Saturday, October 30, 2010


serenity stone, 3 inch diameter
I don't know what I'm going to write today. It's not planned, yet it must have something to do with serenity, because I thought of the above picture, taken the day nobody showed up at our Saturday morning OA meeting, taken outside the AA meeting building, where someone had carefully nested this three-inch treasure in the moss at the edge of a little planted area near the door. I was compelled to find the picture and put it at the beginning of this post.

Who did that, I wonder? The artist in me wants to know if the base is a rock, solid and silent, under a thick coating of gesso or if perhaps the whole thing is made with clay. The child in me loves the little snails oozing their way slowly, ever so slowly, across the stone. The seeker in me loves the word serenity, craving a place where my mind can be like that, totally at peace, where time stands still, where colors blend into harmonic tones. The elder in me loves the essence of it, the thought behind its creation and position in time and space, spirals of snail shells winding both inward and outward, tiny baby steps represented by snails, innocence of white, inevitable growth symbolized in the vines, all these things culminating in serenity.

So how do we know serenity? Where do we find it? Once experienced, how do we keep it from evaporating as our busy minds create heat from friction of daily concerns. Surely the spiritual practice of meditation must allow an entry to serenity. Baby steps. At our weekly OA meeting we say the serenity prayer in unison:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can
and wisdom to know the difference.

In those brief moments, I feel my shoulders drop and my breathing slow. A sense of well-being comes over me, and I'm ever so slightly more optimistic than when I arrived at the meeting. I still don't know anything, don't have any answers, but in the moment of saying this prayer, I am more open to whispers from the universe, less needful of control. Fleeting? Yes, but with each meeting, each week of fellowship, serenity cloaks me a nanosecond longer.


  1. Yes...serenity....all you listed and MORE! I too am open to whispers...

  2. I loved the image of the snail attached to the idea of serenity. It made me ponder as well. Who created this? How did they come up with this idea? Did they compare themselves to the snail? How appropriate. The soft squishy insides and the hard outer shell that we surround ourselves with. The slow pace interrupted by brief retreats in to our shells. And always a sense of steadiness, pushing forward, drive, focus, silence.

    In moments of stress or when I'm in a crazy state of mind, I recite the Serenity prayer in my head. Or when the food craziness has taken over my mind I recite the first 3 steps from OA.

    I agree that meditation is the shortcut to serenity. In therapy this week we spent about 10 minutes doing a meditation, and I experienced that golden , pulsating quiet and peace. That is true serenity and so fleeting.

  3. Hey PB!

    "Serenity" is such a beautiful word. It sounds so alluring and enchanting; one of those words that you speak with your shoulders.... if that makes any sense at all.

    There is something about a snail, too. I have several garden snail figurines, but no garden. What is that about?

    Overall, thanks for your consistently thoughtful advice and support. We are all seeking serenity, whether we know it or not. Would be great to believe that we're inching toward it, like the snail.

    My word verification is "slizerti." If that doesn't sound snail-like, I don't know what does.

  4. I'm inspired by the serenity prayer almost every day. Learning to spend my time addressing only those things within my control has made my life ever so much more enjoyable. :)

  5. The art of accepting the fact that I can say no, then learning the way to actually saying "no:.

    I need to practice the Serenity Prayer on a daily basis.

    God, grant me the serenity
    to accept the things
    I cannot change,
    courage to change the things I can
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Interesting because a friend & I said this prayer to each other on the phone the other day, in regards to learning "it is okay to say no, that you can't be there for everyone, you have to be there for yourself first".

    Thank you for reminding me.

    I love the snail, makes me think of all the snails I used to see when I lived in Washington state. Think the rain brings them out.

  6. What a lovely gift to leave...I work on serenity often and find the closer I can come to just living in the moment, the more serenity I have.


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