spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily

2014 and Counting


PictureResolutions / safr
Enough time has passed since the noisy arrival of 2014 to put me safely out of range for resolving to improve in the upcoming year. However, I have one “must do” in 2014. It’s about Foxibeau. He found the celebratory bomb blasts in Western Addition so traumatic that the little low-to-the-ground reddish mutt still sees any darkness as a signal for alarm. Here it is almost mid-January and he is still reluctant to take those important morning and evening strolls around the neighborhood. Tugging and coercion aren’t working. Friends suggest food bribes and that’s an option should he continue to balk.

Expecting that there will be a Fourth of July, I resolve to start The Fox on homeopathic remedies or tranquilizers, so celebrations become less traumatic. If, in 2015 I am invited to a party and the city plans to make extra noise, I won’t have to leave early to race home and spoon the dog. Apart from regulating the dog’s nervous system, I face the New Year with no plans to bloom a whole new garden of good habits in 21 days.

I don’t resolve to get back to regular Monday blog postings. I reason that if silence is truer to my real creative rhythms, I must trust the feeling of having nothing to say. There have been times in the past year when I kept silent about my struggles to be close to a son or two because no matter how important those struggles felt to me, sharing could feel to them like an invasion of privacy. All three sons are articulate and introspective; they could post their own mental formations if they wanted to.

Also not on a list of resolutions is taking time for thoughtful meal planning and perhaps actually measuring ingredients and spices rather than tossing something in a skillet with no concern even for expiration dates. Indeed, my oldest son has been posting on Facebook the exotic Indian dishes he creates almost daily, and I know he would gladly send me the recipes. He said he drove to Danbury, CT to a real Indian Grocery store and stocked up on all the basic ingredients he would need. I could go the whole route without leaving the neighborhood. There’s an Indian grocery near Safeway on Fillmore.

For the briefest of moments I almost resolved buying a bicycle to ride to Starbucks early in the morning. I could go slowly and Foxibeau could run along beside me. I let go of that notion despite my second son being a practically professional bicyclist, threading his way through the hills of Cebu, an island in the Philippines. It’s wearing the helmet that really tops off my reluctance. You see, avoiding hat-hair has long been a foible. And I would have to undo umpteen decades of foolish vanity in just 21 days to make it a habit. And then it might rain and I definitely could not let Foxibeau splash through puddles. Water knee-deep for me would drown the little critter.

Had I been resolving anything for the new year, I would have had a struggle with what to do about vanity. Once my vision improved through cataract surgery, wrinkles and discoloration hidden by optical occlusions surprised me. I beheld my aged face. And equanimity in the face of it did not surface. It’s a good thing I resolved nothing because at the first promise that two weeks of applying a product would ameliorate a lifetime of surprise, sadness or concern, I bought products.

In summation: I did not resolve to post regularly as I had done for more than two years. I did not vow to read recipes nor to discard expired spices. I did not promise to purchase a bicycle or a two-wheeler of any kind. I laid down no strictures against covering dark spots, no matter how ineffectively. But I did resolve to administer to Foxibeau homeopathics or tranquilizers at the end of June, midway through December and right away if the Niners make it to the Super Bowl. 

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