Sunday, July 20, 2014

YOU CAN'T CONTROL THIS



It is impossible to cheat this reality.....life is transient.

Everything is passing. It has been a very contemplative day for me. Most of it spent in solitude, stillness, silence, and surrounded by beauty. The photography is a contemplative practice for me as well. Whether I have the camera with me or not, there are times when my mind is still and I am attentive to remaining singularly focused on what is in front of me in each moment. Today I live in a mode of always sensing that there is no shortage of things worthy of the reverence with which I am learning to approach this wild trip of being alive and being here.

There are also times I attempt as best I can to enter into the Nothingness where all the clutter and noise of the surface quiets down. In this space one has a chance to begin to hear another voice speak. And I came to find out that this voice is not the "voice" I became familiar with in my days of religious practice. The religious voice was a voice that never brought to me the joy, and peace, and rest I have found over the past several years. And real tangible paradox comes into play here as well. A clearer view of "what is" happens in this contemplative space. A clearer view that travels right next to mystery and uncertainty and dances together...inseparable. I no longer feel the need to untangle them. Some things just belong together.

My best friend stopped by for a brief visit today...unannounced. He found me sitting on the swing in the garden space behind the house. He joined me on the swing for a bit and we talked. He brought up a new reality he is becoming acquainted with....transience. In a way it has been forced upon him. He has been in a long season of having things stripped away from him. Big things. Things that would leave most men I know cowering in a corner in a fetal position drooling on themselves. He and I can relate now. When that kind of season came upon me several years ago we couldn't. He didn't understand. When he had to leave, as he walked away he turned back to me and through a shaky voice and tears he said...and I am now losing this too. He and I have lived across the street from each other for 28 years. And that has happened in 3 different neighborhoods. We grew up in the same house too. He is my younger brother. Due to some of those things being stripped away from him they will be moving. To just surprise me at a moments notice by walking across the street to chat will not happen anymore once they move. Things are changing.

Who knows, I too might at some point be forced to let this quiet tranquil garden space I have developed over the past 18 years go. Everything is changing.

I am pleased to be able to say that I have come to understand and accept, embrace, that solid ground isn't ground that doesn't move. Solid ground is a reality and it is more like a river that flows and changes. And it is best to let go. If you don't....arms can get jerked off.

Acceptance is a very subversive and transformative force. And there is still a lot of pain to endure, regardless.

2 comments:

Lesa Henion Coberly said...

Kent,
I came across your page through Lifestream and just started reading some of your posts. I was feeling a little lost in this life, swept up by currents that I cannot see but feel the pull from. In the current I have felt displaced, separate from those around me as if I am on the outside looking in. I had begun to be concerned that there was something wrong, depression maybe, though I have not had to walk that road like many others have in life. I read your post no longer be jerked around and found those few words helpful, thank you. I know God works in mysterious ways, I have seen Him do so many times in my life but have lately felt adrift, unmoored to the people around me and the situations I find myself participating in. Reading your post reminded me that God often times works in these moments to bring about change. I had forgotten that. thanks again, have a great day.

Kent said...

Hello Lesa. I'm glad you stumbled upon something helpful here.

It is so difficult for us to accept that turbulence, unsettledness, and feeling separated from the places and people we once felt we fit or belonged, can be the very spirit of God at work in us. Remember that holy really means.....set apart.

And this set apart isn't about a life not connected. It just turns what we had known about being connected on its head.

I've come to know that most connection that people live in isn't healing. Most connections with others are defined by people attempting to scrape from others something they are convinced they need in order to feel happy and whole. This means that most connections are all about using others.

To be set apart from that kind of connecting is a beautiful thing. But crossing that threshold will create much turbulence. So much so, most abandon it and return to what is familiar....even if often unsatisfying.

God desire is to separate us from that and set us apart. If we can linger there something transformative happens to us. We begin to draw from our only source of life everything we have always needed and wanted....we belong wholly and perfectly right here in that wilderness that is God where we are alone.

And then something really beautiful happens. We begin to then notice that a new kind of connecting with others has begun to happen. We are no longer trying to scrape from them what we need. And it is now that we can just be with others and be there for them in a loving and gracious and caring way.