I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Riot of Reflection

This morning I drank coffee and started the second chapter of Small Wonders by Barbara Kingsolver.
This chapter is called Saying Grace and contemplates the grandness of the Grand Canyon and our Fat Brother Mentality. It's worth the read.
 I've discovered why I like multi-grain Cheerios when I don't like cold cereal much at all. It's because it goes with my house and my dogs. If I throw in a few chocolate Cheerios ( Yes, there is such a thing.) then my cereal would match Cutter completely. I know this is a bit OCD but it's just the way I can be sometimes. Since I don't like chocolate for breakfast I will just go with the multi grained, multi colored little O's that taste good and the milk that matches my carpet. Life is about the little things. Like having the right pen to write with or the right toothbrush. We live in a society that allows us these idiosyncrasies.
Barbara Kingsolver would say "It is possible to move away from a vast, [unknown] by delving into it deeper and deeper. You can look at all the parts of a terrible thing until you see that they're assemblies of smaller parts, all of which you can name, and some of which you can heal or alter, and finally the terror that seemed unbearable becomes manageable." 
The "smaller parts" that I divide my life into are how I manage not to become overwhelmed with the strangeness of the world out there. A world that I sometimes find scary and uncontrollable. It's in the act of seeing the cereal that blends with the dog, that blends with the carpet and  blending with the world around me that gives me a sense of stability and calm. I cannot feed the starving masses of the world but I can feed and take care of my family and the animals I choose to adopt. When I see the order of the smaller, I can, then ,(at the very least) look at the bigger more frightening picture. I'm able to create a space where my life is in control and then the media driven mass hysteria doesn't seem so... well, hysterical.
I can learn to move into the bigger world view by taking small steps that teach me to see clearly before I'm told that the world is slowly turning into climate changing warm water, protesting unrest and countries that wish to destroy us. 
So I turn off the TV, contemplate my cereal and drink my coffee until something happens, 
Some day I may not be talking about color coordinated cereal because there will be a bigger, scarier picture.
Life will play itself out . 
There will be no end to the disasters that will befalls us. ( So say the MEDIA.)
But... there's good news.
There are only 32 days until Valentines Day and the stores are filled with LOVE.
There are 96 "la"s in the song "Deck the Halls".  and...
 You can buy chocolate sardines at Bergdorf Goodmans ( six for $45.)
and there is a Prius for everyone... Even one that plugs in.
Really? Everyone?
"What a world. What a world."


  1. I love that you recognize the sense of stability that comes from seeing that your cereal matches your dogs and surroundings. I would guess that we do that in many ways, every day, sort of matching our surroundings to us, how we view ourselves. It is comforting, particularly when we view the world through the lens of the media, and it's hard not to. It's unfortunate that it presents such a distorted view, but we can create a sense of balance in our own thinking, and that is the grace that saves us, every day. I love how this post does that and I am very grateful for such a fine example as to How we can. I am going to have to find the Kingsolver book. I like her worldview and what you've quoted here really speaks to me. Thank You.

  2. the words chocolate sardines kinda scares me....haha...color coded cereal, i have a hard enough time matching my clothes...smiles...

  3. This post was very meaniful and I agree with you whole heartly. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  4. This is how I ATTEMPT to manage my panic disorder. Baby steps and when it's too much, I "turn off" and recharge. It's been a long hard 30 year battle, but has become a bit easier now that I'm not working. Thank God.

    Beautiful post Connie..

    I'm off to get my Honey Nut Cheerios :)

  5. Isn't it wonderful that controlling most of the small things in ones life does it for most of us :o)

  6. That's your creativity at work there matching cereal to dog!

    Do you best everyday :-} and so will I. If there whole world did the same, and treated others as they wished themselves to be treated (including animals). It would all work out.

    For the good.


  7. Connie,
    I LOVE Kingsolver. Every word.
    xo, Cheryl

  8. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a 'Polly Anna' trying to see through rose coloured glasses but it's what keeps me sane as well. I have been thinking of much of the same things lately and find that it's important just to sit and look at how your cereal matches your dog before you step out the door into reality. Here Here!

  9. P.S...CHOCOLATE SARDINES??!! That's a bit crazy!

  10. Chocolate Cheerios! Hah! I feel guilty eating the Honey Nut ones because of the sugar. Now I've learned that there are Chocolate ones, OH MY! I don't listen to the news...it's just too upsetting. I cannot affect what they are talking about, so there is little reason to know about it. I do try to keep abreast of world conditions and do my part to keep the planet healthy, etc...but really, I think being a calm, rational serene person is of more benefit to others than a frantic, harried one who's been watching too much evening news!


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