living on the brink of disaster

We live on the brink of disaster because
we do not know how to let life alone.
We do not respect the living and fruitful contradictions
and paradoxes of which true life is full.

-Thomas Merton

The buildings in front of my workplace are being torn town. Equipment reminiscent of giant metal dinosaurs has been working at tearing through walls and gnawing at what remains. The building entrails of dead wood, brick and metal are swiftly getting chewed up and spat out by the awesome jaws of one of the triumphant looking machines. I keep waiting for the burp.  

I guess what I’m getting at is that this witnessing of destruction is bringing me in touch with my own mortality. Existence is temporary, and as much as I celebrate and take it for granted, one day I, too, will succumb to being torn apart from this life.  But hopefully not by one of those steel beasts.  

Something about the pile of rubble from the buildings reminds me of the ash and wire that was left behind after my burning of the bras party. And from the smoldering of something that was once considered so necessary, my friend Jane dug through the ashes to create something lovely- a nest made from the underwire that had been stubborn and tough enough to withstand the burn. I still have that nest on the mantle as a reminder of transformation. Right next to the lovely little Ganesha statue that my yogi friend mailed to me. Perfect.

For those unfamiliar with the Hindu God Ganesha (aka “Ganapati”), he is known as “Remover of Obstacles”.  He’s pretty great. And instead of providing a poor excuse for a Wikipedia entry, I’ll just leave this lesson at that. Other than the fact that Ganesh is recognized best as the God with the elephant head. Which I can completely relate to as a Gemini. Sometimes I’m described as having various animal parts. So I feel an affinity and kinship with this deity. And just the thought of a dancing man-God with an elephant head makes me giddy.

Once again the paradox of destruction and renewal comes into my life….and I’m equipped to take on any obstacle that gets in my vital way. Or at least to feel a bit better about the times when I have no control.

4 thoughts on “living on the brink of disaster

  1. Always reminds me of how differently people in India and the West perceive Siva, the destroyer. We tend to think destruction is something awful, whereas Siva is seen as the one who makes room for new growth which cannot happen without getting rid of old stuff. He’s invoked in many purification rituals as well. Om Namah Sivaya! 🙂

    • YES! Beautifully said- thank you. So true. The image of destruction making room for new growth is so hard to reckon with, and yet it’s all around us, right?
      I needed that reminder this morning, for sure.

  2. I realized recently that a lot of my malfunctions in life arise from the root of not just trusting the process. Like no matter how many times I later realize a lesson was necessary for my growth, I resist the lifestuff in the moment. Your ability to not only trust the obstacles, but celebrate them, is so excitingly inspiring!
    And the imagery in this post. WOW! So poeticly unctuous! You are meant to write. Just beautiful. Love.

    • thank you, Meredith- once again your words ring true. trusting the process sounds easier than it is. especially when the process involves pretty crappy obstacles…and big gratitude for your compliments on my writing. slowly getting back in the groove of putting pen to paper (that’s right- I actually begin with pen and paper. talk about dinosaurs!).

dialogue is good- yes? comment here.

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