“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 4 March 2016

A Break in the Clouds

I was driving back home from Evesham yesterday, when I noticed this dramatic sky ahead of me. It spoke to me so much that I found a parking space (fortunately I was on a dual carriageway, not the motorway), parked up, and took a picture.

I'm not sure whether it will show up on your browser / phone, but the contrast between the dark, rain-filled clouds and the brightness of the unchanging blue sky behind was remarkable to the naked eye.

In fact it reminded me of a metaphor much used by Martin Laird in his book Into the Silent Land, which is about learning how to do contemplative prayer. He says that our thoughts and feelings are like the weather, but that there is something deeper within, which is not affected by changes in that weather, that is deep, and luminous, and aware. Laird refers to it as a mountain, Mount Zion. Which is that-of-God within each of us.

Seeing that bright blue sky behind those menacing clouds helped me to understand that although our thoughts, moods, and feelings may change from day to day, or even from moment to moment, there is a deep, peaceful, sky-blue awareness behind and above them, into which we can sink, if we just have the patience to sit in silence for a while, and let our passing emotions do just that - pass by. It's not easy by any means - the chattering monkeys are loud and clear; the inner video is always there, ready to seduce our attention away.

But fleeting moment of peace are possible, and the knowledge that this deeper, calmer centre is there may help us in our everyday lives.. It surely helps me.

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