Friday, April 22, 2016

One Perspective

When I was twenty-nine, I discovered a book titled An Interrupted Life and its author Etty Hillesum. A small, paperback volume. The diaries of a woman who died in Auschwitz at twenty-nine. She spoke so eloquently of life in its day-to-day messiness as well as its deeper mystical qualities.

For me, this quote is a reminder as much as an acknowledgement. It is a reminder to breathe. To notice my body taking in deep breaths. To acknowledge the pause, the rest, between the breaths. In those moments can lie the entire universe. It is in that place where I meet the Divine, where all Creation comes together with the Creator. Not the place where I might hold my breath, but the place where my breath naturally shifts from in to out and from out to in. The place where I don't know in which direction the air is moving. As another mystical writer, T.S. Eliot, put it in Four Quartets, "At the still point of the turning world."

Sometimes, when the world seems at its maddest point, noticing that resting point can return everything to its essential perspective. It doesn't have to be as mad as the Holocaust. It can be overhearing the neighbors argue ~ again; or losing an important paper for work; or waiting for the results of a test. All of those moments are madding. Each speaks to me, to us, of fear or loss or overwhelm. When I can return from those moments, slow the world to more reasonable pace, pause and notice my breath, the madness pauses with it. Although the breath flows both ways, the madness passes and I relax.

How do you read this quote? What do you see/hear in it? What creates madness in your life? How do you recognize the madness? When was the last time you noticed the rest between your two deep breaths?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, that pause between breaths where we can re-centre and re-ground ourselves which has the potential to shift everything.