Tag Archives: Letting Go

Letting Go – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Revel – Word of the Day

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Photo: pexels.com

 

Letting Go

The bacchanalian spirit has infused life
since memory began,
to shed our skin
laugh hysterically
drink some and
then some more
and not look back,
to sway,
to flirt,
to let go
and live past ordinary moments
in recognition of the valve
that is the ancient jester,
to love it all
and want even more, even
to regret it for a moment as
the guilt of our forebears
trampling our conscience,
then letting go once more
lest we become our elders
and live in despair
of a lost mythical age.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com

16 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, life, poem

Play Is Serious Business!

 

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Play, you know, the thing we do when everything else is achieved! This painting (used by Dr. Stuart Brown in his TEDx Talk featured in my post Galahs Partake ) by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1501, is entitled “Children’s Games” but if you look closely, not all of the characters are children, in fact there are many adults also at play. Brown asks what has happened to our society that such scenes are no longer part of our life style.

Brown believes that the root of losing play in our society is guilt. We have been well trained in our society to respect hard work at the cost of all else.

In the early 20th century the sociologist and philosopher Max Weber published his work “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit Of Capitalism.” This work explores the link between work, religious belief and capitalism. Weber’s work was well received, and was commonly called “The Protestant Work Ethic.” Weber lays the responsibility for the drivenness towards capital and work at the door of the Calvinists who held that play was trivial, even ungodly (this from the same funsters who banned musical instruments in churches in the sixteenth century, and influenced the practice of locking up public playgrounds on Sundays). Sadly, this work ethic caught on, and capitalism blossomed in a particular way, a symbiotic relationship, that in my view is destructive on every level.

The result has been an ever demanding economy in which we consume as we are being consumed, body mind and soul, so long as we remain ignorant of the dilemma.

In a more mindful way we need to get in touch with our inner child, to be free to be creative in our own way and not to be drawn into perfectionist behaviours of fun. To be free to leave some things incomplete (which is an acknowlegement that one day we will leave everything complete, and others will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves). In one sense play and letting go has something to give us by way of living as we are aging and preparing for death, the ultimate letting go.

In the short term, play enables us, releases us, heps us reframe and is just plain healthy. We learn more about ourselves and others in play.

That old saying is true: “All work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull person.” The painting by Brueghel is a reminder that adults used to have fun in simple ways, and perhaps, life was less dull.

In a confronting way, the Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister once recalled that when she was grumbling about cleaning floors while she could have been studying for her degree, the superior commented “You have all the time there is.” We all have time. Play must be a priority, it must be intentional. Go play 🙂

For an MP3 of Krista Tippett, at On Being,  interviewing Stuart Brown for “Play, Spirit, and Character” (2007) go to Dr. Stuart Brown

Paul,

pvcann.com

27 Comments

Filed under community, creativity, life, mindfulness, quote, self-development, Spirituality

We Can All Restart

via Daily Prompt: Restart

 

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I’m always amazed at the resilience of nature. This section of the Bibbulmun Track had suffered an intense bushfire in 2014, but as we walked it, we encountered nature’s restart or recovery. In particular the eucalypts are hardy and you can see the regrowth along the burnt branches, and the regeneration in the grass trees or xanthorroea in the foreground. We were walking in the spring of 2015, so two winters had washed over the section and helped in the regeneration.

The resilience of nature is not indistinct from trees or animals, all living things demonstrate a hardy capacity to survive, adapt and recover from hardship, even regenerate after near annihilation. No less humans. Surviving cancer, divorce, near death, redundancy, the onset of debilatating health problems, disability and more, are all effects that people have demonstrated not just survival, but a capacity to turn their lives around and start again.

I think one of the greatest examples would have to be Nelson Mandela, who determined a change in his political goals and style, and in how he would lead. As he sat in prison on Robben Island (Mandela was incarcerated in a number of prisons, but spent most time at Robben Island) he determined that he could not continue as he had begun, but rather, he needed to let go of bitterness.

Mandela said  “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

And, not unlike the regrowth of the Eucalypts after a bushfire, Mandela experiences a personal regrowth by letting go the past, and letting go the potential attendant bitterness and hatred that, he acknowledges, would cripple him and indeed, imprison him. He lets go. He literally blooms. And the result is recovery, he restarts his life and becomes a gift to his own people, and in the end a gift to all peoples.

We all need to review our lives, we all need to attend and be aware of what we need to let go of lest it cripple us and therefore determine our lives in the negative.

We all have the capacity to restart, and constantly.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, community, environment, life, mindfulness, nature, Philosophy/Theology, psychology, Restorative Justice, self-development

Letting Go

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I think planning can be helpful, even important, but I also believe that it is just as important to let go of the plan especially when it’s not working, but also when life calls us down a slightly diferent road.

I loved reading Joseph Campbell, he had deep insight, and he once said:

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Which is similar to John Lennon’s well known comment: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Good to plan, not so good to be too rigid about it. Good to have direction, so long as you’re willing to modify or change as needed. Sometimes we can’t see, don’t realise, for any number of reasons, that plans get us going, but we need to allow for points of departure. And yet, strangely enough, looking back, the twists and turns, the points of departure look something like a plan that was meant to be all along. Sometimes we need to attend to those deep inner shifts in us that disturb our moods and thoughts, feelings that twinge, and attend to where life is calling us.

Paul,

pvcann.com

14 Comments

Filed under life, mindfulness, psychology, self-development, Spirituality