Twisting Branches (Meandering Life)

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Angel Oak Tree, Johns Island, South Carolina, April 2017

“Life meanders in this way. Art gives us all kinds of images of this living path that goes where it is going in a series of incomplete circles.There is the serpent of knowledge in the garden, the twisting pathway through the maze, the caduceus, or staff, of Mercury, and there are the twisting branches of the tree of life.Living is a meandering pathway across the void.”

William Bridges, excerpt from ‘The Way Of Transition’

Shift Yr Narrative : Comment

I hope that the pictures in the preceding post ‘Shift Yr Narrative’ tell a story, or perhaps two stories, of one subject ,on their own. But since I am talking about narratives I will add some words as well….

A narrative is the description of a thing or event from a certain perspective. It can be as sweeping  as an entire world view or, in the telling of a tale, merely a different narrator ,tense or location, for example.

So, what does it take to shift the narrative in our own lives?

A momentous event of change;maybe a crisis of some sort ?

Or perhaps changing  the tense of our story, so that we do not live in the past ,or in  a future yet to arrive ,but in the present?

What would our life look like if we fully authored it and not allowed the manuscript to be ghostwritten by others?

And, can multiple narratives of our lives each be true, wholly or in part?

Many questions and no right answers – but if our lives are not unfolding as we think they ought to be ,and that uncomfortable reality cannot otherwise be altered  , maybe changing it around and taking another  perspective will assist us to move on.

Shift yr narrative!

Hiatus (Never Mind The Gap!)

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Yesterday I went to the funeral  I mentioned in my previous post ,and it  got me thinking. Not about death(although that would be the ultimate hiatus!),but about taking a pause in life’s endeavours.It could be voluntary or thrust upon us.

I was speaking to an old friend at the funeral I had not seen for many years and he was in hiatus mode,and waiting for his next work/vocational opportunity.Waiting around can be hard , sometimes even harder than being in the middle of some major work or relationship ,which demands constant action but has the comfort of the known. As we wait, anxiety and boredom may creep in, self-doubt also.Those emotions and behaviours in themselves can give us learnings.

On the positive side,there is the opportunity to refresh and recalibrate.Taking a break from the known gives new perspective on what it is we do,the hows and the whys of those things.Modern life is not particularly geared to reflection,and it not often seen as a virtue.It is non – linear thinking and it is hard to show proof of its utilitarian worth.

And,as nature apprently abhors a vacuum,a hiatus is not nothing. It will fill itself with new inspiration and wonders ;the universe will pour in if we allow it.

My second son took  a hiatus in study last year ,and worked a couple of jobs.He simply wasn’t ready for university study.That used to be called  a’ gap’ year – like something you fall down. Maybe you never climb back out…. I have heard it called a ‘bridge’ year now and  I think I like that better,the idea of travelling over the unknown to the other side,whatever  that is.The universe is preparing us for the whatever next,often without us being conscious of it.

The photo above depicts low cloud hanging almost to ground level on a volcanic plateau.The wind has died away. Still,and just a bit eerie.That cloud actually obscures a spectacular,picturesque  mountain.It’s there,it’s just not visible to you now.After the hiatus,when the winds pick up and disperse the cloud, the mountain ,the next thing ,will hopefully be clear.

 

 

 

Why Do You Stay?

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“Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?”

                                                                         – Rumi

Last  night I was watching a rerun of the movie ‘The Terminal’, starring Tom Hanks. His character is from a fictional republic in the  former Soviet Union and he  lands at New York ,but because of a revolution at home he is rendered stateless and thus unable to leave the  airport terminal .He has a personal mission  he must achieve in NY ,but when he is “gifted” a small envelope of time by the immigration authorities to walk out to America ,while they turn a blind eye , he hesitates at the doors ,and cannot exit, held back by fears.

The scene Rumi’s words above . All of us have at some time been held captive by fear and doubt, often of   our own making. When the chance  to escape comes, are we courageous enough to do so, or will we languish in our all too familiar cell?

Where Sugar Comes From

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Shot of the iconic Chelsea Sugar factory, home of sugar in New Zealand,on the edge of the Waitemata Harbour. Lots of history and sweetness…actually the refinery process gives off a slightly acrid aroma. The nearby company wharf is a dedicated port of entry into the country, as the raw sugar comes in from the tropics and straight to the factory. I was particularly taken with  the roof angles ,the tower, the slightly arched windows and the tan/pink walls of the refinery buildings,as they caught the sun.

The photo version below is in homage to the pink and white colour scheme of the maker’s familiar sugar bags.

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Chelsea Sugar Factory, Birkenhead, NZ, February 2019.