Contrast.

From times of old, the sages and mystics spoke of how life demanded each of us to learn how to balance the tension between opposites.

From pole to pole we go … the pendulum swinging.  Likely unaware, something within us is seeking that balance.  We see it in the macrocosm and microcosm, if indeed we choose.  Extreme to extreme.  Aggression moves to passivity.  Black to white.  Mercy to severity.  Faith to apathy.  Joy to sorrow.  Back and forth we go …

Life presents itself to each of us in perfect form to our need.  We believe we choose to move this way or that … and perhaps in a sense we do.  But could it be we are moved as well … pressed toward a confrontation we need?

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As has been my “ritual” the last few years, I tend toward the movie house each Christmas day.  The little Christmas “sharing” I do is typically prior to the day, leaving me a singular piece on the board.  It’s intriguing what arises in these quiet times … different than most others … and I recognize how lonely some folks can become.  I have touched it.  I know its cool texture, although I am able to release from lingering too long.

These moments have purpose.  They offer contrast … and help me to remember a bit more.

And yesterday, as I considered “the” movie, I was drawn to one of a more “personal” nature.  I welcome tears as I do laughter … and in the story of a human heart tugged to and fro, one cannot help but experience both.

Philomena.”  This was my ultimate choice … shown at an old, independent theatre downtown … a 20 minute or so walk in the chill of a Christmas afternoon.   In fact, it was a perfect afternoon … 30 degrees or so, a crisp breeze, and a bright sun, offering a slight, warm touch.

I will certainly not snare the essence of the movie and present it to you here on a platter.  Mine is to but tempt you toward your own experience.  But it is worth the time spent … an inspiration … as well as a point for meditation.

“Contrast” is the word that came to mind as it began to unfold.  It was perfect for the day, striking a stance between opposites on more than one front … stirring mind and spirit, at least in this man.  It was and is a keen reminder of what is most important … and it is not the stance itself.

Where am I in this pendulum swing?

To or fro? … or gently accepting the way of the red path?

There’s a saying that goes, “The river of life runs between the banks of pleasure and pain, and one bumps into both.” That’s not the problem. The problem occurs when we cling to the banks, either the positive one or the negative one. When we quietly reconcile ourselves to all of life’s contradictions, when we can comfortably flow between the banks of pleasure and pain, experiencing them both while getting stuck in neither, then we are free.

(From “Power, Freedom, & Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness” by Deepak Chopra)

 

Am I free?

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