Imagine the feeling of relief that would flood our whole being if we knew that when we were in the grip of sorrow or illness, our village would respond to our need. This would not be out of pity, but out of a realization that every one of us will take our turn at being ill, and we will need one another. The indigenous thought is when one of us is ill, all of us are ill. Taking this thought a little further, we see that healing is a matter, in great part, of having our connections to the community and the cosmos restored.
― Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief
I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside of you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It’s hollow.
―E. L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Image: Rest at Harvest by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1865
As human beings we move from one reality to another, crossing so many bridges that we become bridges ourselves: between countries, between cultures, between periods of time, between our own memories.
Most of the time we simply keep moving.
Sometimes synchronicity, the meaningful connection between seemingly unrelated events, stops us in our tracks and asks us to reevaluate and reinterpret how we see our lives and their connection to others around us. The Other Immigrants by Saba Husain is a revealing expression of one of those moments.
Passing through the soaring architecture of Grand Central Terminal in New York City, in the footsteps of travelers and immigrants from many lands, Saba is transported back to her home in Lahore, Pakistan. It was a whisper carried across the famed Whispering Gallery that took her back to childhood under the lemon trees. She hints with an eloquent simplicity at a sense of continuity between her younger self and the self that now makes a home in this distant land. It seems, almost, that she could step across time and into the streets of Lahore, taking us with her.
Saba Husain, published in Natural Bridge Journal #34, Fall 2015
Note the path that winds its way through Saba’s words. How exhilarating and humbling to experience a moment in which the pattern of your life reveals itself!
Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them.
―Michael Michalko, Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking, from The Creativity Post, December 6, 2011