Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Inspiration Celebration

On Friday morning, as I was pretending I wasn't coming down with this cold I took a moment before work to capture one of the last trees blazing with color:

And some lights that just looked very smooth and peaceful:

I'm really inspired these days by Wayne Muller's book a life of being, having, and doing enough. Here's a passage that just stopped me in my tracks:

"In art, as in psychology, we find the concepts of figure and ground. For example, we may ask our children to draw a house or tree that stands on some grassy field, garnished with blue sky and yellow sun. The background scene of grass and sky is the ground; the house, tree, or person is the figure. The relationship of figure to ground is a tool in understanding the human psyche. Just as our child draws what it believes is the ground of the picture, our psyche chooses as its ground certain firm, trustworthy principles: the way the world works, whether it is dangerous or safe, whether it is permanently fixed or can be changed, and so forth. It then populates this inner world with figures - family members, authority figures, lovers, abusers - who perform on this stage, this ground of the world.

"Our 'ordinary life' in the world is our ground. Stillness is ofen a neglected, fragile figure lurking somewhere in the background. But what if we were to flip this seemingly reasonable and familiar figure ground relationship of ours? What if, instead, stillness became our ground - and the world and what we do in it became a mere set of occasionally interesting figures that move in and out of our ground of stillness? Here, we would awake in stillness, and leave our home if and when we felt called to 'carve out' some time for the world, always returning again and again to the home ground of stillness.

"Can we even imagine such a thing?"

Wow! How radical is this? How much does this go against our current society's value system? And how much do I want to take him up on the challenge? Let's just say, as I struggle with my 3rd or 4th cold this year, a lot.