I've written before that my favorite book in the bible is probably Ecclesiastes and that's mainly because it seems almost Buddhist in its incantations. I've actually memorized my favorite lines:
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity! What does man gain by all the toil by which he toils under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness, a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
I don't know about you, but that passage gives me comfort -- it's that acknowledgement of one's relative insignificance in the grand scheme of things that makes me feel not just relief but gratitude to even be here at all. As I wrote that out, though, I felt a tiny pinprick of fear that I generally don't feel -- and that has much to do with the environmental degradation of our planet, how the phrase the earth remains forever could very possibly be presumptuous.
Here's the re-post of an old post:
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Changed by a Child
You know how when you're ambling around, sipping a cup of coffee from Starbucks, sitting in the driver's seat of the car with the door open and not wanting to get out because the sun is shining perfectly on your face and outstretched leg that's perched on the handle of the door and you know that inside are unmade beds and bills piled up and the thought, forever lodged, about what to do with Sophie, about Sophie, for Sophie.
Well, five minutes ago, there I sat. And I sighed (there's nothing like a good sigh), stood up and out of the car and went inside. When I checked my email, one of my dearest friends had sent me this on Facebook, and if that isn't what Jung calls "synchronicity," I don't know what is.
Accommodation by Barbara Gill
A relentless southwest wind blows in the Laramie Range of Wyoming. It has blown for eons, scraping the mountains bare of soil, carving out the landscape. It causes trees to grow at an angle and lifts into the air things that ought to stay on the ground. It complicates all manner of human activity. People who live there successfully have reached an accommodation with the wind; some who couldn't went insane.
Disability is a steady west wind in our lives. It permeates our existence, altering the topography of our days and causing our families and our life to grow at an angle. Without judging the wind as good or bad, we can observe the truth of it, acknowledge the force of it in our lives, and take the measure of our accommodation.