10:30 Toasts to Grace

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Grace is here.”, I thought to myself tonight as I took a bite of my 10:30 PM toast. That “G” word used to be something I thought robotic Christians said too much, and that others failed to embrace at all. Through the trials of this month, though, I have felt it’s tangible touch in my life, and am only beginning to understand it’s depth. (I’m still talking about grace mostly…and also my toast just a little bit. It’s powerful stuff.)

The world felt loud today…this whole week, actually. Senseless pain in the world. Nonstop busy commotion without any real meaning or purpose. I left a quiet two weeks in Ojai and returned abruptly to the chaotic, noisy “real life” of Los Angeles. Is it real life, though?

I suppose it is all “real life.” It all happened, I mean.
The mountain air…
The cleansing salt water of the Pacific Ocean…
The fish and chips on the beach…
The unexpected wisdom tooth extractions…
The camera malfunctions…
The even more unexpected $500 car repairs…
The Los Angeles traffic…
The Christmas tree shopping and decorating…
The subpar horror movie audition…
The silent, daily physical pain…
The juggling of numerous tasks and freelance jobs…
The horrible breath on my Chihuahua…
The kind smiles of strangers…
The hurt I see behind their eyes.

Sometimes I just want to turn it all off. It’s as if my mind is playing 50 different TV channels at once. Loud. Overwhelming. Beautiful. Sad. Too much. But as I nestled into my cozy corner of the couch and began to write this rant with a delicious bite of 10:30 toast in my mouth, I felt overcome by something else. Blessings. This awakening of gratitude brought my perspective into a brand new zone…an atmosphere of grace, where for a fleeting moment, the stress, sadness, darkness, and anxieties were dimmed as the light of the world increased. There’s a quote by Rumi that says,

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”

Seeking purpose and peace during the waves of darkness has been incredibly difficult. Purpose in the pain, the suffering, the letting go, the new beginnings, the open wounds trying to heal, the beauty, the bills, the wisdom teeth, the car repairs. I am trying to overcome the irritation and embrace the polish. “Grace is here.”, I thought to myself tonight as I took a bite of my 10:30 PM toast.

Sometimes it feels like the world is reopening wounds just to throw salt on them. But salt water can also bring healing. And, salt on 10:30 toast is pretty delicious. To end on something other than my love of salty olive oil bread, here is another grand quote by Rumi. Goodnight, friends.

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”

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