18 October 2007

Stitches in Time

Often my inspiration for posting here comes from observing a recurrent motif or multiple random occurrences of a symbol in the world. Yesterday, for example, I described an acquaintance as "mousy." Later that day, a mouse ran across my kitchen floor. Hours later I was playing an online computer game (instead of doing something more productive). It was one of those find-the-hidden-objects type games and the challenge on one of the early screens was to "find all the mice in this picture."

Sometimes, the dots I am moved to connect seem unrelated. And yet, as my little brain goes about its "meaning making," it's like each item strikes the same chord. There's something here, I feel/think to myself.

This morning a friend and I were talking about change and how we handle it and the impact of imminent change on our psyches...and also how desperately we need a break from "things." I took a shower and went out to buy some Half-and-Half. As I walked across the parking lot, a guy called out to me "Dark and lovely! Good morning." ("Dark and lovely" is apparently a favorite pet name for me among Southern Black men. I hear it a lot.)

I popped in Annie Lennox's new CD when I got back home. Making coffee, I heard her singing "It's a dark road/and a dark way that leads to my house..."

Accepting change. Dark and lovely. Dark road. There's something here...

Discussing the film Babel yesterday, I was asked how do I find hope in the face of the kind of ignorance and violence and despair depicted in the film and in the "real" life of the world. [Occurrences of the "hope conversation" are another set of dots I often think of tracking or trying to connect...] "I don't 'do' hope," I answered, as I have answered similarly for a couple of decades now. "Hope is too often a distraction we indulge. A distant vista to set our eyes upon instead of looking with focus and love on the work that is here and now to do," I said.

It is said that Hope is the inspirational fuel for the work we do today. May it be so for some.

For others, the inspiration for today, the fuel for the work at hand, is a combination of belief in the work, love for humanity and commitment to the evolution of consciousness. The place where we stand today may be obliterated tomorrow by some unforeseen calamity. The work we do may come to naught. But we stand, we work, because it is the right thing to do; because the alternatives--turning away, giving up, closing our eyes and ears--are a kind of dying. Still breathing but unplugged.

Loving humanity is to love myself--I am here. We are one. Each pressing on in our heartrending imperfection. Whether we are aware of it or not, evolution, change, transformation is intrinsic to the human condition. Ain't no way to stay put, to hold tight, to make this journey without changing and being changed along the way.

In a very real way, the work of becoming--as expressed in what we choose to do, what we choose to love, where we choose to invest our energy and talents and attention--is essentially the work of survival. Without it, we sit in a collapsed mine with a limited supply of oxygen...it's just a matter of time before our recycled air becomes worthless to us and we expire.

I've been told that the Path is very dark without Hope; that without a light at the end of the tunnel it is difficult to impossible to proceed. I know the darkness they speak of. It surrounds me much of the time. And I know how difficult it is to go forward sometimes.

And I also have the experience of appreciating the loveliness of the Dark. It is mysterious and unfathomable and reflective and awesome. I am afraid sometimes. But the Dark is somehow less oppressive when I am doing The Work -- that is, doing work I believe in--with my heart open in Love. My hammer strikes the anvil and sparks fly, lighting the dark in the small space where I work. I am attentive to the work and something new is forged.

What light there is to be found in Life lies much closer than the end of the tunnel. It's right here, in the streams of intention and attention that flow through me -- through each of us -- into the work. The shower of sparks lights the dark road, like star shine on moonless nights. I can see it. Others can see it. Who knows but it might be all the light we need to make our way.

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