Monday, October 12, 2009

teeter totter

So… inspired by the generous act of a friend, I am back on my blog for a momentary return from self imposed exile. My chair feels wonderful and the view, on what’s likely to be the last sunny day of the season, is gorgeous with the sun coming up rose colored and reflecting off of the mountains. I don’t even remember my last time here and really don’t know when my next will come. I’m heading for Portland tomorrow and a week of wringing out my brain in grad school. By the time I get back, if not before, a granddaughter will be born and then all time will most likely stop. So in the mean time, for one more time, I get to listen to Pandora while chasing this cursor across my screen.
Much has changed in the blur of the past few weeks, I guess it’s good to slow down for an hour and get my bearings again. It’s been one of those “I have no idea where we’re going, but we’re making great time” months in my house. Life, as it should be I guess, has been a combination of the arrival of new things while some old things slip from my grasp. All at once, looking at the inventory, I realize the paradox that some of my life has become. I’m a grandfather and I’m a grandchild. I’m a father and I’m a child. I’m an uncle and I’m a nephew. I’m a student and I’m a teacher. I’m an artist and a piece of art…. or is that a piece of work. I’m a creator and I’m the creation. When I put the list on a screen like this it is easy to see how each of these are an uneasy balancing act. My own personal experience is that I can’t seem to put equal focus on either end of these. One side always is demanding more time and I am frequently sinking on one side and trying to scramble to the other. I’m either teetering or tottering.
The reality of a teeter totter is that you never have equal sides. You are either the bigger kid or at the mercy of the bigger kid. And most of the time, it’s the difference between the two that creates the motion. It’s those fleeting moments, when the balance is reached, where there is rest. They are few and far between. In my personal teeter totter world, sometimes I can just muscle my way to balance just as I would use leg strength to overcome the weight of the big kid on the other end. But sometimes life ends up like a couple of bigger kids piling on and my legs are no longer of use because they are three feet in the air. When that happens I have a choice. I can kick and scream at the wind…. Or I can sit quietly and wait. I hate that. The kicking and screaming only serves to wear me out and I’m usually still hanging up there. Usually, sitting quietly for a period of time will cause the one on the other end to get bored and let me down, sometimes slowly, sometimes by jumping off.
I am finding, after years of kicking and screaming when I’m off balance, the wisdom of quieting myself. “Be still and know that I am God” in the Book of Books has become very real to me of late. Prayer and nothingness, though against every fiber of my being when I am hanging, has the ability to bring balance. I may not make sense, but it works. One way I can find to explain it is that, just maybe, when the bigger issue has you hanging three feet off the ground, prayer and nothingness invites God to join you on the teeter totter. And let’s face it, there certainly is no bigger kid on the playground than Him.

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