To the Lighthouse

lighthouse, yoga, ShantiMy gentle kind yoga teacher suggests to the class that we can be lighthouses of peace to those around us. A lighthouse to our friends, to our community, to the world.

“Breathe in, ‘Om.’ ”

“Breathe out. ‘Shanti (peace).’ ”

In the early evening class, I find myself beaming.

Literally.

Om, breathing in.

Shanti, breathing out.

“Use this in your daily life,” he says. “In traffic. In the dentist’s chair. Be a lighthouse.”

I float out of class, late spring raindrops fall like sugar dust on my airy head, breathing in, breathing…

OUCH.horseshoe crab, pot holes

My foot sinks into a pot hole the size of a humongous horseshoe crab. This one is on the sidewalk, not the street, where more pot holes exist than flat pavement.

I limp toward my car.

Om.

Shanti.

My cell phone rings and I answer blissfully while opening the car door.

“Yessss?” I purr like a contented cat.

“This is your Express Scripts call-in,” the fake-smiling automatic voice says. “Your prescription cannot be filled until we obtain further information from your doctor.”

“Crap!” I shout to no live person on the other end. “How hard can it be to fill a monthly prescription that I’ve had for…”

Be a Lighthouse, even to the nameless humanoid, I remind myself.

I begin the car’s engine and stop my useless ranting.

“Thanks for your call,” I hum as the car runs like a marathoner to my home destination.

Where dinner must be prepared.

Be a lighthouse.

can opener, kitchen, cookingI decide to cook my guy’s favorite meal, which consists of chicken, rice, and a can of soup. I twirl the can opener around the can and hear a crunch.

A creak.

A crack as the opener goes around and around the can, not opening or slicing or even denting the tin.

I try over and over again, teeth gritting, angry can opener refusing to comply.

A can opener is as simple as a chicken and rice dinner. How could it possibly go wrong?

Om.

Shanti.

Be a lighthouse.

The lighthouse decides she needs a glass of wine to help with the meal preparation.

Her guy has a newfangled electric wine opener that’s so easy it’s almost comical. Place the thingamajig over the bottle’s cork, press down, and Presto!

Whirrrrrr.

The wine bottle whirls and the opener whirrs, but the cork refuses to cooperate.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

I try again. And again.

The cork is now half out, which means half of it is broken in the thingamajig, and half is still in the bottle.

My lighthouse dims.

I have failed to bring peace into my own kitchen, much less the world.

I sit in the middle of the floor and cross my legs – yoga, yogic sitting, Shanti, Om

Om

Shanti

           – just as my guy walks through the front door from what he euphemistically calls, “hunting and gathering.”

He raises an eyebrow as he enters the kitchen and sees his lady on the floor, in yogic pose, with fingers circled in the eternity position.

I’m a lighthouse,” I say.

“Ah,” he responds.

Then he attempts to fix the wine thingamajig.

[Thanks to Virginia Woolf for lending me the title of one of her books (we are relatives, after all), and thanks to Google Images. If you’re a bit stressed today, listen to this chant. I promise you, you’ll be beaming light and peace by the end. You’re welcome.]

60 thoughts on “To the Lighthouse

  1. If being a lighthouse for peace doesn’t work Pamela, be the lighthouse tall enough to look down on all those irritating little things trying to annoy you and spoil your day, you can throw great pebbles from that height.
    xxx Mega Hugs xxx

  2. Some days are just like that no matter how hard we try to stay calm. I love the image of being a lighthouse. Will try it. Thanks for the laugh, which also helps!!

  3. Some days it’s just hard to be a lighthouse. I love the idea, Pam, particularly because I have an obsession with lighthouses.
    I too have struggled with those fancy wine openers. I’ll take the old fashion cork screw any day!

    • So, when we moved from SF bay to New England, I wanted some lighthouse themes in my home (so many lighthouses on the coast here). Found a really neat white lace lighthouse shower curtain. Really! Love it. 🙂

  4. Reality has such a nasty habit of raising its ugly head and trying to stop us from being lighthouses! Love this, Pam 💕

  5. I don’t know about you, but wine tends to help improve any situation around our house (in moderation, of course) – even if it means adding oil to that wick in that lighthouse 😉 It sounds like the Universe was providing you with more than ample opportunities to demonstrate your mastery of the yogic material. Sometimes, we just need to stop – and recenter – event if it’s in the middle of the kitchen floor. And fixing the wine thingamajiggy helps too 😉

    • You so GOT my post here! Of course humor helps, but just stopping, breathing, realizing that it’s only the light that matters (not the stupid little annoying things in life), which makes our life shine.
      (But a lovely glass of cab makes it that much sweeter, yes?) 🙂

  6. To paraphrase my own yoga instructor: The lighthouse in me bows to the lighthouse in you. Wonderfully wry story, Pam. Some days, we all need a lighthouse keeper to keep to fix the wine thingamajig.

  7. OMG. Sorry for chortling but it so not fair. Some days you try and try and everything conspires against you. Yoga or not; Om or Shanti. That a question I need an answer to.
    I did enjoy this post although not the mishaps. ❤ ❤ ❤

  8. A lighthouse needs ships in order to fulfil its purpose, maybe your lighthouse was struggling because there weren’t any ships around needing you…I can’t work out if I’ve said something really deep there, or just a load of crap?

    My friend once made the chicken, rice and can of chicken soup thing in the crock pot for her new boyfriend (who later became her husband and father of her child) – it went a bit wrong, the rice came out undercooked and crunchy, she apologised, but he said “That’s ok, I like crunchy rice” and ate the whole thing. That’s when she knew it must be love 🙂

    • Wow- metaphoric and deep. My guy is the main ship in my life, but my kids and my little grandbabies need a lighthouse a lot too, so my beam better get stronger!
      I LOVE your chicken and rice story – yes, your friend didn’t know it, but she ‘cooked’ the perfect test to find out if this man was the right one. And he passed the test with flying colors!

    • Dear Mr. Mike. You have obviously not spent enough time listening to the chant at the end of this post. Please return to it. Om. Shanti.
      (Not Oh Sh–y)
      Now go beam on someone…. 🙂

  9. Smiling. Life is always getting in the way of my serenity, too! 😉 At times like those (which is basically always), I remind myself of how it could be worse. I could be blind. At least I have a house to come to…Eventually, in comparison to the things I come up with, these frustrations seem smaller and easier to brush aside. Or not. 😐

    • Of course, getting annoyed at those silly little things in life annoys the heck out of me, because in reality those little things mean NOTHING in the scope of life. I know that. But somehow the Om and the Shanti and the Lighthouse still help… 😉

  10. Oh Pam, you are such a good writer entertaining us with your daily misfortunes.I loved the Lighthouse image, I’ll try it! I have never been able to use all those different wine openers my man has, it’s his job.

    • Smiling widely – yes, it IS their job. And in fact, in my life, anything mechanical laughs at me in the face and refuses to work. It’s like a conspiracy, yes? Thus, I’m a chanting lighthouse to get me through the day.

  11. Great post, Pam. I’ve prayed for patience then go out into the world and seem to get in the slowest check out lane at the store, behind the slowest car on the road, etc. Then I remember, ‘oh yeah, I prayed to work on this stuff.” 🙂 My aunt has one of those wine openers that did exactly what yours did…in our case it was definitely the user’s error. But, I will try to remember your yoga instructors advise and be a lighthouse today. Have a good weekend.

  12. At least you can still get down to the Lotus position and presume up again. You are still ahead of me by a long shot. Happy spring. Still cool and foggy in Bay Area.

    • You’re funny, Jeanette. But yes, I should consider myself lucky as I lunge into down dog and pant into child’s pose. Ahhhh.
      In a month or so, that Bay Area fog will sound oh so good. xo

  13. Haha, I love this. At least you’re ahead of me. I’m not even a lighthouse DURING yoga. My mind is always wandering, wondering when I can be done and get to the things that need my attention. I really must improve on this. 🙂

    Happy Friday!

    • I keep trying to put those floating thoughts into a cloud. And then blow the cloud away. But invariably, the cloud becomes a thunderstorm and I’m in trouble, all while supposedly in savasana. Om, Shanti to you!

    • Well, of course, these tests are the easy ones. Except, I add modestly, when everything electronic in my life ALWAYS refuses to cooperate. Oh no, don’t get me started again!!! 🙂

  14. Loved it 🙂 You always play with me as a reader, I never know where the twist, the joke, the hilarity out of tragedy is going to come from…and you’re so darn whole and human! I love your honesty, and getting lippy with an automated message (I have SO done that) and angry with a tin opener (guilty too) is actually no barrier to being a lighthouse….because next time I’m trying to be a lighthouse, and I go dim, I’ll remember this post, and I’ll laugh, and my light will switch back on…thanks to you 🙂 Love and hugs, H xxxx

    • But, Harula, the way you tell my tale, it’s brilliant!! That’s the poet and the wise woman in you, and I thank you so much for that. You, my blogging friend from way over there, beam light wherever you go. I love it when you beam this way.

    • Wow, I’ll take that. Laughter can light our way so many times! Here’s to shining our light in whatever way we can – and here’s to you and me writing light into our prose.

  15. Pamela, you’ve always struck me as one who rolls along smoothly, taking all the bumps in stride. A lighthouse, as some might say. Maybe the nor’easters just strike that lighthouse a little differently than your stunning and awesome Marin County fog banks.

    Om Shanti your geographical adjustment. That’s what kitchen floors are for.

    • You hit the light on the house, Bruce. A little more beaming is necessary during nor’easters. Fog? That just a coating of romantic haze/daze. I hear you’re getting lots of it this spring…

  16. Haha that made me laugh. I’ve had those days before, and it’s REALLY hard to stay calm and collected. Good on you for managing it! I love how unphazed your fella was when he walked in to find you on the kitchen floor, announcing you were a whitehouse. Lovely post! 🙂

    • Thank you! I think my guy is beyond being fazed by my shenanigans. He never knows what to expect, so he expects something, and just goes with the beams, or the oms, or whatever hits my fancy. 🙂

  17. This made me laugh. Then it made me reflect. Then I Iistened to that YouTube video you provided.

    I want to be a lighthouse! OM, SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI

    You think I’m kidding? I saved the video so I can practice shining a little light! 😀

  18. Hello Dear..hmm.. Ms. Wight? I smiled & smiled as I read through this post of yours. I came over here from Karma’s blog. You have created a nice space here. I’m happy to find you in the blogosphere. Thank you.
    By the way, I am Sonali from Goa, India.

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