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10/21/10

Geography of the Mind

Balancing Act... 

Things of nature that are constant, like mountains and the sun rising and setting every day, are the everlasting backdrop of what is constantly moving, such as human nature and the course of societal events. The natural world provides for us a reminder, should we choose to stop and look at it no matter where we live, that it endures and goes on with a certain regularity and rhythm. It changes with the seasons but the regularity of the seasons and what they will bring is certain.

Similarly human events do have a pattern to them but they toss and turn in our day to day lives since we're immersed, by our very human nature, in the course of our lives and the society we live in. The world of people is in constant flux and irregular in our vision, as we partake in what each day brings, the good and the bad as well as the mundane. In the larger tableau of life, history really does repeat itself and overall the behavior of people is pretty predictable. We lose sight of that as daily miracles, commonplace events and problems present themselves, while we're caught up in conducting our activities.

There's something disconcerting about this lack of proportion in our minds between the background of the natural world and the foreground of everyday happenings. Very few of us are wise enough, especially in this workaday hustle and bustle world, to take even brief moments of time out of the day and put things in perspective of what is constant and enduring versus what is brief and ephemeral.

This year has been, in a gut-wrenching way, a period of change and growth for me. I accept the teeth gritting upheaval part and don't resent it but don't enjoy it either but embrace it only as a necessary part of getting to where I want to go on a personal level. Where I struggle is in reminding myself to observe the example of the constant of the natural world, to keep in balance the fluidity of the social world, at a time when I most need stability to stay on the right track. Therein lies the greatest challenge, since that balance also means simultaneously learning the freedom and peace of mind I am seeking for the long term.