This bowl has been in my keeping for longer than was intended. I have been forgiven for that with a graciousness that seems another bowl-shaped gift. Making me think that it is perhaps in the curved vessel of each other’s trust and pardon that we discover and re-discover our own capacity for gentleness and love.
When I unpacked the box and lifted out this bowl, fragile and breathtaking as a bird’s egg, I was captivated. It was as simple and reflexive as that. Beauty does not lecture its way into one’s heart. It needs no explanation. Neither does this bowl. It sits on its stand. Still and poised and perfect in its imperfections. So full of shimmering emptiness. Etched with geometrical shapes and leaves and snatches of handwritten notes. I think of our lives. Of the facts and fantasies and fluttering contradictions we fill them with. How enchanting the details are. How entangled we get in them. How hidden the whole can be sometimes.
Here is a short poem I scribbled years so that comes to mind as I look at this bowl.
The poetry of acceptance is the poetry of the monk’s bowl. Space of principled giving and receiving. A muscular discipline that means honoring all that comes – and goes. Gray dawn and a handful of rice. The stray compliment, toothache, joy, a sunlit relationship. An old regret, a restless night, hope, a bright cloud of butterflies. To accept is to cup this moment in present palms, to stand on shifting sands, steadying the nameless within.
Thank you Lynda for the visible and invisible gifts of Patra #24.
My bowl came to me as a pleasant surprise yesterday after a nice walk and talk with a dear friend Sheela. I was very touched that she thought of me especially as I had gone through a tough few weeks. I did not want to open the box until I was ready and felt I could spend some time with it. It was lovely to open and touch today and one of my first thoughts was how while it wa dark and brooding on the outside, it was shiny and bright on the inside. As if urging me to look inside and see the good and the warm thoughts and memories. Look forward to many more contemplations.
Glad that the bowl is now with another friend who will cherish and enjoy it. The beauty of the bowl prompts you to sit and think about the beauty around you and the beauty inside and the transient nature of possessions.
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