Monday, September 10, 2018


My birthday is just around the corner and it seems like it's always a catalyst for deeper reflection.  I get more pensive this time of year.  With the shifting of the weather and the changing of the season, I think back over the past year.  As the crisp autumn air enters my lungs and the chill creeps up my limbs, memories and emotions start to crystalize and form a picture.  I try to take a few moments to examine the image, learning from what has come before.

The past year has been a tumble of emotions, a swirl of triumphs and sorrows.  I've felt so fragmented, as if to carry on through the highs and lows, I've had to compartmentalize and embrace the individual facets more.  I have to admit that I was struggling with this.  How can you be happy and sad at the same time?  How can you be excited and fearful all at once?  How do all the pieces and parts fit together to form a whole?

Most days I vacillate between an iron will to push forward and get things done and being immobilized by this sense of being lost and weeping not only for myself, but the world.  I know that my tears aren't an elixir to cure the hurts of the world and that there is little accomplished by feeling the way I do, but I can't help it.  It's like the more that I try to be productive and proactive, the more the other feelings grow.  One cannot eclipse the other.  They're locked in a battle of escalating emotions.

Do you remember a game of plucking petals from a flower alternating between, "he loves me" and "he loves me not"?  As I was contemplating the past year, this image popped into my head.  At first I dismissed it.  Why was THAT relevant?  But I kept coming back to it.  And then it hit me.

Life is like a flower.  A flower is made up of petals.  Even though the petals feel wholly individual, they are all connected and form a single object.  When we look at a flower, do we see each petal or do we see the collective whole?  I think I've been looking a little too closely and need to step back to really appreciate the whole picture.  While certainly there has been sadness or hardship, there has also been moments of joy, happiness, and peace.  And perhaps because of the former, the latter is made all the more beautiful.  Life is bittersweet and full of texture.  It is made up of highs and lows and can be appreciated more fully when considered together.  The fragments form a mosaic, a picture that can only be seen from a distance.  Being myopic can be useful, but it's just one way of seeing.

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