Tara Brach’s podcast on Equanimity: A Heart That is Ready for Anything kept me company this afternoon while I sat at home going through an entire Kleenex box nursing a cold.
She read what she called a duck meditation, and I just looked up the source. It’s a poem that was published in The New Yorker on October 4, 1947. I wanted to share it with you, along with a personal note at the end.
The Little Duck
By Donald C. Babcock
Now we are ready to look at something pretty special.
It is a duck riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf.
No, it isn’t a gull.
A gull always has a raucous touch about him.
This is some sort of duck, and he cuddles in the swells.
He isn’t cold, and he is thinking things over.
There is a big heaving in the Atlantic,
And he is part of it.
He looks a bit like a mandarin, or the Lord Buddha meditating under the Bo tree.
But he has hardly enough above the eyes to be a philosopher.
He has poise, however, which is what philosophers must have.
He can rest while the Atlantic heaves, because he rests in the Atlantic.
Probably he doesn’t know how large the ocean is.
And neither do you.
But he realizes it.
And what does he do, I ask you. He sits down in it.
He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity—which it is.
That is religion, and the duck has it.
He has made himself a part of the boundless, by easing himself into it just where it
It’s been a month of many waves, the biggest of which was Greg’s Mom dying two weeks ago. She had been ill for awhile so it wasn’t a surprise, but it’s hard nonetheless. Both of us getting sick right afterward–Greg last week, me this week–hasn’t helped matters, but all in all I think we’re both being compassionate with ourselves and with each other. I’ve had you all in my heart even though I haven’t been around online very much.
Image found on etsy.com
After all, I don’t see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood. –Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles. –George Bernard Shaw
Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing. –Wayne Dyer
Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. –C.S. Lewis
A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles. –William Hazlitt
Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature. –Saint Augustine
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. –Walt Whitman
Friends, February is almost over, and I am running out of hearts. I think sometime I’ll try to make some of my own clay hearts so I can add whatever words I want. When I started this series I was sleeping really poorly and waking up at 4:30 in the morning and posting then. I found out I woke someone up because their computer beeped when my post came through (she swears she was awake anyway). I’ve gradually posted later and later, and right now it is evening. We’ve just come back from the gym and are going to watch a Seinfeld episode. (And in case you read yesterday’s post, Lily is going to the vet tomorrow.)
I really don’t think about the word prosperity very much, but I do like this quote I found.
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. –Cesar Chavez
This was my first post in the #tinyheart series: Hearthstones.
I just perused quotes on “surrender” and didn’t find any that I liked. So I’m going to tell you a story instead.
My dog peed on me today. She was on my lap, a blanket between us, and when we got up, I was all wet. This happened a few days ago, too, but I wasn’t sure what had happened then. My pants were wet, but I thought maybe I had gotten water on them while I was doing dishes and hadn’t noticed. But when it happened again today, I smelled more carefully and realized this was urine.
She has had bladder and kidney stones (Bichons are prone to them). She has had two surgeries and is on special diet. I thought she was doing better, but apparently not. It is so confusing…I guess with the stones maybe she doesn’t have the sensation that she has to go? I just can’t imagine her leaking all over me, sleeping all curled up like nothing was going on.
Of course, I’ll call the vet tomorrow. But right now, I’m upset. I’m envisioning years of a dog wearing diapers. Just when I’m launching my son out into the world (I think he’s about to get his first “real” job after graduating from college) I have this creature totally attached to me, dependent on me, and incontinent!
Right after I changed clothes, put them in the washer, and cleaned myself up, she grabbed a toy and wanted to play. And she had to look so darn cute. It took every ounce of patience to play with her. I know it’s not her fault.
So I feel like surrender is a good word for tonight. Sometimes we have so little control, it really stinks (literally and figuratively in this case).
I asked Greg to select a few of his favorite beautiful photos for today’s post. A reminder of the beauty that surrounds us every day. Enjoy!
I didn’t know if I was going to get a quick post in today. I had a busy day, including an interview about The Self Compassion Project with a new magazine called, Live Happy. The magazine has had a few issues. I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and got a copy, and it looks really good. This month features Gretchen Rubin and The Happiness Project. I’m sure I’ll only end up with a quote or two, but it was exciting nonetheless. I didn’t even have time to get nervous because the interviewer was supposed to call at 1:00 CST and she called at noon. The dogs hadn’t even been let out yet, so I was talking on the phone trying to deal with them at the same time. Self-compassion is a hot topic right now. Tomorrow I have another interview with First for Women magazine. That one I’ve seen in the grocery store lines. I think it might be a weekly. I’m a little more nervous for the interview tomorrow. I got the questions beforehand, which almost makes it worse. I’m over-thinking and over-preparing.
Check out Live Happy’s website, and here’s a picture I snapped while in Barnes and Noble.