The Sum of Parts - we are a mosaic in the Garden of LifeMay 01, 2022
There is a moment when the sun is so bright, so golden against the dark black rain clouds. A moment of beauty that beckons change. There is a stillness, a waiting to see what happens next.
We go through life accumulating our dreams and mysteries, our successes and our moments of regret. We become a composite of broken bits of china, as if someone has been to the second-hand shop and bought up all the old plates there and shattered them to make a mosaic, to make something almost beautiful.
We become a composite of broken bits of china, as if someone has been to the second-hand shop and bought up all the old plates there and shattered them to make a mosaic, to make something almost beautiful.
A day comes, much like any other, except you sit around a table with strangers talking. And then in the middle of the night you lie in bed and toss and turn in damp sheets with the sensation of being those strangers listening to all the broken china bits of you.
And this can feel bad.
Or it can be the moment that the clouds break and the landscape of your soul is washed clean.
It is often a stranger who shows us that we have got our life all inside out and turned around. That we speak of the past as if we wish we were there still, when really, we know it is a place we don’t want to return to because we have created conditions for happiness where we are now. Besides, the river can never return to the source.
Strangers can try to put us in boxes: we are meant to be this, or this, or that. But we know inside ourselves that things are never that simple. They say we are not meant to be all these different things. Yet we are. We are four seasons in one day. We are sun, rain, dark cloud and blue sky. We are the deep greening green of leaf; the broken shard of china. With all these things we create the mosaic of our life. All those chips and edges, and moments past.
But strangers can come bearing gifts, they can show us, us. And we might not be able to change us, but we can change our perspective. Rather than travelling to the separateness of this, or this, all these boxes, we can travel to the unifying centre. We are not the parts anymore. We are the sum of the parts. And with this perspective we can help those who are in places that we once inhabited, without having to be in those places ourselves. And we can exist in the place we are now whole-heartedly. Nothing broken.
We can exist in the place we are now whole-heartedly. Nothing broken.
And so it can happen that one day we see that we have been hanging onto the past even without realising it. And the perspective is all wrong for where we are right now. And it comes as a shock. The vignettes relived and redescribed suddenly make us sigh. The paintings in a cupboard that will never be hung again because this is not their home, but we have kept them to remember the place that was, suddenly seem to be taking up too much space.
Then, you just know it is time to let it all go. You pick up the camera your mother owned, the one with the film in it that you now remove, winding it back in the broad light of day because suddenly it does not matter any longer what might be there. The paintings are given away. And you feel yourself moving with grace away from the perimeter of past moments. You step into the centre of the circle and feel its totality and feel the cleansing rain upon your face. The view is good from here. The rivers winds out to sea.
Here is where your greening garden will grow. These seasons of you. This is a place where seeds become harvest in the very core of you. Fed with the soil of experience, creating the conditions for something new and beautiful and meaningful to bear fruit and be shared on a plate that is not yet broken.
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