Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Early Thoughts on a Hot Summer Morning

It's a ordinary summer morning here with another scorching day in the forties hovering outside.

I'm up early and stand at the kitchen window with my coffee, watching the sun coming up through the heat haze, the flocks of starlings in the garden, rosebuds, little green tomatoes on the vine, the rhythmic swaying in the hedgerow which betrays the coy presences of the resident squirrels.

If this day has a shape, that shape is still to reveal itself, and in the interim, the luminous heat has me feeling nebulous and woolly of intellect (if I can be said to possess any intellect), a tad acerbic and even downright crotchety.

Questions, questions, questions..... How does one tune out that slippery peevish voice which asks those same old questions? How does one silence the inner hag who is asking them, over and over again, day after day?

Far (for the moment anyway) from my buzzing beaver pond and its native water lilies, I pick up my tattered copy of John Daido Loori's beautiful "Zen of Creativity" and Joanna Macy's eloquent "World as Lover, World as Self", and I read for a while. I resolve not to ignore the questions and shun the old harpy asking them or to tune out either, but to acknowledge them and just sit here in silence, breathing in and out for a while. I remember a few words from Joanna Macy, and they are a powerful reminder of what these days, and fact all my days are about or should be about.

"We have received an inestimable gift. To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe—to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it—is a wonder beyond words. And it is, moreover, an extraordinary privilege to be accorded a human life, with this self-reflexive consciousness which brings awareness of our own actions and the ability to make choices. It lets us choose to take part in the healing of our world."

Reading the words is one thing - remembering them and putting them into practice is something else again. This old hen needs reminding, and she needs it often.

3 comments:

Ernestine said...

Cate, an early morning dawn is beginning to approach on another truly hot day.
Is it strange that it is almost comforting to know that another person is dealing with the same
questions that I am. Questions that repeat themselves in my mind over and over again.
Thank you for reminding me how thankful I need to be.

Steve Emery said...

I wonder if those questions ever stop? Do we get old enough to eventually be let off that hook? They don't crowd me the way they did in my twenties, but they still run more of my unconscious mood or attitudes than I wish. And they still make me rush around so I get to the end of a day (or worse, the end of a week) and realize I was "not paying attention."

Like Ernestine, I'm comforted somewhat by the company...

Grace said...

How, indeed :)

As a recovering OverAnalyzer (LOL) I'm often startled when I realize all of a sudden that - GASP! - I hadn't a thought in my head at the moment!

The thing I really like about 'thoughts' is that - like birds - they may fly through my awareness.

But I don't have to let them build a nest :)