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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Things That Make a Difference

Here are eight things that make a difference:


1. The sound of a lemon seed flicked into my stainless steel sink


2. The sleeping Vietnamese man on the subway, whose seven-year-old twin sons are taking advantage of his nap and creating giggle-worthy mischief


3. The wind. Not an adversary, as I have often thought, but simply energy looking for a tree through which to make music


4. Eating an artichoke leaf by leaf


5. A four-year-old jumping two-footed into puddles


7. Breakfast with my husband and the newspaper every morning


8. The intricate pattern of a red cabbage cut in half


Copyright © Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Striding into the World

Some heed the voices

shouting their bad advice,

not knowing they could stop their ears.

They follow the counseled path

for long years until at last their own wisdom

rises through a dry lake bed

and urges them on their own,




Would it have been a better life

if they had broken free earlier?


To stride deeper and deeper into the world

is a boon not granted to all.

Some are slow and take their own sweet time

meandering into fruitless

or downright wrong


ignoring the inner voice

that counsels wisely

until finally they do hear it,

well down the road,

and then just try to stop them

from making their own, individual strides

that lead them on, on,

as if it were the beginning

for, no matter how long it took to get here,

this is the beginning.


Copyright © 2018 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

How to Ride the Subway

Watch the subway passengers who surround you: tired, harassed people: men late for work; women rushing to pick up children from daycare; singles dreading another lonely night in a one-room apartment with ramen for dinner and the TV for company.


Fatigue is what you see in every face. Here's one thing you can do to help (I read this someplace): send a big hit of loving energy to each fellow passenger. Phrase it how you will, but here are some suggestions. You might say: may you dwell in your heart, for the first person. May you be free from suffering for the next. May you be healed, for the third. May you be at peace, for the next.


Keep the mantras flowing. See each person. Look into their eyes. Smile. Wish them well. Wish them well.


You might want to ask them what burden they would like to lay down, but you are too shy, or you don't want to intrude. So you send them loving energy and wish them well and hope that your prayers give them ease.


Ease. That's what we all need. May we all live our lives with grace and ease.


There. Doesn't that feel better than just hiding your nose in a book? Or puzzling out a Sudoku? There's time enough to do that when you're at loose ends at home. But for now, here on the subway, you have a job to do (should you choose to accept it—and I hope you will): provide support. Offer energy. Relieve these strangers of their deep suffering and the heavy burdens. Make yourself useful, as Eileen, my mother, used to say.


I doubt that Eileen envisioned advice like mine, a mixed tray-load of selections from the cafeteria approach to spirituality. But I'll bet she said her silent Catholic prayers whenever she sensed someone needing help. Taking a broad perspective, there's no real difference between her approach and mind: each is a quiet, contemplative way of making oneself useful.



Copyright © 2018 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, January 7, 2018

No Straight Path

By mistake after mistake

our lives take place.

At every intersection

we are forced to choose.

And at every juncture, by choosing,

we create a road not taken,

an alternate universe that might have led us,


into an uncharted way—

though they are all (for that's the point)



The question is:

where would we have ended up

if we had chosen any of the other pathways?

Could I conceivably have found my true self

(the one I am closing in on during these late years)

could I have found her

if I'd angled differently at any point in my life?


I have to be grateful

for the hunches and nudges

that guided me this way and that—

sometimes against all reason—

and brought me to this table,

this notebook,

this pen,

this writing.


Copyright © 2018 Ann Tudor
Food blog: