Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One morning last week I was putting away the dishes, and noted that the light was catching my largest stainless steel bowl -- just so.

I can remember buying it -- it's huge, and I use it when I toss two torn loaves of bread with simmered celery and onions for turkey stuffing; Bernie uses it when he makes meatloaf; we employ it when we pick grapes or pomegranates.

None of those scratches were there when it came to our house. Each silvery line, each dark line represents the touch of a potato masher, a fork, a wide spoon, a mixing blade. Thirty-five years or so of beloved use.

Far from accenting marring marks, the light made the bowl more beautiful, made me remember all the many delightful foods that had collected in its embraces.

All of us, in aging, have these scratches and mars. We get scraped in life, we get used for work at jobs and at home, we sprain muscles and find ourselves so tired some days that we tremble ourselves to sleep.  We think ourselves wretched, but in reality, every wrinkle, age spot, ache and lameness, we're being made into something even more beautiful, more unique, than that spotless stainless steel bowl.

To be useful, to be used for good -- what higher calling could anyone ask?

I want to be like this bowl.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

This is not the way a morning in early September is supposed to look in the Central Valley.

Nevertheless, it was highly entertaining to awaken to thunder and a cloud-clotted sky yesterday morning. Howie and I scrambled from the tent, and I shouted for Bernie (who had been up a bit earlier than I) to pull the cover over the mesh roof.

After donning sweaters, we retired with coffee and tea to the garage studio, door open, to watch the lightning and clouds drift across the sky until just before lunchtime.

There was more rain than I thought there would be, but not so much as to endanger local crops. And it was truly a comedy that while rain poured down, and thunder boomed, that the weather service online claimed we had clear skies.

Eyeballs can be good tools when ascertaining the current weather conditions.