The Guest House

The Guest House, by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

I came across this poem the other day and it caught me off guard, not unlike the unexpected experience I encountered at Starbucks recently, or living in close proximity to my husband now that I’m retired, even that pesky mood that dropped by uninvited last week. 

I had to read it three times, whispering out loud, “meet them at the door laughing and invite them in,” seriously, this drastically challenges my typical response to conflict. How about you?

The thing is life keeps coming at you as if you’re sitting on a beach in the warm sand delighting in the gentle waves trickling over your legs when suddenly an unexpected surge encapsulates you, knocking you backward, filling your nostrils with salt water. 

You sit up, seaweed clinging to your arms, wondering what the hell just happened?

Rumi’s poem “The Guest House” is perhaps one of the most relevant reads for our current predicament. I mean who would have expected a virus to come barging into our lives, throwing itself an epic mask party, and destroying the daring lives we had so painstakingly arranged?

Not me.

But maybe we didn’t fully recognize this “violent sweeping of our house” for what it was?

I retired because of the pandemic and it appears I’m not the only one. Suddenly there is a surge of people deciding not to return to work? Is it an enigma or simply trending? 

Maybe we need to “treat this guest honorably,” instead of bemoaning the virus’s mysterious existence, we might be experiencing a much-needed “clearing out” for that which we do not know.  

I was so busy being busy I failed to realize how all my energy was going to one thing, my job, and the negligible amount that was leftover, I doled out to family, friends, and writing in shockingly measly amounts. The thing is I was exchanging my most valuable resource for a paycheck, a bi-monthly reward for giving my blood, sweat, and tears to a job, and at the end of the year, my entire bounty would go straight to the IRS in the form of taxes.

After talking with my son Tony the other day I came away with a new appreciation for how I spend my energy, not only is our energy capped, but so are the number of days we have left on this virus-ridden planet. If we don’t spend it wisely it’s as if we’re putting all our assets into one stock, banking on an unpredictable return, but in the meantime, there is no residual. 

I know, I’m being dramatic. It’s really quite simple but profoundly easy to ignore. 

The pandemic certainly provided us with a new paradigm. Stay home, stay away from each other, don’t rub your eyes, or forget your mask, no hugs, or kisses, and wash your hands at least a dozen times a day. But the thing is when the spin of our daily life suddenly decelerated it allowed us the opportunity to process this new reality. And guess what, many of us took an impossible situation, and decided to focus on the positive. 

Extraordinary.

Driveway Happy hours became a thing, a quick upgrade to our internet allowed us to play Zoom Jeopardy with the relatives, and as if champagne we started forming our own tiny bubbles. Such rebels.

As I’m juggling all these profound thoughts Larry barges into the room, he says, “I’m taking the couch and the chair in the garage to the dump since I still have the trailer.”

I smile, thinking of Rumi and his advice to welcome uninvited guests, “You can take the couch but not the chair, it’s my Mother’s, and it’s in good condition.”

“Maybe we can stash it at Julie’s?”

“Might work.”

“Help me load the couch in the trailer.”

I’m still in my pajamas, but I crawl out of my warm comfy writing space and follow him barefoot into the garage. Can I just say, it might be California, but it’s still frickin’ cold. I put the Christmas wreath still lounging on the couch up on the shelf, as you know the garage is not my responsibility, but believe me, I’m an expert at portraying nonverbal displeasure. It’s my superpower. 

I fold the gray sheet now covering the furniture and tell him to take the lighted snowman to the dump, it had a meltdown last year. 

While Larry and I drag the couch over to the trailer, I marvel that only six people have seen me in my pajamas, when he comes up with another stellar idea.

He says, “Hey, what else can we take to the dump?”

We check both side yards and came up with one rusty old bike. He loads it into the trailer.

After catching two more people gawking at my mismatched pajamas, he says, “you know instead of paying the dump fees I could just take some pictures and post them on Craig’s list.” (for those of you reading from another country this is an online service where people sell or give away their junk) 

I give him my most confounded look known only to blond women (that’s horrible, couldn’t help myself), “what the hell?” Slightly annoyed, I help him unload the reincarnated rubbish, and set them up attractively in the driveway. 

He takes a few pictures, posts them on Craig’s list, and says “I’m taking the trailer back.”

Hallelujah, ten minutes of peace and quiet, I return to Rumi, and my derailed train of thoughts. 

So…taking a few moments each day to consider how I will spend my time, how I will respond to the unexpected, and welcome that which I usually avoid is my new retirement plan. I’m a 9 on the Enneagram, I value calm over all else, and I can smell chaos coming from a mile away, which usually gives me enough time to bolt the door. 

Newton’s First Law claims that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, clearly where we put our energy is the direction in which our lives will go. 

It’s the law, people.

This poem was written in the 13th century by the Persian poet Rumi, he writes, “welcome and entertain them all” whether it be friend or foe. It’s a reminder not to resist the thoughts and emotions passing through you but to meet them with courage, warmth, and respect. 

That’s the kicker.

I hear the front door open, the familiar footsteps coming down the hall, his handsome face appears in my doorway as if a pop-up ad on my browser, he says “I’m glad I didn’t go to the dump, apparently the trailer was due back by 9:30 am and I dropped it at 10:15 am. The guy was going to charge me for another whole day.”

The smile is forced by my reaction is genuine, “Really?”

“I told him to give me a break, it’s less than an hour late, so he removed the charge.”

“Good.” I look back down on my work. 

He stares at me a minute and heads back to his office. He’s a master at body language. 

I can’t help but wonder what Rumi might have been dealing with when he wrote this poem, words so beautifully imbued with universal connotations, but somehow applicable to our modern lives. 

How is that possible?

I tell you why, I think it’s the elasticity of the message, meaning it fits a variety of situations, and I think that is its genius. When you consider the most successful people in life, they have the same abilities, the capacity to recover quickly from adversity and assimilate to the current conditions. 

In a brief span of time, we’ve managed to process a tidal wave of conflicting information that has further polarized our community. After securing cotton masks that coordinate with our most beloved loungewear, we’ve learned about the inefficacy of cloth masks to the tenacity of a virus most likely developed in a lab. We became fluent in mutative languages, and just when we thought we were bulletproof, we found out we weren’t.

Maybe Rumi is on to something here, if we are unable to accept our own internal conflicts, we’ll never be able to facilitate those same emotions stirring in the hearts of our closest neighbors. 

Many of us discovered working remotely was not the catastrophe (schools not included) we anticipated, in fact, we quickly realized commuting was not only inefficient, but a total time suck, especially if you can work from home. And traveling around the world to attend an hour meeting was about as cost-effective as heating an entire office building with only three people coming to work.

Larry saunters back into my writing space, I look up, affix a smile to my face and wait for the startling revelation he is about to drop on me. And it better be worth the intrusion. 

He says, “I can sell my truck through that service you saw on the television this morning.”

I nod (it was a brilliant observation but I keep that information to myself).

He says, ‘I contacted their appraiser and they offered me 4,000 more than the dealership. A guy’s coming to do a physical inspection, they can drop the estimate if they discover something they don’t like, but if we all agree on a price, they take the car, and it’s done.”

“That sounds fair.”

“Yeah, well who knows, the estimate might be a hook, and besides I’m not sure I want to sell.”

As sassy as possible, I say, “please keep me posted on your every thought.”

He walks back to his office while I scramble around for my repeatedly bludgeoned vein of thought.

Not spending money became a thing maybe for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. We didn’t go out to eat, drive anywhere, go to the theater, salon, shopping malls, or travel. Although we were destroying our own economy, just about everyone who retained a job was saving money. Online services like Amazon made an absolute killing. I mean Jeff Bezos traveled into outer space! 

Did he send you a thank you note? Me either.  

We had more time with nowhere to go and nothing to do but cook, play board games, watch Netflix, and chill.

And we liked it, in fact, we liked it so much some people decided to embark on a whole new lifestyle. With the internet available everywhere, some bought trailers to travel the states, many decided to leave the crowded cities altogether, move to a more aesthetic location, with inviting communities, and small-town charm.

The thing is we realized our paycheck didn’t match the outlay of energy and collectively we decided to divvy up our energy more efficiently. Once we realized we could live on less and enjoy our lives a lot more, returning to the workforce full-time became optional for some.

Before I am able to process my own retirement, I hear those familiar footsteps coming down the hall (I’m rethinking the whole open door policy), he pokes his head around the corner and says, “the bike’s gone. Someone picked it up already. A teacher just came by on his break to check it out and it was gone. Bikes are really popular right now.”

“Are they now?”

He exits as quickly as he appears, I decide I need fresh coffee and an offsite office. 

Yes, now I remember, I was about to tell you about the thing that happened at Starbucks.

So the other day, while I’m driving to the lake, I pull off the freeway to get a cup of coffee and a snack. I order my coffee with cream, an egg bite, and resign myself to sitting in the drive-thru line while waiting for my turn to pay. When I pull up to the cashier, she hands me my coffee and egg and says, “the person in front of you paid your bill, you’re free to go, have a great day.”

I say, “wait, what, who paid my bill?”

“The car in front of you. Enjoy.”

Looking around for my philanthropist, I realize they’re long gone, but I drove away thinking how delightful it was to get an unexpected surprise, to be the beneficiary of a stranger’s goodwill. I’ve heard about this happening to other people but it’s never happened to me!

Ten miles down the road I start beating myself up for not paying for the car behind me, I’m more like the tortoise, eventually, I get there. 

As if from The Shining, “It’s Larry,” hacking his way through my indefensible refuge.

I try to be welcoming, I’m sure I pulled it off, he says, “Here, stick your finger in this,” he’s holding out a jar of Duke’s Mayonaise, the one I recently scored online and was saving for a special occasion. The lid is removed and he wants me to have a taste.

Holding the jar inches from my nose is a little off-putting, but when I stick the tip of my finger into the white creamy substance, he says, “you have to taste more than that.”

I say, ‘this is plenty, hum, it’s tangy, it would be good with artichokes.”

“Yes, and tuna, but we don’t have any relish.”

That’s my cue to offer to go to the store, instead, I say, “that’s too bad, I’M WRITING.”

He takes the jar of mayonnaise and heads back to the kitchen. 

You know, I’ve been sitting here for quite some time, trying to pull together a post, wrap my thoughts around Rumi’s message when all the while, unbeknownst to me, Larry’s been testing the theory.  

Is it possible to maintain a welcoming response to all things knowing they might be some sort of made-to-order guidance from beyond?

I’m skeptical.

Larry seems less driven by some otherly guidance than his own tribulation of thoughts which he blithely acts upon. It’s his nature, my cross to bear, and definitely a hospitality challenge.

The thing is if I allocate my energy intentionally Newman’s Law claims it will continue the motion maybe even long after I’m gone.

This sort of imagery is profoundly personal, Rumi reminds us when the unexpected sweeps your life of the familiar, to consider the possibilities, it might be preparation for delight.

And what is more delightful than a fingerful of Duke’s mayonnaise?

This clip was broadcast in October of 1982.

I’m Living in the Gap, welcoming the unexpected, scanning for the good. Join me! What unexpected interruptions have you been dealing with? Any delight?

59 Comments

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  1. A really nice post Cheryl, and I love the quote. Someone at our church did a whole service on it several years ago, way back when we actually met in person and hugged each other.
    P.S. If you live in the Northeast, the only thing better than the Duke’s Mayonnaise is Hellman’s!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Dorthy, Rumi’s words caught me too, I imagine that service you attended was fascinating! I live on the West Coast and I’ve only known Hellman’s but then I heard about Duke’s and I couldn’t resist ordering a jar. It’s tangier. Thanks so much for commenting! I remember hugging….xxoo, C

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Newton’s laws are in my blood. Teaching them for so many years has shown me how they can be integrated in life. I appreciate your adding Newton to your Rumi thoughts
    Throughout your post I kept wondering when/if you would lower the boom on Larry for the interruptions. LOL
    You sure have patience and grace. The more you devote your time and energy to your love of writing, the more you will find joy and accomplishment. IMHO
    I too have friends who retired in the face of this difficult world. Once you get your sea legs, I think you’ll be thrilled with your decision.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Lauren, I love how beautifully natural laws blend with the forces that drive our lives in similar fashion. If I were to guess I would say Larry has unique forces, he’s not only easily distracted but easily bored. So he is constantly on the move, which translates to continual disruptions if you happen to be working in close proximity to his realm. The thing is I never get bored when Larry’s around. It’s taken months but I’m starting to establish some comfortable writing patterns and that feels good. Hope all is well with you, your vision of your dream life is still floating in my head since I read your post, hears to dreams becoming a reality! As Newman says, let’s put it into motion! xxoo, C

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought it was uncannily relevant today, we’re all trying to scramble and figure out how to live with COVID, follow the ever changing rules, and policies. It’s daunting, but we are a creative bunch, and I have faith in us! Love and hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, Neighbor. All that wonderfully arranged prose. And in one comment from Dorothy, the whole article is reduced to Southeastern vs North Eastern Mayo 😉 Alas, apparently a picture ‘is’ worth a 1,000 words.
    You clearly put a lot more into this post than Mayo. Thank goodness you have a wonderful Muse in Larry to keep you on your toes. As always, I enjoyed reading every word.

    Cheers,
    CT

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMG, I’ve missed you Chris! You must have felt the little prayer I sent up on your behalf! Hope all is well with you and Terrie! I’m ever so pleased you enjoyed the post, the struggle is real, especially when your muse is Larry. I wanted to let you know the Sandal’s house is up for sale, oh how the neighborhood is changing, and you know how I feel about change! Thanks for the comment, xxoo, C

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      1. Well, Neighbor. . . after my last post I realized by your reaction that what I had ‘written’ tongue-in-cheek could be interpreted as sardonic or even snarkily sarcastic, both being hurtful. As neither was intended, I was a bit mortified.

        As such? I put myself in timeout for a couple of months. I still enjoyed following your ‘life as lived’ in words, reading all the posts, but deciding to keep my thought-provoking observations and (at least to me) humorous comments to myself.

        XXOO
        CT

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Chris, I always know your responses come from a good place, with the best of intentions, and I am never offended by your sense of humor, wit, or charm. Your humor might fly over my head as if an airport (I am a blond) but believe me I have never been hurt by your wonderful observations, your wit, and wisdom! Please don’t put yourself in timeout! I’ve missed you and of course thought you might be under undue duress! All is good my friend, hugs, C

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved your opening with Rumi’s words. Something I need to think of each day. Also, since we are living in a parallel universe, my husband is working remotely and walks in to the casita several times a day while I’m writing. I hear the footsteps. “Welcome and entertain them all…” Maybe my new mantra. Although I didn’t technically retire because I was freelancing for two different companies, it occurred to me yesterday that I haven’t written for either company in close to a year. It’s been my choice and I don’t regret it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks E, I love a lot of Rumi’s work, but this one just hooked me, because I think it’s truly applicable to our world today! It’s really surprising how much our universes mimick one another? And oh boy, what I wouldn’t give to have a casita, I think not being in the same space might be helpful. You mention your decision not to freelance at this time, and you don’t regret it. You make me wonder what vision you have for the future of your writing? Hugs, C

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      1. The freelance jobs the past couple years kept me busy but not that happy. It did help me with stress during early pandemic days. One freelance job, the articles were rote. The other was swim parenting, and that page has turned. Now I want to tackle new and old projects. I want to edit and revise the NaNoWriMo 50,000 words from November. I also want to breathe life into my great-grandmother’s series of cookbooks she self-published and supported her family on in the 1890s and early 1900s. I have several manuscripts I’d like to review that I wrote in genres from picture books, middle grade and YA. LOTS to think about and approach. Thanks for asking. As always, your writing gives me so much joy and encouragement.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I always thought freelancing would be such exciting work. It seemed so illusive to me. The idea of how to get started, how to get your work noticed, how to land that first gig was sort of beyond me. Writing my own stories and blogging was my default. That’s exciting that you wrote 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo! Was it fiction or nonfiction? And your grandmothers cookbook project sounds fabulous, clearly publishing runs in the family. Here’s to successful publishing adventures for the both of us this year! Thanks for sharing, hugs, C

          Liked by 1 person

        2. The 50,000 words are fiction, my first effort at an adult novel. My writing kind of grew up along with my children. I started writing picture books and had a few stories published in Ladybug. Then I went on to mid grade, etc. My background was a degree in journalism, then decades in PR. Freelancing was a natural step for me. Do you write stories besides the ones on your blog?

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        3. My writing also grew up with my children, I went to graduate school when the oldest children were still in high school, and after writing several 18 page research papers for my classes I realized how much I love writing. I’ve always kept journals, wrote little stories about my family, but it was my sister who pushed me to publish a blog. While in grad school I started writing a novel, based on friendship, the challenges of unexpected hardship, and how that reclibrates the future of everyone in the novel. I put it aside about five years ago to focus on the blog. I might revisit it someday, could be publishable with some major tweaks. I excited about your adult novel! There’s so much you can do with that genre!

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  5. You had me with the picture of Duke’s!

    Loved the post and the slow ramble through your through the poem.

    I am now finally trying to make my changes after almost two years of pandemic. It will not be retirement, but it is a step toward my ultimate goal and eventual retirement. Stay tuned.

    Oh, I’ve missed you. I needed a break. The last two month were hard yet so much has changed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Sarah, so our love for Duke’s is mutual! I love it. I’m of course thrilled to know you enjoyed the piece and the “slow ramble.” We’ve all been scrambling to figure life out now that we’re playing with new rules and it’s good to hear you are inching closer to your ultimate goals. I suppose Rumi would say welcome all those changes because they are purposeful and creating space for what is to come. This is my hope for all of us, hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gail, some one sent me that clip and I was shocked and amused that it was filmed in 1982! Crazy. Rumi had me at hello, and this particular poem, The Guest House, was so applicable. On another note, I sent our editor my first draft of the book! I’m so excited and greatly appreciative of your advice and support! Love and Hugs, C

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  6. C, the poem and post are a perfect pair! I love the words of Rumi. And yes, Larry’s “interludes” kill me (ok, your reaction to them!). I think several of us should find a Guest House (just saying) of our own to do nothing but write. And have wine and laugh. Writing is exhausting! And the men around don’t always dive into our depth of thinking and organizing thoughts,if you know what I mean, lol (you know well!). Your thoughts make me laugh out loud at times (you have the most superb humor!) and you also hit the proverbial head on the nail of humanity. It weaves so beautifully ~and ends with mayo? Perfect! Because I’m the last two years we may have just learned how to enjoy the truly delicious things that make life simple. I don’t see Duke’s in my parts, but I do have Hellman’s! It’s SO good to see you, C! Sending you warm hugs and love!!! ❤️💙🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi K, thank you, your words are always so encouraging and uplifting. You make me want to write, which is more than I can say for my roommate! Tahehe! It’s been a really rough couple of years for everyone and the adjustment to this new form of living has not been easy, devastating for some. I was hoping to direct our vision towards the positive aspects of living in isolation, “dipping” into a little humor if you will. I really enjoy Rumis writings, it’s amazing that he wrote so many incredibly applicable pieces in the 13th century? That was one wise person! I totally agree with you, we’ve been forced to “learn how to enjoy the truly delicious things that make life simple.” And maybe that’s been a good thing in some ways. We don’t have Duke’s mayo in my part of the world either so I ordered it off the internet, it took a month to arrive, but it was worth the wait. Wrapping you in love and hugs my friend, C

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re so welcome, C. I feel the same about you! I was thinking of you earlier. I just “landed” a spot at the Mega RV Show in Springfield. This is huge. And I’m nervous. “Do you have a banner?” Nope! So I’ve been furiously designing one on Canva ~it’s taken me years, and I’m still learning. After 2 hours my pic is not high enough quality when I go to print. Another learning curve! I think I just need to order Duke’s and make me a Turkey and bacon Sammie! Oh, look! It’s my coffee time too! 8 inches of snow is outside and I love being stuck to my mania. And quickly, I’m learning to turn it to peace. Love you oodles and noodles! 💕🥰❄️

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        1. Outstanding Karla, landing a spot on the Mega RV Show! That’s exciting. What is a banner? I’ve used Canva to create Pinterest posts, book cover, and slides for my classes but never a banner! Wishing you balance as you take on the learning curve! Well that, and some Duke’s with turkey and bacon! Much love, C

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Thank you, C! What I’m designing and having made is a 3 x 6 vinyl banner to hang (hemmed and with grommets). Typically, I have my framed promotional poster on my author’s table so I guess I needed more according to him! Thank you for the balance wishes. I need that for many reasons, lol. Hugs and mayo! 💕💕

          Liked by 2 people

    1. I love Rumi, he’s always inspirational, and even though he wrote in the 13th century I amazed how I find it helpful today! We don’t have Duke’s mayo in our area so when I heard it was favored by many I ordered it online and it took a month to arrive! Another reader suggested I try Kewpie mayo from Japan! It supposed to be delicious! I ordered a bottle, we’ll see? Hugs, C

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    1. Fraggle, I love the way you think! Damn, Rumi would have advised double locking doors, hearty earplugs, and maybe a friendly centurion to turn unwanted visitors away! It would have been entitled the fortress! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  7. People choosing to work from home and shop online has had a bad effect on some communities in this country. Many local shops and restuarants have closed down for good, and house prices outside of big cities have increased dramatically as people move away to the countryside for a quiet life while working from home. Some small towns have become like ghost towns, as the new arrivals rarely leave home, and buy nothing from local shops or traders. This reaction to the pandemic has started a change in society that we have only just begun to see the full effect of.
    (By the way, Craigslist here is mainly used as a ‘sex for sale’ service!)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Pete, I agree, all these enforced lockdowns have had a devastating effect on local businesses in many of our communities. But the worst part is the fear that has been reinforced by the media, making decisions based on fear is never a good thing. I have friends that haven’t seen their children and grandchildren going on two years! Some acquaintances refuse to leave their houses, no dining out, no food shopping, no socializing. I agree, we are only seeing the beginning of the effects of this pandemic. I was trying to lighten the mood, inject a little humor into a dire situation, and I may have missed the mark. Except for the Craigslist comment! How is it the same name is used for selling sex in your country and junk in mine? Well I hope that put a smile on your face! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi LA, I hear you, this pandemic has had a devastating effect on just about every aspect of our lives, including our mental health, education, addictions, goods and services, freedoms, livelihoods, not to mention the polarization of our communities. And as Pete mentions in an earlier comment “the pandemic has started a change in society that we have only just begun to see the full effect of,” and this is something we are all going to have to deal with. It was my hope to inject a little humor in a difficult situation without ignoring the reality but maybe that’s not possible. We can’t go back, the future is unknown, but I believe in keeping our hands on the wheel, maybe we can steer it in a new direction. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah…you just hit me when the great resignation has thwarted me eight ways from Sunday. I fear that as always, the people who need things the most will be most affected by this…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Your observations are valid LA, the people who struggle the most, have been the most adversely affected by the pandemic. Job instability, food instability, housing instability, educational instability are putting a strain on the mental health of our most vulnerable populations, resulting in rising suicides and death by overdose. I don’t know the solution but it’s going to require our collective efforts if it’s going to succeed and I’m not sure what that looks like or what will be required. It is dark, but it is in the darkness of the womb that new life is formed, let’s hope it’s viable. Hugs, C

          Liked by 1 person

        2. We have to help each other out, without telling people what they need, but by listening to them. We need to realize that work is not an enemy, and education is key. And respect others and their opinions even if they’re different than our own!

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        3. Learning to accept opposing opinions is a difficult skill to develop but worthy. Seeking to understand each other should be our primary concern. And I couldn’t agree more, education is key! xxoo

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    1. Hi Susie, thanks so much for your lovely comments! That patience you speak of is learned behavior, after 38 years of marriage, we’ve learned to dance with each other so to speak, even if we’re dancing to different music! Rumi was one wise soul and when I stumbled on The Guest House it just captured me, well that, and with every interruption it seemed more and more apropos! Definitely worth a second read. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After reading your blog, I discovered that someone stole my Social Security number and got approval for a credit card! I welcomed the guest, filed the fraud claim, and edited photos. Timing is everything!!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. OMG, what is the world coming too? If these brainy acts, who figure out how to steal identities and get approval for credit cards, while you’re reading an important blog, would use their brains in a more productive manner, the world would be a more inviting place! So you welcomed the imposter as Rumi advises, ratted him out, while modifying the past! Well done, timing is absolutely everything. Maybe you should read another blog? Who know what you’ll discover! Hugs, C

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  8. Love the poem! And yes I agree that it is so important how you spend your “energy” …. still working on that myself. I am reading this after a day spent with my husband working from home and both of us sharing office space. Let’s just say I got kicked out because he actually gets paid for his work! Like you, I am glad he has this option, but sometimes I just need some quiet and to be left alone. Guess I better work on my “hospitality” too! Best Wishes! Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leigh, yes, Rumi is the best, but when he asks us to welcome our trials and tribulations as necessary, a prerequisite for what is to come next, that made me stop and ponder the idea. It’s obvious that our future is arrived at by all the decisions we make but also the unexpected acts of God that confront us and send us spinning off in another direction. We can’t change the past but we can make decisions that support our ultimate goals and this is all about spending our time wisely. I was trying to inject a little humor in the subject but honestly it is something to carefully consider, well that, and as Virginia writes, we need “a room of our own.” Hugs, C

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  9. Great post ! And great poem by Rumi. I had an experience recently that sort of knocked the wind out of me. I acted foolishly and was appropriately put in line. But the welcoming of that embarrassment led to putting myself back on a much better path. Strange how things always seem to work out 🙂 Enjoy your retirement. I’m sure happy in mine, and all of those stages of climbing the career ladder have just faded away into nothingness

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate you reading and sharing your experience. I find the chain of events that lead one to a transformation uncommonly fascinating. I remember watching my son win a wrestling match that sent him to the state championships, a match he should never have won, but it caught the notice of coaches and eventually entry into the college he was hoping to attend. I too have acted foolishly on many occasions but one in particular resulted in a major transformation that I now believe changed my life. So Rumi was on to something when he said welcome it all, it’s relevant, and worthy of our respectful reception. Here’s to retired musings and a more leisurely life, warmly, C

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    1. Hi LaDonna, whenever I come across one of those silly prompts that asks me to come up with a deceased person who I would like to have lunch with I always think of Rumi. Imagine sharing a club sandwich, cold beer, and shooting the shit with Rumi! Thank you for your kind words LaDonna they mean the world to me and fuel my desire to keep writing. Much love to you, C

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  10. I try my best to be delighted at least once a day. Your writing always helps with that! I love that Rumi poem. Perfect. If you want more delights, I (always) highly recommend Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights–short essays that delight in odd or even mundane things. It helps put the stuff of life into perspective. Great post, as always. Much to ponder!

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    1. Thank you Rebecca, I’ve always had a thing for Rumi! He has an uncanny ability to make the complex clear, a simplicity that resonates with me. I just ordered Ross Gay’s book and I look forward to soaking up his perspective. Thanks for the kind words, here’s to a fabulous weekend, hugs, C

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