April 2018

Friday, September 9, 2011


"Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I'm either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I'm hurtling across space in between trapeze bars."--Danaan Parry, Warriors of the Heart 

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about...
Pablo Neruda, "Keeping Quiet"

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." --Buddha

For as long as I can remember, I have thought of my life as a journey, like Odysseus's journey from war to home or Luke Skywalker's journey from clod to Jedi-knight. In this paradigm, my tumors and other troubles are like the one-eyed, man-eating Cyclops or the menacing Storm Troopers. In this paradigm, I must overcome these antagonists in order to continue my journey. If I defeat them, I too will be a hero. In this paradigm, I know the way.

Now, however, I am wondering if my life is more like the still moment in a poem than like the journeys of an epic hero. In this paradigm shift, I wonder if I should sit still and watch closely rather than trying to defeat my anti-heroes. I wonder if I must sit still and breathe and look around.

Sitting and watching. Just being. It's hard work. I don't know the way.

For sure, I need to begin by learning to breathe again, learning to breathe in order to be instead of breathing to run somewhere.

I feel like there's some truth in this, but it's hard for me to get my mind around it.

It seems like there's so much to do. I do believe that this world needs to be a kinder place, and I have committed my life to justice for more through my work in education and my connections with poor communities.

If I am just being, how do I work for justice? That's a conundrum. I am swinging on that trapeze, preparing to let go of the bar that I have held so safely through so many hard times, and now I think it's time to let go. I vaguely perceive a new bar swinging towards me, but I don't know if I'll catch hold and if I do, I don't know where it will take me.

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