Kiss of the First Monsoon Rain

As the sun peers over the horizon it paints a pink blush with its dismay.  It’s discovered the first monsoon rain playing shamelessly over the land, racing unfettered with the wind.  It dances and leaps in sheets ringing with joyful laughter as it patters over stones and guffaws out of rain pipes.  Celebrating temporary dominion over the relentless dust of summer, it calls the sleeping from their beds to enjoy its cool perfumed kiss.


This is a form of mindful writing called a “small stone”.  You can learn about it and read my other Small Stones here.

Two Little Soldiers and Red Glove Rain

The barks of a mother overhead announce the dropping of gloves left behind like thunder precludes the rain.  Two small boys stand in the guilt and dust as tiny red gloves flutters to the ground from a fourth-floor balcony.  Dressed in little gentleman suits and already-crooked ties, their usual enthusiasm is neatly bridled.  Neither tries to catch them.  The gloves land on the ground with a puff as more mother-barks hammer down like hail.  The now-not-so-red gloves are snatched up and quickly stuffed into a pocket to be forgotten again.  History, as they say, inevitably repeats itself.

Shifting cumbersome backpacks they begin their trek to the gate with the snail’s pace of old men.  The conversation is equally glum.  No giggles or sticking out of tongues; just somber expressions and an occasional nod.  The weight of the day ahead chokes out even the gleeful anticipation of the rollicking race home when it’s over.  The bus arrives with a squeak of brakes and two little soldiers trudge off to war.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

What Colors Are Your Word-Tapestry Today?

You are going to speak around 7,000 words today.  How’re you going to use them?  Is this a question you’ve ever asked yourself before?  Unless I’m voicing an opinion or responding to an important question, I don’t give much thought to what comes out of my mouth before it does.  Sometimes that’s not such a good thing.  Pondering this, I realize how unmindful I am about my own internal reactions and their verbal by-products.

It’s a sobering thought.  I think most of us can safely say we quietly criticize others internally.  That negative criticism is an indication things inside of us “aren’t quite on straight.”  That other person is mirroring this inner disturbance to us and the opportunity has been presented to make peace with it.  Unfortunately, instead of making that inner peace, we tend to project it physically at unsuspecting victims with our words.  Most of the time, we don’t realize we’re doing it.  We lack mindfulness.  In that lack we are outwardly hurting ourselves and others, and continuing internal thought patterns that aren’t serving us in any positive way.

The Dalai Lama said:

“The very purpose of spirituality is self-discipline. Rather than criticizing others, we should evaluate and criticize ourselves. Ask yourself, what am I doing about my anger, my attachment, my pride, my jealousy? These are the things we should check in our day to day lives.”

We need to be more mindful.

As I sat pondering all of this I asked myself:

“When I put all those critical thoughts into spoken words, what kind of tapestry is it I’m really weaving?  Is it one I’d want to hang proudly in my home?   Would I show it off to the neighbors?”

The answer was a resounding “NO.”

That knocked me back a step, so I took it one step further.  I sat and watched my critical thoughts and words, both of others and of myself.

I asked myself, “What colors and textures would this tapestry have?”

I shuddered.  The colors were repulsive to me.  If this tapestry were cloth and clothing was cut from it, would I want to buy it?  Would I wear it?  Never.  My eyes wouldn’t even linger on it.  See the irony?

If my thoughts and my un-mindful words were clothes, I would never consciously choose to wear them.  If I was forced to wear these clothes, I wouldn’t want to leave the house and I certainly wouldn’t feel good wearing them.  But this is exactly what I, and many of us, do.  We’re weaving cloth we would never hang in our homes or wear on our bodies.  We can change this, however, with regular exercises in mindfulness.

Becoming more mindful is not an easy task.  It’s like making a New Year’s resolution.  When you first make it, you’re devoted to it but life has a way of marching all over the top of it and it eventually it goes forgotten.  This is why it’s important to make it fun.  We all love doing fun things and if we can make becoming more mindful an enjoyable task, we’re more likely to invite the habit into our lives on a regular basis.

The Word-Tapestry Writing Challenge:

If we could mindfully choose the colors and patterns of the tapestry we are internally weaving, what would they be?

Every day we’ll be creating two imaginary cloths or tapestries.  You’ll need to sit quietly for just a few minutes and visualize what your inner tapestry currently looks like first.  Then visualize what you would like it to look like on that day and write about both of them in detail.  Every Monday I will post a reminder.  Choose your best and post it on the “The Word-Tapestry Writing Challenge” post for the week.  It doesn’t need to be posted on Monday specifically; just any time during the week is fine.  If you blog, include a link to your post.

Be as specific and detailed as you can.  Really get in touch with what the current tapestry looks and feels like.  Is it heavy and dark?  Does it portray violent feudal scenes?  Is it drab and plain?  Don’t be shy.  Maybe on some days it’s not a tapestry at all but a costume or clothes.  Let it be what it needs to be.

Then, imagine what tapestry, costume or clothes you would rather be creating.  Be as bold and vivid as you can.  Really let yourself fly.  This isn’t about Paris fashion or artistic ability; this is about opening your heart and yourself to your current state of being and creating the one you really want.

Be as mindful as you can both in your visualizing and your written description.  Include colors, scenes, patterns, decorations and embellishments, and textures.

Thoughts are things.  Spoken words (and in this case, written words) are thoughts manifested into the physical world.  By becoming more mindful, you are creating the “You” you really want to be.  Let’s create some amazing art and decorate the world one tapestry at a time!

Look for the first post and more information on Monday!

Cloud Tracks

Clouds shuffle their cottony feet along the sky, leaving wispy footprints as they go.  Vapors disrupt in white puffs of watery sky-dust plumes.  They go trudging along, oblivious to where they step.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Pastel Dalliance

Morning comes shyly wrapped in a pastel gossamer gown.  Like buttery silk she flows across the eyes.  Lavender, gray and subtlest robin egg blue; a misty, smokey, mysterious woman is she.  Serene, she’s still pale-star-dusted from her late night dalliance; the barest blush still in her cheeks.  Softest wisps of silver-cloud-curls drift as she floats on a temple tapestry of flute, lost in her devotion, off to meet the afternoon.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Slap, Slap, Slap

Watching traffic buzz along like aimless bees, I hear “slap, slap, slap” coming up behind me.  I pause a moment before I turn, wondering what this mystery sound could be.  “Slap, slap, slap.”  My mind frolics with possibilities.  “Slap, slap, slap.”  Whimsical rainbow fish falling from the sky?  “Slap, slap, slap.”  A walrus in a hurry?  “Slap, slap, slap.”  A bear on a bicycle with a flat tire?  “Slap, slap, slap.”  I turn.  A little brown man in a dust-colored sweater, hunched against the cold is hurrying.  The sun reflects from his bald dome atop a white ring of hair like an egg.  He smiles a toothless smile as he passes.  “Slap, slap, slap,” go his slippers as he scurries home.  Much better than a walrus in a hurry.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Committee of the Bushy-Tails

Convened in gentle morning sunlight, the committee’s called to order.  Each participant is at its post and eager to begin.  Poised and alert.  Focused.  Third-floor clothes line, second floor balcony, fifth-floor brick jutting from the façade.  The straggler waits on the rock wall across the lot.  A shrill “pee-deep!” rings out; seconded.  A third barks to disagree.  Heated squeaking debate rings out.  Bushy tails flailing; throes of squirrely conviction, argued.  The loudest will prevail; until tomorrow.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

These little squirrels live all over the apartment complex.  I see them every day climbing the building like it was tree, going from balcony to balcony, nosing in potted plants, peering in windows.  They don’t miss much.  Every morning they convene in their favorite places and “peep” to each other.  I often wonder what they’re talking about.

Call in the Fog

Droning tones of call to prayer drift ghostly in unpopulated fog.  Eerie specters to the ears roam from home to home.  They’re peering in windows, creeping through doors, searching for believers.  The cold predawn defies the rule holding people in their beds, but it relinquishes them reluctantly.  Duties must be fulfilled.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

As a footnote:  We live in a predominantly Hindu neighborhood, but the Muslim call to prayer can be heard in the distance.  In the stillness of the early morning, before the sun comes up, it has a very eerie quality.

Head TV

Tuning in.  Head TV is airing and blaring 100 different programs again, simultaneously on the tv screen.  I try to watch intently a miasma of commercial messages, melodramas, documentaries, thrillers, comedies, sci fi.  My eyes dart from one to the other and back again.  Sound bites blaring.  Colors colliding.  Ear and eye madness.  I desperately try to focus on one channel looking for inspiration, but it’s deafening; impossible.  Reruns!  Exasperated.  I want to turn it off but there’s no “off” button.  This mind TV can’t be unplugged!  I wheel the thing into the other room and close the door, ignoring it.  Peace at last.  I’ll watch it later.  Maybe.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Tea Cup Tango

Steaming teacup promises chill-chasing inside smiles.  Black pepper burn, ginger tang and cinnamon kiss dance in milky abandon.  Rising from the cup, aromatic bliss teases the nose.  Taste buds reach in gleeful anticipation of a spicy hot bath.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012