Hope of Progress
“In contradiction and paradox, you can find truth.” ~Denis Villeneuve
In the wake of the pandemic and the global sea of uncertainty in which we all swim these days, I am coming to grips with my own mortality, readying myself for the future and a great unknown.
A companion along the way is a book comprised of a series of short essays called The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully, by Joan Chittister.
And I realize: If there exists a desire for growth and an ordering of one’s internal life, there are trade-offs to be made.
If wisdom is one’s wish, a certain relinquishment is required, a sort of surrender to the paradoxes inherent to life.
And an acceptance of the same.
Nothing comes without a cost.
These days, I notice I have blurrier eyesight, but clearer principles; a weaker ego, but stronger heart, and reduced reflexes, but increased resilience.
These days, I have more wrinkles, but less worries.
And there is more quality time even as my remaining quantity of it dwindles.
These days, I experience more spontaneity and less list-making;
More meandering, less rushing;
More peace, less productivity;
More creativity, less criticism;
More intention, less goal setting;
More inspiration, less instigation.
These days, I find more joy in the mundane and minute; big may be beautiful, but small can be intensely sweet, and the emptiness of silence intoxicating in its fullness.
And, I now realize, I am more capable of holding hope for humanity and gratitude for the beauty of this world even as I bear witness to the withering of our planet and her fierce refusal to go quietly into that dark night.
May we all adopt such fierceness—and become gentler in the process.
Mourning offset by celebration.
Life in a word.
“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” ~Neils Bohr