Sunday, March 6, 2011


She said, “ A lot of people are down.”
And I’m thinking,
Including myself.
I can tell from her face that it’s hard on all of us. Others agreed, blamed the quick change back to cold weather. But maybe it’s not a causal relationship; maybe we’re part of the same overall movement.
Riding the same field of being, we’re exhilarated on the crest of the wave, but apprehensive in the trough. At the top we feel we can handle everything, and in this dip at the not-quite-end of winter, every little thing threatens to overwhelm. Trapped in the gully we can’t see what might be coming and our fears rise to the surface. The climate of fear may have called up older thoughts and memories that resonate with it, and we often make the mistake of thinking an old drama or worrisome uncertainty is why we’re sad now. But it may be that we’re not depressed because of those reflections, but thinking about them and the mood associated with them helps us recognize the feeling we have in the present. A memory may serve as an image that helps clarify the current state of mind. Attributing a cause is a relative of blame and stokes embers better left to fade.
The cycle of tides, of dark and light, the seasons and the motion of planets, all are the movement of the universe. Why wouldn’t we be in accord with them? They are the large scale oscillations at one end of a spectrum with the vibration of subatomic particles at the other. Our bodies have a universe of rhythms that are measured regularly to monitor our health.
Oscillation could be thought of as a primary universal motion. So we should be more accepting of the yin with the yang. Times of darkness must be endured and examined. They turn us inward because we can’t see out of the valley. We’re deepened and softened by our dark times, become more compassionate and empathetic. We may have been weakened by the absence of light and are better off close to home until our strength grows with the length of the day.
Competition in today’s world puts too much emphasis on getting somewhere, and that “where” is never down. We want to speed across the tops of the waves, never synchronizing with them. Without knowledge of the trough we lose sensitivity to its presence in others. Too much focus on the goal obscures the rhythm of life and our awareness of the damage we may be causing along the way.
My mood began to shift toward the beginnings of the upward motion, when I recognized that we were riding the wave as a group, and could feel the bond of being in it together.

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