Thứ Năm, 27 tháng 6, 2013


Souls First

“Thailand, huh? Did you smoke a lot of weed there?”

It is not every day that you turn to respond to this question at the Farmer’s Market and the eyes you come to meet are on the face of a cute little wrinkley grey-haired lady holding two arms full of recyclable bagged veges.

I was chatting it up with the Japanese guy who ran a little Asian market stand last Saturday, during my favorite shopping day of the the week (local produce and pesticide-free food really gets me going).

I had just recently returned from a 2 month stint in Thailand and of course I could effortlessly relate to each and every Asian due to my exposure of 2 south-eastern countries (sarcasm). However, we did have a lot to share about the use of ginger.

Anyways, Granny chirps up, uninvited, but largely welcomed and her un-granny-like story goes like this (nothing, and I mean nothing, has been edited or altered):

Hey, you liked Thailand? I just spend a few months in SE Asia with my husband. Wow, what a place. We loved it there. Did you smoke a lot of weed? Ya know we were on the islands and we heard there was a lot of marijuana so we said, hey why not. So we asked a guy at the restaurant.

He said, “No weed. But I have mushrooms.”

Granny is totally nonchalant telling me this story in front of half of the entire neighborhood I grew up with (by the way), most of which who are wondering what exactly I am doing with my life since bouncing between El Salvador, Thailand and Costa Rica. (I do have somewhat of a vision in mind, just so you know).

Anyways, Grams (I adopted her for 20 minutes) continues:

            Mushrooms, huh?......

Well you know what? My husband and I couldn’t get our @$$es out of those seats for 9 hours after those things. We couldn’t believe it.

Ohhh, we loved it that place. My husband and I.

But, you know what? You gotta be careful at those airports. They found 1 little weed leaf in my cigarette case and they had us searched for 4 hours. I tried to blame my son (he’s young and from New York and stuff). But they had us in that room for 4 hours.

And so went my 9am Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market. You go looking for Collard Greens and you find yourself awkwardly trying to play it cool with a 72-year old pot-smoking grandma.
Moral of the story is NOT to do drugs. I don’t think that was Gram’s intention either.

That Saturday reminded me to smile. As it reminds me this morning as I wake up before the sun, preparing for a busy day full of papers and generally not the most exciting stuff.

You never know what the day is going to bring.

You never know what life is going to give you.

You never know who you are going to meet.

I feel so blessed to have been able to meet such interesting people wherever I go. It is through these interactions that we learn the most.

I get sad when I see so many people closed off.

I get sad when I see people treat our elder’s like “old people” because those who have lived the most have the most wisdom to share with us.

I talk and write a lot about this misconception of “separation”. We are all so connected. Everything we do affects one another. Most of those effects we don’t see.

For example, sometimes I write something, from my heart. I write it on this blog just to get it off my chest. This blog is my way of making sense of this thing in my head that we call a “mind” but which nobody really knows how to define. I write it and post it and then go to sleep, without thinking it has meant anything to anyone but me. And then a few weeks later, someone tells me “wow, your message really changed my day.”

Wow, that moment really makes my heart beat. I feel like I helped someone. And, honestly, I didn’t even try. I just shared my story.

Just like Granny did last Saturday. I don’t think she’ll ever even know that. (unless I stalk her down at the market this Saturday- which is highly possible).

What you do affects people. Whether you want it to or not.

We are not zombies. Maybe some of you are, but in that case, I don’t think you read blogs.

We have bodies, but we don’t walk aimlessly.

We are souls first, and humans second.

So maybe when you go out today, maybe you train your eyes to see beyond the crisp blue-business suits…beyond the plastic glove-wearing deli-man….beyond the smelly-loud begging-voice on the subway.

Maybe you see past the uniforms and past the conditions that brought these beings to their current state.

Maybe you can, instead, see the souls.

The beating hearts that we all share, and the desire for love and laughter.

It’s not so hard really.

And it’s not such a bad way to live.

Feeling connected, knowing what you do matters, has a special way of making you feel important in the world. Knowing that your words or your smile may be carried along as inspiration in the day of another has a special way of making you think more consciously about your day-to-day decisions. Feeling connected has a special way of making you care- bringing peace to others and peace to you.

It creates smiles and many times, laughter, which innately, we look to share with others. After all, what is the first thing you want to do when you have good news? Share it with someone. Happiness means little if it can’t be shared.

And, hey, every now and again you may run into a 72-year old pusher-lady. 

P.S. If you don't know the song, get with it:

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