It’s a fluffy tangle that lives on air and water, no soil. Sometimes called Pele’s Hair.
Pele, the fire goddess that created the Hawaiian Islands in her eruptions.
“She Who Shapes the Sacred Land”
This morning, it is at least one beautiful thing.
My days of news-fasting ended around November 2017. Now I feel I have a moral responsibility to observe the roller coaster ride of emotional onslaught that oozes from our screens.
But divisive politics aside,(though I believe it hisses in the background of our collective lives incessantly), everyone I know is going through upheaval. Their ‘normals’ are no more.
There seems to be no ‘getting back to normal.’
I remember in my twenties wanting to be anything but. Yet no matter how I’ve been exploring the life experience in these past decades, I hadn’t realized I’d still been counting on some constants. Certain standards.
Some of these reliables elude pinpointing. They could be summarized as an underlying sense of security. Something I took for granted. Perhaps it was always an illusion, but it was there propping my youthful naiveté, nonetheless.
Yes, I’ve tested the confines of institutions, seeking greater parameters, or pressing for improvements in what they hold.
Things like democracy, marriage…TRUTH. These were established foundations from which I wanted to evolve. How could we bring freedom and equality to all? How could we love deeply and grow in union? How could we bravely live our greatest truths, first, by being fiercely honest with ourselves?
In recent times I’ve watched my circle of friends lose houses in a flood, marriages dissolve, family members die and jobs end. I could say that these are the experiences of life, but somehow it all seems to be happening at once. Every casual conversation with a friend reveals their latest shake-up.
It’s possible this is my limited perspective. Maybe it’s always been this way and I’m just noticing the precariousness of life more than before.
But from where I sit it seems the bedrock is shaking and I have a sinking sense that there’s no turning back. It feels like much of what I counted on may soon become artifacts in pieces.
That’s not to say that I’m not hopeful. Sometimes things need to dissolve to make way for something better. I truly hope that’s where we’re heading. Maybe we need to be so immersed in the toxicity of lies that we move toward Truth, never to be traitorous again.
I watch myself seeking something to hold on to. Something I can count on. If there is a new normal, what is it?
For now, the answer that comes is that it’s all just grasping. All falls away. So how do I want to live this experience, moment to moment, no guarantees?
I want to live in freedom, great love, and deepest truth. These are the bedrock within that defy destruction.
I can touch their essence in stillness. In nature. Beauty helps me to remember.
So as a balance to the shadow side of life, I’d like share my offering of at least one beautiful thing.
Here’s one for today.
I found her eighteen years ago in a small shop in Kathmandu, Nepal. I wrapped her hefty weight in thick cloth and carefully transported her in my backpack on my return flight back to the States.
She’s occupied various corners and shelves of every home I’ve occupied since. Her expression, no matter the environment, always the same: ever-present, content, gracious.
Inspiration for the morning.