Sometimes it just feels good to settle into the grumpy places, like a hen, and brood a bit. Then when the time is right, you step out into the sunshine, shake the dust out of your feathers, and run with the flock.
We live in the layers. Part of me wants to be so evolved and conscious in my living that I don’t get into the occasional grumpy snit, that I don’t lose my temper and holler at my kids, that I don’t go on a rant with no reasonable basis in facts, that I don’t buy myself a new pair of boots just for the fleeting happiness of new stuff. But there’s a paradox in there, I think. To actually embrace my humanness, to live in the layered reality of being a being in a body right now, I have to experience those bits of me that I am a little sheepish or ashamed about. Part of the mystery and the delight of being human is the life in the layers–we can be seeking to understand the deep pools of our emotions and the far-reaching paths of spirit and still, when it comes down to it, these are the clothes we wear, these human clothes, and sometimes the emotional bits get a little messy.
Perhaps it’s also partially a function of the Swiss/German DNA that I carry in my human clothing. Even while I am having a rant or a snit, some small voice in the back of my head is saying, “Now is that reasonable? Is that proper?” Perhaps for me, diving more deeply into the layers, exploring the depth of my humanness, might mean stilling that voice, letting myself have at it, not worrying whether my current rant is grounded in verifiable facts like a college research paper, whether I am going to sound sulky or whiny.
I think that what I am saying is that reason and philosophy and spiritual seeking are all good and useful tools, but that a life too focused on being reasonable and rational can divorce us from the emotional part of our fully human selves. Emotions aren’t reasonable. Like any art supply, they’re messy. But they’re colorful, too. Here’s to the art of living in the layers!
1. Getting home in the dark and getting out of the car to the hooting of the Great Horned Owl in the bamboo. They’re really active right now. About a week ago, one night as we were putting the boys to bed, the owls were having a regular hootenanny out in the woods–there must have been at least three of them, and they weren’t leaving their usual thoughtful pauses between comments.
2. I finished all my coursework for my class:Building Caring Communities. It has been a wonderful class, and I have found much that I can apply directly to my classroom, so I am grateful for that. But I am weary and eager to have a little less on my plate for a while, so I am grateful that it is over, too.
3. Family time over the holiday. Crazy Uno games with both sides of the family. Thoughtful conversations. Hugs and snuggles and sharing delicious food.
4. Tender justice and scandalous grace.
5. Revolutionary poetry.
May we walk in Beauty!