The Humble Grain of Rice…


Oh, the humble grain of rice…giver of life and health for the poor and starving, perfect base of many dishes, and dryer of drowned smartphones.

Rice is a comfort food for me. When I was little, I’d often have rice with butter or parmesan cheese. Now, I almost never have it without soy sauce. It’s funny how tastes change over the years…I can usually eat just about anything with cheese, but not rice. Soy sauce all the way.

A Facebook friend of mine posted a status today about some great things she had coming up in her life in the next few weeks, and her last comment hit me pretty hard. She said that she was thankful to be in the moment. This moment….not yesterday when something unpleasant happened…not tomorrow when something angst-filled is coming. THIS moment.

I really suck at that. It’s like this nebulous idea of Zen that hangs just out of reach. College was probably the closest I ever came to enjoying the present moment. To be leaving behind the baggage of high school…the emotionally abusive friend, the oppressive amount of work, the classes that I didn’t enjoy….it was all so freeing. I remember waking up and starting to feel anxious and then reminding myself, hey! There’s nothing to worry about today! I’ve never recaptured that.

I’ve been forced to be in the moment before. When my dad was in the hospital in 2007 and things got touch-and-go for awhile and my mom fell apart…I couldn’t let myself think about anything but that specific moment. To think about how fragile our situation was would have killed me….so I had to think minute-by-minute….in two hour intervals (between visiting times in the Cardiac ICU). Anything beyond that wasn’t a possibility. Even now, when things get bad and stressful, I have to shorten my view to now….this hour, this work day, maybe tomorrow, but nothing beyond that.

But I miss out on the happy part of being in the moment…that feeling of contentment end enjoyment. My brain just can’t get there. And it’s exhausting. But tonight, I ate rice with soy sauce and that was nice, so I’ll count it as a win.


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