Best of Times!?!?!
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” — Charles Dickens
I’m sure you recognize the famous introduction to Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. I think I’m still working on “the best of times part”. My intention for this essay was to discover “the best of times” amid the confusion and contradictory happenings that make up today’s news.
But I couldn’t find an organized, literate place to start sharing from. So, here’s what I’m contemplating with the knowing that if I go quiet and into the stillness something good will be enabled. And, asking for help from the ones who have gone before me into the fray is one way to find help — if I let it.
“Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.” — Ben Okra
This quote – beware the stories you read or tell – most importantly the stories I tell myself – because those personal stories are the ones that shape & mold the choices I make. It is the time I spend in my own head that needs most careful tending and observation. Just because it sounds cool when I skim it – doesn’t mean it is good. Or “god” as I first typed it.
“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose,
and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” — Aristotle
Yet it is one of the tasks at hand: to respond with care to our world, which feels totally off plumb. Someone must be to blame. Pick a topic, an event and it is so very easy to get crazy upset. And absolutely nothing is gained through unfocused sound and fury. Nothing is right until we see the “best of times” which are the perfection that is the heart and S/spirit of our universe and our teaching. As we are taught and reminded repeatedly – this life is perfect – we need to know it and accept to get there, but how, where, who, what?
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy
not on fighting the old but on building the new.” — Socrates
Or more directly, if somewhat less poetically:
“Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe
My goal now is to choose a place, a way, a focus and do what I can in the best way I understand that will help free the perfect within.
Some Me of Beauty ― Carolyn Rodgers
“I took a good long look at myself in a full length mirror
Sometimes it’s good to look in a full length mirror
And what I saw was not some soul sister poetess of the moment
But I saw just a woman
Just a woman feeling
Just a woman human
And what I felt was
What I felt was a spiritual revelation
And what I felt was a root revival of some love coming on
Coming on strong
And I knew then, looking in a full length mirror,
That many things were over
And some me of beauty was about to begin”
–May our beauty grow and flourish. Peace to you and yours, Mariann