Tag Archives: Patience

“Breaking Open” the Sky

We are not trapped or locked up

in these bones. No, no.

We are free to change.

And love changes us.

And if we can love one another,

we can break open the sky.

Walter Mosley

Let’s start shattering some glass ceilings, as practice for the time we break open the sky. There is no need to confine ourselves to one way as opposed to another.

It’s freeing, change, and whether we invite it in or not, it finds us—ultimately, as love.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

Escape: a Hefty Boomerang

When in the slough of despond, I know a miracle is possible any moment. I am not ascribing “divine agency” to miracle but rather the act of being completely present. For me, it is the only way through dark moments.

Miracle is not a warm, fuzzy moment and voila! All is right with the world. That is escape, and a hefty boomerang it is, ever returning me to the place I am. Every. Single. Time.

Gabrielle Bernstein says just acknowledging a “gentler, more peaceful way” is “the moment we welcome a miracle.” We find the universal in the specific, such as a sea oat bending to the breeze, every breeze.

Does the sea oat ever hesitate, consider not bending?

Openness is like the wind.

If you open your doors and windows,

it is bound to come in.

(Chogyam Trunpa)

It is true the air in my life has grown stale, and like the sea oat, I must nod to a new wind. It is in all’s best interest. This, the sea oat never questions.

Like water flowing through rock, patience must be my practice if I am to experience the miracle.

Water gives life to the 10,000 things and does not strive…

(Tao Te Ching, Verse Eight)

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Pause and Repeat: The Monarch Warrior

A week from today I have my second hip replacement surgery. It means tapering off autoimmune disease medication.

It’s always a tricky time.

Physically, my cells shift to adapt to lack. In response, my mind releases words at whim. The challenge of the sentence looms.

I remember the warrior butterfly— bodhisattva— who forsakes the firm ground for walking on air. 

Such dramatic change does not come overnight but over a series of nights.

Each stage from ground to air is fraught with life ending possibilities. From the stillness of the larva, the caterpillar stirs to search for sustenance, consuming one leaf after another.

There is a reward for all this eating, and it is not rest but pupa spinning—the chrysalis—a chamber of tissue, limbs, and organs that once crawled but will one day fly.

the-reward-012417

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,

but rarely admit the changes it has gone

through to achieve that beauty.

 Maya Angelou

Patience, human.

No new life emerges until the old is transformed.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Updating and Restarting

These are days of updating—for me and for my laptop–one restart after another, with mixed results. It is not a longing for default. That is a past setting.

My voice recognition software doesn’t keep up with impermanence any better than I do. It is more silent than not, choosy in what it recognizes and then…silence.

Not appropriate but a response nonetheless. All the while, the chaos of chronic illness interrupts me. Just as I settle in, the software shuts me off mid-sentence or even mid-breath.  

There is a “new” default, and neither one of us has found it. What was a lull in chronic illness is now a storm. In a mere morning, I am restarted. So many updates to explore.

There is never a good time for restarting or updating, be it computer software or chronic illness. Both seem to happen at night when laptop and I are at rest. Activation comes with waking up, opening a screen.miccosukee-water-lily-0713

Still, some updates are scheduled. In two weeks, I’ll have my second hip replacement, just three months after the first. I’m looking forward to the surgery as my right hip is all but worn out. No doubt that discomfort is encouraging my autoimmune and spinal cord disease and vice versa.

Yet, it is the silence of the voice recognition software that stops the writing. Two years ago, I gave up typing or keyboarding, as it only exacerbates the nerve damage in my arms and hands.  

Restarting and updating is exhausting. I take a lot of naps.

As for the software, that’s a bit more complicated. It has old issues that make it suspect to other programs that update regularly. As with humans, those issues are not always readily apparent.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

When on Mornings I Hesitate

I may meditate every morning but it is not that I don’t hesitate. Especially on winter mornings when I would rather remain wrapped in my comforter. change-010417

It is then my thoughts turn to the warrior butterfly— bodhisattva— who forsakes the firm ground for walking on air. 

Such dramatic change does not come overnight but over a series of nights.

Each stage from ground to air is fraught with life ending possibilities. From the stillness of the larva, the caterpillar stirs to search for sustenance, consuming one leaf after another.

There is a reward for all this eating, and it is not rest but pupa spinning—a chrysalis—chamber of tissue, limbs, and organs that once crawled will one day fly.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,

but rarely admit the changes it has gone

through to achieve that beauty.

 Maya Angelou

Patience, human.

No new life emerges until the old is transformed.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

The Beat of the Unresolved Heart

We live without knowing what may happen. The fresh experience is the human one. Rainer Maria Rilke makes it a bit more palatable by adding patience:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart

 and try to love the questions themselves.

 It is possible to live and not know.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Patience provides a physical pause, maybe even a breath. It sits us down to what is playing.

The Rilke quote is how I ended my last post before my hip replacement surgery. It went very well; in fact, it was never more than a leitmotif in the overarching theme of my ever-changing health and lifestyle.   

And much did change but that is for other days.

compassion-102016

Today is about the unresolved, about my promise to let you know what questions I discovered. I cannot remember them all but so many times I lacked patience; some days, I didn’t even look around for it.  

But patience is integral to being present. It is what allows us to sit silence when we are blindsided. Perhaps we are too wrapped up in our certainty to see what is actually occurring. We set ourselves up.

Is it possible to be so present, so open to the experience of being alive that it matters not how high the wave of impermanence?

It is the question I came away with, after all the other questions arrived and left.  Answers are time-sensitive, transient, but questions are the beat of the unresolved heart.

It is for us to learn to love them.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

 

Measuring Time In Finger Snaps

Still a path 080416Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of

pains, losses, and disappointments;

but let us have patience and we soon

shall see them in their proper figures.

 (Joseph Addison)

When pain wakes me to my day, I know patience must be my constant companion. I also know I am quick to abandon patience at pain’s insistence.

It is my breath that anchors me. The pause between the in-breath and the out-breath provides perspective, promises possibility.

Whatever is never stays. That is life in daily doses.

Sometimes, measuring the day is a way to experience it rather than anticipating when my pain will assume its “proper figure.”

Ruth Ozeki uses the finger snap as her unit of measurement. Her math is based upon Dogen’s 13th century estimation of the number of moments in a day:

6,400,099,980=one day;

one finger snap=65 moments;

dividing 65 into 6,400,099,980=98,463,077 finger snaps per day

(The Tale of the Time Being, Appendix A, page 407)

If impatient, I can snap away this day–miss the experience of it–but neither time nor pain will be hurried.

Mostly, I am amazed at how many moments I have, more than enough for my pain to reveal its gift. In not clinging to patience, I experience it.

There is so much yet to be revealed, so much still possible in this single day.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is.  You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.