spiritual life, writing

In defense of small and quirky

“A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.” Ogden Nash, American poet

I once knew a couple who were clever in ways that made their very presence a delight — even if their skills didn’t bring much cash to their bank accounts.

They milked a small herd of goats to make silky bars of soap. They ran a small inn in a house they resurrected from the dead. They drove a small section of a school bus run in their car because no actual bus could have made it into their narrow valley. They made pottery in a small kiln fired by free natural gas harvested from beneath their own farm.

And — no small thing, really — they taught their border collies to let themselves in and out of the kitchen without assistance.

No pricey doggie door needed. At one end of the kitchen, there was simply an old screened door — the wooden kind, with broad stretches of blackened mesh at the top and the bottom — and a hinge that swung both ways. Where there would normally have been a handle meant for humans, there was a small rope. A knot of rope hung on one side of the door. Another knot was on the other side.

The three amigos, clever herding dogs that they were, knew to grab a knot in their mouths and pull the door open. They then shot in or out of the kitchen, at their pleasure, as a group.

One day, visiting that kitchen to write a story about the goats, the dogs displayed their joy at having company by going in and out, in and out every couple of minutes. They were proud of their skill. It probably didn’t hurt that I laughed like an idiot every time they rushed into the kitchen and swarmed around my feet for a pet.

The dogs, like their people, were a joy — in all their small and quirky ways. They are not alone, of course. Other people can be like that. Some people, in fact, were meant to be like that. It’s how God made them.

It’s true. Not everyone in this world is meant to be a Wall Street broker or a legislator or a brain surgeon or a football star. Not everyone is meant to be big.

Some of us are meant to make beautiful things or cook wonderful things. Some are meant to write things that resonate deep in the soul or to lift another’s heart with music. Or to teach all these ways to a new generation.

Such people are not the meat and potatoes (or the tofu and kale) of this world — the ones that keep many things humming. The dog-training, art-making, blog-writing quirky ones are the tarragon and mint and coriander. Difficult to see at times — in relative smallness — but full of the flavor and joy of life.

So, if God has called you to small and quirky, don’t despair. Simply look for the door that is your door. There is surely a knot waiting there — and you will know just what to do. This knowledge is wired right into your soul.

47 thoughts on “In defense of small and quirky”

      1. Dear Nora Edinger,

        Thank you for visiting and commenting on my latest post entitled “Khai & Khim: For Always and Beyond Goodbye” about ten days ago. Since then, the said post has many new enhancements and contents.

        I would like to inform you that I have replied to you with a very bespoke, stylishly designed comment containing a special message for you at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/khai-khim-for-always-and-beyond-goodbye/#comment-10546

        Please kindly take a good look of my reply there and visit the post directly to see the stylish comment as it really is, since WordPress does not handle or show advanced stylings in its reader and its notifier.

        You will be pleased to know that parts of my bespoke reply to you also relate to your current post here entitled “In defense of small and quirky”.

        Happy November to you and your family!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Nora Edinger,

      Greetings! Thank you for liking and commenting on my post entitled “โ„ โ… โ† Snowflakes, Tell Me Why You Areโ€ฆ”. I shall reply to you there as soon as I can.

      I concur with inhiscare753 with respect to your “defense of small and quirky”. In particular, your following statement has resonated deeply with me:

      Some of us are meant to make beautiful things or cook wonderful things. Some are meant to write things that resonate deep in the soul or to lift anotherโ€™s heart with music. Or to teach all these ways to a new generation.

      I do very much hope that I have accomplished all these in my latest post lovingly crafted and entitled “Khai & Khim: For Always and Beyond Goodbye”, published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/khai-khim-for-always-and-beyond-goodbye/

      It has been a while since I last commented on your blog in December 10, 2018 at 10:01 pm. If you have been wondering about or noticing the scant presence of SoundEagle, then please kindly be informed that I have been away from the blogosphere for a long time until quite recently, as a result of having to deal with the daily demands of filial piety and caring duties, as explicated in the said post, which is very extensive and is best viewed on the large screen of a desktop or laptop. By the way, there are plenty of my musical compositions and arrangements for you to relish in the post, should you be curious to connect with SoundEagle in the sonic domain through the universal language of music.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your mom looks like a sweet lady, Khai! I’m sorry for your loss, but glad to hear you had special time together at the end. We are a multi-generational household, too, which is kind of unusual in the U.S., but full of blessings. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi inhiscare753,

        Thank you for your reply and acknowledgement of our interaction here. In addition, I am delighted that you show a great interest in my post entitled “Khai & Khim: For Always and Beyond Goodbye”, published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/khai-khim-for-always-and-beyond-goodbye/

        I look forward to your reading the eulogy and interacting with you there. Please be informed that you might need to use a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen to view the rich multimedia contents available for heightening your multisensory enjoyment at my blog, which could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately. Nora has kindly left her comment at the eulogy. I have not yet had a chance to reply to her comment with a very bespoke design, and I shall do that as soon as I can.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I love this … This theme keeps rearing its sweet little head to me โ€” from a post on facebook to the recently finished “Enlightenment of Bees” to this blog … Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    My uncle took us fishing — we never caught anything, but loved being out on the water with our special friend. My great aunt made the best tamale and carrot bread; oh, yum. And my mother made pies to die for… small lovely memories of little family things that played a big part of a child’s life.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Sounds like your friends have a good quality of life.

    Our older cat pulls on hubbyโ€™s towel to open the bathroom door. The kitten claws the other towels. I have given up on keeping towels nicefor the duration.

    Liked by 3 people

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