A few weeks ago I went to visit my daughter in DC. I am grateful that she lets me kiss the top of her head. I am grateful that she hugs, even on the street when I’m about to get into my uber. I am grateful that she is open about saying “I love you.” I am grateful that when she’s a little dopey, she still calls me Mommy. Parenting is so hard, so fraught with indecision and mistakes. But I’ll take these little things as a sign that I didn’t screw up too badly as a parent, and for that I’m truly eternally grateful.


My prompt for the week was DISCOVER. Here’s how it was used in the books that I’m reading:

  1. It was only through new friendships, great introspection, and Al-Anon that I discovered the courage, faith, belief, and hope that I needed to move forward on my own path in an unpredictable world. Jane Rosen
  2. Well, I’m glad we discovered this cataclysmic disagreement early. Geraldine Brooks
  3. We learn to listen to the silence, where we may find we discover the very highest form of guidance. Julia Cameron
  4. But writing will be a journey or personal discovery…therapy, if you like. Graeme Simsion
  5. It was as if I had fallen asleep in a field only to discover at waking that a grove of trees had grown up around me. Charles Simic quoted in a memoir by Javier Zamora
  6. Look deep inside and discover the people around you. Pedram Shojai
  7. I’ve read this gorgeous, graceful novel (Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner) more times than I can count, because I discover something new each time I pick it up. Anne Bogel in a book by Jane Mount
  8. Life will keep handing us lemons; it’s our job to discover our own recipe for lemonade. Eveline Helmink
  9. You might discover that the less you say, the more you hear. Rob Walker

Here’s How I’m going to think about discover:

  1. I’m currently reading two books, one a memoir of a journey and one a book about discovering family as you get older. Neither book uses the word “discover” in the narrative/text. How can an author not use that word in books that at their very core about discovery?
  2. Is is possible to live without discovery?
  3. Is the secret to life discovering something new every day?
  4. Does discover had bad connotations?
  5. Are we afraid of discovering things? Is it too much change?

Ithaka

BY C. P. CAVAFY
TRANSLATED BY EDMUND KEELEY

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

C. P. Cavafy, "The City" from C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Translation Copyright © 1975, 1992 by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. 

poetryfoundation.org

7 thoughts on “Gratitude and Mindfulness: 10/29/22

  1. I find joy in the word discovery. So many doors open by the very nature of that word. Conversely I think the entire idea of discovery can terrify some, especially when it means confronting issues that are hard or hurtful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Warms my heart reading about you and your daughter, my daughter lets me kiss the top of her head as well. Yes, we as parents live for those small moments! ❤

    Not using the word discover in a book about discovery does seem a little strange.
    Discovering can be intriguing and fun, but yes, can be scary as well. But I believe we need to keep discovering so that we can keep growing.

    Liked by 1 person

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