I’ve been trying to write something all day, without much success. Events of the past week have left me at a loss for words.
I was thinking that I’d post a weekend pause, telling you that I’d be back with regularly scheduled programming next week. But in the back of my mind was an exchange that I’d had with a friend earlier in the week, on Monday.
For some reason, I can’t stop thinking about it. And I thought that there must be a reason it keeps coming back to me. Maybe that’s a signal that I ought to share, that someone else reading will find meaning in it, too.
I’d been chatting with my friend about some personal struggles, some low points. He told me that the low points made his heart heavy for me. And then he asked me to do something. He asked if I’d please let him know when I had moments of moving in the other direction.
It was such a beautiful thing to say, really. It was an expression of care, one that showed a real understanding of how depression works. One of the hardest things about having depression, for me, is managing the feeling that people I’m close to are waiting for a linear trend upwards, or even for the day when poof! I don’t have depression anymore.
That’s not really how it works, which isn’t to say that I’m down all the time. I’ve felt pretty grounded this year, in spite of everything. But it’s a flux. Things move in different directions, as my friend suggested. Some stretches are long, some are short. I’ve learned to make peace with the motions, whether I’m in a bright spot or a darker one.
But it’s all too easy to dwell on the difficult moments, to focus on the darkness. And it’s so important to acknowledge the happy times, too, to give them the same attention and focus that we give struggle.
I was reminded of the time that a yoga teacher shared words that her mother had said to her. It was something to the effect of, “don’t only pray when you’re despairing or in need of help; God wants to hear from you in good times, too.”
My friend understood this. And now, I understand it, too. I’ll share the next completely random, joyous moment with him. And I’ll be sure to share it with all of you.
Commitment to recognizing joy, peace, and contentment doesn’t mean pretending that the feelings are there when they’re not. It simply means that we give them our awareness when they show up, refusing to let them be outweighed or shadowed by suffering.
I’m celebrating the next joyous moment that’s possible for me, for you, for all of us. It’s coming.
Happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.
I love the looks of Tieghan’s ginger sesame noodles with caramelized mushrooms.
A beautifully, wintery pumpkin hummus salad.
This vegan sausage borlotti bean stew is calling my name right now.
Finally, I’d love to devour this whole stack of Constanze’s vegan stroopwafels!
1. Apparently a 2,000 year old snack bar was unearthed in Pompei. Pretty incredible.
3. Ed Yong considers what the US will face as we head into the second year of the coronavirus pandemic.
4. An alternative to resolutions, intentions, or goals: choosing a word for a new year. (So far, I don’t have one.)
5. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about roads not taken this year—blame it on all of the quarantine solitude. It was interesting to read this meditation on regret and the allure of our unlived lives. Joshua Rothman writes,
Just as the past year has gotten me thinking about what ifs and should haves, it’s also shown me the importance of living in the here and now—no matter what else might be, or could have been.
On that note, I’m signing off. I always feel a lot of love when I publish these posts, but I’m sending out extra heaps of it tonight.
I used to write about digestion all the time on this blog, but it’s been a while since the topic came up. It’s not that my interest in GI health has waned—it hasn’t—but it’s become more of a professional focus and less of a personal one, mostly because my own struggles with IBS have receded over the years. Why? Hard to say, but I suspect that consistent eating patterns (as opposed to the extremes of my eating disorder years), plenty of soluble fiber,…
It seems to be a pattern lately that I’m not getting weekend reading up until Monday, which to some extent defeats the purpose. But is there ever a bad time for delicious recipes, mouth-watering photos, and thought-provoking reads? Nope. I hope you’ll all enjoy this week’s picks. Rather than ending with dessert, which is what I usually do, I think I’ll start with it. My friend Jackie shared a recipe from the lovely Emily’s new book, Rawsome Vegan Baking, and it looks cray…
I’ve been reading a lot of Pema Chödrön’s writings about tonglen practice lately. One quotation of hers keeps sticking with me: Tonglen practice (and all meditation practice) is not about later, when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect. You may be the most violent person in the world—that’s a fine place to start. That’s a very rich place to start—juicy, smelly. You might be the most depressed person in the world, the most addicted person in the…
Happy Sunday, folks, and I hope that you all had a nice weekend. To those of you who have been celebrating Passover, a very happy Passover. The month of April has been whizzing by, and I can’t help feeling that I’m just trying to keep up with things. I’ll be taking one summer class in May-early July, and then I’m hoping that I’ll have some time to focus on my business and on diving into recipe testing for the new cookbook in earnest!…