Her Beans and My Heart ♥

Posted on December 17, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy |

Roasted Sesame Green Beans

Last month, I participated in that American Institution known as “Thanksgiving Day”. For the past couple of years I had attended a potluck dinner, and was assigned to bring vegetables. Although green beans are traditional for this meal, I wanted something different, and consulted my favorite food blogger, whom I’d known for about a year at the time. “Sesame Green Beans” were the result of this consultation, and were the hit of the party two years running.

This year, through a series of events, I was called upon to provide the entire Thanksgiving meal, although for a smaller number of people. I again cooked the green beans, but this year, it was a different experience. The beans were excellent, as always, but I was not able to report that fact to the dear friend who had provided the recipe.

You see, I only knew her through her blog, and through the many emails we’d exchanged over the three years we knew each other. Last year, soon after I reported my latest bean success; I read what was apparently to be her last blog post. She wished her readers a happy Christmas, declared she’d be back in the new year…and was not heard from again.

Most of you know that bloggers come and go. It is a strange medium in some ways; if a person wishes to be anonymous, s/he can usually do so. Casual, hobbiest bloggers don’t owe anyone a thing. They can start to write, gather a following, and decide to stop at any time.

What has amazed me about a couple of the social media outlets I’ve been involved with, is that, over the course of spewing my thoughts, I have made genuine, lasting friendships. I counted this food-blogger among them. She wrote about more than food, but that was her passion, on this particular blog. I’m not much of a cook; never was, but she was easy to talk to about all sorts of things. She was kind to me; commenting on my blog often, and sending me emails when she came across something she knew I’d like.

We started to share more about personal situations. She was a very private person, as am I, so I was honored by her trust.

She doesn’t owe me anything; never did…but…it seems odd to me that after three years of several-times-a month communication, it would cease—for me, and with all who knew her from her blog.

Perhaps she thought she would come back, and somehow, didn’t have the heart for it. Perhaps she didn’t want to write a “goodbye” post, because she felt she’d come back in a bit, and then what would she say?

Some of us who were her friends thought she might have become too ill to post, and we tried to find out more. It appears she is still with us, from the latest reports.

Somewhere along the way, however, I’ve realized that I have been guilty of some of the same behaviors of which I accuse my food-friend. I have not updated my blog very often lately. I’m not entirely sure why, although I have a few good ideas. I tell myself it’s something I can do “tomorrow”, and we all know there is no tomorrow.

I tell myself that I at least answer emails from concerned friends, unlike food-friend who has not. But I haven’t even done that as quickly as I’d like to these days. And there are non-blog friends, and even family members who have not heard from me as much lately.

I’ve gotten some lovely messages from blog friends wondering where I have been! I am humbled; I’m chagrined. A couple inquiries I’ve gotten truly have made me realize how much I was preoccupied with my own issues.

One was from a someone whose mother recently passed away. He is young to lose a parent. And yet, in the midst of his grieving, he took the time to inquire how I was, as I had not been on this blog for a while. It shames me to know this, not in a self-deprecating way, but in a self-involved kind of way.

To hep me plead my case, I will say that I’ve spent some time helping a dear friend who has been ill, and attempting to mend fences with family members, particularly one who may not be long for this world. But it doesn’t compensate for neglecting to notice what others have been dealing with. It doesn’t excuse lack of compassion.

I am hard on myself, as we often are. Noticing is an education. Taking action on what one notices becomes the harvest of our being. I am reminded that whenever I am feeling judgemental about someone’s actions, I’d best look within to see if there is some version of those things operating in my experience, and then, with great understanding, forgive us both!

To all those, blogging or not, who have touched my life, I thank you for being my life tutors. Blessings be.


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8 Responses to “Her Beans and My Heart ♥”

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Welcome back, dear friend. Mending fences is a good thing, I am so happy to hear that.
I am sorry to hear about your family member and friend who is ill. I hope you are okay. I’ll leave you with a big (((hug)))
You know where to find me if you need an ear.

Sweet post Muse. I find myself often pausing to reflect on this lovely twist of the web that cuts through time and space to join minds directly. It’s sort of like those star gates in the TV scifi franchise. Not to romanticize it too much, but it’s a beautiful thing.

‘Noticing is an education.’ That’s brilliant! The next sentence is brilliant too, but I also think that the noticing is itself a kind of action. We must look in all 7 directions. Up, down, left, right, forward, backward, and inward. Blog posts that do that touch us deeply and change our hearts.

So you don’t need to apologize for absence on the blogosphere. Real life’s demands are more pressing and deserving of your attention. And who needs to feel guilty? Nobody. Just use your escape goat. 🙂

Wow- it’s so great to read one of your wonderful, chock-full-o-thoughts posts. Welcome back. I was one of the worried ones, but then I saw that you were on Twitter from time to time. There’s comfort in those little tweets.

You’ve illustrated beautifully the whole aspect of blog relationships. The friendships can be real, but elusive. We come and go as we please, we can connect or disconnect at will. It gets a little tricky when blogging starts feeling like an obligation instead of a joy, and when we have too much on our plates, blog posts are one of the first things to go. It’s so understandable, but a little “I quit” or “on hiatus” message would be appreciated in these instances. We come to care about each other, and we worry.

I know of the friend you mentioned, and the whole thing is really odd. I love the way you’ve come to terms with it– sort of Zen Bloggism.

Thanks for being here, Muse. Oh, and those green beans look fantastic.

Thank you so much, my dear Beadie! You know something about mending those fences, no doubt 🙂 All is well, really, just lots going on, and thanks for the virtual “ear”; I’ll be in touch. 🙂 I hope all is well with you; you have been much in my thoughts!

Dave, I so appreciate your comment! I never would have imagined how virtual pixel-people could turn so real in my life! Thanks for the Stargate analogy, it fits, translating it to a mental process…which may be what a “wormhole” is, anyway (oooh, philosophical!) Having a line of mine called brilliant (let alone two of them), by one such as you is gratifying indeed! Thank you for that 🙂 You have an excellent point, that noticing IS action; hadn’t considered it that way. The seven directions you propose continue to educate me, too. And thanks for the permission! (To the reader who just might be wondering, Dave does mean “escape” goat here; it’s not a typo! 🙂 You have to read him to find out why; which I recommend doing.)

Moonbeam, thanks for thinking of my thoughts…and of me! I’m sorry to have worried you. 😦 I’m grateful for your concern. I appreciate “real but elusive” regarding blog relationships—nails it! I absolutely agree about the obligation factor; I don’t want anyone to be obliged to me, in real life or any other! The oddness of our mutual friend’s departure does prey upon my mind at times, too—I still seek answers. Oh, yes the beans are the best green beans! And easy, too, which makes them appropriate for my age group and skill level 🙂

huh. Just read this one and here I thought I was on top of things. (not.) I haven’t checked my google-reader in months. It’s dusty! in fact, I prefer to follow the whim of the ‘hey – haven’t checking in on MuseEd for awhile… wonder what’s up?’ method thinking that the universe is in control anyway.
Anyhoo. I think you are the coolest, really. come and go, whither it leads, you have touched my life.
I think of this stuff especially at xmas card time. so many friends that send lovely cards with zero heart msg and yet I once considered them important! is that the way it goes? I suppose… I have some friends I have exchanged these artificial paper conversations that say absolutely nothing for 20 years now. Maybe there is comfort in that somehow. Blessings! 🙂

Care! I’ve been more of the dabbler than an organized reader myself lately. In fact, um, I forgot I had a reader and really ought to look at it, oh….Thank you, I’m rather partial to the coolness of you, as well 🙂 I have received a few cards such as you mention. I have only sent them to close family members; been dwindling my list these last few years. But I do email, and try to make it personal–does that count? The number of years our “artificial paper conversations” (great term!) have gone on, should mean something, shouldn’t it?

(I can’t resist posting here a couple of comments that came by email; the first because she couldn’t get into the blog to post it (internet issues.) I got permission to post the second from its author. They were both so touching I wanted to share them!)

From Ronnie Ann: – it is so you Muse, so sincere, so thoughtful, and so ready to look at all sides –

And from Juan: Great post, Muse!

True, it’s a strange medium indeed, and even though some bloggers come and go there are some who “try” to stay. I mean, there are some of us that although don’t write that often, don’t want to scrap our blogs. Take me for instance, I just don’t know what to write about… or maybe it’s just that I don’t know how to write about something, if that makes sense… That’s why I prefer my photoblog… just pictures, no text… but I digress…

Like you said, no one owes us anything, but whatever reasons she might have had, I believe that it would’ve been nice to at least get a “thanks for your concern” note/email from her; then again, only she knows what she’s been through, and I sincerely hope she’s doing well and wish her the best.

And you, dear Muse, although I just know you via this medium, I can tell that you’re a wonderful person, and those who do know you in person should feel fortunate. I wish you the best to the n power… really.

Ronnie Ann, you know how much I value this, coming from you! I do try to keep a balanced perspective, and whatever the circumstances, I do remember my food friend with affection!

What an incredible comment, Juan! I would agree, if there were just one bit of communication to let us know there was something of value to what we all shared, it would be reassuring. You are also right, in that we don’t know the whole story, and how can we judge if not. I do appreciate your own blog, Juan and enjoy both your photos and your commentary. As for the last part of your comment…wow! It is an honor to be so thought of by you 🙂

[…] As I’ve said in other posts about her, we exchanged emails, and took the dialogue to a more personal level. She was living in a house in New England at the time, with a partner that was becoming increasingly impatient with her health issues. She didn’t like the winters there, and she was getting tired of her partner’s attitude, so she decided to move back to Washington D.C., a city that she loved, and where she’d had the bulk of her professional career. […]

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