Bubbling Over

Babysitting an active 1 1/2 year old this week hasn’t given me much time for quiet meditation, but I did manage to rediscover some quiet beauty in the ancient art of blowing bubbles.

Turns out that Logan is fascinated with, or, perhaps, fixated on, blowing bubbles, something he recently learned from his neighbor Taylor. We ended up blowing bubbles at least once every day for the last nine days, and, far more often, twice a day.


Turns out I’d forgotten just how fascinating bubbles could be, but the more time I spent blowing them the more fascinating they became. At first I was content to merely blow a string of small bubbles because that was enough to amuse Logan. Later, though, I remember blowing large bubbles when I was younger, and so I was determined to regain that ability. Learning to blow more slowly, perhaps even meditatively, was definitely the key to blowing big bubbles.

Even later, I remembered that we used to catch bubbles we’d blown before they hit the ground and disappeared. Although I’m a little stiffer and quite a bit slower than I used to be, I managed to master that skill again, too. That, in turn, turned to the art of blowing multidimensional bubbles.

For the first time, though, I consciously realized just how magically beautiful bubbles are as they float off to an uncertain future, all the more beautiful because such beauty obviously can’t last.

9 thoughts on “Bubbling Over”

  1. yes. exactly. i love that line in practice when each morning we can recite, “in particular the life of each being is like a water bubble”

    like your writing here, a startling and wonderful reminder.

  2. I have read and appreciated Merwin, but not since I started this blogl, just like Frost, Sandburg, and some other classics don’t appear.

    The list represents little more than my recent readings, which if you’ve read much here is highly eclectic, to say the least.

    This summer I’ve focused almost exclusively on Chinese and Japanese literature.

  3. My 7 year old niece got a boxful of cheap prize toys that were colorful and crappy. One of them looked so good, though, a wheel (with many holes) that you put the bubble liquid into, then your turned the crank and supposedly made hundreds of bubbles. She tried and tried. I tried for a while and got it to make bubbles (dozens!)for just a few seconds, then I gave up on it, too. It was too much work! Such a good idea, such a cheap sorry toy–I’d like to crucify the people who make bad toys, I really would. Okay, I wouldn’t do that, but I would like to make them eat dirt, and plenty of it! And I’d like to revoke their right to work in the toy industry. If they’re going into the business of making crap, why don’t they make it for adults, we’re used to it and can handle the disappointment. La di dah.

  4. Hi Loren, I think it is particularly beautiful to watch children, like your grandchildren, when they blow bubbles. Even the most indifferent grown-ups will re-learn to be fascinated by small miracles like soap bubbles. I think that is very important.

  5. I’ve been here before! I just got here again from Googling “Zen” and “William Carlos Williams.” You were 6th down on page one.

  6. I love the way children concentrate so determinedly and seriously on blowing the bubbles and then prance so joyfully catching them.

  7. We got a bottle of organic, catnip scented bubble water as a toy for our cat. We’d heard that cats like to chase the bubbles and she needed exercise.

    Got it home, dipped the cat shaped blower into the bubble juice, blew the bubbles, cat took one look at them and ran under the bed and wouldn’t come out for an hour.

    Rob took it into work and gave the kit to a guy who has a little kid. Little kid loved the bubbles.

    And it sure looked like you had a lot of fun with your grandson on this trip.

  8. Looks like you’ve tapped into something universal here, Loren. Another variation: we used to put soapy water in a frisbee, then bend a coat hanger into a circle and dip it in. Move the wand through the air and you can make some really BIG bubbles.

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