Water and rock can coexist and cooperate beautifully, flexibility and commitment – one sheltering the penetrating flow of the other, one rounding and softening the sharp edges of the other. Bring volatile passions of temperature and they swap forms at the extremes, ice and lava – barely able to draw near without the one hissing off into spirals of steam, the other rapidly returning to dense, closed rigidity.
Extreme environments drive us to our poles, high pressure forces fundamental change – crystallisation, bursting forth new geysers, shifting landscapes. For life to be coaxed from the fertile new rock, the gentle interrelations need to emerge, negotiating balance and synchronicity, adapting to complexity, developing subtlety, and an integral commitment to life itself is the seed and the sap.
“If you want to be successful, be as pliable and yielding as water; so as to stay close to reality. If you want to be powerful, be as focused as water, it can penetrate a rock. This is Dao.” ~ Lao zi
Glancing sideways into your window as I pass on no particular business, a glimpse like a cannonball of the warm hearth within. Not for me this rich tapestried chamber, not for me this flickering firelight, not for me this shelter. I must make my peace with the storm.
This is harder than I thought a hard thing could be. The fire is so enchanting… Do I need to follow this pain to the ends of the earth until it becomes a treasured friend or falls away like old skin?
I’m resting in myself, nestled in the crook of my own heartbeat. Warm home fires burn, cleansing fertile flames. Keeping safe from dungeons and dragons, making light what has felt so heavy. That’s not the way we ebb and flow, not the way we learn and grow, not the way we are…
The sea finds the shore by being still fluid, allowing the rhythmic sway of the moon to send soft ripples of energy through it, propelled to meet the land in perfect time. The distance between two waves of the whole never closes until they disintegrate on the shore and return deep to the belly of the ocean to be born anew.
“To love purely is to consent to distance, it is to adore the distance between ourselves and that which we love.” ~ Simone Weil
“I love this man sitting before me now, because I do not possess him and he does not possess me. We are free in our mutual surrender. I need to repeat this dozens, hundreds, millions of times, until I finally believe my own words.” ~ Paulo Coehlo, Eleven Minutes
The much ridden and reported Rollercoaster, of life, of love, of evolution. The filthy U-bend and the glorious flow. As we climb higher, there’s further to drop, and the ride goes faster…
Beauty shines out of the integrity of being as we are, life being as it is. A warm dog by the fire sighing deep with satisfaction, a scared soul reaching out for comfort in their grief, the flaming warmth of dying leaves – radiating back to the sun, the deeply rooted sway of trees.
Everything can and does change in a moment. If I can be in this moment, I can change everything, every moment.
“As a warrior you take responsibility for holding the balance between light and dark within you and, by extension, the world around you, and ultimately when you go deep enough, the universe.”
— Barefoot Doctor
“It is not the being, and not even the doing that exhausts. It is the trying. Trying to be present, to be awake, to hold the whole world, to be better, more self-aware, more conscious.”
— Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation Plus
Winter is whispering at the door and whistling through the windows. Taunting the tireless, provoking the restless.
Come into my cool, dark embrace – rest awhile. Lay down your doing and being, tether up your trying and stable it over the long night I bring you. Let the flames of the hearth consume the sodden off-cuts of Summer until all that remains is smouldering fertile beginnings of Summer to come.
Now is the time for incubation, slow cooking – deep underground where the earth’s molten heart warms through the sacrifice of Spring’s bright optimism and the summer’s lush grass- until it is tender and nourishing for hungry souls come in from the cold.
Longer days will come soon enough and you’d better be fresh and ready to roll!
“I want to quit running from my own tiredness. I want to be willing and able to move only as fast as I am capable of moving while still remaining connected to the impulse to move from deep within, stopping when I have lost that slender thread of desire and having the courage and faith to wait, in stillness, until I find it again.”
—Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation Plus
Every day learning to be love is like learning to walk on hot sand. This is the core of everything, the root, the causeless cause, and so – fundamentally – everything else I have to offer and reflect on comes down to this. I didn’t know how to begin, so I began at the end of everything. Hoping I can work backwards from here!
If I hadn’t felt overwhelming pain, my heart wouldn’t have the capacity to experience overwhelming joy and love. It was only after grief softened the ground that love could sear through the permafrost and crack my heart wide open like a river emerging from deep underground, carrying me through the rocky rapids, splendid scenery and deep silent pools of my subsequent experience.
To speak it straight from the heart like a laser, feels hot and dangerous. Why is love so taboo? Why does it get boiled down to Hippies and Clintons and Twilight – all the life oozing out of it and leaving behind an amorphous untextured gloop? A seeping social miasma, another set of standards to measure up to, another norm to swallow whole – sharp square edges and all.
If I speak of love like this does it offend you? Make you squirm and look away? How about this…? The awesome, magnificence of love in its glory is immaculate and terrible, with manes of ice and flame, and shimmering brutal claws. It’s not all roses.