Thursday, March 24, 2011
Mr. Kim Blogs - Perspective
Too many days at work for hours numbering into the mid-double digits gets me cranky and childish and self-centered and foul-mouthed. I am currently in the seventh consecutive month with way too many of these days, frequently back to back to back. Tonight, after yet another day of getting to the office at dawn and leaving well after 8 PM, I trudged to my mother’s house to fulfill a promise of helping her around the house with toting and lifting and yanking and holding – things she can’t or at least shouldn’t do any longer with her bad knee. I do not mind helping out, that’s what family does and especially what children-who-can do for their parents-who-cannot. But I was tired and after I finished my ten minutes of chores and was loading into the car a half dozen small plants she had kept in her garage on life support for me through the long winter, all I could do was complain about work. The hours, the idiots, the money, the uselessness of some of the things I do, the frustrations, the arbitrary decisions – it all sort of came burbling down like mud in a gully. She listened and waited for me to run out of air, and apropos of god only knew at the time, she offered, ”Do you know they are calling for snow flurries tomorrow night?” I allowed as I didn’t know that, that the weather was not something I had had time to keep up with. She looked to her flower beds, now in full bloom. “I guess I’ll have to cover those up, maybe they’ll make it.” Mom can make flowers grow from a pot of rocks.
“Come around front. You need to smell my hyacinths.“ This was not a request. She was already walking around the corner, not looking back to see if I was following. “Come smell them, they’re wonderful. They may well be gone tomorrow with the weather coming in so come smell them. You need to remember what is important. Not ‘smelling work’, smelling hyacinths.”
And she stopped directly over the front flower bed and suggested that I smell the pink ones as well as the purple ones. I bent down as close as I could get in my three button grey pinstripe suit, careful not to ground my knees. And I inhaled. I missed it at first but the second time the perfume just grabbed me. It really is such a pure thing. I stood up, and she looked expectantly at me. “Best smell in the whole world, don’t you think?”
I have much to learn.