One morning not too long ago I was walking my dogs up the street and there, on the curb, was a smudged piece of paper with the words OPEN OPEN OPEN on them. Well! I picked it up, of course. It had to be meant for me and it had to be a sign. I’m always saying I want to stay open–to people, places, things, and ideas–so I took this as the universe saying, “Here. Stick this on your wall and do it!”
Turning it over, I saw that it was a sheet of sandpaper. ? Odd, but beside the point. I brought it home and set it down somewhere here in my studio with all the other scraps of paper and pieces of thing that I need to do something with, i.e. it’s not on the wall–yet. Also beside the point. The point is, I took it as a sign.
Possibly as you’re reading this, I am on my way to or already in Taiwan. Whoa! My son invited me to go, I took a breath (many breaths, really) and said YES. He wants me to go enough to have bought me a ticket! And he wants us to rent bikes and ride the coast. As I said, I took many breaths. But I thought, If I don’t do a thing like this now, at 71, when would I? And even though just the fact that he asked is enough in itself to make me feel very much loved and happy, the actual going will have to be even more amazing. I can just imagine the opening that will happen, with so many new experiences.
So I will fly to California and visit siblings and their kids and then, from there, fly for 14 hours to Taipei. (Many many breaths.) In Taipei, the Taiwan Lantern Festival will be taking place. Whoa. My eyeballs will be filled with the wonder of it all. The theme of the Festival is “Light Up the Future.” It is a celebration of blessings, ushering in the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. It is all about hope, light, and reaching new heights. I feel that it fits right in with that scrap of paper commanding me to “Open! Open! Open!”
I will report back upon my return.
“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
“Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox . . . . ” ― Tony Schwartz
“That’s the funny thing about life. Extraordinary things can happen to ordinary people like you and me, but only if we open ourselves up enough to let them.” ― Mike Gayle, All the Lonely People
If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.
Thanks for listening,
P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”