Life, death, preservation, loss, failure, success, poverty, riches, worthiness, unworthiness, slander, fame, hunger, thirst, cold, heat – these are the alternations of the world, the workings of fate. Day and night they change place before us, and wisdom cannot spy out their source. Therefore, they should not be enough to destroy your harmony; they should not be allowed to enter the storehouse of the spirit. If you can harmonize and delight in them, master them and never be at a loss for joy; if you can do this day and night without break and make it be spring with everything, mingling with all and creating the moment within your own mind – this is what I call being whole in power.
When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.
― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym
Somewhere somebody must have some sense. Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love.
The healing process is best described as a spiral. Survivors go through the stages once, sometimes many times; sometimes in one order, sometimes in another. Each time they hit a stage again, they move up the spiral: they can integrate new information and a broader range of feelings, utilize more resources, take better care of themselves, and make deeper changes.
― Laura Hough, Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Is a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse
“You can live for a long time inside the shell you were born in. But one day it’ll become too small.”
“Then what?” I ask.
“Well, then you’ll have to find a larger shell to live in.”
I consider this for a moment. “What if it’s too small but you still want to live there?”
She sighs. “Gracious, child, what a question. I suppose you’ll either have to be brave and find a new home or you’ll have to live inside a broken shell.”
Stories set the inner life into motion, and this is particularly important where the inner life is frightened, wedged, or cornered. Story greases the hoists and pulleys, it causes adrenaline to surge, shows us the way out, down, or up, and for our trouble, cuts for us fine wide doors in previously blank walls, openings that lead to the dreamland, that lead to love and learning, that lead us back to our own real lives as knowing wildish women.
Some things only become visible to us when they undergo change.
We take for granted all the constant, fixed things, and eventually stop paying any attention to them. At the same time we observe and obsess over small, fast-moving, ephemeral things of little value.
The trick to rediscovering constants is to stop and focus on the greater panorama around us. While everything else flits abut, the important things remain in place.
Their stillness appears as reverse motion to our perspective, as relativity resets our motion sensors. It reboots us, allowing us once again to perceive.
And now that we do see, suddenly we realize that those still things are not so motionless after all. They are simply gliding with slow individualistic grace against the backdrop of the immense universe.
And it takes a more sensitive motion instrument to track this.
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
It is a shame to be unaware of the shifts and changes that happen every day, every moment, right before your eyes. The little crinkles around her eyes that get ever-so-slightly deeper and wiser. The silver linings of her hair. The wonders of time and how they show their presence in such ways. You may think that a flower is simply a flower. A flower that looks and smells just as simply as it always has. Or that the ocean is simply salt water and blue. The flower is always moving, changing, blossoming, and giving life to the birds and the bees. The ocean’s tides rise and fall with the phases of the moon. The currents change direction. And depending on how the sun hits the water, the colors and shades of blue are in fact, infinite. Everything around you and everyone is always changing. Take time to smell the roses. Take time to watch the tide. Take time to see your love with new eyes. It would be a shame to miss it.
Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.
It’s creepy, but here we are, the Pilgrims, the crackpots of our time, trying to establish our own alternate reality. To build a world out of rocks and chaos.
What it’s going to be, I don’t know.
Even after all that rushing around, where we’ve ended up is the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.
And maybe knowing isn’t the point.
Where we’re standing right now, in the ruins in the dark, what we build could be anything.