Monday, April 25, 2011

In Pursuit of Pleasure

"There's no point in dwelling on past sorrows, not when the future can hold such pleasure." 
--Abraham Verghese

I read this quote last night in my bedtime novel, Cutting for Stone, and it made me think.  I thought of it first thing this morning and had to look it up and read it again.  I think it's easy to get bogged down sometimes by past sorrows, or present busyness, or the stress that comes along with life at times.  Sometimes we just feel all mishammi (a Umatilla Indian word that means feeling sorry for yourself).  I think it's important to acknowledge these feelings, but try not to dwell on them.  It's good to remember that right around the corner, pleasure lurks, just waiting for us to keep it company.  And like many a philosopher has said, from Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet, to the 90s rapper, Rob Base, joy and pain (sunshine and rain) go together and you can't experience one without having experienced the other.

Speaking of pleasure, I had many pleasurable experiences over the weekend:
  •  Friday night after dinner, the kids and I took a walk across the valley floor to a meadow above the river where there is a swing in one of the trees, out in the middle of nowhere.  J and C loved it!  We heard hummingbirds, looked at how the river has carved out the bank very dramatically, J noticed a coyote (and it noticed us, too), and we found a conjoined dandelion with 2 heads on one thick stem.  
  • Saturday the weather was beautiful, our picnic/hike/nettle gathering day was wonderful, the nettle soup was delicious, and it turns out that nettle pesto is unbelievably tasty, too.  
  • Sunday morning, the kids found their Easter baskets that The Bunny had left, we ate a huge breakfast of bacon and eggs (thanks, Girls), and my special hash browns, this time made with purple and red potatoes, always sliced paper thin and layered in the skillet with lots of butter and a little salt.  Then the kids went to their dad's and I went for a bike ride on the trail.  It was good for Ruby Mae to stretch her legs, as I have been extremely neglectful of her for a long time.  Ruby Mae is a late 60s or early 70s Raleigh, avec fenders and vintage charm that I scored at a garage sale for $5.  I had her tuned up and she is a real gem  On the trail there were few people since it was a.Easter and b.raining; it was spectacular.  I rode that bike for the pure pleasure of it--the fresh, Spring air, everything green as far as the eye could see, the sound of my tires on gravel, and the whistle of the fenders.  I stood up and rode fast, I coasted, I pedaled slowly and looked around, rain dripped from my helmet onto my nose, and it was so much fun.  Good exercise, as a side bonus, but fun being the most important part.  I can't wait to do it again (maybe after work later), because Ruby Mae is pleasure personified, and I don't have time to dwell on my sorrows today.


  1. Biking through open air always, always helps shake things off. Great balance between taking advantage/exploring with what you have, and defining your own space. Watch out for the coyotes!

  2. I am LOVING your blog Meg! Hadn't checked in all week so I'm reading a mega-score all at once. Just sitting here in the quiet house, kids in bed, A not home yet from the meet, smiling. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Really great for the soul and almost like sitting with you for a chat.