Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Reflections w/ A Distant Friend on Time Alone

nice to hear from you! amazing how a bit of open space in our lives can do to raise our momentary anxieties while permitting us, at the same time, the opportunity to reflect upon the normal limits and perceptions we allow ourselves... hmmmm....

yes, i know the feeling when the office isn't beckoning, the family isn't nearby and the world seems both more malleable and uncaring. it's amazing how comforting it can be to have a title, office, emails and kids to keep us in line, fulfilled while allowing the heavy weight of time & expectation to dissipate in exhaustion and
achievement. good stuff while it's there!

but, the spaces between the notes, the breaths b/n the action and the moments to reflect amid the chaos can be equally as valuable for our hyper-modern lives. although, questions are not always as comforting as answers... as we know... but with a certain equanimity (that may come from age as much as anything higher form
of intelligence or wisdom), it's good to pause, whether at the kitchen table, digging in the garden mud or standing thoughtfullly on a friendly street corner.

major changes, i guess, provide some of these opportunities.

as you know, i went through a fair share of this reflection & observation of my life & experience when my save the children world in nepal suddenly foreclosed on me last summer. then, i've been able to get more perspective while sitting here in the national human rights commission during the week gazing into the 19th C. rana overgrown courtyard. not to mention, meandering in our flourishing botanical garden on the w/ends or while occasionally writing on this 'bambuddhism in nepal' blog to record my own personal thoughts & meditations.

it's not that i've come up w/ any major theoreitcal 'breakthroughs' or profound insights into the human condition. most of that, as we know, has already been
expressed by our poets. philosophers & theologians over the ages. but, as we equally understand, each of us needs to explore and find these natural & self-evident truths for ourselves as we meander our limited years on the world stage, through work, friendship, marriage and parenting. for each identity/role/mask offers innumberable opportunities to observe, reflect and grow. (unfortunately, of course, we're usually too busy to notice...)

to start, how about a journal where you can write to yourself. it's a document for the ages, for your children &, someday, grandchildren (g-d forbid!!) where you describe to them your feelings, thoughts & experiences as you make your way through the maze of life that lies ahead for them, as well. i did that for a few years and a few books, and always smile when i think of josh or ez or leah reading them some distant day when i may no longer be here...

then, there's literature, harry potter, even! i've gone through all the young wizard's volumes this summer and have loved the fabulous story & ms. rowyling's imagination -- particularly when she began book three and four as her writing & complexity of the characters & story began to move to more fantastic, yet enchanting, realms.

or, is there a book you've been wanting to read, music you wanted to download, a park you wanted to visit or a friend you wanted to see or an afternoon movie you wanted to see or merely an email you wanted to write? these modest touches of our lives can often educe more emotion or attention than the larger tasks we have often set for ourselves. the pointallists and impressionists taught us how much a single stroke of their brushes can do to educe feeling from our deepest, submerged longing.

there are, after all, so many small things and moments that embellish life yet which we often neglect b/c our work & family responsibilities overwhelm us.

these days, i sometimes look back at my 25 years w/ save the children in nepal and wonder what appears in retrospect as MOST important for me. i ask myself how all of those days and nights disappeared & dissolved in the mists of monsoons past, so that i cannot easily perceive the differences, much less the accomplishments. it's a little frightening, no?

so those memories of people or events that do stand out over the years become even more important as i realize that when i stepped out of my norms or routines, particularly to value a specific friend or child or place, i remember those days or moments with most affection, and tender loss...

is there a lesson here?

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