So much doom and gloom, it can be hard to see the love in world, I think it may be time for someone (me) to put things of beauty back in the forefront of our minds with some of my favourite peoples thoughts.
- In release, we begin.
Once when I was six, I chased a butterfly halfway through the reservoir before cupping it in my boyish hands. I had the beautiful thing, but couldn’t see it. To see it, I had to let it go. I kept my hands cupped as long as I could, past nose itch and leg jiggle, and then the dark flitting against my palms made me open and magnificent plates of colour lifted against my will.
It was too delicate a story to tell over dinner, and soon there we books and assignments and model cars to glue and arguments and anger, and I forgot there was ever a butterfly. It’s only now, some forty years later, that it awakens in me like a revelation placed in the hands of a pilgrim long before he knew enough to believe. Now chasing the butterfly seems a way of life: afraid to lose or be left out, we chase and cling, and cloning, we are lost. It seems so obvious once living it.
Now I can see that during my illness, this was the difference between fear and faith, between terror and the presence of God. Landing in a hospital bed, I chased the beat of everything I faced into my heart and tried to cup it in my boyish hands, burying my head. Of course, I had the beautiful think beating like that butterfly, now trapped inside me. As long as I kept all of that beauty and power of raw life cupped – in my chest, in my face, in my hands – I couldn’t see it. To see it, I had to let it go.
Just as when a boy, I held it as long as I could, until the pounding made me open and this magnificent sense of life lifted out of me against my will. I now know that what I held so tightly within was the presence of God, which held in felt like pain and fear and terror.
Over forty years to learn this vital lesson: that the deepest things beat within, made dark and fearful by our holding, only uplift the instant we let go.
—Mark Nepo Book of Awakening
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
― Lao Tzu
“Get rid of all that is unnecessary. Wabi-sabi means treading lightly on the planet and knowing how to appreciate whatever is encountered, no matter how trifling, whenever it is encountered. […] In other words, wabi-sabi tells us to stop our preoccupation with success–wealth, status, power, and luxury–and enjoy the unencumbered life. Obviously, leading the simple wabi-sabi life requires some effort and will and also some tough decisions. Wabi-sabi acknowledges that just as it is important to know when to make choices, it is also important to know when not to make choices: to let things be. Even at the most austere level of material existence, we still live in a world of things. Wabi-sabi is exactly about the delicate balance between the pleasure we get from things and the pleasure we get from freedom of things.”
― Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers
And most importanting never feel powerless to change the world around you, each small thing you choose to do makes a difference, so choose wisely with compassion and love.
Here is a link to how you can take action to feel empowered again. Or get The Ecologist magazine’s book Go Mad! 365 Daily Ways to Save the Planet. See www.theecologist.org
Love and Peace