A new year is upon us. While that holds the promise of a clean slate ahead, we sometimes carry baggage in from the old year despite our best efforts. And so if your year started as dark as the last one ended, this is for you.
Maybe you have poured yourself out so much that you don’t know who you are at the bottom of the jar. Maybe you have worked really hard for something you thought would pay off, but it didn’t. Maybe you give yourself to things that are necessary for your survival, but they drain you. Maybe you have lost something and the vertigo of grief is overwhelming and disorienting. Maybe you are exhausted from the daily slogging through anger and expectations. Maybe you are empty, breathless. This is for you.
Even in the darkest of moments when you feel abandoned, there are gifts all around. This is a reminder of life, joy, and the gifts we have been given that surround us even when we feel hollow.
Appreciating these gifts will not solve everything. But maybe they’ll give you a moment of rest and serenity, some extra fuel to keep on, or a little bit of light to combat the darkness.
Before you read this post, turn off the lights. Full-screen this video and breathe.
And god said I will give you:
… Clouds that flow like oceans of milk that move and breathe like they are running out to sea.
… Friends you can share the deepest cupboards of your mind with.
… Sunsets of the strangest colors that painters will spend their lives recreating, and poets, retelling.
… People whose soul will leave such a deep footprint in your heart that they never really leave.
… Elephant ears, chicken curry, Frank Sinatra, and flowers that open with the sun.
… Steaming coffee and good beer that reminds you of the sweetness of life while the bitter hangs on your tongue.
… Hymns that will make you cry the instant you hear them and friends that you laugh too loudly with.
… People that sit quietly with you long into the night under fireworks to hear about what’s wrong.
… Mountains and fog that take away your breath, and skyscrapers that let you see the light.
… Sleep and wind.
… People who know you better than a sibling after ten minutes.
… Relationships that take work, but produce the deepest and most needed love you could ask for.
… Lovers, partners, dreamers, and intimacy.
… Multi-colored eyes with rings that rival the ones that wrap around planets.
… Sex and lips and kissing and laughter that will change your life.
… Smiles and wrinkles and crow feet and teeth that fill up your heart like heat.
… Poetry that can shred your heart and heal it.
… Holiday lights and paper cranes and snow and permanent markers and tattoos.
… People that you will fall in love with even though they don’t fit in the box and you will transform each other’s lives.
… Porches that you can sit on in the dark with friends, and porches that will give you a path out of destruction.
… Guitars, banjos, harmonicas, and cellos, and voices of syrup and smoke and silk and grit.
… Slices of conversations in common places that change your life.
… The Dalai Lama, Bukowski, Fitzgerald, Rakoff, Yates, Vonnegut, Klosterman and Rumi.
The world is not a hotel room that you tolerate sleeping in for a one night, cautiously and unforgivingly. The world is not something you shower off the next morning.
The world is the scent of pine and grass. It is eye contact so pure and wholly attentive , it scares you. The world is a symphony, an unforgettable laugh. The world is a listening ear, hot coffee, a long hug. The world is a fever, a dream, a kiss, the freshest mint, and the best plate of Eggs Benedict you’ve ever had.
The world is a song.
The world is wrapping paper and humanity is the gift inside.
And god said:
Do not be afraid, come on in. The water feels fine.
“Look for the mysterious in life. Wherever you look – in the white clouds, in the stars in the night, in the flowers, in a flowing river – wherever you look, look for the mystery. And whenever you find that a mystery is there, meditate on it. Meditation means: dissolve yourself before that mystery, annihilate yourself before that mystery, disperse yourself before that mystery. Be no more, and let the mystery be so total that you are absorbed in it. And suddenly a new door opens, a new perception is achieved.” — Osho
Photo Credit: “Adrift” by Simon Christen
↬ Robert Krulwich’s “Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds In The Sky” for the video and sciency explanations for odd cloud formations.
↬ Mike Morrell for posting the Osho quote.