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Of beginnings and endings

A practical philosophy masterclass at the bakery.

Closed signed. Of beginnings and endings. A practical philosophy masterclass
Cerrado. (Closed)

July 17th 2023

This morning I have gone to fetch some bread and I have returned home with a delicious ciabatta and a more delicious practical philosophy masterclass with which to nourish the soul. It is just wonderful how a daily routine can turn into a transformative experience if you give it your whole presence and you open yourself to acknowledge and receive the wisdom of the “other”.

In today’s case the “other” has been Kathy. Behind the counter of her small great enterprise (her Maison), she smilingly sells basic goods and a bit of “everything” to neighbors and anonymous walkers. Products that, beyond being key pieces of the exchange with money, become confidents of her conversations with those of us who go there to get our “daily bread”.

A rather trivial summertime chat (It’s hot outside… it seems everyone’s already left the city…) has taken us to a setting more typical of the Sorbonne when we have started to talk about her new summer opening hours (she used to open from 8 to 3 everyday but this year she has decided to try and close on Sundays during the summer…):

You see Blanca, there is a universal law that applies in nature and in the world. Everything begins and everything ends. Since I have started to close on Sundays I am experiencing the feeling of ending; I close the week. I am feeling so well and I also feel the space I open to rest and to allow new projects to enter. It is helping my daily life in a different way. I place myself in “another place" inside myself. (It sounds a bit tongue-twister I now, but a very meaningful one in deed!)
If we are not aware of this law and don’t apply it in all different areas of our lives, if we don’t “close” what has to end, then it remains in the “pending” folder. And that pile then begins to grow and grow… and the more it grows the heavier it gets… it weighs on our minds (because we think and feel that everything in our lives is pending to be done), it weighs on our closets and drawers, it weights on our hearts…

And there, like a magician pronouncing ABRACADABRA!!!… Kathy has taken her “sage” for a walk to shoot a message straight to the heart. An arrow that has fully hit inside me to remind it is time to review my own pile of “pending”.

Fascinating! A practical and apparently simple action is trascended to understand a universal law that helps you evolve. Does this mean that we all have now to “Close” on Sundays? NO! The interesting part of this story is the reflection and the path it opens, not the fact of “closing” a shop on sundays.

Each one of us and depending on where we are in our lives and “enterprises” must learn to recognize when and what needs to come to an end (having fear of saying no to someone or something, being trapped in an emotion, the past, a job, being “open” on Sundays… ). It is an individual responsibility to finish (whatever that may be) in order to move to the next life cycle, to a new adventure.


With the expression —I have started to close— Kathy has also reminded me of that paradox of existence José Saramago (from my point of view) puts so well into words in his book The Gospel according to Jesus Christ: «nothing begins without coming to an end, every beginning comes from an ending». The wheel of creation, a cycle of beginnings and endings in constant motion (that has no “end”). The law of impermanence, transience, the natural flow of life… a concept addressed in a variety of philosophies, sciences and religions.

Wisdom and guidance can be found in books written by others. And it is most likely that we already know what Kathy has said to me this morning… in theory. BUT, putting it into practice might often be a bit more difficult. In Einstein’s words «you need experience to gain wisdom… Learning is an experience, everything else is just information». No matter how many books you read (philosophy, religion, self-realization…), if you do not “experiment” this law for yourself and draw your own conclusions, that knowledge is like the clothes you pile up in the closet (something remains to be done with them…). Because it is here, on planet earth, where this law is understood.

Kathy has done much more than selling me some bread today. She has turned her experience into wisdom and she has dared to selflessly share it with me. Thanks to that I can also move forward in my own path and also share it through this article.

She gains, I gain, Others gain…

We all “carry” a Master within ourselves (it is who we are) and we show “our” wisdom less often than we ought to. Maybe out of insecurity, maybe we think it has no value, maybe we feel we have to “monetize” it… and what happens then? Well, then, your wisdom remains hidden, waiting (pending) to be spread out for the benefit of all. And that is something that, in my opinion, needs to come to an end.



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