Monday, November 28, 2011

Off the Shelf

I, and others who know me well, can tell you I have many on-going projects in the works at any given time. Some are physical projects meaning things I’m building or creating, or improving or embellishing; others are more mental meaning thoughts I’m processing, as in design ideas and writings. And then there’s the lifelong project of me which is a never ending quest to know and understand myself more completely. As I am incapable of dealing with ALL of these various projects in the jumble and juggle of everyday life, some get put upon the shelf--so to speak, and sometimes literally--as I work with those close at hand. Then, usually on a rainy day or with real life happenstance, I realize too late that the lifelong project has been too long on the shelf and should be dusted off and re-examined. I am humbled.

I am a seeker of tranquility--a life sustained in peace, enlightened by the joy of sharing with others, girded in the truth of one’s own spirit, enriched in all forms of love and bound by no rule. I seek to know myself more and more. For, I believe we cannot truly know another until we first know ourselves. As life changes around us, we [must, sometimes] also change--’tis the circle of life.

I will admit I have an affinity for courteous, kind and respectful folks. They bring a ray of joy into my day. I take notice of them--especially when they are someone who has nothing to do with me or my life, and may never lay eyes upon me again. I look up to them and aspire to be like them--in my everyday life, in all my relationships. I’m attempting to grasp a broader mindset of what these attributes might mean to others without totally sacrificing my beliefs or expectations.

I try to be considerate of feelings, how something may affect the other, the very essence of what it means to truly consider. I, in turn, generally expect that of others keeping in mind that someone may have an “off-day” yet, for the most part--expect them to exercise consideration.

I am an advocate of individuality, believing that diversity in personalities and interests coming together creates an extremely interesting smorgasbord for gatherings, as well as interesting relationship building blocks. Yet, I do not believe that individuality is a hall-pass--if you will--for the exclusion of consideration or respect.

Then there’s the ability to see through what matters and to let go of what doesn’t matter. Personal growth, possible change and improvement. To live, to love, to enjoy, to feel the hearts of others.

I have a collection of quotes which I sift through most mornings in search of a daily reminder. This morning I could not find a suitable quote in the collection. Leaning upon my weighted heart, I went to the internet and found this one...

“Grace means more than gifts. In grace something is transcended, once and for all overcome. Grace happens in spite of something; it happens in spite of separateness and alienation. Grace means that life is once again united with life, self is reconciled with self. Grace means accepting the abandoned one. Grace transforms fate into a meaningful vocation. It transforms guilt to trust and courage. The word grace has something triumphant in it.” - Yrjo Kallinen aka George Henry Kallinen

Grace. Yes, I’m seeking grace...maybe a form of grace that’s foreign to me.


Hollie Sessoms said...

"Then there’s the ability to see through what matters and to let go of what doesn’t matter. Personal growth, possible change and improvement. To live, to love, to enjoy, to feel the hearts of others."

I love that.

It's funny that you write about this lifelong project of knowing yourself, because this has been heavy on my mind lately as well. Actually, maybe it's not that funny. We both, I believe, have this sometimes annoying tendency to HAVE to understand which is probably why we were brought together in this journey.

I have found myself reading and re-reading "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" over and over again these past few weeks. This is a poem that I read weekly, if not daily when I was in college and in many ways I feel like this poem knows me better than I know myself. It's as if there's a hint hidden in it somewhere about who I really am. When I step away from this poem, I feel both disturbed and uplifted by what I have learned about myself. Disturbed because it's not always pretty and uplifted because at least I am TRYING to get to a place where the women who come and go talking of Michelangelo will never get to and won't even realize that they never got there because they don't even realize that such a place exists.

I think this is hitting me now, because I finally have some time throughout the day that isn't bombarded with incessant chatter (internal and external) that comes from having small children and I am able to hear my inner voice again and find my place in where life has led me at this particular moment in time.

It's exhausting and tedious, but worth it in the end.

Anyway, kind of rambling and random, but just wanted to share a bit from my parallel quest.

Pandora's Float said...

Oh yes, Hollie--just as Eliot sums it up..."and we drown". That is our lifelong project, to know and understand those happenings in our lives in which we drown. I feel we glean a clearer understanding of them through grace and must have ample courage to know (or own) them. Thus, the poem "Invictus" has stayed on my mind of late. Grace and courage in 2012.

My life has been consumed recently, not nearly enough time for my inner voice. I'm drawing a bit from your opportunity. Thanks!

I'm so hoping and planning to spend more time with me during 2012, write more and post more here.

I cherish your friendship and support.