Monday, October 20, 2014

The Birth of the Bab

Today was the commemoration of the Birth of the Bab, a manifestation and forerunner of Baha'u'llah. Our family attended the community celebration last night with prayers, readings and refreshments, and it was lovely... But the actual holy day awaited us in the morning and we had not a single plan for honoring it. That didn't feel right.
Before I went to bed, I sent the word out to my mama friends that there would be a birthday party for The Bab this afternoon at our house. And yes, there would be cake. Let me start by saying that I should ONLY throw parties without any prior foresight or thought. It leaves absolutely no room for stress and opens wide the doors of simplicity and joy. I never even had a chance to lose sight of the key components: the Guest of honor (in this case, The Bab), the children whose hearts I wished to connect to this Guest, and cake.
While Samaya was at school, Violet and I made a trip to the grocery store for the crucial ingredients. We ate lunch, baked cupcakes, whipped together some frosting, cleaned up the house. The children came and we all sat down to make watercolor cards to give to The Bab. When we had finished, we sat in a circle and read them out loud so He could hear them. There were hearts and stars and messages of love and...portraits. Today I asked Samaya, 'How did you know The Bab's favorite color was green?' (It is actually associated with Him.) But tomorrow I will attempt to convey "the impossibility of representing, in any human form, whether pictorially, in sculpture or in dramatic representation, the person of God's Manifestation"(UHJ) and that even attempting to do so is disrespectful. Their station too great. Our understanding too limited to even approach Their true nature through artistic representation. 
I read a brief story about The Bab's birth and early years, and then it was time to sing Happy Birthday. Though The Bab was there in spirit, He was not physically able to blow out His candles, and so we each took it upon ourselves to make a wish of peace for the world and blow out a candle for Him. Upon further consideration, it was also deemed necessary to eat two cupcakes each, one for ourselves, and one get the point. And that was it. We played outside, we said our good byes, and, on another whim and stroke of utter (lazy) genius on my part, we made green ice cream for dinner. Definitely a new tradition. A whole bunch of kale thrown in the vitamin with frozen cubes of coconut milk and frozen bananas. Instant, healthy, fun dinner. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Evolving Perfection

Too often, I have this nagging feeling in the corners of my mind that perfection keeps slipping just out of my grasp. The house is a disaster despite constant cleaning. The children need baths despite having bathed last week. I still look pregnant despite having given birth almost a year ago. I can't seem to find the peace of mind to sit down and write despite knowing that writing gives me peace of mind like nothing else. 

But last night, perfection knocked me to my knees and squeezed my heart with both hands. We were watching The Velveteen Rabbit. Violet was captivated. At the end of the movie, the boy watches, devastated, from his father’s arms as his beloved rabbit awaits the fire along with all the other bedding contaminated by scarlett fever. The father, in turn, weeps, having finally realized that though his wife may have died years ago, his son is very much alive. He begs his son’s forgiveness for his physical and emotional absence. It is a powerful and complex moment. Violet is standing in the middle of the carpet, absolutely still, unable to sit. When she turns to me, silent tears are streaming down her face. She is feeling what this father and son are feeling. And I am overcome. Overwhelmed. By the empathy, depth, understanding she has just exhibited. Never have I loved her more than at this moment.

Many tears has this child shed in fits of rage or pain or anger. But these tears. These quiet heart tears. She has never shown these to me before. And I feel honored. Privileged. To have witnessed such perfection. 

And all the rest of it...evolving perfection.