Sunday, December 11, 2011


Around the age of forty -- sometimes slightly before, sometimes slightly after -- many people, Herself included, begin to ask themselves some difficult questions.  It is a time of reevaluation: assessment of all that has come before, and contemplation of what is to come ahead.  Have I made the right choices?  Would I do things differently? Why have I not accomplished all that I thought I would by now?  What did I actually think I would have accomplished by now, anyway? Who am I, truly? What am I doing? What do I want to do? What are my true skills?  How can I pursue my dreams?  What are my dreams?

We look around and see people in the public eye who are so clearly driven by what they do and who are so very successful.  We see young upstarts who somehow become famous and manage to make millions of dollars while still in their teens. How do they do it?  How did they know what to do? Is it too late for us?  Have we somehow missed the boat? It is easy to become discouraged, fearing that we do not have any particular magical, marketable, marvelous skill. What to do?

First, we do what we must, for we have responsibilities. We go to work and to the store. We attend to the myriad minuscule tasks of daily life:  laundry, dishes, bills, plumbing, cars, pets.  We plow ahead. 

And yet:  we dream.  We search. We think about trying new things, even though we do not yet take the steps to do so.  On sunny days, we relish the myriad opportunities that lie in front of us.  In our darker moments, finding even one small comfort seems an insurmountable challenge.  Despite that, we do not yet despair, for we know in our hearts that the sun will come out again. 

We move forward.  We sometimes retreat. We learn to appreciate the pleasure of, and to express gratitude for, the small and profound moments.  We love. We break.  We heal. We look for meaning and purpose.  We wait. We hope. We try.  We try again.

We have courage.  We have patience. All will be revealed in the fullness of time. 

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.

- Kahlil Gibran

Photograph copyright Mediocria Firma, 2011.

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