Random Gems

22 Nov

I’m sure this happens to most people.

Once in a while, an experience – no matter how brief or insignificant – becomes permanently lodged in your memory and can be envisioned at any time. 

Like a grain of sand caught inside an oyster, I like to think of these memory bits as mind pearls.

My earliest mind pearl involves a mundane Mr. Bubble bath at the age of three with my pink elephant bathtub scrub brush. 

I can also easily recall, around the same year, the exact moment I dramatically caught a neighbor’s horse in our front yard.

Some mind pearls are upsetting, like the second I saw my dog break through ice on the lake. Others are baffling, like a colleague (decades ago) who showed me a New Yorker cartoon at my desk… inexplicably stuck in my head forever.

The best mind pearls are the ones I treasure and make me smile. Like the time I traveled to a big city book conference and got lost. 

I had taken the subway from the airport, but hopped off one stop too soon. And the GPS on my cell phone couldn’t locate anything between the tall buildings. 

A woman hurrying toward me glanced up and caught my eye, so I asked for directions to such-and-such avenue. 

In her lovely, lilting accent — revealing her foreign roots — she pointed back and forth and left and right, but could see I was confused. So she generously offered to turn around and show me the way. 

During the past two weeks, the turmoil in our country has worried me… but I’ve thought of that woman’s kindness often, and notice I’m smiling more at strangers, holding doors wider for strangers, hoping to find the way forward together.


9 Replies to “Random Gems

  1. It’s nice too hear you’re trying to be kinder amid this turmoil. In New York, it seems like everyone is more bitter than ever, which is a real shame.

  2. I have tried more than anything to make sure my kids are kind. If everyone was kind in this world, it would be a better place that is for sure!

  3. I fully agree, and I think few empathetic, caring people can feel proud after this election, regardless of which way they voted… most of us are struggling with varying levels of shame and dismay. But I do believe kindness always trumps bigotry, hate, fear, bullying, cruelty… and trumps Trump.

  4. A wise physician said, “The best medicine for humans is love.” Someone asked, “If it doesn’t work?” She answered, “ Increase the dose.”

  5. My random stranger’s kindness was in a small city in France. Like you, I was a bit lost, standing on a corner with a bewildered expression, I’m sure. A very nice Frenchman stopped to help me with directions. I remember that moment so clearly and it was his simple, kind and friendly act. Will kindness help us trump Trump? We’ll have to see.

  6. Early in life I was marked by the beauty, wonder, and serenity of my Grandparents Rock Garden in Montana. Today it is a wonderful place to visit in the “Real Memories of My Mind”. One should have real roots to be a stable point amongst the turmoil of life..

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