Textual Arachne

A weaver of threads.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Balancing, spinning, moving

The equinox actually feels like the equinox this year. Although the leaves haven't changed color, there's a crispness in the air and a chill undertone to the breeze that hints of a long, slow descent into autumn. And it's time for the autumnal equinox.

Last week was one of excess for me: too many appointments, too much rushing around, too much joy, too much pain, too much food, too much work, too much to drink. It had kind of a Dionysian wonder to it that I was doing so much and enjoying it so fully, but it also played merry hell with my body and my mind. I trapped these pursuits in defined scheduled times and let excess reign within its allotted period. But I'm tiring of that approach. The summer was unscheduled and loose; the fall has been hyperscheduled and excessive. I want some other kind of balance than the one I've developed through obsessive scheduling and regulation.

I'm not certain what that would mean in practice. So I am turning to the equinox, the balance point, the twitch of oscillation between excess and starvation in my search. I want to find a balance that doesn't come from setting excesses at each other. What would that be like?

When we balance on one foot, we aren't at rest; a thousand tiny muscle corrections are constantly adjusting our posture so we don't fall over. When we walk, we're constantly correcting ourselves, catching each fall and turning it into a step. Even just sitting, as any meditation practitioner will tell you, is an active process. So balance isn't absence of movement, but rather the accumulations of many millions of movements. The equinox point is not just the abundance of summer poised against the absence in winter, but the million tiny changes that shift us from one direction to another.

A million tiny changes, rather than a great struggle between opposites. Yet how can I be sure that these are the right changes? A million tiny changes are also the same things that gradually petrify us, or accustom us to greater and greater pain till we no longer remember what it was like to live without it. How do we know that the tiny corrections we make are helping, not eroding?

What are we given? What do we give? I give my willingness to make a thousand tiny changes, a thousand tiny adjustments in my life, a small smile here, a moment of preserved calm there. More than that, I give my faith and trust that this is the right path; the way I am walking is the way I wish to be. What we are given in return in the sense of the center, the idea of balance as the still point: we cannot become still ourselves, but we can know what it might be and aim towards it.

Beloved Lady, I give you my trust in the unseen path, my daily mindfulness of actions aiming for that unseen center. Beloved Lady, I ask that the path be true, that you bring your touch to my corrections and move with me as I move in balance.

We are given the horizon of our hopes, and we give our tiny steps towards that far horizon. May it be the horizon we seek, or if not quite that, one that brings us joy nonetheless.


Post a Comment

<< Home