Saturday, October 8, 2011

10/8/11 After the rain: seeing the world with the eyes of a poet

It rained last night. Moist coolness met me when I walked outside; the air has been rinsed out, and invites me with its freshness. The sun peers down from a clear blue canopy, shining warmly on my face. On all sides clouds are piled up, like a rumpled comforter thrown back across the mountains, gentling them with heaping billows of grey and white, in some places layered softly, in others sharply etched in complex patterns.

Oh, to be such a one who rises with the dawn and throws back the coverlet of clouds, greeting the day with a fierce joy. What might I do and see, striding across the earth!

All too often I slumber unaware, while miracles play about me unnoticed. Such an enchanting, amazing show as life on this earth provides would fetch a high price. But we so often make our way through it oblivious, unappreciative. What value a breath, a sunset, a song, a tree, a hug, the curve of a cat's tail, a child's laughter, the touch of a lover, the fragrance of lilacs, the stretch of our muscles, the sound of leaves murmuring in the wind? Truly we are rich beyond our wildest imaginings, and must respond with rapture, joy, delight, wonder, and gratitude. Such would be woven throughout the tapestry of our days were we fully awake, alive, and aware.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

10/6/11 Love versus Fear

We have two main choices in how we react to things that are happening.

The first is with love and acceptance, for example:

 This is what is – seeing and feeling clearly.
 I’m okay, you’re okay.  You are here in this world with me.  We’re different. We can learn from each other.  We can share with each other.

 A deep love and cherishing, this person is created by God, beloved, a blessing, meant for something wonderful, a gift to me and the world.

        This circumstance, even if unwanted or negative, can be used by God to help me and help others.  How can I open to God's presence during this time, and align myself with his purposes?  How can I help to bring into being something good?  What do I have to be grateful for?  (This doesn't mean not to feel grief or sadness or anger, it means to be aware that there's more.)

Or we can react with anger/fear/control:

 With this I react against what is, desperately want it different, and relate negatively to it.  I try to beat it into submission, destroy it, run away from it because I don’t like it, or make it do what I want, when I want, how I want...  I get caught in the situation and my life is defined by the situation, like I'm fighting with Tar Baby (in the story by Uncle Remus).  I'm more and more stuck, and can no longer see all the beauty and opportunities in life, which are still there if I would just look around.

We want control. We want to be able to make things the way we want them to be. But we don't have control.  The more we try to control, the more difficult things become.  By letting loose of this, and learning to see and feel what is, and surf the waves or float on the wind, we gain perspective and wisdom and flexibility.  We can guide ourselves with  vision.  We can blend and flow with the energy of the situation.  We can move, sometimes even counter to the wind if we tack our sails.  We can have access to the whole resources of the universe. We can flourish and grow and help make things better.
It doesn't mean we will be "a success" by the world's standards, or even survive -- none of us come out of life physically alive.  We all die.  It does mean we have a chance to make a difference, to live our calling, to be the unique person each of us is.  This world has natural disasters, illness and death, inattention and accidents, and evil in it.  It also has amazing beauty and love, intricacies beyond our knowledge and ability, things of wonder and joy, deep peace and silence beyond the noise.  It's our choice how we live, and with what we engage ourselves.