3.25.2010

basking

Why is it sometimes so hard to enjoy being happy? Just yesterday I got an email from an editor saying he loved the piece I had rather fearfully sent him. I was elated! Joy! Success! But within seconds, I was on to worrying about edits, and other assignments, and the dust balling up in the hallway, and the soot on the windowsills.

My mind spun through the hundred tiny vexing things I had to do, when suddenly I came to a word: STOP. Literally, it loomed up, a cherry red stop sign, filling my brain. STOP?

Yes. That’s when I realized I wasn’t letting myself be happy. Was it superstition? If I’m happy, that means I could become unhappy…. Was it fear? How hard it is to give into happiness. Was it just that unrelenting, driven, monkey mind saying ‘Not good enough! Nothing is ever good enough!’ Whatever the reason, it seemed suddenly absurd. I wasn’t letting myself fill up with the joy of a small accomplishment, I wasn’t giving myself credit for something well done, and I wasn’t simply, well, enjoying the moment. Don’t you love how the word enjoy has the word joy embedded in it? Being in the joy.

So I stopped. I put down my broom, I closed the laptop, I made a cup of tea and sat in a sunny window, gazing out at the cold ground, looking at a gorgeous crocus pushing out through matted leaves, letting the feeling of happiness just rush through my veins, feeling--and holding--it in my belly. Lovely. I felt gratitude, and pleasure, and I basked in all those good things. To bask: I looked it up in the dictionary, and learned that the word originated between 1350-1400, as bathaske--to bathe oneself.

We don’t bask enough, and we ought to give ourselves the time to just sit in joy--time even to soak in a hot tub full of gorgeous oils and lavender scents, skin basking and mind basking--before we get turn back to those dirty dishes piling up in the sink!

131 comments:

Marcy said...

Bask... what a delicious word. It is a lesson that I need to learn too. Too often I bask in hindsight, not in the moment, which is such a shame. I will try to remember to slow down, to observe, and to bask...

scribbler50 said...

Beautiful words, beautiful thoughts and a beautiful blog. Not sure I belong in this lovely corner of the world but I thank you for putting me on your blog roll.

Cheers!

Irit said...

From far away and a very different story. I am a 52 years old Israeli who lived in the US since 2002-2007. Left my husband in Boston to continue a big project in real estate, with my youngest who was 14 at the time. Created a new home was unemployed for two years went through depression. Learned to love the real important things in life, found a job working with small children and now maybe found a solution to finish my PhD that was stuck for two years. Learned to love my husband in mew ways since we meet every three weeks for ten days I even found ways to continue with my peace activism in a small portion. I loved the article I the New York Times today and will be reading your blog from now
Warm regards from Israel Irit

Julia said...

I really enjoyed your piece in the Times. I can relate. Thank you for writing it.

http://whatglows.blogspot.com/2010/02/idle-hands.html

Anonymous said...

Your article in NYTimes and your blog feel to me like looking into a mirror. Surely we have known each other since childhood?

Marcy said...

You are right, most of us don't bask enough, if at all. Thank you for the reminder. Life's chores will still be there waiting for us after we "soak in" the moment.

Anonymous said...

"Was it superstition? If I’m happy, that means I could become unhappy…."

I did not realize other people also had this reaction to the occurrence of a positive event or result. I have been afraid to hold on to happiness in fear of losing it for years. Well done. Thank you for putting this into words, and for your blog.

David said...

Love the Times article. We lost a house and garden to foreclosure 2 years ago. Our new life is better and richer in many ways, but I do miss my hellebores. When we moved, I dug up all the white daylillies and moved them to the garden at the loft building we now live in. The initial plants were a gift from the great Allen Haskell. They are just starting to proclaim themselves for another season, and somehow it is enough.

lostpastremembered said...

I love the NYT's article. Moving from light speed to slow isn't easy. Think of the physics. You are thrown off balance. My job as a production designer wasn't quite as demanding as yours but after a year or so of not doing it thanks to the new economy, I have come to love writing and the amazing people I have met doing a blog. I felt your words. I know those changes. I am glad to have found your blog. I hope to bask with my morning coffee and read it in the morning light curled on the sofa.

"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."

~Julia Childs

C. Robin Janning said...

Oh my! I've just discovered your blog and it is (and you are) wonderful! Thank you for this gift.

dominique said...

David: You were so smart to dig up plants. I didn't do that and regret it, because many of them were later lost. Haskell memories on top of it all! He was one of the world's great eccentrics and plantsmen.

Anonymous: Well how would I know if I knew you? And the thing about writing about this stuff is that you find out that you aren't alone--something reading has done for me over the years, and why I now delve into this world....

Irit: What a fantastic journey. And a cool idea, meeting your husband every once in a while and enjoying each other without the daily tumult. Please keep us posted from Israel. I hope some day to visit there.

Scribbler: Why wouldn't you belong in such a corner? Everyone does, at least from time to time! You can't imagine the strange corners I get into. Thanks for checking in.

And Marcy: I got lots of emails about taking baths! Must be pent up need for permission to run the hot water and sit a spell. THANKS ALL!

dominique said...

lostpastremembered: looking forward to reading you; and you got it, totally thrown off balance. took me a while to recover....Great Julia Child quote! thanks!

Julie said...

My brother in Malta sent me this link, but I have enjoyed following Dominique B. for years. The writing is always personal, graceful and connected to the moment. In short, the writing is pleasurable always.
I think the blog is fabulous and a perfect theater for your talents, Dominique. You are inspiring.
Julie M.

Anonymous said...

It is totally impossible. I came to your conclusions in another way. I was married for 30 years or so and my husband left. We had grown up together. For 4 years this depressing feeling followed me. This past weekend after talking to my adult daughter I had a calm feeling. I could continue on. I could enjoy my gardening and house and finally feel happy!

Mary T. Wagner said...

I love your blog!! Can't wait to explore it at leisure, which there is none of this morning. But in the vein of slowing down, I wrote an essay for MORE.com which I think will ring familiar for you, "Going Nowhere Slow" about finding the joy in small things. http://www.more.com/2051/8438-going-nowhere---slow

Congratulations on your creative successes and rebirth!
www.runningwithstilettos.com

Nancy said...

just read your article in the New York Times...I am reinventing myself after the end of a 27 year marriage...started graduate school, selling our beloved family home, parenting teenagers turned adults...your article spoke to me, and I so appreciate your beautifully ascetic style of writing. Coming home to yourself and facing your fears are two very challenging and necessary endeavors that offer so much reward...thank you for sharing your heart.

Margaret Roach said...

There is a lot of tea here, too, and a lot of window-gazing. Basking is a good word for it. Congratulations on the upcoming book.

Stephanie said...

When my kids were growing up, I'd often say that you never know when your words are going to be the ones to make a difference in someone's life...and YOUR's were just what I needed, just when I needed them.

Sarah said...

oh dominique,
i was simply overjoyed to come across your site on design*sponge this morning. i'm sure i echo the sentiments of many of your readers when i say how much i've missed your voice. i simply adored your editor's letters for h&g. every now and again i would search online to find a piece written by you, just to get a little boost. and now, a book...and a blog. happy spring indeed! thank you....

brooke @ claremont road said...

This is something I've struggled with for, well, forever. I'm 29 and I was always a worry-wart as a kid. I lightened up a lot over the years, but I look back and still see how much time I wasted worrying and being scared of what was to come. I look back on my college years and wish I hadn't stressed myself out over so many projects for my design classes (stressing always made the final product worse, anyway -- I bet I would have been a stronger designer had I just learned how to relax).

A few months ago I did something sort of crazy -- I quit my job and began the journey of self-employment. I'm incredibly proud of myself because for the first time in a long time, I just told myself to not worry, go for my dream, and relax. I have moments of panic and fear (I am human, after all), but for the most part I am just trying to savor the control I have over my destiny right now and I'm trying to enjoy more moments of my everyday. I'm trying to enjoy those spontaneous moments with my husband more, not worry too much about my income (we rent and we don't have kids or credit card debt -- we'll figure it out if I am not swimming in money every month), and not work myself into a tizzy every day. I'm happier than I've ever been.

Katie Hutchison said...

I think you've hit on a nerve. Many of us during this slow economy are learning to appreciate small moments and the happiness they can bring us when we take the time to be present.

I've written a bit about the happiness of place and wonder if it might interest you http://www.katiehutchison.com/house-enthusiast/the-happiness-of-place.html

I look forward to following your evolving Slow Love Life.

Candice said...

I would like to tell you how much impact you have made on my life. But here is not the place. I will just say that I read every House and Garden magazine, starting with your column. I wrote to you one day, Letter to the Editor, in response to a story about the boys growing up. You published my letter. And now, with that encouragement in the back of my mind, I am writing a book.
I have a blog, it is sort of The Book. And now I will follow your blog and buy your book. I look forward to it . I look forward to spending time reading everything here, as if it came in the mail, once a month, to inspire me in my home and the way I view life and the house and the garden etc :)
Wishing you nothing but Good Good Luck in all you do and I am so glad I found this blog.
Candice

scribbler50 said...

Of course you're right, Dominique, I guess I was just comparing hearts and flowers to saloons and cocktail hours, pointing out how different our content is. And so to ensure that I "belong" and make a return visit, I've just returned the favor on my blog roll.
All the best!

Anonymous said...

The past few decades of rampant consumerism has turned out to be a farce hasn't it? After all, it turns out we aren't defined by our real estate and our possessions.

Anonymous said...

I can't find your email address on here, but just wanted to write you a note to let you know how moved I was by your NYT magazine piece, which I read today. As someone who also lost her job (not by choice), I can relate to so much of what you say -- the hoarding of office supplies, the sleeplessness, the panic, and the struggle to find a new rhythm. Your piece is an inspiration. Thank you

Melissa said...

It is so lovely to have found your gracious and soothing writing again, albeit a different medium. As a long time reader of HG I would always eagerly read your prose in the beginning before enjoying the rest of the magazine, knowing it would set the tone and inevitably invade my psyche. I was saddened by it's closing and hoped that you would resurface to share your thoughts another day. Happily, you have done so, and with a theme and demeanor so comforting and optimistic during a time of such uncertainty. Thank you. For your courage to share and your wisdom, hard earned.

bepilar said...

Dominique, I just discovered you in the NYT today! Thank you for sharing your story. How brave, true and compelling. It is clear that you are hitting a nerve with so many of us today. I especially appreciate your reminder to slow down and bask in all of sensations and feelings that make up the now.

Mary Oliver's poetry, and this line in particular, has been a call to action for me:

"To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go."

With gratitude.

patty said...

So glad to know you are here with beautiful photos and calming words - I always read your editorials for H & G. I noticed yesterday that tons of poppies are blooming around town (Berkeley) and a neighbor of mine has some heavenly scented sweet peas by his fence. When I feel worried or frazzled by life, it's good to just walk around outside and see all the life out there, sometimes rather hidden or ignored.
I look forward to reading more from you - thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have always enjoyed your editor pieces and look forward to the new book. I think women especially feel guilty with success or happiness, because its about us and not about others. Its hard to own it sometimes, our success.

My business will have an amazing year this year after a disapointing one last year. I was having lunch with a banker friend and saying that and caught myself. The thoughts had started "did I dare?" "what if you say it" - could I say "I am succeeding" and not beg some sort of cosmic retribution?

And having a daughter and sons - its a challenge to make sure they know - success and failure are mostly your doing. Take responsibility for both.

China Blonde

Anonymous said...

Just read the NYT article. I also lost a job I loved, no warning, just poof. I was in a daze for a month. I visited friends overseas and the sheer distance from daily rituals proved enormously helpful to me. I returned home, still unemployed, but ready to figure out the next chapter. And you are so right about basking in the small daily beauties around us -- the cardinal flitting from tree to tree, the first curls of parsley emerging from the patio pot, the deliciousness of a mussel. I used to laugh when my mother urged me to stop and smell the roses. Now I am glad to do just that.

John said...

Very meditative piece in the NY Times, you would like Rousseau's Reveries of a Solitary Walker... I lost my job, also in writing and editing in New York, as a result of layoffs a year and a half ago, the day I returned from my honeymoon actually, so I very much share the sentiments you have expressed.

Maria Petrova said...

Dear beautiful, beautiful Dominique....
I am so moved by your words...
I am so moved and so grateful...
Thank you so much for speaking
my tragedy for me, because when it
happened, I couldn't speak it
for myself

Thank you...
Thank you...

For me it was 2005, and by now I'm
so much better, but oh there is
that raw place of "I am useless"

Thank you...
Thank you...

I have preordered your book and
am so thrilled I'll be getting it soon.
If you'd like a little happy experiment,
I'd love to give you a free,
no strings BodyTalk session :)
Its a happy thing :)

Much much love — Maria Petrova

teresa said...

I think I just had an A HA moment.

Anonymous said...

I've never posted a comment on a blog before now, but I have to tell you that after reading the Times story, I devoured every single entry here. All have been inspiring, uplifting and so beautiful, thank you.

PurestGreen said...

Lovely Candice has drawn my attention to your blog and I'm so thrilled. I'm always happy to find other creatures who trust in the wisdom of periodic, pleasurable languishing.

Wonderful, wonderful. Will return often for a dose of slow love. :)

tdm said...

Dominique, to read your musings once more is a delight. I will confess to hording my much thumbed copies of House & Garden Truely it was a marvelous magazine, and an true accomplishment of which you should be proud. Your columns were always a welcome feature. Having also gone through similar upheavals in my professional life, your wry and heartfelt comments ring true.
'Learning to live better' has in part been my mantra I suppose, as the baby steps are being taken forward - with the occasional glance backward to establish the degree of progress.
Best wishes and eagerly looking forward to seeing more of your excellent work!

David said...

A lot of people are glad to hear your voice Dominique. Haskell the rascal. Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands (I think) used to send her head gardener over once a year for topiaries. And then there's the story of his camel Lester. I remember him saying one day "the Garden Club of America is coming Monday and we're flossing the cobblestones". Losing a garden, losing a house. I don't know which is worse. So many stories and adventures.

alix said...

Hi Dominique,

I read your NYTimes article and could really understand your feeling of missing the collective sigh of relief that comes along with Fridays. I really missed that too when I first became unemployed.

I started a blog in January about living with intention & slowing life down and I'd love for you to check it out! I really enjoyed your article and look forward to checking out your book!

Best,
Alix

Lee Nicholson said...

Perfectly and sweetly said. I too don't allow myself to bask in the glow of good news for fear it might go away or not happen if I get TOO happy about it.

Ed Hamlin said...

Perfect article.

I had also just read the post over at "The CLick", Trent Nelson's blog.

I can relate to your story. Last year after working for a friend in the demolition business, as a senior level manager for over five years, was laid off.

Thus began the job search and also the following of a passion the smoldered in my live of it's years. I was torn in what I should do and there had always been a level of fear the precluded talking steps to follow the life I should have. It has been a challenge, yet I don't think I could live with myself if I continued to live a life in safe jobs and income. So I continue the pursuit as a photographer and press foward know that I am not the only one that is doing so.

I live in a location in southern California, when I sit on a hill or mountain top in the evenings, and I anticipate Gods great creation in a variety of sunsets.

It is my daily baske in the warmth at the end of each day.

Marion Roach Smith said...

There are few things that a good cup of tea cannot improve. That, and a fine lipstick. Or a fine cup of tea and a good lipstick. Write on, sister.

angela min said...

Oh, I am thrilled to find your wonderful blog (through NY Times). As an interior designer, gardener and divorced mother, I have always found inspiration and strength in reading your words, and going through the magazine every month. Now, i will follow your beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

Vajra said...

Thank you so much. I'm so glad I found your blog after reading your beautiful meditation on loss in The New York Times. It reminds me of Emily Dickinson's "After great pain a formal feeling comes--". The round of days after losing an integral part of our persona is fraught with pain, silliness, and progress. Again, thank you.

Mrs. Blandings said...

You can't imagine how happy I am to find you here.

sera :) said...

Dear Dominique,

I, too, came across your blog via the NYTimes article, and feel your voice speaks deeply from my heart. I find myself relating to your unemployment from a very different place, but feeling the very same, universal things.

I am a recent college graduate, who has been (thus far) simply lost to this economy. I'm unemployed before I even had a moment to 'bask' in the glory of success and following through with my passions.

Almost mirroring you, I find myself fearing I will never get to experience that which you found yourself losing, the 'Forever House' that I have envisioned myself creating memories with my future family.

I ache for comfort and security, not in a material sense, but in personal accomplishment or, yes I'll say it, worth.

Finding you has allowed me to be reminded (once again) that I am not alone, that the failure is external.

I immediately messaged Grace Bonney via twitter to thank her for giving you that extra push. I look forward to your companionship via blog while I find my way back into, or rather out of myself.

Karena said...

Lovely, Dominique, and so fitting. I have had this experience so many times and then have had to tell myself to live in the moment!

Karena
Art by Karena

Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

Ms Browning, I'm so happy to have found you here (via Mrs Blandings) and just finished reading first post to last. Your blog is lovely - the writing, of course, but the look of things too. Your essays in H&G were my favorite part of that magazine - first thing I'd turn to. Whether you wrote about your home or garden or family, you validated my own interests in and appreciation for the simple, ordinary moments that I've always found so extraordinary. I've followed you since as much as I've been able - books, newspapers, etc - but to have you here in my laptop every day?! (that sounds weird, doesn't it?) Thank you for sharing yourself in such an accessible way. I'll be reading along. And am off now to find your new book...

casacara said...

Wonderful piece in the Times, Dominique - looking forward to your book. Frankly, your editor's page in H&G never did it for me. Too forced, or effete, or something. But this...this... Best writing you've ever done. Truly felt, and funny. As a longtime freelance writer, gardener, single parent of grown children, recently relocated from forever home to country cottage, we have much in common - except I never had a high-powered job to lose. But I learned the joy of pajamas and the slow life long ago. Glad you've discovered it and started a blog. All best to you in these new endeavors. Cara

Anonymous said...

HAVE ALWAYS LOVED YOU AND YOUR WRITING......SO GLAD TO HAVE FOUND YOUR BLOG AND YOU AGAIN.....CAN'T WAIT FOR THE BOOK!!!
NEVER MET, BUT SURE WE ARE FRIENDS.

Jill Sharp Brinson said...

Ecstatic beyond belief to know that you are now back among the living and writing - can't tell you how much I always enjoyed your POV and editorials -
Ordering the book now!
Lovely to find you again!

Lottie said...

Your blog was forwarded to me by a dear friend, and I'm so thankful that she shared her discovery with me.

Re: Happiness - I think it's so important to be able to realize it when we're in it and enjoying it, as your writing reminded me. It seems that all too often, we look for other, perhaps more elusive things to bring us happiness, when the gift of joy can come from something that's right under our noses.

I have an Edith Wharton quote up on my fridge:

"If we'd stop trying to be happy, we'd have a pretty good time."

Reading your blog, I am happy. Thanks again.

The Well-Versed Mom

Marnie said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog this cold March morning with my cups of coffee - and your piece in the NYT - and your link to SPI - you have a lot to give and share - thank you - I will take the image of the kayak pushing out from the muddy shore and the sounds, smells, feelings that glide along with it, on my journey today. Each day you start again.

pve design said...

Wonderful to spawn awareness and grant each individual permission to "bask" in life by slowing down and loving the stillness - and leaving the dishes for something more fun.
pve

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

I've hit the motherlode....finding your blog. I shall admit to being an enormous fan of your writing; and was literally ill when I 'lost' you. Ms. Browning...I've just spent my morning with a most delicious cup of coffee reading your blog from beginning to end. My soul rings after reading your words. We are both to be 55 this year and although I am unable to express myself as well, YOUR words do it for me. I've pre-ordered your newest and simply cannot wait! I am over-the-moon-giddy that you are blogging.

Erik Proulx said...

Like others here, I just found your story in the NYT Magazine. You are part of a movement, Dominique. This discovery of yours is powerful and your gift is passing it on to others. It's something I tried to do as well after losing my (third) job. If you have two minutes & seventeen seconds, watch this trailer for a movie called Lemonade: http://lemonademovie.com. (Full disclosure: I produced it). And even if you don't, thank you for helping me confirm that we're on the right path.

lin said...

Love the kayak metaphor. A magnificent way to bask in nature, in the feel of sun on skin and muscles still moving the boat through the water. Thank you!

lin

Dominique said...

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL, WARM WELCOME TO THIS NEW WAY OF PUBLISHING! I REALIZED A FEW MONTHS AGO HOW MUCH I MISSED WRITING MY HG COLUMNS, AND MISSED HEARING FROM READERS... THIS BLOG IS A WAY TO GET BACK TO THAT CONVERSATION. THANK YOU ALL FOR WRITING TO ME. DOMINIQUE

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Well, this is a complete treat! I just found you this morning and I am thrilled. As I still experience a monthly twinge of sadness that I can no longer find House and Garden in my mailbox, of which your column was my favourite part, I am so happy to find you writing here. And I wait excitedly for your new book!

Welcome to the blogosphere!

Food and Fate said...

Thank you for your honesty and sharing. Reading your article in The Times also acknowledged my loss, my lonliness, my anger. It made me realize over the last 5 1/2 years when my husband died, how much I needed to deal with in my grief. I got very busy when I took over his journal (TELOS) as publisher. I found my passion when I started writing my first cookbook and personal story "Breaking Bread in L'Aquila". During the process, I realized that being mindful was a bitch. My sincere congratulations on your book!

The birth of my book "Breaking Bread in L'Aquila" will also be available on April 6th at www.telospress.com/foodandfate

Here's to gratitute and hope!

maria

Tinkerbell said...

Thank you for your lovely words and inspiring thoughts. I've been struggling too, bemoaning the absence of work; the soul-sucking, energy draining clawing for more of it; and the paradox of crippling fear and shoulder-shrugging apathy when at last, new assignments are finally bestowed upon me. It bolsters my shaky sense of self to see that I am not alone. I look forward to basking in more of your words and wisdom.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Thank you for writing this. Everything you said is so very true.

Even out here on a remote farm, living the 'simple' life (which is actually very complicated), I find myself doing the exact same thing - worrying about everything else instead of basking in the good moments.

Since I started blogging five years ago, I've carried my camera with me everywhere around the farm. The other day it was raining, and I was down in the sheep barn cursing because I didn't have my camera and had just missed several great photos.

Then I stopped myself. Just stand there and enjoy these unique moments for what they are. You spend all year long taking care of your sheep so you can enjoy the little lambs - and yet you aren't even enjoying them.

So I did.

And this morning when I found myself fretting while unsuccessfully trying to snap a decent picture of our one week old chicks and their mama, I finally let go of the camera and watched them through only my eyes.

And it was wonderful.

Congratulations on your new blog and your book! I'm looking forward to reading more.

Phil said...

It's a great Saturday morning, and I should be walking or doing something in the house, but your Times article caught my eye, and I finished every last word. Well done. Who would have thought at age 25 that being 55 would bring with it passion, or wisdom, or a certain hopeful world-weariness? Having lost a wife to cancer, remarrying, and being told on the eve of our 8th anniversary that "we need to talk" (which signaled the end of that hopefulness), I now relish time with my granddaughter, amazed at the resiliency of both of my kids as grownups. I still take really bad pictures with my digital camera, but I'm learning. You know, not everything has to be in focus all of the time to be appreciated.

Keep up the good work, and good luck!

sarah meredith said...

Like the previous commenters, I am so happy to have found this lovely blog. As a painter, I understand all too well the struggle to simply stop and feel good for a minute about what I have accomplished. I am not yet at the point where I can sit with a cup of tea and look out the window, but as a way of combatting the feelings of failure, I started a photography blog where anything goes. The process gives me pleasure and since I am not a photographer, I don't beat myself up if I take a bad picture or if I don't post on an absolutely regular schedule.
leschosesquotidiennes.blogspot.com

debbie millman said...

OMGoodness, now I can (thankfully) bask in your beautiful words again! I was one of your House & Garden readers with a subscription for another 10 years when Conde Nast shut it down. I felt as if I'd lost a friend, a mentor, and a confidante. The best part of the magazine, and the only *real* reason I read it, was your editor's letter. I remember coming home from a long day, opening the mailbox and upon finding your magazine, making a beeline to my sofa (still in my coat) to read your column. I have every one of your books and can't wait to read this new one! Congratulations on all of your new ventures; I wish you much happiness, success and love in this new and wonderful chapter of your life.

debbie millman said...

Oh and one more thing--I will never, ever forget your extraordinary column about your son's remarkable science project--"evidence of love on a stuffed animal."

Thank you, Dominique, thank you.

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

So, I am backward. Was so excited to hear of the blog, came here first. JUST read the Times article. Oh my. Intertidal years @ 55 - myself. A conversation with God-daily, if not hourly. DO enjoy yourself!

Debra Phillips said...

dominique

your post spoke to our lives. my husband just lost his job; 37 years. as he finds his footing i continue to run my company at break neck speed. having created a monster i long for slowing down and really seeing life.
i feel as though i have just met my "field guide"
debra
do know you have been missed....horribly

Linda Mann said...

Hi, Dominique...
Just LOVED your NYT piece today and look forward to reading your book. Today's blog post has such an important message...and, believe me, I'm trying to incorporate more 'basking' and reflecting and gratitude into my own life. It's not easy, but your words are inspiring.
I really admire your honesty...and I'm happy that you had the courage to share your feelings with the rest of us.
Cheers,
LINDA

La Maison Fou said...

Bonjour Dominique;
I have come to your blog via Patricia, aka. Ms. Blandings.
I used to love to read your editorials! I must catch up on your blog.
A lot of good reading I am sure.
L.

Elizabeth Karnes Keefe said...

Dear Dominique - I am the woman who sent the Connaught Hotel towel; I still have your note pinned to the bulletin board in my Vermont kitchen.
I have missed your columns and I am delighted to have read the Times article and to 'hear' from you again! Warmest wishes, Elizabeth Keefe

Jonathan Streeter said...

Your lyrical, humble, inspiring and funny words spoke very deeply to me. If anything good came of your tragedy (for surely losing a job you love is a tragedy for people like us), the fact that you were able to give voice to the experience with such stunning accuracy is a start. And now, there is reinvention of daily life and perhaps a new plan. Having just gone back to work a year after losing my own best job ever, I walk around the office looking at others as if they were strange beasts from an alien planet. Yet how I long to be one of them again.

Dominique said...

LEMONADEMOVIE.COM--watch the trailer! Fantastic, and inspiring. You will want to share it with everyone you know who has lost a job--or should lose their job and find their passion. THANK YOU ERIK PROULX and keep us posted on your work. d

Linda Landig said...

I will be retiring in two months and must relearn a slower, deeper life. I loved this piece, especially "I made a cup of tea and sat in a sunny window, gazing out at the cold ground, looking at a gorgeous crocus pushing out through matted leaves, letting the feeling of happiness just rush through my veins, feeling--and holding--it in my belly. Lovely." I'm looking forward to those cup-of-tea moments. I want to relish the present tense--to inhabit the moment fully.

Anonymous said...

8:30AM and awake now for nearly 24 hours. 'Check the Times Magazine', I said. Surely I will find some sublime distraction from my endless thoughts and fears over the sudden and unexpected end of my career and relationship (how could he leave me at such a vulnerable time?!).

"Losing It" caught my eye and suddenly I was reading my own story only written far more poignantly than I ever could. "...my anthem for that year, the most eloquent expression of grief I ever read: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

Without the support of your family and friends and the wonderful logistical options you had, Dominique, I am wondering how long it would have taken you to recover into the inspiring state you now inhabit. For me it seems too far to even imagine.

But your writing and blog have offered me a glimmer of daylight and for that I thank you.

Martha Bright said...

Hi Dominique,

I just read your beautiful beautiful piece in the NY Times and came to your blog. I lost my adjunct teaching job last May. I always had one foot in my classroom and one foot at home, and had been slowly shuffling towards home in the past couple of years, seeing my job more and more as an irritating distraction.

Years ago I had been so jealous of my hotshot scientist husband but now I am happy at his success and happy to tell people that I stay home and paint and take care of my plants and animals. I am happy to ride my horses and to enjoy the entire process, not rushing to fit a ride in and angry that it's taking so long to get them to settle down enough to be ridden.

There is so much to enjoy in a day (though winter can be challenging) and so much to do that I don't know how I ever worked full time blabbing in front of apathetic students and reading wretched essays. They weren't all like that, of course, but so much of my time was taken up saying and reading the same things over and over again. I am so happy to be free, and so lucky that I can be without anxiety.

Louise L said...

Dominique: I was so glad to read your piece in the New York Times and find your blog--feels like re-connecting with an old friend. Loved the bits about wanting to hoard the bread sticks and otherwise feed that inner voice. I'm looking forward to reading Slow Love.

Anonymous said...

"Was it superstition? If I’m happy, that means I could become unhappy…."

Or for me, if I'm happy does that mean I'm satisfied with not being what I thought I'd be? I'm OK with what would seem like a failure to my younger self?

Thank you for your article in the times.

Kay Cannon said...

Dominique, add me to the countless other devoted House & Garden readers who are thrilled to find you again! I've missed your voice. I love your writing and how you courageously share your thoughts whatever they may be.

I am passing along your story to my Type A readers. We can all benefit from your wisdom and learning. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

commonweeder said...

Dominique - how wonderful to wake up and find your article in the NYTimes this morning. I miss your editorials in H&G and look forward to the book. I think intertidal times are necessarily less than comfortable, but growth comes because of some tension. And it looks like you are growing in sensible and joyful ways.

ISAK said...

Stunning. Your blog, as others have said, is a poignant representation of so many lives limping through a limbo not of their doing. I was a sleepwalker for nine months - long enough to give birth to a mortal, I told myself, and long enough to give birth to a new life. Finally, finally. I slowly began to rise from that boggy swamp, batting at the fog that threatened to obscure my vision and pull me back down. I know when I crested the hill. I waded through two books that sat unread for years on my bookshelf: When Smart People Fail and Transitions. It was - through this reading - the recognition that so many bright, talented people had been sucked into that very same mire where I had lain for so long - and that their journeys back took much time (months for most, years for some). And it was the recognition that I would find my way back. That the grief cycle I denied I was having was playing out, and would have its way regardless of my loud objections. And once I saw that I was in good company, from this decade and others (When Bad Things... is an old book), I packed up the shame and the pain along with the dishes. I realized that those who kept their jobs are still in that restrictive little box (whether cubicle or corner office) that keeps them marching to a tune of callous indifference, and that they are more afraid than I am, now.

callen6 said...

I found your excerpt in the NYT magazine this morning at a moment when anxiety was ping-ponging around my mind so frantically I wasn't sure I would overcome it this time. But there was your story, so beautiful and so sharp, cutting right to the place where all the pain lives. I have not wept while reading in a very long time, but your words, they released something that needed out.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Kimberly said...

Just read your piece in the Times, then came to your blog, and saved it into my "Favorites," because I know it will be!

You speak to so many of us when you talk about being elated one minute, then fretting over small irritations the next. I do this way too much, and have recently vowed to stop, telling myself, "enjoy the successes!" But old habits die hard.

Still, reading your NY Times piece and now your blog, I am reminded of the need to practice awareness at all times, so, many thanks!!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I was a subscriber to H&G and was glad to see your byline in the NYTimes.

Your beautifully written article really spoke to me.

A few years ago the company I worked for shut down suddenly. I worked 24/7, didn't make a lot of money, and we closed two weeks before Christmas. I was in quite a state.

I was going to go to Italy for the first time the following year but put the trip on hold so I could focus on finding a job.

My family, worried about my mental state, insisted I take some time off. I went to Rome for a week. Everything changed.

Two years ago I left L.A. and moved to an apartment the size of a shoe-box in Rome.

I know quite a few expats would love/relate to your article so I posted a link to it today on my blog.

I look forward to reading your book and I'm very happy us H&G fans have a chance to read your writing again.

Anonymous said...

What a pleasant surprise to find you in yesterday's New York Times. I've missed hearing your voice.

Your words could not have come to me at a better time as I find myself on a very similar journey. Not at all where I expected to be at this stage of the game, but somehow, your words have given me the courage to get out of my pajamas and get on with it. For that, I sincerely thank you.

And may I say that I am absolutely horrified by some of the comments directed at you via the Times article. What an embarrassingly cruel and thoughtless people we have become. I'm so sorry that you have had to read such things.

Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you only the best.

Down (but not quite out) in Detroit

Robert said...

Loved the piece in the NY Times mag. You caught the spirit of the times we live in. Would it not be great if the silver lining of the personal devastation around us was a rebirth of introspection and a renewed focus on the basics?

Kristie Strasen said...

Dominique - I have spent a wonderful morning with you - first reading the piece in the Times, then exploring your blog - then exploring your favorite blogs. It has been the perfect pursuit on a chilly March Sunday. Thank you for coming back to us in such a wonderful form. I always loved your piece at the front of H & G but this is so much better! Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Like stepping-stones in water, your blog is a bridge that spans a thundering torrent, still water or quiet streams. You are building a zigzagging Yatsuhashi bridge for your readers. Rather than taking us directly across the water, your Yatsuhashi bridge causes us to move slowly and indirectly, and leads us to contemplate the views to be seen as we cross. Namaste

Anonymous said...

Dominque,
I am sure many women reading your piece in the Times, reacted as I did...she's writing about me!

You made me smile with the peanut butter. I have this belief that when once married former career women are on their own again, we have a lot of college dorm life left in us.

I look forward to buying your new book.
Best,

DonnaB said...

I was first interested, then touched, then riveted by your piece in the NYT Magazine this morning. Considering retirement soon- wondering if I can manage "being" instead of so much "doing". Then- the PIANO part... it brought tears to my eyes. Why do we hesitate to make time for what feeds us and makes us whole?

Linda Connolly said...

Hello Dominique, I am about to read your NYT piece but first clicked on your blog to take a peek. What a lovely conversation! Can't wait to read the piece. Also, I want you to know that I have always enjoyed your writing, especially as I would read through many magazines on cross-country flights in my former life as a consultant. Looking forward to reading more and many thanks to you for your beautiful work and sharing.
Linda Connolly

Allia Zobel Nolan said...

Nice article; congrats on your book. Your writing is lovely.

I, too, have always had trouble accepting joy. I wrote about it in my book, The Worrywart's Prayer Book. You feel as if you don't deserve it, and if you do get it, you're waiting for the other shoe to drop and something bad to come as your dessert. I went through a similar time in my life, so I hear you. But you're where you need to be right now to grow into who you will be tomorrow (if I may be so bold as to offer that advice.)
So,hang in there. The day is coming when you'll wake up and not care whether it's Friday or Saturday, because it will be just be Yourday...another day to rejoice that you'll alive...another day to do some more "basking."

All the best,
(written in my pjs.)

Hill Country House Girl said...

What a wonderful post and follow up comments. Like so many, I forget to "bask" and get caught up in the stuff of daily life. Then, something tragic happens and I am shaken to the core, and I realize, again and again, that none of us has any guarantees that we will even be here tomorrow. I wish i didn't forget this lesson, but I do, time and again. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy life and to look for the joy - it is there and we can choose to see it and bask in it!

Kathleen Zavotsky said...

I just finished reading your article in the Times. I have never written on or in a blog before, but I felt so compelled to write to you. First and foremost you are an incredible writer. My house was literally filled with crazy things going(dog vomiting, teenager whining, etc..) but I could not stop reading.
You will surely be an inspiration to many people and I am sure your book will be very popular with Book Clubs all over the country.
Can't wait to get the book! Cheers.

Marie said...

Perhaps we feel joy is overrated? Perhaps it is its anticipation that fuels us? The feeling of sadness in the middle of spring just as the all the magnolias have opened...'it's over'?

The best we can do is notice and keep noticing.

Lovely blog.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Beautifully written. I am the same way sometimes. I think we are afraid. It's too bad. You were smart to take that time of tea and sunshine. Here's sending more sunshine to you. Happy Spring.~~Dee

gather said...

Hi,

I just read all (6) pages of the NY Times pages you wrote! I had to slow down to do that.;-)
I used to read your mag. just to read you. Now, I'll be checking in here. I moved to RI in 2008 after my much missed sister left us. I lived in N. CA for 20 years. I do love RI, but it's a funny little place.:0 Thanks and take care. ~Colleen

Marion MacKenzie said...

Ms.Browning.

I really enjoyed your piece in the NY Times magazine as well. It very much resonated with me. Congratulations on your beatiful blog!

Kathryn said...

Hi, Dominique, Followed John Byrne's tweet to your NYT piece. Congratulations on working through your deepest fears and coming out on the other side. Given your description of CN I'm guessing the Universe decided you could do lots more good on this side of the coin. I would agree. Well done. :) Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Dominique, I recently read your article in the Times magazine "Losing It." It really resonated with me at a time when I am facing a second layoff and a lingering divorce. It was nice to read of your struggles and how you are turning it around. Even though I wanted my divorce, it still left me feeling the same as you did. Thanks again!

Kathy Kaiser said...

I too, enjoyed your piece. Almost two years ago, I found a cabin in the Colorado mountains, with the express purpose of slowing my life down and becoming aware of everything, without the distractions of modern life. Since then, I feel I'm on a mission to slow the world down, as well as myself. I'll be looking forward to reading your blog.

red ticking said...

dear dominique,
my lovely friend patricia (pve) told me about your blog today.. so happy to have found you... i treasure the work you have done and i cannot wait to see what you do next! (yes, i have the book on "pre-order") cannot wait to read it. will you be doing a book tour? i would love to have you in my store if you come to seattle!

i so love what you are writing about ... cannot wait to read on....
xx

Anonymous said...

I loved your article in the NY Times. I've spent my career working in television as a programming and development exec. I left my last job in August and I've been basking in gratitude ever since. Your description of the seasons, noticing and experiencing weather and the sun's movements through out a given dead rang true. I feel as if this is the first spring I've ever experienced. Although I live in Southern California and the seasons are subtler they do still exist. I spent several days this week camping in Joshua Tree and marveling at the blooming desert. I'm elated I found your blog and look forward to tracking your journey as I continue on my own.

Maria

tartanscot said...

I sit here in my little home and wonder how it could be physically possible that I have never found your delightful prose before now.

To say that I am giddy is a simple understatement.

Suffice to say - I'm happy. And I plan on basking in it.

Cheers,
Scot

Tara Dillard said...

Reading your NYTimes piece yesterday I was incredulous you only recently discovered the need to actively fill your spiritual well.

Your work in House & Garden ALWAYS filled my spiritual well. A client loaned me your books, you had filled her spiritual well. You were creating a village and didn't know it.

May Sarton's, Plant Dreaming Deep, taught me it was ok to fill my spiritual well with simple unspoken things. Sunlight streaming into a room at 4pm with fall's slant.

Your life since the magazine reminds me of May Sarton's. Oh, the pleasures ahead!

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Roger said...

I have just read your article in the NYT. I lost my job in November after my firm suffered a financial setback. Ironically, one week before this event, I received an International Marketing Award but when the time came, I was marched out the door with a large number of other employees. I suppose there is a natural tendency to be identified by what one does for a living as it does provide a structure and orders your day. Like yourself, I am not always sure what day it is and feel guilty when my wife heads off for work. I have started building furniture to fill up the time not needed for the job search. Thanks for putting into words what so many people in our position feel as I no longer feel that what I am experiencing is unique.

Best regards,

Roger

Anonymous said...

Dominique,

Grace full. You have a way of transforming an often quite-serious-about-itself Buddhist philosophy, into simple and sensitive, yet sensible prose, re-visioning arduous steps to enlightenment as an attainable quotidian quest.

Thank you for taking away my excuse (at least today's) for not keeping myself in the present moment.

alyssa dee krauss

Layanee said...

Stop and look at the blue pollen on Scilla siberica and you will know joy. I think age competes with joy. I try to go back to the child within.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dominique,
Just finished your NYT piece. Had to write to praise it and to check out your lovely blog. Being 78 and no longer in a working situation, I have found being at home one of the happiest stages in my life. As Bach and writing enrich your life, drawing, painting, collage and reading bring much joy to mine. I look forward to visiting your blog frequently.
Joan Gillman Smith
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joangillmansmith/

Greet said...

Hi Dominique,
I am glad to have discovered your blog! I enjoyed your post of today! You are sooo right! We have to bring in a bit of time for ourself from time to time and we really have to learn to be happy!
xx
Greet
PS Thank you so much for adding me to your bloglist!

Emily Valli said...

Dear Dominique,
I read your wonderful piece in the NYT. Thank you so much for beginning these conversations about your lovely slower life. I have lived a simple, quiet life (by choice) for many years. I was influenced by the writings of Henry David Thoreau in my twenties...Walden changed the direction of my life.I have never regretted the path I have taken.
It is thrilling to read of your own rebirth. I look forward to reading and enjoying your blog.
Emily Valli

Helen said...

Dear Dominique,

Loved your piece in the NYTimes. My favorite part of reading House & Gardens- was your editor's notes. I am so glad you are back! I always wanted to reach out to you and tell you that you should write a book. Reading your words and thoughts are truly mesmirizing. Your prose is like my favorite blanket- comforting and tangible.
Thank you,
Helen S. Levin

Anonymous said...

Dear Dominique,
I enjoyed readng the piece on you in the NYT. I visited the EDF site and there, saw your very impressive bio. It reminded me of my own transition from work into something I'm still unsure of. I left a major media company (where I was an editor) in 2000 after having two books published, worked in magazines, had an assortment of odd jobs and went back to school. I can't say this is true for you, but I found myself listing great thing I'd done as if to justify my existence on bios. It's exhausting. After going into a structured space for years, I still felt a need to organize "what I do." I say all this to say, we/I hear you. As you continue, I challenge you to feel less like you have to overexplain your past. You are great not because of what you do or have done, but because of who you are. Congrats on the new book. And hooray for thinking about the environment. I am only now understanding that personal consumption is an every day reality.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Browning, I so appreciate your sharing your poignant, deeply personal story in "Losing It" (NYT).

As a fellow traveler on this new path (at 55), grappling with this new “problem with no name”, I too have spent time sorting out how to move forward. There are many stories of how other older achieving women reinvented themselves, but we all share the personal challenge of creating a new identity and structure after conventional work ends. Too young and vital to retire, we are all “vanguard scouts” in this uncharted land. One of my answers was to get a graduate degree at Harvard so now I’m writing a book about these “intertidal years”.

Thanks for being an eloquent spokeswoman.

Cynthia
missioncontrolharvard.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

Dear Dominique,
I enjoyed reading your piece in the Times. As I read about your journey and how it led you to a slower life where you can enjoy the simple pleasures of conscious living I thought about my own situation. I have been enjoying that "simpler life" for many years and it has been great. I have had time to read, learn(earned a Master's Degree in History)and pursue various interests. In addition, I have been able to dedicate precious time to my husband, son (before he left for college), and to my aging parents and beloved disabled sister. In essence, I'm living the life I want to live and can thankfully live. I fulfill myself intellectually and have the pleasure of putting my time and efforts on the people and projects I care most about. Yet, a lot of people don't understand my choices and pressure me to do something with my life. They tell me that I should put my learning and time to better use. For some people if you don't have a title you don't really exist. But what they don't understand is that once a person learns to bask in the moment and enjoy the slowness of life their perspective about what is important in life changes. And I believe it changes for the better.

B. Alexandra Szerlip said...

You've discovered what we serial freelance/contractors with occasional full-time positions have known for years -- that self-discipline and setting one's own schedules (and goals) is infinitely harder in many ways than holding down a "real" job. Add to that: Try "selling" your own well-crafted concepts to companies who are a great "fit" and would benefit from them but only will consider things developed in-house. (An experience I've had several times on a range of projects.) And then sometimes having your work "stolen" in ways that leave no recourse.
When I DID have full-time positions (e,g, Series Editor for a then-new line of books about international customs), I kept that knowledge in mind when dealing with the writers & designers I hired, and whose contracts I negotiated.
I've working in publishing (writing, editing, copyediting, developmental editing, research, graphic design) for 25 years. There's been A LOT of hanging onto the paint by my fingernails. Still, I've managed to accumulate a resume that includes contributor writer/editor for a number of National Geographic books, lots of direct-mail catalogs, writing in-depth profiles of Pulitzer Prize winners, Academy Award winning costume designers, etc., designing two series of (literary) notecards that got international distribution, two NEA Writing Fellowships, etc etc.
I just finished designing a "thematic" map, am writing travel video scripts for Smartphones, and am at work on an absurdly ambitious biography.
Having grown up in a 'vintage' house, I only wish I could actually own one and literally tend my own garden. I don't imagine that ever happening. You're very very lucky.

Kittie said...

You have quite a following. I am so glad to have found your thoughts. The NYT article opened my eyes and made me want to say..yes, and you will find the sunrise. Retirement reaps the same feelings. Now, I SEE the sunrise as I walk the dog, watch the fern unfold and read, knit, play my long dusty piano. I paint. It is my life. The 'bump in the road' aka pothole, is no longer important. Seeing life and feeling the day. I will read more of your heart I hope. Kittie

Amy, Scott, and Liam said...

Just read your essay in the Times Magazine-- what a wonderful piece. I immediately thought of a recently published book you may enjoy entitled "In the Face of Fear: Buddhist Wisdom for Challenging Times," edited by Barry Boyce. Though I wouldn't say I'm a Buddhist, or any particular religion for that matter, what nearly all faiths say about fear seems so basic to the human experience. Your essay echoes the very same struggles and delights examined in In the Face of Fear, Reading both your piece and the book has been a warm and reassuring experience for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences, and discoveries.
Amy Marks Delaney

Tom Fisher said...

Dominique,

I am sure you have had hundreds - probably thousands - of responses to the terrific excerpt from your new book in the Sunday Times Magazine, but I wanted you to know how true it sounded to me, a fellow editor who, 14 years ago, met the same fate as you did. I was the editorial director of Progressive Architecture, whose new owners told our staff on January 2nd, 1996, to pack up our belongings by that Friday.

I went on to become a dean (College of Design, University of Minnesota) and I now write books and about as many articles a year as I did when I was editing. Most of my colleagues also embarked on satisfying new adventures - book writing, newsletter editing, teaching, etc. As you so aptly describe in the Times piece, such sudden job loss and the eviction from our community of colleagues, however painful at the time, can be a blessing in disguise. I look forward to reading your book and reflecting on life after being an editor.

Tom Fisher
tfisher@umn.edu

Megan Taylor said...

Your blog is a treasure and I'm so happy to have found it. I completely relate to this post, as I did to your NYT magazine article (which I devoured, by the way...)

Isn't it strange how in our minds 'to stop' is such a task - as if we wouldn't naturally just slow down and relax? Whenever I am home and I try to melt into a cozy seat with a book, I am suddenly up and about! In the kitchen, radio on, fixing a snack, tidying up. And then I remember: wasn't I supposed to be doing something? Oh, yes...nothing. It's hard to do nothing, I so agree...

I made it my goal this past Sunday to be okay with just myself as company and to literally bask in the calm of the day. When I found myself in a patch of sun on my couch dozing off with my book slowly finding its way to floor, I knew I had made it!

Thank you for sharing these lovely posts. I look forward to reading your book!

-Megan
www.poemsweetpoem.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Couldn't resist commenting when i saw the title "Basking" and read about joy in your entry. My daughter, Joy, sent me the link to your NYTimes excerpt which i enjoyed very much. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to write your story. 5 years ago i was widowed after a long and loving marriage. Sold our "Forever House" and moved to a cottage by a lake. Am now also watching 3 children bloom into inspiring adults. Last month i wrote this, and pardon me while i share our "oneness":

Widow’s Delight

Cheese grater, salt shaker, olive oil,
dirty pots, clutter the counter top.

Still, I curl up in this little nook,
empty bowl poised on my thigh,

lick my salty fingers,
turn another page

and bask in the melody of rain
against these moonlit windows,

grateful for the mess in the kitchen
which gives me a reason to stand,

breathing alone, under the halogen bulb,
hip against the sink,

warm water rushing over my hands,
soap bubbles popping, almost imperceptibly.



Marlene Gallagher 2010

Anonymous said...

Booted up my computer just to tell you that you are a wonderful writer. NYTimes mag-is my first acquaintance with you.
Wonderful!

Leilani said...

Looking forward to reading your book in its entirety. I, too, am a magazine refugee, and based on your NYT excerpt, I think I'll be doing a lot of dog-earing, underlining and highlighting of your pages. I love the trinity in your title, and came up with one of my own:

http://aruffledfeather.blogspot.com/

Chris Andrew said...

Just read your NY Times article. Beautiful, encouraging and I felt the honest fear. I'll remember... And what was I so afraid of? Being alone with myself long enough to wonder what is the purpose of my life?

Penelope Bianchi said...

Living:

Dogs are really good at it. They live "in the moment"!
If you step on their foot; or their tail; they cry out! And when you apologize....they getoverit. Fast. No grudges, no hurt feelings. No resentment. Just happiness to be with you!

They also bask. Watch a dog......and you will see lots of basking.....in the sun!
And they don't "worry"!!! (Worry doesn't serve one single useful purpose I know of .) I had a friend who "worried her house would burn down"! Her whole life she worried about it.

Mine did. I had never "worried about it"! It would not have changed anything about the outcome! I actually think it helped!

Everyone got out alive; and the firemen saved 90% of the contents......and wouldn't have done one bit of good had I been "worried"! Ever!

Just would have made me unhappy and "worrisome"!

I watch dogs a lot as a great way to live!!

Penelope

p.s.I love your blog........and I loved your magazine. I am still shocked and very unhappy with its cancellation. I heard there was a great January (I think) issue with an article by Murray Moss. Boo Hoo!

Penelope

Anonymous said...

Dominique, Most of what I want to say has already been expressed beautifully by others--but you warm my heart--always read your H & G editorial first. You reflect what I feel--I have also kissed the wall of my house as I left it for the new owners. Thank you.

Shelly said...

Just as most people have posted, I too loved your excerpt in the NYT. I think most of us can relate to losing a job-not of our own choosing-at least once in our life. Although it's difficult to see the blessings at first, time and taking a step back brings the true picture into focus. The authenticity of your feelings and experiences were evident and came through brilliantly. Can't wait to read your book and I will continue to enjoy your blog postings. Best of luck in this new chapter of your life...and I hope you continue to bask not only in a perfect bath or a warm, sunny afternoon, but also in the joy of a new adventure.

jonyangorg said...

Just read your NYT article, it was fantastic and thank you for writing it!

Errant Aesthete said...

It is here that I found you and so it is here I will bury myself in the tides of praise, all richly deserved.

I'm afraid my blog does not generate enough traffic to have caught your eye (http://theerrantaesthete.com/2010/03/30/solitary-walking/}, but I am honored, greatly honored, that somehow you managed to find me in this universe of distraction and think enough of my musings to include EA in your blogroll. I'm utterly enthralled and shall bask in the gesture for days to come.

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