Here are some stray thoughts that came my way this week.
The mind is a beautiful instrument.Unfortunately, I use it all too often to torment myself.
Every moment, life brings us just what we need to deepen and grow.See the gift.
I believe both of the following statements are true:We are alone.We are never alone.It's in our power to open to both realities and to think/behave in ways that make one truth more real for us than the other.
"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages."Friedrich Nietzsche.
Been thinking lately about idealism and realism in romance.A lifelong romantic, I started doodling hearts at age 4.I know all too well the yearning for love's intoxication.
The knight questing for Holy Grail, the lone seafarer searching for Tropical Paradise, the romantic looking for The One: these stories emphasize the element of search.That's where the challenge is.Implied is the notion that once you find the one, your work is pretty much done.There's plenty to eat in paradise.The trick is to find the island.
Another model of relationship is peeking its way into my consciousness:the gardener.I remember, as a kid, I didn't like gardening.I especially disliked weeding.I wasn't fond of hoeing either.Perhaps it’s the new house.Perhaps it's having a partner who can't wait to garden next spring.Anyway, I'm warming to the idea.
Gardeners find a good plot of land, cultivate it, nourish it, plant seeds, water, weed, cultivate and nourish some more.They harvest and enjoy their crops - grateful for what they have, accepting that some years are leaner than others.Some gardeners freeze or can for enjoyment and nourishment during the winter.
During winter, gardeners often think about and prepare for the next spring, when the cycle begins anew.They are famous for trying new things, learning new techniques, paying attention to what works and what doesn't.Master gardeners remain students.They study the art of gardening and the unique nature of their particular garden.Year after year, they tend and attend.Year after year, their gardens grow even more unique, more beautiful, and more abundant.
I know of no stories out there about gardeners searching and searching for the perfect plot to plant.For gardeners, it's not the search that's important.It's what you do after you pick a piece of ground that counts.
On our last day in the Boundary Waters, my good friend Doug and I decided to fish a small lake that had no trail leading to it.Since the lake was almost certainly seldom visited, we imagined it teeming with hungry Bass and Northern Pike.
Heading west from a nearby campsite, we pushed and weaved our way over, under, around and through dense underbrush, branches, downed trees, boulders and crevices till we got to a marshy swamp that signaled our proximity to the lake.After another quarter-mile of slogging, we arrived at relatively firm ground on lakeshore, then proceeded to bushwhack for another couple hours, as we fished up the shoreline (there was no sandy beach on this lake).
All that effort for one eight-inch perch Doug snagged on his first cast and released.It was totally worth it.
Our adventure reminds me of a challenge I face in relationship.Through years of repetition, I've etched in my brain well worn paths that do not serve me – old stories of loss and disappointment, gloomy predictions, well-worn protection strategies – familiar trails, leading to familiar places.
I need to bushwhack in my brain – head into wilderness, blaze new trails, risk the unknown.It's damn hard work, way harder than it looks on a map.But the going gets easier with each trip into new territory.New paths form.Old trails diminish from disuse.
Brain pathways are more malleable than we once believed. While paths are made by walking, they're begun by bushwhacking.