On a recent Saturday morning after our dental appointments, Louie and I decided to stop for a late breakfast at Art’s Delicatessen & Restaurant in Studio City. We hadn’t dined there for a while – since before the pandemic, to be exact. Back then dining was only indoors. And I remember seeing actor Helen Hunt grabbing a bite.
Outdoor dining was available this time, so we took a table at the sidewalk patio. The weather was perfect. Louie couldn’t wait to order his favorite corned beef and eggs. I, a creature of habit, ordered the perfect bowl of oatmeal.
The diners next to us had brought their own centerpiece – a sweet little pot of yellow tulips.
We spent our unrushed meal reminiscing and people-watching.
On our way to our car parked in the adjacent residential neighborhood, a large, framed peace symbol in a storefront window caught my eye.
“Stop!” I yelled to Louie already a couple of yards ahead of me. “I want to take this shot…and the framed poem in the other window.” The poem was “Hold Fast Your Dreams” written in 1916 by American poet Louise Driscoll during the sufferings of World War One.
I had intended to post this diary entry yesterday but ran out of time.
While examining the peace sign more closely, I zoomed in on timeless quotes from John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mahatma Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, and anonymous others.
Thich Nhat Hanh was a name not familiar to me, so I looked him up this morning. The first article that came up made me do a double take when I saw the date of the story, January 22, 2022. Yesterday. Known throughout the world, the eminent Vietnamese Buddhist monk who spent his lifetime promoting world peace passed away peacefully yesterday. He was 95. https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/21/asia/thich-nhat-hanh-death-intl/index.html
Thich Nhat Hanh became a monk at 16 when he entered Tu Hieu Temple in Hue city in central Vietnam. He “spread the message of peace,” he advocated to end the Vietnam War, he taught at Princeton University and lectured at Columbia University and Cornell…among other laudable acts. Martin Luther King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. But “…no Nobel Peace Prize was awarded that year.”
Accidentally coming upon words of wisdom in the peace symbol where every blank space was filled, and Louise Driscoll’s poem were indeed throwbacks to times of historic world events.
But my, how their words resonate today.
Was it a coincidence that we stopped at Art’s for oatmeal and corned beef and eggs?