“Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!” – Christian D. Larson
It’s easy to get bogged down in stress and worry, in our jobs, school assignments, and friend and familial obligations. A day will always come around when something’s off with your car, you can’t figure out your homework, or people just aren’t as nice or forgiving as you’d like for them to be.
It’s harder to remember your repetitive thoughts about situations become your beliefs and that your beliefs become real.
Today, for a class assignment on ethnography, I visited a local farmer’s market with two sweet girls in my year. It was utterly relaxing and normal to be surrounded by peaceful customers who wanted nothing more than to find a great fresh vegetable for dinner or to discover some yellow pansies to plant in their yards. Everyone seemed relaxed and in no hurry at all. I might have seen four cellphones flash by although I passed dozens and dozens of people. Shoppers called out friendly greetings to the vendors, whom they clearly had interacted with before. Young children played with toy cars and bright blocks in a gazebo centered right in the middle of the market.
I felt a bit like a reporter again, carefully observing the scene and writing down what seemed interesting or unique.
The sun was out, the air was crisp, and the whole atmosphere was one of community and welcome. Although I was busy scribbling in a notebook noting everything from people’s conversations to their shoe style, even I was pulled into a conversation by a farmer named Patrick who noticed my alma mater name on my coat. It turned out his wife’s aunt worked as an economics professor at my college, and we had a nice chat about that for a few minutes.
I was trying to be inconspicuous and stand on the edges of the crowd but was pulled into the action. That’s the way life is, too. Sometimes we just have to let go and move with the current that’s flowing strongly around us.
I can’t be perfect. You can’t be perfect. The squash crop isn’t perfect either. But it’s still beautiful. Not everything is going to get done exactly when we want it to, exactly the way we want it to. The assignments are always going to be there, or your kids are always going to be there needing your help. Or those bills are always going to come along and need to be paid.
But life isn’t at its core about any of our stressors. It’s about the simple sense of community and well-being that can be found at a local farmer’s market.
We too have to foster harmony in our relationships, look for commonalities, try to be as warm and hospitable as we can, and ask for forgiveness when we haven’t been stellar humans. We are like the vendors waiting at our stands, trying to make a good impression and build a bridge of connection to customers as they stroll by.
I recently interviewed my aunt for a multimedia project, and she gave me a great quote to use in the film I’m creating. “I honestly believe in karma, it’s what you throw out in the world you get back. If you give good, you get good. If you give evil, evil comes back to you.”
It’s so simple yet so true.
Do I miss being able to write frequently? Yes, yes I do. Do I know at the core of my being that being a writer is who I am and was as a little girl and always will be most likely? Yes, yes I do. When I heard those two girls talking about writing classes that they hope to take next semester, was I a little nostalgic and sad? Yes, yes I was.
But I’m going to trust that everything’s working out the way it’s supposed to and that switching into the public relations track from the news & reporting one was a good life decision. I can’t see myself running around for the rest of my life, wired on coffee and in hot pursuit of the Next Big Story. I love to listen, but not quite that much. I like to travel, but not like that.
So I hope these two worlds of mine – the journalistic creative writing side and the problem-solving world of strategic communication and public relations – will blend together beautifully like the colors of the earthenware mugs I saw at the farmer’s market this morning.
Because I want to breathe deeply and fully all the days of my life. I want the sense of peace that allows me to lie down in the sunny spot on the couch and drift off into a crystallized world of daydreams and meditation just because. I want to spend three hours lost in a fascinating conversation about the meaning of life or curled up with a good piece of fiction. I want to build relationships with people worth knowing and keeping in my life.
I want to send out enough good will vibrationally so that the energy rises up like a sparkling purple net to catch and overtake any negativity that lingers around myself and the people who surround me.
Here’s to trying to be a good person today and to believing in the unfolding process of life.
Just a few poems based around the idea of creating your own art.
Black curtains on a barren stage
The world on one side awaits
While far beyond the thick fabric,
A story prepares to unfold.
Unreal, someone’s fantasy
A Christmas tree, bejeweled
Glowing, appears at last.
A gasp from the people who,
Moments before, mindlessly chattered
Complained of that tall man’s bald head
Positioned in front of them.
Then lights go down
And silence falls.
A little girl strains to see . . .
. . . the other girl curls her stocking-feet
Up under delicate dress folds, looks
Down at his polished face and moveable jaw.
Cradles him in her arms; he’s free from harm.
Until sword fights and late nights
And unknown enemies crouched
Under the stairs
Attack, forcing him to prove that he can
Again, and again, and again
Survive and transform yet endure.
Later they sail through cotton-candy clouds
Drink from peppermint rivers
And waltz in golden halls overlooking the sea
She and her Nutcracker Prince.
But the story’s just a story
Well-rehearsed, colorful, engaging
Yet nothing to satisfy the raging for a
Reality as pretty as the creation.
Shimmering, she cuts across the ice
Entranced, dedicated to a fluid movement, a leap of faith,
That lands her solidly on a sharp blade.
Chin tucked in, just a flash of her
Metallic-painted eyes seen
Under the white-bright jewels fixed
Securely in the chocolate of her hair.
Open archways around the ancient temple
Show off a rising moon, framed by aspens.
The last ink blots of deep ruby, of gold,
Fade into constellations.
She hears the internal music
The insistent rhythm, the roaring crescendo
Molding her into a twirling goddess of evening.
Hand pressed against a pillar, he watches,
Barely daring to breathe
And when she rises, the formal disguise is
Lost when she catches and holds his azure gaze.
She plays and zigzags her feet
Over to where he waits, amazed.
Tips of her lips cracking into a small, soft grin
The moment he touches the silver fabric
At her hip, slowly, so slowly
Like she has the power to set the night ablaze.