Monday, June 27, 2011


It's easy to get knocked off balance. Maybe because you left the vacuum out, and you forget as you walk down the hallway too early the next morning. Or maybe because you were really careful about handing over your heart, and you did so much background, that you are blindsided by the foreground and impending heartbreak. Perhaps you are running so quickly to catch the last train, or maybe, you are simply standing still, but the Earth underneath your feet is moving, calling you forward, and as you try to stay still there is a tipping point: forward or downward. Anyway you look at it (Have you looked at it? I mean what really is keeping you erect?), it is quite a miracle to stay in balance.

Balance between head and heart; work and play; action and stillness; good and evil; vanilla and chocolate.

Mary Oliver says, "You do not have to be good."  That can throw you off balance. We are often given a compass of what is right and wrong, and a good deal of it includes not rocking the boat - the waters are choppy, please sit down, stay and "mend my life'" (Oliver).
Some of us do. Some of us can't. Either way we beat our selves up. Hard to stay in balance between the blows.

The initial rise of individuality can be a challenge larger and more demanding than one can possibly imagine - just like childbirth. In fact it is just like child birth, but you are birthing your Self. Mother, father, child: the divine trinity incarnate. To peel away the constraints of "good enough" is a labor of love, but there is no sugar candy mountain on the horizon. In fact, once you stand up in your own reality, the maps drop away; the right and wrongs, drop too; the shoulda coulda's could knock you to your knees, and all you have is the whisper of your own heart that tells you: Further.

It's hard to stay in balance when you can no longer use other's expectations as your coordinate plane, or when you turn and see your herd has stopped to graze and you have a hunger to continue for the insatiable. It's hard to stay in balance when your guidance is yours and yours alone.

Sometimes, the only way to stay in balance is to be still. Let the Earth move, let your heart guide, and keep your ears perked, trusting that things of Great Importance will come to you when you need them.

“One day the hero
sits down,
afraid to take
another step,
and the old interior angel
limps slowly in
with her no-nonsense
and her old secret
and goes ahead.
you say
and follow.”
       -  David Whyte


Kat said...

That's it! Further. Ever further...

Kathy said...

Your astute pondering of the adriftness we must necessarily feel once we leave the main path chosen by the herd led me to look up just exactly what the definition of 'balance' is. And I liked the last word of the second definition of balance as a noun best: counterpoise.

And of course I adored that final poem with the 'old interior angel' my child...