The grape vines that have been making their return this summer have just reached the trellis that separates yard from woods…and so have the Japanese Beetles. They glow iridescent as I walk through the passageway. How long have they been there? Last week they were still in hiding from me as I watched the progress of the vines. Now the telltale lacy leafs seem as if they couldn’t have gotten that way in only a week. Was I blind in my zeal to see the vines once again cover the trellis, or was there a change so sudden that I could not have observed it sooner?
I feel, once again, that the vines reflect my life. It’s always so disconcerting to
suddenly see what I didn’t before. Then I wonder if I was blind and what it was that might have blinded me, or if it is simply impossible to see … until suddenly I do…which often as not leaves me wondering what else I’m not seeing!
I don’t mean to be obscure with this metaphor but what I’m saying is obscure. It seems the nature of revelations to reveal precisely those things that were obscured. At times it seems to happen slowly. The blindness gives way to the obscurity, which is like a hint at something beyond what can be seen. At other times, there isn’t even the knowing that anything is obscured until suddenly it appears and then the feeling of having been blind comes, and the wondering at why, and at what else is hidden.
This isn’t a big conundrum or anything like that, just something that came to mind today as I saw the beetles and the “sorting out” of various blind spots (both known and unknown to me) in one picture frame.
Yesterday, my grandson told me he wanted to be with me all the time – even when I go to work. As a grandmother, my heart just about burst for reasons of delight and also for reason of a sort of apprehension. An hour later, when I asked if he wanted to go do something, he said, “No, I want to stay here with you.” I then asked if he wouldn’t like it if the two of us went to his cousin’s house to play, and he was eager to go. Still later he didn’t mind at all when I left him there on his own for a while.
I use this example because of the sorting I’m doing in that one area of my life where I’m only just beginning to see my clinging to the way things were even as I attempt to move on to a new way. I’ve sought to create an environment where Henry wants to be with me, and I’ve sought to let go of the imbalance of being together so much that other heart tugs are left in the dust.
Almost everything in my life feels like it’s in this same stage of one “love” tugging against another “love” and I guess that while I’ve wanted each situation to fall in one direction or another, what I’m being shown is to hold both loves in balance.
I feel that bliss must be when you don’t know you don’t know and when you don’t know you do know.
The in between wondering could be the “between and amongst” of those relationships that have an uncanny ability to present us with, and to at times give us the grace to hold, the creative tension of change. Change’s fluidity keeps showing us our blind spots and bringing, at the same time, (or soon after) greater clarity, and that bit of wondering…
What else is it I’m not seeing?
I don’t propose this as an active state of wondering, but I’ve seen that as soon as I’m convinced that I understand something in just the perfect light, I have the side of my head whacked – kind of like when you’re a kid and think you know better than your parent. “Don’t get so sure of yourself,” is what that internal whacking seems to say…don’t be so sure you understand…don’t be so sure you know the way to go…don’t be afraid to change course mid-stream. It’s not at all about doubting myself. It’s about being present and listening and seeing as truly as I can at the time. That’s all any of us can do, isn’t it?
Dear Mari, Why has it taken me so long to get back to the Embrace? I now read your words and see your face and feel your presence. My son Tom, who recently visited the cabin, fell on his bike in Chicago last night and broke his hip. He’s the one that just turned 50 with Obama. The pain of being so far from him, and the pain of seeing his compulsion to ride 100 miles in one day driving him, and the pain of knowing that his lesson is a big one, and the pain of knowing that my lessons seem to be just beginning, and mixed up with love and gratitude. I am trying to hold it all. Bless it all. Love it all.
What will we “see” today?
I’m so sorry to hear about your son and the pain of distance at such a time. I can see you too — at the cabin — getting the news.
Since you mention the Embrace, maybe that is a hint at what all this “holding” is about. As we’re more aware of being held in love’s embrace, maybe we can hold more too. But then it seems we must also let go. Hold and let go. So often those kinds of words just sound like words to me, but lately I’m feeling them. And the “seeing” is like that too. It is more than “seeing” but like seeing and feeling combined. No great clarity, but a new or heightened feeling sense.
Could it be that each day we see more of what we feel?