NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE

One Moment

October 29, 2018

 

“It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.”

- Mary Oliver -

 

Sadness has been the air I’ve been breathing this last week. My step-mother-in-law’s sudden passing, a friend’s sudden heart attack with a long recovery, the incomprehensible killings of the eleven elderly members of The Tree of Life Synagogue. 

 

When the weight of loss and grief, both personal and universal, becomes so heavy as to fog my vision and perspective, I turn to poetry, to nature, to quiet—in search of a moment that echoes Mary Oliver’s plea to wake up to the contradictory nature of living now in our fractured world. 

 

Entering into such a moment I can touch the clear lightness of calm and compassion once again, able to hold the great sorrow and the sustaining love that surrounds me at all times, able to inhabit my day with right speech and right actions. To remind me of this practice, this truth of mine, a hummingbird appeared outside the car window yesterday, sitting long enough and still enough for its portrait. And so I repeat the great poet’s words:

 

“It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.”

 

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Calming Practice: Holding One's Life

 

Do your best to embrace both the difficulties and the joys 

that inhabit your life.

Give the breadth and depth of your experience

room to breathe.

Feel the transformative power, the gratitude contained in this holding. 

 

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