the cloud

oh jules,

you know i love it.

also,  i just read this blog this morning – and it made me think of your writing (especially today): https://medium.com/higher-thoughts/daring-to-write-greatly-38034c96230

i hope you don’t have too much regret. i went to bed anticipating the same (but mine was based on the bag of habanero lime tostitos and chocolate coconut granola i inhaled after pub theology) – and i woke with all my usual feelings of failure and ‘not enough-ness.’ it feels hard to sift through them to face the day well, without already feeling like you’re dragging behind.

even though the day is sunny.

even though we are alive. warm. well-fed. well-rested (relatively).

i was going to add a “p.s.” to my memory. post last night, but then fell asleep. because i listened to Brad’s Prelude to the Practices message, not once but twice, yesterday. and it seemed so fitting with the pool shots – with the idea of not knowing next steps. but as you read of your pool shark wisdom – it seems that planning next steps, next shots – is actually very much a part of playing pool well.

his message got me thinking about the exodus ‘cloud following’ — that seems to me like the opposite of clarity. following a pillar of fire makes sense – you follow the light. follow the sun. but to follow a cloud…

have you ever tried to follow a cloud? (i haven’t but now i’m going to try)

and i’ve been thinking again about liminal spaces. my reading today was about thresholds.

i loved this section (lots to chew on and i haven’t digested it yet):

a threshold contains the power of transformation. in this place of uncertainty and decision making, we are forced to slow down and take stock of what’s happening. this is where we yield to the necessary gestation that grows us into greater freedom. during this time we let go of old ego ways we formerly relied upon to defend us from insecurity or facilitate resistance. all one’s energy must be given to the process that readies us for the next tentative step of development.

threshold times cleanse us of false perceptions and wean us from feeding on what no longer nurtures. these passageways serve as  spiritual wombs where the soul grows stronger in spite of doubts about whether those wings wings can soar freely. threshold experiences contain tremendous energy. they hold the power to unglue and shake us deeply, to enfold us with a seemingly empty darkness that causes us to yearn for relief.      -Joyce Rupp

and of course, the paragraph before uses the caterpillar metaphor. oh, gestation.

so where am i going with this? who knows?! remember, i never know the next step, just a shot in the dark.

but i feel like i am following a cloud. surrounded by the cloud. only able to see, like the light of Brad’s lantern, a few feet ahead.

i do have some clarity – like, i really feel that going west for the summer is the right next step. that packing up my house is a good (albeit, hard) move.

and yet, beyond that… cloud. i have no idea.

right now i am also surrounded by people trying to make good (albeit, hard) decisions – and it feels like a lot of things are in the clouds. but, as joyce mentioned, this cloud of uncertainty forces us to slow down and take stock. you can’t rush forward in the fog. you have to wait. be patient. literally put one foot in front of the other. or even stand still.

patience. again!

but there is another pillar. the pillar of fire. and it sounds to me like you want to be following it. you want the blaze. the light. the energy… what does that pillar look like in your life?

[the word excellence. such an interesting one. it makes me re-coil. i wonder why? i don’t know if i have ever striven for excellence. perfection, yes. but excellence… i don’t think so. and yet, what is the difference between the two? and can one strive for excellence without perfection? (perfection be damned!) what does excellence mean to you? what does it look like? taste like? feel like? besides those perfect posied cupcakes?! you bring excellence to all you do, hmm… ]

well, the day is quickly moving past me, behind again…

 

with you,

ruthi

 

 

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