Someone recently asked my how old I will be this year.
When the number popped into my head, I must admit to a certain overwhelming sense of panic. Not about being older or any of those things (though I imagine I will feel some of those, too) but about the time. Time, I think, is our most precious resource. Yet we have no clue how much of it we have. So each minute, every hour, that day and the one over there, too, are precious. I'd like to hoard mine. But that's the thing - you absolutely MUST spend it. It's all in the how.
Whyte's words are a billboard of how I want to spend mine - in brave participation, wild generosity and robust vulnerability. But I am also deeply human (flawed, awkward, sensitive, sometimes crabby and all the things humanness entails) and sometimes I am not so brave, not so generous, not so open. I (gently) remind myself to do better.
So far, I wake up each day with another to spend. Glorious, isn't it?
The universe must be giggling.
Even as my feet find their way to the thin places in the world (mountains and water, in this case), my art finds me in horizontal and perpendicular frontiers in the class with Pauline Agnew, while my heart finds me sharing the depth of life and the human condition with those I love. And a sweet friend sends me the quote above in response to my hikes. Whoa. Is it possible to feel fully grounded in the thin places? My footing has never felt surer, though my control over the journey is obviously less than I have ever thought I had.
The more I let go, the surer I feel.
That isn't to say the letting go is without anxiousness....oh no no NO! But the more I let go, the more I know I can let go. And the more okay I am with opening my hands and letting things perch gently upon them, coming and going. Sometimes those things stay.
Gilbert's words with my morning coffee, the day after a long hike and some rather profound introspection and philosophical discussion on a mountain, have me thinking. Thinking about the threads of connection and words and interactions that create ripples. Some of those ripples are positive, while others leave a heavy stain the requires a lot of internal scrubbing. But in this case, Gilbert was influenced by David Whyte, who coined the phrase "the arrogance of belonging" and "claims that it is an absolutely vital privilege to cultivate if you with to interact more vividly with life" (Gilbert paraphrasing Whyte). And here those very words are, smacking me in the forehead, because interacting more vividly with life is exactly the course I want to sign up for! Positively sparkling ripples, joining the ripples of dazzling hikes and art rumpuses.
Vivid might be a wee bit of an understatement.
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But maybe that's the purpose of it all. To spend enough time sorting through the mess, getting to the truth, understanding a little of who we are - enough time that we can sit with that mess all around us and say "well, ok then." And then maybe take a day off of all that mess-sorting and be ok with not having figured out all the mysteries of the universe. Becoming more like sheep lice, just for a moment or two. Who knew I would ever write that? :)
This piece makes me smile...a contemplative moment, "the resignation that living brings."
Torn and tattered feathers - perhaps many of us can relate to that? After this year, after these lives. And yet we soar, dear reader! I see you there, with your brave and crazy wings. Still flying. :)
After more than a year of narrowing our circles to the smallest possible sphere, we are beginning to move in wider circles. Not me, yet. But the world around me - restaurants, shops, people. Wider circles. And soon, me, too.
What grabs me about this song, these lyrics, is the idea of being beside someone through fear. The concept of compass and lighthouse. And haven't we, dear reader, marched together through this past year? So many of you have been (and are and are becoming and will become) my lighthouse. And if I'm lucky, I'll be a compass for someone, too. (Disclaimer! I can't use an actual compass yet, but I will learn!). The darkness is passing; the clearing is coming. We are opening our circles.
Jen Jovan and her imaJENation