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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

I wish the questions were easier. I'm working on developing a broader perspective, a view from above, so when I find myself slogging through janfeb and all its chill and grey North American gloom I can say, "There, there, self, it's sunny down under, see? Ninety degrees in Adelaide today, beach weather. It's a small planet. Your turn will come."

I'm reading the Dalai Lama's book on ethics from a few years back, marveling at the man's humility and gentleness, at his ready acknowledgment that he wasn't always humble or gentle. Do you need to be reborn thirteen times to have that kind of inner peace? How many times have I been reborn? (I count three times in this life alone.)

The questions, the questions. How are we to live more mindful lives? How can we be more kind, less crazy? The other day I was talking to a friend about cell phones. She has one, I don't. She sees it as a necessary evil. I see it as one more bill I don't have to pay. Still, I go to the grocery store and see all those people on their phones and I used to roll my eyes, but now I 'm trying out a new perspective, marveling at how we are all longing to connect.

Sometimes the questions are unkind: "Who do you think you are?" This is the question my small self sometimes hisses in my ear when I step out beyond my comfort zone to try something new and different. "Who are you to try this?" I don't ever have a good answer. The best I can do is to say, I'm the chicken, this is the road.

The chicken crossed the road because the road lay in its path. Like the bear that went over the mountain, it had to see what it could see. Sometimes the answers only come with a broadening of perspective; a life less circumscribed. My small self may roll its small-self eyes, but really, what more reason do any of us need to do anything at all?

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