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12.07.2011

8 GALLONS IN A LAKE

Reading “The Daily” this morning online there was an article entitled “ZUCKS TO BE YOU”.   Underneath the title and picture of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook billionaire, was the tease line…Leaked photos of Facebook founder reveal lame, boring private life.  That’s all it took for me to WANT  to read the article.  And, I did.  There were pictures of him in his everyday life; in his home, cooking, holding a chicken he had killed (he eats only what he kills), handing out Halloween candy with his girlfriend to neighborhood kids, playing with his dog, and talking with President Obama (ok that one isn’t in the lame, boring life category).  What a relief to know that most people’s lives are made up of ordinary days - routine events peppered with the occasional sizzle moment of one kind or another.  I found it very gratifying to see normalcy instead of pictures of celebrities being mug shotted or carrying an $8,000 bag as they shop in Malibu.  Life is that isn’t it?  It's hordes and hordes of days of simple.  Of ordinary.  Of routine.  Of non-climatic living.  That, in my opinion, doesn’t make your life suck as “THE DAILY” hinted at.  It makes life a rope, a chain, a ladder, a yellow brick road of sorts.  Everything is connected to the next thing.  Our passion of eating healthy leads to raising our own chickens.  Loving sushi and cooking leads to making dinner in our kitchen to enjoy.  Participating in community makes passing out Halloween candy a sweet experience.  Playing with our pet gives us moments of pleasure and present living.  Sharing the “daily grind” with  someone makes even the dullest of days come alive.  I have found that a great many people who create frenetic activity in their lives are usually covering for something.  They are crowding out being present, not wanting to think about some tough issues inside their heads and hearts.  Everything has a measure of beauty.  Every day living does as well.  My grandparents lived on a lake when I was growing up.  Once in awhile you would find a mussel (in the clam family – a mollusk).  They always interested me.  They were simple, even dirty, easily overlooked because of their commonness.  There was nothing really aesthetically appealing to them.  But, inside the non-sparkling shell lay another world…. A creature, a life that was living.  A mussel moves about 8 gallons of water a day through their internal filtration systems.  That’s amazing.  They live everyday life in a body of water much, much greater in comparison to the amount of water they can filter.

Like snails, mussels move slowly. You would too if you only had one foot.  To move, mussels extend their foot out of the shell and into the substrate.  Once they have a foothold, they retract the foot and pull themselves along.  Some species are active every day. Others may spend their entire lives in one place, siphoning constantly.

There is nothing especially show stopping dramatic about a mussel.  Remarkably though, they filter bacteria from water, which is beneficial to all of us.  They do it 8 gallons of water at a time.  There is something magical that occurs when we find the secret to being present in every day, ordinary, even mundane life.  Being simply alive daily is far, far from ordinary.

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