Saturday, August 9, 2008

Moody Monster VS Beauty Monster, by Kat Magendie

While walking around Lake Junaluska, my brain swirled and clicked, moaned and groaned under the weight of its thoughts and worries. The mountain air is cooler than it’s been over the last two weeks, and a breeze blew insistent against my face as I trudged the walk path around the Lake. The ducks, geese, and swans floated serenely, their mirror images upside down. I tried to look ahead and around, instead of down at my slapping feet on the pavement, for there are many beautiful things to enjoy on this in-the-valley walk: giant hibiscus flowers, surrounding mountains, the lake and birds themselves, pretty little cottages, old-barked trees—one of them a huge willow tree, one of my favorites. But, I found no joy, and instead clung stubbornly to my mood. Sometimes, I do feel stubborn about it, letting the moody monster in with a shrug, as if to say, “Yeah, come on in moody monster. Do what you will,” and the moody monster pushes out words such as: joy, laughing, smiling, and replaces them with words such as: cranky, sad, frowning.

At the end of the walk, Beauty Monster had had enough of Moody Monster—and Beauty Monster is much stronger, it seems, that Moody Monster is—for, as I walked what I like to call Roses Row, something happened. On one side of me was the lake, and on the other side was bush after bush after bush of roses—in all the colors you can ever imagine: red, pink, orange, white, yellow, two-tones of red and cream, yellow and orange, pink and white, and more. I slowed my steps and took a deep breath just as the cool wind slapped my forehead—a slap of, “Pay attention to this moment!” And suddenly, I did. It was as if I had nothing else to do in the whole world, nothing to do but walk Roses Row, soft step soft step, my gaze, and my nose, to this rose and that rose, and then turning to the lake where birds fly up and out, where a fish kissed the surface of the water. It was as if all my life was just right then, no five minutes from then, no tomorrow, no next week, next month, next year—only Right Then, the moment and roses and thorns and water and birds and Life. Gratitude is sometimes finding a moment of peace and contentment, even when the Moody Monster comes a-calling.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Your writing always soars, Kat. Yes, the moody monster visits everyone sometimes, but at least you're aware enough not to inflict "his" gunk on others. ;) Hope Beauty stays will you for a long time, inspiring you to write more gems.

Patresa Hartman said...

so so lovely. i would like to smell roses row.

i love the idea of being stubborn about holding on to a mood. so true!

and i'm so glad that the roses and the birds and water and fish beat the moody monster. :)

Barbara Quinn said...

I love your unique voice, Kat. Keep on observing and showing the way for the rest of us.

Mary Ann said...

You were 100% in the present, not exactly a little thing for which to be grateful. Some of us spend whole lifetimes trying to learn your trick.

I smelled rose fragrance, marveled at hibiscus, heard ducks and geese, and saw swans, reflected, in your writing.


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