Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Ramble - Collision

"If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it."
Toni Morrison

The word collision comes from the Latin collisio, collidere meaning "to dash or strike together, a compound of com meaning together and l├Ždere meaning to "to strike". For some reason, my mind also connects with the unrelated but similar sounding Latin laetare, the singular imperative form of laetari meaning "to be joyful".

One tends to think of collision as connoting violent interaction, but it does not have to be that way. The striking of a clapper against the interior of the bell, the creak of an old water wheel as water, wood and stone meet and contend within its slow, ceaseless and seemingly effortless rounding, the interplay of rocks and falling water, the sound of a sea of liberated pebbles and small stones rolling downhill (myself rattling and bumping along among them like a graceless chunk of weathered granite), the willows on the ridge in flowing Tai Chi movement as they contend with the wind on an autumn day - all are collisions of a sort, but they are interactions (or contentions) without violence for the most part.

This morning I can hear my tattered lung-ta (wind horses or prayer flags) fluttering among the trees in the garden as I tap away here - each flag with its central steed, its snow lion, garuda, dragon and tiger. It is most likely the lingering legacy of many years spent toiling away in the entrails of large urban corporations, but I often have to remind myself in these quieter times to treat life's encounters as opportunities for listening, flowing and peaceful connection rather than endless tourneys of collision, contention and (at times) blazing fireworks. The tattered wind horses and their guardian creatures are excellent reminders.

The task is one of surrendering to life and the wind and figuring out how to ride them, how to bend and flow like wind horses or thickets of flexible bamboo rather than treating everything as an occasion for shouting, head banging and collision. Bamboo doesn't grow this far north, but my short mantra for the ongoing exercise is "bamboo". Between health issues and computer gremlins, there have been many times in recent months when I trotted out the mantra out and used it - ardently.

4 comments:

Shuhei said...

It's nice color a lot!

Blue, green, red... yes!

One Woman's Journey said...

Your sharing truly spoke to my heart this early morning. I had a bad tumble yesterday afternoon.
on a slight hill going the wrong direction. I should have been planting going up the hill.
May we both be happy, well, safe and at peace this new day.

judy said...

Love this idea, Cate.
Leaves don't fly of their own accord.. but they trust themselves to the wind and get a taste of freedom and flight in the process.
and ravens, which CAN fly.. play a wonderful game in the wind where they will hang onto a very high spot with their feet and then, just at the right moment.. let go.. and ride the wind, tumbling and freefalling in joyful abandon.
I think I will use "Raven" as my mantra to remember to 'ride the winds'.

Laura said...

beautiful wisdom. I've not been by in a while...so good to be here and feel the comfort of your words.