Very true and the way in which most of us get through life. There’s wisdom in being able to accept this and be in this moment.
I’ve been quiet lately as life has been, as I’ve been putting it, ‘colourful.’ I find myself back in the world of legal matters, this time to do with estates. It’s extraordinary to me that my life, not one of criminality or of wealth it has to be said, has been replete with lawyers, legal papers and negotiations and lodgings not of accommodation but court. I’ve had a lot of work to do compiling papers, pouring over family letters and history, financial or otherwise. What has come out is just short of revelatory, the pain that’s hidden between the lines of people’s lives.
Many years ago in my final year of high school, the counsellor who in a state of exasperation with my continued out of the boxness, attempted to guide me. I took a lengthy test to define what sort of career I’d be suited to and if memory serves, lawyer came out top of the list. (The other two were editor and writer.) Perhaps there was more prediction than guidance in that exercise.
I’ve been working hard on finishing the book and have completed the first edit. I was elated with this progress, for about three hours that is, until doubt crept in. Will it be appealing to anyone? Is it too lyrical, verbose, not subtle enough, immature, and on the crucifying questions droned. I have another edit to go and hopefully, that will silence the questions.
I’ve been planning a trip to India with a friend. With everything else that’s going on, excitement came only in intervals when I stopped long enough to feel it. Still, a dream coming true is no small thing. We reached a sticking point this week when the friend was compelled to change the plan, without consultation. For a short time the kick in the stomach felt unpleasant but very quickly, I became aware of a lightness, a feeling of lifting off and soaring…. Without realising it, I’d been set free; free of obligation and anyone’s agenda. Now I’m traveling to India on my own. I’m grateful for this and the excitement has expanded, filled with possibility.
I don’t know what’s beyond the headlights but I’m really enjoying the journey.
|—||Carl Jung (via im-simply-me)|
Following on from my last postcard, I’m spending even more time around the bed. Today I moved my Father out of his place, a decision taken quickly and consequently, leaving none of us time to dwell on the enormity of the move. His last night in his own place was a little too adventurous; a fall, several hours on the floor, numerous phone calls made to strangers and unfortunately, not one of them connecting with me. In his confusion trying to get me he finally said to one woman, ‘please help,’ and she suggested dialing emergency services. Seven firemen, two RCMP’s, one wall with a substantial hole, one abused door and lock later, and my Father was back in bed. He agreed, it was time to move in with me.
It’s only now as I’ve settled him in for the night that it’s hit me - that’s the last time he’ll live alone, move freely through his home and life by whim or intention, the last. It would be easy to focus only on finality, dying tends to affect us in this way. So many lasts it’s true, but some firsts too. Today was the first time he needed help to sit up in bed, to get a drink, the first time I’ve seen my Father completely helpless. Tonight I’m in a different bed too, a single one camped outside his room. These last weeks are also the first time I’ve been able to give him something of significance for the love, experience and upbringing he gave me. So, endings but beginnings too which is what life is all about.
I love this image, not just because it relates to a fundamental part of yoga but because it echoes my experience of life. I find that when I delve into books, new experiences, or so called good relationships, there is always much more below the surface. It is there for me to find in time or to watch unfold. Aside from all of that, I love the colours, coincidentally, the colours I am wearing today.
All the Worlds a Stage .. but have I just got a bit part ?
Shakespeare said that ..”All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” .. and I think he had a point, although he could usefully have added that it’s often not clear what play we’re in or even what part we’re supposed to be playing.
Naturally, we all see ourselves as having the lead role in the unfolding drama (or farce) that is our life. There may be other significant actors, of course, and extras who stroll onstage to contribute a few lines to the plot before exiting never to be seen again, but always we are center-stage under the spotlight in our own play. The story is about us. It’s not quite as simple as that, though, because we’re all actors in someone else’s play too, with walk-on parts or starring roles.
But what happens when you find yourself in the wrong play ? The one where you think you’re Juliet to someone else’s Romeo but it becomes clear from their actions that you only figure in their script as a bit player ? I suppose when that realization dawns all you can do is exit stage left with the best grace you can muster, hoping none of the audience noticed your mistake.
Cloggy;—Profound but so true.
Absolutely - I love this, “we’re all actors is someone else’s play too.”
The words of an American treasure, Mary Oliver, Ohioan poet.
A question for all of us, one too easily forgotten. (From a dubious treasure, S. Marian, a Skye obsessed verbosity.)
"Honey, we all got to go sometime, reason or no reason. Dyin’s as natural as livin’. The man who is afraid to die is too afraid to live." (Clark Gable, "The Misfits)
I guess we all like absolutes, nice easy answers that can be put into predictable boxes. As for living and dying, I don’t think it’s possible to have that certainty. Some surivive the unimaginable, seemingly unendurable and yet unaccountably, others are felled by a light wind.
I’m looking at a plant outside that my husband has been nurturing for days, having been transplanted from elsewhere. He has tended to it lovingly, watered it regularly and yet, still the drooping leaves and lack of vitality.
One of the things tumblr has given me is a glimpse into the hopes, dreams, thoughts and plans of others. This much I know: Your greatest limitations are self imposed, your fear your biggest obstacle. Where you are right now is a result of your choices in the past that lead you here. The sooner you stop blaming others for this, the sooner you will be free. Free to live your life as you want. It’s just the circumstances of life, some rough, some smooth. Your future is known to you and will be the result of the choices you are making, right now. To change your future, you must change what you do and how you think, now.
It’s really that simple and if you see this then you’re already there, now just do it. Go on that trip, test your limits, challenge every assumption, take that job - the worst that can happen is that it’s not right for you, leave the safe relationship that’s not working, tell somone you care - what have you got to lose? Is where you are right now while you contemplate this so much better? What are you really hanging on to. If you were given a return ticket with expenses to the country of your dreams - would you stand there looking at it, paralysed by the unknown? Whatever you believe, this life on earth is short and precious, it’s that return ticket. So just take it and go, live your life.
The celebrated evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould once called Fritz Goro “the most influential photographer that science journalism (and science in general) has ever known.”
LIFE’s science editor, Gerard Piel, praised Goro’s extraordinary gift for capturing “abstractions, of the big ideas from the genetic code to plate tectonics.” Here, LIFE.com presents Goro’s most striking, imaginative, technically accomplished, unsettlingly graphic, and frequently downright beautiful science pictures.
Pictured: Illustrating atomic energy in 1948.
(see more — Fritz Goro’s Photos: The Art of Science)