The Thin Line

When we’re going through a difficult experience, someone will often ask, “Are we having fun yet?”

The irony of this question reminds us of the thin line between tragedy and comedy. As pain and pleasure get intense, they become mysteriously similar. Isn’t it hard to tell when someone is crying tears of agony or tears of joy? Many times, even the one who is crying isn’t sure. Agony and ecstasy are forever intertwined.

From one viewpoint there may be suffering; from another there is simply a deeper understanding. Much of our growth in awareness is about expanding and maturing our perspectives.

We cannot always go by appearances, since things are often not as they seem. When we choose the lighter perspective, we see that we’re struggling for illusions which we can never get, on a planet that doesn’t support the lifestyle we try so hard to create.

Some examples are…
……We get bored with being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
……We often lose our health to make money, and then lose our money to restore our health.
……We think so anxiously about the future we forget the present, such that we live neither for the present nor the future.

The bottom line is…we can be more fully aware of the thin line separating tragedy and comedy and live more fully as human beings, while at the same time, seeing the bigger picture. We can be free enough to enjoy our highs, endure our lows, cheer our victories, and struggle with our defeats, all with an underlying freedom and humor.


Learning to Trust

I am learning to trust the rhythms of the changing seasons. I delight in the certainty that each change, no matter how wrenching, brings with it a promise of a new life.

Yet there are times when I lose my trust in the rhythms of change. In the uncertainty of times like this, help me to accept change with the delight of a child coming of age or an elder embracing new-found wisdom. In these moments, I ask to be reminded of how the dawn follows night, and spring arrives only after winter has lost its grip on reality.

When I long for the comforts of what can no longer be, lift my head above my losses and my fears and cast my eyes on the promise of new beginnings

Bad Spellers of the World – Untie

You can’t find the word you’re looking up if you’re not spelling it the way you should, which you won’t if your spelling is none to gould!

As for the ridiculous way we spell “ache”, it could only happen by mustache.

Unarguably, the “b” in doubt should have been left out, while whoever dreamed up the nonsensical spelling for “juice” was a silly guice.

And whoever put the “g” in gnat couldn’t have been anything but a gnut.

Serious Thinkers

For those of you who are only capable of serious thoughts, ponder on the following and the total meaning of life:

…If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success?
…Is it possible to be totally partial?
…Do hungry crows have ravenous appetites?
…What’s another word for thesaurus?
…Can you be a closet claustrophobic?
…Why do people who know the least know it the loudest?
…Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
…If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
…If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
…If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless of naked?

A Bigger World

I am inspired to look outside my small world and see a bigger one. If my life were like a crowded garage where I kept bumping into the furniture and judging myself, now it’s as if I’ve moved into an airplane hanger with the door left open. Much of the old “stuff” is still there yet it doesn’t limit me. It has been transformed by my acceptance.

May we all reach beyond the narrowness of our conditioning to a much bigger world: the great and real one of sorrow and joy, the world that leaves nothing out and knows that in actual life, the life of liberation, nothing ever can be left out.

The more we open, the more we can discover a freedom and a vastness beyond all changing conditions. In the vastness there is a seeing of oneself in a much greater context. We are at once as infinitesimal as a grain of sand on an endless beach and as boundless as the universe containing every sacred thing.

The Optimist

This is a story of identical twins. One was a hope-filled optimist. “Everything is coming up roses!” he would say. The other was a sad and hopeless pessimist. He thought that Murphy, as in Murphy’s Law, was an optimist.

The worried parents of the boys brought them to the local psychologist, and he suggested a plan to balance the twin’s personalities. “On their next birthday, put them in separate rooms to open their gifts. Give the pessimist the best toys you can afford and give the optimist a box of manure”.

The parents followed these instructions and carefully observed the results.

When they peeked in on the pessimist, they heard him audibly complaining, “I don’t like the color of this computer… I’ll bet this calculator will break… I don’t like this game… I know someone else got a bigger toy car than this”.

Tiptoeing across the corridor, the parents peeked in and saw their little optimist gleefully throwing the manure up in the air. He was giggling, “You can’t fool me! Where there’s this much manure, there’s gotta be a pony!”

Hands with Jelly

In a Peanut comic strip, Charlie Brown is eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He looks admiringly at his hands and says, “Hands are fascinating things. I like my hands. I think I have nice hands. My hands seem to have a lot of character. These are the hands that may someday accomplish great things. These are the hands that may someday do marvelous works. They may build mighty bridges or heal the sick, or hit home runs, or write soul-stirring novels. These are hands that may someday change the course of destiny!”

Lucy looks down at Charlie’s hands and says, “They’ve got jelly on them!”

Lucy’s comment, although insensitive, is right on target. Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

Thus, we start by recognizing that our own hands are covered with jelly. And they always will be. But they are all we have. They are who we are. Messy to be sure, we keep using our hands in acts of caring and kindness that lives might be touched and lifted up.