Thursday, June 10, 2010


When I shower, and the glass door or vinyl curtain or tile wall steams up, I put my hand quietly and deliberately in the smooth unblemished plain of steam, rest it there for a few seconds, then carefully pull it away, leaving my handprint behind. I've been doing it for ages started out innocently, then it turned into a moment for reflection: this is me, uniquely so, and this is a mark I am making on the world today. Ephemeral, fleeting, solidly there but then gone, smile as you create then sadness as it fades then realization that you can create the moment again, and that the next moment, while similar, won't be the same. One of those "stepping away from the flow" moments we all steal from the marching tick-tick-tick of life, where we can drop everything and just *be* for a few precious seconds.

Then I saw "Up" with Dad last summer, and we smiled at each other when the main characters built their house and lived their lives, and we cried together during the oh-so-beautiful and oh-so-painful and ouch-too-close-to-home opening sequence that was just a bit too immediate for both of us. And now that handprint moment is tinged with sadness and memory, because it reminds me of the mailbox in the movie, decorated with the handprints of two people who loved each other and lived adventures and made their own path.

So now my little ritual has evolved...from being a quiet moment just for me, just outside of time, it's now becoming a remembrance of the source of much of my outlook and many of my values, of love, of time spent [not wasted], and moments to appreciate. The fleeting nature of a handprint in steam becomes a reminder of how things fade, yet while they are there, they are lovely and complex and simple and real nonetheless.

In time, I'll find another quirky little ritual that will give me the chance to take time out from things and not think for a few seconds...but this is one that I don't mind sharing with them.

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