Thursday, October 20, 2011

This Too Shall Pass...

It was 38°F yesterday morning.  I think I pulled a muscle from the fifteen minutes of convulsive shivering while my car heater percolated to a respectable temperature. 

Mom Nat wins by a nose. After work, I broke down (just me, not my car) and extracted my wool coat from the hall closet.

Not the thickly lined black dress coat. That one is much heavier than is currently required.  Mainly I use it for holiday parties; when I'm wearing an outfit which might be wholly unsuitable for New England weather but perfect for an evening of ballroom dancing, house wine and mystery chicken.

I've had my dress coat for about seven years but it's classic enough that I can still get away with wearing it. I especially love the great big velvety hood which makes me look like a storybook character when I drape it over my comparatively small head.

Instead, I compromised last night by pulling out my long Jones New York coat from three seasons ago.  That's style seasons, which still basically means about three years plus or minus a runway show.  Tailored, just past the knee with small black, brown and cream houndstooth-ish checks.  Neat lapel with black edging.  Three buttons. 

It used to have four buttons.  Last fall, I had my coat hanging behind my office door when my boss accidentally swung the door closed at the exact angle and velocity for the coat to pendulate into the closing hinged crevice, crushing poor button #4 into tiny bits.

Now that I must admit defeat to the morning chill, this coat is my best bet.  Actually, aside from the dress coat and my über warm, waterproof, faux-Spyder ski jacket, I'm not even sure what else I have in the ol' coat closet.  But that's okay.  I love my Jones.

Mind you, I have a dear friend who has a major coat addiction.  This is someone who has more coats than pants, by a long shot.  I'm sure she's reading this now and physically cringing at the idea that I have so few cold winter options.  Then again, we are the same size. This could expand my options considerably.  Hmmm.... I wonder if she locks her coat closet.  *evil grin*

Anyway, so I pulled out the Jones NY coat and gave it the once over to see how dire the need for dry-cleaning might be.  Some years ago I was almost certain to have, at minimum, someone's dietary contents dribbled down the left shoulder.  Luckily I and both my kids have outgrown that stage.  Looks pretty clean actually.  Smells okay.  Nothing a quick spin in the dryer on low heat with a Bounce softener sheet won't fix.  I checked the pockets.

My hand touched something smooth and roundish.  About the size of an acorn.  Even before I pulled it out, I could see the sapphire blue in my mind.

It's my "this too shall pass" rock.

Twenty years ago at Emerson College, I heard a story in my Eastern Religions class.  It was about an old man who received a stone which had great magical powers.  A stone which made a happy person feel sad and a sad person, happy. Etched on the stone were the words, "This too shall pass."
The instructor related the story to the concept of karma.  Whereas people think of "good karma" and "bad karma," we discussed the ideal to be neutral.  To be in such a balanced place that you know both good and bad are fleeting.  This too shall pass.

So, I'd taken to the habit of always carrying this one smooth stone in my pocket or purse.  In my happiest moments, I rubbed it and reminded myself that I needed to appreciate my joy to the fullest extent possible.  When I was feeling depressed or anxious, I rubbed the stone to remind myself not to get too bogged down in the negative.  That, this too shall pass.

Just recently I discovered that the old man was actually King Solomon and it was a ring, not a rock. In any case, I had lost mine with great regret.  Finding it or getting a new one has been on my "things I've been meaning to do" list for a while now.

Yet, here it found me.

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I Wonder Wye said...

I love your state! MISS living in MD and DC, the closest I came to living your way -- back down in the humid warm soupy South for awhile.....

got a smile from your post -- balance beam?

Nicolasa said...

That is so interesting about the concept of "this too shall pass." I love that after all of these years you came across it!

plainolebob said...

a true treasure indeed, and just when you needed it, the old coat, and this too shall pass.

plainolebob said...

sorry Bess says hi
she also wanted to tell you she loves your blog, and like your count thing , and template.
here let her tell you herself.
Charlene, yes what he said is true, thanks

Charlene said...

Thanks all for the smiles and hugs! ;-) Welcome to The Balance Beam dear Bess!

Sarah said...

38!! brrrrrrrr not even the coldest days here are close to that. (just rub it in) the message almost sounds like buddhism. makes you think.

plainolebob said...


Mary Ann Cicala said...

I, too, have a stone like this. I used to call it my "worry stone" but I like the positive spin of "This, too, will pass!" Was the class you mentioned taught by Ted Romberg? I loved that course--appropriately held at 1st and 2nd Church.

Charlene said...

Yep - I think that was it!!

Veronica Lee said...

Hi! I'm visiting from MBC. Great blog.

TC said...

I have more coats than that but the last one is three years old also. I also have one from the 80s which I love dearly. Jeans jacket.
Glad your rock found you, I have glass "stones" in the ashtray of my car that were washed by Katrina. They are like worry stones but just looking @ them makes me happy for some reason.

classroom fundraiser said...

Good Luck on your speaking gig tonight :)

The Guy's Perspective said...

"Yet, here it found me" Sounds like Karma to us.

Have a good weekend! Hope it passes slowly. :)


Lindsay said...

I couldn't have come across this post at a better time! Excellent read - I think we all need to be reminded that "this too shall pass" every now and then. I needed it this morning, so thank you! :)

Found you through SITS. Happy Saturday Sharefest - enjoy the weekend!

Charlene said...

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comments! I definitely do wish my weekends wouldn't pass quite so quickly!!

parentingBYdummies said...

I stopped over from SITS to give you a shout. This is my first time here and I must say that I love your website design, it's happy and fresh and inviting and fun! Based on all the posts I've read so far, it's a prefect fit for you! Happy to meet you:)

missykimmy said...

Wow great blog! I really like it! And your posts are so well written and lively. ^_^ As soon as I finish posting this comment I'm following you!

And I don't know if this is the right way to do this, but check out my blog, and maybe even become a follower? If you like it, of course.

Anyway, I want a "this too shall pass" rock too! ^_^ And it's a good thing it found you. Maybe you needed it to cheer you up about something? I hope it still has the same effect on you. (:

Charlene said...

Thanks MissyKimmy! I coldn't get to your profile but if you post your URL, I'd love to check out your blog too! :-)

Dayne Gingrich said...

Looks really good. Great job!

Jenna said...

Ummm so I'm guessing you did your blog I shouldn't say anything. I joke I joke. It looks wonderfully sunny, dispite the weather, apparently!


Yaya said...

What a great rock!

PS Thank you for stopping by on my special day!

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