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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

I haven't always counted on the kindness of strangers.

Also, unlike Blanche DuBois, I'm not dainty, patrician, crazy or a floozy. (My autobiography is tentatively titled "Too Ugly to be Loose." Danny DeVito is the likely person to play me in the subsequent film. Disney's Quasimodo dropped out of the project due to another commitment.)

I spent far too much of my life trying to be fully self-sufficient, proud of what I did on my own. My peripatetic life made it easy as I moved around too much and was often alone.

Then while meditating at the beginning of 2020, when clearing my mind and just breathing, it occurred to me I needed to ask for help. I worked too much at the time, usually seven days a week. In three years, I had taken only one week off to see my kid graduate.

Of course 2020 became my annus horribilis, being laid off and losing a permanent address for a while.

I needed help.

People I've never met offered me letters of support, kind emails and pick-me-ups. Strangers contributed money. People brought me food -- and beer -- to my Motel 6 room. The kind folks at the front desk made almost a daily trip to my room to drop off something.

Then some dude I never met let me stay in his guest cabin for six months -- on a hilltop overlooking Lake Lemon outside of Bloomington, Indiana.

I write this today because a new friend in my life texted me if I wanted some lasagna she was making today. We met at her work where she presented me with two pounds of  lasagna and some bread sticks.

Too often I think I don't deserve these things. Coincidentally, this morning's quote on my Buddha app -- yes, there's such a thing -- was: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.” That's not Buddha but the Dalai Lama. So I have that going for me.

Somehow, I suspect tonight's lasagna will be the best-tasting I've ever had, solely because of the kindness.

Peace and help unto all of you my brothers and sisters.


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