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Saturday
Jan012011

Wordless in a World of Words

I have a love/hate relationship with words. On the one hand, they are an essential tool for human communication. They can be crafted into exquisite poems, lofty speeches, necessary instruction, entertaining stories. The downside, for me at least, is their woeful inadequacy when it comes to matters of spirit. There are things I have come to know, without a shadow of a doubt, in my 60 plus years of life in this world-- things I would love to share, to give others the peace that is now the undercurrent of my life, the calm and steady alertness that descends during times of trial. I am not the same person I was a couple decades ago. I remember how I used to be and I laugh at the contrast between then me and now me. Now, outwardly, this may or may not be a noticeable thing. My personality is still basically the same as it was when I was younger. I tend to overplan the day to day things, striving for a perfection I know I can never reach. I can exhibit impatience or lie awake worrying about this or that. The difference now, the big difference is that I am aware of this striving, perfectionistic personality but not totally identified with it. It amuses me, it is not my identity.  I notice it is clearly not packing the punch it used to in terms of anxiety and stress. Like a wheel after the foot has been taken off the accelerator, it keeps spinning but it is slowing down. Losing momentum. About time.

But, I digress. My frustration with words is the subject. I think about how I got here, in this good place, in this lovely inner land of gratefulness and acceptance and awareness of the beauty all around me. I want to share the route with everyone, email the Mapquest directions, give clear instructions how to get from point A to point B. But I cannot. One of those things I have learned, one of the beyond a shadow of doubt things, is that I cannot. Oh, I can give pointers. I can describe the cookie jar and hope it helps folks somehow get their hands on the cookies. But the truth is, I'm not even sure how I got here exactly. There were a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs, bad times and good times. It was, I now laughingly realize, a journey from here to here. No distance covered, no movement on the odometer, just a different perspective on life that has made all the difference. You can have it too. Pay attention to silence in this world of noise. Pay attention to the unseen in this world of many things. Pay attention to the wordless in this world of words. Just pay attention.

 

"Words are finite organs of the infinite mind.They cannot cover the dimensions of what is in truth. They break, chop and impoverish it."     

 Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

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