Last April, I wrote part one of this post. In a fashion completely authentic to myself, I don't actually think I had anything planned for part two. I assumed it would come to me, like they all do, in fits and starts and then a sudden burst of inspiration that allowed it all to flow. Instead, I just got busy.
At any rate, I reread that post this morning and thought, ya know, I could have just stopped there. It pretty much said it all I think. Except, that little voice in my soul keeps hounding me to write again. I just process life better when I can get it into words to share. And wow, is there a lot to process!
A week ago, I had just fallen asleep when I heard a maternal voice, loud and clear, speak to me:
"Karen, pay more attention to the details."
I startled awake, sat straight up in bed looking around to see who had been talking. It was pitch black, other than the sliver of moonlight coming in through the shadeless picture window. The house was silent, still, no one was there, yet, where did that voice come from? It was a motherly voice, not familiar to me yet I knew it was one of tough love and gentleness, wisdom and, wait, was that also a little smirk in her voice? Can midnight voices smirk?
I spent the next hour thinking through what details I had missed that day, that week, the last year or two (and let's be honest, it was the middle of the night, I probably wrestled with my entire adulthood). Was I lost in the clouds? Am I the one person who actually overlooks the trees for the forest? Who the heck is this faceless voice to assume I don't pay attention to details anyway?!
Call it my brain screwing with me, a whispering reminder from God, some struggle buried deep in my subconscious, (maybe the wine?) I don't know, but it stuck with me well into the next day and week. What are the details I am overlooking? Have I gone so far the other way that I NEED to get stuck on a cookie or two? My blinders are strong....I can look past a whole lot to stay grounded and sane in the chaotic life that I have created. Is there self-care in that or is it an excuse to let too much go? Am I too hard on myself or have I been too easy? Can it be both?
And then I realized that this is the juxtaposed life we lead. We have to balance the letting go with the holding on. We have to remind ourselves to go ahead and have that cookie, don't get stuck on it, but know there is a point at which our tummies may ache. We need to pay attention to the trees while also keep a wider view of the forest. Be careful, we tell our children. Stay safe. But.....in order to grow, you have to take risks, be uncomfortable, maybe even throw a little caution to the wind a time or two and yes, make mistakes, sometimes BIG ones. But don't get stuck there either!
Yin and Yang.
Marlin and Dory
Tigger and Eeyore
Pooh and Piglet and wait, Owl and (how many characters does it take to define the human condition?)
Paradox is ultimately why black and white thinking and living doesn't work in reality. Life is a whole lot of carefully yet impetuously constructed contradiction with a side of confusion and if you are lucky, an occasion dollop of clarity. We can choose to fight it, or roll with it, sometimes both, all at once. We can choose which cookie to eat, which ones to stay clear of, see the trees individually and collectively, or hell, leave the forest and find ourselves staring out across the ocean, or desert or heck, just go off the grid and find yourself in a space of your own creation.
So, yeah, don't get stuck on the cookie, and also, maybe catch a few details along the way and while we are at it, throw in a wild splash of color because we only get this one chance to create something beautiful.