Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. – Thich Nhat Hanh
In the end, just three things matter:
How well we have lived
How well we have loved
How well we have learned to let go.
Making change looks a lot like cutting paths. There are paths, trenches, river beds well worn and established that our minds run over and over, re-inscribing. These are cognitive landscapes that are well-explored and often sweet places to live or the only places to live, at least for a little while. If they weren’t, we would never have made them.
After a while these paths become dead ends, cul-de-sacs, you get the idea. You get stuck in the same old places, patterns, sometimes without knowing it. And, it is a lot easier to get stuck when you are forced to literally stay in one place. We started a mindfulness unit this month with the intent of expanding that repetitive space in the mind and between the walls.
Where paths are deeply entrenched we combat this in writing. We walk to unbroken ground with shovel in hand. We help each other to not only be present to what is but to what is possible from what is already there. Below, you’ll find the work of two women on this exploration.
Life to the Fullest
How do we know when we have lived our lives to the fullest? Is the torment we go through necessary to know true happiness? One can only find these answers within themselves without struggle, how do we know success? Without capture, how do we know what it feels like to be free? Life’s experiences are ever changing. We base our decisions and actions upon what we know, our knowledge of the world. I’m not sure what a last day in this life feels like or if I will be fulfilled when it comes. Uncertainty always brings fear, a jump when we don’t know where we are going to land. Faith is strong and just if I want it. Something to believe in if not myself. Knowing is not the only way. I will not keep myself tied down by the repetition of my mistakes. Change only comes when we are willing. When we are faced with today and the thought that it’s our only chance. I myself will not waste anymore today’s by always thinking about tomorrows. I can take my life and transform it into beauty. Build upon it with no restraint of negativity, no blueprint to follow. I can finally know that I am me, and that’s enough to keep going.
When I look inside myself I see a need. I can hear the chains rattling the cages. Feel the pressure of the air vacating my lungs. What is inspired but the gravitational pull of my greatness, erupted on the forefront of my mind, set out like a spark and traveling through the live wire. The pull, an equal, a melding of two complete opposites. Yet the pieces, they fit like a puzzle. Like a domino-effect, all the walls, they fall and I am consumed with the feeling of home in its purest form. Some may call it peace. Call it what you want, I hope in your heart to find it. To be blessed with the knowledge of evermore. It is perpetual, it is blissful. And so hard to attain. When you really try, you can feel it. Feel life pulsing through our veins. Everything else seems so petty. So miniscule. I have held life in my hands but I have yet to create it. I see no opposition and I may be hard pressed to find someone willing to fight against it.
We are vessels, anything can flow into us, or it can be let out. When we are born as such. We have embarked on our journey and through the water we will cut out our own path. When our feet meet the earth the possibilities, as they say, are endless.
We are one, we are equals. And as a species, have the capacity to achieve a universe.