The impeccable house we were invited to, shouted out the immense efficiency of our hosts. It was spotless, warm and welcoming. But every few moments something ‘not right’ was vociferously highlighted by our wonderful hosts. The unacceptable way the red silk cushions were left scrunched and squashed, compressed into corners of the plush golden sofas by the rude backsides that had been resting on them. The panic about the imminent possibility of too high a quantity of left-overs. Or the worry over a small chance that there won’t be enough. The width of the cake wedges was either too thin or too thick. The imperfect consistency of the gravy, the flatulence inducing artichoke soup, the highly undesirable heat generated by the log-fire, the terrible noise coming from the television, the spot of annoying stickiness left behind on the jar of honey by an inconsiderate user, the five brown crispy crumbs of bread left shamelessly sticking to the neat rectangular slab of butter on the gold-rimmed china butter dish, the uncouthness of the incorrect placement of the ornate silver by the staff, the inconvenient timing of a phone call with a relative abroad and so on …
Despite the absolute beauty of this home, the air was imbued with the smell of ‘dissatisfaction’, the well-known fundamental state of most human existence.
Do we change overnight or just carry on with the desire for things to be different? Time is a continuum going in waves, up and down and round and round. The ‘start’ and ‘stop’ points are nothing but artificial. The solstices and equinoxes mark time, connecting us with the movements of nature and linking various planetary bodies with one another.
Ordinary events present us with gems. Its up to us to spot the gems, pick them up and drop them in our pockets.
This year, I wish you and me the ability to appreciate and adopt Deep Simplicity. The ability to recognise the futility of being in a constant state of dissatisfaction, to switch our attention from imperfection to gratitude for all that is, to compassion towards ourselves and others, to patience with others and ourselves as we evolve. It takes time.