Tag Archives: perspective

Geologic Time

I don’t know a better way to put things in perspective, for oneself or one’s children, than to think of things in geologic time.

To show them the landscape that looks so huge and eternal, and to let them know that in reality, it is moving and changing as surely as the wildflowers make their fleeting appearance and then die. Change is the law, and anything that is before you, whether it seems pleasant or painful, will soon be gone.

The fantastic amounts of time involved in geologic processes also helps us concentrate on the present moment, and put our  human time frame in perspective. That special event next week that you are so desperate for you feel like you will explode? That’s not even a couple seconds away in geologic time.

The most amazing things in life cannot simply be bought at the store ready made. They take time, effort, sometimes tools of a paradoxical nature, such as water to wear away stone… or build it up. We learn that success requires perseverance, that it is a process, not a final destination.

When we see the rocks and even attempt to understand the length of time involved, it clears our mind of all the tiny little limits we tend to operate within. It opens us up to infinity.


Equality in Cuteness

This perspective is difficult to admit, even to myself. But maybe I’m just getting old and that’s the way my point of view naturally shifts. Maybe I’ve studied and contemplated the Buddhist approach to reality long enough that my world view must inevitably shift to see things in a whole new light. Maybe my husband’s tendency toward the curmudgeonly has rubbed off.

The latest leap came yesterday as I was surfing blogs. I ran across page after page of mommies cooing about their kids in the sweetest way. These parents are so excited about their new little bundle and they want to chronicle every tiny moment, share every second with the entire world. Up until yesterday it warmed my heart to see other people appreciating the magic that is parenthood.

But yesterday, as I scrolled past the umpteenth photo of edible baby toes, the epiphany came: All Baby Toes Are Equally Cute.

This is an innocuous enough admission, until we begin to examine where this observation will lead: Your Child’s Adorable Toes are Not a New Revelation.

Can a person get bored with baby toes? Has my heart grizzled to the point where I am no longer wooed by such an amazing manifestation of life’s gloriousness?

I know that for the rest of my life, whenever baby toes are in my immediate vicinity, I will always take advantage of the opportunity to appreciate them, whether they are attached to my own child’s foot or the foot of a stranger’s baby.

But is this what I am wasting so much time in front of a monitor for, to witness the minutiae of another parent’s trip? Is this why we enter the online universe, to obsessively chronicle each step of the journey? Are we not trying to get to a different place, a “What Does It All Mean” Big Picture?

I know — harsh, dude. Not trying to be a buzz kill. Like I say, maybe it’s age. I remember wanting to freeze every second in an immortal record, to share the awe-inspiring experience of a new being. I remember being so deeply inside the connection with a newborn that the whole rest of the world became fuzzy and pointless.

And as a new parent, that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be.

But after having many, many of those experiences, and observing that others register a similar experience, I feel done with the newbie exclamations of intensely personal awestruck amazement.

Maybe I am just ready to take this fact of, yes, we as parents are incredibly lucky to be part of such a wonderful thing, and see what’s up around the bend. To witness the larger implications of the extreme adorableness of baby toes such as these:

I guess where I’m going with this new perspective is to remind these parents, enamored with the bits of flesh and bone that grip the plush carpet in their nice home (because aren’t most of us bloggers the privileged people who can afford to have a digital camera, computer, internet connection, and the time and energy to use them?) that they need to do more than swoon and take pictures.

When they encounter a rude teenage boy, they need to remember that his toes were once as cute as their own little tyke’s. When they are stuck in line with a cashier who is having such a hard day she can’t keep it together enough to be friendly or helpful, they must keep in mind that her child’s toes are just as edible as their own child’s. When they must deal with an old person driving too slowly down the road, they must appreciate that this person’s DNA is likely the blueprint for an entire clan’s worth of adorable digits.

Go beyond the rules, social guidelines, habitual rage and narrow perspective that we all get caught in and base your worldly participation in baby-toe-cuteness, because you as an aware parent know personally, on a visceral level, that it leads you to a new place beyond labels and the limiting pettiness of social conformity.

Take your awestruck gooeyness and make it count.

The Word is Life

There are as many ways to God as there are created souls.  —Sufi saying

We are all standing in a different spot on the planet, seeing the world with our individual eyes, relating to God from our own hearts.  We look to creation for connection, scan the horizon for a sign, comb the sand for broken pieces of the truth.

You turn inward, enter into the depths of your soul and (e)merge with the words God whispered to you in the dark still quiet.

You can share with others the wisdom you have gained; you can write it carefully in a Book.  But no matter how much they study, they will only see the shadow of your experience.

I must speak to God myself.

My unfolding will not match yours.  I will not be the same color, the same size, I will not have the same number of petals.  Your Book can keep me company, but it cannot tell me how to unfurl into the flower that I am.

We can walk together, hand in hand, but we cannot enter the water in the exact same spot.  We cannot hear the exact same Word.

Your path is only one path.  Your Book is only one book.

Your hell is only one fantasy.  Your God is only one face of the Divine.

Don’t let your Book trap you within its pages.  Don’t limit God to ink on paper.  Don’t mistake the map for the Way.

Live the Word that breathes and pulses and moves you to joyful Union.

 A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey.  — Sufi saying