(Andy is facilitating an 4 session in-person kindness class on Wednesday nights using Rachel Naomi Remen’s book “My Grandfather’s Blessings”. The weekly assignments are being posted here for those in the class, and for anyone else interested in following along.)
ASSIGNMENT #3 — for May 14
“The secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.”
READING: Finish the book, reading Sections V & VI. Stop and consider any passage that speaks to you. Listen. Choose one chapter than you find most meaningful and read it again after having finished the book.
KIND ACTION: Consider the concept of illumination, including some other meanings of the word “light.” What “lightens” your load? What is “light” to your touch? What feels “light” for you to carry? Having done that, switch your focus to look for the inner light in each person you encounter this week. Allow this light to illuminate your path and imagine how the light inside of you does this for others. Complete a kind action that causes you to believe that your light has been made visible to at least one other person.
BLESSINGS JOURNAL: Note in your journal this week anything that you find meaningful or profound, be it a statement made, a newspaper article read, a scent, an aspect of nature, etc. Reflect on each of these things and ask yourself what is the message behind them. Those things that are profound to you are providing you direction.
Now that we have a second home in SLC, I have been reading books related to the history and issues of the region – water rights, pollution, religion, etc… I just finished a book by the Mormon and conservation writer, Terry Tempest Williams called Refuge. While it may never be right for one of your kindness classes, it has such power that I thought you might want to take a look at it. The drawback would be the setting for the novel is a period of ten years in the 80’s when the Great Salt Lake began to rise and how the city and state and the author of others reacted to it. The parallel story is of the history of the author’s female relatives who have cancer but follows particularily her mother’s battle with cancer until her death. It is a spiritual book, a thoughtful book about our relationship to this planet, and the dynamics of families facing very frightening and difficult problems. Sorry I have not been able to participate in the current class, but all of my energy has been given to recovering from my rotator cuff surgery. All goes well, albeit slowly.
Last week, I sang, “This Little Light of Mine” with the K-2 kids I teach on Fridays. I asked what the song meant and the kindergarteners always say, “a candle!” Or, “A flashlight!” By second grade the kids say, “your heart,” “your soul,” “joy,” or “God.” We talked about how we share our light (and the expression “to brighten someone’s day”) and the kids say things like, “by helping each other put things away even if you didn’t make the mess,” or, “by saying nice things, like compliments and manners and stuff,” or, “with hugs and kisses and smiles!” It just makes my year, ya know? I’m so blessed…
That’s a beautiful story, Catherina. I can just imagine the light in the eyes of the children when they joyously give their answers.