Meditation on a Chinese Lantern

I’ve placed a vase of vibrant dried Chinese Lanterns on the table where I work each day. I stare at them as I’m pondering and writing the next whatever it is I’m writing. They remind me that the world is simple and beautiful and impermanent.

The Chinese Lantern is proof that the world doesn’t completely suck.

But the world sure isn’t feeling that way these days. We all know there are those who would say that if I were “any kinda self-respectin’ Amurican”, I’d meditate on an American Lantern and that my love for the Chinese Lantern is what’s wrong with this country. They may even spit on me for meditating at all, deeming it suspicious behavior from “one a’ them Eastern forin countries.” Sounds ridiculous, right?

Yet, over on the other end of the spectrum, I could just as easily be accused of possessing all the sensitivity of a woodblock for calling the lanterns Chinese rather than some other label conjured three minutes earlier on Instagram. “Shame on you for being so utterly unaware!” they might sneer with the same vitriol as the Chinese Lantern hater.

Meanwhile, somewhere else on the spectrum, the woodblock contingency is busy taking issue with the unfounded accusation of lacking sensitivity. And it goes on and on ad nauseum.

Things have gotten seriously out of hand. And honestly, I’m having a hard time with it.

I genuinely believe everyone is struggling with this right now. Even if they refuse to acknowledge or even recognize it. Humans are social creatures. Introverts and extroverts alike. We’re at our best when we come together and collaborate in a productive way. Wisdom seems to dictate a crucial need for meaningful discourse and REAL listening to one another now before we reach a point of no return. But the vast majority of the time, this isn’t happening. Not that I’m seeing, at least. And I’m glancing at my own reflection in the mirror while I say this. Yep. Guilty as charged.

Now, if I’m unwilling to temporarily put aside my beliefs and concepts for the welfare of humankind and the planet, what right do I have to expect it of everyone else? None. As much as I don’t want to admit it, if I’m motivated in any way by fear, anger, and (yeah, I’ll say it) hatred, then I’m a part of the problem. As long as see the others as the enemy, there can’t be peace. And that sucks.

As they say, “the truth will set you free. But first it’ll piss you off.” Looks like I still have a lot of work to do here. Seems like something to meditate on today…

4 thoughts on “Meditation on a Chinese Lantern

    1. Yeah, girl. I getcha. The general unwillingness to engage in self-study makes it difficult for those who are filled with hate and anger to get past it. They’d prefer to stay with what’s familiar. Having informed conversations is probably a pipe dream. I know. I guess I just hope that if I try a little harder, then maybe others will too and it will have a ripple effect. I’ve walked through life with a lot of anger and even hatred and it always comes from a place of deep hurt. Folks are definitely hurting.


  1. Any focal point in an attempt to take my thoughts to a quiet place is necessary for me. Chinese lanterns grew beside my childhood home because that’s where they chose to grow. I loved them and put them inside my cardboard box “home” as a light bouquet in my imaginary play. I recall that time fondly. Using that image let’s me wander freely through those times. Thank you for the image.


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