Sunday, April 24, 2011

easter sunday

i've always wondered


to be in a state of wonder
as a verb: to desire or be curious to know something
as a noun: the emotion aroused by something awe-inspiring, astounding, or marvelous

they go hand-in-hand a lot of the time in the moebius strip of my own experience.

if i'm curious about something, it leads to awe and marvel.
if i am in awe and marvel at something, i am curious to know more.

this morning, i am wondering about this world - this waystation on a much longer journey than the all too brief experience of this plane of existence might suggest . . .

this place is comprised of so much surface beauty that it is simply too overwhelming
to contemplate the incredible detail of even one square metre of it.
that tells me that there is something contained in the unimaginable plethora of its extravagance . . .
a signpost to something richer and more exquisite.
perhaps even, more essential.


i am wondering about how my life would be easier and simpler if i hadn't also come to recognize this place as an opportunity for a very specialized sort of work ... but i do recognize it as that and i also recognize
that so long as i am here in this body,
i am meant to do that work . . .

in fact, it's a gift.

this skinny, slowly-getting-visibly older body
and the opportunity i have been given to use it is a gift.
it is a signpost to an opportunity to do work.

in a world that perceives work as onerous and a means to an end
- an end that is very much other than the work itself -
how did i end up seeing work as a gift, and why?

well, work is not just what i do for a living.
although i believe that the work i do by which i earn the comforts and necessities of my life is worthy work
(and 'worthy' in my own lexicon means that i have the opportunity to bring greater goodness into the world).

here's a question or three for you: where does that greater goodness come from?
how does it arrive?
how do we make ourselves available to it and moderate its passage to whomever and wherever it is needed?

in the understanding that has emerged and refined itself through the course of my almost
fifty four years of hanging on for dear life to this turning world,
work is being.

the simple act of being.

and i have come to believe that if a big part of being is work,
then that means that every little thing i do, think, wish, hope for, is one little fractal of the whole of my work which also means
(for those who know that karma is much more than a synonym for consequence),
that i must always and everywhere bring whatever goodness i can, into the actions that are my work.

that's hard work.
truly it is!

my work is about the quality of my being and my doing.
and so beneath the surface of my human existence there is the opportunity to bring goodness into this world.

that's what i know.

for now.


Ruth said...

Thanks for talking about your wondering. I don't have any answers for your first two questions. And the only answer I have to your third is something like yours, to be. It really is hard work, I agree with you.

On my maybe worst day ever at work last week, when students were clawing at me for help, one at a time, I thought I'd die. Later at home, I realized that every look on my face, every bodily gesture, has power in those students' lives. They come in a little nervously, that they have waited so long for advising. What will I tell them? It's easy to be careless when I'm exhausted. But the next day I decided that no matter how tired and annoyed I am in my job, I want to control my spirit and countenance. I can conserve my energy and not be as effusive as usual (!).

Anyway, we have far more power in our being than we often recognize, I think.

Happy Easter, Steven.

Titus said...

Wonderful thoughts steven, and there is some inspiration there too. I'm frazzled and in one of those 'Why do I bother so much' places, and that was a help, and an reminder.
So thank you. I also loved 'unimaginable plethora of its extravagance'. Isn't it just!

Jo said...

Your post takes me back to my Environmental Sciences class at university with one of my most enlightened professors.

Half the course was spent in the field, where we laid out a grid of one square acre. We were assigned to chart every living organism in the field. Of course, we missed much in our haste to cover the large area.

Then we decreased the size of the grid to 10 square meters, and again charted what we found. Within a few weeks, we had gone from one acre down to one square inch, and still we were admonished for what we missed, and what was still there beyond what was visible to the naked eye.

As the semester was coming to an end, he gave a lecture to the class on taking this experience, and expanding our view of it in all directions, increasing and decreasing, inwardly and outwardly. The lesson was awe inspiring, and made me feel the enormity of the universe, but also the significant influence that one person can have within his or her own space.

If he were alive today, Dr. Dusing would be well into his eighties. I hope he knows how deeply he affected one shy young student so many years ago.

Keep bringing goodness into this world, Steven. Your work, your being, is so very important.

Reya Mellicker said...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Behold and beauty makes itself available.

Wonder arises in the heart, it's an opening I think, a spaciousness.

Goodness is all around us. I think we make it available by remembering, something you do every day here and I bet also in your "real" life.

I am very grateful to come here every day, to read the thoughts you leave on my blog. So grateful. I wonder if you can imagine how much?

much love, goodness and wonder to you,

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Inspiring wonderment and questions, Steven. I think the "for now" epilogue is essential and it is so "you" ... the lessons you have learned and shared, in the eager willingness to have them be enriched by and subsumed into the ones that follow, as soon as you ponder that next square meter of extravagant beauty in the very next tick of a second on the Moebius strip (!!) of your existence.

The Weaver of Grass said...

My view, Steven, is that we are here, whether we like it or not. We have been born - put on this earth - and it is up to us to make what we can of that. The more we make of it the better we feel about ourselves, our family, our friends and life in general. Anything less would be a waste of a life we are lucky to have landed with when you think of how some people have to cope with appalling things.

Linda said...

I am happy to visit here and share what you know because your insights are so similar to mine. Your questions are questions I ask myself. Bringing goodness is hard work and the hardest parts of it I think, are consistency and quality. It is extremely difficult at any moment in time to bring a consistent quality of goodness to everything you do. One tires just contemplating this task.

I think we have each other to keep reminding ourselves and reflect in places like our blogs whether we are close to or far away from such lofty ideals. Spring is a time to consider anew the opportunities that await. Keep on enjoying your weekend, Steven. Breathe in the fresh spring air.

hope said...

Mom swears my first question was "Why?", which gave birth to a curiosity which has never ebbed.

For me, the key is to ask the question, then sit still and listen to the answer. Unlike lots of folks, I actually ENJOY the listening part.

Which is why I always come back to discover the "why" of You. :)

steven said...

wow! i read a book, i went away to cook easter dinner, i had a long bike ride up the church of the river valley and then home to these massive amazing kind enlightening and supportive comments. wow! i wanna tell you that i stopped at one point on my ride and a woman pulled up next to me in a car and said "sweet day for a ride!" so i answered that it really was and i loved how the clouds had pulled back and the river was rolling in full steel blue spate and she interrupted "and it's easter!" yeah it surely is. thankyou everyone. i am honoured and privileged to have this connection with you. steven

Valerianna said...

I want to comment, but I am in no way able to answer your questions just yet! Goodness, and I will need to return to read all the other comments. In the meantime... yes, work... presence, learning how to become extremely present. That's big work. Anyway,
I;ll be back... if I feel I can handle those questions!

Linda Sue said...

WONDER- always...and if there is an asshole in the house I just must bring it to their attention, you that bringing goodness? Probably not, it is all in how it is spoken.
But wonder, yes- every moment !

Kay said... my 'nearly 54 years' all i have learnt are there are no answers only questions and crossroads..happy easter steven xx

Anonymous said...

I don't know where the greater goodness comes from, perhaps it just is, it just exists. It exists in love I think. We make ourselves available to it by loving, others and ourselves.

I think work can be a way of loving. I'm a nurse and often care for stressed, terrified people. Mostly I just listen to them. I can't fix anything but I can listen and strangely enough that often helps. I love my job. I feel like I make a small difference in people's lives, that I make a bad time just a little better.

steven said...

lilith - that feels right. steven

lorely said...

I'm still trying to figure out what is work?...what is passion?...what is purpose? and how are they intermingled? do they intermingle? As I reflect upon my life I'm living a completely different path than expected...thanks for your thoughts and imagery...fuels the fire even more...I can definitely see a heavenly image in your clouds and the goodness reflected in your blog...keep searching...