Cece’s mom Helen and her mom’s best friend, also a Helen, loved to cook and bake.   And so, Cece had both of their recipes for Irish Soda Bread.

Just before St. Patrick’s Day in  2005  Cece called her mom and told her that she had her recipe for Irish Soda bread and that she also had her best friend Helen’s  recipe for Irish Soda Bread too!   She was  not sure which recipe she should use.  It was then that her mother told her  this story:

 

” In 2004, our friend Helen  was making her own signature recipe for Irish Soda bread.  She made several loaves and brought them to our  Sr. Citizens weekly bowling league.  This was our  snack on the Thursday before St. Patrick’s Day.  The loaves looked beautiful and no one could wait to eat them.  They had golden tops dusted with sugar and Helen brought along butter to spread on each slice.

 

The league started bowling and cutting into the breads.  All of a sudden there were shouts across and  down the alley! “Hey Helen, what were you doing when you were making these breads?”   What could they mean?   As they cut into the breads, they found what looked like condoms in the bread!  There were long plastic sheaths that baked into the loaves.

 

Our friend Helen turned quite a shade of red as she explained that she does not like to touch sticky dough and always wears plastic surgical gloves when she bakes.  Evidently she lost several “fingers” of the gloves while she was kneading the dough!”

 

Through the phone, Cece’s mom said, “So which recipe are YOU going to make?” Cece could almost see the sparkle in her mom’s eye!  Well,  ever since that phone call,  Cece has been making her mom’s recipe and sharing this urban legend!

“Bye for Now” from The Two Whos

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Nothing ushers in St. Patrick’s day like Riverdance! Cece she remembers the original Riverdance and nothing compares to that! See for yourself in this You Tube clip from the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. This was the fledgling group that performed as the interval act of the contest and brought down the house.

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This is such a powerful video that was featured in the New York Times on March 9, 2014.  Please take the time to watch this.  It is 35 minutes long….but you will not be sorry.  It will touch your heart strings and make  you cry. Let us not forget the history of how people with disabilities were treated as recently at the mid 1970s.

 

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BoxIt  always come down to this in Yun’s view:  The game of lost and found can only be won by finding yourself in your deepest desires.

Yun felt a great need to have a few friends over for a good American BBQ.  So she did.  Cece was one of the guests.  Yun cooked Korean BBQ, and Japanese Teriyaki BBQ, and good American BBQ… all for the first time!  She made a good meal for her guests and she felt great satisfaction.  Cece agrees that the meal was delicious and she had never know Yun to BBQ !

However, in Yun’s inquisitive mind, she is trying to figure out why she wants to go though the trouble of hosting a  party given that her life at this moment is not exactly a leisurely stroll in the park.  Rather, more often than not, she feels like she is being caught up  in an unplanned storm on  a hot summer day…….refreshing yet heart drenched with the  fear of not knowing which way is up.

The long three  months hiatus of the who’s blog was mentioned among friends in a lighthearted way, and Yun made a mental note that she will start to write again, but she was not sure she can keep the promise.  When all  hell has broken lose, she  feels little control of her life,……let alone the fulfillment of promises.

After the guests have left, Yun’s drifting-in-the-storm of feelings has not subsided a bit!   Maybe it is even worse because the well intended effort is over.  “Now what?”  Yun asked herself that night feeling more confused and lost.

So, she sat in the dark kitchen. It was late in the night, rather it was early in the morning.   The world was sleepy.  She sat there for a long long time.  Slowly, the heavy confused clouds started to part,…she saw the path …a  clear blue sky with writing: Find yourself.  She did, and the world showers her with ease and peace again.  As she drifted into sleep, David Wagoner’s poem came to her:

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Lost

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you

Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,

Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,

I have made this place around you,

If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.

No two branches are the same to Wren.

If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,

You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows

Where you are. You must let it find you.

That night, Yun was lost and found again by letting her body and mind be what they love the most: being still and wondrous.  Her ill fated attempt at having a party to find her bearings and belonging is nothing more than a dark doorway that leads to a dark water way.  However, when Yun steps into that darkness, she finds that she has been lost in the summer storm.  Only she can find her way out…it is discovered through silence not a rowdy party!

When the sun rises, Yun senses  the death of an old persona, and she honors the private dark struggle and the most fearful confession that leads to  ultimate freedom.

“Bye for Now” from The Two Whos

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weight liftingLife constantly offers us the opportunities to learn the most important lessens…including the ultimate lessen of life: letting go. Funny thing is, it does not matter whether we learn it or not, we all face “letting go” with its various shapes and forms, losses, good/bad times, insults or hurts, worries or heartaches, thoughts or emotions etc…   including the end of one’s life…and the letting go of life itself!

For The Two Whos, we often take deliberate effort to practice “letting go,” but often fail, especially on the ‘heavy ones’.  Like weight lifting, lifting a 5 pounder does not mean we can automatically lift a 15 pounder. So failing is just a way to grow, or so that’s how Yun thinks of it  to offer herself some encouragement.  However, sometimes, letting go of something is truly hard!

It was a month ago.  One day, Yun was introduced to a person.   As she extended her hand to say, “Nice to  meet you!”, the person did not acknowledge her friendly gesture and walked away.  Her internal emotional system has never been shocked like this before.   Her senses were in disbelief and did not know how to react.  A  day later, she realized how rude she was treated and what an insult was bestowed onto h er .  She started to feel the hurt, disgust and hate. After a month now , Yun is still upset when she thinks about this incident.

So, Yun tries hard to let go the thought of being treated rudely and the feeling of disgust and hate. ‘Knowing what to do’ is very different from ‘doing it’.   Things are getting in the way.   Her memory teases her and does not let her forget the experience.  Her intellect eludes her with the wisdom of forgiveness, humor and understanding, and her thoughts cheat her thinking she is at ease and in fact she is not… But she really wants to ‘let this incident go’ into a waste land.  She does not want to chew on her anger any more.

One day, during a conversation with her son at soccer practice, she said to him, “Just practice for the sake of practice, and see what happens.”  “Practice for the sake of practice” is a quote from one of her favorite books, “Mastery” by George Leonard.  It suddenly occurred to her that this it is exactly what she needs to do: practice the art of letting go and the detachment from her anger….and not worry about what other people think of her.dog with bone

Yun is no longer going to try to let go…. rather she will  just practice letting go.   The heavy burden of TRYING to  “let go” the hurt feelings has lifted.  Amazingly, the incident is no longer a thing that troubles her; rather, it has faded into the  background noise of life’s things.

“Letting go” is still a work in process…happily.  Cece adds that sometimes she is not willing to let go, but she has learned that sometimes she needs to be willing to be willing to let go….it is never good for her to chew on her anger and resentment.

“Bye for Now” from The Two Whos

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