Go with the flow – the expected unexpected in a postaday post

Go away!

Go away!

My theory that life is so much better if you are just enough organized is grounded in the basic fact that life seldom is what we expect it to be.

When I am in a realistic/pessimistic/blue/ just too tired mood, I expect the worst to happen, that an unexpected call will be the police telling me of an accident or our vicar to tell of a death. It almost never is.

You are not welcome

You are not welcome

When everything is going my way and I feel happy, expectant and relaxed, I do expect callers that brings news of new-born babies, love that is found, competitions that are won and invitations that are given. Quite often it is. Most of the time unexpected calls are neither, but just interruptions. Someone wants me to buy things, do something, sign up for almost anything. Even so, the calls are made by people who do deserve that I listen and am polite.

Not today

Not today

And then to most of us life is just that. Someone will try to sell you car insurance even when you are ill in bed. Others will want to share their joy when your soul will shed only tears, as grief and sorrow will not wait at the door until we are through with our party. Of course one cannot expect and plan for all this, if you do anxiety will cripple your attempt at living.

I want you to feel like this

I want you to feel like this

Even so, knowing that the unexpected are to be expected, gives a relaxed way of living that makes room for both joy and sorrow. Even if most of my callers are expected, I want even the unexpected to feel wanted and cared for. To be organized for this is something I work on being better at.

Let us just sit down

Let us just sit down

I do it like this: I try to leave open spots in my schedule so that I always have a real possibility of taking some time off for the unexpected call, even if it is not the catastrophic sort who forces everything else away.

I normally have something nice to eat in the freezer, either to add to our meal or to make a new meal when guests show up unexpectedly.

I try to keep my house in order, not only for guests, but so as not to waste time running in circles when I really need to respond to something.

The more the merrier

The more the merrier

Most of all, I sit down. I used to be so happy when the cordless phones came, which meant I could keep on doing whatever I thought was important when somebody called. I thought the caller could not feel my resentment  for being interrupted. I surely was so preoccupied with trying to do things when listening that I completely missed the blessing of walking a part of the road   with a fellow human being. I did not stop doing that until my son answered the phone the first time. As soon as he had said hello he rushed to the window and started to deadhead the potted plants, then he tried to water them all the time listening to his grandmother. Afterwards I asked him why he did that. That’s what you do, he said. As soon as the phone rings you start to run about, you never do that when people are visiting!

Who were that on the phone I said, I do not know he said, looking puzzled. To him the phone was the signal for rushing, not for relating.

Who was that?

Who was that?

I am not an angel, most of my friends or people that call me are not either, I think. I like to think of the verse in the Bible who says we should not forget to show hospitality as we could be hosting angels (Hebrews 13:2). That would certainly be unexpected, but if even that is what should be expected, I think I’ll just go with the flow, receive whoever is calling, and expect some surprises.

You are very welcome! See you! You are always expected!

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Why do the birds sing? Or a postaday answer to Why do you blog?

Blogging is reflection

Blogging is reflection

Carl Barks has this legendary story about why birds sing. His character Gyro Gearloose starts an experiment with a bird and three theories:

May be it is sad, maybe it is happy, maybe it just sings?

IMG_1120 sandpiper

What would the sandpiper tell us?

After having trapped the bird, in the ordinary way ( you did know how to do that did you not? By sprinkling salt on its tail of course!) he questions it by wiring it’s head. The answer is : May be I am sad, may be I am happy, may be I just sing.

Perhaps I am sad

Perhaps I am sad

Just like with blogging. The thing is the communication, to share into the world regardless of who is listening. Which to me is what being a human being is all about, to communicate, to share and to learn from another. Whether I am sad, whether I am happy, whether I just want to sing.

Perhaps I am happy

Perhaps I am happy

The beauty of it, both in talking and writing, is that by arranging my words and sorting through my mind, I get closer to understand  why I am singing just now. The best part of it is to grow wiser both by knowing myself and by listening to the thoughts of others. Blogging is like a big campfire, where there always is a new story to listen to, new wisdom to take part in and a new song to join.

IMG_0352 sharing joy

And then again, sometimes I just want to sing.

Done is dead – a daily prompt on imperfection

Quite imperfectly perfect

Quite imperfectly perfect

There was a time, when I was young, that I could read the 13th chapter of Corinthians, the one about love endures everything, and think: I will find that love.

There came a later time, when I was older and thought: If I show perfect love, I will be given perfect love in return.

There came an even later time, when I read the whole chapter, and saw that Paul was telling a story about maturing and understanding what life and love is all about.

Who lived here, what would they tell?

Who lived here, what would they tell?

He says that love will never end, and then that we understand in bits and pieces.When I was a child, he says, I thought as a child ,I understood what  a child may understand. But now, as I am grown, I see that I see everything as pieces, as glimpses in a clouded mirror.

Not quite clearly

Not quite clearly

And then he goes on to say that love is still  the greatest. He relates to the love and complete understanding God has for each of us. While doing so he tells me, it is OK not to be perfect. To be grown is to know that we see different pieces of the puzzle of life. To love is to live that truth, tell me what you see from where you’re at!  I’ll tell you what I see, together we see more, but still pieces, still through a glass darkly.

Then I read Aristotle,the book where he tells his son Nichomachus, about what’s most important in life. One swallow makes no summer, he sais. To us it is a proverb telling us not to be too optimistic, thinking spring is here. To him it was a profound truth, the truth about the deepest wisdom, what he called phronesis, or the practical wisdom.

IMG_2850 dark trees

The true meaning of life, the essential ethical question, he tells me is: What can I do, to contribute to  “the good life ” for everyone? Anyone can learn things through reading or doing, he continues. To be wise, to know what to do in a given situation, to use the phronesis needed to create this good life, we need to reflect. Every situation will teach us something that could be better, every new person we meet is a potential source of reflection, a way of knowing more.

OK, close to perfect...

OK, close to perfect…

Every time we do contribute in a good way, every time we know what to do, our deed is a swallow, a token of a summer to come. To grow and to mature, to come closer to the good life, takes reflection on practise and reflection in practise. It will never be complete though, only when our life is over, is it possible to judge if it was a good life, still according to Aristotle.

A room for reflection

A room for reflection

Then I remembered what we were thought in physics in high school, the law of reflection. The angle of reflection equals the angle of incidence. Perhaps that’s true for mental reflection too? It is not very complicated, it is not a challenge, it has nothing to do with brain power, and it has nothing to do with perfection. For every angle there is another picture, from every soul there is another thing to see, as we all see what we see from where we stand.

In bits and pieces

In bits and pieces

The greatest puzzle of them all, never perfect, still imperfect, life and love. So what do I cherish about imperfection? The fact that imperfect means not quite done yet, which means I got my whole life to collect and gather wisdom. Every day to live this truth, that in the middle of imperfection we get to create the good life for each other.

Never perfect, still working on that....still alive!

Never perfect, still working on that….still alive!