A Window is Where the Wall is Absent
The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Volumes of silence
A few weeks ago I came across this photo of a 12 month old boy being prepared for burial in 2001 after he died of dehydration in a refugee camp. Looking at the image there is horror at this baby's untimely death, mixed with a sense of profound wonder at the beauty of his peaceful countenance. There is such palpable love and reverence in the many hands carefully preparing this child for burial. I post this photo because it continues to speak volumes of silence within me.
It's been a chaotic few weeks with tons of stuff happening, and I ask myself if I have an image or expectation of how I'm supposed to weather these stormy seas (hospital and ER visits with Chris, an intoxicated person threatening one of my children, a loved one coping with dementia, and many other experiences)- and the answer is "yes!"- I absolutely have an image of how I'm supposed to weather life's storms. I'm supposed to be unflappable, serene, wise, a cross between Eckhart Tolle and Mother Teresa- NOT! What a strait-jacket it is to have all these images of how I'm supposed to be, and then the secret internal-editor busily deleting all feelings that don't jive with the worshiped image of "how I'm supposed to be."
It's exhausting pretending to be someone I'm not.
And yet the pretending becomes a habit with a life of its own.
The flower doesn't control its reactions or strive to be peaceful, it just is itself. It doesn't have a me. It doesn't need to have a me to be fully itself.
I wonder if people also don't need a me to be fully themselves. Even though I think I have a me, maybe there is in fact no me here typing these words, just as there is no cut-off and separated me in the flower curving in the sun. There is an idea of me, there are plenty of ideas of me all over the planet, but maybe the fact is that there is not a me anywhere in all the universe, there is just life. Life doesn't need a me. It's absolutely complete without a me.
Chameli Ardagh talks about realizing that "this me I have been trying to get rid of is not really a thing. It's not really there so there's nothing to change."
It's a bit hideous to imagine a flower with a me. A flower with an ego. Kind of ridiculous. Maybe it's just as ridiculous to imagine myself or any other person as a me. A me is a mental phenomenon, an idea, nothing more. It's fine and will help me to take Mary out for some errands after I finish posting this. But this mental phenomenon called me doesn't have to consume all my life energy in endless obsessions with protection and gaining.
It's exhausting pretending to be who I'm not, and maybe without realizing it I've been busy pretending to be a me when I'm not and never could be a me. Maybe I'm fine without me. Maybe I'm life here, undefined and undefinable.
Maybe that's easier than I think.
Time to take Mary for back-to-school errands. Chameli says when we forget about me there is a noticing of love...
Indeed, this turns out to be the case. The egoless flower and all of nature- including human beings- are the energy of great benevolence fluxing through form. The child being prepared for burial and his caretakers...
Thank you for words from Chameli Ardagh available here: http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Women-Extraordinary-Wisdom-Awakening/dp/1846940680/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264527334&sr=8-1
And also here: http://www.youtube.com/user/NeverNotHere#p/u/3/SlaHtyyrZtk
Gratitude to Erik Refner for photo, and to the family of the child for allowing his burial preparation to be photographed. http://www.archive.worldpressphoto.org/search/layout/result/indeling/detailwpp/form/wpp/q/ishoofdafbeelding/true/trefwoord/year/2001
Gratitude for flower photo taken by Bahman Farzad
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- Colleen Loehr, M.D.
- Greetings. I am a psychiatrist working at a state hospital, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Missouri Medical School. I am also a wife and mother of three grown children. Qigong has profoundly changed my life for the better. I am interested in connecting with other people interested in qigong.