“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”― Marcel Proust
I love this quote about gratitude for people who make us happy. What is happiness anyway? I don't think happiness is about getting what we want - in a material sense - I think happiness is the organic result that happens when we are able to hear the Muse, God, Inspiration, our Deepest Longings that call to us from the mysterious unknown beyond our finite imaginings and then act on them. These invisible blueprints -beyond time and space- that direct us, do need to get acted upon in real time and space with our hands, bodies and brains, eyes, feet, words and love. Love is: just this. And I wonder if the Muse always whispers, delights, leads and loves us to participate in this play called life . . . even when we don't hear, or believe, even when we are fraught with difficulties, despair and loss - it has been my experience that when I "tune in" the Numinous Muse always responds because it is always there, somehow!
I remember sitting in the waiting room at Boston Children's Hospital, while my sister and her daughter were with the doctors. Patty was beginning the lengthy process of all the testing and preparations to donate a kidney to her daughter, my 13 yer old niece, and as I became overcome with worry and sadness, I got pissed at myself. Why was I an artist? Why hadn't I dedicated my life to something useful? Why hadn't I studied medicine to save lives? I felt like a complete loser and was ashamed of myself. And sitting there after what seemed like an eternity of bad feelings, I looked over my shoulder to see a plastic brochure holder filled with the hospital's newsletter. On the front page was a photo of a man and his wife; he was a big developer of shopping malls who had donated an entire skyscraper, recently completed, given outright to the hospital for medical research dedicated entirely to children. A whole huge skyscraper completely outfitted, right next to the hospital! It was beautiful; I had remembered seeing it across from the parking garage that morning - and I felt profound awe and gratitude for a person, who made shopping malls no less, which are not my favorite places on the planet!
I was flooded with imagining all that went into planning, designing, building and outfitting such an endeavor. I couldn't think of any profession that was left out of such an undertaking . . . I could find a place for everyone, every kind of profession, every calling - even artists, I mean they needed art for the walls. And then it struck me that we are all equally valuable, each and every one of us has a part to play that is assigned to us by some mysterious Muse, and no part is better or worse, and here's the thing I really got ... nothing can happen without all of us, we are each of us interconnected in ways too miraculous to fathom. This life is "One Thing" that looks like all of us. And that was a turning point for me. I have never again worried that I should be doing someone else's "better" job. I love being an artist, contemplative, mother, wife, friend, and whatever else I am called to do. And being a steward at Nectar Farm is the next adventure. People are saying it's an exciting, worthwhile, beautiful undertaking, and that makes me really happy and even brings tears of gratitude, but I don't forget that ultimately this is not my idea, and the happiness I feel is what comes from listening to and acting upon inspiration streaming to me from the Muse. And each person who sends donations and or words of encouragement for our project, Nectar Farm, are the "charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."