Following – Word of the Day
“But by the time you’ve worked long enough, hard enough, Real Life (which insists on being capitalised as if it were a personage with a proper name and a right to barge into this rental unit called your life) begins to reveal itself as something other than effort, other than accomplishment. Real Life wishes to be left to its own purposeless devices.” Patricia Hampl ‘The Art Of The Wasted Day’
The Real Life
I set a course some moons ago,
plains of windmill grass and dianellas
were simple pleasures,
creeks with flooded gums along blue grass banks and
granite outcrops boasting ghost gums pleased the eye
as much a solace as any company of kind,
while the hills challenged my humble frame,
just as human contact did at every turn
and over time I lost my way
as other, lesser things, intruded.
One day I heard the kookaburras laugh
and I took it personally,
what a fool this way travels they sang,
chastened, I quelled my madding mind,
and reset my compass heart
for deviations, tangents,
the real life.
©Paul Vincent Cannon
via Daily Prompt: Grasp
The quote is often attributed to the Buddha, however, he never said it (see: fakebuddhaquotes.com). It is thought to have originated from the fifth century commentator Buddhaghosa who said: “By doing this you are like a man who wants to hit another and picks up a burning ember or excrement in his hand and so first burns himself or makes himself stink.” Visuddimagga 1X,23. At least the Quotery didn’t get it wrong.
What a great quote! Another great teacher, Jesus, once said “… do not let the sun go down on your anger …” So a similar perspective – don’t hang onto it.
Whichever quote you choose, the point is made, that anger grasped and held is toxic. We know that feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are, but when we hang onto one or another they change us. Science can now show how the hormones associated with anger, especially when suppressed or lacking expression, poison our system affecting us body, mind and soul. Stress, cardio, respiratory, muscle, blood, all deeply affected. Anger is normal in context, but to never express it or deal with it will affect our lives in every way. When anger becomes a pathology, a way of being, a default, it cripples us, and especially because in that way, we are most likely unaware of it. It can be difficult when anger is attached to identity issues, rejection, depression (anger turned inwards) suppressed gratification, bullying and so on. However, we must learn to let go, to set issues aside, to talk it through, to call for help, get a perspective, find a position of empathy and compassion, I find meditation forms very helpful. Anger isn’t wrong, just don’t hang onto it otherwise it will consume you. Besides, who wants to be defiend by anger?
I’ve been pondering this quote for some time.
“To take shape a journey must have fixed bearings, as a basket has ribs and a book its themes. The clearest way to understand … our journey … is to look at a single woven basket’s basic design … First, two splits or reeds are centered, like the cardinal points of a compass. Then, two more splits of equal size and length are added. These are the ribs of teh basket. Weaving begins at the center … over … under … over … under … until it is finished. From the simplest basket to the most complex … this principle is the same. The ribs must be centered and held in balance. In a sense, they are the fixed bearings that guide the rythm of weaving.” (from: Marilou Awiakta Seiu, ‘Seeking the Corn Mothers Wisdom”)
And therefore, the bearings that guide our journey. In short, we need to have a guiding principle, we need a frame, a community, a place in the world. And we need to be held by that community, held by those principles. When we have these things in our lives, when we are held, when we are centered, we weave a journey that is rich, under, over, under, over, until we are finished.