Stock, Shadows, and Metta

IMG_2530I have made the stock for Thursday’s gravy. How nice that someone else is cooking the bird! Neither of the boys will be home this year and we are staying local, so it’s Low Key Central here.

Cornish game hens were on sale over the weekend, so I cooked up a pair for dinner recently and saved the carcasses. Threw in a pack of wings (a “Cook’s Illustrated” trick — their bony gelatinous makeup helps with stock consistency and flavor). And then the usuals: fresh herbs, onions, potatoes, carrots, salt, and bay leaf. I had another chicken carcass in the freezer. That went in, too. Later, I’ll make cranberry-orange relish.

Meanwhile, the November sun remains warm. Longer than other years? I don’t know. The temperatures dropped radically today, but the light has yet to be rinsed of all its gold.


IMG_2233IMG_2235A circle opened on Saturday here — one of intention and long-knowing. We used to meet often and for decades. Now we meet only now and then. Our prayers and talk turned to many things, but a major theme emerged:  the hazards of inserting ourselves into other people’s business. This flowed into honest attempts at ‘claiming our own shit’. A Jungian shadow dance, for sure, only we stayed seated (in marked contrast to what might have gone down 18 years ago!) (“It’s okay to grow older,” said C).

IMG_2237What is worry about another, really and truly, but a form of projecting our own shit onto them? Mother, sister, child, friend, parent — it doesn’t matter. Health problems, organization problems, questions of motivation, ambition, or money — it doesn’t matter. The particulars don’t matter because the line you cross is always the same: it’s either my business or their business (or could also be God’s business, Byron Katie would say).

When it’s someone close that you worry about (especially a dependent), interference may seem legitimate, but it cannot hold. Offering advice and forming expectations always wreck a soft heart!

We talked about ‘compassionate detachment’.  About how having boundaries is essential and serves the other.
shadow-dog-treebranch-deemallonWe said Metta for ourselves and for those we worry about. Always for the self first!!  I brought in the Hearts for Charleston Quilt squares and we said Metta again — for the nine who died as well as for the three who survived.IMG_2548Maybe that’s all you really can do for another human being? Utter the words: “May they be peaceful. May they be free of inner and outer harm. May they know joy, wisdom, and compassion.”IMG_2238purple-shadows-dog-branches-deemallon

10 thoughts on “Stock, Shadows, and Metta

  1. Mo Crow

    ah well that’s a fine ideal but I have never taken the middle road… I need to feel the extreme highs and lows every day but do appreciate it when more sensible & organized girlfriends give me a piece of their mind (& heart) when I make a mess of things which I often do!

    1. deemallon

      Maybe it’s different if people ask? And have no attachment to the outcome? It doesn’t feel like an ideal right now. More like something I need to learn to do in order to survive. Less with friends and kids. More with my sister.

  2. saskia

    my mother always says: advice unasked for is in fact criticism

    only if the other asks for your opinion or advice, are you permitted to offer, and always with care!

    such a wise, insightful post Dee

        1. deemallon

          Well, what mother can ever stick that? Certainly mine didn’t. From hair cuts, jackets and table styles to boyfriends, career and travel plans.

      1. deemallon

        For gravy, I try to always. Otherwise, it depends on rhythm of house and recent menus. I save chicken bones and carcasses as well as vegetable peelings in the freezer so that I can usually simmer up a brew.


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