silence?
Today I am thankful that there is room in my life for the reading of books. For sitting myself on my couch and inhaling a book in a few hours of time, taking what I will from my momentary escape. A refresher on Victor Frankl that makes me think of Buddhism and the self-help manuscript I wrote with Astrid. Of the summer I learned to meditate and young Liz Annie sat on my lap while I repeated a mantra in my head.
Om shanti, shanti, as my kids and I used to say to each other. How do we call out to the universe? How do we find a place to pause, to gather up our inner resources while being thankful for all who support us? Just now, I look up what shanti means, so many years after the girls and I said this phrase to each other. Shanti means peace. Underneath the online dictionary.com definition, I read this line: “Shanti! Shanti! you must not let anger possess you like that.”
Whoosh. Just a tiny thought or two for you. May peace be with you.