Thursday, September 03, 2009

are we there yet?

It's a mantra we hear floating from the back seat of the car during the much anticipated family vacation. Its one we hear inside our own heads as we struggle with our wants and neglect the waiting period. "Are we there yet?" Like most humans, I tend to skip ahead to a place of want and desired expectations leaving behind the concept and the importance of time. I create my own timelines which rarely coincide with how life and events unfold. Its like I am programmed to jump ahead to the end of the story rather than live it in the moment.

Now! Immediate! I want to taste the succulent juice of a ripe strawberry in spring before the blossoms are even off the vine. I have a tough time waiting in the line.

How do we learn to allow the plant to bear the fruit? How do we learn to be more patient with the growth and eventual fermentation that exists beyond our yearnings? If I can envision what I want and how I believe it will unfold, the process of unfolding ......... of waiting until the time is right becomes even more impossible to grasp onto.

Are we there yet?

Sometimes we are so focused on the destination, on the question of whether we are THERE we miss the exit. Sometimes we are so determined to "get there" that we can't appreciate where we are.

In relationships
At work
In our learning
As parents
As humans
with friends.

Are we ever there yet...........or is there something more appetizing beyond the horizon? I seem to keep having to learn the same lesson over and over again. The lesson? If we stick to some self imposed schedule of how our connections with others, or of how our life plans are supposed to play out, we are blinded away from the small yet extremely significant moments. They remain unnoticed as beautiful. If we are only programmed to see the fireworks, we will never see the glow of the punk that lights the fuses. That little punk holds the heat of a thousand spectacular displays. Isn't that where we should dwell? Not looking up at the night sky where explosions of grandeur take place, but in focusing on the glowstick that ignites it?

I am blind, but I want to see.

Sometimes I want to see before the vision is even there to absorb!

Are we there yet? We are there when we simply surrender to the fact that the breaths we take during the life we live hold the possibility of being there.

I was struck by the confession we spoke in unison at the Sunday worship held at the Greenbelt Festival. To me, it encapsulated the theme of the weekend and my personal struggle to live in the moment. It also made me realize that obviously I'm not a human being alone with this struggle. We all have a tendancy to whine about sooooooooo wanting to be arriving at whatever destination we hold dear to our hearts...... I'd like to share it with you. These are the words we said out loud. These are the words I will return to and repeat on my own, knowing they hold such grace and meaning to me:

A Confession:

rather than attend to the cries of those in trouble
we turned our ears to easier frequencies....
rather than stand In The Long Now of sacred history
we became preoccupied with our own short stories....
rather than tend to that promise of the tiny olive seed
we neglected things which take a while to bear fruit.....
rather than you will be done,
we took the waiting out of the wanting and did our own thing...

When we are less than you hope for us
forgive us and renew us.
When we are short sighted and want it all now
inspire us with a longer view
When we remember you have forgiven us
remind us to forgive others and to forgive ourselves.


It goes against my grain ....... Standing in the Long Now. I am one who delves into my own imagination to create short stories of how things will unfold. You'd think I'd learn that this rarely happens.... that my short stories are predominantly fiction based. I want to make it happen. AS.I.SEE.IT. All I can do is try. All I can do is to focus on my breath, knowing that every once in a while, when the time is just right, my breath will be taken away from me. And at that very moment, I will find myself floating in thin air. Magically.

Are we there yet? We may never be. But, then again, we just may. Its not up totally up to us. This is what I have to remember.

ps. and if I happen to stomp on your toes while I stumble along trying to shake the mantra, "are we there yet, " out of my impatient being, please accept my apologies.


Gilly said...

Such wise words, such insight! Dana, you put me to shame! I find it hard now to see inside myself - and if that sounds odd, well, there it is!

I'll email you.

And I love your new header photo. It really speaks to me of eternity, of time flowing, of serenity.

Kay said...

So much said, so much to be said....I don't even know where to begin, but you ARE blessed with enough insight into yourself, your observations clean and clear that any unanswered questions, are right there in front of you, remarkable, to say the least. To know ones' self.

Awareness said...

Gilly....One of the sentences I wrote in my journal when I first arrived onsite at the Festival was "looking out and looking in..." I think our best insights are when we notice what is happening around us and not within us. Actually, I think we learn more about ourselves when we glean perspective from others. Sometimes our inner ramblings get a bit distorted as we can only see them one dimensionally. Whereas, our reflections show up in the eyes of the others and in the environment we find ourselves living in. John O'Donohue's line...."make your gaze beautiful" sums it up perfectly for me.

The photo I took in Bath. It is the river Avon. They looked like flowing steps. I'm glad you like it. What a BEAUTIFUL city!

Kay...the weekend at Greenbelt was overwhelming to say the least and I am left feeling more exhausted than I can even fathom being! I have so many ideas I want to write about, and they all seem jumbled up like socks in a sock drawer! Last night, after 3 glasses of wine and conversations, I sat down and let this piece find its way very quickly. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was a joy and a relief to let it out. :) A stroke of insight after vino is often the very best kind!
Insight is a slippery concept.... one day you feel like you've been struck by it and the next day you find yourself back at the bottom of the hill lost in translation with no compass.

kenju said...

Love this one. I don't think I will ever be 'there'.

Carmi said...

Your wisdom once again reminds us of the need to drink in the journey. I often feel sorry for those so focused on the destination that they fail to appreciate what they can learn along the way.

I needed this today. Thanks Dana!

BlazngScarlet said...

It's not the destination.
We all know the eventual destination anyway.
It's the journey.

You have always had such wonderfully clear insight Dana ... but thanks for reminding the rest of us that get caught up and sometimes flounder.

Awareness said... much as i have days when I'm convinced I know where that elusive "there" is, I don't think I'll ever make it either. Though I must say Greenbelt felt like "there" to me. I know deep in my soul that it was exactly where I needed to be.

Carmi...the line in my post...."I am blind and I want to see...." was spoken by my friend Pip whom I spent the weekend with at the festival. It was a beautiful reminder of how we miss out on so many tiny moments because we are blinded by the goal up ahead. The whole weekend was in fact a reminder of that. And it was much needed in my life too. I'm glad you dropped by today friend.

Scarletina....three glasses of wine and the insight becomes that much clearer....or so it seemed last night when I wrote it. :) Glad to have you back.... hope your holidays were wonderful.

Marja said...

Great post Dana I am just learning to be happy with little steps of progress but often the frustration is bigger. I want to much to soon and when I think about it why do I want what I want. Anyway loved to read your inspiring post again

swile67 said...