Tag Archives: Uncertainty

Upside Down and Inside Out

As I attempt to walk on my own again, my country seeks security somewhere, anywhere. Neither of us is sure of how far to go, much less where.

Yet, it is not our uncertainty that is the problem. We are right where we need to be, “unfolding a new myth” (Rumi).

“Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in Flight to Arras, a novel about the French Resistance in World War II. We know the outcome of that resistance but its success was far from assured.

Yet defeat—death–was preferable to life lived within a formula. Life turns on a dime— it is impermanent–change turns us upside down, inside out. And if we are Aleppo, we are all but obliterated.

“Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection, despite its ugliness.” That is the history of the human spirit, its rising from a story stuck in repeat. We don’t remember our history so we keep writing the same story.

But what if we strayed from that story? What if we accepted that life turns on a dime–always has, always will. We would walk where uncertainty leads. Would that not be the unfolding of a new myth?

Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas.

Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection,

despite its ugliness. I take it for granted that to create a tree

I condemn a seed to rot. If the first act of resistance comes

too late it is doomed to defeat. But it is, nevertheless,

the awakening of resistance.

Life may grow from it as from a seed.

(Flight to Arras, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry )

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 Experience of Uncertainty

The obstacle is the path; the path is the obstacle. I like to turn that phrase inside out and upside down, kneading it like bread dough in anticipation of a fresh perspective.

And who better than Wendell Berry to provide that very thing for me:

It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work

and that when we no longer know which way to go

we have begun our real journey.

So often when I am facing the obstacle, yet again, I grow weary with the repetition, seemingly going nowhere. Still a path 080416

“Been there. Done that,” I say to myself, all the while knowing that is not true. Each moment is fresh and new, a chance to respond differently and see what happens.

Possibility is a breath of fresh air, a moment-changer. No need to still the little voice that wants to “get it right.” After all, what is “right” is as impermanent as life itself.

It is each experience that matters. Together, they make up whole lives, a series in uncertainty.

The obstacle is still the path–that hasn’t changed—but the view has.

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.

 

 

 

  

 

A Stone in Hand

We create tension in our lives every time we stray from the moment, splitting our attention between the reality we are living and the life we want.

We let go of who we are for who we want to be. And we want it to happen overnight, if not immediately.

As Mark Nepo says, we are trying to “feel the stone and not the ripple.”

We set our sights beyond where we are, looking down the road before we take the first step. It is not long before we stumble and maybe falter altogether.

It is easy to stay stuck in the beyond, forgoing the now.

We want the stone of certainty without riding the ripple of uncertainty. We must bring our board, the person we are, and ride the risk.

straying-mccord-0313

To ride the ripple requires focus, our attention never swerving until the stone is in hand–whatever reality that may represent.

A stone in hand is not the only reward for riding risk.

Each time we stay in the moment— meet the reality we are in—we gain understanding of yet another facet of what it is to be who we are–our authentic self–in every moment.

That we stray from the moment is not surprising.

The more crucial thing is that we return.

(Nepo)

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.