Sunday, February 18, 2007

next right thing

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"Take, take 'til there's nothing,
Nothing to turn to.
Nothing when you get through.

Won't you break,
Scatter pieces of all I've been.
Bowing to all I've been running to."

~ Silence
, by Jars of Clay

Mountains of transfiguration are not purposed ends, but means. And indeed, far from contrivance, a life of presence that attends to the moment cannot predict whither the wind blows, where it comes from, or where it is going. What I can do is be present enough to realize what is happening to me, internalize what I learn to be new ways to reverence the situations and souls in my midst, and then to venture out. As in the parable of the talents, the investments of which I am entrusted are not for me to bury in the ground. Gifts are useless in underground coffers, and it would be an injustice to overcautiously squander wealth that is designed for gentle and generous conveyance. In my experience, there has been less emphasis and even nostalgia about places and events when there's a continuum of giving and receiving.

This new adventure bears the colors of paradox. By moving forward with a heart full of confident hope, I have also surrendered an obstructive resistance to the spectrum of this life as it is presented to me- of which I am undeniably an ingredient. Resisting the present is not only exhausting, but it endangers becoming a personal identity. Why be negatively identified, as those who are known by what they oppose? Resistance spends a whole lot of energy, talents as it were in the classical sense, better applied for the cause of encouragement and improvement.

What a worthwhile challenge, to engage in dis-identifying from the detrimentally cerebral sphere of unconscious thought. I say swing that wrecking ball right here, right on those obstructive barriers. And then suddenly there follows the prospect of not being identified with painful suffering. The landscape does change, when the outmoded, tyrannical East Bloc architecture is razed. But that deep inner pain can be so profoundly embedded as to become something of an implant. Crises which cause us to clamor for metaphorically life-threatening surgery, are really the crossroads between an interminable self-condemnation and what has been called by Eckhart Tolle as "a complete alchemical transmutation of the base metal of pain and suffering into gold."

There is a new season on the runway. Just a few days returned, after weeks of milder weather in France, through the bracing and icy Maine air, I can see an undeniably evident spring light. It is a Springtime of the soul. The passage of time needs no permission to occur, however it is for me to actively embrace the present, and not look backwards for either an identity or an approval. It is the worthwhile vigilance.

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1 comment:

Katie said...

As always, your posts make so much sense to me. It is hard to move lately, I feel frozen in life. Suddenly my past seems far away and my future is calling me, but my present is weighing me down. It's so good to have you back to blogging. I truly relate to your writing and find it has a certain quality to it that makes one feel at ease.

I hope all is well,