This is hard for me, but I’ve decided to take another break from blogging. Not sure how long it will be this time, but it’s going to be a complete break. I’m just busy with something that, at the moment, is going to need most of my time. Keep well and enjoy your blogging. :)
I read a marvellous quote on Rogene’s blog, Espirational. It was by Meryl Streep. She said, “Pretending is not just play. Pretending is imagined possibility. Pretending, or acting is a very valuable like skill and we do it all the time.”
It’s one of those quotes that invokes in me a kind of “Yes” and a “No.” Yes, because I think pretence can be used for coping, protection and the imagining of oneself in to possibility, but No, because it does have the constant and insidious capacity to alienate us from true identity.
Is there then such a thing as necessary pretence, and does it assist in the journey towards true identity, or is it simply a barrier that must be dissolved at all costs? I’d love to sit down with Meryl Streep and talk to her about it, but more so with the brilliant and tragic Robin Williams.
This time of the year I begin to scan the skies for the arrival of the Yellow- Billed Kites, my favourite bird. I always have the feeling that something precious has returned with my first sighting. It’s a beautiful bird and spends the time between August and March of the following year with us. During this time, virtually every day, they make these low level passes over our homes hunting for all sorts, their sharp eyes working and scanning the ground and their magnificent wings and tail skilfully steering them through the air.
Right now I’m filled with a wonderful sense of expectation. It can be any day now. :) I wrote this Haiku for them. I wish I could read it out to them when they arrive. :)
Wings mounting the wind
Eyes searching the ground
In them, heaven and earth are one
An extremely strong tremor shook our country yesterday. Many felt it, but strangely enough there were many others who didn’t. I was one of the latter.Twitter was alive with responses and so was our local radio station.
I couldn’t help but chuckle when one young woman called in to the station and said quite seriously, and I mean seriously, “I’m so sorry I never felt it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The earth never seems to move for me.”
She only realized afterwards what she’d actually said. :)
Thandi belongs to our community. She has three children and a husband who got tired of her and went off with someone else, leaving her with no support. As a teacher she has worked hard and raised her children on her own, at times under the most difficult conditions. Through immense courage she has become a strong and independent woman.
Herein lays the tragedy of her loneliness. She is not allowed to have any contact with her three sisters and any of her friends, this by order of their husbands, the reason being that she may sow seeds of greater independence and freedom in them. The male psyche can be so infantile at times and so weak in its so called strength.
Thandi may be lonely, but she is her own person expressing with dignity her own identity. Perhaps, hard as it may seem, her husband did her a favour by walking out. The beauty is she knows this to be true.
In the West intense interest in the practice of Mindfulness has been nothing short of phenomenal. I practice it myself and have experienced life-changing benefit from it. Others I know have received the same.
But, as I’ve shared in this practice I’ve also been made aware of the pitfalls, not because Mindfulness itself is flawed, but because of the human tendency to always misunderstand and want to take short-cuts.
For me the biggest problem was and still is the constant temptation to almost unconsciously want to move in to a form of destructive detachment. I speak for myself here. I have to watch this very carefully. I’ve noticed that when I practice mindfulness without being mindful of mindfulness itself, I can slowly counsel myself in to passivity. Then the practice becomes a kind of medication to distract my attention from underlying problems and issues that have to be dealt with.
So, for me, if my practice does not lead to healthy and constructive engagement with the underlying issues that cause the stress or difficulty in the first place, it’s meaningless. I’m convinced that when Mindfulness individualizes and anaesthetizes, it is no longer Mindfulness.
Yesterday I was once again made aware of how the clowns amongst us essentially avoid conflict. When something other than gladness or joy is expressed, like fear, hurt or anger, the clown is quick to tell a joke or make a winsome remark.
The tactic is painfully obvious, superficial and in most cases downright annoying. With the others I gave the polite little smile, and eventually, when I walked away, I thought, “Shit! I should have said something.”