Thursday, May 6, 2010

What Does Your Jar Hold?

I recently started reading Kyran Pittman's blog, Notes to Self (later changed to Planting Dandelions), after finding a reference to her in a magazine story. Her post yesterday intrigued me.

It was on an age-old topic, at least among women bloggers. With what do we fill our days, given that any single day in our lives tend to be stuffed way too full? If it's not the preschooler throwing a tantrum on the floor, it is the teen needing a ride to school. If it is not the grant deadline ticking away, it is the house lights being dimmed and the concert about to begin.

It's always something. And boy, do we know it.

Kyran used the example of filling a jar: first you put in rocks and think the jar is full. Then you put in pebbles and fill up some more space. I have seen that analogy carried out even longer: next comes sand, filling in the cracks between the pebbles and the rocks. Then you add water and fill up the remaining space. Then and only then can one say the jar is full. Many of us persist in making sure every last drop of water goes in every single day.

One of her readers wisely noted that the jar changes from day to day: from graceful to clunky, as the day goes. I can relate to that.

Kyran ended her post with this challenge: Bring out your jar of days. Show me how it's filled.

I love that imagery. I love the notion of each of us lifting jars out of our bags or the backseats of our cars, and passing them around a circle. Some of us are holding ours behind our backs, waiting for the right moment to proffer them.

Today my jar, which is almost always a canning jar, not for utilitarian purposes alone, but because I love them, is empty.

The cold I noted in passing on Tuesday gained strength, not unlike a hurricane, and like a hurricane it is presently bearing down on me with its full force and weight. I went to bed last night thinking "well, if I cancel that and that, I should still be able to do this and this." When I woke up this morning, I took my bearings, canceled the remainder of my schedule, and battened down the hatches.

I am headed to bed shortly, hoping it will blow itself out to sea.

So my jar today is empty.

It is casting blue shadows as the sun strikes through it.

It is holding the promise of new things to put in it another day.


Kyran said...

A jar full of sunlight! I love it! Thanks for sharing.

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

I hope you feel better soon!! I think you need a jar of Chicken Noodle Soup!! :) Great post!