Daily Archives: March 8, 2009

"Everybody is making love, or else expecting rain"

I can’t believe I didn’t mention Anne Tyler’s Saint Maybe in the previous post. Oh, well.

Today was an exceedingly pleasant and lazy day. It was just so much fun to do nothing—I’d really missed that during the weekdays, when I’m always waiting for buses, waiting for the Max, riding the bus, riding the Max, or being with large groups of exceedingly enthusiastic and energetic children. I woke up at 11:30 AM, rolled out of bed and left for yoga class. Afterwards I went to Fred Myer on Hawthrone for groceries and an electric toothbrush, which I didn’t get because they’re so durned expensive. Maybe after my dentist trip next week I’ll decide whether or not it’s worth it, depending on the dentist’s verdict of disgust. Then I rode my bike all the way back to our new little shack in NE. I really like our new neighborhood a lot. It’s right by the 82nd Max line, so as opposed to Milwaukie, transportation is very convenient. The street we’re on (Tillamook) runs along a golf course and a park all the way down to 60th, and after that to 39th it’s all cracked paved streets (I have a thing about living on or near unimproved roads) and cute painted houses.

Yesterday was great too: I met Corey downtown after I got out of work and we got sushi off a sushi train and then went to a late showing of Watchmen, which I enjoyed tremendously. Maybe that makes me uncool to say that, but I didn’t look at my watch once (more impressive considering it was three hours). I read the book last fall and really liked it a lot. I’ve had the Smashing Pumpkins song from the trailer stuck in my head all day. I even liked the soundtrack, especially the cover of “Desolation Row” at the end that I now want to track down:

Now at midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do

Anyway, it’s so nice to have pleasant days like today. In Eat Pray Love Gilbert discusses the difference between entertainment and pleasure, how it’s one thing to just kind of numb yourself in front of the TV or in the late night disco, trying to convince yourself that you’re having a good time, and how it’s another thing to do things that you find deeply and intensely pleasurable. Like biking through the hail, laughing and grinning broadly while it hits your face and pricks at your hand. Or drinking english breakfast tea with honey and reading David Lodge. Or browsing wikipedia articles all afternoon and feeling completely not guilty about it. Putting the fish in a giant plate of warm water to defrost, so that Corey can cook it and fill my belly with yummy goodness once he gets home later. Such a nice thing, these little treats in life.

I read old journal entries where I made all these lists of things to DO and things that must get DONE and things I had to ACHIEVE and ACCOMPLISH and man, it just sounds so stressful to me. I don’t like having that mentality anymore of needing to have this very long list and if I didn’t do everything on it, then it would become something in my life to feel really bad about and thus a way to feel bad about myself… uurgh. Dreadful. It’s nice to think that I can see a change in myself, even in such a short period such as six months. Such a nice thing, these constant transformations.

Speaking of transformations, everything is covered with snow outside…

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whomever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– “The Guest House”, by Rumi

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Filed under Dear Diary, moment of pleasure, poetry