the ordinary art

before fixing what you’re looking at, check what you’re looking through.

it was a beautiful sun-filled day. i had driven 300 miles to see her. she was ninety-four and had been in one room for close to eight months. i was her first-born grandson and she was so happy to see me. but after catching up, we sat in silence on the edge of her bed, and finally, she complained how gray a day it was.

i realized then that her one window hadn’t been cleaned in almost a year. when i said this, she chuckled, as only someone ninety-four can, and uttered with her russian accent, “got a dirty eye, see a dirty world.”

it is the same with our minds and hearts. for our very self is the one window we have into this life. and so often, we suffer the mood of a dirty window, believing the brilliant world gray.

perhaps the purpose of authentic relationship is to help each other keep our minds and hearts clear. perhaps inner work is the ordinary art of window washing, so that the day is fully the day.

-sit quietly until you feel centered

-now use your breath to wash the ideas from your mind.

-breathe evenly and wash the film from your heart.

-breathe deeply and wash the conclusions from your eyes.

–from mark nepo’s the book of awakening
(thank you mark)