Monday, January 25, 2010

HOPE - My Karma Bowl

As I walk through the door to my office, on a shelf to the left sits a wicker basket over-filled with souvenirs, symbols of sentiment and remembrance, charms, amulets, power objects, and stuff that looks an awful like junk. This is my "karma bowl."

I'd be amazed if you ever heard of such a thing. There's a story behind it, though. The best version is my wife Kathleen's, which she told on her blog recently. It's a cool blog, with stories about real life. These days, Kathleen has been busy revising her mystery novel. I can hardly wait to see it.

When she and I began our life together 14 years ago, I learned that she had this thing she called her karma bowl, so in the spirit of encouraging what seemed like a positive thing in her life, I gave her one of my Army medals to add to her collection...

Later, from time to time she would give me a champagne cork or a flower from her hair and say, "Here, this is for your karma bowl."

Well, I didn't have one, and she knew it. This was her way of suggesting that I should get one. At first, I just smiled with appreciation. I kept the items as souvenirs, but I didn't think a karma bowl was right for me. i'm not superstitious. I knew her bowl had no magical properties, except for her feelings about it.

At some point, however, I decided to follow through on her suggestion. Kathleen began treatment for breast cancer, a stressful time for both of us. Our strategy was to try everything that seemed hopeful.

I found a wicker basket and into it I put a couple of commemorative corks, a sea bean, a special seashell given to me by Kathleen, a toy dragon, a piece of lava from Maui, a designer egg given to me by a friend, an aggregate rock from Canada given to me by Kathleen's sister, a piece of calcified coral, a section of a tree given to me by novelist John Cheever, a brick fragment from the Alhambra, some dried flowers, and a few other items.

I've kept the karma bowl near my desk ever since. The other day Kathleen noticed it and asked me how I felt about it. I said, "I'm glad it's there. It reminds me of a lot of good things, triggers good feelings."

If a man has any wisdom at all, he doesn't turn his nose up at good feelings. But is it karma? Is it magic?

Of course it is.


Jerry Kennedy said...

Thanks for the post, Denny. I found it inspiring, and I think I'll be shopping for my own karma bowl this week.

Thanks again!


Bethany Learn said...

I love this idea. I guess my kitchen window sill has become my positive catch-all. It's full of small gifts from my children, and things that make me smile while I do dishes :)