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Friday, June 23, 2017

In the Swim of Things

Treading Water

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water...”
Alan Watts

Having just come through yet another Alabama tornado, I can tell you that as well as trusting yourself to the water, you'd better have a plan of escape. I was fortunate enough not to be in the path of yesterday's twister, but Fairfield, on the West side of Birmingham, is pretty well wasted. What tornadoes can do is quite spectacular. One photo of a liquor store in Fairfield shows a completely demolished building, with neat shelves of liquor still standing inside. It's as though the building was simply lifted off its mooring and smashed to the ground, while everything inside remained untouched. Mystifying is Mother Nature.

The rest of that quote by Alan Watts reads: “When you swim you don't grab hold of the water because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead, you relax and float.” I think he's talking about life, not flood water, don't you? It's grasping, or as Michael Singer in The Untethered Soul calls it, “clinging” that is deadly. In other words, trying to stop time, stop change, keep things exactly as they are—an impossibility for living systems.

We all know that water flows. When enough of it comes down too fast, it also stands. If you live in the desert and need to see what that looks like, come to my neighborhood this morning. My backyard, which two days ago was a savanna of clover and periwinkle, is now a marsh. A big dead limb fell into the middle of it yesterday afternoon and within five minutes, birds were pecking around on it for bugs. They know how to go with the flow. We should take notes.

I didn't post yesterday because the internet was down. I guess Mother Nature likes neat rows of liquor better than power lines. She's fickle. Thanks to those of you who checked on me. I'm treading water here in Alabama. I hope you're “in the flow” wherever you are.

                                                       In the Spirit,


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