A year can’t be summed up in photos. Not really, not fully, not deeply. Each photo is just a snapshot of what was at a particular point in time.
And, at the same time, I’ve found that a collection of these snapshots can be a really beautiful exercise in creating awareness for where I’ve been, what continues to unfold for me, and where I’m going. Here are my favorite photos from 2020!
Another exercise I’m loving right now is a meditation practice where I intentionally bring a beginner's mind to whatever comes up in my inner landscape. Rhythmically on the out breath, I say out loud: "I do not know the nature of _______." I do not know the nature of memory. I do not know the nature of waves. I do not know the nature of sea. I do not know the nature of the moon. I do not know the nature of the universe. I do not know the nature of creation.
This exercise is rooted in embracing mystery, in sitting in the messiness of not knowing, being curious about what exists in the spaces between. How do I live the questions? One of my favorite quotes comes from Rainer Maria Rilke:
"Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
I love this meditation as a guide for how to actually live the questions. I do not know the nature of how. These statements serve as a guide for how to find comfort, or sustainability, or even pleasure eventually in the discomfort of gray space, of not knowing, or exploring, of journeying.
In my exploration, I turned to a book I pick up every so often called "The Order of Time," by Carlo Rovelli. It's different than other books I typically read. It's rooted in physics, which I know nothing about and have honestly very little interest in. And there, I found some beautiful evolutions of the questions I've been asking. I've been asking the question, "What is?" Here in this little black book, I found refinement, allowing for the other truth of impermanence to come in: Nothing Is. Things Happen. Being is actually always becoming.
And there, I found comfort. There, my worldview, always becoming, makes so much more sense. There, I allowed myself to sink into becoming with a little bit less fear. It felt like a haven, a centeredness that is more tangible than a vague sense of impermanence but not knowing how to live in that. If I'm always becoming, if the world around me is becoming, if people around me are becoming, if things are happening, if nothing is fixed, then somehow I'm relieved. I can let go. I can trust at and in a different level of consciousness.
So, I am trying out this trusting my own becoming, with each breath and each moment. I am entering the New Year with awareness and compassion and love for myself and those around me and for the world.
And I invite you to join me! May these days of transition from 2020 into 2021 be spacious, full and rich. Happy New Year!