Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dear Cathy - Are you familiar with The Five Remembrances? It is bit of Buddhist teaching that I have found myself returning to a lot in the last week:

I am of the nature to grow old; there is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill health; there is no way to escape ill health.
I am of the nature to die; there is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me; and everyone I love are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground upon which I stand.
It is a reminder to cherish each day, but to be accepting of change.
I had a lot of time to philosophize this weekend. I didn't have my car most of the time, and I was determined to do some serious weeding, which is highly conducive to philosophizing, and very sore glutes and hamstrings. Two beds--one large and one small--are weedfree for now and I feel very productive (and sore).
I got some knitting done, too, while resting up after the weeding sessions. I won't give away the surprise, but here's a hint: what do knitting and Major League Baseball have in common?
Your mitten story reminded my of my own grandmothers. I'm sure I missed some nuances from my childish perspective, but it seemed to me that one of my grandmothers was loving and generous and the other was critical and complaining. As an example, the generous grandmother (who was called Cookie, which is a clue to her character) made handkerchiefs for me and my sister with crocheted edging. I still have the handkerchief she gave me. The other grandmother looked at these handkerchiefs and criticized the crocheting, pointing out mistakes in the pattern. The irony is that I might not have remembered the handkerchiefs at all if "bad" grandmother hadn't criticized them.
Have you gotten your copy of the Harlot's new book? I think I'll put it on my Christmas wish list; I like to have things of the appropriate magnitude to suggest for the kids to give me. I made some progress on the Oliver Cromwell biography over the weekend. I find it astounding and discouraging that many of the religious issues that the English civil war (and the 30 years' war in Europe) were fought over are still being contested, and that the human race hasn't gotten past fighting wars over religion.
Have you finished the baby blanket yet? It seems like a long repeating pattern might be a good discipline for troubled times. Thankfully my (secret) project involves a lot of stockinette that I just have to count occasionally to make sure that I haven't left a stitch dangling somewhere.
We had a really nice visit with Philip this weekend. It's sort or a shame that just when your kids come out of the depths of teen-aged angst and obnoxiousness they move out of your house. Well, I guess that's the point of having them.
Take care, and see you Thursday.

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