Reflections

Posting all of the things we love: bridges, water, and boats. On a foggy or sun-smeared day. Breathe it in. Some philosopher said the past (or future) was today with something missing. I don’t know why this visual reminded me of that but it did. Maybe because in the past we had no time to miss the water as we were always there.

@ Curiosita Posted by Ferit Temur

The Tale of a Brownie

It’s been a long time since I’ve baked brownies. I believe the last time was in the early 70s when it was de rigueur to bring them to any party—and they were green. That was in the days when pot was everywhere (forgive the outdated nomenclature) and it was awful but common. Today it has apparently been replaced by the edibles of cookie-like things and gummies. I don’t know from experience mind you, just what I’ve heard. And I don’t know how common it is but I suspect it wouldn’t take much to find some.

Anyway, I decided to bake brownies as a craving had taken hold. Not for the green stuff, but the homebaked. By home baked I mean put into the oven at home after following the directions on the box. So. Off I went and home I came with my box, instructions, and oven heated to 350 degrees.

Alas, I do not have a brownie-size pan. Cake pans would be too big. I did have a muffin or cupcake tin due to a prior craving for cupcakes. The tin was still in the cupboard, unused. But why wouldn’t it work for brownies? It would of course, so I followed the directions on the box and completed the mixing to drop the batter into the cupcake-sized round holes for baking. They looked lovely as they puffed along in the oven and scented the house with their lovely baking goodness.

Upon removal I let them cool slightly and then easily freed a sample from one of the holders. Lovely, if a tad chewy and firm. Not quite what I expected in looks or consumption, they were nonetheless quite good. Even if they did seem not quite like-what-mum-would-make. Upon going to throw the box away I noticed a silver pouch inside. Huh. It contained something rather soft and malleable. Back to the directions I went. Sure enough, they included adding the contents of the pouch—the chocolate syrup—to the mix. So then a key ingredient had gone missing from the batter. *Sigh*

But yesterday’s fail is tomorrow’s success, right? As for today, the brownies have quite hardened and look like hockey pucks. They still taste OK, but require dunking in order to be soft enough to eat. I’m having the hockey-puck brownies with my milk and coffee this morning.

Spaces & Enlightenment

Recognizing the Buddha in You

“Do not worry about enlightenment; the Buddha is within your mind already, ready to be seen. But because we cannot turn inward and are constantly distracted, we fail to recognize the Buddha.
When past thoughts have ceased and future thoughts not yet arisen, in this space between fixations, you can glimpse the nature of mind abiding like space; this is the Buddha. If you remain within this nature continuously, you are enlightened.” 🧡

~ Garchen Rinpoche

OK, again with the space. Space between the musical notes, space between the thoughts, space between the thought and the action.

*Sigh*

Again with this I so wish I could see. I try. Sometimes at night I practice this. I try to achieve an awareness of the spaces. I do believe this is true though I have yet to accomplish it. And there is a little bit of nagging that goes on too. Is this grasping?

*Double Sigh*

Friendship

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Henri Nouwen

I love the painting below. If I could copy it I would, and hang it in my living room. This was posted by Ravenous Butterflies.

I don’t know. I have friendships sustained for years, some from high school, others from work mates. The problem is that they are not close geographically. I have one friend nearby but she’s in a strangely different place currently, having given up her home to her nephew and moved in with her sister. There it is Invasion of the Body Snatchers as she has ever so slowly—step by step—become like those living there, in her sister’s house. (Forgive the mixed metaphor but it is so necessary.) She has let her hair grow long and longer. Now she can’t wear it down as she used to like it as it is too scraggly. It is always back in a type of French bun. It is now dyed the same color as her sister’s. She was an absolute coffee fiend. Now she drinks a soft drink, a cola, the same as her sister. I could go on. An outward manifestation of an inward surrender of self. I don’t know how she manages but she seems ever so happy these days. That’s what I don’t know, don’t understand. Can we be happy in the surrender of our very self? The philosophers say we cannot. Maybe they’re wrong.

Sleep & Bill Hayes

A new discovery for me in Bill Hayes, the paramour of our own Oliver Sacks whom I must have written about in here somewhere. That’s not the point of it of course but only an anchoring place. Somewhere for us to tether a reference. Not so much for the reader as for my own needs I’m afraid. I’m not at all sure that’s a universal need. Although it (a reference tether) makes sense.

From Bill, as reported in Marginalia: “I was born dreaming. Deep in REM sleep, I was taken from the womb, my closed eyes furiously scanning for images that could never be retrieved, redreamed, or remembered. In this regard, I was identical to every baby. With a slap to the ass, it was over. Birth jolted me from a state of sublime unconsciousness to which I’ve spent the rest of my life struggling to return.”

And there it is. So well put. Hence our struggle for the illusive, the dream, Death. The Big Sleep.

Bill writes about this in Sleep Dreams which I have already ordered, naturally. A simple turn of some screw in the mind that allows me to act without thought when it comes to the purchase of some book that will further allow me to enter into that Other of the sublime—the right book with the right words. I’ll report back on the read, though I fully expect it to be delicious.

Before closing, a further thought. Did you know that Nietzsche believed that dreams are an evolutionary time machine for the human mind? Oh my. So much to think about. So much to dream about.