A Sunday in April's view on life
So many of you want to know how my sabbatical is going and I stumble again and again to find honest words that will land in your ears and not simply fall flat. I can say that my so called "sabbatical" has been mysterious, challenging, demanding, generous, gorgeous and taunting. My dreams show me that I am astride it's wild stallion and tentatively touching the dangerous gentle creatures it sends my ways….I am most definitely swirling in a cauldron of knowing nothing. Dormancy is presenting it’s secrets.
I have had moments of panic when my rational mind went twirling and dancing into a twister of rational chaos…my frightened one demanding to know what AM I going to do with this life…how WILL you make a living? Similarly I remember my mother’s voice (and not so long ago) saying “when are you going to get a REAL job?”
Breathe Jade, breathe.
I ponder this phrase used so extraordinarily often “what do you do for a living?” Though we might understand why we use those words, my philosopher wonders why so much focus and concentration is given over the mundane and often ego-centric financial aspect of our living. While it is absolutely true that most of us seem to need to earn money in order to have a home and food and transportation in the world, why is that the primary question asked at our average meeting? It’s not “what is your greatest passion?” or “how do you spend your blessed hours of living?” or as Mary Oliver says “what will you do with your one wild and precious life?”
We are consumed by and ask about the ways we make money.
I patiently suggest to my worried voices that they avert their eyes, for the moment from the financial planning mode, and instead, hold steady on other questions…and allow the resting moments…the nothingness epiphanies…the hours spent reading or gazing at the horizon with no mission filling the space. Simply being aware, and coming to notice how foundational that awareness is. It is crucial. I also urge myself to see how detrimental my judgment of what I am aware of, is. (thank you Adyashanti!)
My shmita is, strangely, a fertile but fallow field at the moment….isn’t that contradictory? Seemingly so and yet these silent seeds that are still tightly tucked into their place in the world, awaiting a warm life giving, moisture to penetrate them, are inherently fertile and bursting with life. This cyclic life carries with it the fate of oppositions….death and life depend on and lean into one another…stillness and action carry one another…and as Martin Prechtel reminds us, grief and praise live in the same mansion. I am coming to trust that my fallowness is jam packed with creation’s fertile promise, and that my inspiration depends on the time of pausing in silence.
It could not be otherwise.
Contradictions invite evolution.