Wednesday, 18 April 2018

P is for Paradise in Plain Sight (by Karen Maezen Miller) #AtoZChallenge

Pebbles, pressed flowers, parlour, Punjabi paronthe were choices I was pondering over last night when I went out for a solitary walk.

By the time I returned, news of a dear and older cousin's passing was waiting to be seen as a message on my phone.

He had been very ill for almost two years. He was closer in age to my mother than to me so every time I saw him (which was once in six/seven years or so), he spoke about his fondness for my mother. We would talk about her, cry, laugh and sigh deep sighs. I loved looking at my mother in his reminiscing.  

Even today, as I sit to type out this post, I can see his big eyes filling up with sadness and joy as he spoke of his youth, of the days gone by and the bond my mother and he shared as they grew up together under the same roof, in the same house. She was his aunt, his father's youngest sister but they were only six years apart.

His face and his words are keeping me company today. 

Paradise in Plain Sight is a book every one should have in their home. 

"Paradise in Plain Sight stopped me in my tracks and invited me to look into the backyard of my own life in a different way: with deep attention and radical gratitude." says Katrina Kenison on the blurb of this beautiful book.

I'd like to share a few lines from this book as a tribute to life and its magic. I have a habit of underlining bits that grab me, so all I had to do today was to open this book and read a few of those underlined passages and share some with you to continue on this path which has brought you and me together for a little while in this month of spring: of newness and new births, of reminders that life is cyclical, what is born must die and then be born again as a particle of light, flesh or star--who knows.

Chapter 5 
What You See
When you see your life, you bring it to life. When you don't see your life, it seems lifeless.

When you love, really love, you just see. When you see things as they are, not as you expect, and in that wide-open space is love.

Chapter 6 
What You Don't See
Your heart is always whole, just as the moon is always full. Your life is always complete. You just don't see it that way.

Chapter 7
The Remains of Faith
In matters of peace, you see, there can be no hurry.

This book is your garden, the path you walk everyday, the stretch of beach you visit often  because you feel you're reading something you're familiar with and yet it surprises you with how clearly you are able to see certain things as if you're seeing them for the very first time, like a new bud, a broken piece of glass catching moonlight or a shell with tiny tinges of purple.

Reading its pages is like talking to an old cousin, you know what he's going to say for you've heard it before, but his voice and his eyes shine new light on your heart's memories. You sigh with love, you sigh with gratitude and you sigh with sadness because you will miss his presence in the retelling of stories of your childhood.

Part Three
Letting Go
Make the effort of no effort.
And don't worry. You'll always encounter what you need to know when you need to know it, so go ahead and forget this too.


  1. I'm sorry for the loss - You've given him a beautiful tribute, tho.
    And I am going to hunt out this book. :-)

  2. Hari OM
    Peaceful and poignant post... condolence for the absence now felt. YAM xx

  3. He's still there in spirit I'm sure.

    This book is filled with words of wisdom. I like it!

    My Friend Rosey - P is for Poetry

  4. My condolences Arti on your cousin's death. Your excerpts from this book are so beautiful. Thank you!

  5. Katrina Kenison - I know her! The Gift on an ordinary Day. I watched her video a couple of years back and ordered the book. Shame on me, I never finished reading though. Too busy enjoying my ordinary days...

    1. Its's beautiful book Tamara. I wrote about it (O Post) during the A to Z. Enjoying ordinary days is a blessing.

  6. Transitions are opportunities...for growth, reflection, transformation.


  7. What a beautiful gift love is, and how blessed we are to share it for however long we can with each other. Your words are a lovely tribute to your cousin Arti.

    I love each one of the quotes you've shared, and I will be adding this book to my library. I'm sure my copy will be thoroughly underlined as well.

    Holding you in my heart today Arti, and sending gentle thoughts of comfort and peace, and love. Always love.

  8. Condolences on passing away of your cousin Arti; I love the lines you have shared about life even as you mourn the passing away of a loved one. I must look this book up for the phrases have called out to me.

  9. I am sorry for your loss, Arti. What a beautiful tribute you have given him.

    This book is being added to my list.

    "When you see your life, you bring it to life. When you don't see your life, it seems lifeless." - I have tried to say this to people before but never so eloquently. It is a struggle for many people to focus on the good in their lives. What they have, not what they are missing. To my interpretation of this quote, it is another twist on "wherever you go, there you are." If you are negative, your life will be, too, no matter where you live. Swap positive for negative and you can have a positive life wherever you are.

    Emily In Ecuador

    1. Thank you Emily.
      You'll be happy to read this book. I can see from your comment here how much of how you see the world is reflected in it.

  10. Losing someone dear to you is pretty tough.- out condolences Arti .
    Thanks for sharing excerpts from that lovely book which I shall be looking out for.
    Thank you .

    1. I can't say I spent a lot of time with him in the last 2 decades but when one passes on, the precious (even if they're few) moments spent with them come up to the surface and remind us how much their presence meant.
      Thank you Sharmila. hugs. xx


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