Monday, November 21, 2011

"Offering What We Are"

Thanksgiving is only three days away and my kitchen is a mess of mini-pumpkin muffins for Siobhan's Pre-K celebration tomorrow and my trial run with 'bake pops'; I couldn't let the ones for Maggie's birthday party at school be my first attempt.  While baking I let my mind go play and it went off in several areas as it usually does, to the hysterical e-mail on auto correcting text messages my girlfriend sent yesterday, to my grocery list for our Thanksgiving meal, to the people that won't be sharing it with us this year for whatever reason and to Thanksgiving in general.  I love Thanksgiving, you might think that's a funny thing for a vegetarian to say, but I'm not talking about the food, which is a funny thing for a foodie to say.  What can I tell ya, I'm a funny gal.  Of course I love being creative (and OCD) about the decorating and the menu from appetizers to dessert.  But what I love most is the feeling of Thanksgiving, it's so warm and pretty.  The last we see of the Autumn colors before they're replaced by the colors of Christmas and all it's busy-ness.  It's quiet, it's humble.  A day for reflecting on what we have and being truly grateful for it with our whole hearts.  Please remember the soldiers as you say "Grace" those away from their families this year so they can protect yours and mine and their families celebrating without them at their tables.  It begins a time of offering.  We begin by offering thanks and continues from then right through the New Year.  What do you offer during this season?  Aside from offering your thanks on Thanksgiving that is.  Do you offer yourself in any other way?  Think about it,  you most likely do without even knowing it.  Just by being you are offering.  A smile to a passerby, holding the door open for someone and PLEASE tell me you do this, because there is a great lack of just plain old courtesy these days.  Maybe you gave to the food drive at church or school, or clothes?  My sister told me about this thing, for lack of a better word, (I know really - I couldn't think of a better word than thing?, pretty sad) where you give a gift to someone else for 29 days, there's a website and everything.
I haven't really looked at the website, but I have linked it here for the curious.  The idea is that for 29 consecutive days you give a gift to someone else, if you miss a day, you start all over.  Doesn't have to be a big gift, could be something small, but you have to conscientiously give it, acknowledging that it's your gift for the day.  The idea is that to change your life or make a change in your life you  have to begin the change and at the end of the 29 days I'd imagine there is some good karma waiting for you, what you created by giving of yourself.  29 days that's a long time, a lot of offerings.  I keep forgetting to give my gifts conscientiously, after I do something I think, "Oh, I could have started my 29 days today".  Then I think the best day would be the 1st day of the month, so you wouldn't have to really remember what day you were on because it'd match the day of the month and my usual OCD stuff like that.  A good place to start would be the website huh?

I read a poem the other night, it's by Rilke, one of my favorite poets and it's called "Offering What We Are".  It is what got me on this particular crazy train, which also took me to saying "I'm a walrus" from "Breakfast Club", which then got me singing The Beatles "I Am The Walrus" which then got me wondering about the "expert textpert" line and how it fits in with texting today and what did Lennon & McCartney mean by it, were they just trying to rhyme expert?  and and and I wonder why I don't sleep. Goo goo ga-joob.  For now, for me, it's time to figure out how to decorate these bake pops.  My husband's co-workers are going to love me - they get the results of my test kitchen. Only if the product is edible of course!

I cannot part from you without sharing Mr. Rilke's poem.

 Offering What We Are
 ~ Rainer M. Rilke

Oh, the places we would pour ourselves over,
pushing into the meager surfaces
all the impulses of our heart, our desire, our need.
To whom in the end do we offer ourselves?

To the stranger, who misunderstands us,
to the other, whom we never found,
to the servant, who could not free us,
to the winds of spring, which we could not hold,
and to silence, so easy to lose.