Brave Enough to See It
This week we have experienced another week of highs and lows, but for me - and for many others - the high point of the week was a poem. Just saying that makes me smile, that amid the strange mix of celebration, noise, anger and confusion that we have seen this week a young woman's poem can be the thing that stands out the most. As Dostoevsky said, "Beauty will save the world," and I think this was an example of that.
If you didn't see it (or if, like me, you want hear it again) you can hear the whole poem here.
Amanda Gorman's poem started with this line:
When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?I feel that in this she perfectly captured the feeling of the moment. She then explores the question and our situation (including some nods to 'Hamilton') and finally comes to the conclusion:
When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraidWhat I love about this is that it makes it clear that to move forward we - individually - have to open up to the fact that the light is always there. It is our own responsibility - nobody else's - to recognize this.
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
This is not about mere hope - for, as Pema Chodron says:
Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can't simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what's going on, but that there's something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.Or, as the great philosopher of our time, Dowager Countess Violet, says: "Hope is a tease designed to prevent us from accepting reality."
In contrast, we are being exhorted to be brave enough see the light that is already here, that is already present even in these difficult moments. When we meditate we work on building the courage to see what is really going on, what the present truly holds. I hope that this week the words of a young woman can encourage us all in this practice.
When looking through the past meditation recordings to find something suitable for this moment I came across one from 2015, just after the shocking Paris terrorist attacks. Listening through it again it is extremely relevant to our current times. I have linked to it below. It includes a fully-guided Metta (lovingkindness) meditation. A few of us have committed to press 'play' together at 7pm on Sunday 24th January - you are welcome to join us if you wish, or of course listen at any time.
Pema Chodron quote from "When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times"
Amanda Gorman photo from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:210120-D-WD757-2466_(50861321057).jpg