In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. It is a hard thing to speak of, how wild, harsh and impenetrable that wood was, so that thinking of it recreates the fear. It is scarcely less bitter than death: but, in order to tell of the good that I found there, I must tell of the other things I saw there. I cannot rightly say how I entered it. I was so full of sleep, at that point where I abandoned the true way. But when I reached the foot of a hill, where the valley, that had pierced my heart with fear, came to an end, I looked up and saw its shoulders brightened with the rays of that sun that lead men rightly on every road. Then the fear, that had settled in the lake of my heart, through the night that I had spent so miserably, became a little calmer. And as a man, who, with panting breath, has escaped from the deep sea to the shore, turns back towards the perilous waters and stares, so my mind, still fugitive, turned back to see that pass again, that no living person ever left……Dante
‘Of all the pitfalls in our paths and the tremendous delays and wanderings off the track I want to say that they are not what they seem to be,’ writes the artist Agnes Martin. ‘I want to say that all that seems like fantastic mistakes are not mistakes, all that seems like error; and it all has to be done. That which seems like a false step is the next step.’ We aren’t in control in the way we think we are. And we aren’t alone. There is a light, a luminosity behind the appearances of this world. There is a luminous, loving intelligence above us, watching over us, caring for us. What we really have to share is not any spiritual treasure we imagine we have stored up, but our poverty, our common human situation, our inability to know……Tracy Cochran
seeing things as they are in the nitty-gritty light, complete with a flawed escape plan determines our crossroads…..it really comes down to whether or not we can accept our vulnerability….this choice is so human, so clear, so presumptuous, so insistent, and so unavoidable…..
Taking what some psychologists call an ‘approach’ mentality to life is a key marker of well-being: being curious about the world, interested in new people and experiences, even when they scare us. Avoidance, by contrast, means letting fear control us, not going to new places, trying new activities, or exploring ideas that don’t fit our existing mind-set. Mindfulness- noticing events in a warm, open, and inquisitive manner- develops the courage to meet our lives with genuine interest. It doesn’t mean there’s no discomfort when we are to be curious. It means we’re willing to tolerate not knowing what might be around the next corner. In return, we experience the delight of being able to look, listen, taste, touch, feel, and learn from our environment. We may not know all the answers, but we don’t limit our perspective……Ed Halliwell