Tuesday, February 3, 2009

and

We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about "and."

~ Stanley Eddington


So it is…life and the confusion about the meaning of and.

Over the last 11 days I have learned a lot about and.

I have learned that it is possible to be intensely sad and intensely happy in the exact same moment. With grief at the core and love surrounding it, it is possible.

I have also learned that being the one who stays and being the one who goes can feel extraordinarily similar and exceptionally different. Each with its own perks, each with its own drawbacks.

On one end of the continuum lies utter freedom. With the choice of movement one is gifted the liberty of independence and the avoidance of the monotonous responsibilities that can hold people back from choosing change. But, with this freedom one can feel a lack of sustainability highlighted by a long series of similar beginnings and endings. An experience of recurring beginnings can eventually start to feel a lot less substantial than the task of remaining in one place for an extended period of time. With all the ceremonies comes a ceremonial feeling of existence and a lack of dimensionality or depth.

On the other end of the continuum lies the monotony of pointless routines and a sense that one has been forced to settle. This nagging feeling is frequently connected to unnecessary contracts, unavoidable obligations and a fear of change. People too tied to responsibilities and bills can spend the majority of their time wishing they were doing something else; not being present; not being themselves.

Both ends of the continuum are precisely the kind of disengagement that I fear and believe is so damaging to our souls. It is therefore my aim to feel that what I do is right for me and good for the world at the same exact time – this and figuring out more about and might be a few of my greatest triumphs yet.

1 comment:

Erica said...

Wow Gwen. You've articulated something that I've been trying to explain to those closest to me for a long time (ever since I started practicing, in fact). I often wonder if there's a way to exist exactly in the middle of those 2 extremes. Or at least exist in a narrow band that encompasses the middle.

I miss you! It would be great to catch up with you in person this year.

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