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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thoughts on Things: Making Molehills

I wish I knew how to make molehills. It must be fun to work in miniature, creating a little bump where none was before. And then to smash it or kick it aside when you tire of it.


I make mountains, myself. Mountains R Us. Give me a grain of sand—from which an oyster might make a pearl, an ordinary person a molehill—and I'll manage to grow it into a mountain.


I water it with my tears and my fears. I give loving attention to it, never flagging in my devotion. That grain of sand grows. It's too big now for any oyster. In fact, it could itself swallow a dozen oysters or two.


Watch it grow as I pour my energy into it. I feed it. I roll it between my fingers like a worry bead. And the more it grows, the more there is to feed and the more energy I spend on it. Soon it's on its way to being a true mountain. A magic mountain. I am a magician.


Once it's a fully grown mountain, what do I do? I slide down it. I can go from high to low in the snap of a finger, the wink of an eye, two shakes of a lamb's tail.


But after my mountain is fully grown, I lose interest. It's time for a different mood. Up. Down. Up. Down. My astrologer says that's because my Moon is in Gemini. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, Mercury, who is apparently the only god with free access to the Underworld, goes leaping from the Underworld to the Other World at a thrilling pace. Do not pass go, Mercury. Just slide your way to the highest highs and the lowest lows. That's the way you are, the way I am.


After all these years, there's some comfort in knowing that the fault lies not with me but with my stars.


One night I was in the depths of despair. I hadn't really enjoyed the concert we attended, even though it was the Gryphon Trio, starring my favorite cellist, Roman Borys, who looks like Jerry Seinfeld and plays better than anyone. But even that concert failed to raise my spirits.


So I came home, still terribly depressed. Nothing was going right. I felt old. I was worried about health. And about what I am supposed to be doing with my life. Big mountain a-building.


I brushed my teeth, and then, from a new container the dentist had given me, I took a length of floss and put it between my lips to keep my hands free for a moment.


I was instantly happy. Instantly. Unexpectedly, the new floss was peppermint flavored. And I realized how happy I am to be in the physical world right now, where I can taste bright peppermint, hear the Gryphon Trio (yes, even in a bad mood), and enjoy all delights of the physical senses. If I were in a spirit manifestation (that is, for example, dead), I wouldn't be able to have physical experiences. No peppermint floss.


So peppermint floss made me happy. Not forever, of course. I'm writing this down, so that the next time I start to build a giant mountain perhaps I will remember to cut off a length of peppermint floss and put it in my mouth. Ah, the delights of the flesh.


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