Sunday, June 22, 2008


The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among

things that change. But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

or die; and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.

~ William Stafford ~

I've begun reflecting on the 'threads' in my life; good and bad patterns that I notice about myself. Ways of thinking, acting, responding and living that seen woven into the core of who I am. Some of them are healthy, some of them not so much. But all of them have a place in the greater design.

I don't like the unhealthy ones, I want to change them by pretending that they don't exist. Unfortunately that doesn't work - it's like pretending the world outside isn't there by closing the curtain.
A silly example - I like to eat too much bacon, I wish I didn't. I could deny my love for bacon completely and pretend it doesn't exist, or I can admit to myself my bacon consumption overdrive and learn how to manage and live with it.

If I deny the bad threads in myself I am causing schism and using a lot of mental energy to live in the anguish. It is better to look at the bad threads clearly and compassionately to learn how to live with them.

What is true for myself is also true for society. There are parts of society that I would consider 'bad threads', generally it's people who are outside my particular 'norm' of how people should live, think, worship, vote etc. Pretending that these people don't exist is not healthy for me, for them, or for society as a whole. Denying people basic rights because they fall outside of the society's norms is not healthy for them or us.

The dark threads and the light threads together weave the pattern into the fabric.

I remember hearing a story once about a light square that lamented because he was different to everyone surrounding him. They were all dark blue and teased the light square for being different. The light square longed to change but couldn't.
What none of the squares could see was that they were all small parts of a large mosaic, the light square was different from all those surrounding him because he was the twinkle in the eye of God.
The 'bad threads' in ourselves and in society may be the twinkle in God's eyes. This isn't license to 'over-consume bacon' simply a recognition that the parts of ourselves and society that are non-conformist should be as welcome as the mainstream - denying their existence does ourselves and them no favor and diminishes the 'whole'.

1 comment:

Ginger said...

How beautifully Buhddist, P-ta! And also I, too, have a bacon problem..