Back to the Garden

The bkuebird screen that decorates the foyer at the entrance to the Royal Panda reflects the white lights that twinkle around the restaurant.

If it is true that the one constant in life is change, then the axiomatic corollary is that surprise should be expected.  No surprise there, tho.  I’ve mentioned before my constant state of amazement by all things, great and small.

It’s been three months now, since I first began the blog, and since then I have made a lot of discoveries. Some of them have been about blogging itself.

For example, I’ve more than noticed that some  people harbor a vehement, yet  uninformed  prejudice about blogging– folks who have never even read a blog! I’ve been caught off guard  by some of the remarks that have been made directly to me by my own friends. This  has been a reminder to dear old self  that just as  I have felt hurt or frustrated by a thoughtless or insensitive  remark about “bloggers” or “blogging” uttered by someone in the media or by someone that I know;  that, likewise,  goofy commentary of all ilks is offensive to people of different races, backgrounds, age, or appearance when their “differentness” is singled out for aspersion.

When I was growing up in the age of “we are stardust, we are golden”, tolerance was the talisman worn by liberty. Strident speech in search of  cheap approval ratings panders rather than ponders,  stealing  the  precious pendant of  what has made us a country of independent thinkers.

One of my dearest, most loyal, friends, a fascinating and brilliant woman who would drive to L. A. to pick me up if I had a flat tire, has told me pointedly when I asked her if she’d like to look at the Wu Food Project, “No. I don’t read blogs.”

Admittedly, I am a reading omnivore, and I read words like the Cookie Monster eats cookies, so this is really really hard for me to understand.  But she is not alone; like I said, the disdain is palpable, at least from certain quarters.

Another woman who is as sharp and funny as they come, who has a wonderful sense of style,  has verve, and who travels widely announced in our break room over lunch one day that she has real doubts about the hapless souls who sit at home hunched over laptops writing in their blogs.

That’s when I finally felt compelled to  get up on my all fours and I said, “Well, surely you would not discourage anyone who paints from painting, you would not call a person a sad little person who goes home and strums on their guitar or who engages in any other artistic self expression would you?”

And of course, she agreed, absolutely she would not.

So I told her, “Well, I write.”

And we both laughed. I laughed, because at that moment, I  had just discovered the same thing that Jeri had. I write. I used to know this, but I forgot.

About a month ago, the fortune in my cookie said, “You will find something one month from today that you lost. ” I tried to think what thing I might have lost, but there is no thing that I have lost that I really  long to retrieve. Instead, I immediately thought of the people who are lost to me. My daughter. My children’s fathers. My father. My grandmother. And my expectations, the way my own life  has jigged when I thought it would jag, and jagged when I thought it would jig.

So the surprise of the day is that the fortune is coming true. Indeed, with each day of the month, I do find something that I believed was  lost.

Each night I find  myself fingering the  fragile remnants of memories and dreams.

I am reminded of a stunningly beautiful  poem by Hart Crane, My Grandmother’s Love Letters, in which he asks himself, “Are your fingers long enough to play/Old keys that are but echoes:/Is the silence strong enough/To carry back the music to its source/And back to you again/As though to her?”

Tugging on a thought or a memory  is like touching the sticky strand of a spider web, the geometry of the whole thing vibrates  and the spider of my heart and my whole “be-ness” scampers to wrap the discovery in a silken net of  more words, words in an entry so that the thought and the memory and the hope and the dream will not go away.

I’d like to be as healthy in my body as I can be. My mom, in her late 80’s, and my boss’s dad are proof that life can be amazing for an amazingly long time. If I live a long time, I’d at least like to feel good. That’s the point of the Wu Food Project.

The stats are: 87 posts for me, and 3,750 views for y’all. And fifteen pounds lost, something that I have lost recently  that I hope I do not find again!

I have been blushingly and blissfully happy just this week to read a review, of sorts, an entry in someone else’s blog about my blog–how utterly blogful!

It was published on December 2nd by a paper called Nashville Scene and was written by Chris Chamberlain in his food blog called Bites. Again, I was just thrilled to pieces. If you’d like to read it, here is a link to it, or you can go to the press page that my son added for me, so I’d have a place to keep it.

What is embarrassing about it is that Chris Chamberlain manages to sum up the Wu Food Project better than I can! I think the project is just to0  near to me, too personal;  it is very hard for me to talk about it objectively, so I am thankful that someone else took the time and cared enough to share their thoughts.  I am very overwhelmed by what he wrote.

I wrote a college paper for an English class once comparing Joni Mitchell’s lyrics for Woodstock to the themes of Romantic Literature that celebrate  nature and peaceful co existence.

“Oh can I walk beside you?” she writes, adding, ” I feel myself a cog in something turning.”

I am grateful for Mr. Wu who is helping me to  “get back to the garden”  by walking beside me, and for all of you who are also walking beside me.

As Joni said, “We are stardust.”

One thought on “Back to the Garden

  1. What a compliment to you that the Nashville journalist is praising your blog. Regardless of what some say, this blog is worth reading. It is not just about food but about your life and philosophy of survival down a not always easy road.

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