Friday, December 7, 2012

The world is not ugly, and the people are not sad**

Fog lay thick over most of Los Angeles this morning and is something of an event, strange enough that both boys jumped out of bed easily when I said, You should come quick and see the fog! It's so weird! The rainy season in our part of the world has set in, there are tiny black mushrooms clustered around the base of trees, and yesterday I practically tripped over a white one that looked more like it should be called a toadstool than fungi. I have so much to do these days, so many telephone calls to make and people to think of and meetings to attend. I'm juggling my son Oliver's anxiety and mild depression, Sophie's seizures and Henry's applications for high school. The new job has me attending healthcare round-tables where harrowing stories of children removed from their homes due to neglect are presented and professionals from seemingly every profession one can imagine put their heads together to discuss and help. Someone asked me whether it's depressing, and so far, it's not. It's uplifting, rather, to participate in something positive. I'm grateful to not only have the work but to do it. I crashed into another car today, a tiny fender bender, while stopped at a traffic light. I jumped out of my car and exclaimed my apologies to the burly guy in his. He fingered the scratches in his car, a shiny, red convertible and sighed. I thought he'd be angry. I thought he'd accuse me of something. I thought of the insurance premiums rising as my adrenaline did. He sighed, though, and he didn't get angry. We exchanged information and went on our way. I got an email a couple of hours later. He included a copy of a bill from a hardware store for some paint. He said that he would touch up the scratches himself and bang out the dents. The bill was for $8.13, and he wondered whether I would reimburse him for it.

The world is not ugly, and the people are not sad.

**one of my favorite Wallace Stevens' poems:


That strange flower, the sun,
Is just what you say.
Have it your way.

The world is ugly,
And the people are sad.

That tuft of jungle feathers,
That animal eye,
Is just what you say.

That savage of fire,
That seed,
Have it your way.

The world is ugly,
And the people are sad.


  1. you are practicing gratitude, and that cultivates the ability to juggle all that you do, and stay afloat. Love the poem: yes, it is all in how we experience the world. Two people can view the same thing and come away with opposite reactions. I choose the healthy, positive reaction whenever I can manage. It just feels better.

    Lovely fog photo, too.

  2. "I crashed into another car today..."



  3. Okay, so you made my day, and I really, really needed this.. so glad you still have time to blog.... oh and Oliver's mild depression and anxiety... worried and sending lovely thoughts his (and your) way.

  4. I, for one, am grateful that the car you hit was being driven by a sane human being with no agenda.
    You are a wonder on this earth.

  5. A day filled with grace. I am glad it worked out that way. How do you juggle it all?

  6. A full day. They seem to be all that way. And yours,even more so then most.

    And there is grace and beauty in it all, we just need to look for it and on some days, if we are lucky, it finds us.

    Hoping that that sweet Oliver finds his way through this soon. I am certain he will. After all, you are there to help him navigate his way.

    Have a few of the brood that suffer from the same. Give a shout out if I can help in any way.

  7. Wow -- I can't believe that guy's reaction! So unexpected. Thank goodness for reasonable, sane people!

    The fog is cool. I'm sure that is a rarity there!

    It's hard to have so much on your plate, I'm sure, but it's got to feel good, too.

  8. Good old burly guy in the red car
    Sending love to the big O
    and all of yous

  9. The world is decent in the end, isn't it?

    Finally discovering you after I think what has been years of seeing you interact on Ms. Moon's site.

    1. Welcome, Jill! Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to your comments!

  10. You know I can't help but think how "crafty convertable guy" is such a sharp contrast in energy from the "Evil Rita Meter Maid"

    I know, I'm doing it again..can't help it your stories just bring it out in me!

    Really though, I am curious about this convertable guy and wonder what his story is?

    My son, Weston suffers similarly to Oliver, the anxiety and depression tied up so finely with his sensitivity and ability to see the truth in things. Sure wish you lived down the street so we could compare notes more readily.

  11. Love the fog photo. There is something to be said for spending your days hearing compelling stories and being part of a group who is trying to help others. I love that you are part of this and have no doubt that you are a tremendous voice for the children and families in this situation.

    I also love the guy who wants $8.13 for his touch-up paint. I'm sending him lots of love and light to reinforce that generosity.



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